• Surge in TikTok Videos Aimed at Misleading Indian Muslims Over
Coronavirus Precautions: Investigation by Digital Lab, Voyager Infosec
• Do Not Visit Graveyards or Collect At Any Place This Shab-E-Barat:
Islamic Centre Of India Advisory
• ISIS, Al-Qaida Commandeer COVID-19 As A 'Soldier of Allah'
• Did You Know: Haj Has Been Called Off At Least 40 Times
• UN Asked to Probe If Covid-19 Man-Made
• US Concern at Jihad Label on Coronavirus to A Particular
• Several Mosques Remain Open in Pakistan As Coronavirus Cases
Rise To Nearly 2,500
• Anguish as Sri Lanka Forces Muslims To Cremate COVID-19 Victims
• With A Quiet Ramadan On the Cards, Halal Restaurants Scramble To
• An Efficient Economic System Necessary for A New Islamic
• SA Muslim Community Distributes R7m Worth Of Humanitarian Aid
• Investigation by Digital Lab, Voyager Infosec: Surge in TikTok
Videos Aimed at Misleading Indian Muslims Over Coronavirus Precautions
• Do Not Visit Graveyards or Collect At Any Place This
Shab-E-Barat: Islamic Centre Of India Advisory
• Coronavirus outbreak: Police search mosques to trace Tablighi
• Karnataka Chief Minister Reaches Out to Muslim Leaders to
Expedite Tabligh Testing
• Pune: Search on for 10 who fled Shirur mosque
• Odisha's sixth coronavirus positive patient attended Delhi
• 12 Tablighi members holed up in Sadar mosque test +ve
• Police attacked while dispersing crowd at mosque
• 31 from two Patan mosques isolated
• Coronavirus: Yogi Adityanath's Tough Move Against Quarantined
Islamic Sect Members
• 3,500 workers help sanitize Grand Mosque in Makkah
• Imam of Grand Mosque brings to light importance of Supplication
and Imam of Prophet's Mosque praises solidarity between leadership and
individuals during Coronavirus Crisis
• Saudi Press: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' Supports
Employees in Private Sector
• UAE combats Covid-19: Islamic Affairs Department launches fund
ahead of Ramadan
• It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal:
• Royal decree allocates 9 billion riyals for employees affected
by coronavirus repercussions
• Virtual oil summit planned amid ongoing market volatility
• Coronavirus impact: Homeless Pakistani family in UAE running out
of options to stay safe amid crisis
• Coronavirus: BBC Begins Broadcasting Weekly Islamic Sermons As
Mosques Remain Shut
• Coronavirus: UK lockdown could be relaxed in weeks, says top
• Coronavirus: Should Boris Johnson take time off sick?
• Queen Elizabeth II to address the nation on coronavirus Sunday
• Muslim Community At New Brunswick Prepares For Less Social
Ramadan As Mosques Shutter Due to COVID-19
• Biden’s call on Trump to remove Iran sanctions is a ‘game
• Trump fires intelligence official who had key impeachment role
• Trump denigrating science’ as virus wreaks mayhem in US: Analyst
• US records 1,169 coronavirus deaths, new global daily high:
• No Friday congregation: mosques locked down in Landi Kotal
• Mosques remain closed amid strict lockdown
• Lawyer files plea before SC to become party in UTPs case
• Collective efforts needed to fight coronavirus, Murad tells PM
• 294 more Americans evacuated from Pakistan
• IHC allows govt to turn hotels into quarantine centres
• Bangladesh Puts into Mosques 321 Foreign Members Of Tablighi
• Don’t lose the Afghan Hindu and Sikh Communities, Protect Them
• Afghanistan’s Hindu and Sikh communities take tough decision
after deadly Kabul attack
• Coronavirus positive cases rise to 299 across Afghanistan
• Ghani appoints Atmar as acting minister of foreign affairs
• 2 Afghan President Protective Service personnel killed, wounded
in Kabul city
• Help the poor families during the Coronavirus crisis,
• Ghani issues decree specifying Saleh’s responsibilities as First
VP of Afghanistan
• Malaysia's small traders going online for Ramadan food sales
• Coronavirus: Indonesia’s Widodo allows travel after Ramadan,
raising fears infection will spread
• Jakarta secures food supply for Ramadan, Idul Fitri as COVID-19
• Police identify Covid-19 infection chain involving 40k people
• Analysts say Hadi's appointment aimed at appeasement
• Turkey sends another military convoy to de-escalation zone in
• Saudi-led airstrike, gunfire leave nearly dozen civilians dead
• Mossad Sneaking COVID-19 Medical Stocks - Ordered By Others -
Into Israel: Senior Official
• Top Bahraini cleric demands release of prisoners amid
• G77, China urge end to unilateral sanctions amid coronavirus
• Iran plans massive liquidity injection to fix economic woes
• COVID-19: This Is the First Time I Would Miss Juma’at Service,
Says 110-Year-Old Ondo Muslim Leader
• All Mosques In Kaduna Have Closed Down —Dr Tukur
• Security Operatives, Youths Clash During Enforcement Of Public
Gathering Ban At Adamawa Mosque
• COVID-19: Police invite 2 Imams over Jumat during lockdown
Compiled by New Age Islam
Surge in TikTok Videos Aimed at Misleading Indian Muslims Over
Coronavirus Precautions: Investigation by Digital Lab, Voyager Infosec
India remains under lockdown for another eleven days, vested interests have
turned to the Chinese short-form video app, TikTok, to exploit religious
sentiments of the country's Muslim population to discourage it from practising
social-distancing and mask-wearing as part of Covid-19 measures.
