New Age Islam
Sat Nov 28 2020, 11:38 AM

Islamic World News ( 29 Feb 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Sharia Is Being Misunderstood and Misinterpreted, There Is No Compulsion in Religion, I Can’t Introduce Sharia In Nigeria If Elected President: Sani Yarima






Sharia Is Being Misunderstood and Misinterpreted, There Is No Compulsion in Religion, I Can’t Introduce Sharia In Nigeria If Elected President: Sani Yarima

Delhi Violence: ‘India Is A Secular Country, Cannot Divide Hindus And Muslims,’ Says Amartya Sen

Hindus And Muslims Saved Each Other’s Lives In The Delhi Riots

Hundreds Rally in US Cities Against Anti-Muslim Violence In Delhi

NJ Muslims Blast Mike Bloomberg As He Defends NYPD Surveillance In Their Communities

Pakistan Hails Doha Accord As Harbinger Of Peace In Afghanistan

Plague-Ridden Iran Takes Wrong Decisions, Again

7 ‘Ansar Al Islam’ Men Held In Dhaka, Pabna

Muhyiddin Sworn in As Malaysia PM, Mahathir Vows to Fight

International Islamic Fqih Academy Praises Kingdom's Measures To Prevent Spread Of Coronavirus

 

 

Africa

Sharia Is Being Misunderstood and Misinterpreted, There Is No Compulsion in Religion, I Can’t Introduce Sharia In Nigeria If Elected President: Sani Yarima

Al-Qaida, Islamic State affiliates team up in West Africa

Mauritania takes over G5 Sahel leadership

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India

Delhi Violence: ‘India Is A Secular Country, Cannot Divide Hindus And Muslims,’ Says Amartya Sen

Hindus And Muslims Saved Each Other’s Lives In The Delhi Riots

As India counts dead, brutality of Delhi's worst communal violence in decades emerges

After Maharashtra, Now Madhya Pradesh Mulls Muslim Quota

After Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh Preps Education Quota For Muslims

India now at par with US, Israel after surgical strike and Balakot ops:Amit Shah

Delhi Police deploy large force in Shaheen Bagh as precautionary measure

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North America

Hundreds Rally in US Cities Against Anti-Muslim Violence In Delhi

Lawsuit accuses Trump and other US officials of crimes against Palestinians

UN chief stresses need to sustain reduction in violence

Trump’s latest remarks, warning after signing of peace deal with Taliban

Trump taking a historic step to achieve peace in Afghanistan: White House

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Europe

NJ Muslims Blast Mike Bloomberg As He Defends NYPD Surveillance In Their Communities

Large Number Of Indians Protested Outside India High Commission On Saturday 

Home Office’s ‘strategic incompetence’ is to reduce immigration, says Dr Asiya Islam

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Pakistan

Pakistan Hails Doha Accord As Harbinger Of Peace In Afghanistan

Punjab governor slates riots, Indian atrocities against Muslims

Saudi Arabia Took Into Account Interests of Visitors of the Two Holy Mosques in Accordance with Islamic Law, Chair of Hajj Committee of Pakistani Senate Says

State-sponsored terrorism to lead to radicalisation of 200mn Indian Muslims: PM Imran

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Mead east

Plague-Ridden Iran Takes Wrong Decisions, Again

Defense Chief Admits Israel Was Behind Damascus Attack That Killed Son of Islamic Jihad Official

Imam Khamenei offers condolences on Hojjatolaeslam Khosroshahi's passing

Sudanese Islamist party dismisses member for visiting Israel

Newly elected Iranian MP dies of ‘flu’ amid coronavirus outbreak

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South Asia

7 ‘Ansar Al Islam’ Men Held In Dhaka, Pabna

Ghani’s remarks after the signing of peace deal between U.S. and Taliban

‘Spoilers must be kept at bay’, says Imran Khan after signing of U.S.-Taliban deal

'Hard to trust': Afghans sceptical of US-Taliban agreement

 Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla due in Dhaka tomorrow

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Southeast Asia

Muhyiddin Sworn in As Malaysia PM, Mahathir Vows to Fight

Malaysia’s Premier, Mahathir Mohamad, Is Ousted in a Surprising Turn

Muslim Congress Urges Jokowi to Dissolve BPIP

China reports 35 more virus deaths, 573 new cases

 

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Arab world

International Islamic Fqih Academy Praises Kingdom's Measures To Prevent Spread Of Coronavirus

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Patrons Horse Race on Saudi Arabia Cup 2 Riyadh

Kuwait confirms new coronavirus case from Iran, total now 46: Ministry

Iraq confirms 5 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 13

Chinese student in Lebanon complains about being subjected to abuse after coronavirus spread

Saudi Arabia marks World Civil Defense Day

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau


URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sharia-is-being-misunderstood-and-misinterpreted,-there-is-no-compulsion-in-religion,-i-can’t-introduce-sharia-in-nigeria-if-elected-president--sani-yarima/d/121192

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Sharia Is Being Misunderstood And Misinterpreted, There Is No Compulsion In Religion, I Can’t Introduce Sharia In Nigeria If Elected President: Sani Yarima

by Seun Adeuyi

March 1, 2020

A former governor of Zamfara State and three-term senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria, Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima has said that he had no plan of introducing sharia law in the country if elected president come 2023.

“I prepared a bill, sent it to state assembly and the state assembly passed it into law because we have a homogeneous society and I did it with consultations with the Christians.

“I had a meeting with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Zamfara State chapter and we had an understanding and the law was mainly for Muslims.

“I am a Muslim, I want to live and die as a Muslim. And I want to practice my religion as provided for in the constitution. So, the issue of Sharia is being misunderstood and misinterpreted. There is no compulsion in religion.

“The constitution of Nigeria is what is being operated and that is what I will tell people. At least, I have been in the senate and I would have proposed a bill to introduce Sharia, but I know that is not possible. There is already Sharia in Nigerian constitution. What I did was to implement what is in the constitution at the state level. I don’t need to say I want to do the Sharia programme at the national level, it is not possible.

Yarima however noted that if he is able to get the National Assembly to pass the bill, he could implement the sharia law in the country.

“At the national level, we have the House of Representatives and the Senate, if I can send my bill for Sharia and it is passed by the National Assembly, so be it,” he added.

The former governor said he is attending an international school for Arabic studies for a course in Islamic Studies to enable him know more about Islam.

“I am learning Arabic as a language and the Qur’an. For Arabic language; I would love to be able to read Islamic books in Arabic. You see, we that have concentrated all our education in the western education, would hardly see Arabic book and read it and understand what it says.”

“Let’s have the best people who have much more better things to offer to Nigerians. Everybody should come up with what they want to do for Nigerians and how they want to move Nigeria forward and such a person should be assessed by Nigerians whether he or she should be elected or not.

“It is not from where you come from and not your religion. As far as I am concerned, you should look at individuals as Nigerians otherwise we should ask for rotation of presidency in the constitution. If we are looking at regions, North-West has done, let’s go to South-South; which means anybody whether he is good or not but once determined by that zone should be elected.

https://www.thebreakingtimes.com/2023-why-i-cant-introduce-sharia-in-nigeria-if-elected-president-by-yarima/

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Delhi violence: ‘India is a secular country, cannot divide Hindus and Muslims,’ says Amartya Sen

2 hours ago

Scroll Staff

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Saturday expressed concern over the violence in Delhi, saying India is a secular country and people cannot be divided on religious lines, PTI reported.

At least 42 people were killed and over 200 injured in the large-scale communal violence between supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act in North East Delhi. In some cases, the police have been accused of either inaction or complicity in the violence against large-scale attacks mostly on Muslim neighbourhoods.

“I am very much worried that where it happened is the capital of the country and is centrally governed,” Sen said at an event in West Bengal’s Bolpur. “If minorities are tortured there and police failed or can’t discharge their duties, it is a matter of serious concern. It is reported that those who died or were tortured are mostly Muslims. India is a secular country we can’t divide Hindus and Muslims. As an Indian citizen, I can’t help but worry.”

However, the economist added that he does not want to arrive at a conclusion without analysing the whole matter.

Sen, who is a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government, said it is natural to raise questions on the timing of Justice S Muralidhar’s transfer. “I personally know him,” the Nobel laureate said. “It is natural to raise questions but I can’t pass any judgment.”

On February 12, the Supreme Court collegium had recommended the transfer of Muralidhar to the Punjab and Haryana High Court from the Delhi High Court, where he had served since 2006. However, the government’s confirmation of the transfer came on the night of February 26 – the day Muralidhar made scathing remarks against the Centre and police during a hearing related to the violent clashes in Delhi.

Sen also told The Indian Express that the Bharatiya Janata Party should not stifle dissent, but have public discussion. “If I am going to be of any use in helping bring about a change, it will be through public discussion,” he said. “As we know from John Stuart Mill, democracy is ‘government by discussion’. In a public discussion, I would make the obvious point that the government should not –

most importantly – be stifling the voices of protest or of opposition. I was happy to see Justice DY Chandrachud say something like that in a recent speech.”

The judge had said “blanket labelling” of dissent as anti-national hurts the country’s commitment to protect Constitutional values.

“Why did the peaceful protesters in Northeast Delhi have so little help from police, in fact sometimes just the contrary,” Sen asked. “How did armed thugs have the opportunity to beat up students at JNU or AMU? How was it possible for a young protester to be roughed up while in custody? Why was a doctored video put in circulation trying to tell a false story about what happened in one campus or other?”

The police had barged into the Aligarh Muslim University on December 15 and allegedly caned those they apprehended during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. On January 5, several students were attacked by a mob allegedly comprising Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad members.

https://scroll.in/latest/954779/delhi-violence-india-is-a-secular-country-cannot-divide-hindus-and-muslims-says-amartya-sen

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Hundreds Rally In US Cities Against Anti-Muslim Violence In Delhi

Samira Sadeque

9 hours ago

Hundreds of Indian Americans of different faiths rallied outside Indian consulates in major American cities on Friday evening to protest against the recent violence in Delhi that has killed at least 42 people, and injured hundreds.

