New Age Islam
Sat Feb 24 2024, 09:29 PM

Islamic World News ( 12 Dec 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Sulli Deals: Indian Man Who 'Sold' More Than 80 Muslim Women Online To Be Tried, Delhi Governor Grants Permission

New Age Islam News Bureau

12 December 2022

 

Special Arrangement/ Aumkareshwar Thakur was accused of creating the Sulli Deals app

-----

• Four New Jersey Mosque Leaders Join CAIR-NJ to Denounce Anti-Muslim Harassment

• Egypt MP Urges Briefing into Google Maps for Allegedly Insulting Mosques Related to Ahl al-Bayt

• Second Iranian Detainee Executed Over Alleged Protest Crime Challenging the Country's Theocracy

• Interfaith Dialogue Ultimate Solution to Extremism, Terrorism: Pakistan PM’s Special Representative

 

India

• Two Muslim Youth in the Company of Hindu Girls Threatened By Hindutva Moral Policing In Mangaluru

• Will SC's EWS Reservation Verdict Impact Decision To Include Dalit Muslims Under Scheduled Castes?

• ‘Muslim League is an out and out communal party’: Kerala BJP

--------

North America

• Washington Still Trying To Control Events in Libya; Reopening Lockerbie Bombing Case Shows

• US says helicopter raid kills 2 Islamic State officials in Syria

--------

Arab World

• UAE Launches Rashid Rover, The Arab World’s First Mission to the Moon

• Saudi Foreign Minister: 'All Bets Off' If Iran Gets Nuclear Weapon

• Two ISIS officials killed in US raid in eastern Syria: US Central Command

• Saudi Crown Prince Made Personal Mediation Efforts for American Basketball Star Griner Release: FM

• UAE asks state entities to buy local in food security push: Minister Mariam Al Mheiri

--------

Mideast

• Iran again summons UK, German envoys over protests: State media

• Two Iran protesters at imminent risk of execution, activists warn

• Saudi-led war killed, maimed more than 11,000 children in Yemen: UNICEF

• Erdogan asks Putin to ‘clear’ Kurdish forces from northern Syria

• Iran hands new 10-year sentence to Baha’i figures: Group

--------

Pakistan

• Minaret of Ahmadi Place of Worship Removed In Gujranwala; Law Bars the Ahmadis from Making Their Places of Worship Resemble a Mosque

• ‘Political terrorist’ Imran symbol of country’s degradation: Marriyum

• Six civilians martyred in cross-border firing by Afghan Border Forces: ISPR

• Bilawal lauds role OIC for Muslim Ummah

• Pakistan ranks atop list of 82 nations most influenced by China: Report

• OIC working on plan to find solution to Kashmir issue

• Pakistan Kills 4 ISIS Militants near Afghan Border

--------

South Asia

• Islamic System Needs Skilled, Educated People; Islamic Emirate Is Not Opposed To Modern Education: Minister

• Afghan Delegation Visits Tehran for Quadrilateral Talks on Refugees

• Afghanistan Investment Desk Set Up at Kabul Airport to Facilitate Visa on Arrival

• Afghan FM Meets with Ambassador of Japan Discussing Aid and Economy

• At least 4 killed, 20 injured as mortar lands in Afghanistan's Spin Boldak

• 79 per cent households in Afghanistan suffer water shortage: Survey

--------

Europe

• French President Macron To Travel To Qatar For World Cup Semis Against Morocco

• Erdogan, Putin discuss grain corridor, gas hub in phone call

• Arrest of EU lawmakers in 'Qatar bribery probe' sparks calls for reform in bloc's parliament

--------

Africa

• Libya’s Menfi, Saudi Crown Prince Discuss Political Developments

• Hamas congratulates Morocco on team’s qualification for semi-finals at FIFA World Cup in Qatar

• Nigeria Muslims rally to protest persecution of Shias in Azerbaijan

--------

Southeast Asia

• Bersatu Youth Slams Masidi over Islamic Extremism in Politics Claims

• Bali governor says Indonesia’s new laws pose no risk to tourists

• Calls mount on Malaysia to rescue 160 Rohingya refugees stranded at sea

• Bintang completes investment in Muslim streaming service

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/sulli-deals-indian-muslim-women-sold/d/128615

--------

Sulli Deals: Indian Man Who 'Sold' More Than 80 Muslim Women Online To Be Tried, Delhi Governor Grants Permission

 

Special Arrangement/ Aumkareshwar Thakur was accused of creating the Sulli Deals app

-----

12 DEC 2022

Police in India say they will prosecute a man who allegedly created an app that put up photos of more than 80 Muslim women for "sale" online last year.

The announcement came after Delhi's Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena granted permission to try Aumkareshwar Thakur, 25, in court.

The open source app - Sulli Deals - had been hosted on web platform GitHub in July 2021.

Mr Thakur had been arrested in January, but was granted bail in March.

Mr Thakur, who holds a degree is computer applications, had been arrested from Indore city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh by a Delhi police team set up to investigate serious crimes.

The police registered cases against him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, India's Information Technology Act and section 196 of India's Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Section 196 deals with "offences committed against the state", rather than an individual, and is generally invoked against high-ranking government officials which requires permission from the federal or state government to proceed.

Sulli Deals had taken publicly available pictures and created profiles for Muslim women, describing them as "deals of the day".

Mr Thakur was arrested along with Neeraj Bishnoi, 20, who had allegedly created the Bulli Bai app which had uploaded photos of more than 100 Muslim women and was also hosted on GitHub.

In both cases, there was no actual sale - the purpose was to degrade and humiliate Muslim women, many of whom have been outspoken about the rising tide of Hindu nationalism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an accusation his party and government deny.

Critics say online trolling of Muslim women has worsened in recent years in India's polarised political climate.

A 2018 Amnesty International report on online harassment in India showed that the more vocal a woman was, the more likely she was to be targeted - the scale of this increased for women from religious minorities and disadvantaged castes.

Those featured on both the apps were all vocal Muslims, including journalists, activists, artists and researchers.

A commercial pilot whose photo was uploaded on Sulli Deals had told the BBC that she felt "chills" go down her spine when she heard about the app.

While giving bail to Mr Thakur in March, the judge had said that he was not a flight risk and wasn't in a position to influence the investigation.

Source: BBC

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-63939822

--------

Four New Jersey Mosque Leaders Join CAIR-NJ to Denounce Anti-Muslim Harassment

 

Credit: CAIR NJ

----

DECEMBER 11, 2022

NEW YORK -- There was a rally of solidarity Sunday in response to leaders from four New Jersey mosques saying their congregations have been harassed.

For the past few weeks, a truck displaying an anti-Muslim images and messages on a digital screen has been driving past mosques in Piscataway, Edison, North Brunswick, and Fords.

On Sunday, the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations joined leaders from those Islamic centers and law enforcement in solidarity.

They said hate is on the rise.

"Year by year, we're seeing an increase. Last year, we broke 100 for the first time and year to date we're passed 150 now," said Dyaa Terpstra, operation coordinator for CAIR-NJ.

"We have a reasonable expectation to live and worship and visit our houses of worship and do this in peace, so let's please maintain the peace," added Jim Sues of ICNA-NJ.

Law enforcement, including the FBI and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, is investigating.

Source: CBS News

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

https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/mosque-leaders-join-cair-nj-to-denounce-anti-muslim-harassment/

--------

Egypt MP Urges Briefing into Google Maps for Allegedly Insulting Mosques Related to Ahl al-Bayt

 

Photo: Egypt Independent.com

-----

December 11, 2022

Egyptian Parliament member Hisham al-Gahel submitted an EDM requesting a briefing into Google’s repeated violations regarding insulting the Ahl al-Bayt (family of the Prophet Mohamed) in Egypt.

Gahel explained that there was outrage on social media over Google reportedly distorting the names of the Sayyidah Zainab Mosque and the Sayyidah Aisha Mosque on Google Maps.

Social media users on Twitter and Facebook circulated several pictures of the distortion of the name of the mosque of Sayyidah Aisha and Sayyidah Zainab on Google by adding an inappropriate word outside.

The member of the House of Representatives explained that this has caused anger and resentment against Google, with campaigns being launched online demanding they amend the names.

Gahel called on the Ministry of Communications to intervene immediately and take the necessary measures to protect mosques of the Ahl al-Bayt from blasphemy.

Source: Egypt Independent

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

https://www.egyptindependent.com/egypt-mp-urges-briefing-into-google-maps-for-allegedly-insulting-mosques/

--------

Second Iranian Detainee Executed Over Alleged Protest Crime Challenging the Country's Theocracy

 

This is a locator map for Iran with its capital, Tehran. (AP Photo)

-----

Dec 12, 2022

DUBAI: Iran said Monday it executed its second prisoner detained amid the nationwide protests now challenging the country's theocracy. Iran's Mizan news agency, under the country's judiciary, identified the man executed as Majidreza Rahnavard. He had been convicted over allegedly stabbing two security force members to death on November 17 in Mashhad and wounding four others.

Iran executed the first prisoner detained amid the demonstrations Thursday.

The protests have expanded into one of the most serious challenges to Iran's theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Activists warn that others could also be put to death in the near future, saying around a dozen people so far have received death sentences over their involvement in the demonstrations.

Source: Times Of India
Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/second-iranian-detainee-executed-over-alleged-protest-crime/articleshow/96162218.cms

--------

Interfaith Dialogue Ultimate Solution to Extremism, Terrorism: Pakistan PM’s Special Representative

 

Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi

-----

December 11, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said the interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour as it was the ultimate solution to the global issue of extremism and terrorism.

Ashrafi, who is on a visit to Russia these days to address the World Islamic Forum in Moscow, said Islam commanded interfaith dialogue.