investigation by a Delhi-based digital lab, Voyager Infosec, into more than
30,000 clips circulated this week suggests a set pattern of targeted
disinformation campaign aimed at the Indian Muslim community.
videos show young boys, teens and adults playing Muslims, who discourage fellow
Muslims from exercising precautions.
TikTok conversations are laced with religious overtones.
one such video, a young boy describes the pandemic as "Allah's NRC".
coronavirus is nothing. It's Allah's NRC. It's Allah's wish who stays and who
is summoned up," he argues.
13-second video ends with fellow boys throwing their masks into the air, with a
song, "Allah Se Dar -- Fear Allah" playing in the background.
17-second clip runs texts in Hindi that suggest coronavirus would not strike
Muslims. One line invokes the Holy Qu'ran while claiming hand-shaking and
hugging cure disease.
Infosec has submitted its digital investigation report to the Union Home
lab identified a range of high-impact videos that stoke religious sentiments of
the Muslim community against lockdown guidelines.
report, reviewed by India Today, found that TikTok has been used as the most
preferred medium of a disinformation campaign.
analysis of these viral videos reveals that more than 10 million users have
already watched them so far.
of the accounts which created the content originally are being deleted
regularly after the videos go viral, the report notes. This tactic helps
content creators to hide their digital footprints, according to Voyager
of the videos have foreign origin but they have been edited with Hindi texts
and Urdu voiceover to target Indian audiences," the investigation claims.
probe report recommends a deeper investigation into the possible role of
foreign actors behind this disinformation campaign.
have found a very interesting pattern where TikTok has been used as a primary
medium to spread misinformation, citing fake and dubious research, which claims
that coronavirus does not affect Muslims and that there has not been a single
Muslim coronavirus patient in China and Italy," said Voyager's Director
Jiten Jain. "We have identified certain handles and patterns of these
videos and once they go viral the original handle gets deleted to hide the
origin. The purpose of this investigation is to inform our Muslim brothers of
such patterns," Jiten told India Today.
not visit graveyards or collect at any place this Shab-e-Barat: Islamic Centre
of India advisory
The Islamic Centre of India led by Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali has
asked the Muslim community to stay indoors on the upcoming Shab-e-Barat which
falls on April 9 this year. The Sunni cleric who is Imam of the biggest Eidgah
in Lucknow has strictly advised people to not visit graveyards on that night as
is generally done by people and the scheduled Jalsa at Eidgah Lucknow on
Shab-e-Barat has also been cancelled owing to the lockdown.
of Shab-e-Barat that falls on the fourteenth day of the Islamic month of
Shabaan is a night of forgiveness wherein devotees seek Allah's forgiveness for
the night, a number of Muslims visit graves of their family members and recite
prayers and read the Quran for forgiveness of their sins.
nine point advisory the cleric has also asked people to not burst firecrackers
or gather together at any place which is observed to be done by young people
night is a very important night for atonement and while it is extremely
fruitful to offer prayers and read the Quran and recite duas, it should be done
at home. At no cost should anyone visit the graveyards and go out in the
lockdown. There should be no gathering of people or bursting of fire crackers,"
said Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali.