Violence erupted in the Indian capital on Monday, leading to a three-day-long rampage, with Hindu mobs attacking Muslim homes, shops and mosques. The attacks were carried out on protesters, who have been rallying against a new citizenship law, after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra threatened peaceful sit-ins would be removed from the streets.

India's Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is meant to help persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries, but critics say the law, which makes faith a basis for granting citizenship, is against the country's secular ethos.

The CAA passed last December has been compared to US President Donald Trump's Muslim ban as it blocks naturalisation for Muslims, who form nearly 15 percent of India's 1.3 billion population.

More than 30 people have been killed in a harsh police crackdown on nationwide peaceful sit-ins against the "anti-Muslim" law.

Outside the Indian consulate in New York on Friday evening, protesters gathered chanting "Shame!" at officials as they tried to exit or enter the building.

"We are exhausted," Sana Qutubuddin, an activist with Alliance for Justice and Accountability - a coalition of South Asian groups that organised Friday's rally alongside the Indian American Muslim Council, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, and Equality Labs - said during her speech at the rally.

We remembered the dead and the fallen in #DelhiGenocide2020 we told many passerbys why we were there in cold. #harvardsquare #boston #CambMA#CAA_NRC_Protests

Other civil society organisations such as the Alliance for South Asians Taking Action, Chicago Against Hindu Fascism and Bay Area Against Hindu Fascism also protested against the worst violence in Delhi since 1984, when more than 3,000 Sikh minority were killed following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

"I was there to have an opportunity to grieve with a community that understands how egregious the genocidal violence that occurred in Delhi was," Qutubuddin told Al Jazeera, "and to be in a space that recognises what this moment means in modern Indian history."

Organisers estimated nearly 300 people turned up at the New York rally where they chanted slogans to repeal the CAA, and highlight the current BJP government's "fascist" ideologies that target lower-caste Hindus and other religious minorities.

The BJP's ideological parent is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - a Hindu paramilitary supremacist organisation inspired by European fascists and Nazis - which has called for India, an officially secular nation, to be declared a Hindu Rashtra or nation of Hindus.

At the New York rally, protesters played music, and rallied around the block "to let the neighbours of the consulate know that their silence makes them a party to genocide," said one of the organisers.

"I grew up in an idyllic idea of a secular India and I'm completely devastated to see everything that I thought would happen in India is happening under the Modi government," Ishita Srivastava, who has been living in New York for 12 years, told Al Jazeera.

"Being here is all that I can do," she added. "I think it's a very systematically fuelled bigotry and state-sponsored and supported violence and there's clearly an appetite for rabid divisiveness and bigotry and it's exacerbated by the fact that we have a deeply unequal society."

The protests - from San Francisco to Chicago and Atlanta - were brought together by organisers who identify as multi-faith and/or inter-faith and inter-caste collectives.

Earlier in the week, an estimated 50 people gathered at Harvard University in Boston, immediately after the Delhi violence began.

In Chicago, organisers said teachers, IT professionals, senior citizens were among the hundred protesters who came out on Friday.

"Attendees were reminded that this state-sanctioned violence is consistent with Indian history - citing the murders of Muslims in Gujarat [in 2002] and the Sikh genocide in 1984, as well the constant violence enacted on Dalits [the former untouchables] within caste oppression." Jihan, one of the organisers in San Francisco, told Al Jazeera. They estimated about 100 people showed up for the protest.

Police in Delhi have been accused of looking the other way as Hindu mobs attacked Muslim homes while in many cases they were found to be complicit in the assaults.

An estimated 80 people showed up at Friday's protest in Atlanta, organisers said. A protester with "Atlanta Rejects CAA", who did not wish to be named, told Al Jazeera that members from the consulate took photos of protesters and tried to intimidate them by taking their names.

One of the organisers criticised Trump, who has been accused of endorsing white supremacists in the US, for backing Modi's "fascist" agenda.

At a news conference in New Delhi on February 25, Trump defended Modi on religious freedom and refused to comment on the CAA while parts of the Indian capital burned.

"The meeting of Trump and Modi during a pogrom and for Trump to basically gaslight all of the concerns that millions of Indians are protesting, that's a sign of how they're cooperating and reinforcing their vision of a fascist world order," Thenmozhi Soundararajan, executive director of Equality Labs in New York, said.

Mohammed Jawad, national general secretary of Indian American Muslim Council, also criticised President Trump commending Modi on religious freedom in India.

Many expressed their concern that the violence has been normalised into the fabric of Indian society, especially under Modi.

Qutubuddin from Alliance for Justice and Accountability said that many Hindus have been caught up in "hateful rhetoric" pushed by the Hindu nationalist government.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/hundreds-rally-cities-anti-muslim-violence-delhi-200229223719285.html

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NJ Muslims blast Mike Bloomberg as he defends NYPD surveillance in their communities

Feb. 29, 2020

Muslim Americans and civil rights organizations are condemning comments Michael Bloomberg made defending a years-long mass surveillance program when he was New York City mayor.

Bloomberg said the surveillance in mosques, schools and Muslim-owned businesses in New York and New Jersey was a necessary response to protect the country after 9/11.

"Of course, we were supposed to do that,” the presidential candidate said in an interview on PBS Thursday. “All of the people came from the same place and all that came were from a place they happened to be one religion. And if they’d been another religion, we would’ve done the same thing.”

Critics say the program targeted a group of Americans based on faith alone and sowed widespread fear and mistrust. Numerous groups have called for Bloomberg to apologize for the mass surveillance by the New York City police, while Muslim Americans questioned whether he’d respect their rights if elected president.

“I think the comments show once again why Michael Bloomberg is not a good steward of a government that abides by the Constitution of the United States,” said Army Sgt. Syed Farhaj Hassan, 43, of Helmetta. “Over and over again, he makes excuses and rationalizes his destruction of Muslim civil rights.”

Hassan was the lead plaintiff in a 2012 lawsuit filed by New Jersey business owners, organizations and students against the city and the NYPD over the spying. In a settlement reached two years ago, the city agreed to pay more than $1 million in legal fees and damages while agreeing not to monitor people based on religion or ethnicity.

“We are the other and it’s because of Michael Bloomberg that we can still be taken advantage of and our civil liberties are at risk,” said Hassan, who said he worried that a Bloomberg as president would support a “police state.”

During Bloomberg’s administration, police secretly mapped ethnic communities, placed informants at mosques and infiltrated schools, businesses and restaurants in New York and New Jersey in the name of counterterrorism. They also monitored students at 16 Northeast colleges and had a "safe house" in an apartment near Rutgers' New Brunswick campus for that purpose.

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/2020/02/29/mike-bloomberg-defends-nypd-spying-drawing-criticism-nj-muslims/4905937002/

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Pakistan hails Doha Accord as harbinger of peace in Afghanistan

March 01, 2020

Baqir Sajjad Syed

Pakistan was represented at the signing ceremony in the Qatar capital by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The agreement, under which the US committed to withdraw up to 5,000 troops in about four and a half months and all remaining forces within 14 months, if the deal holds, is expected to lead to initiation of intra-Afghan dialogue by March 10.

“We welcome the Doha Accord signed between US and the Taliban. This is the start of a peace and reconciliation process to end decades of war and suffering of the Afghan people,” Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted and said he stood vindicated that a political solution was the only route to peace.

Cautioning about the challenges ahead for the peace process, Mr Khan said: “Now all stakeholders have to ensure that spoilers are kept at bay. My prayers for peace for the Afghan people who have suffered 4 decades of bloodshed.”

Pakistan, which played a key role in US-Taliban negotiations that resulted in the signing of the accord, the prime minister said, remained committed to playing its role in ensuring that the agreement held and succeeded in bringing peace to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi after witnessing the signing ceremony said that Doha Accord was important, both in symbolism and substance, for Afghanistan, the region and beyond. “It is a significant step forward by US and Taliban in advancing the ultimate aim of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” he maintained.

Mr Qureshi hoped that the Afghan parties would now seize this historic opportunity and work out a comprehensive and inclusive political settlement for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

He underlined the need for continued international support for Afghanistan to enable it to commence reconstruction and rehabilitation phase. He further called for assisting the Afghan government in creating an enabling environment for the return of the refugees.

About Pakistan’s policy towards Afghan peace process, the foreign minister recalled that Pakistan had fulfilled its part of the responsibility for facilitating the peace agreement and would continue supporting the Afghan people in their efforts to achieve lasting peace, stability and development in their country.

“Pakistan will continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbours,” he asserted.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said that Pakistan had always been a staunch supporter of resolution of disputes through peaceful means. He said that sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan, which would ensure long-term development, progress and prosperity there and in the region was in Pakistan’s best national interest. Peace, he believed, would also allow Afghan refugees to return to their homeland.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s resolve and continued commitment to the Afghan peace process, the speaker said a national dialogue was being convened on March 17 to look into the challen¬ges arising out of the post US-Taliban accord situation with specific reference to Pakistan. Representatives of political parties, parliamentarians, academia, intelligentsia, media and civil society would be invited to attend the session.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1537462/pakistan-hails-doha-accord-as-harbinger-of-peace-in-afghanistan

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Plague-Ridden Iran Takes Wrong Decisions, Again

Sunday 01/03/2020

The unusual events described in this chronicle revolve around the arrival of the coronavirus in Iran and the Islamic Republic’s reactions to it. None of this was inevitable but, at each instance, regime officials prioritised goals other than securing the public health.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, Iranian media debated the risk of passengers flying into Iran from China acting as carriers of the virus but, diplomatically isolated and increasingly dependent on Beijing for its economic survival, Tehran did not dare antagonise China by stopping direct flights. Passengers from China disembarking at airports in Iran have their temperature checked but this method is inadequate because of the 2-week incubation period of the virus.

Before long, the coronavirus surfaced in Iran and, on February 19, the Iranian Health Ministry reported the death of two patients in Qom, south of Tehran. Two other patients from Qom and one from Arak were identified on February 20. The next day, which marked the parliamentary election in Iran, 13 people, seven from Qom, were diagnosed with coronavirus. By February 22, ten more cases were reported, bringing the total to 29.

In his first public comments on the virus, February 23, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seemed to care more about the scandalously low voter turnout than the epidemic.