He said Pakistan’s Ulema, Mashaykh, and religious scholars were giving the message of peace, security, and moderation in the light of ‘Message of Pakistan’ and ‘Charter of Makkah-tul-Mukarrama’ to the world.

He said Ulama, Mashaykh, and the government of Pakistan supported inter-religious dialogue at all levels and they had given the message to the entire world through ‘Message of Pakistan’ that peace and security could be achieved through mutual dialogue.

He said extremism and terrorism were being associated with Islam in order to mislead the Muslim youth, adding that Islam was free from all such crimes.

On the occasion, Ashrafi, who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, urged the world to give justice to Palestinians and Kashmiris.

He said the way innocent people of Kashmir and Palestine were being oppressed for many decades, it must draw the world’s attention towards Islam as it is the religion of peace, harmony, and tolerance.

He said today, the inhuman treatment of Muslims in Palestine and Kashmir had become unbearable, adding that the powerful countries should come forward to end this cycle of persecution through dialogue.

He said all heavenly religions and books conveyed the message of respect and love.

The Charter of Makkah-ut-Mukarrama, the Charter of Brotherhood of Humanity, and recent gatherings in Bahrain were evidence that Muslims were making all-out efforts to spread the message of Islam – peace – at every forum of the world.

He urged Ulema and Mashaykh to promote peace, uphold supremacy of justice, and counter hatred as there is a dire need to protect our generation from the forces that spread violence and extremism in society.

On the sideline of the conference, Ashrafi also held a meeting with Russia’s Mufti Azam and discussed the issues of mutual concern, including Pakistan-Russia relations, Muslim Ummah’s unity and intersect and interfaith dialogue from various aspects.

He also invited him to visit Pakistan which Mufti Azam accepted.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/12/11/interfaith-dialogue-ultimate-solution-to-extremism-terrorism-ashrafi/

--------
India

 

Two Muslim Youth in the Company of Hindu Girls Threatened By Hindutva Moral Policing In Mangaluru

12th December 2022

MANGALURU:  In another case of moral policing, two Muslim youth in the company of Hindu girls were allegedly threatened by Hindutva activists at Urwa Station limits in Mangaluru on Saturday night.

The incident occurred around 11.30 pm and victims said they were out for dinner. According to sources, the girls hail from Uttar Pradesh and one of them is said to be a minor.  However, Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar said the girls’ parents have decided not to lodge a complaint and no case has been registered.
Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2022/dec/12/two-muslim-youth-threatened-by-hindutva-activists-in-mangaluru-2527321.html

--------

Will SC's EWS Reservation Verdict Impact Decision To Include Dalit Muslims Under Scheduled Castes?

12 DEC 2022

After the Supreme Court’s ruling on November 7 that upheld the 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in public jobs, public and private education, fear looms large that the bulk of EWS quota will likely be appropriated by Hindu savarnas (upper castes).

One question has emerged from this predicament: Will the verdict have a bearing on the government panel’s deliberations formed to decide on including Dalit Muslims under the Scheduled Caste category?

While caste quotas are being constantly extended to various categories of socially backward Hindu groups who are viewed as victims of caste oppression, Muslims find themselves out in the cold on the basis that there’s no caste system in Islam. Islam believes in one big Muslim brotherhood (umma) where all are equal, irrespective of their social and economic status. While this concept of a casteless and classless Muslim community holds true in theory and elsewhere in the world, but in practice caste and class play a big role in the lives of South Asian Muslim societies, and the belief that there are no victims of Hindu-style caste discrimination in this community, holds no water.

Fact of the matter

Pasmandas, a Persian term for Muslims from OBCs and SCs that means ‘those left behind’, form around 80 per cent of the Muslim population, but most of the jobs and college seats are cornered by 15 per cent Ashraf (upper caste Muslims). The Ashrafs encompass Pathans, Sheikhs and Syeds, while Ajlafs include Ansari (weavers), Saifi (carpenters), Salmani (barber) Ghosi (shepherds), and such. The Ajlafs, roughly equivalent of Dalits, are at the bottom of the pile.

Pasmanda Muslims were the worst hit in the name of cow protection, ghar-wapsi, love jihad, Corana jihad for Tablighi Jamaats during the pandemic, temple-mosque conflicts going on since 2004, etc. The recent felicitation of the remitted perpetrators guilty of raping Bilkis Bano, a Pasmanda Muslim, and murdering her family during the Gujarat riots in 2002 can only be interpreted as a symbolic injury by Pasmanda Muslims.

On the other hand, PM Narendra Modi in July at the BJP national executive meeting in Hyderabad exhorted party workers to reach out to weaker sections among Hindus and Pasmanda Muslims. Modi also suggested to the BJP to take out Sneh Yatras (love yatras) instead of Sangharsh Yatras (yatras for waging struggle).

However, former Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar, who invented the term Pasmanda, called out BJP’s hypocrisy in an open letter to Modi. He wrote that “The Pasmanda Muslims want sam-maan (equality and dignity), not sneh (affection). The term sneh has a specific connotation: That the Pasmanda Muslims need sneh denotes that they are an inferior lot requiring patronage from the ones who are superior... Has the sudden move to take out Sneh Yatra for Pasmanda society something to do with vote-bank politics?” He also asked: “Didn’t Home Minister Amit Shah ji call upon the people at the time of Delhi Assembly elections when a peaceful movement of Muslim women against the NRC [National Register of Citizens] and CAA [Citizenship Amendment Act] was going on, to ‘press the button in such a way that Shaheen Bagh gets electric shock’?”

Backward Muslims, a mere showpiece for Opposition?

A recent article, After Tricking OBCs and Dalits, BJP’s Magic Show for Pasmanda Muslims, states that the BJP turned a large segment of OBCs and UP Dalits against the Yadavs and the Jatavs, the most dominant caste groups in these two categories, irreparably splintering them for good. The incumbent party, say critics, wants to try the same with the Muslims and Pasmandas. The idea is to fragment the Muslim community to weaken the Opposition before the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

For instance, the BJP granted only four tickets to Pasmanda Muslims in the 2022 Municipal Corporation of Delhi out of 250 seats. This means only 1.6 per cent of BJP’s candidates were Muslim. Recently, Pasmanda Muslims from UP were given prominent roles: Danish Azad Ansari was appointed as Minister of State for Minority Welfare; Iftikhar Ahmad Jawed was made the chairperson of the State Board of Madrassa Education, and Chaudhary Kaif-ul-Wara of the UP Urdu Akademi. The BJP, according to factual data, is excluding Muslims but wooing the Pasmandas, believing their dire circumstances will make them want to believe in the party’s promise of ushering in a new dawn for them. However, it is unlikely the BJP will assign Muslims with heavyweight ministerial portfolios.

To gauge the opportunities the Muslim community has according to the EWS quota, check the 2021 UPSC Civil Services results that included the 10 per cent EWS quota, which amounted to 86 seats. This included candidates from all religions. Brahmins topped the list with 27 candidates, Kshatriyas secured 17 seats, Jains and Baniyas both secured 7 seats each, Kayasths secured 2 seats, while Yadav and Jat got 1 seat each. Only 2 Muslims were selected for the 86 seats.

EWS quota, a distant dream

Factual data shows the Union government is against extending these reservations to the Muslim community.

The Sachar Committee Report way back in 2006 had demonstrated that the Muslim minority suffers communal prejudices that the majority amongst them survive in appalling class conditions, and a section of them also belong to the lower and untouchable castes. Similarly, the report by Justice Ranganath Misra Commission in 2007 recommended that Dalit Muslims and Christians be included in the SC list.

The Union government could have issued a Presidential order to insert Dalit Muslim castes in the SC list based on a 2008 review-study commissioned by the National Commission of Minorities. The study found that Dalit Muslims were the worst off among all Dalits; under-represented among the affluent and over-represented among the poor. Instead, the Bombay High Court had scrapped 5 per cent reservation to Muslim provided by the Congress-NCP government ahead of 2014 Assembly Elections in government jobs but allowed it in education.

Source: Outlook India

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

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/will-supreme-court-verdict-on-ews-reservation-impact-the-decision-to-include-dalit-muslims-under-scheduled-caste-category--news-244141

--------

‘Muslim League is an out and out communal party’: Kerala BJP

11th December 2022

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala state unit president of BJP, K. Surendran has said that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is an out-and-out communal political party. He was speaking at the state office bearers meet of the Kerala unit of the party here.

In a direct reply to the CPI-M state secretary, M.V. Govindan, Surendran said: “The CPI-M is trying to whitewash the Muslim League and the statement of its state secretary, M.V. Govindan that League is not a communal party is hoodwinking the general public.”

Surendran said that the people of the country have not forgotten the regressive position taken by the Muslim League in the maintenance case filed by Shah Bano against her husband who divorced her. He said that the League was out and out against the woman in the maintenance case and added that CPI-M was trying to portray such a party as secular.

He also added that Muslim League had supported the partition of India and was against the interests of our nation. The BJP Kerala state president said that CPI-M is now an opportunistic political party and that while CPI-M is trying to rope League into the Left front, “What message is the party providing to the majority Hindu community of Kerala?”

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/muslim-league-is-an-out-and-out-communal-party-kerala-bjp-2477289/

--------

 

North America

 

Washington Still Trying To Control Events in Libya; Reopening Lockerbie Bombing Case Shows

11 December 2022

The reopening of the case of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing shows that Washington is still meddling in Libya, which the Obama administration destroyed in 2011, according to an American journalist and analyst.

Don DeBar, an anti-war activist and radio host in New York, made the remarks commenting to the Press TV website on Sunday after US authorities confirmed that a Libyan man accused of making the bomb that destroyed a Pan Am flight over Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people, has been taken into US custody.