world is fighting the covid-19 pandemic and we should pray that this health
crisis is over soon and all persons are safe and healthy in the world. The roza
to be kept next day should be opened by this prayer," he added.
cleric also condemned the incident of Indore and Ghaziabad where medical teams
were attacked by people. "There should be punitive action against persons
involved in both incidents. Doctors, paramedical staff, police, sanitation
workers are all putting their lives at risks and coming out in lockdown to save
all of us from the covid-19 infection. We should give total cooperation to our
healthcare workers as Quran says that saving even one life is equal to saving
the whole of humankind," he said.
al-Qaida commandeer COVID-19 as a 'soldier of Allah'
groups have given deadly COVID-19 a new name: “Soldier of Allah.”
ISIS and al-Qaida claim that the virus and ensuing global pandemic are
retribution on the wicked West courtesy of God.
the Creator, has revealed the brittleness and vulnerability of your material
strength,” reads the maniacal missive. “It is now clear for all to see that it
was but a deception that could not stand the test of the smallest soldier of
God on the face of the Earth.”
is one of the most COVID-19 wracked countries on the planet with more than
50,000 cases as of Thursday and hundreds dead.
Afghanistan and Pakistan — part of the Islamic extremists’ heartland — have
been relatively unscathed by the pandemic, Al Jazeera reports.
the cult of terror master Osama bin Laden, also claimed the virus has
obliterated the U.S. economy as millions of Americans apply for unemployment
to be outdone, junior jihadis ISIS said the virus has killed more Americans
than the 9/11 attacks that left 3,000 dead. ISIS added that now was the time to
strike the U.S.
is falsehood to worship America and to fear it instead of Allah the Almighty,”
the ISIS statement said.
group has encouraged its followers to carry out terror attacks despite
COVID-19, claiming that a massacre will make the martyr immune to the virus.
terrorist groups are calling on followers to attack, according to ABC News.
COVID-19 ravaged New York, the NYPD has issued bulletins reminding officers to
stay cautious and on the look out for suspicious activity.
you know: Haj has been called off at least 40 times
authorities in Saudi Arabia asking Muslims to postpone their Haj (annual
pilgrimage) plans till the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control, there is
a chance that the pilgrimage may be cancelled this year. The annual pilgrimage,
which is to take place at the end of July this year, sees millions of Muslims
flock to Makkah to perform a series of rituals, including circumambulating the
holiest structure in Islam - the Kaabah. Although the possibility of Haj being
cancelled is an unimaginable prospect for Muslims, historians say it has been
called off at least 40 times in the past. Reasons included attacks, political
clashes, plague and cholera outbreaks, floods, high costs and freezing weather.
930-940AD/316-326H (Hijri year): >> A sect called Qarmatians considered
Haj to be a pagan ritual. They led an attack and slaughtered up to 30,000
helpless pilgrims. They filled the holy Zamzam well with the corpses. They also
damaged the Kaaba and looted the sacred black stone - believed to be a stone from
paradise - from the structure.
1256-1260AD/654-658H) >> Only those in Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, managed to
perform Haj during these years.
967AD/357H) >> Haj was suspended because of a plague that killed
thousands of people and animals.
1,000AD/390H) >> Pilgrims in Egypt could not perform Haj because of the
high costs associated with travel. It happened again in 1028AD/419H.
885AD and 1001AD/272H and 392H) >> Haj was suspended in Iraq and the
Levant, respectively, due to political disputes and internal wars.
1001AD/403H >> Haj was suspended for pilgrims in Iraq and Khurasan
because of unsafe roads and political clashes.
1026 AD/417H) >> Haj was suspended for pilgrims in Iraq because of the
freezing weather and floods.