In an attempt to explain the meagre 42% turnout, the lowest parliamentary election participation in the history of the Islamic Republic, Khamenei said: “This illness came handy [for the opponents of the regime]. The night before the election, the [enemy] began its propaganda by saying: ‘Don’t ever get in the line to vote… such and such danger threatens you. There is illness, sickness and virus!’ But Qom, the alleged centre of the epidemic, had the busiest ballots!”

Since those statements, Khamenei has cancelled meetings and gone into occultation out of fear of the virus. The Assembly of Experts, which elects the leader, postponed its session. There were reports of high-ranking clerics fleeing Qom.

The government could — theoretically — impose a quarantine on Qom, the epicentre of the coronavirus in Iran but Iranian President Hassan Rohani clearly does not want to pick a fight against Iran’s Vatican and clergy.

Regime authorities, on the other hand, energetically if not always convincingly, try to calm the public. A tragic example is Dr Iraj Harirchi, deputy health minister in charge of the government’s effort to contain the coronavirus.

On February 24, the coughing and sweating Harirchi appeared at a news conference to contest parliamentarian Ahmad Amir-Abadi Farahani’s claims that coronavirus had claimed 50 lives in Qom.

“If the number of fatalities of the virus in Qom is half or even a quarter of this number, I will resign,” Harirchi said, asking Farahani to produce a list of those who had died because of the virus. The official numbers, Harirchi insisted, was “between 59 to 61 infected people and 12 fatalities.”

The next day, Farahani said he submitted the names of 40 people who had died of coronavirus in Qom and demanded Harirchi’s resignation. The hapless Harirchi responded by releasing a video admitting he himself was infected.

The numbers keep rising. The Health Ministry reported 388 infected and 34 fatalities. The Tehran Health Committee director said he believes the real number of the infected may be 10,000-15,000.

Khamenei delievered a televised address on February 27, thanking the efforts of Iran’s nurses and doctors but the regime in its entirety prioritises strategic relations with China over concerns about the spread of the virus. Khamenei prioritises election voter turnout over the spread of the coronavirus at the ballot. Rohani prioritises his relations with the clergy in Qom over imposing quarantine to protect the citizenry and health officials are the symbols of a sick political system.

Most Iranians infected with the virus will, hopefully, recover and survive but the plague-ridden Islamic Republic itself appears chronically, if not terminally, ill.

https://thearabweekly.com/plague-ridden-islamic-republic-takes-wrong-decisions-again

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7 ‘Ansar al Islam’ men held in Dhaka, Pabna

March 01, 2020

Rab claimed to have arrested seven alleged members of banned militant group Ansar al Islam from separate raids in Dhaka and Pabna districts early yesterday. 

In Dhaka, a Rab-4 team carried out raids in Ashulia and Dhamrai. They arrested five and seized books and digital content promoting extremism, said Mozammel Haque, commanding officer of Rab-4.

The arrestees are Oliul Islam (23), Moazzim Mia (20), Sabuz Hossain (26), Ariful Haque (20) and Rashida (33).

In a press conference at Rab media centre in the capital, the Rab official claimed the arrestees, during primary interrogation, admitted that they were active members of the outfit.

They were trying to recruit fresh operatives, collect funds and had been propagating militant activities online, he added.

According to Rab, Oliul was arrested in 2019 for his involvement in anti-state activities. He came out on bail after two months and reengaged in militancy. While in prison, he met the other arrestees and continued militant activities through various secret apps and on social media for more than three years, Rab said.

Madrasa teacher Moazzim stepped into militancy through social media a couple of years ago. His task was mainly to collect funds from like-minded people, Rab said.

Sabuz, an employee at a mobile shop in Savar, and RMG worker Ariful got involved in militancy through Moazzim. Sabuz was admin of a messaging group that propagated militancy and extremism, Rab said.

Rab claimed Rashida, coordinator of Manikganj unit of the militant group, got acquainted with Moazzim through Facebook while she was in Qatar in 2017. She got involved a year ago.

https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/7-ansar-al-islam-men-held-dhaka-pabna-1874845

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Muhyiddin sworn in as Malaysia PM, Mahathir vows to fight

March 01, 2020

A former interior minister was sworn in as Malaysia's premier today, marking the return of a scandal-mired party to power after a reformist government's collapse but ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 94, slammed the move as illegal.

The Southeast Asian nation was plunged into turmoil after Mahathir's reformist "Pact of Hope" alliance, which stormed to a historic victory in 2018, collapsed amid bitter infighting.

Mahathir -- world's oldest leader -- initially quit as premier but then sought to return. He lost out, however, to little-known Muhyiddin Yassin.

The king's decision Saturday to pick Muhyiddin as premier was greeted with shock as Mahathir's allies claimed to have enough support, and sparked widespread anger that the democratically elected government had been ejected.

Just before Muhyiddin's inauguration, Mahathir accused him of betrayal and said he would seek a parliament vote challenging the new premier's support -- signalling the political crisis is far from over.

Muhyiddin's coalition includes the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the party of disgraced ex-leader Najib Razak, as well as a hardline group that wants tougher Islamic laws.

Umno was the corruption-riddled lynchpin of a coalition thrown out at the 2018 elections amid allegations Najib and his cronies looted billions of dollars from state fund 1MDB. Najib is now on trial for corruption.

Despite a last-minute bid by Mahathir to prove that he had enough support to return as premier, Muhyiddin's inauguration went ahead today morning at the national palace.

To become premier, a candidate must prove to the king, who appoints the prime minister, that he has the backing of at least 112 MPs.

Meanwhile public anger was growing at the ejection of the reformist alliance, with the hashtag "NotMyPM" trending on Twitter and more than 100,000 people signing a petition that said the move was a "betrayal" of voters' choice at the 2018 poll.

Mahathir -- who served a first stint as premier from 1981 to 2003 before staging a comeback two years ago -- also raised concerns that ongoing court cases against Najib related to the 1MDB scandal could be affected by the change of government.

Analysts said Muhyiddin's government was in a weak position as it was not clear whether he had a parliamentary majority, and was a member of a tiny party without a strong support base.

He is a Muslim nationalist -- he once controversially described himself as "Malay first" and Malaysian second -- and there are concerns his leadership could worsen already tense race and religious relations in the multi-ethnic country.

https://www.thedailystar.net/world/news/muhyiddin-sworn-malaysia-pm-mahathir-vows-fight-1874905

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International Islamic Fiqh Academy praises Kingdom's measures to prevent spread of Coronavirus

2020/03/01

Jeddah-The International Islamic Fiqh Academy has praised precautionary measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to protect citizens, residents and all Muslims.

The Academy appreciated in a statement yesterday preventive measures taken by the Kingdom to protect Umrah performers wishing to visit holy sites and the Prophet’s Mosque, calling for abiding with instructions issued by the Kingdom.

https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=2041048

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Africa

 

Al-Qaida, Islamic State affiliates team up in West Africa

February 29, 2020

THIES, Senegal — The only place in the world where fighters linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are cooperating is in West Africa’s sprawling Sahel region, giving the extremists greater depth as they push into new areas, according to the commander of the U.S. military’s special forces in Africa.

“I believe that if it’s left unchecked it could very easily develop into a great threat to the West and the United States,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dagvin Anderson told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

The leader of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa described the threat even as the Pentagon considers reducing the U.S. military presence in Africa.

Experts have long worried about collaboration between al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. While the cooperation in the Sahel is not currently a direct threat to the U.S. or the West, “it’s very destabilizing to the region,” Anderson said.

He spoke on the sidelines of the U.S. military’s annual counterterrorism exercise in West Africa, currently the most active region for extremists on the continent.

The alarming new collaboration in the Sahel between affiliates of al-Qaida and IS is a result of ethnic ties in the region that includes Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

“Whereas in other parts of the world they have different objectives and a different point of view that tends to bring Islamic State and al-Qaida into conflict, here they’re able to overcome that and work for a common purpose,” Anderson said, emphasizing that it’s a local phenomenon.

The cooperation allows the extremist groups to appeal to a wider audience in a largely rural region where government presence is sparse and frustration with unemployment is high.

The past year has seen a surge in deadly violence in the Sahel, with more than 2,600 people killed and more than half a million displaced in Burkina Faso alone.

“Islamic State is much more aggressive and blunt, and so in some ways they appear to be the greater threat,” he said. But al-Qaida, which continues to quietly expand, is “for us the longer strategic concern.”

Al-Qaida has been successful at consolidating efforts in northern Mali and moving south into more populated areas “and taking various groups and galvanizing them together into a coherent movement,” Anderson said.

The most prominent of those affiliates is a coalition of al-Qaida-linked groups known as JNIM with about 2,000 fighters in the region, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

West Africa’s Sahel, the vast strip of land just south of the Sahara Desert, for years has struggled to contain the extremist threat. In 2012, al-Qaida-linked fighters seized large swaths of northern Mali. French forces pushed them from strongholds in 2013 but the fighters have regrouped and spread south.

The largest IS affiliate in the region, Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, emerged more recently and claimed responsibility for killing four U.S. soldiers in Niger in 2017. The attack led to an outcry in Washington and questions about the U.S. military presence in Africa.

Between the advances of al-Qaida and IS-linked fighters, once-peaceful Burkina Faso has become the latest front for what experts call an alarming rate of deadly attacks.

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The al-Qaida affiliates visit areas in advance to “engage with key leaders in key locations to recruit early,” Anderson said. Others move in later.

The fighters are funding themselves with kidnapping for ransom as they attempt to control access to markets via taxation methods, he said. They also are likely eyeing what has been a source of income for centuries: gold.

“I believe they’d be happy to be able to control some of the artisanal mines and the other mines in the area, especially the gold and other precious metals that are easily transportable,” Anderson said.

While al-Qaida affiliates work toward establishing safe havens, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara is working to destabilize local governance, control territory and rally people to their cause, he said.

The strategy for countering the growing threat from the patchwork of Islamic extremist groups is a whole-of-governance one that goes beyond military efforts, Anderson said: “There’s no easy answer.”

Many young men in the largely impoverished region feel isolated from the government and are drawn in by extremists’ promises of employment and purpose.

