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Wed Aug 17 2022, 03:46 PM

Islamic World News ( 4 Aug 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Role Models: Muslim Students, Mohammed Jabir P K And Muhammad Basith, From Malappuram Win Top Prizes In Ramayana Quiz

New Age Islam News Bureau

05 August 2022

 

Mohammed Jabir and Muhammad Basith. (File Photo)

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• Zawahiri Killing: Ways In Which Pakistan May Have Helped US In Drone Strike

• We Have No Information About Al-Qaeda Leader’s ‘Arrival and Stay’ in Kabul: Taliban

• Al-Azhar Denies Alleged Kinship Between Dead Al-Qaeda Leader, Former Grand Imam Al-Zawahiri

• Hate Crimes Against Muslims In Canada Jump 71 Percent in 2021: Statistics Canada

 

India

• After Mufti's Arrest, Madrasa in Assam with 'Links' to Bangladesh Terror Outfit Ansarul Islam Demolished

• Paleri-Parakkadavu Mahal Committee U-Turn: Says It Will Not Allow Brides In Mosque In Future

• NIA arrests member of Dawood gang for 'aiding terrorist activities'

• With Eye On 2024 Polls, Delhi BJP Plans Pasmanda Muslim Outreach In Capital Today

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Pakistan

• Indefinite Ceasefire Will Continue Amid Ongoing Peace Talks, TTP Tells Pak Delegation

• Imran Khan calls for protest against Pak Election Commission, slams its chief for being 'in cahoots' with 'imported govt'

• PTI withdraws case against CEC ‘to add more evidence’

• Notices to NA speaker, ECP over PTI resignations

• Imran Khan rejects Pakistani poll body's verdict in prohibited funding case

• Nawaz tasks Maryam with countering Imran’s narrative

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South Asia

• Bangladesh Police Detain ‘Tuneless’ Social Media Star To Stop Him From Singing Tagore, Nazrul

• Parwan Governor, citing supreme leader, says previous constitution invalid

• Taliban warns US to not repeat drone strike that killed al-Qaida chief Zawahiri

• Taliban Arrests Group of 4 for Burning a Man Alive in Western Afghanistan

• As US-China Tensions Flare, Taliban Says Countries Should Refrain from ‘Provocative’ Decisions

• New evidence exposes Myanmar's military's brutal purge of the Rohingya Muslims

• Fighting in Karta-e-Sakhi Between Islamic Emirate Forces and Daesh

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Arab World

• Lebanon Is The World’s Angriest Country, Followed By Turkey, Armenia: Data

• Christian, Jewish and Yazidi cemeteries desecrated by teens and extremists

• ‘God condemns officials’ who avoid accountability over port blast: Lebanon Patriarch

• UAE foreign ministry issues statement on importance of respecting ‘One China’ policy

• 2 years later, Lebanese victim of Beirut blast still in coma

• Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi rejects calls for dissolving parliament

• Yemen’s siege: Saudi-led coalition seizes another ship day after extension of UN-brokered truce

• Amir-Abdollahian calls for release of Iranian citizen detained in Saudi Arabia during Hajj

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North America

• U.S. Proved Afghanistan Not Safe-Haven for Al-Qaeda: Kirby

• Top US diplomat for Middle East says China providing Iranian proxies with drones

• US troops in Yemen an expansion of imperial aggression: Expert

• Jeff Bezos’ Blue origin sends first Egyptian national to space

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Europe

• Dutch Police Seek Information On Perpetrators Of Islamic State Crimes Against Yazidis

• Azerbaijan's embassy in London attacked by radical religious group

• Three grain shipments to leave Ukraine Friday: Turkey

• Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of violating fall 2020 deal ending conflict 'nothing but hypocrisy'

• Turkish president set to visit Russia to have talks with Putin

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Mideast

• Islamic Jihad Calls For Release Of Al-Saadi As Military Wing Threatens Israel

• Israelis Won’t Sleep A Wink If They Know What Hezbollah Has In Store: Senior Resistance Official

• Iran Intel Ministry Arrests 10 Daesh Terrorists Plotting Attacks In Muharram

• Israel sends armed drones over border to curb Islamic Jihad threat

• Athens rejects Ankara criticism over Muslim cleric election process

• Top Aide: Iran Supports Extension of Yemen Ceasefire

• Iran's Envoy Urges US Guarantees for Economic Benefits Under JCPOA

• Militants arrested for planning to bomb Iran religious gathering: Report

• Israeli army arrests 23 Palestinians in West Bank

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Africa

• Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Holds UK Islamic Conference

• Sudan’s Islamic Fiqh Academy calls for precautionary action against potential GERD collapse, malfunction

• Moroccan court jails 14 migrants for 8 months over crossing

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Southeast Asia

• Indonesian Envoy Stresses Need To Engage Youth For Contribution To Socio-Economic Development Of Pakistan

• Anwar rejects Dr Mahathir’s Malay-Muslim alliance, says problem is corruption, not racism

• Turkey, Malaysia ties raised to comprehensive strategic partnership

• When Chinese cultural pride gets confused with Chinese nationalism

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-students-jabir-basith-ramayana/d/127651

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 Role Models : Muslim Students, Mohammed Jabir P K And Muhammad Basith,  From Malappuram Win Top Prizes In Ramayana Quiz

 

Mohammed Jabir and Muhammad Basith. (File Photo)

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05th August 2022

MALAPPURAM:  Two students of Islamic Studies from the KKHM Islamic and Arts College in Valanchery have become role models after emerging winners in a state-level quiz on Ramayana. Mohammed Jabir P K, a final-year student of the eight-year Wafy course, and Muhammad Basith, a fifth-year student of the same course, are among five winners of the competition conducted online by a publishing house.

Other winners of the course are Abhiram M P, Neethu Krishnan and Navneeth Gopan. “People shouldn’t be reluctant to read the literature of other religions,” Jabir said. “We should understand all religions through their religious texts. But we should practice the one that we like the most. I read the literatures of all religions and follow Islam.” More than 1,000 students participated in the quiz, he said.

The syllabus of their Wafy course includes the study of other religions including Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, Jabir said. “No one asks us not to read the literatures of other religions. Even our course demands us to learn about other religions and understand their values. All religions ask us to live in harmony and none of them promotes hatred,” he said. Jabir said he read a lot about Ramayana during the lockdown.

“There are lots of things to be learnt from the text. It tells us about an ideal person, Rama. It shows us a beautiful bond between brothers and how a country can be governed better,” he said. Basith said he developed an interest in Ramayana during his childhood. “I read a lot about Ramayana from children’s literature during my childhood.

Recently, I also used our library to learn more about the religious text,” he said. Jabir clarified that Wafy students need to complete a bachelor’s degree course too alongside Islamic studies. “We need to do a bachelor’s degree course under a university to get a certificate for our eight-year Wafy course. Most of us complete the degree course through distance education.

Some Islamic Studies colleges provide facilities to do regular courses and Islamic Studies on the same campus,” he said. After the publishing house announced the winners, some people criticised the duo saying that Muslim students learn about other religions to mock the followers of other religions. “Such comments are very disappointing. We learn about other religions as we respect the beliefs of the people in other religions,” Jabir said.

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2022/aug/05/muslim-students-from-malappuram-win-top-prizes-in-ramayana-quiz-2484172.html

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Zawahiri Killing: Ways In Which Pakistan May Have Helped US In Drone Strike

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

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4 August, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI): Following the killing of one of the chief architects of 9/11 attacks, Ayman-Al-Zawahiri, several media reports have strongly indicated that Pakistan may have played a significant role in his elimination as well as of his predecessor, Osama Bin Laden as many similarities have been found in both the attacks which took eleven years apart.

As per the report by Islam Khabar, the US drone flew from a ‘friendly’ Middle-Eastern country, most probably the United Arab Emirates (UAE), using Pakistan’s airspace, however, no confirmed news emerged as in Osama’s case.

The reports are, however, denied by Washington and Islamabad, as was done in Osama’s case.

The Pakistani military, and the Shehbaz Sharif Government alike, are currently trying to secure an urgently-needed International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan from the US.

The very fact that al-Zawahiri was found living comfortably in a Kabul “safe house”, close to the Taliban leadership, shows that hard-core jihadist elements within the Taliban have no intention of breaking off ties with al-Qaeda. Also clear is Pakistan’s continued role, despite its wavering vibes with the Afghan Taliban it helped return to power.

Some of the few differences in both the attacks were that Osama’s hideout in Abbottabad were easily identified whereas the Americans have had few difficulties in locating Zawahiri’s, in a posh Kabul suburb that was frequented by many foreigners, among them Americans, till only eleven months ago.

The reactions of both, Islamabad in 2011 and Kabul under Taliban rule now, are identical. The two leaderships righteously condemned ‘violation’ of their territorial sovereignty, but left it at that, Islam Khabar reported.

However, according to the evidence that emerged later, the US had acted in Abbottabad on a tacit understanding reached with Pakistan, particularly its Army Chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. In Kabul’s case, it acted under a formal agreement reached at Doha in February 2020.

The Taliban may insist that they had undertaken not to attack US interests outside Afghanistan, and had never assured anything about any action within their territory. But they must now live without Zawahiri, killed under their very nose, and future ‘threats’ they may pose to the US.

Similarly to how Osama was moved to a safe house in Abbottabad by Pakistan, the Taliban also, on seizing Kabul last year, moved Zawahiri, with his wife, daughter and granddaughters, from the tribal area to the safety of Kabul’s Sherpur, in the neighbourhood of several Taliban leaders and the Kabul elite, including foreigners.

The two American operations differ on the damage they caused, however, as the one in Kabul took only Zawahiri and no other family members. Even the building was left intact and the Sherpur neighbourhood had to bear only the deafening sound of Kinetic Hellfire R9X. No warhead explosives, just blades that swing out to kill only one guy. Without involving the US Navy in 2011, the CIA achieved the mission.

The killing of Zawahiri is bound to cause a temporary setback in the US-Afghan ties and in their talks for a measure of reconciliation while the Taliban have been keen to recover USD nine billion lying in the US banks that the US has been unwilling or delaying.

This is a moment of triumph for Biden, just as killing Osama was for then-President Obama.

The US seems all set to resume its role that is bound to impact South, West and Central Asia. As Blinken put it: “In the face of the Taliban’s unwillingness or inability to abide by their commitments, we will continue to support the Afghan people with robust humanitarian assistance and to advocate for the protection of their human rights, especially of women and girls,” reported Islam Khabar. (ANI)

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/zawahiri-killing-ways-in-which-pakistan-may-have-helped-us-in-drone-strike/1069683/

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We Have No Information About Al-Qaeda Leader’s ‘Arrival and Stay’ in Kabul: Taliban

 

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

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By Saqalain Eqbal

04 Aug 2022

The Taliban’s caretaker administration said that the group was uninformed of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s “arrival and stay” in the Afghan capital, although it is uncertain if the Taliban has explicitly acknowledged or denied the American assertion that the al-Qaeda chief was killed.

In a statement released on Thursday, August 4, Taliban senior spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated that the group has instructed its investigative and intelligence agencies to conduct thorough and comprehensive probes on various aspects of this case.

According to the Taliban spokesman, no country, including the United States, is under threat from Afghanistan.

Furthermore, he said that the Taliban intended to put the Doha Agreement into effect and that its violations had to stop.

The Taliban once more denounced the US attack on Kabul as a violation of Afghan airspace and against international norms and warned that the US will be held responsible for the consequences of such attacks, if repeated.

On the other hand, several top American officials, including Zalmay Khalilzad, claimed that some Taliban leaders were aware of Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul.

The death of Ayman al-Zawahiri, in the eyes of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has strengthened global security.

By “hosting and sheltering” the al-Qaeda chief in Kabul, the Taliban administration in Afghanistan violated its commitments to the international community, according to Blinken.

According to Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor to the US President, they are in contact with the Taliban to discover whether the Taliban sheltered Al-Zawahiri or not.

The Taliban officially pledged to renounce ties with terrorist organizations and prohibit the use of Afghan soil against other countries in the pact it signed with the United States in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in February 2020.

Source: Khaama Press 

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

https://www.khaama.com/we-have-no-information-about-al-qaeda-leaders-arrival-and-stay-in-kabul-taliban-457484/

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Al-Azhar denies alleged kinship between dead Al-Qaeda leader, former Grand Imam Al-Zawahiri

 

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

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Nada Nader

4 Aug 2022

The statement noted that AOCE was “following the news circulating on social platforms that said [Ayman] Al-Zawahri’s uncle or grandfather was the grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque,” warning that “the matter could be taken advantage of by anonymous parties to attack Al-Azhar.”

The statement added that the false allegations of such a kinship forced AOCE to deny it, adding that it was an insult to the late grand imam who held the post from 1929 till 1935.

The position of grand imam of Al-Azhar, the most important institution in the Sunni Muslim world, is currently held by Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb.

The statement noted that the dead Al-Qaeda leader's full name is Ayman Mohamed Rabie Moustafa Abdel-Kareem Al-Zawahiri and was born in Cairo in 1951, while the late grand imam’s name is Mohamed Al-Ahmadi Ibrahim Al-Zawahiri and was born in 1878.

The latter died five years before the birth of the former Al-Qaeda leader, according to the statement, which added that there was no connection between the two, despite sharing the same family name.

The belief that the terrorist leader was the grandson of the grand imam is widespread, with numerous foreign and local books and websites repeating the claim.

The AOCE, which is dedicated to fighting radicalism and terrorism, noted that they issued the statement to shed light on the two different paths taken by the two figures who happen to share the same name.

A disciple of prominent Egyptian Sheikh Mohamed Abdou, who supported reform in Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Al-Zawhiri was among the most famous reformist Muslim clerics in the institution who turned Al-Azhar into a modern university.

The Sufi sheikh was also known for his political positions, most famously standing against the revival of the Islamic Caliphate by King Ahmed Fouad I after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The statement emphasised that Al-Azhar clerics seek to fix the problems of the Earth by easing peoples’ daily life and preserving the fundamentals of Islam against "devils" who want to drag it into politics.

Highly important and revered in the Islamic world, Al-Azhar University has been offerings international scholarship to Muslim students around the world, offering 800 annual scholarships to African students since the program’s inauguration in the 1920s.

Source: Ahram

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

https://english.ahram.org.eg/News/472652.aspx

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Hate Crimes Against Muslims In Canada Jump 71 Percent in 2021: Statistics Canada

 

Members of the Muslim community and supporters light candles and place flowers at a memorial on 8 June in London, Canada.(Photo by AFP)

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4 August 2022

Hate crimes against Muslim communities across Canada increased by 71 percent in 2021, according to a newly released report by the government agency Statistics Canada.

The study, released on Tuesday, found that the number of recorded attacks against Muslims rose from 84 incidents in 2020 to 144 in 2021. The jump in attacks had followed a decline from the previous year, when in 2019 there were a total of 182 reported incidents targeting Muslims.

"We lost Canadian Muslims to hate in 2021. These numbers also do not tell the whole story - we know that the numbers of hate crimes vastly exceed what show up in hate crime stats," the National Council for Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said on Twitter in response to the report's release.

The rise in attacks in 2021 corresponds with the killing of four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario.