1925AD/1344H) >> No pilgrim from Egypt managed to perform Haj because of
an attack on a caravan that was transporting Kiswah (cover of the Kaabah) from
Egypt to Saudi Arabia
asked to probe if Covid-19 man-made
Former interior minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik
has urged the United Nations to form a high-powered commission to probe if
Covid-19 is a man-made or a naturally grown virus and to locate its origin.
letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, he said the proposed
commission on Covid-19 under the UN Convention on Biological Weapons, 1975 might
comprise of virologists, scientists, professors, researchers, analysts and
experts in the fields of microbiology and virology.
the letter public at a press conference through a video link, Mr Malik said the
commission should present its report to the UN secretary general in three
months, and its ‘terms of reference’ (ToR) should include recommendations to
prevent future breakouts of such viruses, and international standards for
coordination in case of a breakout.
include accurate identification of the geo-location of the Covid-19’s origin,
identification of areas with zero patient, discovery as to why the behaviour,
intensity and fertility rate of Covid-19 varies from country to country,
investigation whether Covid-19 is a man-made or naturally-grown virus and
examination of the allegations of transportation of the virus from one place to
other destinations in the world, as a ‘biological warfare tactics’.
said the deadly coronavirus pandemic had stirred up the worst global crisis
since World War II. Many claims, speculations, conspiracy theories and
misinformation about the disease have found their way into the international
print and electronic media, blurring distinction between real and fake news.
said that he was not blaming any government or a group or levelling any
allegation or endorsing any media report about the origin of Covid-19. However,
he added, he had drawn the UN general secretary’s attention to apprehensions
being shown by the international media.
his letter, Senator Malik writes that, it is unfortunate that coronavirus has
emerged as the deadliest virus of this century, which definitely, is a deadly
pandemic which has stirred up the worst global crisis since World War II,
adding though the world history is strewn with pandemics, Covid-19 has shaken
the whole world, like no other. He said what was being reported internationally
was instead of calming down the public, was only creating uncertainty and panic
amongst the masses across the globe.
concern at Jihad label on coronavirus
US on Thursday expressed concern over efforts to link the coronavirus pandemic
to a particular religion in several countries and urged governments to counter
was stated by the US ambassador at large for international religious freedom,
Samuel Brownback, in response to a specific question from a journalist in
Washington about the hashtag CoronaJihad trending in India.
journalist also asked if Brownback’s office, which is part of the US state
department, is “tracking how the coronavirus has exacerbated any anti-Muslim
activity like this”.
that his office is looking into the blaming of religious minorities for the
spread of the pandemic, Brownback said this was happening in various places.
is wrong by governments to do this. It is — the governments really should put
this down and state very clearly that this is not the source of the
coronavirus. It’s not the religious minority communities,” Brownback said.
was not clear which governments the envoy was referring to. The Indian
government has not blamed any minority community for the spread of the virus.
Such a smear campaign is largely driven by several social media users who have
drawn more attention because of the high-voltage coverage in sections of the
of participants at a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month have
tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming fodder for Right-wing propaganda
communalising the pandemic and triggering the CoronaJihad hashtag.
Washington, Brownback said: “And they (governments) should go out there in open
messaging and say no, this is not what happened.... But unfortunately, we are seeing
that sort of blame game getting started up in different places around the
world, and we hope it gets pushed back aggressively by those host governments.”
whether he had raised with the Indian government the issue of people giving
communal overtones to the pandemic, Brownback said “not yet”.
if Kashmir was getting the help it needed to counter the pandemic, the
ambassador said he did not have any specific information, adding that “we do
call on governments to work with their religious minorities in this time of
pandemic and make sure they are getting the needed resources and aid”.
Mosques Remain Open In Pakistan As Coronavirus Cases Rise To Nearly 2,500
mosques remained opened on Friday across Pakistan and people offered prayers
there despite a government ban on big congregational gatherings in order to
curb the spread of coronavirus that has killed 37 people and infected nearly
2,500 others in the country.
Sindh government had announced curfew like restriction from 12 noon to 3 pm to
stop people from visiting mosques, while the Punjab government had issued fatwa
for people to offer prayer in their homes. Similar instructions were issued by
other provinces and the federal government.
mosques made announcement urging people to pray at home, but some people defied
the instruction and visited mosques, according to reports. Some clerics also
encouraged people to attend prayers in mosques.
government and police are making statements to create a sense of fear. Nothing
will happen. Karachi is a city of 20 million, the government cannot implement
its decision in every nook and cranny, the prayer leader of the Jamia Mosque
Quba told The Express Tribune.
heavy contingent of police and Rangers personnel were also deployed in front of
the New Memon Mosque and some other areas in Karachi.
from different areas of Karachi suggested that the majority of mosques followed
government orders, however, some continued to hold regular prayers.