“Al-Qaida, whether we agree with it or not, brings some level of justice to many of these areas, and some level of services that aren’t provided by central governments,” Anderson said. “And they provide some representation to minority groups that don’t feel part of the larger community, such as the Fulani or the Tuareg.”

The French lead the military effort in the Sahel with more than 5,000 forces and they hope to bring in more European partners.

But the French have urged the U.S. to reconsider any cuts to its already small military footprint of about 1,400 personnel in West Africa. The U.S. has about 6,000 personnel on the continent.

Anderson countered that the U.S. is already doing a lot in the Sahel through the State Department, a large USAID presence and investment. “Instead of looking at the size of the presence, I think we should look at what is the appropriate engagement across the government, from all levels,” he said.

With very small engagement, the U.S. can still help countries develop the capabilities to build coalitions and share intelligence, Anderson said.

“It’s going to take all these nations working together, but also it’s going to have to be African solutions to an African problem,” he said.

https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/feb/29/al-qaida-islamic-state-affiliates-team-up-in-west-africa/

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Mauritania takes over G5 Sahel leadership

Saturday 29/02/2020

TUNIS - Mauritania, a poor but relatively stable and secure country in West Africa, has assumed the rotating presidency of the G5 Sahel alliance at a time the region struggles with the rapid expansion of jihadist groups.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani assumed leadership of the five-country military alliance at the end of a summit, taking over from Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Burkina Faso is among countries in the region that have suffered jihadist attacks in recent years, which experts fear could seep into Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Guinea.

UN figures indicate the jihadist attacks in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso killed 4,000 people in 2019. The attacks also caused the displacement of more than 770,000 people, including 20,000 schoolchildren, Burkinabe authorities said.

Jihadist groups in the Sahel have taken advantage of the absence of an international strategy towards the Libyan crisis but also by regional and internal factors, including expansion of extremist groups in countries beset with communal conflicts, climate change and poverty, experts said.

The spread of Islamic extremism has overwhelmed Mali, where President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita made the unprecedented move of engaging in dialogue with the jihadists.

“The death toll today is exponential that I believe it is time to explore other ways,” said Keita, citing Algeria’s talks with Islamists that ended a civil war in the early 2000s.

The main security threat in Burkina Faso is Ansarul Islam, linked to the Macina Liberation Front, also known as Katibat Macina. That group has ties to Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, an alliance of Ansar Dine, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al Mourabitoun, which competes with the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Ould Ghazouani outlined a strategy to allow G5 countries to more closely cooperate in combating jihadist threats. A former army general and defence minister, Ould Ghazouani is well-positioned to take on the leadership of the G5, which includes Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso, analysts said.

“The takeover by President Ould Ghazouani of the leadership of the G5 at this crucial juncture is a source of confidence, optimism and hope for the peoples of the region and their leaders,” said Mauritanian security expert Mohamed Yahya Ould Ahmednah. “The president has a long experience and deep understanding of the intricacies of the game on the Sahel.

“He is able to resolve the pending conflicts without making noise as he has the ability to build bridges between the alliance members and cement an agenda that rallies their support and the backing of foreign powers with influence in the region.”

“He has the vision to mobilise the common efforts towards the same target to restore security without neglecting economic and social development,” Ould Ahmednah added.

He cited Ould Ghazouani’s ties with France, which has the biggest military presence in the Sahel; Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which provide funding for the fight against jihadism; and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who expressed solidarity with “our brothers in the Sahel.”

Ould Ghazouani said he hopes to see the deployment of “regional military forces comprising light and mobile units that know very well the ground of their operations.”

“Insecurity in the Sahel region is aggravating an already fragile climate in the region,” Ould Ghazouani said. “The situation of the region requires larger cooperation.”

“Libya’s conflict caused more deterioration to the situation in the Sahel through the smuggling of weapons and drugs trafficking,” he added.

UAE Minister of State Ahmed Ali al-Sayegh lent support to Ould Ghazouani, saying “Mauritania’s presidency... will bring about more success to the grouping.”

Sayegh, chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market, attended the first General Assembly of the Sahel Alliance in Mauritania February 26. That alliance includes Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries backing the fight against jihadism by financing economic development.

“The urgency now is not more mobilising funds,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who led the meeting after the G5 secured more than $12 billion in funding from the World Bank and other institutions. “It is to achieve development projects in the region,” he said.

The G5 also secured military support for the first time from the African Union, which plans to deploy a temporary force of 3000 soldiers in the Sahel.

“We urgently need to score victories against terrorism in the Sahel,” said African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also spoken of the need for urgent action, saying “we are not in the midst of winning the war in the Sahel.”

Niger’s troops killed 120 jihadists on February 1 in joint operations with French forces in the Tillaberi area. The French military killed more than 50 jihadists in central Mali where the Macina group is present.

https://middle-east-online.com/en/mauritania-takes-over-g5-sahel-leadership

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India

 

As India counts dead, brutality of Delhi's worst communal violence in decades emerges

March 01, 2020

As the Mustafabad neighbourhood of India’s capital was ravaged by communal riots for three days this week, the Al-Hind Hospital turned from a community clinic into a trauma ward.

Doctors like M.A. Anwar were for the first time dealing with injuries such as gunshot wounds, crushed skulls and torn genitals.

Almost a week after the clashes between Hindus and Muslims began, a clearer picture of the horrors inflicted during New Delhi’s worst communal riots in decades has begun to emerge.

On the eve of US President Donald Trump’s first state visit to India last Sunday, protesters in the Indian capital charged at each other with homemade guns and crude weapons, leaving the streets where the rioting occurred resembling a war zone, with houses, shops, mosques, schools and vehicles up in flames. At least 42 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

Authorities haven’t given an official account of what sparked the riots, though the violence appeared to be a culmination of growing tensions that followed the passage of a new citizenship law in December.

The law fast-tracks naturalisation for some religious minorities from neighbouring countries but not Muslims. Opponents say it violates India’s secular constitution, and further marginalises the 200 million Muslims in the Hindu-majority nation of 1.4 billion people.

But what unfolded in Mustafabad this week was far more brutal, with mobs hacking individuals with swords, burning people alive and bludgeoning people to death.

A Hindu intelligence bureau officer was repeatedly stabbed and his dead body thrown into a sewage drain that divides Hindu and Muslim residential areas. A Muslim man had his legs spread so far apart that the lower half of his body tore. His condition remained critical.

Questions have been raised about the role of the New Delhi police and whether they stood by while the violence raged or even aided the Hindu mobs.

A little after midnight on Wednesday — more than 72 hours after the violence began — a New Delhi high court passed an extraordinary order directing the police to provide safe passage for ambulances.

With streets taken over by the mobs and no way through for ambulances, Anwar knew early on that his clinic would soon be overcome with wounded.

Those who were there described the blood and chaos, but also shared oddly uplifting stories of teamwork and grit.

“We didn’t sleep. We didn’t eat anything. All we wanted to do was save lives. And we did,” said Aanis Mohammad, a volunteer at the clinic. “No patient of any religion was turned away.”

By mid-afternoon Wednesday as the violence came to an end, Anwar and his overwhelmed colleagues had treated more than 400 people and referred almost 100 to larger hospitals. Dozens, however, remained at the clinic in critical condition.

The hospital also gave refuge to those fleeing the violence, providing more than 50 people with food, bedding and safety.

At Guru Teg Bahadur hospital along New Delhi’s eastern border, 18-year-old Salman Ansari waited for his father’s body to be handed over.

Ansari’s father had gone out to collect scrap for money as there was no food in the house. After seeing police assurances on the news, he thought it would be safe. It wasn’t.

Ansari said he was sleeping when two strangers dumped his father outside their home early Wednesday.

He carted his father 3 kilometres on the family’s rickshaw to a private clinic. The doctors demanded Rs5,000. His pockets were empty.

For Anwar, the doctor, he said he eventually grew numb to the carnage. Yet he’s still coming to grips with how fellow Indians could do what they did to one another.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1537615/as-india-counts-dead-brutality-of-delhis-worst-communal-violence-in-decades-emerges

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After Maharashtra, now Madhya Pradesh mulls Muslim quota

01st March 2020

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: After Maharashtra, now Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh could reserve seats for Muslims in educational institutions. Dropping hints about the reservation, Madhya Pradesh Water Resources Minister Hukum Singh Karada, on Saturday, said, “We too are preparing a detailed plan for minorities. You will see that we’ll provide more relaxation than what Maharashtra has announced. I won’t be able to give details, as I’m not authorised to make any announcement, but I can assure that the relaxation would be more than Maharashtra.”

Speaking to journalists in Agar-Malwa district, Karada said, “Just wait and watch, surely our government will give a more liberal message soon.” Sources within the state Congress confided that there is a plan to grant reservation to Muslims in educational institutions in Madhya Pradesh. On Friday, Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik informed the state legislative council that their government will pass legislation to extend five per cent reservation to Muslims in educational institutes. Malik on Saturday said that the Maharashtra BJP leaders were trying to create confusion among people on reservations to the Muslim community but the Maha Vikas Aghadi will manage to dispel all doubts.

Reacting to Karada’s statement, BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said the Congress is showing its “true colours”. Stressing that the BJP will oppose the decision, he said, “After more than doubling the honorarium of Muslim clerics, now the state government... is planning to grant reservation to Muslims, which is against the Constitution. The BJP is opposed to providing reservation on religious lines, so we’ll protest.”

A cabinet sub-committee headed by Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan on Saturday held a meeting with senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi to discuss the issue of Maratha reservation ahead of the Supreme Court hearing over it on March 17. Rohatgi is representing the state in the case before SC.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2020/mar/01/after-maharashtra-now-madhya-pradesh-mulls-muslim-quota-2110397.html

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After Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh Preps Education Quota For Muslims

March 01, 2020

Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh will come up with better  "relaxations" for Muslims than Maharashtra, state's water resources minister Hukum Singh Karada said on Saturday. His comment came in response to the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government's reported plan to provide five per cent quota to Muslims in educational institutions.

Mr Karada said that the Madhya Pradesh government's agenda for minorities will be ready soon.

"We too are preparing detailed agenda for minorities. You will yourself see in the future that we'll provide relaxation much more than what Maharashtra has announced. I won't be able to say more about what is planned as I'm not authorized to make any declaration, but I can assure that the relaxation would be more than Maharashtra," Mr Karada told reporters.