Abu Agila Mohammad was charged by the United States two years ago for the Lockerbie bombing. Most Americans died in the incident, AFP reported.

Masud had previously been imprisoned in Libya for alleged involvement in a 1986 attack on a Berlin nightclub.

The US Justice Department said in a statement on Sunday that Masud was in American custody after Scottish prosecutors made the announcement that the suspect was in US hands.

“As far as Lockerbie goes, the general claims against Libya and the specific claims here have to be taken in context. Tripoli denied the claims for many years and because of it, and because of US geopolitical games, Libya was subjected to crippling sanctions from the US and Europe,” DeBar told Press TV.

“Gaddafi struck a deal that constituted a proforma admission of responsibility and the US, et al lifted the sanctions. The lifting of the sanctions, in turn brought about a prosperity across Libya that was a model for Africa, Asia and Latin America - and the world in general - until it was destroyed by US bombing in 2011,” he added.

“The current case has to be looked at in the context of what's currently happening inside Libya and the fact that the US is attempting to influence events there. Nothing more,” he concluded.

A US Justice Department spokesperson said Masud was expected to appear in a federal court in Washington, DC.

Masud was arrested by the FBI and was being extradited to the United States to face prosecution, according to The New York Times.

The bombing of Pan Am flight 103 on December 21, 1988 was the deadliest terror attack on British soil.

The New York-bound aircraft exploded 38 minutes after it took off from London, with the main fuselage plunging to the ground in the town of Lockerbie.

The crash killed 259 people including 190 Americans on board, and 11 people on the ground.

DeBar has previously said that the United States and its allies are responsible for completely destroying Libya, perhaps the richest country with the highest standard of living in Africa.

“It was an unconventional war on Libya with the US Air Force and NATO allies providing air support and the ground troops being comprised of al-Qaeda fighters and other irregulars that were trained and armed by the US, but the Qataris, including Qatari command and control on the ground,” the journalist said.

“Libya has been completely destroyed by the intervention of the United States and NATO.  With once the most prosperous countries in the region, perhaps the wealthiest country with a highest standard of living on the continent of Africa, and one of the wealthiest countries with one of highest standard of living in the Middle East region as well, it had complete domestic peace; they were constructing and had constructed rather an amazing economic space,” the journalist told Press TV.

“It was the engine for the consolidation of the integration of Africa. And it has been completely and totally destroyed,” the analyst noted.

More than 11 years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has become a failed state, with the central government holding no sway over the country.

DeBar said Gaddafi was deposed because he “was well into the process of helping to organize a United States of Africa, an integrated African polity and economy, and was offering to bankroll it with Libya’s wealth.”

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/12/11/694303/Analyst--Washington-still-trying-to-control-events-in-Libya

--------

US says helicopter raid kills 2 Islamic State officials in Syria

11 December 2022

BEIRUT, Lebanon — American forces on Sunday killed two Islamic State terrorists in eastern Syria in a helicopter raid, US Central Command said in a statement.

IS sleeper cells continue to carry out deadly attacks in Syria and Iraq. For a few years, the group ruled swathes of both countries, but lost its last stronghold in 2019.

US Central Command did not specify the location of the overnight operation and claimed there were no civilian casualties in its initial assessments of the operation.

The statement described one of the two targeted IS leaders, identified only as “Anas,” as an “ISIS Syria Province official” involved in plotting attacks in eastern Syria.

“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the security and stability of the region,” CENTCOM spokesman Joe Buccino said in the statement. “The death of these ISIS officials will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out destabilizing attacks in the Middle East.”

Kurdish forces also took part in the raid in the village of Al-Zer in eastern Deir el-Zour, said the UK-based war monitor group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The terrorists refused to turn themselves in before US helicopters fired at the house they were in, it added.

There are some 900 US forces in Syria supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against IS. They have frequently targeted IS terrorists mostly in parts of northeastern Syria under Kurdish control.

On November 30, IS announced that leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed in battle. The US said al-Qurayshi was killed in an operation conducted by rebel forces in the southern city of Daraa.

US troops and Kurdish fighters resumed joint patrols in northeastern Syria after a temporary halt following a series of Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish-led forces.

Turkey said it launched strikes on Kurdish fighters’ positions in northern Syria and Iraq on November 20, after a deadly bombing in Istanbul last month that it blames on Kurdish groups.

Ankara says it has struck positions of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which dominate the SDF, but which Ankara sees as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that it was imperative the Kremlin “clear” Kurdish forces from the border area of northern Syria.

Source: Times Of Israel

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

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-says-helicopter-raid-kills-2-islamic-state-officials-in-syria/

--------

 

Arab World

 

UAE Launches Rashid Rover, The Arab World’s First Mission to the Moon

11 December, 2022

The United Arab Emirates’ Rashid Rover – the Arab world’s first mission to the Moon – was launched on Sunday, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on its official Twitter account.

The launch came after it was previously postponed for “pre-flight checkouts.”

The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the UAE’s Rashid rover successfully took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, were present at the launching event.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/12/11/UAE-s-Rashid-Rover-the-Arab-world-s-first-mission-to-the-Moon-is-launched-

--------

Saudi foreign minister: 'All bets off' if Iran gets nuclear weapon

Dec 12, 2022

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Sunday that Iran's Gulf Arab neighbours would act to shore up their security if Tehran were to obtain nuclear weapons.

Indirect US-Iranian talks to salvage a 2015 nuclear pact between global powers and Iran, which Washington exited in 2018, stalled in September. The UN nuclear chief has voiced concern over a recent announcement by Tehran that it was boosting enrichment capacity.

"If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off," Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said in an on-stage interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi when asked about such a scenario."We are in a very dangerous space in the region...you can expect that regional states will certainly look towards how they can ensure their own security."

The nuclear talks have stalled with Western powers accusing Iran of raising unreasonable demands, and focus shifting to the Russia-Ukraine war as well as domestic unrest in Iran over the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

Though Riyadh remained "sceptical" about the Iran nuclear deal, Prince Faisal said it supported efforts to revive the pact "on condition that it be a starting point, not an end point" for a stronger deal with Tehran.

Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab states have pressed for a stronger agreement that addresses their concerns about Shi'ite Iran's missiles and drones programme and network of regional proxies.

"The signs right now are not very positive unfortunately," Prince Faisal said.

"We hear from the Iranians that they have no interest in a nuclear weapons programme, it would be very comforting to be able to believe that. We need more assurance on that level."

Iran says its nuclear technology is solely for civil purposes.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/saudi-foreign-minister-all-bets-off-if-iran-gets-nuclear-weapon/articleshow/96160901.cms

--------

Two ISIS officials killed in US raid in eastern Syria: US Central Command

11 December ,2022

Two ISIS officials were killed in a US helicopter raid in eastern Syria on Sunday, the US Central Command said in a statement.

One of those killed was Anas, an ISIS Syria Province official who was involved in the group’s deadly plotting and facilitation operations in eastern Syria, the statement said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/12/11/Two-ISIS-officials-killed-in-US-raid-in-eastern-Syria-US-Central-Command

--------

Saudi Crown Prince Made Personal Mediation Efforts for American Basketball Star Griner Release: FM

10 December, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman extended “personal mediation efforts” to facilitate the release of American basketball star Brittney Griner in a Russia-US prisoner swap, the kingdom’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

Washington has denied any mediation, saying the talks were between the United States and Russia, after a joint Saudi-UAE statement that said the president of the United Arab Emirates and Prince Mohammed led mediation efforts.

“I am aware of his highness’s personal efforts in relation to the basketball player and his engagement and personal intervention to facilitate this release,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan told reporters in Riyadh. “As for what others say, I cannot comment on that.”

The swap involving Griner and Russian citizen Viktor Bout took place at an airport in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia had scored a diplomatic victory in September by securing freedom for foreign fighters captured in Ukraine, at a time of tension between Riyadh and Washington whose ties have been strained over human rights, oil supplies and Russia.

Riyadh has resisted Western pressure to help isolate Russia, a fellow OPEC+ oil producer.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/12/10/Saudi-Crown-Prince-made-personal-mediation-efforts-for-Griner-release-FM

--------

UAE asks state entities to buy local in food security push: Minister Mariam Al Mheiri

11 December ,2022

The United Arab Emirates has directed government entities such as the armed forces and hospital authorities to buy locally grown produce to support agri-tech efforts in the desert country, the minister of climate change and environment said on Sunday.

The UAE, which imports 90 percent of its food, took the decision at an annual government meeting last month to support local production while continuing to embrace open trade policy, Mariam Al Mheiri told the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi.

“We want to let the trade keep going, but where you have hands on your procurement and what you can buy, this is where you can encourage that a certain percentage of certain food items are bought locally,” she said, without providing details.

The Gulf Arab oil producer, which will host the COP28 climate conference next year, is making a big push on food security in the region and beyond.

At home, Mheiri noted that an Abu Dhabi accelerator program has invested more than $150 million to attract agri-tech companies to operate in the UAE, which faces water scarcity and has little arable land.

Among initiatives is a vertical farm producing leafy greens under a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering and US-based Crop One. Vertical farming uses a series of stacked levels to produce crops.

The Emirati minister said berries, salmon, and quinoa were also being farmed in the UAE, and that the country has ambitions.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/business/economy/2022/12/11/UAE-asks-state-entities-to-buy-local-in-food-security-push-Minister-Mariam-Al-Mheiri

--------

 

Mideast

 

Iran again summons UK, German envoys over protests: State media

10 December ,2022

Iran on Saturday again called in the British ambassador, marking the 15th time in less than three months a foreign envoy has been summoned, as protests shake the country.