Mukarram Mosque is in front of my home. It was closed, so we prayed afternoon
prayers at home, Rizwan Siddiqui, who lives Gulshan-e-Iqbal, told the paper.
were only five people at the mosque praying. We had already informed the area’s
citizenry not to attend Friday prayers as there is a ban on crowds assembling,
said Qari Abdul Basit of Siddique Akbar Mosque in the Akhtar Colony locality.
other towns and cities of the province, including Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad
and Mirpurkhas divisions, the doors of most of the mosques were locked with
only four to five people, including the prayer leader, allowed to pray.
have offered Friday prayers in our Jamia mosque with the same crowd," said
Abdul Hanan, who lives in a village in the Kamber Shahdadkot district.
situation in Balochistan was not much different. A big crowd came to attend
Friday prayers in Qandhari mosque of provincial capital Quetta, located near a
Punjab, announcements were made from mosques urging the people to pray at
homes. In cities, the orders were mostly followed but the situation in the
rural areas was different as people came out in big numbers to offer prayers.
ul Iftah Jamia Naeemia, an Islamic university in Lahore, issued a fatwa
(religious edict) saying that people who are stopped by the government from
coming to mosques were not obliged to perform the prayers in congregation.
were reports of confrontation between police and people on the issue of going
to mosques. People gathered near Ghousia Mosque in Liaquatabad area of Karachi
and pelted stones at police when stopped from entering the mosque.
week, the Grand Imam Shaikh of Egypt's Jamia Al Azhar, an authority on Islamic
injunctions, and the Supreme Council in Egypt, issued a fatwa (religious edict)
on the request of Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi, empowering the head of the
state to suspend Friday prayers in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
had asked clerics in Pakistan to act as per the principles of Islam from Quran
and Sunnah, and said it purely Islamic to cancel Friday prayers over
coronavirus concerns, The News reported.
as Sri Lanka forces Muslims to cremate COVID-19 victims
forced cremation of two COVID-19 infected Muslims in Sri Lanka has sent shock
waves among the minority community, which accused the authorities of violating
Islamic burial rites.
Hafi Mohammed Joonus, a 73-year- old man
from the capital Colombo who died of COVID-19, was the second Muslim to have
been cremated in the Indian Ocean island nation, which has registered 151 cases
son Fayaz Joonus, 46, said his father who had a kidney disorder tested positive
for the virus about two weeks ago. He died on April 1 and was cremated the
said they could not perform congregational funeral prayers, called the Janazah,
for his father due to fear of infections.
father was taken in a vehicle under the supervision of the police force and was
cremated. We did some prayers outside the morgue, but it was not a Janazah that
us Muslim typically do," Fayaz told Al Jazeera.
government needs to make arrangements for us Muslims to be able to bury our
loved ones in accordance with our Islamic burial rites."
there is an option of burial, our government should accommodate. Cremation is
not the only option, we want to bury our loved ones as per the Islamic
way," he told Al Jazeera.
Lanka's Ministry of Health on Tuesday issued COVID-19 guidelines saying the
standard procedure of disposing bodies should be cremation. It reversed an
earlier guideline that allowed traditional Muslim burial.
also said the body should not be washed and placed in a sealed bag and a
coffin, as against the Islamic practice of washing the body.
leaders and activists have pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO)
allows both burial or cremation for people dying due to the pandemic.
lawyer Ali Sabry said in a Facebook post that he was disappointed with
authorities' decision to cremate bodies of Muslims, as it was in disregard to
the WHO guidelines, which say that a body can be either buried or cremated.
of the four people who died due to COVID-19, two were Muslims. The cremation of
Muslims has caused anguish in the community.
Muslim community sees this as a racist agenda of extremist Buddhist forces that
seem to hold the government to ransom," Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of
Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, told Al Jazeera.
guidelines issued by the WHO is practised by Britain, most of the European
countries, Singapore, Hong Kong and all the Muslim nations [except for Sri
Lanka]," he told Al Jazeera.