On Friday, Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said that the Sena-NCP-Congress government will pass a legislation to extend five per cent reservation to Muslims in educational institutions.

"We will try to give reservation to Muslims in education by the end of this (assembly) session. We will try to give 5 per cent reservation," said the minister from Sharad Pawar's NCP.

However, his cabinet colleague from Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde, later said no such decision had been taken. He said the three constituents of the Maharashtra government will together take a call on it after discussions.

Ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections in 2014, the then Congress-NCP government had issued an Ordinance allowing 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and 5 per cent for Muslims in government-run institutes and jobs.

The decision was later challenged in the high court which struck down the Maratha reservation but allowed 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in education.

The new BJP-Shiv Sena government then brought a law for Maratha reservation but dropped the Muslim quota.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/madhya-pradesh-minister-hukum-singh-karada-on-muslim-quota-will-provide-more-relaxation-than-maharas-2187829

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India now at par with US, Israel after surgical strike and Balakot ops:Amit Shah

Mar 01, 2020

After the surgical strike and Balakot air strike, India has joined the list of countries along with the United States and Israel, who can strike in enemy territory and avenge the death of soldiers, Union home minister Amit Shah said in Kolkata on Sunday.

“Prior to the surgical strike and air strike only two countries in the world – the US and Israel - were known who can enter enemy territory and avenge the killing of their soldiers. But now I believe India’s name has been added to the list,” said Shah.

He was addressing a gathering at the inauguration of 29 Special Composite Group Complex of NSG at Rajarhat in the northern fringes of Kolkata. Shah landed in Kolkata around 11 am and went straight to Rajarhat. Shah also inaugurated a series of NSG facilities at Manesar, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai.

“In the next five years all requests placed before the government by the NSG would be met. NSG will be made into a complete commando force be it training, modern weapons, facilities of family members among others. India will keep NSG at least two steps ahead of other forces in the world” he added.

Shah is also scheduled to address the rally in Kolkata where he will launch a state-wide movement against the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal. The campaign titled ‘Ar Noy Annay’ or no-more injustice’ will include a symbolic “charge sheet” listing her government’s alleged acts of omission and commission.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-now-at-par-with-us-and-israel-after-surgical-strike-and-balakot-ops/story-7NcMoKg8lubCY83KkKpggO.html

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Delhi Police deploy large force in Shaheen Bagh as precautionary measure

Mar 01, 2020

The Delhi Police deployed a large number of its personnel as a precautionary measure on Sunday in southeast Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area where several women have been leading a protest on the road against the new citizenship law for more than two months, officials said.

The deployment came in the wake of a call by a right-wing group, Hindu Sena to clear the Shaheen Bagh road on March 1. The Hindu Sena called off its proposed protest against the anti-CAA agitation in Shaheen Bagh after police intervened on Saturday.

“As a precautionary measure, there is heavy police deployment here; Our aim is to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident from occurring,” ANI quoted Joint Commissioner D C Srivastava as saying at Shaheen Bagh.

The Delhi Police had come under fire for failing to act promptly to stop the riots in Northeast Delhi less than a week ago. The riots have so far claimed 42 lives and left hundreds others injured. On Sunday, they were not taking any chances with security.

Shaheen Bagh, near Jamia Millia Islamia, has been a protest venue for a section of people opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) since December 15 last year.

Protesters say the CAA is unconstitutional and discriminatory because it makes religion a test of citizenship and in conjunction with the NRC can potentially strip Muslims of citizenship.

Advocate Amit Sahni and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nand Kishore Garg, have filed a petitionin the Supreme Court seeking to lift the road blockade in the Shaheen Bagh-Kalindi Kunj stretch.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/security-increased-section-144-imposed-in-shaheen-bagh/story-hkekaXND50CrL5ZrgT35SL.html

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North America

 

Lawsuit accuses Trump and other US officials of crimes against Palestinians

February 29, 2020

RAY HANANIA

WASHINGTON: A federal lawsuit filed in Washington, DC, last week by 13 Palestinian and American activists accuses US President Donald Trump and his Middle East adviser Jared Kushner of violating Palestinian civil and human rights.

Also named in the suit are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Miriam Adelson, the wife of billionaire settler financier Sheldon Adelson; Israeli lobby group the The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and 13 others.

Attorney Martin McMahon said the action targets Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” along with laws introduced in 28 American states that illegally deny Americans the right to boycott Israel.

Filed on behalf of 13 plaintiffs, including Palestinians living in America and in occupied Palestine, the lawsuit argues they were stripped of their legal and civil rights not only Israel but by American officials and activists empowered by a biased media and political system.

“I know the system in this country is biased against Palestinian rights, but I also know that the rule of law defends those rights,” McMahon told Arab News. “With the power of the rule of law, we will prevail.”

McMahon’s lawsuit was filed during African American heritage month, which recognizes the civil rights struggles of black Americans who were enslaved and segregated under illegal laws and policies that stripped them of land rights, denied them citizenship and treated them as second-class citizens. These are all crimes that Palestinians are subjected to inside and outside of Israel as a result of American financial and political support.

“The Palestinian cause is very similar to the legal fight by African Americans and by Native Americans,” said McMahon.

“The Nuremberg Trials of 1945 defined that war crimes were illegal, and that wanton destruction of property, extrajudicial killings, collective punishment and land theft are war crimes that fall under the umbrage of the Alien Tort Statute, which is what we use to defend these victims. There is no statute of limitations on these kinds of crimes.”

The Alien Tort Statute is a US Federal law, adopted in 1789, that gives the federal courts jurisdiction to hear lawsuits filed by non-US citizens relating to actions committed in violation of international law.

McMahon confirmed that his 13 clients include American citizens and non-citizens who are living or lived under Israeli occupation. Among them are three members of the Dawabsheh family, including an infant, who were murdered in a July 2015 arson attack in Hebron by Israeli settlers. Several other family members were seriously injured. Although the three Israeli Jewish arsonists were arrested, their actions were enabled by Israel’s government, the lawsuit argues.

The plaintiffs also include Palestinian activists Ahed Al-Tamimi, her father Bassim Al-Tamimi and their extended family, who have been harassed, beaten and jailed by Israeli forces in the village of Nabi Salih for protesting against Israel’s illegal policies. Their family lands were illegally confiscated by Israel.

Others are relatives of Abdul Rahman Barghouthi, who was murdered in Dec. 2016 by Israeli soldiers as he returned to his village, Aboud, near the Israeli settlement of Halamish. The Israeli media claimed Barghouthi attacked and injured an Israeli soldier but witnesses said he was killed in cold blood as a result of long-standing tensions between the village and the armed settlers.

“Since 1948, (the) defendants have denationalized and dehumanized the Palestinian population, discriminating against them and denying them their legal rights,” he said. “Individuals who contribute money or political support to this illegal system are accomplices. We are suing all of the Americans who have aided and abetted the denationalization of the Palestinian people.”

The second principle, he said, is that Americans have a right to choose to boycott Israel over its apartheid practices that violate international law. The third seeks to declare Netanyahu, who has been Israel’s prime minister for a total of 16 years, a war criminal based on his policies in Gaza and the West Bank.

The fourth principle, McMahon said, involves the illegality of the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century,” which seeks to give Israel personal property and lands owned by Palestinians and occupied in conflict.

“That is illegal under both international law and American law,” he said. “And because Americans are engaged in this with Israelis, it makes them liable for these actions.”

McMahon said that despite the difficulty of challenging Israel in the pro-Israel American judicial system, he has had some success; most recently in a lawsuit filed in 2016 that also involves the Al-Tamimi family, American officials, and individuals and companies that have financed or support Israel’s illegal settlements.

“That lawsuit also addresses an injustice against the Palestinians, and it was initially thrown out by the Federal Court,” McMahon said. “But it was reinstated by the US Federal Appeals Court because we have the weight of the law on our side.”

McMahon said Jewish Americans have filed many lawsuits against Palestinian organizations and individuals asserting terrorism, violence and loss of property rights, but the time in which US courts only entertain pro-Israel lawsuits has ended.

“My law firm won’t sit back,” he said. “We will defend the legal rights of Palestinians or Americans. Anyone who feels they have been denied their rights should contact my office and I will include them in the lawsuit.”

The other 13 defendants in the lawsuit are AIPAC officials Brian Shankman and Howard Kohr, international attorney Gustaff Cardelius, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, housing investor Daniel Gilbert, former Senate Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Trump legal adviser and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump adviser Jason Greenblatt, New York City Council member Donald Hikind, former Arkansas Governor Michael Huckabee, Israel Defense Forces activist Susan Levin-Abir, former Palestinian terrorist and now celebrated pro-Israel advocate Walid Shoebat, and University of Haifa Chairman Dov Weissglas.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1634976/middle-east

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UN chief stresses need to sustain reduction in violence

March 01, 2020

WASHINGTON: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the agreement signed between the United States and Taliban on Saturday an important development in achieving a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan, while stressing the importance of sustaining a nationwide reduction in violence.

“The Secretary-General welcomes efforts to achieve a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan. Todays events in Doha and Kabul mark important developments in this regard,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General stresses the importance of sustaining the nationwide reduction in violence, for the benefit of all Afghans. He encourages continued efforts by all parties to create an enabling environment for the intra-Afghan negotiations and a comprehensive peace process.”

In Brussels, the European Union said the landmark deal between the US and the Taliban, and a separate US-Afghanistan declaration, are “important first steps towards a comprehensive peace process” in Afghanistan.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1537510/un-chief-stresses-need-to-sustain-reduction-in-violence

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Trump’s latest remarks, warning after signing of peace deal with Taliban

Sunday, 01 Mar 2020

A day after the signing of peace deal between U.S. and Taliban representatives in Qatar, the U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is going to meet with the Taliban leaders in the near future.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Trump said “I’m going to be personally meeting with Taliban leaders in the not too distant future.”

Trump further added “We’ll be very much hoping that they will be doing what they say they’re going to be doing, they will be killing terrorists.”

However, President Trump warned that the United States would return with a force like no-one’s ever seen if bad things happen after the signing of the peace deal.