The foreign ministry called in British ambassador Simon Shercliff, a day after his German counterpart, Hans-Udo Muzel, had to appear, the state news agency IRNA said.

This brings to at least 15 times in about 10 weeks the number of times envoys, almost all from Western countries, have been summoned.

“This is a reaction of Iranian diplomacy to unprecedented pressure against Iran,” IRNA said.

Shercliff has now been summoned five times since the demonstrations sparked by the death of Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22.

She died in custody on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

Iran calls the protests “riots” and says they have been encouraged by its foreign foes.

IRNA said the foreign ministry protested the United Kingdom’s support for “terror and unrest,” and sanctions it has imposed.

On Friday the ministry summoned Muzel for the fourth time in the same span of time, IRNA said.

The ministry expressed “its utmost objection toward Germany’s unacceptable intervention,” after Berlin’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock criticized the “perfidious summary trial” which issued a death sentence against Mohsen Shekari.

Iran hanged him on Thursday in the first known execution connected with the protests.

He was convicted of blocking a street and wounding a paramilitary during the early phase of the protests.

Germany also summoned Iran’s ambassador, a diplomatic source said.

Other Western governments also condemned the execution of Shekari, and some including the UK imposed additional sanctions.

Iran has also summoned the French representative twice. Ambassadors from Australia, Norway and Denmark have also been called in over the protests.

Tehran’s foreign ministry has upbraided the envoys for various reasons including “anti-Iranian positions about the protests,” and “anti-Iranian propaganda” by media based in the countries, IRNA said.

After widespread international outrage at Shekari’s execution Iran said it was exercising restraint, both in the response by security forces, and the “proportionality” of the judicial process.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/12/10/Iran-again-summons-UK-German-envoys-over-protests-State-media

--------

Two Iran protesters at imminent risk of execution, activists warn

10 December ,2022

At least two young men arrested during anti-regime protests in Iran are at imminent risk of execution, activists warned on Saturday, two days after Tehran carried out its first execution over demonstrations sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death.

“The case of Mahan Sadrat, one of the protesters sentenced to death, has been transferred to verdict enforcement and he may be executed at any moment,” the activist group 1500tasvir, which monitors protests and rights violations in Iran, said on Twitter.

Sadrat, 23, has been transferred to Rajaei Shahr prison in the city of Karaj, west of the capital Tehran, where he will be executed, Iran-based human rights activist Atena Daemi said on Twitter.

Mohammad Mehdi Karami, 21, is another protester who has been sentenced to death and whose life is “in danger,” warned 1500tasvir.

“Mohammad Mahdi Karami’s life is in danger. He is only 21 years old and has been sentenced to death,” the group said on Twitter.

Karami has told his family that he has been “under severe physical, sexual, and psychological torture,” 1500tasvir said.

Iran carried out on Thursday its first execution over the ongoing protests in the country, hanging 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari.

Shekrai had been convicted of wounding a member of the security forces and blocking a street in Tehran, in what rights groups called a “sham trial.”

The execution triggered global condemnation.

At least 11 others who were arrested during protests have been sentenced to death and are “in serious and imminent danger of being executed,” Oslo-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said following Shekari’s execution.

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

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

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/12/10/Two-Iran-protesters-at-imminent-risk-of-execution-activists-warn

--------

Saudi-led war killed, maimed more than 11,000 children in Yemen: UNICEF

12 December 2022

More than 11,000 Yemeni children have been killed or maimed since the Saudi-led aggression against the impoverished country began in 2015, according to the executive director of UNICEF.

Thousands of children have lost their lives while hundreds of thousands more remain at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation, Catherine Russell said on Monday.

“The true toll of this conflict is likely to be far higher,” said Russell, commenting on the casualties of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

About 2.2 million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished, one quarter of them aged under five, and most are at extreme risk from cholera, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, she added.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, including women and children, have been killed since the beginning of the war as Saudi-led forces bomb them or shoot them, or indirectly through mine explosions, unsafe drinking water, disease outbreaks, lack of medicine and treatment due to the imposed siege, hunger and other impacts.

A temporary United Nations-mediated ceasefire took effect in April 2022 and was renewed twice, but eventually expired on October 2.

“The urgent renewal of the truce would be a positive first step that would allow critical humanitarian access,” Russell said, adding “Ultimately, only a sustained peace will allow families to rebuild their shattered lives and begin to plan for the future.”

The truce was not renewed again due to the Saudi coalition’s constant violations of the agreement and its refusal to properly lift a siege that it has been enforcing against Yemen simultaneously with the war.

At least 62 children have been killed or wounded since then, said Russell.

Earlier in October, Ansarullah resistance movement spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam said that “Peace in Yemen is not possible unless the invading countries abandon their arrogant mentality.”

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

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/12/12/694309/Saudi-led-war-killed-maimed-more-than-11,000-children-in-Yemen-UNICEF

--------

Erdogan asks Putin to ‘clear’ Kurdish forces from northern Syria

December 12, 2022

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday that it was imperative the Kremlin “clear” Kurdish forces from northern Syria.

Erdogan has been threatening to launch a new incursion into northern Syria to push out Kurdish forces he blames for a November bomb blast that killed six people in Istanbul.

A 2019 agreement between Moscow and Ankara ended another offensive by setting up a 30-kilometre (19-mile) “safe zone” to protect Turkey against cross-border attacks from Syrian territory.

Erdogan accuses Russia — a key player in the Syria conflict which backs President Bashar al-Assad — of failing to follow through on the deal.

Erdogan told Putin in a phone call it was “important to clear the (Kurdish fighters) from the border to a depth of at least 30 kilometres,” his office said. Erdogan stated it was a “priority”, the Turkish presidency said.

Some of the Kurdish forces are stationed in areas under Russian military control.

Others have been fighting with the United States against jihadists from the militant Islamic State group.

The Kremlin confirmed the 2019 agreement was discussed in the call.

“The two countries’ defence and foreign services will maintain close contacts in this regard,” a Kremlin statement said.

Both Moscow and Washington have been putting diplomatic pressure on Ankara not to launch a new ground campaign.

Turkey has been pummelling Kurdish positions near the border with artillery fire and drone strikes since Nov 20 in response to the bomb blast. But it has not yet poured in any major forces to support ones it already has stationed in the area. Kurdish groups deny involvement in the Istanbul attack.

Black Sea grain deal

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also discussed the Black Sea grain export agreement on Sunday with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, as both sides seek changes that would boost their exports.

Turkey has acted as mediator alongside the United Nations in the grain deal, which opened up Ukrainian ports for exports after a six-month de facto Russian blockade.

Moscow is seeking better guarantees for its own food and fertiliser exports, while Kyiv wants the deal expanded to increase the number of Ukrainian ports it opens for shipping.

After his call with Putin, the Turkish presidency said Erdogan had called for a quick end to the conflict and said Moscow could start work on exporting more food products and commodities through the Black Sea grain corridor.

Russia has urged the United Nations to push the West to lift some sanctions, to ensure Moscow can freely export its fertiliser and agricultural products — a part of the Black Sea grain deal that Moscow says has not been implemented.

“The deal is of complex character, which requires the removal of obstacles for the relevant supplies from Russia in order to meet the demands of the countries most in need,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Zelenskiy said on Twitter he had “discussed further work & possible expansion of the grain corridor” with Erdogan.

Ukraine and Russia are both among the world’s largest grain producers and exporters. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports following its invasion threatened to cause a global food crisis earlier this year, which was mitigated by the Turkish-brokered deal that unblocked Ukrainian shipments at the end of July.

The Kremlin said Erdogan and Putin also discussed a Russian proposal to create a base in Turkey for exports of Russian natural gas.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1725893/erdogan-asks-putin-to-clear-kurdish-forces-from-northern-syria

--------

Iran hands new 10-year sentence to Baha’i figures: Group

11 December ,2022

Iran has jailed for 10 years each two prominent Baha’i figures as part of a crackdown on its largest non-Muslim religious minority, the group representing the community at the UN said Sunday.

Mahvash Sabet, 69, and Fariba Kamalabadi, 60, who had both previously served 10-year prison terms over their activism, were handed new sentences after a one-hour trial on November 21, the Baha’i International Community (BIC) said in a statement.

The two women had been arrested in late July at the start of a fresh crackdown against the Baha’is, who are estimated to number some 300,000 in Iran.

The Islamic republic recognizes minority non-Muslim faiths including Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism but does not extend the same recognition to Baha’ism.

“It is profoundly distressing to learn that these two Baha’i women... are once again being incarcerated for another 10 years on the same ludicrous charges,” said Simin Fahandej, representative of the BIC to the UN in Geneva.

“Words fail to describe this absurd and cruel injustice,” she added.

The precise nature of the national security-related charges were not immediately clear, but Iran's intelligence ministry said in August it had arrested Baha’is suspected of spying for a center in Israel and working illegally to spread their religion.

At least 90 Baha’is are currently in prison or subject to ankle-band monitoring, the BIC said, adding that it had counted 320 individual acts of persecution against members of the community since the end of July.

The crackdown has seen Baha’i homes destroyed and business shut down, it added.

Iran is also in the throes of a nationwide crackdown against protests over the September death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian women of Kurdish origin, after her arrest by the morality police.

Baha’is are used to Iranian accusations of links to Israel, whose northern city of Haifa hosts a center of the Baha’i faith that was established following the exile of a Baha’i leader well before the state of Israel was created.

Baha’is regard such allegations has a pretext for persecution.

Both Sabet and Kamalabadi had been part of a now disbanded Baha’i administrative group known as the Yaran.