International has also called on authorities to "respect the right of
religious minorities to carry out the final rites" according to their own
this difficult time, the authorities should be bringing communities together
and not deepening divisions between them," Biraj Patnaik, South Asia
director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.
relatives of people who have died because of COVID-19 should be able to bid
farewell to their loved ones in the way that they wish, especially where this
is permissible under international guidelines."
account for 10 percent of Sri Lanka's 21 million population. But their
relationship with the majority Sinhala Buddhists deteriorated in the years
after the end of civil war in 2009 during which hardline Buddhist groups were
blamed for several attacks against Muslims' businesses and places of worship.
the deadly attacks in April 2019 that killed more than 250 people, Muslims have
faced increased hostility from the Sinhala majority.
little-known Muslim organisation was blamed for the island nation's worst
attack since the civil war fought between the government forces and the Tamil separatist
is just to hurt the feelings of the minority," Azath Salley, leader of the
National Unity Alliance political party and the former governor of Western
province, told Al Jazeera.
method of the disposal of the body has become a big talking point in the
country, with a section of the media accused of running "anti-Muslim
hysteria" and pointing fingers at Muslims for the spread of the virus.
Gunawadenne, a media analyst said amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very
disturbing and disheartening to see anti-Islamic sentiments and anti-Muslim
hate speech "raise their ugly head again in Sri Lanka".
is national and global emergency shared by all humans, and not a time
highlighting our cultural divisions. The coronavirus does not care about our
ethnic or religious differences. We need to fear the virus - not each other -
and unite in containing and battling the disease." he told Al Jazeera
a quiet Ramadan on the cards, halal restaurants scramble to deliver
For years, business has been brisk at Hjh Maimunah, a popular kampung-style
restaurant located in one of the city's oldest Malay settlements, Geylang
Serai. The restaurant is especially lively during Ramadan - with a record 2
million people visiting the annual Hari Raya Bazaar in the area last year.
for the first time, the annual bazaar and many other Ramadan events planned
islandwide have been cancelled due to the threat of COVID-19. With that, and
the soon-to-be enforced "circuit breaker" measures announced on
Friday (Apr 3), halal restaurants are feeling the heat.
Mastura Didih, one of Hjh Maimunah's third-generation owners, said sales across
her outlets dropped 20 per cent in February. It dropped further to 30 per cent
this past week.
said the sales impact was expected, given that most of the restaurant's
customers are tourists and people who work in the neighbourhood, but the safe
distancing measures - like many other measures introduced since the outbreak
began in January - were sudden.
happened so quickly that we had to call an emergency meeting on the staff's day
off. We had to tell them we needed to change the way we do business," she
the announcement on Friday, Ms Mastura told CNA the company was already
expecting walk-ins to dwindle and the decision was made to expand their
delivery service. Hjh Maimunah is currently available on Deliveroo for some
parts of Singapore and offers catering services for orders S$150 and above.
starting next week, customers can order on Hjh Maimunah's own online platform powered
by Oddle, with minimum orders set at S$35 and delivery charges starting from
S$7. The company is also hoping to take in tingkat orders (one week of lunches
or dinners) on this platform.
had planned to launch this in Ramadan because we were getting requests for
daily deliveries but because of the COVID-19 situation, we decided to launch
earlier," said Ms Mastura.
expanded delivery comes at a ripe time, with "circuit breaker"
measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19 set to take effect Apr 7. On
Friday, the Government announced the closure of all workplaces except for those
providing essential services such as food and medicine.
establishments allowed to remain open have to continue to adhere to safe
distancing measures, such as a 1m-space between people.
Maimunah is a popular option for catered festive food, which it typically
delivers or prepares for self-collection on the eve of Hari Raya. Dishes like
sambal goreng pengantin, sambal udang and rendang are prepared fresh for those
who do not want to go through the laborious cooking process that the Hari Raya
delivery on Hari Raya eve, we will probably do only 50 customers - first come,
first served. For self-collection, we prepared 500 orders last year, but this
year we will only be taking 200," she said.
opened a second factory recently that we've been using to process frozen food
for our own kitchens. We'll start selling frozen food out of that factory in
May during fasting month, for those who can't do their shopping in
Geylang," said Ms Mastura.
in the delivery game is Flame Cafe, which began offering its zhi char and
Western menus, as well as its signature pagoda steamboat platters online
earlier this week for a flat delivery fee of S$4. However, customers have to
make their order by phone two days in advance.
didn't have much time to plan, the limited gathering announcement was quite
abrupt. We came up with a plan in something like 24 hours," said sales and
marketing manager Ida Isnin.
cafe had seen "quite a big drop" in walk-in customers, said Ms Ida,
adding that the lunch crowd alone was reduced by up to 40 per cent.
usually see a few families dine at our restaurant for dinner, but recently we
were seeing just one or two tables occupied," she said.