The attacker, 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, deliberately slammed his pick-up truck into Salman Afzaal, 46, his 77-year old mother, his wife Madiha, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna, as they were waiting to cross the road. Only nine-year-old Faez survived the attack.

Police said the attack was "premeditated" and "motivated by hate", while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it a "terrorist attack".

"The increase also occurred in the same year as an attack in London, Ontario, which targeted a Muslim family and resulted in four homicides and one attempted homicide," the Statistics Canada report said.

"While it is not possible to link police-reported hate crime incidents to particular events, media coverage and public discourse can increase awareness as well as draw negative reactions from people who share hateful attitudes."

'Islamophobia is lethal'

Experts in Canada had previously told MEE that, while the country is seen by the outside world as a haven for multiculturalism, Canada has witnessed decades of anti-Muslim rhetoric both from politicians and the media.

Data from Statistics Canada shows hate crimes against Muslims have risen over the past decade.

Last year, NCCM released a report that listed 61 recommendations that included the development of a federal anti-Islamophobia strategy to include a clear definition of Islamophobia as well as funding to help support victims of hate-motivated crimes.

The group also called for Canadian provinces to ensure their anti-racism directorates were well resourced and for municipalities to fund community-based efforts to tackle Islamophobia.

"While we have heard many words from politicians condemning Islamophobia and standing in solidarity with Muslims in Canada, action to tackle Islamophobia has been slow and piecemeal," the group said.

"We cannot stand by and see any more lives lost. Islamophobia is lethal and we need to see action now."

In response to these calls, the Canadian government opened up applications for an envoy for combating Islamophobia, a role that would reach out to communities and advise the prime minister and the government on the best ways to fight hate against Muslims in Canada.

The report from Statistics Canada also showed that attacks on Muslims are not the only types of crimes on the rise. Attacks targeting Jews rose by 47 percent, and attacks against Catholics increased by 260 percent.

In total, the number of hate crimes increased from 2,646 in 2020 to 3,360 in 2021, a rise of 27 percent.

Source: Middle East Eye

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

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hate-crimes-against-muslims-canada-71-percent

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India

 After Mufti's Arrest, Madrasa in Assam with 'Links' to Bangladesh Terror Outfit Ansarul Islam Demolished

04th August 2022

By Prasanta Mazumdar

GUWAHATI: The Assam police bust some modules of the al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent and the Bangladesh-based Ansarullah Bangla Team who were radicalizing the youth of the state from the shelter of some mosques and madrassas in recent months, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma disclosed on Thursday.

He appealed to the people, especially Muslims, to report to the police if they come across a stranger in their locality serving as the Imam of a mosque or teacher of a madrassa.

"We will verify his antecedents. We have to keep a close watch on the Imams and the madrassa teachers," he said.

Assam has already closed down 800 government-run madrassas. Sarma said discussions were on at various levels, including with stakeholders, on the 800 Quomi madrassas which are among 1,500 private madrassas functional in the state.

"However, the number of madrassas does not automatically signify the number of 'jihadis'. Our complaint is only against unknown teachers and Imams. They are using some madrassas as their shelter. We have to find out those madrassas," Sarma said.

He said the government had not found any direct links between the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the five modules busted by the police in some districts of central and lower Assam.

"There is a scientific progression. First, whip up the sentiment that the Muslims have been victimised by the state. The PFI has created the eco-system of pushing people to indoctrination," the Assam CM said.

The five modules busted were involved in radicalising people, Sarma said. The police had arrested a number of people, including three from Tripura and one from Bangladesh. Incriminating documents, including “jihadi literature”, were recovered, he added.

Stating that Assam has been for some time on the al Qaeda’s radar, he said the police found the involvement of six Bangladeshi nationals in radicalising the youth of Assam. One of them, Md Suman, was arrested while the others have gone into hiding. They all had entered Assam in 2016-17.

Mohammad Suman, who had entered Assam from West Bengal, married a local in Barpeta and settled down there. He was found working as the Imam of a mosque, Sarma said.

"We don’t know exactly how many Bangladeshi nationals entered Assam to indulge in such activities and how many from Assam went to Bangladesh. It is possible that there are various other modules active in Assam, which are led by Bangladeshi nationals but have not yet come under the glare of the police," Sarma said.

He said the communication mode of these Islamic fundamentalists was found to be highly-sophisticated.

"They installed some apps that we have not heard of. After coming to Assam, they will install these apps, talk and stop using them. That made it very difficult for us to track them," Sarma said.

Funds were sent to them online in small installments of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 so that nobody suspects them, he said.

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/aug/04/terror-modules-radicalising-people-from-shelter-of-some-mosques-madrassas-in-assam-himanta-2484068.html
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Paleri-Parakkadavu Mahal Committee U-Turn: Says It Will Not Allow Brides In Mosque In Future

05th August 2022

By Pooja Nair

KOZHIKODE:  The Paleri-Parakkadavu mahal committee, which had won praise from various quarters after it broke with tradition and allowed the bride inside the mosque for her marriage, did a U-turn on Thursday, saying it will not allow the conduct of such marriages in future. It also said the bride was allowed inside the mosque by mistake.

The latest change in the committee’s stance took many, including the groom’s relatives, by surprise.

In a notice, the committee said permission had been given for marriage outside the mosque. “However, one of the office-bearers mistook it as the nod for the bride to be present inside the mosque. The person concerned has apologised for the mistake,” said the notice. Sources in the mahal committee also alleged that the bride’s family violated norms to be followed inside a mosque by taking a series of photographs.

Groom’s kin: Committee should rethink decision

They said the bride’s family was responsible for the developments that took place after the marriage. “A delegation from the mahal committee will meet the family and convey its displeasure over violation of the norms,” said a source.

The committee will also prepare a detailed code of conduct for holding marriages inside mosques and convey the same to members of the mahal. A general body meeting will be held on Friday to discuss the issues. Sanoop C H, the uncle of the groom, said they were surprised by the committee’s latest decision. “We had been extremely happy to witness the progress in the community.

However, the latest decision of the mahal committee is surprising as we had taken every permission before the function. It would be great if the committee rethinks its decision and starts adopting meaningful changes that bring good to society,” he said.

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2022/aug/05/mahal-committee-says-no-to-brides-in-mosque-2484168.html

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NIA arrests member of Dawood gang for 'aiding terrorist activities'

Aug 4, 2022

MUMBAI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested Salim Qureshi alias `Salim Fruit', a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang, for allegedly aiding the gang's terrorist activities.

He was a close aide of fugitive gangster Chhota Shakeel, the NIA said in a release. Qureshi played an active role in extorting huge amounts of money in Shakeel's name from property dealings and dispute settlements for raising "terror funds in furtherance of terrorist activities of D company," the agency claimed.

Source: Times Of India 

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nia-arrests-member-of-dawood-gang-for-aiding-terrorist-activities/articleshow/93355021.cms

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With eye on 2024 polls, Delhi BJP plans Pasmanda Muslim outreach in capital today

by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi

August 5, 2022

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the BJP to reach out to “deprived and downtrodden sections” in communities other than Hindus at a national executive conclave in Hyderabad last month, the BJP leadership in Delhi has started an outreach programme with a focus on Pasmanda (backward) Muslims in the national capital.

The BJP will be holding a Pasmanda Muslim Senh Milan Awam Samman Samroh on Friday at the Ghalib Institute in Central Delhi, during which several Pasmanda leaders from the party would be present.

Delhi BJP minority morcha in-charge and national president of the Rashtrawadi Muslim Pasmanda Mahaz Atif Rasheed, who is holding the programme, said that Pasmanda Muslims have always remained neglected when it comes to leadership roles and after the PM’s message, the party is making a start by reaching out to them.

“The programme will have a detailed discussion on the challenges for the community and the way ahead. The same model will be followed in other parts of the country,” said Rasheed, who is also former vice-chairperson of national commission of minorities.

“They would also be talking about what has been done till now in states like Uttar Pradesh that led to a support base building for the party and what more can be done,” he added.

Danish Azad Ansari, a Pasmanda Muslim and the sole Muslim minister in the new Uttar Pradesh government headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, will also be present.

Among other leaders who will be present during the meet include MP and national president of OBC Morcha K Laxman; Ashfaq Saifi, Chairperson of Minorities Commission, Government of Uttar Pradesh; President Madrasa Education Council, (UP), Iftikhar Ahmed Javed; and Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta.

Party insiders said the direction came after the BJP’s victories in the Lok Sabha bypolls in Azamgarh and Rampur, where Muslims are an important part of the electorate. The party is also thought to have gained some Pasmanda votes in the 2022 Assembly elections, and Ansari was subsequently inducted into the second Adityanath government.

Party insiders said that in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP hopes to get the support of Pasmanda Muslims as it has noticed a support base in the UP Assembly elections.

“Prominent Muslim leaders either in the BJP or other parties, as well as MPs, were mostly from non-the Pasmanda community. The BJP wants to give them representation in leadership. In the coming days, one will see their prominence in leadership positions in the party,” said another BJP leader.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/with-eye-on-2024-polls-delhi-bjp-plans-pasmanda-muslim-outreach-in-capital-today-8071764/

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Pakistan

 

Indefinite ceasefire will continue amid ongoing peace talks, TTP tells Pak delegation

4 August, 2022

Peshawar, Aug 4 (PTI) Leaders of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have assured a Pakistani delegation that the indefinite ceasefire will remain in force till the two sides reach an agreement to end the nearly two decades of militancy in the tribal region, bordering Afghanistan.

The Pakistan government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) agreed to extend the ceasefire, which was to come to an end on the night of May 30, indefinitely on May 31.

The TTP assured the Ulema-e-Karam delegation from Pakistan led by noted cleric Mufti Taqi Usmani that the ceasefire will go on amid ongoing peace talks between the two sides, sources said.

The visiting Pakistani delegation held detailed and meaningful talks with the TTP leadership in Kabul a few days ago under the patronage of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, they said.

There was a slight breakthrough in matters involving TTP’s concern over the merger of tribal areas into Pakistan’s settled parts, dissolution of the TTP and its reorganisation and disarming of the Taliban, they said, adding that the Pakistan government has constituted different committees to engage the Taliban leaders in peace talks.

The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, was set up as an umbrella group of several militant outfits in 2007. Its main aim is to impose its strict brand of Islam across Pakistan.

The group, which is believed to be close to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases and the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

Pakistan began talks with the TTP in October last year at the request of the Afghan Taliban to seek a political solution to this festering issue.

Pakistani authorities are asking for the dissolution of the terrorist organisation, laying of arms, and respect for the Constitution, whereas the TTP is seeking withdrawal of security forces from the erstwhile tribal areas, annulment of the 2018 merger of tribal agencies with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the release of its fighters, and compensation for the damage it suffered.

Pakistan shares a long and porous border with Afghanistan, which runs through mountainous terrain and is largely unpatrolled. The Durand Line was drawn by the British rulers in 1896 and is disputed by Afghanistan, which also resists Pakistani attempts to erect any border fence.

Pakistan has been fencing the 2,600-km border with Afghanistan since 2017 to end terrorist infiltration and smuggling, despite intense opposition from the neighbouring country.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/indefinite-ceasefire-will-continue-amid-ongoing-peace-talks-ttp-tells-pak-delegation/1068954/

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Imran Khan calls for protest against Pak Election Commission, slams its chief for being 'in cahoots' with 'imported govt'

Aug 4, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's capital Islamabad was tense on Thursday after Imran Khan gave a protest call against the election commission and its chief for being allegedly biased against his party, days after the former premier's party received a show cause notice for receiving prohibited foreign funds.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have been at loggerheads. Khan has been accusing Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja of being biased.

On Monday, Khan announced his party workers would protest outside the ECP office in Islamabad on Thursday to press for Raja's resignation. He decided to change the venue after the police barricaded the roads leading to the place and the government vowed to stop the protestors.

"Today I am calling all our people to come out in peaceful public protest against CEC & ECP in F9 Park at 6pm," he wrote in a Twitter message, adding that he would address the gathering between 7 pm and 7:30 pm.

"CEC & ECP in cahoots with Imported govt conspired to try a technical knockout against PTI after PMLN got routed in Punjab bye elections despite the support of entire state machinery & ECP shenanigans. Now they are cowering in fear abt same happening to the entire PDM in General Elections," he wrote.

The protest call comes days after the ECP in the foreign funding case decided that Khan's PTI received funding from prohibited sources and was involved in hiding the money it received from various sources.

Pakistan's election commission on Tuesday said that Khan's party received funds against the rules from 34 foreign nationals, including a businesswoman of Indian-origin, in a major setback to the former prime minister.

A three-member bench of the ECP issued a show cause notice to Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party for receiving prohibited funding from foreign nationals and foreign-based companies.

The Pakistan government has said it will stop the protesters.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Wednesday that the government will not grant PTI supporters permission to enter the Red Zone and protest outside the ECP.

He said strict action would be taken in case of any misadventure from the PTI, but stated that staging a peaceful protest was everyone's right.

Police, in anticipation of disturbance by protesters, sealed the Red Zone and placed containers at the entry points of Islamabad.

Personnel of law enforcement agencies including anti-riot force, paramilitary Rangers, Frontier Corps and police have been deployed around the Red Zone.

After barricading the main roads, the police proposed that the PTI should hold a protest in F-9 Park or H-9 ground.

The ECP's verdict came after The Financial Times newspaper recently published a story titled 'The strange case of the cricket match that helped fund Khan's political rise'.

Source: Times Of India 

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/imran-khan-calls-for-protest-against-pak-election-commission-slams-its-chief-for-being-in-cahoots-with-imported-govt/articleshow/93351598.cms

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PTI withdraws case against CEC ‘to add more evidence’

Malik Asad

August 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) withdrew a reference against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on Thursday, a day after filing it with the Supreme Judicial Council, to add more evidence and highlight further legal aspects.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told journalists in Islamabad the reference would be filed again after adding more evidence against the CEC, including amendments to the initial verdict and subsequent addition.

Moved through Babar Awan, the reference pleaded with the SJC to order the removal of the CEC on account of the “commission of continuous and deliberate misconduct”.

The reference alleged that on July 29, a delegation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) met the CEC and four other members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in his office to “pressure” him into announcing the verdict on the PTI prohibited funding case.

Fawad Chaudhry says reference to be filed again after considering additional aspects, including amendments to initial verdict

It was a consequence of that meeting that the ECP decided to deliver the verdict on Aug 2, the reference alleged, adding that by doing so the CEC had allegedly violated his oath.

The reference contended that the ECP’s decision was illegal, unlawful and coram non judice, i.e. before a court that lacks the authority to hear and decide the case.

It said the PTI would challenge the order in court and the CEC had violated the ECP’s code of conduct and failed to fulfil his constitutional obligations.

The code of conduct for judges of the superior judiciary applied to the chief election commissioner as well, the PTI said, adding that a high court judge never discussed pending cases with any person or institution.

“The CEC must be removed from one of the most respectable and sacred constitutional posts,” the reference said.

CEC Sultan Raja had dismissed many PTI applications in the prohibited funding case, including a request to conduct a joint hearing in funding cases of PTI and other parties, the reference said.