“I really believe that the Taliban wants to do something to show that we’re not all wasting time,” Trump said, adding that “if bad things happen we’ll go back.”

The U.S. and Taliban representatives signed a peace deal in Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday, almost 18 months after negotiations hosted by Qatar.

https://www.khaama.com/trumps-latest-remarks-warning-after-signing-of-peace-deal-with-taliban-04463/

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Trump taking a historic step to achieve peace in Afghanistan: White House

01 Mar 2020

The White House in a statement said President Donald Trump is taking a historic step to achieve peace in Afghanistan and bring the American troops home.

“President Trump is making good on his promise to bring our troops home from endless wars overseas by working toward peace in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

The statement further added that the the United States and Afghan governments will be issuing a joint declaration reaffirming our strong partnership, including continued support for Afghan security forces.

“While work remains, this progress provides a historic opportunity for peace,” the statement said, adding that America has secured strong commitments from the Taliban to permanently sever their ties to international terrorists during through negotiations.

In regards to the reduction of troops, the White House said “We will begin reducing the number of troops, while sustaining a counterterrorism force to continue dismantling terrorist groups that seek to attack the United States.”

However, the White House said the pace of removal for American troops stationed in Afghanistan is conditions based and will depend on how well the Taliban comply with the commitments they have made.

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signed the peace agreement with Taliban in Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday.

https://www.khaama.com/trump-taking-a-historic-step-to-achieve-peace-in-afghanistan-white-house-04461/

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Large Number Of Indians Protested Outside India High Commission On Saturday

March 1, 2020

LONDON: A large number of Indians protested outside India High Commission on Saturday to demand resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah, arrest of BJP instigators and justice for the survivors of Delhi pogrom.

The emergency protest was called by South Asia Solidarity Group; SOAS India Society; South Asian Students Against Fascism; Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO) and Coordinating Committee of Malayali Muslims.

Carrying banners condemning attacks on the Muslims of Delhi by extremist groups, BJP and RSS, the Indian protesters called for resignation of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his gross failure to maintain peace; immediate arrest of the BJP politicians and leaders who instigated the pogrom – Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Singh Varma.

They demanded that all the perpetrators of the pogrom are brought to justice; the injured are given appropriate medical care and the victim families are rehabilitated and compensated for the loss of lives and livelihood; that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP government play their constitutional role by taking effective measures to ensure peace and justice for the victims and survivors; that the UK government immediately issues a strong condemnation of the Narendra Modi’s government for sponsoring the anti-Muslim pogrom in Delhi.

The speakers said that while Narendra Modi was feting US President Donald Trump, Delhi was ablaze in the fire of a targeted anti-Muslim pogrom which has already claimed 38 lives and left hundreds critically injured. Vast areas of North East Delhi have been devastated with hundreds displaced, their homes burnt and livelihoods destroyed. The fire of genocidal violence was lit and stoked by the ruling BJP over the last six years but triggered, more immediately, by the poisonous anti-Muslim rhetoric and the 'Desh ke gaddaron ko goli maro’ (‘shoot the traitors’) call to action by a series of BJP leaders. Many were reminded of the genocidal violence against Sikhs in 1984 and against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.

legitimate dissent of ordinary people against a fascistic citizenship law- the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and its accompanying registers of citizenship, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) - which acting together will leave Indian Muslims disenfranchised - and constitute a first step to ethnic cleansing.

“As members of the Indian and South Asian diaspora in the UK, we stand with the survivors of the Delhi pogrom and the courageous anti-CAA movement. We condemn the close relationship between the Boris Johnson government and Narendra Modi’s genocidal BJP government. This alliance of far-right regimes has been deepened by the appointment of British Indian Modi supporters including Priti Patel and Rishi Sumak to key cabinet positions,” Nirmala Rajasingam of South Asia Solidarity Group said.

Nadia Whittome MP said, “The Delhi pogrom has already killed 38 Indian Muslims, with many injured. This is no accident, Modi has led India here and the horrific scenes in Delhi show BJP ideology in action. British Indians will not be silent.”

South Asian Students Against Fascism said, "The violence in Delhi must not be seen as a riot. What has happened is a state-sponsored pogrom against the city's Muslim communities. There is a mountain of evidence showing how BJP leaders and their media ecosystem incited mobs to commit violence, how the police either stood by or actively participated in this violence, and how the courts have completely abdicated responsibility."

SOAS India Society said, "India is now a fascist Hindu dictatorship where the rule of law has been suspended. If the world does not take note and react urgently, the consequences will be disastrous."

Anjum Mouj of London Black Women’s Project said, “We are shocked by the horrific anti-Muslim pogrom spearheaded by the Hindutva right this week. But we are truly inspired to see that the women of many areas of Delhi have returned to their sit-in protests.

These women have been occupying these sites like Shaheen Bagh for the past two months in the bitter North Indian winter cold. We in the UK and across the world must learn from their strength and courage in these turbulent times of increasing fascism.”

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/621976-genocide-of-muslims-in-delhi-indian-protesters-in-london-demand-amit-shah-quit

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Home Office’s ‘strategic incompetence’ is to reduce immigration, says Dr Asiya Islam

01 March 2020

Asiya Islam’s visa arrangements have caught local, national and indeed international attention as a test case for the UK’s immigration ideology, but when she drops in to Hot Numbers in Trumpington Street for coffee she’s just another young person in the village who’s had a busy morning.

Born in Aligarh, a city half-way between Delhi and Agra, she acquired a degree in English and women’s studies from Aligarh Muslim University.

Dr Islam came to the UK for a master’s in gender, media, and culture at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2009. After completing her master’s degree in 2010, she worked as equality and diversity adviser at the LSE before moving to Cambridge in 2015 for a PhD. She completed her PhD in September 2019 and is currently on a three-year fellowship at Newnham College.

After 10 years in the UK she would have received long-term residency, but this didn’t happen. The rules state that you can’t be out of the country for more than 540 days during that 10-year period and Dr Islam overshot that during the time of her research in urban Delhi in 2016/17. Although she was out of the country for 320 days for non-professional reasons, it was 645 days including fieldwork.

By 2019, she was due to be granted residence status but, instead, she was shunted on to a temporary visa, causing consternation in Cambridge’s science community.

“I was on a Tier 4 visa to study while doing my PhD,” she notes. “That expired at the end of January 2020 and I applied and was given a Tier 2 visa to work until October 2022, which is when my fellowship runs out. It could be exactly the same situation in 2022 – and I’d have to go back to India. I’d hoped that after ten years I’d get a settlement visa.

“And all of this costs money. The university is supportive but doesn’t cover visa costs unfortunately, but has been supportive otherwise.”

Daniel Zeichner with Dr Asiya Islam outside the Home Office, presenting a petition signed by 2,000 fellow academics to overturn the controversial decision to disallow Dr Islam residency statusDaniel Zeichner with Dr Asiya Islam outside the Home Office, presenting a petition signed by 2,000 fellow academics to overturn the controversial decision to disallow Dr Islam residency status

Since her application process became bogged down, Dr Islam has had “no direct contact with anyone from the Home Office”.

“The thing about the Home Office is a complete lack of any human side to the decision-making process. My case is very straightforward, all the documentation is in place, it just got stuck on a technicality it shouldn’t have – if a person had paid it due attention it would have been fine.”

And the process is costly: applying for a settlement visa cost her £3,500, including £800 for super-priority processing of her application.

“I didn’t get the visa and there is no refund. That’s how they operate. There’s huge cost implications to this process that aren’t mentioned very much. All of these visas cost thousands of pounds. A lot of it is just a business operation. I don’t think it costs £3,500 to process a visa – so where is that money going? One part goes to the Home Office, another part is allocated by the Home Office for the NHS, so as someone on a work visa you pay twice, because you’re already paying in taxes.

What makes this case even more troubling is that Dr Islam’s research is generating significant insights into the working lives of women in India.

“There were several conclusions from my PhD study, some empirical, so yes there are young people in work that’s meaningful, but it’s poor-quality work and they often drop out later. To study precarious work we need to study people’s lives and I could show how these women were dropping in and out of employment. That’s significant not just for India but in studying precarious employment around the world.

“There’s already some research on factories and doing piece work from home. I’m particularly interested in emerging forms of work and these women are going into work which requires different skills, so they have to speak a little bit of English, work a computer and perhaps sell something – all completely new types of work for them.

“It’s not necessarily an employment model that should be followed as the quality of work is quite insecure, not just for young women but young people. I don’t think it’s particularly sustainable. It’s very much part of the emerging economy but that doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone in India, it’s very differentially distributed.”

Dr Asiya Islam in Hot Numbers, Trumpington Street with Mike Scialom, February 2020Dr Asiya Islam in Hot Numbers, Trumpington Street with Mike Scialom, February 2020

“The Home Office makes it look like an isolated case, but it’s not, other academics have gone through the same thing.

“The Home Office doesn’t understand what an academic is and is actually being hostile to academics – we need to keep talking about it. There needs to be some sort of accountability and there isn’t right now.”

“It’s strategic incompetence,” Dr Islam replies. “They are incompetent but it’s deliberate, hence the lack of contact and the lack of accountability. It’s bad – for me personally it’s been very difficult and stressful but I’m thinking of all the cases beyond me, all those others... it’s scary. What’s going to happen next?

“It’s empty rhetoric to say ‘we want to attract the brightest and the best of global talent’ because if they lived up to that, a case like mine wouldn’t be happening now. There’s a complete mismatch between what they’re saying and what they’re doing.”

“I am an academic, that’s what I do and what I plan to continue doing. I have a fellowship at Newnham College so the natural thing for me to do would be to eventually get a lectureship. But I have to do five years of continuous Tier 2 work before I can even think of applying for settlement again.”

https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/home-office-s-strategic-incompetence-is-to-reduce-immigration-says-dr-asiya-islam-9101262/

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Pakistan

 

Punjab governor slates riots, Indian atrocities against Muslims

March 1, 2020

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has said in a tweet that mosques and graveyards of Muslims are not safe in India and it has become a crime to be a Muslim in the country.

“Why the United Nations is becoming a silent spectator over Delhi riots? Narendra Modi himself brought about his destruction and he cannot escape the devastation,” he said.