The pair were first arrested in 2008 and released in 2018, according to the BIC.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/12/11/Iran-hands-new-10-year-sentence-to-Baha-i-figures-Group-

--------

 

Pakistan

 

Minaret of Ahmadi Place of Worship Removed In Gujranwala; Law Bars the Ahmadis from Making Their Places of Worship Resemble a Mosque

Waseem Ashraf

December 12, 2022

GUJRAT: The authorities ordered the removal of the minaret of an Ahmadi place of worship in Gujranwala’s Baghbanpura area last week.

According to the representatives of the Ahmadi community, police cordoned off the street and switched off the lights before going ahead with the removal of the minaret on Dec 7.

Some religious outfits had been pressing the administration for the last one year to get the minaret removed from the front side of the building since the law bars the Ahmadis from making their places of worship resemble a mosque.

The building’s management had placed steel sheets around the minaret to hide it from public view after the administration advised them to do so in order to avoid a law and order situation.

Official sources said the administration sprang into action after some religious groups asked it to get the minaret removed. The administration called a meeting of the district intelligence committee as soon as an organisation lodged a complaint with the police.

The administration also held a meeting with the representatives of the Ahmadi community to sort out the matter. The authorities told them that there was no alternative but to remove the minaret as passions were running high in the city and things might get out of control.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1725918/minaret-of-ahmadi-place-of-worship-removed-in-gujranwala

--------

‘Political terrorist’ Imran symbol of country’s degradation: Marriyum

December 11, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, while terming PTI chairman Imran Khan ‘a political terrorist’ said he was a symbol of the country’s degradation.

Addressing the Muslim League-Nawaz workers’ convention here, the minister said all the allegations levelled by the ‘Toshakhana thief’ against the PML-N leadership proved wrong.

She said it was ironic that a person, who did not start a single development project while in power, was blaming those who brought investments worth billions of rupees to the country.

The minister said the Daily Mail’s apology to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was actually an apology to the 220 million people of Pakistan. Imran Khan, in animosity of Shehbaz Sharif, used David Rose to publish a baseless news story against the PM, she added.

She said that in 2016 when Nawaz Sharif was holding office, Pakistan’s GDP growth rate was 6.2 percent whereas inflation was only 2.3 percent. During Nawaz’s era, she added, the IMF programme was rolled back, CPEC projects were started, employment opportunities were provided to the youth, and 14,000 megawatts of electricity were added to the national grid.

The minister said at that time, a conspirator, incompetent, inefficient and ‘Toshkhana thief’ was waiting for the finger of the umpire and holding sit-ins.

She said Nawaz Sharif made the country a nuclear power but Imran Khan ruined the development process.

Marriyum said Nawaz Sharif, in his tenure, eradicated the scourge of terrorism, but when Imran Khan came to power, terrorism rose its head again.

She said ‘the Toshakhana thief’ alleged that the PML-N leadership was involved in money laundering, but he could not give any evidence in the courts of Pakistan and the United Kingdom. On the contrary, he himself was caught doing money laundering. Marriyum Aurangzeb asked when will Imran Khan give an account of his theft?

Imran Khan made the country’s treasury a “retail shop” during his time, whereas Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was striving for the betterment of the people.

She congratulated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal for emerging victorious in the court cases.

She said Hanif Abbasi was sentenced to 25-years imprisonment in Imran’s tenure but he stood firm and even now standing firm like a lion. Imran took false oaths and put a heroin case on Rana Sanaullah, who stood strong like a rock and still standing like a lion with Nawaz Sharif.

She said Imran embezzled the BRT money and abused the Chief Election Commissioner when it decided the case against him on merit.

He used to offer an extension to the army chief in closed rooms but campaigned against the martyrs outside.

Imran Khan, she said, appointed an incompetent and inefficient person as the chief minister of Punjab who damaged the province.

Taking a jibe at the PTI chairman, she said, after 4 years in power, Imran claimed that he had no power, whereas he had Farah Gogi and Pinki with him. She said Imran Khan even sold a gifted watch carrying the image of the Holy Kaaba.

She said, in Imran Khan’s era, Nawaz Sharif used to come to courts along with his daughter and presented documents from the past 40 years in accountability courts to clear his name.

She said when Imran Khan was asked to answer for his wrongdoings, he got worried and appeared in public on the wheelchair.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/12/11/political-terrorist-imran-symbol-of-countrys-degradation-marriyum/

--------

Six civilians martyred in cross-border firing by Afghan Border Forces: ISPR

December 11, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Six persons were killed and 17 others sustained injuries on Sunday when Afghan Border Forces resorted to “unprovoked and indiscriminate fire” across the border on civilian population in Chaman district of Balochistan, the ISPR – the army’s media wing said.

Pakistan army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) confirmed in a statement on Sunday that Afghan Border Forces opened “unprovoked and indiscriminate” fire with heavy weapons including artillery and mortar onto civilian population in Chaman area of Balochistan.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), heavy weapons including artillery and mortars were used in the firing by Afghan forces.

“Pakistani border troops have given befitting albeit measured response against the uncalled for aggression but avoided targeting innocent civilians in the area,” the statement said.

It added that Pakistani authorities have approached their counterparts in Kabul to highlight the “severity” of the situation, demanding “strict action to obviate any such recurrence of the incident in future.”

Emergency imposed in Chaman, Quetta hospitals

The Chaman district administration imposed an emergency in all hospitals to treat injured persons. While Levies Balochistan officials said that the Afghan Taliban made a target of the civilian area of Pakistan in which many innocent people were killed and injured badly.

The Levies Balochistan officials said the Afghan Taliban hit the Pakistani residential area with mortar shells.

Chaman District Police Officer (DPO) Abdullah Ali Kasi informed that the firing began after a mortar shell was fired into Pakistani territory. “All the injured were moved to DHQ Hospital Chaman except four critically injured have been transferred to Quetta”, he added.

An emergency was imposed in Quetta Civil Hospital on the directions of Health Secretary Saleh Muhammad Nasir. The Secretary has called doctors, pharmacists, staff nurses, and paramedical staff of the Civil Sandman Hospital, Quetta, Bolan Medical Hospital, Quetta, and Trauma Center to their respective duty wards.

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo expressed concern over the incident. “I hope the federal government will ensure an immediate and effective solution to this problem at the diplomatic level.”

He ordered the district administration of Chaman to provide full support to the people affected.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/12/11/afghan-border-forces-unprovoked-fire-martyrs-six-injures-17-along-border-ispr/

--------

Bilawal lauds role OIC for Muslim Ummah

December 12, 2022

While praising the role of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for the Muslim Ummah, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that an office of the OIC had been established in Kabul and work on the education of the young Afghan girls was being carried out.

“Recommendations regarding Afghanistan were presented in the 17th OIC foreign ministers meeting, and [seeing] the work being carried out on the recommendations of the OIC is welcoming,” he stated. “The senior scholars from the OIC countries also visited Afghanistan. We are working on the education of the young Afghan girls,” he emphasised. “In Afghanistan, 97 per cent of the population is falling below the poverty line.

Source: Pak Observer

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

https://pakobserver.net/bilawal-lauds-role-oic-for-muslim-ummah/

--------

Pakistan ranks atop list of 82 nations most influenced by China: Report

Dec 12, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A new study that measures Beijing's expanding global sway has revealed that Pakistan is the country in the world which is most influenced by China, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

The China Index, a database relaunched on December 8 by DoubleThink Labs, a Taiwan-based research organization has ranked Pakistan atop a list of 82 other nations around the world and said that its links and dependency on China with regard to foreign and domestic policy, technology, and the economy make it particularly susceptible to Chinese influence.

Following Pakistan, Cambodia and Singapore are listed at the second spot while Thailand at third position, as per the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) report. The Philippines is listed at the seventh spot while Malaysia lies in the 10th position. South Africa and Peru are tied at the fifth spot on the index.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are at the eighth and ninth spots on the index. These two countries share a border with China's Xinjiang Province and are the Central Asian countries most influenced by Beijing.

Meanwhile, Germany is the highest-ranked European country at 19th spot while the United States leads North America in the 21st position, as per the news report. While compiling the China index, the research team focused on nine categories to monitor influence around the world, which includes higher education, domestic politics, economic ties, foreign policy, military cooperation, media, technology and cultural links.

Speaking to RFE/RL, Min Hsuan-Wu, the co-founder and CEO of Doublethink Labs, said that the database has been created to raise awareness about different aspects of China's influence. Wu stressed that the system will help to have more understanding that challenges some assumptions about levers of Chinese influence, particularly around economics and trade.

"A major goal of [of this database] is to raise awareness around the world about the different aspects of Chinese influence and what that can actually look like," RFE/RL quoted Min Hsuan-Wu as saying.

"We have taken a much broader and nuanced look at what influence can be, which can tell us more about what Beijing is actually doing and the different ways it can apply pressure," Min Hsuan-Wu added.

Pakistan leading in the index is no surprise as the South Asian country is home to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a centrepiece of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative which involves funding of Chinese entities in developing infrastructure projects in the past 10 years.

Pakistan's relations with China have increased in every sector, particularly in military ties, technology and foreign policy, according to RFE/RL report. Shahzeb Jillani, a veteran journalist who helped compile research on Pakistan used for the database, said that they can only hope that the index will encourage the people of Pakistan to debate regarding the pros and cons of the country's ties with China.

While trade and investment were an early impetus, Chinese influence now plays an increasing role in foreign policy, local media, defence and security. In the index rankings, Kyrgyzstan ranks in the 10th place while Kazakhstan holds the 15th spot.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-ranks-atop-list-of-82-nations-most-influenced-by-china-report/articleshow/96160506.cms

--------

OIC working on plan to find solution to Kashmir issue

Tariq Naqash

December 12, 2022

MUZAFFARABAD: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said it has been working on a plan to find a channel of discussion between Pakistan and India in its earnest endeavours to see a solution to the longstanding Kashmir issue.