It said the Islamabad High Court had provided relief to the PTI, asking the ECP to extend equal treatment to all political parties and to hear their cases with due diligence and conclude these within a reasonable time.

Instead, the ECP announced a verdict in the PTI case only and kept the cases of other parties in abeyance, the reference said and described it as “absolute discrimination”.

It was a routine matter that judges of the Supreme Court meet members of the Pakistan Bar Council, the Supreme Court Bar Association and other lawyer forums, but it had been observed recently that the apex court refused to meet a delegation of the Supreme Court Bar Association during hearing of the suo motu petition under article 184(3) of the Constitution in the “Parvez Elahi versus Deputy Speaker, Punjab Assembly” case since it was one of the parties in the proceedings, it said.

Source: Dawn 

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1703332/pti-withdraws-case-against-cec-to-add-more-evidence

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Notices to NA speaker, ECP over PTI resignations

Malik Asad | Imran Gabol

August 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued notices to the National Assembly speaker, its secretary and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday on a petition filed by the PTI against “piecemeal” acceptance of its lawmakers’ resignations.

The PTI has argued that the resignations of all its 123 MNAs had been accepted months ago and the present National Assembly speaker had no “lawful authority or jurisdiction” to verify the resignations as former deputy speaker Qasim Suri had already approved them.

All PTI lawmakers, except dissidents, resigned en masse on April 11, two days after former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted from the top office after losing a confidence motion in parliament.

Later that month, Mr Ashraf decided to verify the resignations of the 123 PTI lawmakers by calling them individually or in small groups, but they couldn’t show up after party chief Imran Khan barred them from appearing before the speaker.

On July 27, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepted the resignations of only 11 PTI lawmakers, including Dr Shireen Mazari, Ali Muhammad Khan and Farrukh Habib.

During the hearing on Thursday, PTI’s counsel Faisal Chaudhry submitted the copy of Mr Suri’s approval of resignations to the IHC acting chief justice.

The court issued notices to the National Assembly speaker, its secretary and the ECP, and set the next hearing for Aug 16.

The PTI petition said 123 MNAs gave their resignations on April 11 after the PTI’s parliamentary party meeting presided over by Mr Khan in a committee room at Parliament House. However, the present speaker withheld these resignations and did not forward them to the ECP on the pretext of “so-called verification”, it said.

“Now after the lapse of around three and a half months, the National Assembly speaker has approved resignation of only 11 MNAs of the PTI” and forwarded them to the election commission, which had de-notified the lawmakers, it said.

The party requested the court to direct the speaker to accept all resignations at once. Similarly, ECP should also be directed to denotify all PTI lawmakers en masse.

Raja Riaz’s removal

Also on Thursday, the Lahore High Court directed the NA speaker to take a decision within 30 days on an application requesting the removal of Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz.

Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabbir, while taking up the case, wondered how the system would function if members of the assembly sat outside parliament and how one could oppose while sitting outside parliament.

He observed that parliament would have to conduct the election for the post opposition leader while completing the procedure in accordance with the law, but there was no other candidate in running, except Raja Riaz.

When the judge asked what the Constitution said when there was only one candidate before the NA speaker, the additional attorney general replied that the speaker fixed a day for the nomination of the NA opposition leader immediately after the contest for the premier and that the speaker nominated Raja Riaz through all due processes.

The court remarked that the petitioner was not a member of parliament and asked whether an ordinary citizen could file a complaint or not.

During the proceedings, petitioner Munir Ahmed’s counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique informed the court that an application had been submitted earlier to speaker for removal of the opposition leader, but no action was taken. Raja Riaz was holding this position without the consent of his party (i.e. PTI), he argued.

He claimed that the nomination of Raja Riaz as opposition leader was in “sheer violation” of rules 39, 43 and others of the ‘Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 (“the Rules”)’.

Advocate Azhar argued that all resignations recently presented in the National Assembly were not accepted and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had not de-notified them.

Referring to a case, he said the IHC chief justice had held: “It is an admitted position that Dr Shireen Mazari continues to enjoy the status of a member of the Majlis-i-Shoora (parliament). She has not been de-notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan nor has the worthy Speaker of the National Assembly accepted her resignation in accordance with the principles and law highlighted by a division bench of that court.”

The counsel contended that the order clearly stated that the resignations had not been accepted by the NA speaker nor had the ECP de-notified the said members.

“If the said practice was not completed in accordance with procedure, then how is the respondent, Raja Riaz, appointed as the opposition leader?” he asked.

Source: Dawn 

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1703338/notices-to-na-speaker-ecp-over-pti-resignations

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Imran Khan rejects Pakistani poll body's verdict in prohibited funding case

AUGUST 05, 2022

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan slammed Pakistani poll body's chief for being ’in cahoots’ with ‘imported govt’

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday rejected the election commission's verdict in the prohibited funding case against his party, accusing the poll body's chief of conspiring "in cahoots" with the "imported government" to try a "technical knockout" of the party.

His remarks came days after the former premier’s party received a show cause notice for receiving prohibited foreign funds.

Mr. Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have been at loggerheads. Mr. Khan has been accusing Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja of being biased.

Mr. Khan addressed his supporters through a video link and rejected the decision of the election commission, saying that it was not illegal when his party received the money in 2012.

The cricketer-turned-politician said that the law which prohibited taking funds from foreign companies was introduced in 2017” and hastened to add: “But our case is from 2012.”

He said that his party had received the money in 2012 from two fundraising dinners that Arif Naqvi had organised.

Referring to The Financial Times’ report, Mr. Khan clarified that the businessman was charged with fraud six years later in 2018 and questioned how he could have known about that in 2012.

He also labelled rivals Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as mafias.

“Across the world, political parties raise money by hosting dinners,” he said, explaining that the donations during those events were later given to the party.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Khan announced his party workers would protest outside the ECP office in Islamabad to press for Mr. Raja's resignation. He decided to change the venue after the police barricaded the roads leading to the place and the government vowed to stop the protestors.

"Today I am calling all our people to come out in peaceful public protest against CEC & ECP in F9 Park at 6 p.m.," he wrote in a Twitter message.

“CEC & ECP in cahoots with Imported govt conspired to try a technical knockout against PTI after PMLN got routed in Punjab bye-elections despite the support of entire state machinery & ECP shenanigans. Now they are cowering in fear abt same happening to the entire PDM in General Elections,” he wrote.

The protest call comes days after the ECP in the foreign funding case decided that Mr. Khan’s PTI received funding from prohibited sources and was involved in hiding the money it received from various sources.

Pakistan's election commission on Tuesday said that Mr. Khan's party received funds against the rules from 34 foreign nationals, including a businesswoman of Indian-origin, in a major setback to the former prime minister.

A three-member bench of the ECP issued a show cause notice to Mr. Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party for receiving prohibited funding from foreign nationals and foreign-based companies.

After the protest call, scores of PTI supporters gathered at Islamabad’s F-9 park in the evening to protest against the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

They raised slogans against the electoral body and demanded the resignation of its official.

Separately, PTI lawmakers reached outside the ECP office in Islamabad and registered their protest.

They chanted “imported hukoomat namanzoor” (we reject imported government) while marching. They carried placards inscribed with demands for CEC Raja’s resignation, while some banners read “biased chief election commissioner unacceptable” and “ECP abettors of PML-N, PPP”.

They also submitted a memorandum against Raja for playing an “unconstitutional, undemocratic and biased” role as the CEC.

Separately, PTI lawmakers also gathered outside ECP offices in Karachi and Lahore. The Pakistan government has said it will stop the protesters.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Wednesday that the government will not grant PTI supporters permission to enter the Red Zone and protest outside the ECP.

He said strict action would be taken in case of any misadventure from the PTI, but stated that staging a peaceful protest was everyone’s right.

Police, in anticipation of disturbance by protesters, sealed the Red Zone and placed containers at the entry points of Islamabad.

Personnel of law enforcement agencies including anti-riot force, paramilitary Rangers, Frontier Corps and police have been deployed around the Red Zone.

After barricading the main roads, the police proposed that the PTI should hold a protest in F-9 Park or H-9 ground.

The ECP's verdict came after The Financial Times newspaper recently published a story titled ‘The strange case of the cricket match that helped fund Mr. Khan’s political rise’.

Source: The Hindu 

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/imran-khan-rejects-pakistani-poll-bodys-verdict-in-prohibited-funding-case/article65728637.ece

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Nawaz tasks Maryam with countering Imran’s narrative

August 04, 2022

LAHORE:

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has entrusted his daughter Maryam Nawaz with an important responsibility against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, following which the party vice president has assumed an active role.

Sources informed The Express Tribune that Maryam represented Nawaz in the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s House during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) summit.

The PML-N VP directed party leaders to highlight the issue of prohibited funding as much as possible, sources said, adding that they have been holding continuous press conferences in this regard.

They also said that the campaign will be supervised by Maryam herself and all the party leaders will highlight the verdict in the prohibited funding case regularly.

Sources said that the party will target Imran over corruption and inflation in press conferences.

Meanwhile, sources also said that the party will hold workers’ conventions across the country to mobilize its supporters, and Maryam herself will address these meetings, the schedule of which will be prepared by the party.

Source: Tribune Pakistan

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

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2369458/nawaz-tasks-maryam-with-countering-imrans-narrative

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh police detain ‘tuneless’ social media star to stop him from singing Tagore, Nazrul

Aug 5, 2022

DHAKA: An out-of-tune Bangladeshi singer with a huge internet following was hauled in by police at dawn and told to cease his painful renditions of classical songs, sparking a furore on social media.

"Hero" Alom, as he styles himself, has amassed nearly two million Facebook followers and almost 1.5 million on YouTube with his unique crooning style and arresting, raunchy videos.

One of his numbers, "Arabian Song", in which he appears in traditional Arab clothing on a sand dune with camels superimposed in the background, has garnered 17 million views.

But he has also drawn critics' scorn, particularly for versions of classic songs of two beloved national treasures -- Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladesh's national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

On Wednesday Alom told AFP that he was "mentally tortured" last week by police who told him to stop performing classical songs, that he was too ugly to be a singer, and to sign an "apology" bond.

"The police picked me up at 6 am and kept me there for eight hours. They asked me why I sing Rabindra and Nazrul songs," he said.

Dhaka's chief detective Harun ur Rashid told reporters that Alom had apologised for singing the cherished songs and for wearing police uniforms without permission in his videos.

"We received many complaints against him," Harun said.

"(He) totally changed the (traditional) style (of singing)... He assured us that he won't repeat this," Harun added.

Farook Hossain, deputy police commissioner of Dhaka, rejected claims by Alom, 37, that he had also been pressed to change his name.

"He is making these comments just to go viral in social media," he told AFP.

Following his ordeal, Alam released a new video depicting himself behind bars in a prison outfit, warbling mournfully that he is about to be hanged.

Alom's treatment triggered outrage on social media, with commentators and activists calling it an attack on individual rights -- even if his singing grates.

"I am not a fan of your songs or your acting. But if there is an attempt to muzzle your voice, I stand up against it," journalist Aditya Arafat posted.

"Don't be broken. You are a hero. No matter what others say, you are a real hero," Sanjida Khatun Rakhi wrote on Alom's Facebook page.

Alom says he has acted in several films and also participated in Bangladesh's parliamentary election in 2018 as an independent candidate -- garnering 638 votes.

He told AFP at his Dhaka studio that he started using the moniker "Hero" after becoming popular in his home district of Bogra, 150 kilometres (95 miles) north of Dhaka.

Source: Times Of India 

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/bangladesh-police-detain-tuneless-social-media-star-to-stop-him-from-singing-tagore-nazrul/articleshow/93362048.cms

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Parwan Governor, citing supreme leader, says previous constitution invalid

August 5, 2022

Obaidullah Aminzada, the governor of Parwan province, said during a gathering in the province’s center Charikar that the leader of the Islamic Emirate has abolished the previous constitution and put a strong emphasis on implementing Sharia law.

“Sheikh Sahib wondered why the judges decide on this constitution or what the Attorney General decided based on the previous constitution. He said that the previous administration’s constitution had been completely abolished and was defunct. If there is, there is no government. Ashraf Ghani and Hamid Karzai are no longer in office, and their constitution is likewise no longer in effect,” he stated.

Speaking to the gathering, Aminzada added that Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Islamic Emirate, had stated in a recent meeting with the governors of the provinces that comparing the republic administration with an Islamic system is tantamount to saying that pork meat is halal.

He added that the constitution of Zahir Shah’s time will not be implemented.

“Sheikh Sahib said that it is incorrect to implement Zahir Shah’s constitution and that there is no difference between the constitutions of the republican administration and Zahir Shah’s period. We just want the Sharia system; neither Ashraf Ghani’s constitution nor Zahir Shah’s are acceptable,” he said.

“Supporting this Islamic system is essential and important for us. We appreciate the efforts of the leader of the Islamic Emirate,” said the Parwan Police Commander Azizullah.

Meanwhile, some officials of Parwan province called for the implementation of the orders of the leader of the Islamic Emirate.

“We must not lose our values, we must be loyal to the homeland, we must be committed to Islam, and we must be faithful to the Islamic system, and we must not allow anybody to create a gap among us,” said Mohammad Idris Anwari, a participant and deputy of the governor of the province of Parwan.

Meanwhile, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, the Islamic Emirate’s supreme leader, met with some of Kabul’s religious clerics in Kandahar to discuss education and women’s rights in the context of Islamic law.

Returning to Kabul, some religious scholars stated that the leader of the Islamic Emirate had given them orders on a number of crucial matters, including respecting women’s rights within the framework of Sharia, updating the curriculum of schools and madrassas (religious schools), and addressing the problems of Kabul residents.

“The Islamic Emirate’s supreme leader gave a number of instructions to the meeting’s attendees, all of whom were from Kabul. One of the instructions is that all women’s rights that are given by Islam should be respected, not the rights that the Westerners say,” said Abdul Hamed Hamasi, a member of the Islamic Emirate.

“The supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate has asked them (religious clerics) to convey the wishes of the people of Kabul to him, as well as his words to the people,” a meeting participant stated.

Religious clerics asked the international community to award the Nobel Prize to the leader of the Islamic Emirate for putting an end to the 40-year war in Afghanistan.

“We ask the international community to award Mawlawi Hebatullah the Nobel Prize because he put an end to decades of war during which up to three hundred people from the country were killed every day, and he prevented that,” said Abdul Hamed Hamasi, a member of the Islamic Emirate.

Neda Mohammad Nadim, the governor of Kabul province, said that the leader ordered him to address Kabul’s residents legal problems.

Source: Pak Observer

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

https://pakobserver.net/parwan-governor-citing-supreme-leader-says-previous-constitution-invalid/

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Taliban warns US to not repeat drone strike that killed al-Qaida chief Zawahiri

Aug 4, 2022

ISLAMABAD/KABUL: The Taliban on Thursday said the government had no information about al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri "entering and living" in capital city Kabul and warned the United States to never repeat an attack on Afghan soil.

The United States killed Zawahiri with a missile fired from a drone while he stood on a balcony at his Kabul hideout on Sunday, US officials said, in the biggest blow to the militants since US Navy SEALS shot dead Osama bin Laden more than a decade ago.