In his message, the governor further said the peace accord between the Taliban and the US is a good omen and no doubt, war is no solution to problems, rather it aggravates the situation. “The US-Taliban accord is the victory of peace vision of Imran Khan. Pakistan Army’s sacrifices for regional peace are unprecedented in the world,” he remarked.

“Peace in Afghanistan will be useful for the region and Taliban-USA peace accord will also bring peace and stability in the region, and this peace pact will also prove to be beneficial for the region.

The governor said even Muslims’ mosques and graveyards are not safe at the hands of RSS terrorists in India today while being Muslim is a crime in India.

“For God’s sake, the United Nations and other international organisations instead of becoming silent spectators must take notice of Indian atrocities and help stop these tyrannies.” He said Modi’s terrorism was the biggest conspiracy against peace.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2166999/1-punjab-governor-slates-riots-indian-atrocities-muslims/

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Saudi Arabia Took Into Account Interests of Visitors of the Two Holy Mosques in Accordance with Islamic Law, Chair of Hajj Committee of Pakistani Senate Says

2020/02/29

Islamabad, February 29, 2020, SPA -- Chair of the Hajj and Umrah Committee of the Pakistani Senate Dr. Abdulkarim Bakhsh highlighted that the precautionary measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to counter the spread of coronavirus, including the decision to temporarily suspend the entrance of the visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque and Umrah performs, indicating that the Kingdom has taken into account the Islamic law that came as a mercy and facilitation for Muslims.

Dr. Bakhsh expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness the Crown for their care and service to Islam and Muslims and their causes.

https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=2040824

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State-sponsored terrorism to lead to radicalisation of 200mn Indian Muslims: PM Imran

February 29, 2020

Prime Minister Imran Khan warned the world on Saturday that “state-sponsored terror through police and RSS gangs” in New Delhi may lead to the radicalisation of 200 million Indian Muslims.

The premier took to Twitter to warn that the radicalisation of Indian Muslims could be similar to Kashmiri youth.

He noted that the oppression of Kashmiris and deaths of almost 100,000 at the hands of Indian occupation forces had resulted in the Kashmiri youth eventually taking up arms.

In Delhi carnage of Muslims, state-sponsored terror through police & RSS gangs is going to lead to radicalisation of the 200 mn Indian Muslims just as the Kashmiri youth has been radicalised through the oppression of Indian Occupation forces & deaths of almost 100,000 Kashmiris.

“I have been predicting that unless the international community intervenes these developments will have disastrous consequences not only for the region but eventually for the world also,” said PM Imran.

This was the second time in a week that the prime minister has warned the world of the worsening situation in India.

On Wednesday, he had reminded the international community about the Narendra Modi government's Nazi-inspired ideology. He said fascist ideas seem to have taken over nuclear-armed India, and urged the world to act before it is too late to prevent bloodshed.

At least 42 people were killed and hundreds injured in the worst sectarian violence in Delhi in decades, as groups of Hindutva extremists ran amok in India's capital city, unleashing what many observers have described as a pogrom against the city's Muslims.

The violence began after weeks of protests over citizenship laws that Modi’s government has introduced, which ease the path to Indian citizenship for minority groups from neighbouring Muslim-majority countries while excluding Muslims, and also may strip existing Indian Muslims of their citizenship.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/621767-state-sponsored-terrorism-to-lead-to-radicalisation-of-200mn-indian-muslims-pm-imran

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Mead east

 

Defense Chief Admits Israel Was Behind Damascus Attack That Killed Son of Islamic Jihad Official

Feb 29, 2020

Israel is responsible for the attack on Damascus that killed the son of a senior Islamic Jihad official Akram al-Ajouri in November, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett admitted on Saturday in an interview with Channel 12 News.

The failed assassination attempt occurred on the night that Israel assassinated senior Islamic Jihad militant Baha Abu al-Atta in the Gaza Strip. Until now, Israel has not accepted responsibility for the attack in Damascus, although it has been attributed to it by foreign media outlets.

Bennett said during a TV interview that "upon taking office, we eliminated Baha (Abu Al-Atta) and indeed attacked Damascus. Until today, when they were shooting from Gaza, we responded in Gaza… but haven’t eliminated terrorists in Damascus."

According to a report by Syria's SANA news agency from the night of the attack, the Syrian army's air defense systems were activated near a southern Damascus neighborhood toward a "hostile target." It was also reported that one missile fell in the area and two others hit Ajouri's house, killing two people and wounding six.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-bennett-admits-israel-behind-syria-attack-that-killed-islamic-jihad-official-s-son-1.8600599

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Imam Khamenei offers condolences on Hojjatolaeslam Khosroshahi's passing

February 29, 2020

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei offered his condolences over the demise of senior cleric Hojat-ol-Islam Seyed Hadi Khosroshahi.

In a message released on Saturday, the Leader described Hojat-ol-Islam as a tireless person in promoting Islamic teachings.

Ayatollah Khamenei also lauded the late cleric’s efforts to enhance unity and proximity among Islamic schools of thought.

A senior seminary scholar, Hojat-ol-Islam Khosroshahi died of coronavirus on Thursday at the age of 81.

https://en.abna24.com/news//imam-khamenei-offers-condolences-on-hojjatolaeslam-khosroshahis-passing_1013949.html

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Sudanese Islamist party dismisses member for visiting Israel

1 MARCH 2020

February 29, 2020

(KHARTOUM) - The Islamist Popular Congress Party (PCP) announced on Saturday the dismissal of one of its youth leaders due to his visit to Israel.

The former PCP youth secretary Mohamed Abbas al-Fadni, was in Israel last week with an interfaith youth delegation.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the PCP said they learnt about the visit from press reports, adding that the move is considered as a violation of the principles and positions of the party."

"Therefore, the Secretariat decided to dismiss the aforementioned member from the Popular Congress party for his action, reaffirming our commitment to support the Palestinian cause in the face of the usurper occupier."

ln statements last week, al-Fadni said that he would visit Jerusalem with an interfaith youth group including Muslims, Christians and Jews to participate in an open dialogue on the future of the peace process. the forum was attended by prominent Jewish figures from the Israeli Knesset. Also, he announced his participation in other forums and meeting in Israel.

The former PCP official stated that he had informed a number of the party’s leading members and figures of the visit and did not find any objection from them. He further stressed that his decision to travel to Israel reflected his convictions.

Al-Fadni’s trip to Israel took place after a meeting between the head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council and the Israeli prime minister in Uganda in early February 2020.

https://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article69047

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Newly elected Iranian MP dies of ‘flu’ amid coronavirus outbreak

1 March 2020

Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Ali Ramazani Dastak died in disputed circumstances on Saturday as coronavirus continued to spread across Iran.

Official news agencies say that Dastak died of the flu, but other media reports claim Dastak is the latest Iranian official to have a case of coronavirus. Iran’s deputy health minister and several prominent MPs have all reported cases of coronavirus.

Dastak was “hospitalized due to influenza and chemical injuries” dating back to the Iran-Iraq war, according to a report by The Independent, which cited Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency.

“Newly elected MP Mohammad Ramazani died due to a coronavirus infection,” Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze said in a tweet.

Iran confirmed on Saturday 205 new cases of coronavirus within a 24-hour period, according to Iran state TV, bringing the total to 593.

There have been 43 officially confirmed deaths in Iran due to coronavirus. However, on Friday BBC Persian reported that the death toll was much higher and has reached 210, citing Iranian hospital sources.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/03/01/Newly-elected-Iranian-MP-dies-of-flu-amid-coronavirus-outbreak.html

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South Asia

 

Ghani’s remarks after the signing of peace deal between U.S. and Taliban

01 Mar 2020

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said any agreement ‘signed behind the scene’ and ‘lacking transparency’ would have fundamental issues during its execution stage.

He made the remarks during a press conference after the conclusion of peace deal between the United States and the Taliban group in Qatari capital of Doha.

Emphasizing on ‘Democratic Islamic values’, President Ghani said the delegation which would represent the Afghan government during the next phase of talks, would represent the ‘Democratic Islamic Values’ and ‘Constitution of Afghanistan.

However, he said Kabul would determine the authority of the visiting delegation, insisting that that the authority of the negotiating delegation would be limited as the final decision maker would either be the parliament or the Grand Assembly as per the constitution of Afghanistan.

In other parts of his speech, Ghani emphasized that no commitment exists regarding the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, emphasizing that the Afghan government has repeatedly shared with the United States.

President Ghani further added that only the Afghan government has the authority to release Taliban prisoners, not the United States.

He also emphasized that the Afghan people must have the confidence that the prisoners who are going to be released, would not pick arms and fight against the Afghan people.

In regards to intra-Afghan talks, Ghani said the scope of negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban would be more vast than the scope of negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban.

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signed the peace agreement with Taliban in Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday.

https://www.khaama.com/ghanis-remarks-after-the-signing-of-peace-deal-between-u-s-and-taliban-04464/

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‘Spoilers must be kept at bay’, says Imran Khan after signing of U.S.-Taliban deal

01 Mar 2020

The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement after the signing of a peace deal between the United States and Taliban in Qatari capital of Doha.

Khan issued a statement welcoming the signing of the peace deal between the United States and Taliban, adding that “This is the start of a peace and reconciliation process to end decades of war and suffering of the Afghan people.”

The statement further added “I have always maintained that a pol solution, no matter how complex, is the only meaningful path to peace.”

He did not disclose further information regarding his statement of ‘keeping spoilers at bay’. However, he said “Pakistan is committed to playing its role in ensuring the agreement holds and succeeds in bringing peace to Afghanistan.”

The U.S. and Taliban representatives on Saturday signed the peace deal after 18 months of negotiations in Qatari capital of Doha.

The White House in a statement said President Donald Trump is taking a historic step to achieve peace in Afghanistan and bring the American troops home.

In regards to the reduction of troops, the White House said “We will begin reducing the number of troops, while sustaining a counterterrorism force to continue dismantling terrorist groups that seek to attack the United States.”