“I think the most important thing is to find the channel of discussion between stakeholders [India and Pakistan] and we are working on a plan of action in this regard in collaboration with Pakistani government and other member countries,” said OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha at a brief media talk at President’s House on Sunday.

“That’s why we need the mandate of member states and we should know that most of the issues in diplomacy should not be [discussed] on the street,” he added.

AJK President Barrister Sultan Mahmood and Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, Adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira, OIC Contact Group on Kashmir members, senior officials of the OIC general secretariat were also present.

Mr Taha told the media that he had undertaken the tour to implement a resolution adopted by the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) at a recent session, as he wanted to see for himself the situation on the ground.

“We are here to express our solidarity, sympathy and determination of the OIC to find out a solution for this longest conflict between India and Pakistan [in collaboration] with our partners, with the international community and with our member states.”

He said Kashmir is part of OIC which has collective and individual responsibility to talk about this issue to find a solution.

Asked why some OIC member states were going “an extra mile” in expressing their “appreciation and fondness” for India despite the latter’s perpetual denial of right to self-determination to the Kashmiris, perpetration of war crimes in the occupied territory and state-sponsored persecution of Indian Muslims, he hinted at the limitations of the forum. “I just want to emphasise that in OIC we are working on the basis of the resolutions that were adopted by the member states. But all states have their own sovereignty even though we are [from] the same community,” he said.

About the OIC delegation’s visit to the Line of Control, he said he would submit a comprehensive report to the CFM in the backdrop of the visit and ask them to “take the right decision. Basically, the decision will be taken by the foreign ministers”.

The AJK president, in his introductory remarks, said Kashmir was not a territorial dispute rather an issue of the future of a nation. He appreciated the OIC secretary general for his all-out support to the right to self-determination of people of India-held Kashmir.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1725907/oic-working-on-plan-to-find-solution-to-kashmir-issue

--------

Pakistan Kills 4 ISIS Militants Near Afghan Border

By Saqalain Eqbal

December 11, 2022

Pakistan reported on Saturday that its counterterrorism forces had intercepted 4 ISKP militants close to the Afghan border in an isolated mountainous region and killed them.

According to Pakistan’s provincial counterterrorism unit, the killed militants entered the remote North Waziristan border area from Afghanistan and were associated with the self-declare Daesh group’s regional branch, Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP).

The statement of the Pakistani department states that after conducting a search operation using intelligence reports, Pakistani security forces engaged the militants in an armed clash, which resulted in the ISKP militants’ deaths.

The four ISIS terrorists who were killed have been identified by the department as commander Mohammad Dawood, Mohammad Yaqub, Abdullah Khan Gul, and Mohammad Laeeq Sardar Piyawuddin. They were said to have plotted bombing attacks on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Since the rolling government took control of the war-torn nation last year as the US and its NATO allies pulled troops after nearly 20 years of conflict Daesh has stepped up its regional terrorist activities, alarming many countries in the region and international community.

In a failed assassination attempt last week, two assailants opened fire on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, which ISIS claimed responsibility for it.

Officials in Islamabad said that while Pakistan’s Charge d’Affaires Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani survived unharmed, his Pakistani security guard was wounded in the chest.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/pakistan-kills-4-isis-militants-near-afghan-border-36743/

--------

 

South Asia

 

Islamic System Needs Skilled, Educated People; Islamic Emirate Is Not Opposed To Modern Education: Minister

By Nazir Shinwari

December 12, 2022

The acting minister of Border and Tribal Affairs said that for the growth of the Islamic system, skilled individuals are needed in the country.

The Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Mullah Noorullah Noori, said that the Islamic Emirate is not opposed to modern education and that religious and modern sciences are related, while speaking at the graduation ceremony for 12th grade students from Rahman Baba and Khushal Khan high schools.

"For the structure and progress of the Islamic system in the country, there is a serious need for educated and trained cadres, in order to put an end to the past misfortunes,” Noori said.

According to the officials of the ministry, there is no gap between madrasas and universities, and the Islamic Emirate wants modern education to be provided throughout the nation.

"We have one religion, one soil, one system, and we made sacrifices for the country's freedom. There is no distance between Madrasa and university,” Noori added.

"there is no distinction between religion and modern; they are reliant upon each other, religious science is one discipline and modern science is another,” said Abdul Rahman Haqqani, deputy of the Ministry of Border and Tribal Affairs.

Meanwhile, some officials of Rahman Baba High School said that this year more than 330 people from Rahman Baba and Khushal Khan high schools have advanced to higher education.

"We assure you that these students will have good achievements in the future as well,” said Aziz Ahmad Akhundzada, director of Rahma Baba high school.

“These students should attempt to succeed in the future and try to work for the growth of the country,” said Sayed Hakim, a graduate student.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-181146

--------

Afghan Delegation Visits Tehran for Quadrilateral Talks on Refugees

By Saqalain Eqbal

December 11, 2022

A delegation from the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation visited Tehran, the capital of Iran, to participate in quadrilateral talks on the challenges and difficulties faced by Afghan refugees, Iranian media reported.

According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, the refugee and repatriation delegation from Afghanistan reached the Iranian capital to discuss the situation of Afghan refugees in Iran after reports of forced repatriation and ill-treatment surfaced.

The delegation representing the caretaker Afghan administration will engage in quadrilateral talks with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Pakistan, and Iran to address the concerns and challenges of Afghan refugees.

The meeting, according to representatives of the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, would discuss problems facing Afghan immigrants in Iran as well as potential remedies.

 “We will reach an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan on how to solve the problems so that the immigrants return to the country voluntarily,” Mehr quoted the Deputy Minister of Refugees and Repatriation.

With the political unrest in Afghanistan, both the number of Afghans escaping potential persecution by the new administration and the number of forced deportations of Afghan refugees without legal status have increased.

A Wall Street Journal article previously reported that Iran deported between 2,500 and 4,000 Afghan refugees every day, totaling millions of Afghans this year. Similarly, Pakistan detained many undocumented Afghan refugees in jails and sent them back to Afghanistan.

This comes after Amnesty International previously urged all countries to avoid deporting Afghan migrants to Turkey or Iran, where they risk incarceration, torture, and other ill-treatment before being refouled to Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-delegation-visits-tehran-for-quadrilateral-talks-on-refugees-46743/

--------

Afghanistan Investment Desk Set Up at Kabul Airport to Facilitate Visa on Arrival

By Saqalain Eqbal

December 11, 2022

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that a center has been established at Kabul International Airport to enable visa-on-arrival for foreign investors and to offer investment-related services.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the caretaker administration in Afghanistan and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce announced the establishment and inauguration of the Afghanistan Investment Desk, on Saturday, December 10.

To encourage foreign investors and partners of Afghan private sector institutions, the economic commission of the current administration, led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, decided to set up the center earlier this year.

The centers are intended to provide services for foreign businesspeople exclusively in order to lure foreign investors and investments in Afghanistan. Foreign investors can now quickly conduct business transactions and readily get arrival visas.

The newly established desk will increase foreign investment and expand commercial prospects, according to acting Minister of Industry and Commerce Nooruddin Aziz, who highlighted its importance at the ceremony.

Over 100 foreign companies, mostly from China, Turkey, and Russia, were registered for investment last year, according to the spokesperson for the commerce ministry.

Afghanistan’s visa policy is unknown since the new regime took control of Kabul in 2021. All foreign nationals intending to go to Afghanistan were required to get visas in accordance with the legislation of the country’s formerly recognized, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-investment-desk-set-up-at-kabul-airport-to-facilitate-visa-on-arrival-35643/

--------

Afghan FM Meets with Ambassador of Japan Discussing Aid and Economy

By Saqalain Eqbal

December 11, 2022

Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign affairs minister, met with Takashi Okada, the Japanese ambassador, in the Afghan capital to discuss aid to Afghanistan and the resurrection of the Afghan economy.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, announced in a string of tweets on Sunday, December 11, that the leadership of the ministry visited the Japanese envoy in a constructive meeting.

The Japanese diplomat, according to the ministry’s statement, said that his country is in dialogue with the international community to set the stage for the reconstruction of the Afghan economy.

The Afghan side also lavished the Japanese side with gratitude for the generous assistance of $106 million for Afghanistan and Japan’s “positive diplomatic interactions” with the incumbent regime in Afghanistan, calling it a “roadmap” for the international community.

“Japan will likely commence its duty as a member of the UN Security Council next year and will try to play a good role in the Security Council regarding Afghanistan,” Balkhi wrote on his Twitter handle.

While myriad packages of $40 million and $32 million have reached the Afghan capital from an undisclosed address, Afghanistan yet struggles with a humanitarian crisis that is magnified by unrest, widespread poverty, and perpetual unemployment.

The Japanese ambassador to Afghanistan also pledged that his country will step up the assistance to Afghanistan in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis as the current administration in Afghanistan flounders in ameliorating the situation and aid distribution.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-fm-meets-with-ambassador-of-japan-discussing-aid-and-economy-78653/

--------

At least 4 killed, 20 injured as mortar lands in Afghanistan's Spin Boldak

Dec 11, 2022

No less than four persons have died after a mortar landed in Afghanistan's Spin Boldak amid Taliban and Pakistan military clashes.

Afghanistan's local media reported, "At least four people were killed and 20 others were wounded after a mortar landed near Spin Boldak gate, a source told TOLOnews. The clashes are still ongoing between the Islamic Emirate and Pakistani military, according to the source."