"The government and the leadership wasn't aware of what is being claimed, nor any trace there," Suhail Shaheen, the designated Taliban representative to the United Nations, who is based in Doha, said in a statement.

"Investigation is underway now to find out about the veracity of the claim," he said, adding that the results of the investigation would be shared publicly.

Taliban leaders have remained largely tight-lipped about the Sunday drone strike and have not confirmed the presence or death of Zawahiri in Kabul.

Referring to the drone strike, the Taliban said "if such incidents are repeated again and if the territory of Afghanistan is violated then responsibility for any consequences will be on United States."

Top Taliban leaders have been holding lengthy discussions about how to respond to the US drone strike, three sources in the group said.

How the Taliban react could have significant repercussions as the group seeks international legitimacy and access to billions of dollars in frozen funds, following their defeat of a US-backed government a year ago.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, was closely involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and was one of the world's most wanted men.

His death in Kabul raises questions about whether he received sanctuary from the Taliban, who had assured the United States as part of a 2020 agreement on the withdrawal of US-led forces that they would not harbour other militant groups.

Shaheen said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - the name the Taliban use for the country and their government - was committed to the agreement, signed in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Source: Times Of India 

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/taliban-warns-us-to-not-repeat-drone-strike-that-killed-al-qaida-chief-zawahiri/articleshow/93349619.cms

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Taliban Arrests Group of 4 for Burning a Man Alive in Western Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

04 Aug 2022

Four people have reportedly been placed under arrest by Taliban forces in Herat province in western Afghanistan on charges of burning a man alive, according to local Taliban officials.

In a newsletter released by the Taliban government’s Herat Police Office today, Thursday, August 4, it was said that these individuals were arrested in the district of Guzara in this province.

The Herat law enforcement says that one of Herat’s natives was burnt to death by these four individuals in Herat, who are now in police custody.

According to Taliban local officials, the offenders who were apprehended have admitted their guilt, and confessed to the respective authorities.

Although the reason for the crime committed by these four people has not yet been ascertained, Taliban officials said an investigation into the case was still ongoing.

Under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, reports of domestic violence, honor killings, personal enmity, family blood feuds, and suicides have significantly increased recently.

Four masked intruders brutally murdered a young veterinarian on Tuesday in the central Afghan district of Ghor.

According to the veterinarian’s close family, four unidentified people killed him with a blade when he went to his land to irrigate his fields at night.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-arrests-group-of-4-for-burning-a-man-alive-in-western-afghanistan-47584/

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As US-China Tensions Flare, Taliban Says Countries Should Refrain from ‘Provocative’ Decisions

By Saqalain Eqbal

04 Aug 2022

In reaction to tensions between the US and China over Taiwan, the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared that it urges all countries to desist from acts of violation of the national sovereignty of states and not to lay the grounds for provocative actions.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the Taliban’s spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted on Wednesday that relations between China and the US affect the region’s security, prosperity, and stability.

According to the Taliban official, the Taliban emphasizes the one-China policy and aspires to see US-China issues resolved through appropriate measures,

Balkhi implied measures that could allow the joint effort of both countries for regional and international peace, development and stability.

This comes as Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of the Representatives touched down in Taiwan, flaring the US-China tensions.

Pelosi’s visit prompted a series of government and political institutions to issue statements condemning the visit and warned of its “severe impact” on US-China relations.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/as-us-china-tensions-flare-taliban-says-countries-should-refrain-from-provocative-decisions-47383/

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New evidence exposes Myanmar's military's brutal purge of the Rohingya Muslims

04 August 2022

War crimes investigators have obtained thousands of documents that shed new light on the Myanmar military's planning around the forcible expulsion of the Southeast Asian country's Muslim minority from their homeland of Rakhine state.

The records are part of a cache of documents, collected by war crimes investigators that reveal planning around the purges of the Rohingya population.

For the past four years, the investigators have been working secretly to compile evidence they hope can be used to secure convictions of Myanmar’s military officials at the international criminal court (ICC). The group that collected the documents is already handing its material to prosecutors in The Hague.

Beginning work in 2018, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), a nonprofit organization staffed by international criminal lawyers who have worked in Bosnia, Rwanda and Cambodia, amassed some 25,000 pages of official documents, many related to the expulsion of the Rohingya.

The cache illustrates the obsession authorities had with reducing the Rohingya population they viewed as an existential threat.

“Everything in it points to this intention to engage in this kind of mass removal process,” said Stephen Rapp, an expert on war crimes issues who now sits on the CIJA board.

In a private meeting with officials in Rakhine, which was held around the time of the 2017 expulsion, the then-army chief and current junta leader, Min Aung Hlaing, told the Buddhist population to remain in place, and pointed to a demographic imbalance between Rohingya and the rest of the Rakhine population, the documents show.

Senior Myanmar military commanders later discussed ways to insert spies into Rohingya villages to demolish Muslim homes and mosques, as they laid plans for what they clinically referred to as “area clearance.”

The discussions are captured in official records.

At one meeting, commanders repeatedly used a racial slur for the Rohingya suggesting they are foreign interlopers.

The commanders agreed to carefully coordinate communications so the army could move “instantly during the crucial time.”

By mid-August 2017, hundreds of troops had been flown into northern Rakhine.

Weeks later, the Myanmar military began a brutal crackdown that sent about 800,000 of Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

Myanmar’s civilian leader at the time, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi dismissed much of the criticism of the military. But official records from the period ahead of and during the expulsion of the Rohingya paint a different picture.

The documents show how the military systematically demonized the Muslim minority, created militias that would ultimately take part in operations against the Rohingya, and coordinated their actions with ultranationalist Buddhist monks.

The August 2017 pogrom was carried out with a ferocity that stunned the world. Refugees described massacres, gang rapes and children thrown into raging fires.

In the early hours of August 25, more than two dozen police posts were attacked by Rohingya men across the north of Rakhine state, killing 12 members of the security forces, authorities said.

The men were largely untrained and carrying mostly sticks, knives and homemade bombs, according to the UN.

Some members of the security forces said they were surprised by the army’s disproportionate response to what they said were poorly organized attacks compared with insurgencies conducted by well-equipped militias in other parts of the country.

The next morning, the burning of Rohingya villages began. The log describes “arson attacks” in the Rakhine township of Maungdaw, with lists of houses, shops, mosques and schools destroyed. Hundreds of houses are recorded as burned after “a fire broke out.”

The arson continued for weeks. More than 7,000 structures are recorded in the log as having been burned to the ground between August 25 and mid-September.

Moe Yan Naing, a police captain who was stationed in Rakhine, said his superiors ordered him and his colleagues to burn villages. There were many dead bodies in the villages.

“The troops shot into the village before entering,” he said, referring to the village of Inn Din, where media outlets uncovered a massacre of civilians. “They shot and killed whoever they found in the village.”

More than 390 villages were either partly or completely destroyed, largely by fire. This amounted to 40% of all villages in northern Rakhine state.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) estimated at least 10,000 people died. Hundreds of Rohingya villages were burned to the ground.

Early last year, the military toppled the government under Suu Kyi, who has been detained since her overthrow. The coup has altered views in Myanmar and opened an unexpected window on the 2017 atrocities.

While the Myanmar military faces grave allegations under international law, there is no easy road to convictions.

Myanmar hasn’t signed the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has the power to try individual perpetrators for international crimes.

But other paths to trial exist. The ICC set a legal precedent in 2019 by allowing its chief prosecutor to begin investigating crimes against the Rohingya population, including deportation, because they fled to Bangladesh, which is a party to the court.

In 2019, majority-Muslim Gambia brought a case against Myanmar for genocide at the The International Court of Justice (ICJ), on behalf of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In July, the court cleared the case to proceed, rejecting objections filed by Myanmar.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/04/686786/Myanmar-Rohingya-CIJA-ICC-ICJ-Bangladesh--

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Fighting in Karta-e-Sakhi Between Islamic Emirate Forces and Daesh

AUGUST 05, 2022

At least four members of the Daesh group were killed and one person was detained in operations conducted earlier this week by the Islamic Emirate forces in Karta-e- Sakhi area of Kabul city, Kabul security department said.

The clashes between the Islamic Emirate forces and Daesh members lasted for many hours.

“Those who were trying to target civilians, four of them were killed and one of them was detained. In this operation, one member of the Islamic Emirate force was killed and another one was wounded. Also, a policewoman was killed,” said Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul security department.

Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter that four Daesh members were killed and one was arrested in an operation by Islamic Emirate forces in the Karta-e- Sakhi area of Kabul.

Mujahid said the Daesh members were intending to attack Shia citizens gathering in the Kart-e-Sakhi Ziarat during the days of Mahram. Zabiullah Mujahid  also tweeted that Daesh was going to attack during the Muharram ceremony.

“Daesh had a plan to attack Shia citizens that gather in Karta-e-Sakhi on the Muharram days,” he said.

The residents said that the clashes continued many hours with the two sides using heavy and light weapons.

“It was around noon that the gunfire was heard, and it happened in this house. The sound of the blast was also heard,” said Sayeed Rafi, residents of Kabul.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-179255

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Arab World

 

Lebanon is the world’s angriest country, followed by Turkey, Armenia: Data

04 August, 2022

Lebanon, Turkey, and Armenia are among the angriest countries in the world, according to the latest data collected by US company Gallup from end of 2021 though mid 2022.

With people having to deal with the endemic corruption and an economic meltdown brought on by the ruling elite, the devastating Beirut Port blast in 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon has been rated the angriest country in the world.

After analyzing emotions (including anger) in over 100 countries, Gallup’s Global Emotions Report found that 49 percent of people who were surveyed in Lebanon experienced anger regularly, including on the day before they took part in the survey.

Turkey was ranked second (48 percent), where high levels of anger were also measured due to high inflation which also worsened after the war in Ukraine, which began earlier this year on February 24.

Armenia came in third place with an anger rate of 46 percent due to its political tensions with neighboring Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno Karabakh territory.

Iraq (46 percent) and Afghanistan (41 percent) came in fourth and fifth in the anger index due to socio-economic issues brought on by years of war.

Jordan was ranked the sixth angriest country, with a registered anger rate of 35 percent.

The only two countries outside the Middle East and Far East to make it on the list, Mali and Sierra Leone both had anger rates of 35 percent, coming in seventh and eighth angriest.

On a separate list measuring the level of sadness, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey ranked in the top three saddest countries, followed by Guinea and India respectively.

Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey also experienced the most stress, followed by Ecuador and Jordan.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/04/Lebanon-is-the-world-s-angriest-country-followed-by-Turkey-Armenia-Data-

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Christian, Jewish and Yazidi cemeteries desecrated by teens and extremists

Aug 05, 2022

ISTANBUL: In Turkey, the dead too are victims of abuse and violence, as evinced by the growing number of attacks against non-Muslim burial sites, most notably Christian, Jewish and Yazidi cemeteries.From Mardin to Van, Christians have decried vandalism against their graves, tombstones and the macabre disturbing of bones.But the latest incident involves the Jewish community, further proof of a growing climate of hatred and intolerance towards non-Muslims.The Chief Rabbinate Foundation of Turkey recently reported that the Jewish cemetery in Haskoy, an Istanbul suburb, was targeted on 15 July by extremists.The vandals desecrated 81 graves, some excavated and opened, strewing the area with bones and broken stones. Those responsible for the attack were under 18, acting on orders of a gang of adults.So far police questioned some minors, but few believe that the investigations will shed any light on what happened or bring justice.“The fact that the attack on the Jewish cemetery was carried out by children aged between 11 and 13 does not alleviate the situation; it aggravates it. Who and what mentality have filled those children with hatred towards Jews?” tweeted, Garo Paylan, an Armenian lawmaker with the opposition People’s Party (HDP).Christian graves too have been disturbed. “In the past two months, the graves of Syriac and Jewish communities in Turkey have been attacked and destroyed,” said David Vergili, a prominent Syriac-Assyrian journalist, speaking to the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), a newswire service.“The graves and holy places of the Armenian community have also experienced similar attacks before,” he added. This kind of action has “racist, religious motives and mostly target groups that are not part of the Turkish-Islamic ideology.”For many observers, what happened in mid-July at the Jewish cemetery is part of a broader pattern of persecution and violence against minorities, including Christians.On 29 June, the feast of Peter and Paul, person or persons unknown opened a number of graves, some more than a thousand years old, scattering the bones, at an Assyrian cemetery in Yemi?li, a village in Midyat district, in the south-eastern province of Mardin, already known for past episodes of intolerance.In the past, Yazidi burial sites have also been attacked. Yazidis bury their dead turned to the sun, i.e., eastward. In some cases, graves were opened, bodies taken out, and turned to point towards Makkah, following Islamic practice.Mainstream Muslims view the Yazidis as a heretical sect who must be punished and reconverted to Islam, which is what happened in Iraq under Islamic State rule.A government source spoke to AsiaNews about these incidents, expressing hope for a quick investigation and arrest of those responsible; however, no progress has been reported so far and the culprits are still at large.The desecration of Christian and Jewish cemeteries is symptomatic of certain loathing, if not outright hatred in Turkish society towards non-Muslim and anyone who does not embrace the ideology of nationalism and Islam favoured by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Source: Herald Malaysia

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

https://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/christian-jewish-and-yazidi-cemeteries-desecrated-by-teens-and-extremists/67027/1

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‘God condemns officials’ who avoid accountability over port blast: Lebanon Patriarch

04 August, 2022

Lebanon’s top Christian cleric on Thursday denounced his country’s government for failing to bring to justice those responsible for the Beirut port blast, marking the huge explosion’s second anniversary with demands for accountability.

Bechara Boutros al-Rai, in a mass commemorating its victims, said that “God condemns those officials” who were stalling investigations that the government “has no right” to block.

The blast at the port, which killed at least 220 people and was recorded as one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, was caused by massive stores of ammonium nitrate kept at the site since 2013.

Two years on, no senior official has been held to account.

A domestic probe into the exact causes of the explosion - and who was responsible for or negligent regarding the ammonium nitrate’s presence - has been stalled for more than six months.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/04/Lebanon-s-Maronite-Patriarch-expresses-anger-towards-officials-over-port-blast

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UAE foreign ministry issues statement on importance of respecting ‘One China’ policy

04 August, 2022

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed its respect for Beijing’s ‘One China’ principle, in a statement released following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan.

The UAE, in the statement, “indicated its concern over the impact of any provocative visits on stability and international peace,” likely aimed at Pelosi’s Taiwan visit that angered China.

The statement, issued on Thursday by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the country “affirmed its support for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The top US diplomat for the Middle East warned Thursday against China’s growing influence in the Middle East, saying that it “requires our attention.”

“We must be careful to discern signal from noise within this growing volume of economic activity, but we must also remain attuned to trends that may more directly impinge upon US interests,” Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf told US lawmakers.

Pelosi defied China’s threats and flew to Taiwan on Tuesday, making her the highest-ranking elected US official to do so since 1997.

China repeatedly threatened that it would not stand “idly by” if Pelosi made the trip, going so far as threatening military action.

China sent 22 fighter jets across the “median line” running down the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, Taipei’s defense ministry said in its latest briefing on large-scale military drills conducted by Beijing’s forces.