However, the White House said the pace of removal for American troops stationed in Afghanistan is conditions based and will depend on how well the Taliban comply with the commitments they have made.

https://www.khaama.com/spoilers-must-be-kept-at-bay-says-imran-khan-after-signing-of-u-s-taliban-deal-04462/

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'Hard to trust': Afghans sceptical of US-Taliban agreement

by Shereena Qazi 

an hour ago

Moments after United States and Taliban negotiators struck a deal to end America's longest war fought in Afghanistan, Marwa Khan, a Kabul resident, called his mother and said: "They have signed the deal, the war is over."

"This war has brought so much sorrow. I cry looking at people who lost their loved ones. This is a step forward for us," Khan told Al Jazeera.

On Saturday, the two sides signed a deal in Qatar's capital, Doha, that outlines the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

It also includes a Taliban guarantee that Afghan soil will not be used by foreign armed groups that would threaten the security of the US and its allies.

The deal promises peace in the country but Maryam Hussaini, 27, is still mourning the loss of her sister, Najiba.

In 2017, the Taliban attacked a bus in Kabul carrying government employees. The attack killed 23 people, mainly workers of the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum. Among those killed was Najiba.

"I will never forget what the Taliban have done to my family. Peace cannot come overnight by just signing a paper. This peace deal disrespects the one I lost, my sister," Hussaini told Al Jazeera.

Najiba was 28 when she was killed. She had won a scholarship to study computer science in India and then earned her Master's degree in Japan.

Upon her return to Afghanistan, she was offered a job at the database unit in Afghanistan's mining ministry. Almost a year into her job, she was killed.

In a report released in February, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said the number of civilian casualties surpassed 100,000 after more than a decade of documenting the impact of war.

"Almost no civilian in Afghanistan has escaped being personally affected in some way by the ongoing violence," Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan and UNAMA head said last week.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/trust-afghans-sceptical-taliban-agreement-200301052025171.html

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Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla due in Dhaka tomorrow

March 01, 2020

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will undertake a two-day visit to Dhaka from tomorrow with the primary objective of doing the spadework for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit for attending Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary celebrations on March 17.

During his stay in Dhaka, Shringla will call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen. He will also address a seminar being organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Strategic Studies.

The Indian foreign secretary's visit will be the first high-level contact between the two countries since the controversy over CAA/NRC created rough edges on the otherwise burgeoning bilateral ties covering a diverse range of areas.

Hasina has invited Modi along with other world leaders for the launch of 'Mujib Borsho'. The Indian PM is expected to deliver the keynote address at the function on March 17 when former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will also be present.

Modi may use his visit to Dhaka to discuss some new markers in a proposed movement in bilateral relations like a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), giving a push to defence cooperation for which India announced a 500-million dollar line of credit during Hasina's visit to India in April, 2017, and more connectivity projects.

The issues are also likely to figure in Shringla's talks with Bangladeshi leaders and officials.

https://www.thedailystar.net/india/indian-foreign-secretary-shringla-visit-dhaka-tomorrow-1874902

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysia’s Premier, Mahathir Mohamad, Is Ousted in a Surprising Turn

By Hannah Beech

Feb. 29, 2020

He was the country’s longest-serving prime minister, in office from 1981 to 2003. He was also its shortest-serving, having stepped out of retirement in 2018 to boot out a kleptocratic government, only to resign (briefly) this past week.

Now Malaysians are contemplating a future without Mr. Mahathir, who was replaced as prime minister on Sunday, a day after the country’s constitutional monarch deemed that he lacked majority support from lawmakers.  Mr. Mahathir was replaced by Muhyiddin Yassin, a veteran nationalist politician aligned with the corruption-tainted alliance that Mr. Mahathir defeated just two years ago.

It was a dramatic cap to a week full of roller-coaster twists, hairpin turns and enough whiplash alliance reversals to leave political analysts dizzied.

On Monday, after his governing coalition, called the Alliance of Hope, collapsed under the weight of internal rivalries and ideological contradictions, Mr. Mahathir resigned, but the king quickly named him as interim prime minister.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/world/asia/malaysia-mahathir-mohamad.html

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Muslim Congress Urges Jokowi to Dissolve BPIP

1 March 2020

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The 7th Indonesian Muslim Congress (KUII) has urged President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to dissolve the Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP) on the grounds it is no longer needed.

"We urge the president to return the interpretation of Pancasila to MPR (the People's Consultative Assembly) as mandated by the fourth tenet of Pancasila," Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) KH Muhyiddin Junaidi said at the closing of the congress here on Friday night.

"All participants of the 7th KUII this year comprising various components of Islamic society in Indonesia, leaders (of regional branches) of Indonesian Ulemas Council .from all over Indonesia, leaders of Islamic mass organizations, leaders of Islamic Student and Youth Organizations (OKP), chiefs of Islamic boarding schools and Islamic schools, chiefs of Islamic institutes of higher learning, business world, Islamic philanthropic institutions, media, government officials, political parties and other Islamic figures have agreed to urge the president to dissolve BPIP," he said.

The congress, opened by Vice President Ma'ruf Amin on Wednesday (Feb 26) also encouraged the government to familiarize the public with the linkage between Pancasila and religions and to help strengthen religious values in Pancasila.

"We encourage the government to help strengthen religious values in Pancasila to get rid of slander that legislation containing religious values is not Pancasilaist," he said.

In addition, KUII also urged the government to uphold the law as fairly as possible without discriminating against mega corruption and hate speech cases. The government should also adopt a non-discriminative and digital-based state apparatus recruitment system that can be accessed by the entire Indonesian nation to create transparent process by involving public surveillance.

https://en.tempo.co/read/1314085/muslim-congress-urges-jokowi-to-dissolve-bpip

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China reports 35 more virus deaths, 573 new cases

Mar 01, 2020

China on Sunday reported 35 more deaths from the new coronavirus, taking the toll in the country to 2,870.

The National Health Commission also reported 573 new infections, bringing the total number of cases in mainland China to 79,824.

While still in the hundreds, the figure for new infections is far lower than the huge, daily increase in cases China was recording in January and February.

All but one of the 35 deaths were in Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan is the epicentre of the outbreak.

The new coronavirus, which has killed nearly 3,000 people and infected more than 86,000 in dozens of countries, is believed to have first emerged late last year in a Wuhan market that sold wild animals.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/china-reports-35-more-virus-deaths-573-new-cases/story-1YJjrdzHm1ORMIscP6IkbJ.html

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Arab world

 

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Patrons Horse Race on Saudi Arabia Cup 2 Riyadh

2020/02/29

After the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques took his place in the main podium, he shook hands with Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, representative of the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain for Youth and Charitable Affairs; Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa; Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa; Sheikh Yousef bin Mishaal Al-Sabah; Sheikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan; Sheikh Fahd bin Nasser Al-Sabah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuwaiti Olympic Committee and a number of senior guests.

After the race ended with the victory of the American horse (Maximum Security), the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques handed over the trophy of the "Saudi Cup" to the owners of first place winning horse owners horse owners Gary, Mary West and Colmar..    The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also handed two trophies over to the horse trainer, Jason Servis and the jockey, Luis Saez.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque left King Abdulaziz Equestrian Square with all the warm reception, deep thanks and appreciation accorded to him.

https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=2040937

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Kuwait confirms new coronavirus case from Iran, total now 46: Ministry

1 March 2020

Kuwait has confirmed a new case of coronavirus infection, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the disease in the country to 46, a health ministry official told a media conference on Sunday.

The majority of the cases, including the one identified in the past 24 hours, are either people who had traveled to Iran or been in contact with people who were there, she said.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2020/03/01/Kuwait-confirms-new-coronavirus-case-from-Iran-total-now-46-Ministry.html

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Iraq confirms 5 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 13

1 March 2020

Iraq's Ministry of Health announced five new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total in the country to 13.

According to the announcement, four of the patents are in the capital city Baghdad, and the fifth is in Babil province. All five are currently in quarantine.

Iraq has moved to shut its borders and ban travelers from neighboring countries which have experienced an outbreak of coronavirus, including Iran - the epicenter of the coronavirus in the Middle East - Kuwait, and Bahrain.

On Tuesday, an Iranian student and a family of four people coming from Iran were confirmed as coronavirus cases in Iraq.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/03/01/Iraq-confirms-5-new-coronavirus-cases-bringing-total-to-13.html

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Chinese student in Lebanon complains about being subjected to abuse after coronavirus spread

March 01, 2020

DUBAI: A Chinese student, who is currently residing in Lebanon, said he is subjected to negative comments in streets due to the spread of coronavirus, which started in his home country.

Amir Wang moved to Lebanon around six months ago, and was very happy to live and study there. He lives in a town called Shhim, south-east of Beirut in the Chouf region.

However, the spread of COVID19 changed his feelings about living in the Levantine country. In a video posted on social media, Wang explained that some people get scared of him and avoid him, while others actually call him ‘corona’ as a slur to offend him.

He pleaded by saying such negative behavior will not benefit anyone, but shows that those who do it lack conscience, manners and humanity.

“China is our mother, and she is sick… would it be okay for me to call you or your mother names if she were sick?” Wang added.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1635121/middle-east

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Saudi Arabia marks World Civil Defense Day

March 01, 2020

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is joining the world in celebrating World Civil Defense Day under the slogan “Safety First,” SPA reports.

“Safety should be considered before undergoing any dangerous act or behavior in all areas of our daily lives,” said the director general of the General Directorate of Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Amro.

The celebration, held annually on Mar. 1, aims to instill the concept of promoting safety as a priority among all segments of society.

“The participation of the General Directorate of Civil Defense in the activities is based on the conviction of the Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, who acknowledges the necessity of constructively interacting with such international events and benefiting from them to shed light on the work of the Civil Defense and develop its services in order to meet the needs of citizens and residents,” he said.

Al-Amro highlighted the importance of the role of social awareness in regard to international and local events, in which the Civil Defense participates.

He said that broadcasting awareness-raising messages and positive interaction contributed to reaching the required levels of awareness about safety.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1635166/saudi-arabia

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URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sharia-is-being-misunderstood-and-misinterpreted,-there-is-no-compulsion-in-religion,-i-can’t-introduce-sharia-in-nigeria-if-elected-president--sani-yarima/d/121192

 

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