Videos showed the injured were rushed to a hospital at Chaman crossing which is located near the Durand Line.

TALIBAN ARMY-PAKISTAN MILITARY CLASHES

An official told TOLO News that clashes broke out between the Taliban army and the Pakistan military and it happened along the controversial Durand Line in Spin Boldak.

Kandahar administration officials told the media that one of its members was killed while 10 others were wounded in clashes on Sunday afternoon. TOLO News reported that one of Pakistan's military men was wounded.

Commander of Spin Boldak Security Mawlawi Muhammad Hashim confirmed the clash, stating a clash took place on Sunday.

The clash between the Taliban army and the Pakistan military has been a recurring incident. As tensions along international borders remain intact, both sides traded barbs in November 2022. The Chaman/ Spin Boldak border crossing is referred to as the 'Friendship Gate' and both the Taliban and Pakistan have often tabled complaints of alleged encroachment.

Source: India Today

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/afghanistan-spin-boldak-mortar-attack-taliban-pakistan-military-clash-2307912-2022-12-11

--------

79 per cent households in Afghanistan suffer water shortage: Survey

12 December, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], December 12 (ANI): Around 79 per cent of households in Afghanistan reported severe water shortage, making it challenging for the people to consume clean and safe water, Khaama Press reported citing a survey of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

Over the years, drought and other problems have caused water shortages in the country.

“The problem of lack of water is serious and UNICEF would help Afghanistan in addressing the problem. Bringing clean, safe water to 9 million people the following year is a priority for the organization,” the spokesperson of UNICEF Afghanistan, Salam Al-Janabi said, as per Khaama Press.

Meanwhile, Afghan households also are concerned about the lack of water in the country. According to some residents in Kabul, the water level has seriously dropped down and most wells have dried, giving them fresh headaches to supply clean water.

Drought and a scarcity of water have become a new difficulty for ordinary people to contend with in these challenging economic times.

Hunger, poverty, unemployment, security, and a lack of access to adequate healthcare and education have already had a negative influence on people’s lives.

Furthermore, failure to supply safe and sanitary drinking water, according to healthcare professionals, would spread numerous diseases among individuals, particularly youngsters in rural locations, Khaama Press reported.

Due to plunging groundwater levels, several provinces of Afghanistan have been facing a critical issue of availability of potable water as a lack of drinking water has become a challenge for Kabul residents.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/79-per-cent-households-in-afghanistan-suffer-water-shortage-survey/1261128/

--------

 

Europe

 

French President Macron to travel to Qatar for World Cup semis against Morocco

11 December ,2022

French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Qatar to attend the World Cup semi-final between France and Morocco on Wednesday, French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said on Sunday.

France, tournament winners in 2018, will play Morocco for a place in the final after they beat England 2-1 and the North Africans beat Portugal 1-0 in Saturday’s earlier quarter-finals.

“The details of the trip remain to be settled, of course, but he had made this commitment,” she said on Franceinfo radio.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/12/11/French-President-Macron-to-travel-to-Qatar-for-World-Cup-semis-against-Morocco

--------

Erdogan, Putin discuss grain corridor, gas hub in phone call

11 December ,2022

Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia discussed grain supplies and a potential regional gas hub in Turkey on Sunday, both countries said.

Relations with NATO member Turkey are vital to Russia at a time when the West has hit it with waves of economic sanctions, which Ankara has refrained from joining.

Turkey has, however, rejected Russia's move to annex four Ukrainian regions as a “grave violation” of international law. Ankara has acted as a mediator with the United Nations on an agreement that guarantees grain exports from both Ukraine and Russia, two of the world's biggest producers.

“President Erdogan expressed his sincere wish for the termination of the Russia-Ukraine war as soon as possible,” the Turkish presidency said on Sunday.

In the call, Erdogan said Ankara and Moscow could start work on exporting other food products and commodities through the Black Sea grain corridor, Erdogan's office said.

Russia has urged the United Nations to push the West to lift some sanctions to ensure Moscow can freely export its fertilizer and agricultural products - a part of the Black Sea grain deal that Moscow says has not been implemented.

“The deal is of complex character, which requires the removal of obstacles for the relevant supplies from Russia in order to meet the demands of the countries most in need,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said the two also discussed an initiative to create a base in Turkey for exports of Russian natural gas.

Putin proposed the idea in October as a means to redirect supplies from Russia's Nord Stream pipelines to Europe, which were damaged in explosions in September. Erdogan has supported the concept.

“The special importance of joint energy projects, primarily in the gas industry, was emphasized,” the Kremlin said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/12/11/Erdogan-Putin-discuss-grain-corridor-gas-hub-in-phone-call

--------

Arrest of EU lawmakers in 'Qatar bribery probe' sparks calls for reform in bloc's parliament

11 December 2022

The European Parliament is facing serious calls to enact reforms after the arrest of a parliamentary official and four others in connection with an alleged Qatar-linked corruption and bribery probe.

The Saturday call came after Eva Kaili, a European Parliament vice-president and Greek socialist Member of European Parliament (MEP), was arrested on Friday, hours after four others were detained for questioning.

The European Parliament's president announced later the same day that Kaili's status as a vice-president has been suspended.

Roberta Metsola said she was suspending "all powers, duties and tasks... delegated to Eva Kaili in her capacity as Vice-President of the European Parliament."

Kaili is also a former television presenter. In November, just prior to the World Cup, she met Qatar's Labor Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri.

In a video statement posted on Twitter by the Qatar News Agency, she said: "I believe the World Cup for Arabs has been a great tool for... political transformation and reforms".

In Athens Friday, the president of the Greek socialists (PASOK) Nikos Androulakis announced on Twitter that Kaili had been expelled from the party.

On Saturday, the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament announced they had suspended her membership.

Among those arrested, at least three are either Italian citizens or originally came from Italy, a source close to the case told AFP.

Former Italian MEP, Pier-Antonio Panzeri, who served as a socialist at the parliament between 2004 and 2019, was also reportedly arrested.

In Rome, a government source confirmed reports that Panzeri's wife and daughter had been detained.

The secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation, Italian Luca Visentini, was also among those reportedly arrested. The ITUC said it was "aware" of the media reports.

The arrests followed raids in Brussels, which Belgian prosecutors said turned up 600,000 euros ($630,000) in cash. The police also seized computers and mobile phones.

Belgian daily L'Echo reported on Saturday that "several bags full of [cash] notes" had been found at Kaili's Brussels home.

The arrests prompted the European Parliament's Greens group to call for a full investigation into allegations of bribery by Qatar.

"We will not accept business as usual...," the group posted on Twitter, adding, "We must strengthen our rules so this cannot happen again."

"This is not an isolated incident," anti-corruption campaigning group, Transparency International, said on Saturday.

"Over many decades, the Parliament has allowed a culture of impunity to develop, with a combination of lax financial rules and controls and a complete lack of independent [or indeed any] ethics oversight," its director Michiel van Hulten said.

The European Parliament has "become a law unto itself," said van Hulten, adding, "It is time for root-and-branch reform."

While prosecutors did not name the country under investigation, a legal source close to the case confirmed to AFP Belgian press reports that it was Qatar.

Prosecutors had merely said the state in question was suspected of influencing the decisions of the European Parliament through cash payments or gifts to top figures.

Reacting to the reports, an unnamed Qatari government official, said, "We are not aware of any details of an investigation. Any claims of misconduct by the State of Qatar are gravely misinformed."

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/12/11/694253/European-Parliament-arrests-Qatar-corruption-probe

--------

 

Africa

 

Libya’s Menfi, Saudi crown prince discuss political developments

Mohamed Artemah 

11.12.2022

TRIPOLI, Libya

Head of Libya’s Presidency Council, Mohamed al-Menfi, met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the capital Riyadh to discuss Libyan political developments and prospects for cooperation between the two countries.

A statement by al-Menfi’s office said the two sides also discussed a number of issues of mutual concern, the Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Al-Menfi had participated in the Arab-China summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Friday during which he called for Arab and Chinese support to restore stability to Libya.

Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/libya-s-menfi-saudi-crown-prince-discuss-political-developments/2761112

--------

Hamas congratulates Morocco on team’s qualification for semi-finals at FIFA World Cup in Qatar

11 December 2022

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has congratulated Moroccans on their national team’s success in reaching the semi-finals at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem made the remarks in a statement on Saturday following Morocco’s historic 1-0 victory over Portugal, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

“We congratulate Morocco on this great sporting achievement after its national teams qualified for the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar,” Qasem said.

“This is a historic Arab sports achievement,” he added, while expressing the movement’s best wishes for the Moroccan team in its coming matches.

Meanwhile, Palestinians who gathered in large numbers in the besieged Gaza Strip to watch the Morocco-Portugal game celebrated the victory of the Moroccan team with loud cheers.

At the end of the game, the fans rallied amid cheers for Morocco and Palestine, raising the flags of both nations.

Moroccan fans also raised Palestinian flags, singing Palestinian songs in the Qatari capital of Doha, as they have done in every game of this World Cup.

Israeli forces attack Palestinians celebrating Morocco win in al-Quds

Israeli forces attacked Palestinians in the occupied al-Quds as they gathered in large numbers to celebrate Morocco’s win against Portugal at the World Cup’s quarterfinals in Qatar.

Scores of Israeli forces, including police on horseback, assaulted the Palestinian fans and chased them in the vicinity of the Damascus Gate, according to Palestine’s Wafa news agency. 

Video posted to social media showed Israeli forces attacking and chasing Palestinians, including children.

No injuries or arrests have been reported.

Morocco’s Atlas Lions national team became the first African team to reach a World Cup semifinal.

Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri recorded the sole goal in the 42nd-minute of the first half of the match when he out-jumped the Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa and nudged the ball into the goal with a header.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/12/11/694290/Palestine-Hamas-Morocco-win-Portugal-congratulate-Israeli-forces-attack-Palestinians

--------

Nigeria Muslims rally to protest persecution of Shias in Azerbaijan

11 December 2022

Members of the Islamic movement in Nigeria have rallied to condemn Azerbaijan's persecution and torture of Shia members of the Muslim Movement for Unity (MMU) and its leader Sheikh Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh.

The rally that took place at Abuja national mosque on Saturday was attended by Abdullah Musa, national secretary of the academic forum of the Islamic movement.

"The government (of Azerbaijan) is prosecuting them illegally, unconditionally,” Musa was quoted as saying.

"Therefore, every Muslim must stand against tyranny and oppression.”

Demonstrators and the participating youth took to the streets and chanted "death to America, death to Israel."

“The essence of the rally is to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Azerbaijan particularly their leader, Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh. We are using this opportunity to call on them to release them immediately,” said Bala Hassan Bauchi, another member of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

“We use this medium to call on the people of the world to support the people of Azerbaijan and again the people of Yemen and Palestine. All of them are oppressed and they need the world's attention," he added.

In a similar protest, Muslims in Kano State held rally in solidarity with the oppressed Shias of Azerbaijan.

Hundreds of Muslims gathered at Fagge Eid prayer ground holding photos of Baqir Zadeh, along with a solidarity speech for the oppressed.

"We are from the part of the committee for the solidarity of the Azerbaijani brothers who were unjustly detained by Azerbaijan's authorities,” said Dawud Nalado in Kano State.

“Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh and our brothers and sisters should be released because they are being detained unjustifiably."

Baqir Zadeh, known as Tale Baghirov, who is serving a life sentence along with 17 other activists, was accused of attempting to overthrow the government.

According to local observers, the real trigger for his arrest was a fiery sermon he delivered in Nardaran, Azerbaijan.

Known for speaking up against the ban on headscarves in schools, Baqir Zadeh had called for more Islamic representation in the Azerbaijani political system.

A London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission released a statement on Friday about the persecution of MMU members, and called the Azerbaijani government “corrupt.”

"The extremely secular and corrupt Azerbaijani government has severely persecuted Azerbaijani activists as well as harassment, censorship and blockading of the town of Nadaran, a town with large support for the Muslim Movement for Unity (MMU) organization, the government forces have arrested, imprisoned and tortured many activists," read the statement.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/12/11/694274/Muslims-of-Nigeria-rally-to-support-oppressed-shia-Azerbaijanis

--------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Bersatu Youth Slams Masidi over Islamic Extremism in Politics Claims

December 10, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Bersatu Youth has slammed Gabungan Rakyat Sabah secretary-general Masidi Manjun for what it terms as his shallow statement which attempted to paint Perikatan Nasional as a party promoting Islamic extremism in politics.

Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said Masidi, being a Muslim leader, should look at Article 6 of the Bersatu constitution and Article 5 of the PN constitution which emphasise to respect the rights of the non-Muslims.

“These clauses clearly state that Bersatu and PN will respect the rights of non-Muslims to practise their respective religions in a peaceful and harmonious environment.

“Despite this move, we are confident that there are members in the state who are still with Bersatu. We will rebuild the party in Sabah,” he said in a statement.

Earlier today, Masidi said the decision by Sabah Bersatu leaders to leave the party was made in the best interest of the state and the greater good of Malaysia.

He said the increasing racial and religious rhetoric of some peninsula-based parties, especially in the run-up to the 15th general election was inconsistent with the values of a multi-racial and multi-religious Sabah and Sarawak.

“It’s difficult for GRS and many Sabahans to accept what is now marketed as ‘political Islam’.

Wan Fayhsal said the decision of the Sabah leaders to leave Bersatu was mainly to remain in power in the state, adding that they have forgotten the party’s principles that they used to talk about in the past.

“It is even more frustrating when we recall our sacrifices and hard work during the state election last year which led to a huge success.”

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/12/10/bersatu-youth-slams-masidi-over-islamic-extremism-claims/

--------

Bali governor says Indonesia’s new laws pose no risk to tourists

12 December ,2022

Visitors to Bali will not be put at risk by Indonesia’s newly ratified criminal code, the island’s governor said, dismissing concerns that revised laws which include articles criminalizing sex outside marriage may scare away tourists from its shores.

Indonesia’s parliament last week passed the controversial bill that also prohibits cohabitation between unmarried couples.

Seeking to reassure visitors, Bali Governor Wayan Koster in a statement on Sunday noted the new laws, which come into affect in three years, could only be prosecuted if there was complaint by a parent, spouse or child.

Those who “visit or live in Bali would not need to worry with regard to the entry into force of the Indonesian Criminal Code,” he said.

The governor said provisions in the criminal code on this issue had been altered from an earlier, stricter version so “would provide a better guarantee of everyone’s privacy and comfortableness.”

Bali’s government would ensure “there will be no checking on marital status upon check-in at any tourism accommodation, such as hotels, villas, apartments, guest houses, lodges and spas,” Wayan said.

Wayan also denied what he said were “hoax” reports of cancellations of flights and hotel room bookings, adding that data from travel agents, tour and accommodation operators, as well as airlines, showed the number of people set to visit Bali from December 2022 to March 2023 had increased.

Bali is the center of tourism in Indonesia and the tourism association is targeting foreign arrivals on the predominately Hindu island to reach pre-pandemic levels of six million a year by 2025. Decades in the making, legislators hailed the passage of the criminal code as a much-needed overhaul of a vestige of Dutch colonial rule. Officials say it aims to uphold “Indonesian values” in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

But Maulana Yusran, deputy chief of Indonesia’s tourism industry board, said last week the new code was “totally counter-productive” at a time when the economy and tourism were starting to recover from the pandemic.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/12/12/Bali-governor-says-Indonesia-s-new-laws-pose-no-risk-to-tourists

--------

Calls mount on Malaysia to rescue 160 Rohingya refugees stranded at sea

December 11, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Calls are mounting on Malaysia’s government to allow the safe disembarkation of Rohingya stranded on a boat within its waters, amid concerns that a number of them have already died from starvation and dehydration.

The boat carrying 160 people, including 120 women and children, sailed from Cox’s Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh on Nov. 25.

The coastal region has since 2017 become the world’s largest refugee settlement, as Bangladesh accepted nearly 1 million members of the Muslim Rohingya minority fleeing a widespread and systematic assault by security forces in neighboring Myanmar.

The conditions inside the squalid, overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar are desperate and the UN Refugee Agency has been reporting an increase in the number of Rohingya making risky journeys by the Andaman Sea to relocate to another host country.

The boat stranded in Malaysian waters has been adrift since its engines broke down on Dec. 1.

Mohammed Rezuwan Khan, a Rohingya activist in Cox’s Bazar whose sister and niece are onboard the boat, told Arab News on Sunday that they had nothing to eat or drink for the past few days.

“The rate of deaths in the boat is going to increase very quickly if there is no rescue by today or tomorrow,” he said. “It’s reached more than eight deaths already.”

Arab News could not independently verify the numbers, but Doctors Without Borders issued a statement on Saturday saying that “some people onboard have reportedly died due to lack of food or water.” It called on the Malaysian government to “urgently allow the safe disembarkation of refugees suffering the effects of a regional humanitarian crisis and fleeing to seek safety.”

Similar calls on Malaysia and other governments in the region were made over the weekend by the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network and Amnesty International.

The Malaysian government has not yet responded to the appeals. The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs and the Royal Malaysian Navy were unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts by Arab News.

The number of people attempting to cross the Andaman Sea from Bangladesh and Myanmar has increased sixfold since 2020, according to a UNHCR alert from early December.

This year alone, at least 119 people have been reported dead or missing on those journeys. Most of those risking their lives were Rohingya refugees.

“Tragedy and suffering in the camp forced them to choose to risk their lives, even die under the water. It’s like suicide,” Khan said.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2214486/world

--------

Bintang completes investment in Muslim streaming service

December 12, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Private equity firm Bintang Capital Partners Bhd today announced the completion of its investment in a Muslim-centric streaming service.

The investment, made through its portfolio Bitsmedia Holdings Ltd, is in support of Qalbox, which is a global entertainment service provider that celebrates the diversity of the Muslim identity and culture globally, the company said in a statement.

The investment was made via Bintang’s maiden fund, the BCP Asia Fund, an equity growth fund anchored by Dana Penjana Nasional, the company added. There was no information on the size or value of the investment.

BCP Asia also led the investment jointly with CMIA Capital Partners as part of a growth capital fundraising round by Bitsmedia. The newly injected capital will support the recent launch of Qalbox.

Bitsmedia is a technology company that developed and published Muslim Pro, a lifestyle application that serves Muslims across 190 markets.

Muslim Pro provides accurate prayer times based on the user’s location, more than 40 translations of the Quran with audio recitations, an animated Qibla compass and other features.

Bintang said its investment in Bitsmedia is in recognition of the fast-growing Muslim youth population. It also sees it as an opportunity to close the gap within Muslim-themed entertainment through the launch of Qalbox.

Its founder, Johan Rozali-Wathooth, said Qalbox would provider Muslims with high-quality, wholesome content through a multi-channel platform.

He said the investment would also provide Bintang with an opportunity to showcase the diversity and variety of the Muslim culture to a global audience.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/business/2022/12/12/bintang-completes-investment-in-muslim-streaming-service/

--------

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/sulli-deals-indian-muslim-women-sold/d/128615

 

New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism

Loading..

Loading..