The Ministry of National Defense said “air defense missile systems” were deployed to track the jets and radio warnings were broadcast, according to an update on its website.

The median line is an unofficial but largely adhered to border that runs down the middle of the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China.

It is rare for military jets to cross it.

China’s military maneuvers makes this event some of its largest-ever exercises encircling Taiwan, in a show of force straddling vital international shipping lanes after a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/08/04/UAE-foreign-ministry-issues-statement-on-importance-of-respecting-One-China-policy

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2 years later, Lebanese victim of Beirut blast still in coma

Stephanie Rady 

04.08.2022

BEIRUT

Lara Hayek has been in a coma for two years since the massive explosion at the Beirut Port in her home country, Lebanon.

On Aug. 4, 2020, Beirut was rocked by a massive explosion that changed the course of events and upended the lives of many people in the country.

More than 200 Lebanese lost their lives and 6,500 of them were injured, while some 50,000 housing units suffered damage, with material losses estimated at about $15 billion.

Authorities believe the explosion was caused by about 2,750 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate which had been confiscated from a ship and had been stored at the port for six years.

The explosion took a toll on many victims, including Lara, 43, who has been in a coma since that fateful day.

2 years in hospitals

Lara's mother Najwa Hayek told Anadolu Agency: "At the moment of the explosion, Lara was alone in the house, and she was seriously injured in the head and eyes. After the explosion, I went straight home from my work to find Lara covered in blood to begin a tormenting journey to find a vacant hospital in the middle of great destruction."

"After I found a hospital in Beirut, the nurses and doctors didn’t rush to help Lara immediately, but took care of the most severe cases instead. After her body had completely cooled down, I started screaming and begging for them to come to help her," she said.

The mother said Lara "fell into a coma after her heart stopped for a while and then she stayed in the American University Hospital in Beirut for three months before she was transferred to the Bhanes Hospital.”

Mother-daughter bond

It’s not easy for a mother to see her only daughter in this condition. She said that her husband died in 2019 and her son now lives outside the capital.

"I consider Lara my friend, not just my daughter, and we used to live for each other but after the explosion, I lost my reason for living," she explained.

She continued sadly: "Today I feel like a robot, I wake up and go to work, then I go home alone, but I avoid my daughter's room."

She said she feels great pain when she sees her daughter with a beating heart but lifeless body, without any words or movement.

Lara suffers from brain damage and it is not known when she might regain consciousness and recover, according to the mother.

The mother said she "hasn’t lost hope, even though all the doctors have."

"I have great faith that Lara will return to me, and I’m waiting for her to wake up, whatever her condition,” Hayek said.

No help from government

On the cost of hospitalization for the last two years, Hayek said a foundation of Lebanese men living in Kuwait took care of the treatment for a time, after which a local association took over.

“All the aid was from philanthropists, amid a complete absence of the government, which didn’ ask about us for a single day," she explained.

Saying the explosion has never been fully explained, Hayek said: "The truth is known, but the government doesn’t want to announce it, and it’s not in its interest to do so.”

Months ago, the investigations into the port blast stopped and since the end of last year, the judicial investigator in the case, Judge Tarek Bitar, has been unable to look into it any further.

Worse than war

Hayek said the day of the Beirut port explosion and its carnage rivaled the 15-year civil war in Lebanon.

"We’ve lived through wars and occupation but we’ve never lived a day like the explosion of the port before," she said.

The civil war erupted in Lebanon from Beirut before spreading to other regions of the country from 1975 to 1990.

The number of its victims was estimated at 150,000 dead, 300,000 wounded and disabled, and 17,000 missing, as well as the emigration of more than one million people and material losses exceeding $100 billion.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/2-years-later-lebanese-victim-of-beirut-blast-still-in-coma/2653434

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Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi rejects calls for dissolving parliament

Yassine Aydi  

04.08.2022

BAGHDAD

Iraq's Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi on Thursday rejected the call of Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to dissolve parliament and hold early elections.

Falih al-Fayyad, in a statement to Al-Jazeera, said "the proposal of Al-Sadr to resolve the crisis can be discussed to reach a consensus, however, dissolving the parliament is a big step that cannot be accepted unless it is agreed upon by all political parties."

"Al-Sadr is still present in the political scene despite the resignation of his deputies," he added.

On Wednesday, Al-Sadr called for the dissolution of parliament and the holding of early elections as part of a nine-month-old political crisis that has prevented the formation of a government since the Oct.10, 2021 elections.

Last June, 73 representatives of Al-Sadr's movement, out of 329, submitted their resignations, after they were unable to form a "national majority" government, as the "coordinating framework" stuck to a "national consensus" government as usual, and now has a parliamentary majority that enables it to form a government.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/iraqs-hashd-al-shaabi-rejects-calls-for-dissolving-parliament/2653424

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Yemen’s siege: Saudi-led coalition seizes another ship day after extension of UN-brokered truce

05 August 2022

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a devastating war on Yemen since 2015, has impounded yet another oil tanker carrying thousands of tons of fuel for the war-torn country in violation of a UN-brokered truce, a day after it was extended.

The Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) said in a statement that the coalition did not allow Sea Heart tanker, which was carrying tens of thousands of tons of petrol, to dock at Yemen’s strategic western port of Hudaydah and offload its cargo.

The company added that the ship was impounded despite being inspected and cleared for port call by the United Nations and that the incident takes to two the number of Yemen-bound ships carrying petrol that are currently seized by the Riyadh-led military alliance.

Additionally, a Yemeni military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Saudi-led coalition refuses to fully commit to the terms of a truce brokered by the United Nations.

The official said the Saudi-led coalition forces and their allied militants have violated the UN-brokered ceasefire at least 179 times during the past 24 hours.

He said the violations included 30 flights of armed Saudi-led reconnaissance aircraft in the skies of the provinces of Ma’rib, Ta’izz, Hajjah, al-Jawf, Sa’ada, Hudaydah, and al-Bayda as well as border areas.

Civilians injured in Saudi strike in Yemen’s Sa’ada

The Saudi army also conducted an artillery attack on a residential area in Yemen’s northwestern Sa’ada province, seriously injuring several civilians.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel reported that the shelling targeted the al-Dhaher and Shada’a districts on Thursday.

The latest Saudi-led acts of aggression come while the warring sides agreed on Tuesday to renew the two-month truce.

“This truce extension includes a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible,” United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said in a statement.

Grundberg had been pushing for a six-month truce with additional measures, according to the Reuters news agency, but both Yemen’s ousted Saudi-backed regime, based in Aden and led by the Presidential Council, and the popular Ansarullah resistance movement have had grievances about the implementation of the existing truce deal, as mistrust runs deep.

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

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

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/05/686802/Saudi-coalition-seizes-Yemen-bound-fuel-ship-despite--renewed-ceasefire

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Amir-Abdollahian calls for release of Iranian citizen detained in Saudi Arabia during Hajj

05 August 2022

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has sent an indirect message to Saudi authorities, calling on them to free an Iranian citizen who was arrested last month in the kingdom during the Hajj pilgrimage.

In a phone conversation with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Thursday evening, the Iranian minister followed up on the fate of the Iranian detainee, asking his counterpart to convey Iran’s call for the release of the citizen to Riyadh.

There is no immediate information available about the charges that the Iranian citizen is facing.

Iranian media outlets reported earlier that Saudi authorities arrested several Iranian pilgrims during this year’s Hajj on charges such as taking photos with the holy Kaaba or wearing a scarf bearing the photo of anti-terror commander Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the US military in Iraq more than two years ago.

Those criticizes, however, were released after a few days.

During the Thursday phone conversation, Amir-Abdollahian also thanked Baghdad for helping Iranians go on the Hajj pilgrimage this year.

This comes as Iraq has played the role of mediator between Iran and Saudi Arabia, hosting several rounds of negotiations between them since last April.

Earlier, Amir-Abdollahian had expressed Tehran’s readiness to enter a new political and security phase with Riyadh, hoping that the measure would “eventually lead to the return of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s relations to normal.”

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

‘Iran ready to help Iraq put out wildfire’

Elsewhere in the conversation, the top Iranian diplomat pointed to wildfires that are burning reed beds in southern Iraqi regions, noting that the smoke of the fire is “seriously” affecting Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran.

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran is ready to perform joint operations to put out the fire swiftly.

The Iraqi foreign minister, for his part, welcomed Tehran’s offer to assist his country in extinguishing the fire.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/05/686800/Amir-Abdollahian-calls-for-release-detained-Iranian-Saudi-Arabia

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North America

 

U.S. Proved Afghanistan Not Safe-Haven for Al-Qaeda: Kirby

By Arif Ahmadi

04 Aug 2022

KABUL, Afghanistan – John Kirby, the NSC coordinator for strategic communications at the White House, said at a press conference Wednesday that Afghanistan is not a safe-haven for Al-Qaeda members, addressing the recent drone strike that killed the group’s leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Kabul.

Earlier this week, President Biden announced an American drone strike killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri at an urban safe house in Afghanistan – a key plotter of the 9/11 terrorist attacks who took over as the leader of Al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death.

“I think if you were to ask some members of al Qaeda — ask them how safe they feel in Afghanistan right now, I think we proved to a fare-thee-well this weekend that it isn’t a safe haven and it isn’t going to be, going forward,” he said, as TOLOnews quoted.

While the drone strike affected relationship between Washington and Kabul, the United States government – including international community – said the Taliban has broken Doha agreement, providing sanctuary to the well-known terrorist leader.

Tomas Niklasson, Special Envoy of the European Union for Afghanistan, wrote in a tweet Wednesday that the Islamic Emirate “repeated their commitment that Afghanistan would not become a safe haven for terrorists” during the Tashkent conference.

“The killing of Mr Al-Zawahiri by the US in central Kabul reinforces previous doubts about such claims,” he questioned. “Were the Taliban unaware, unable or unwilling to take action against the AQ leader?”

Talking to NPR, US former special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said that allowing the head of al-Qaida in Kabul, Afghanistan was a gross violation of that agreement.

“Allowing someone to plot and plan, attack – someone who plotted and planned the 9/11 attack … carried out other attacks on the United States–to stay in Kabul and issue a statement threatening the security of the United States, is clear beyond any doubt a violation of the Doha agreement,” said Khalilzad, as local media quoted.

The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, “the United States will not rest, will not allow for safe haven, will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against the United States or against the American interest anywhere.”

Meanwhile, the Gulf state of Qatar in a statement called for the preservations of gains of the Doha agreement, one of which is to not use Afghanistan soil as a thread against any country, including America.

“The state of Qatar is following the developments in Afghanistan and calls on all parties to maintain the gains of the Doha agreement and adhere to it, including that Afghanistan should not be a haven for terrorist and extremist individuals and organizations,” the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement, as local media quoted.

Earlier, Abdul Salam Hanafi, the second Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate, said the United States drone strike in Kabul violates both national sovereignty and the Doha Agreement, according to sources.

“These issues are still unclear to us, the only thing we know for sure is that a drone attack has taken place, which is against international law and the Doha Agreement,” Hanafi said, as TOLOnews quoted.

“The Islamic Emirate’s policy, which has been repeatedly stated to the people, is that our soil is not used against our neighbors,” Hanafi said.

On Monday, president Biden announced an American drone strike killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri at an urban safe house in Afghanistan – a key plotter of the 9/11 terrorist attacks who took over as the leader of Al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death.

“Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a seven-minute nationally televised address from the White House, as the New York Times quoted.

“We make it clear again tonight,” he added, “that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/u-s-proved-afghanistan-not-safe-haven-for-al-qaeda-kirby/

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Top US diplomat for Middle East says China providing Iranian proxies with drones

04 August, 2022

The top US diplomat for the Middle East warned Thursday against China’s growing influence in the Middle East, calling out Beijing for not doing enough to stop the flow of drones reaching Iranian proxies.

“Now, they're not provided by the state, but the state does not attempt to curtail that flow” of drones used to attack Gulf countries, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf said.

Speaking at a subcommittee Senate hearing on China’s role in the Middle East, Leaf said the US retains a “clear advantage” that China is unable to challenge.

“We must be careful to discern signal from noise within this growing volume of economic activity, but we must also remain attuned to trends that may more directly impinge upon US interests,” she said.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have soared in recent years, with the US accusing China of genocide and illegal trade practices. On the other hand, China has criticized the US for its interference in other countries, specifically in Taiwan, which it considers its own, and for tariffs on Chinese products.

Leaf pointed out that China’s trade with Middle East and North African countries increased from $15.2 billion in 2000 to $284.3 billion in 2021.

On the other hand, the US trade with the regional countries rose from $63.4 billion to $98.4 billion during the same period, Leaf said.

China absent in fight against ISIS, Iran

Leaf accused China of aiding Iran and acting against the region’s interest. “Last year, the PRC finalized a 25-year strategic partnership agreement with Tehran, with the promise of billions of dollars in potential future investment in Iran,” Leaf said.

She added that more than 70 Chinese nationals and entities had been sanctioned for supporting the Iranian regime and said China had been the top destination for Iranian oil - “both legitimate exports and trade that circumvents sanctions.”

The US diplomat said China has been “notably absent” from the fight against ISIS and made negligible efforts in Yemen and Syria.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/04/Top-US-diplomat-for-Middle-East-warns-of-China-s-growing-influence-in-region

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US troops in Yemen an expansion of imperial aggression: Expert

04 August 2022

The deployment of US troops in Yemen by the Biden administration demonstrates the rank hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of American politics, according to an Irish political analyst. 

Finian Cunningham, a prominent Irish expert in international affairs, said in an interview with Press TV on Thursday that the latest deployment of US troops in Yemen “marks the expansion of the US war effort” to achieve American imperial objectives.

According to a report, a new batch of US military forces has entered Yemen’s southeastern province of al-Mahrah.

Cunningham said that he thinks “the reports from the Yemen media are credible. US troops are indeed setting up in the southeastern province of al-Mahrah as Yemen media reports indicate.”

“We should not be surprised by the growing US military presence in Yemen. President Joe Biden confirmed in a letter to the US Congress last month that US troops would be deployed in Yemen to support the Saudi coalition in its seven-year war of aggression against its southern neighbor. That war has been supported all along by the US supplying warplanes, missiles, refueling and offensive logistics to the Saudis. The British and French also are suppliers. Thus ground deployment is a logical outcome. There have been previous reports of US and British forces on the ground. The ground presence of US troops is now a fact, albeit not widely reported in the Western media,” he stated.

The analyst said, “The US-backed Saudi war of aggression against Yemen is fundamentally driven by the desire to impose control over Yemen.”

“The southern Arabian Peninsula country has an abundance of energy resources that remain untapped. Of course, American corporations want this prize. But more than this, Yemen is a strategically positioned country overlooking vital global shipping routes and chokepoints, namely the Arabian Sea, the Sea of Aden, the Red Sea and the wider Indian Ocean as well as the Persian Gulf,” he stated.

“US imperialism demands that the region must be under its purview for advantage against China, Russia, Iran and other geopolitical rivals. A third reason is that the US and its Saudi and other Arab client regimes cannot abide to allow another nation to develop independently. Yemen under governance of the Houthis would have friendly relations with Iran. It would present a ‘threat of a good example’ to the region. The Americans and their clients must, therefore, try to destroy Yemen’s struggle for independence. The latest arrival of US troops in Yemen marks the expansion of the US war effort for the above imperial objectives,” he pointed out.

The troops deployment came two weeks after US President Joe Biden made a controversial trip to Saudi Arabia. The US has also approved massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth more than $5 billion.

“The deployment of US troops in Yemen by the Biden administration demonstrates the rank hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of American politics under its prevailing capitalist system dominated as it is by the military-industrial complex and the perpetual need for war, militarism and conflict to sustain its otherwise bankrupt capitalist economy,” Cunningham stated.

“Biden had promised American voters that he would halt the US military support for the Saudi war against Yemen. Over 250,000 people have been killed in that war, mainly from the Saudi bombing of civilian centers with American missiles. Yemen is the world’s single worst humanitarian crisis with millions facing starvation – largely caused by the US-backed seven-year war. Biden’s promises to end US support have been quickly and unashamedly broken,” he said.

‘Biden is a messenger boy for the US ruling elite’

“On the contrary, the US president is increasing military support and deepening the bloodbath. How is that for barefaced lies to American voters and the world? So, one may ask, how come the disgusting treachery? Because of US imperial imperatives as described above. The US cannot do anything else but worsen the war in Yemen because of its imperialist needs stemming from its capitalist economy. Presidential promises are futile and indeed cynical given the background imperative and reality of US imperial aggression,” he said.

“Another essential factor is the US need to appease the Saudis and other Persian Gulf Arab client regimes for desired advantage against Russia in the ongoing conflict over Ukraine,” he explained.

“Washington needs the Saudis and Arab dictators to align on oil exports and market prices in order to mitigate the detrimental repercussions hitting American and Western economies,” he noted.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/04/686773/US-troops-in-Yemen-an-expansion-of-imperial-aggression--Expert

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue origin sends first Egyptian national to space

04 August, 2022

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin on Thursday launched six people to space, including the first from Egypt and Portugal, on the company’s sixth crewed flight.

Mission “N-22” saw the New Shepard suborbital rocket blast off around 8:58 am local time (1358 GMT) from Blue’s base in the west Texas desert.

The autonomous, re-usable vehicle sent its crew capsule soaring above the Karman line, the internationally recognized space boundary, 62 miles (100 kilometers) above sea level.

“I’m floating!” a crew mate could be heard saying on a livestream, as the capsule coasted to its highest point and the passengers experienced a few minutes of weightlessness.

Both the rocket and capsule separately returned to the base -- the latter using giant parachutes -- completing the mission around 11 minutes after lift-off.

The crew included Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry, and Portuguese entrepreneur Mario Ferreira, both the first people of their countries to leave Earth.

It also included Coby Cotton, one of five co-founders of the YouTube sports and comedy channel Dude Perfect, which boasts more than 57 million followers.

A Blue Origin spokeswoman confirmed all six crew were paying passengers -- though Sabry’s seat was sponsored by nonprofit Space for Humanity.

Blue Origin has not revealed its ticket prices.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/04/Jeff-Bezos-Blue-origin-sends-first-Egyptian-national-to-space-

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Europe

 

Dutch police seek information on perpetrators of Islamic State crimes against Yazidis

By Wladimir van Wilgenburg in Erbil, Iraq

4 August 2022

Netherlands police are looking for information on Dutch perpetrators of war crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) group against the Yazidi community, according to a press release on Wednesday.

“The Dutch government wants to see perpetrators of war crimes and international crimes identified and tried,” said the Netherlands Police’s International Crimes Team, speaking on the eighth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide in Iraq.

On 3 August 2014, IS carried out mass killings against Yazidis in Iraq's Sinjar province, enslaving women, killing men and using Yazidi children as soldiers.

The United Nations has since branded the killings a genocide.

“For quite some time, Dutch police and prosecutors have been investigating war crimes committed by IS, including those against the Yazidis," Brechtje van de Moosdijk, spokesperson for the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service, told Middle East Eye.

"Under the laws of universal jurisdiction we can prosecute perpetrators that are Dutch, or those who reside in the Netherlands.

“On the eighth commemoration of the Yazidi genocide, we launched a call for witnesses. We ask the Yazidi population to come forward with information on possible perpetrators with Dutch nationality. We are aware that this can be a difficult step.”

Dutch police said they were hoping to “prevent perpetrators from finding shelter in the Netherlands and living here unpunished", adding that they also wanted to prevent “situations in which victims of war crimes who fled to the Netherlands are confronted with the criminals they fled”.

The BBC previously reported on an incident in Germany in 2018 when a Yazidi teenager met her captor on the street, after which she reported the incident to the German police.

The repatriation of Dutch IS women from camps in northeast Syria to the Netherlands in recent years has led to fears among Dutch Yazidis that crimes committed against them might go unpunished.

Since 2012, hundreds of Dutch nationals have travelled to Syria and Iraq and joined IS. Several Dutch women with ties to IS and children have returned since last year. One of them, Ilham B, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in June.

The Dutch police said there were some indications that Dutch nationals were involved in the commission of crimes against the Yazidi community in Syria and Iraq.

“IS women also played a part in the commission of these crimes,” they said.

Lengthy process

There have been earlier examples of Dutch women abetting in crimes against Yazidi women.

Layla Talu, a Yazidi victim of IS, was reportedly raped by a 33-year-old Lebanese man with the help of his Dutch wife, Al Jazeera reported in 2020. She was also subjected to sexual assault by a number of other men.

The Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius, an ethnic Kurd, met with Yazidi activists in March to address their concerns.

“Efforts are being made to ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished,” she said in a tweet after the meeting.

She also visited Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan region in May to discuss judicial cooperation with local authorities against IS suspects.

“The important issue is how can we work together while we try to prevent impunity for people who are committing crimes and how can we help the victims,” Yesilgoz-Zegerius told reporters after meeting Yazidi survivors and activists in Erbil, according to Kurdistan 24.

Van de Moosdijk said that all information would be “handled confidentially and carefully, by an experienced war crimes team. With this help, we might be able to bring those responsible to court."

She added: “Those investigations are lengthy and difficult and evidence that will stand in court needs to be collected."

'Working tirelessly'

The Netherlands is following on the heels of German prosecutors, who last year successfully handed down a genocide conviction to an IS member for crimes perpetrated against Yazidis, becoming the first country to do so.

Defne Akca, the head of investigations at Unitad, the UN team that investigates IS crimes, said during a commemoration event in Duhok on Wednesday that another female IS member had been “convicted for aiding and abetting genocide against Yazidis".

“Such trials represent what we all work tirelessly to achieve, holding members of IS accountable through evidence-based trials before competent courts," she told the gathering, organised by the Free Yezidi Foundation and other Yazidi organisations.

Unitad has previously supported German prosecutors with evidence by engaging with witnesses in Iraq. The Dutch authorities also fund and work with Unitad.

However, Murad Ismael, the president and co-founder of the Sinjar Academy, told MEE that the current "national" approach to holding IS accountable made it “almost impossible” to convict anyone.

“Because there is no central court system that brings together suspects, evidence, victims and witnesses all in one courtroom to conduct a proper investigation. This is why we have only seen two genocide convictions globally and both in Germany,” he said.

Source: Middle East Eye

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

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraq-dutch-police-looking-perpetrators-crimes-against-yazidis

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Azerbaijan's embassy in London attacked by radical religious group

Vakkas Dogantekin  

05.08.2022

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that its embassy building in London was attacked by a radical religious group.

Photos and video footage shared by some Azerbaijani accounts on social media showed several people storming the building.

"Entering the building of the embassy, the members of the vandalism group raised religious flags and shouted radical religious slogans on the balcony of the building. After the intervention of the local police, the group members were taken out of the building and detained," said the Foreign Ministry statement.

It added that embassy employees were not injured and the incident is being investigated by law enforcement agencies.

"In accordance with the Vienna Convention, a warning regarding the security of diplomats and diplomatic premises has been brought to the attention of UK authorities through diplomatic channels," it stressed.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lost no time in conveying his sympathies to his Azerbaijani counterpart Ceyhun Bayramov over the attack.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/azerbaijans-embassy-in-london-attacked-by-radical-religious-group/2653811

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Three grain shipments to leave Ukraine Friday: Turkey

04 August, 2022

Three more ships filled with grain will sail from Ukraine on Friday under a UN-backed deal lifting Russia's blockade of the Black Sea, Turkey's defense minister said.

“It is planned that three ships will set sail tomorrow from Ukraine,” the Anadolu state news agency quoted Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying, one day after the first ship passed Istanbul on its way to Lebanon.

Ankara also announced that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the agreement's implementation by phone with UN chief Antonio Guterres, without disclosing further details.

Moscow and Kyiv agreed in Istanbul last month to resume shipments of wheat and other grain from Ukrainian ports for the first time since Russia invaded its neighbor in February.

The first ship, loaded with 26,000 tonnes of maize, set off from Odessa on Monday for the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

It was cleared for passage through the Bosphorus Strait by a team that included Russian and Ukrainian inspectors on Wednesday.

The ship's passage is being overseen by an international team that includes officials from Turkey, the United Nations and the two warring parties.

The team said in a statement that the first ship's successful passage offered “proof of concept” that the agreement can hold.

Ukraine said earlier this week that it has 16 more ships loaded with grain and ready to set sail.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/04/Three-grain-shipments-to-leave-Ukraine-Friday-Turkey-

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Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of violating fall 2020 deal ending conflict 'nothing but hypocrisy'

Jeyhun Aliyev 

04.08.2022

Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of violating the fall 2020 agreement ending the 44-day Karabakh War is "nothing but mere hypocrisy," Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly pointed to Armenia’s failure to meet the provisions of the Nov. 10, 2020 agreement signed by the two nations plus Russia, and especially how Armenian armed groups have not yet pulled out of Azerbaijan territories in Karabakh, said a ministry statement. 

The ministry said under the tripartite agreement, "the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is deployed (in Karabakh) in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces."

In addition to ample evidence of the presence of illegal Armenian armed forces on the territory of Azerbaijan, this fact has also been acknowledged by Armenian officials, it said.

"We emphasize that the reason for the recent tension is the presence of illegal Armenian armed troops in the territories of Azerbaijan and provocations instigated by them. The bloody incident and killing of an Azerbaijani soldier on August 3 is precisely the result of Armenia's failure to fulfill its obligations," the statement read, referring to an incident on Wednesday.

Pointing to the months-long ongoing construction of a new road along the Lachin corridor – a road that links Armenia and the Karabakh region – the ministry said the Armenian side is sufficiently informed about this project.

The ministry underlined that if the Armenian side aims to delay implementation of this obligation, as well as other provisions of the tripartite agreement, with various pretexts, this is yet another demonstration of "Armenia's non-constructive and disruptive activity vis-a-vis its obligations stipulated in the trilateral statements and other agreements."

It stressed that full implementation of the tripartite agreement is essential for ensuring peace and stability in the region, as well as post-conflict normalization.

"Azerbaijan remains committed and fully fulfills its obligations and strongly demands that Armenia also adhere to these commitments," the ministry said. 

3-decade occupation

The ministry also brought up Armenia's nearly three-decade occupation of Azerbaijan's Karabakh region (then known as Nagorno-Karabakh), which was due to end under the pact ending the fall 2020 Karabakh War.

"Contrary to accusations of 'aggressive activity' by Azerbaijan, we remind the Armenian Foreign Ministry that it is Armenia whose military units occupied the territories of the neighboring states for nearly 30 years, and which have not withdrawn their illegal armed groups from the territories of Azerbaijan after the end of the occupation policy. Azerbaijan ensures the security and integrity of its territory on legal grounds," it concluded.

Azerbaijan said it launched a retaliatory operation Wednesday against Armenian forces in Karabakh after Armenia opened fire and killed an Azerbaijani soldier, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

The ministry said Azerbaijan "took relevant measures" and launched a counter operation after Armenian forces tried to seize Girkhgiz hill and establish new combat positions.

"As a result of the 'revenge' retaliatory measure carried out by Azerbaijani Army Units, the Girkhgiz peak, as well as Saribaba along the Karabakh ridge of the Lesser Caucasus and a number of other important heights, were taken under control," it added.

Separately, the ministry on Thursday reported "full control over the operational situation" in the region.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh (Upper Karabakh), a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/armenia-accusing-azerbaijan-of-violating-fall-2020-deal-ending-conflict-nothing-but-hypocrisy/2653196

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Turkish president set to visit Russia to have talks with Putin

Diyar Guldogan  

04.08.2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a one-day visit to Russia's coastal city of Sochi on Friday to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral ties and international issues.

Erdogan and Putin will meet in person for the second time in 17 days after the meeting in Iran's capital Tehran, where the leaders had a trilateral gathering with their Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi for the 7th summit in the Astana format to discuss recent developments in Syria, the fight against terror groups, particularly the YPG/PKK and Daesh/ISIS, as well as the humanitarian situation and the voluntarily return of Syrians.

During their meeting on July 19, the leaders condemned the increased presence and activities of terrorist groups and their affiliates under different names in various parts of Syria.

Türkiye constantly emphasizes its determination to root out terrorist organizations -- including the Daesh/ISIS and the PKK, along with its Syrian branch the YPG -- in Syria that threaten its security.

The country also reiterates the possibility of another Turkish counter-terrorism operation across its southern border into northern Syria, following other operations in recent years, as long as Ankara’s longstanding concerns have not been met.

Besides Syria, Erdogan and Putin will also discuss the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.

Thanks to the diplomatic efforts of Türkiye to unblock Ukraine's grain exports, the first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port in wartime passed through the Turkish Straits after getting a security clearance in Istanbul on Wednesday en route to Lebanon for a delivery that many believe is helping ease the global food crisis.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a historic deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports -- Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny -- for grain exports that has been stuck for months.

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying over 26,500 tons of corn, is the first grain-loaded ship to leave Ukraine's port of Odesa, and after getting security clearance in Istanbul, the vessel continues to sail to the Lebanese port of Tripoli, its final destination.

Also, Erdogan and Putin will evaluate bilateral relations, mainly focusing on the areas of economy, trade, and energy that constitute the driving force behind Turkish-Russian ties.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-president-set-to-visit-russia-to-have-talks-with-putin/2653107

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Mideast

 

Islamic Jihad calls for release of Al-Saadi as military wing threatens Israel

August 4, 2022

Islamic Jihad renewed its call yesterday for Israel to release the movement's official Bassam Al-Saadi, who was arrested earlier this week in a raid on his home in Jenin. The call was made during a joint press conference by Islamic Jihad and the 61-year-old's family.

In a separate press conference, the military wing of the movement in the Jenin refugee camp vowed to respond to the arrest.

The head of Islamic Jihad, Hani Jaradat, said that the movement was expressing its solidarity with Al-Saadi after this "criminal" act by the occupation state. He that the movement's leadership in Gaza had submitted demands for the "immediate and urgent release" of both Al-Saadi and Khalil Al-Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 33 days in protest at his administrative detention with neither charge nor trial.

Al-Saadi's son, Izz Al-Din, told journalists that the Palestinian Authority should form a "medical committee to visit and report on his father's condition after the attack on his house and family during his arrest."

A masked man standing amongst a group of Palestinian fighters said that the Israeli forces "committed a heinous crime by storming the Jenin refugee camp… We will not stand idly by. Our response will match the severity of the crime." The Israeli occupation forces, he added, are "fully accountable" for Al-Saadi's life.

The leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Khader Habib, told Anadolu on Tuesday that the Egyptians — who mediate between the Palestinian factions and Israel — have been told that the movement holds Tel Aviv fully responsible for the repercussions of Al-Saadi's arrest.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220804-islamic-jihad-calls-for-release-of-al-saadi-as-military-wing-threatens-israel/

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Israelis won’t sleep a wink if they know what Hezbollah has in store: Senior resistance official

04 August 2022

A senior Hezbollah official has commended his group’s publication of a video showing Israeli vessels involved in offshore oil and gas industry at a disputed maritime area in the Mediterranean, stressing that Israeli officials will not sleep a wink if they find out about the actual extent of the Lebanese resistance movement’s military capabilities.

Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, deputy head of the executive council of Hezbollah, made the remarks at a ceremony in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil on Wednesday night.

“The video that Hezbollah’s War Media Department released a few days ago relayed a clear message to the Israeli enemy that the resistance movement is fully prepared, and has aimed its missiles at the Karish [gas field is disputed territory] and areas beyond that,” he pointed out.

The high-ranking Hezbollah official underscored that Israeli authorities will be gripped by fear once they find out about his group’s preemptive measures against the regime’s strategic energy and military installations.

“Lebanon previously used to beg for assistance from the United States. The equation has, however, changed at present, and it is now Israel that has to appeal and wait for US help in the face of Hezbollah,” Sheikh Qaouk said.

He said that Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid has lately asked Washington to work out a quick agreement with Lebanon regarding the demarcation of maritime borders.

“The appeal stems from their (Israelis’) fear about the prowess of Hezbollah resistance movement, and the fact that the group’s secretary-general Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah is absolutely right that all of Israel’s gas fields are under threat from his group’s missiles,” Sheikh Qaouk pointed out.

Hezbollah on Sunday morning published a video threatening the gas extraction infrastructure at the Karish offshore field, near a disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.

The video footage, which also contains a rare glimpse of Hezbollah weaponry, was broadcast on Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television station.

It was issued by Hezbollah’s War Media Department, which the group uses to broadcast footage of military operations and battles, and contains images of ships involved in drilling for and extracting hydrocarbons, along with what appear to be their coordinates.

The video begins with the words of Nasrallah during a recent speech in which he warned that “playing with time is not useful” on the maritime issue.

Lebanese politicians hope that commercially viable hydrocarbon resources off Lebanon’s coast could help the debt-ridden country out of its worst economic crisis in decades.

In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for drilling in two blocks in the Mediterranean with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, Eni, and Novatek.

Lebanon and Israel took part in indirect talks to discuss demarcation in 2020. But the talks stalled after Lebanon demanded a larger area, including part of the Karish gas field, where Israel has given exploration rights to a Greek firm.

The talks were supposed to discuss a Lebanese demand for 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of territory in the disputed maritime area, according to a map sent to the United Nations in 2011.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/04/686767/Knowledge-about-Hezbollah%E2%80%99s-inventory-will-send-shivers-down-Zionists%E2%80%99-spine--Top-official

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Iran Intel Ministry arrests 10 Daesh terrorists plotting attacks in Muharram

04 August 2022

Iran's Intelligence Ministry says it has identified and arrested 10 members of a Daesh Takfiri terrorist group that aimed to conduct acts of terror across the country during the mourning month of Muharram.

The ministry made the announcement in a statement on Thursday, saying the “Takfiri-Zionist” outfit had plans to carry out several terrorist operations during the mass mourning ceremonies to commemorate Muharram and the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam.

According to the statement, the Israeli regime tried to use Daesh Takfiris for terrorist operations in the mourning gatherings of Imam Hussein (AS) but the Intelligence Ministry managed to arrest 10 members of the group in the western and southern regions across the country.

The ministry said it discovered and confiscated the terrorist group’s cache of explosive equipment, communication devices and weapons, adding that two of the Iranian security forces had sustained injuries in fire exchanges with the Takfiris.

The ministry called on the public to be more vigilant against such terrorist plots in ongoing mourning ceremonies for Muharram, and warned that the occupying Israeli regime and its Daesh Takfiri mercenaries would be given a “crushing” response for their attempted acts of terror.

Last week, Iran's Intelligence Ministry said an espionage team affiliated with the Israeli regime’s spy agency Mossad, which was recently dismantled before it could carry out acts of sabotage in the country, had plans to blow up a sensitive defense facility.

The ministry announced that the team belonging to the notorious anti-Iran Komala terrorist group had worked out the most intricate methods in order to geographically locate the target site, and destroy it through an enormous explosion.

The ministry added that the terrorists, who were in contact with Mossad agents through one of the neighboring countries, had entered Iran from the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/04/686772/Iran-Intelligence-Ministry-Daesh-Takfiri-terrorist-group-operations-

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Israel sends armed drones over border to curb Islamic Jihad threat

Lilach Shoval

August 4, 2022

The Israel Defense Forces has been on high alert in the country's south for the past three days.

In response to Intelligence reports that the Islamic Jihad movement is planning to fire anti-tank missiles or rockets at Israel, the IDF announced early on the morning of Aug. 2 that it was blocking traffic on roads surrounding the Gaza Strip and halting train service from Ashkelon southward.

This morning, Aug. 4, the IDF announced that it was flying armed drones over the Gaza Strip in order to locate Islamic Jihad operatives with missiles that endanger civilian vehicles and buildings near the Gaza Strip.

Tensions in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip began Aug. 1, after the IDF arrested Bassem Saadi in the West Bank. Saadi is a member of the Islamic Jihad’s senior leadership and the movement’s ultimate authority in the West Bank.

The Shin Bet says that Saadi, who has been in Israeli custody on seven different occasions, was behind the creation of a significant military force for the group in Jenin and his presence has spurred its militants to violence.

A firefight erupted during the arrest between armed militants and troops with the unit charged with taking Saadi into custody. Another activist and Saadi's close aide, Ashraf al-Jadaa, was arrested with him. At the time of their arrest, they were in possession of a pistol, explosive devices and ammunition.

While Saadi’s arrest apparently went smoothly, images of him being dragged across the ground were published extensively in the Arab world. The Islamic Jihad leadership in Gaza quickly issued threats of revenge.

In an effort to refute reports that Israel harmed Saadi, the IDF released photos of him after his arrest in good physical condition. Nevertheless, it was not enough to restore calm in the already tense situation. Israeli security forces took a number of unusual measures, including the closing of the main transportation arteries, halting trains and ramping up air defenses around Gaza.

If the Islamic Jihad reacts violently to Saadi's arrest, it would not be the first time the group has responded forcefully with sniper or rocket fire to Palestinian casualties or major arrests in the northern West Bank.

Israel takes the group’s threats seriously because it is considered an unpredictable faction with no inhibitions. Even the well-being of the residents of the Gaza Strip does not seem to matter to it. That travel and other restrictions are already in their third day suggests that the IDF has credible intelligence that the terrorist group in Gaza is not yet ready to back down from its threats.

This morning Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi paid a visit to the IDF’s Gaza Division. The IDF notified the press that he approved plans to attack in the event that the Islamic Jihad tries to fulfill its threats and that the IDF has dozens of armed drones with attack capabilities flying over Gaza.

At the same time, feverish mediation efforts via Egypt are also underway in an effort to restore calm. Israel told Hamas by way of Egyptian intermediaries that it expects that movement to assert its authority over the rebel faction. If it fails to do so, Hamas will bear responsibility for the consequences.

On Tuesday, Israel closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings, meaning that 14,000 Palestinian workers and merchants from Gaza were denied daily access to Israel. Jerusalem hopes that the combination of economic pressure and pressure from the Egyptian mediators will force the sovereign authority in Gaza to rein Islamic Jihad in.

Ever since Operation “Guardian of the Walls” ended in May 2021, the IDF has held that the main reason the past year was unusually quiet was that the operation served as a deterrent to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Now, however, Islamic Jihad, which is a relatively small group, especially when compared to Hezbollah in the north, has managed to paralyze the south of the country solely with threats.

While patience in Israel’s southern towns and villages is wearing thin, the IDF says that “life itself” takes precedence over the “quality of life” of the local residents. On the other hand, while brief and specific restrictions may be necessary, paralyzing the south for three entire days seems unreasonable and points to a serious problem in Israeli deterrence.

Source: Al Monitor

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

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/08/israel-sends-armed-drones-over-border-curb-islamic-jihad-threat

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Athens rejects Ankara criticism over Muslim cleric election process

Aug 04 2022

Greece has rejected claims by Turkey that new regulations on the election of Muslim clerics known as muftis in the country’s northeastern Thrace region prevents the minority community the right to elect their own religious leaders, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Thursday.

The new legal framework on Mufti cleric elections are “fully compatible with the constitution of Greece and the country’s international obligations,” it cited the Greek Foreign Ministry as saying.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry earlier on Thursday described a new law passed in Greek parliament as “unacceptable,” while urging Greece to “respect international law and fulfil its obligations” under the Treaty of Lausanne.

Ankara has long accused Athens of refusing to recognise the mufti elected by the neighbouring country’s some 150,000 ethnic Turkish Muslim community, saying it is unconstitutional that the Greek government appoints the mufti itself.

Greek Parliament late last month approved a regulation allowing for the country’s Muslim minority to form an advisory board of 33 people, selected from among scholars of Islamic sciences and imams, which would in turn assess Mufti candidates before submitting a list to the Education Ministry. The ministry will have the final say on the matter.

The new law was drawn up after a long consultation with representatives of the minority and that it “creates a modern and integrated institutional framework for muftis in Thrace,” Kathimerini cited the Greek ministry as saying in a statement.

“Our Muslim fellow citizens in Thrace live in a European country. They enjoy everything that a democratic and well-governed state provides to all its citizens, without exceptions,” it added.

Source: Ahval News

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

https://ahvalnews.com/thrace/athens-rejects-ankara-criticism-over-muslim-cleric-election-process

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Top Aide: Iran Supports Extension of Yemen Ceasefire

2022-August-4

Khaji made the remarks in a meeting with Hans Grundberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, in Tehran on Wednesday.

He expressed hope that during the renewed two-month ceasefire, efforts would continue toward achieving a comprehensive agreement on a lasting truce, complete lifting of the blockade and economic embargo imposed on Yemen, the payment of salaries in the country and freedom of transit in all routes.

The Iranian diplomat also hoped that military, economic and political committees would start their activities and all the necessary mechanisms for supervising commitment to the ceasefire would be fully implemented.

The UN special envoy, for his part, outlined the latest proposals presented to the Yemeni parties to solve the crisis in the country.

Grundberg said the two-month renewal of the ceasefire in the war-ravaged country would be an opportunity to achieve a regular mechanism for paying the salaries of the employees, opening routes among provinces, adding flight destinations at the Sana’a airport and guaranteeing fuel shipment to the port city of Al-Hudaydah.

He noted that the truce would prepare the ground for setting up military, economic and political committees with the aim of monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

Grundberg stated on Tuesday that a direly-needed truce between Yemen’s aggressors and the impoverished country’s popular resistance Houthi Ansarullah movement had been renewed for another two-month-long period.

The extension, running from August 2 to October 2, “includes a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible”, the UN diplomat continued.

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

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

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010513000432/Tp-Aide-Iran-Spprs-Exensin-f-Yemen-Ceasefire

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Iran's Envoy Urges US Guarantees for Economic Benefits Under JCPOA

2022-August-4

Speaking at the 10th nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York on Wednesday, Takht Ravanchi stated that the main obstacle to the revival of the 2015 agreement is Washington’s failure to give assurances that Tehran will fully enjoy the economic benefits of the accord.

He added that Iran had acted responsibly and with strategic patience as well as maximum resistance during the course of negotiations to revive the pact.

The ambassador stated that Tehran had been negotiating in good faith with the five remaining parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – in order to ensure the full implementation of the deal.

Takht Ravanchi noted that "the onus was now on the United States to give assurances that Iran will enjoy the economic benefits promised in the agreement".

"Iran will roll back its remedial nuclear measures and fully honor its nuclear-related commitments in accordance with the 2015 agreement once the US makes the right decision," he pointed out.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Takht Ravanchi said more than half a century after NPT entered into force in 1970, there were still thousands of nuclear weapons deployed and stockpiled, and hundreds of billions of dollars were spent to replace and upgrade nuclear arsenals.

“For instance, the United States has recently increased the role and number of its nuclear weapons; and this modernization costs around $1.2 trillion. The United Kingdom has announced its intention to develop and build 80 new nuclear warheads. France is spending billions of euros to gradually augment and upgrade its nuclear weapons and their launch platforms,” the Iranian diplomat added.

He underscored that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should carry out its professional duties free from interference by third parties, particularly the intelligence services that provide unsubstantiated allegations.

Takht Ravanchi emphasized that non-proliferation provisions should be applied globally and without exception.

“Unfortunately, as a result of the application of double standards in enforcing non-proliferation provisions, the Zionist regime’s nuclear weapons, developed with the support and assistance of the US, continue to pose a serious threat to the security of Middle Eastern member states of the treaty,” the official underlined.

The Iran’s UN envoy stated that Israel, since its inception in 1948, has committed all international core crimes, namely aggression against all its neighbors, war crimes, crimes against humanity and occupation of the territories of several neighboring countries.

He called on NPT member states to adopt appropriate deterrent measures against the law-breaking Tel Aviv regime.

“If this regime commits such foolish aggression, it will pay a heavy price. Furthermore, the supreme interests of our country, as a state party to the Treaty, will be jeopardized,” Takht Ravanchi continued.

“The Review Conference should promptly address this threat of the Israeli regime. The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly supports the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and expresses its deep concern over the long delay in implementation of the 1995 Resolution and the 2010 Plan of Action on the Middle East,” he noted.

Iranian officials say the ball is in the US' court, and the administration of President Joe Biden should assure Tehran that it will not repeat Donald Trump's past mistakes.

Iran and the five remaining parties to the nuclear deal have held several rounds of negotiations since April last year to restore the agreement, which was unilaterally abandoned by Trump in May 2018.

In quitting the agreement, Trump restored sanctions on Iran as part of what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the country. Those sanctions are being enforced to this day by the Biden administration, even though it has repeatedly acknowledged that the policy has been a mistake and a failure.

Iranian officials have criticized Washington for raising excessive demands from Tehran during the nuclear talks, and blocking efforts to reach an agreement on the JCPOA. They emphasized the Tehran's will to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement, and stressed that the US should lift unilateral sanctions, and assure Iran that it will not repeat its past mistakes.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010513000217/Iran's-Envy-Urges-US-Garanees-fr-Ecnmic-Benefis-Under-JCPOA

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Militants arrested for planning to bomb Iran religious gathering: Report

04 August, 2022

Iran has arrested a group of 10 ISIS militants who were planning attacks on religious gatherings, the Iranian intelligence ministry said on Thursday.

The 10 were captured in possession of explosive equipment, communication devices and weapons, a ministry statement said, adding the arrests took place over the past three days in two locations in western and southern Iran.

The militants injured two Iranian intelligence agents in an exchange of fire before being arrested, the ministry said, without specifying where or when the clash took place.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/04/Militants-arrested-for-planning-to-bomb-Iran-religious-gathering-Report

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Israeli army arrests 23 Palestinians in West Bank

Qais Abu Samra 

04.08.2022

RAMALLAH

The Israeli army on Thursday arrested 23 Palestinians during a raid on a number of West Bank governorates.

In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said: “The detainees are from the governorates of Hebron, Bethlehem (south), Tulkarm, and Jenin (north).”

The club also added that among the detainees, eight were from the Al-Ajouli family from Hebron.

These arrests "constitute the most prominent systematic and consistent policies implemented by the occupation authorities on a daily basis,” the statement added.

The Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-army-arrests-23-palestinians-in-west-bank/2653333

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Africa

 

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community holds UK Islamic Conference

By Waliat Musa

05 August 2022

The 2022 yearly Islamic Conference (Jalsa Salana) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, UK, will hold from August 5 to 7, 2022 in Islamabad, Alton, UK.

Due to COVID-19 constraints, the event is not open to external guests across the world, except for selected leaders of the Ahmadiyya Community and that residents in the UK.

The Amir (National Head), Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat of Nigeria, Alatoye Folorunso Azeez, is among the special dignitaries attending the conference in London.

In a statement by the head, of the media team, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat of Nigeria, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, members of the public are welcomed to join live proceedings of the programme, which can be watched at various homes and Ahmadiyya mosques across the world via the community’s satellite television channel, the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA International).

Akinreti disclosed that Murhi International Television, MIT and Gaskiya Cable TV would join other 20 television channels across Africa to broadcast the conference live for three days.

“In Nigeria, the Ahmadiyya Headquarters’ Central Mosque at Ojokoro, Lagos and others across the country will play hosts to members and guests for the three-day proceedings,” he added.

Referencing the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Akinreti said, “the primary purpose of the Islamic convention, which commenced in 1891 in Qadian, India, but now spread across the world, is to enable every sincere individual to personally experience religious benefits, enhance their knowledge, promote mutual understanding and strengthen fraternal ties within the Islamic community.”

The founder is quoted further to have said that the gathering is not an ordinary human assembly, but a phenomenon that is based purely on the Divine Help for the propagation of Islam, translating to an affirmative action the declaration contains in Quran chapter 4 verse 115 that, “there is no good in many of their conferences except the conferences of such as enjoin charity, or goodness, or the making of peace among men. And whoso does that, seeking the pleasure of Allah, We shall soon bestow on him a great reward.”

Highlights of the conference include addresses to be delivered by the Supreme World Leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Hazrat Masr Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V; goodwill messages from world leaders, scholars, and very important guests for three days; and the global acceptance of new members and renewal of commitment to Islam and Ahmadiyya community – “the Global Bai’at”, a tradition noted in Islam – that will be performed by His Holiness on August 7.

Other soul-inspiring topical issues in Islam and the global progress report of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community will also feature during the conference.

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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

https://guardian.ng/features/ahmadiyya-muslim-community-holds-uk-islamic-conference/

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Sudan’s Islamic Fiqh Academy calls for precautionary action against potential GERD collapse, malfunction

4 Aug 2022

In an official statement circulated by the Sudanese media on Wednesday, the government-owned academy said Ethiopia should be responsible for fixing any administrative or technical problems or natural circumstances that might take place during the operation of GERD.

The academy stressed that the Ethiopian commitment in this regard should be guaranteed.

The Sudanese government has to work on spreading awareness among the people of the dangers associated with the establishment of the mega dam, the statement added.

The academy shed light on a number of technical concerns regarding GERD, saying it discussed the project with experts in the fields of engineering, water, geology, environment, physics, and law.

The academy's statement denounced GERD’s location that may not be compliant with geological conditions and cautions, including having a safe distance from earthquake zones, landslides, and other factors that may result in its collapse even after several decades or centuries.

“The possibility that the dam collapses still exists,” the academy asserted.

The academy warned that the huge amount of water stored behind the dam may affect the geological formation of the area and rifts can take place under the dam’s concrete body.

The wide swathes of water behind the dam can also affect climate change in this area, which can have harmful impacts on the Sudanese people, the statement added.

The academy also warned against a “hidden goal” behind the establishment of the Ethiopian dam.

“Filling the energy shortage [in Ethiopia] does not require such a huge dam, which indicates that there is another hidden goal that may harm the Sudanese people,” the statement warned.

On 26 July, Ethiopia told Egypt in a message that it would start the third filling of the GERD reservoir during the current flood season, which lasts from July till September, despite not reaching an agreement with the two downstream countries on the filling and operation of the mega dam.

Egypt and Sudan have reiterated that they do not oppose development in Ethiopia but want the upperstream country to sign a legally-binding deal on the filling and operation of the dam to secure their water and people’s interests, a demand that Ethiopia rejects.

While Egypt has expressed concerns over its water share as a result of filling the dam’s reservoir without a deal, Sudan has warned that GERD could threaten the lives and safety of millions of Sudanese people.

African Union-sponsored talks have been stalled since the last round in Kinshasa, DR Congo, in April 2021, with the downstream countries blaming Ethiopian “intransigence” for the failure of the decade-long talks.

The two countries have repeatedly called on the international community to persuade Ethiopia to stop its unilateral acts on GERD, the last of which is its ongoing third filling of the dam’s reservoir.

Late last month, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry sent a letter to the Security Council protesting against the Ethiopian decision to go ahead with the third filling.

Source: Ahram

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

https://english.ahram.org.eg/News/472613.aspx

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Moroccan court jails 14 migrants for 8 months over crossing

04 August, 2022

A Moroccan court imposed 8-month prison sentences Thursday on 14 migrants for attempting, along with hundreds of others, to scale a border fence separating the north African country from the autonomous Spanish enclave of Melilla in June.

Nador’s Court of First Instance also ordered the defendants to pay 2,000-dirham ($194) fines each over the events of June 24.

The Moroccan Association for Human Rights, known as AMDH, said at least 27 migrants trying to enter Spain died that day, and numerous others — both migrants and police — were hurt.

The AMDH condemned the decision which is described as “very harsh against people who only seek refuge.”

The same court sentenced 33 migrants to 11 months in prison last month after they tried to climb the border wall between Morocco and Melilla, also on June 24.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/08/04/Moroccan-court-jails-14-migrants-for-8-months-over-crossing

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian envoy stresses need to engage youth for contribution to socio-economic development of Pakistan

August 5, 2022

Ambassador Adam Tugio of Indonesia participated in the inaugural session of the Policy Dialogue Forum of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, commended the initiative by the university to establish PDF as an intellectual platform for engaging youth millennials and women to give positive contributions to the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

The envoy highlighted a state of bilateral cooperation and its potential to elevate it further and through Pakistan’s engagement with ASEAN. “As the two biggest Muslim population countries, Indonesia and Pakistan shared a lot in common from customs to traditions and from costumes to cuisines”, added Ambassador Tugio.

Source: Pak Observer

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

https://pakobserver.net/indonesian-envoy-stresses-need-to-engage-youth-for-contribution-to-socio-economic-development-of-pakistan/

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Anwar rejects Dr Mahathir’s Malay-Muslim alliance, says problem is corruption, not racism

By Radzi Razak

04 Aug 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has rejected Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new Malay-Muslim alliance that was established today, saying that the latter had failed to tackle the issue when he helmed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration for 22 months.

Anwar said that Malays should instead realise that the problem is corrupt leaders and politics, as opposed to racism.

“I do not support initiatives like that because if he really wants to defend Malay Islam, he had over 22 months to do so. He could have helped. But the Malays who were chosen did not actually represent Malay sentiments.

“I think the Malays should now realise that the problem in this country is leaders, whether Malay or non-Malay, who are corrupt, who enrich their children and their families, and then, when desperate, plead for the support of the Malays or their respective races,” he told reporters in Parliament today.

Earlier today, Dr Mahathir announced a new political alliance focused on the Malay-Muslim agenda, dubbed “Gerakan Tanah Air”.

The Pejuang chairman said the pact would only comprise Malay members, including political parties such as Pejuang, Berjasa, Putra and National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (Iman), as well as academics, NGOs and professionals.

“We have only invited Malays, not because of racism, but because our efforts are focused on opposing Umno, the Malay party that has gone astray,” the former prime minister said during a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/08/04/anwar-rejects-dr-mahathirs-malay-muslim-alliance-says-problem-is-corruption-not-racism/21061

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Turkey, Malaysia ties raised to comprehensive strategic partnership

AUG 04, 2022

The ties between Turkey and Malaysia have been raised to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday.

Speaking during a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah in Kuala Lumpur, Çavuşoğlu said agreements were signed between each government, company and university.

"And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Malaysia for the continued support in enhancing our institutional relations with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Malaysia is a key actor in its region and in the Muslim world," Çavuşoğlu said.

Noting that Turkey looks forward to the visit of Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah, the top Turkish diplomat vowed to intensify parliamentary cooperation and looked "forward to the establishment of the parliamentary friendship group by the Malaysian side."

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Malaysia were established in 1964. Both countries enjoy a broad-based and close partnership. On Jan. 10, 2014, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak declared the elevation of the bilateral relationship to the level of strategic partnership, which is the result of the progress achieved since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, as well as the depth of political, economic and cultural ties.

As members of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the D-8, Turkey and Malaysia share a common perspective on a broad range of regional and global issues.

Malaysia also constitutes a significant country for Turkey's regional initiative.

Announced by Çavuşoğlu at the 11th Ambassadors Conference in August 2019, the Asia Anew Initiative indicated that Turkey was determined to more effectively utilize the potential of cooperation in Asia, considered the fastest growing economic region and the continent with the largest economy in terms of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Regarding trade volume between Turkey and Malaysia, Çavuşoğlu said it grew by 60% and reached $2.42 billion (TL 43.48 billion) in the first half of this year.

"We have a trade volume target of $5 billion, it appears that this target is achievable this year. Obviously, we need to work for more balanced trade," he added.

Announcing the completion of negotiations to expand the existing free trade agreement (FTA) between Turkey and Malaysia, Çavuşoğlu said the deal is to be ratified soon.

The FTA between Turkey and Malaysia, which was signed during then-Prime Minister Najib Razak’s visit to Turkey in April 2014, came into force on Aug. 1, 2015, and constitutes the first ever FTA that Turkey concluded with an ASEAN member.

The Turkish foreign minister further said the two countries will continue cooperation on mutual concerns such as the Rohingya people, the situations in Afghanistan a Palestine, regional issues, and the fight against Islamophobia.

"We agreed to increase our humanitarian and assistance to people in Afghanistan," Çavuşoğlu said while voicing hopes to expand and deepen Turkey’s cooperation with Malaysia in the future.

For his part, Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah said his country looks forward to "working much closer" so "the relations between the two brotherly countries can be enhanced."

Malaysian and Turkish officials also agreed on exploring "new potential areas of investment, particularly in the area of digital economy, the military, and defense industry."

"We also discussed issues on food security, especially in the current situation as an effect of what is happening because of the Ukraine conflict," he added.

Turkey is one of the most active countries working to ensure a permanent cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. Its delicately balanced act of assuming a role as a mediator by keeping communication channels with both warring sides open provides a glimmer of hope in diplomatic efforts to find a solution and achieve peace in the Ukraine crisis. With its unique position of having friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Turkey has won widespread praise for its push to end the war.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, underlining its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions designed to isolate Moscow, it also closed its straits to prevent some Russian vessels from crossing through them.

Source: Daily Sabah

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

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/turkey-malaysia-ties-raised-to-comprehensive-strategic-partnership

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When Chinese cultural pride gets confused with Chinese nationalism

August 5, 2022

I’m a Malaysian raised in a Chinese cultural environment and it should therefore surprise no one that I’m proud of my heritage of Chinese cuisine, the tales of Chinese heroes long gone, and the history of the Chinese in this country.

Lately, though, I have come to wonder if some members of the community have mistaken cultural pride for blind nationalism, a fanatical devotion not to the country where they were born and currently live, but where their ancestors happened to live in the past.

China has lately been much in the news, what with Beijing’s sabre-rattling over Taiwan and fears of a Sino-American conflict brewing.

Take a dive into the comment sections under Malaysian news reports on these matters and you might discover something interesting.

Scores of commenters of Chinese ethnicity can be found leaping to China’s defence, commonly arguing that China has done no wrong or something along those lines.

If you look deeper, you will see that most of these commenters are Chinese Malaysians, not Chinese nationals.

Why are they going all-out to defend China?

Not that it is wrong to have a personal opinion about a foreign country, especially a superpower, but they certainly seem unusually fervent in their support.

I have a theory about why these people seem so attached to a country they may have never visited in their life.

In Malaysia, the national identity of Chinese Malaysians has previously been called into question by ultranationalists. Remember “pendatang” and “balik tongsan”?

It is likely that many of these people do not feel like they belong in a country where they are sometimes treated like second-class citizens.

Hence, they instead look towards the home of their ancestors, which has apparently overcome the odds to become an economic superpower with military might to match.

To complicate matters, Chinese news outlets are quite talented at influencing minds to see China as a utopia of sorts, with the ruling Communist Party solely responsible for this success.

With Malaysian politics regularly showing its ugly racist head, I can see why some Chinese Malaysians would instead latch onto Chinese nationalism instead.

This does have an ugly side to it. These people often end up disregarding any fact or opinion that paints China in a bad light.

I remember reading comment sections when news of the Uighur internment camps first emerged and I remember how horrified I was.

The denial was bad enough, but some commenters said that placing people into internment camps en masse based on ethnicity was justified for security reasons.

I suspect that if any other country were to similarly target people of Chinese ethnicity, these same folks would be screaming bloody murder.

But it’s China and its government doing this to an ethnic minority. So all is forgiven and everything is “Western propaganda” and, if it’s real, it’s justifiable.

I don’t think I will ever forget one recent exchange in which a Chinese Malaysian much older than myself said I was a bad Chinese for not being loyal to my “motherland”.

That comment was in response to my criticism of the Chinese government’s heavy-handed approach to Taiwan.

It certainly took me by surprise. Malaysia is my motherland, not China. I was born and raised here and will probably die here.

But it’s more important to remember that criticism of one’s government is not disloyalty to one’s country. I criticise Malaysia frequently because it is flawed to the core. And so is China. No country is perfect.

I fear that some people may have misconstrued being proud to be culturally Chinese as being slavishly devoted to a foreign government that does not care about their existence.

When some Chinese Malaysians suggest that China should interfere in Malaysian affairs to protect the community here, they certainly manifest a delusion of the highest order.

There is some irony in the fact that these wannabe Chinese nationalists also frequently post on Facebook, which is banned in China.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2022/08/05/when-chinese-cultural-pride-gets-confused-with-chinese-nationalism/

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URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-students-jabir-basith-ramayana/d/127651

 

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