in the Arab quarter, a tourist hotspot also popular during Ramadan, at least
three restaurants jumped on the delivery bandwagon this week.
sales spiked from the launch of its delivery service in March, Fatpapas' marketing
and communications executive Annabelle Francis said the team decided to launch
the same service for their sister outlet Wakuwaku Yakiniku. Previously, both
restaurants drew such consistent crowds that they had to implement a queuing
suffered a dip in numbers because of COVID-19, but our deliveries have
definitely gone up. It did so well that Wakuwaku Yakiniku also became available
for delivery on Apr 1. For Ramadan, we're staying optimistic and plan to offer
an exciting festive delivery menu," said Ms Francis.
nearby Bussorah Street, popular Italian eatery Positano Risto also launched a
delivery service on its website with a wide range of menu items including
risotto and lobster thermidor, with no delivery charge. Those who self-collect
will get 15 per cent off their order.
never planned to do delivery at such a scale. We only started thinking about it
on Mar 22 and decided to launch it as soon as possible. There was a sharp
decline in revenue that week," said general manager Mohammed Taha.
"Overall we have seen a 70 per cent drop in our in-house revenue."
Mohammed Taha said the biggest change was having to shift the mindset of their
staff in terms of the restaurant's core business.
had to transform from a dine-in service to a place where the revenue stream
will mainly come from delivery. Front of house staff will have to go from
entertaining customers to packing food. That's a major change in their
roles," he said.
badly hit eatery in the area is I Am Cafe, which saw a 90 per cent drop in
customers compared to before the coronavirus outbreak.
is usually a queue on the five-footway for a table at the cafe located at the
intersection of North Bridge Road and Haji Lane, but the tourist hotspot has
turned into a "ghost town", said owner Jamuri Busori, who said he has
no idea what to expect in Ramadan.
packed with people, it remains a "big question mark" what Ramadan
will be like for dining hotspots in Kampong Glam like I Am Cafe, said owner
Jamuri Busori. (Photo: Facebook/I Am Cafe)
place is usually quite packed during iftar, but it remains a big question mark
if anyone will come out to eat this Ramadan. People are afraid to go out. Even
though we have taken extra measures, such as opening up our events area to
offer more space between seats, people are not coming in. I'm clueless as to
how things are going to be this Ramadan," said Mr Jamuri.
Cafe has digitalised much of its operations since 2018, with customers
encouraged to make even dine-in orders via their mobile devices. But amid the
outbreak, delivery is now available islandwide, with S$10 specials and 20 per
cent off the total bill.
Nang Kam, a Thai restaurant in the Kampong Glam district, said that with
revenue reduced to a third on a weekday and by 80 per cent on previously busy
weekends, it had hoped to jump into islandwide delivery as well, but this was
delayed because delivery platforms appeared overwhelmed by a surge in such
are in talks with Oddle to integrate a nationwide delivery into our official
website. We may be able to launch this in two weeks because their technical
team is overwhelmed with the surge in applications for such services,"
said manager Abdul Hadi Jamalludin, adding that the restaurant has submitted an
application with GrabFood and is still awaiting response.
Rasa Istimewa, delivery figures have not gone up, even though all its outlets
have been available on third-party apps like Deliveroo and Foodpanda since
before the outbreak.
won't say that deliveries have gone up. People are staying at home so they
probably have more time to do their own cooking, so delivery has not really
gone up," owner Larry Tan told CNA.
Istimewa has three outlets including one in SAFRA Jurong, which is linked to
one of the biggest COVID-19 clusters in Singapore.
SAFRA Jurong outlet is more seriously affected compared to the ones in
Woodlands and Pasir Ris. We saw an almost 70 per cent drop in diners,"
said Mr Tan.
very demoralising," said Mr Tan. "We hope the Government can help
more than what they're offering now. Even if the curve is flattened and the
situation stabilises, it will take months for customer confidence to be
restored. We're in this for the long haul."
efficient economic system necessary for a new Islamic civilization: expert
annual tradition, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali
Khamenei addresses the nation and determines a name for the new year. This year
has been named the year of “Surge in Production.”
and university professor Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki, in an interview with the
Tehran Times, said the Leader’s emphasis on "production" in recent
years is mainly rooted in the fact that in the country’s goal of creating a new
Islamic civilization is through strengthening the national economy and creating
an efficient economic system.
year, on the first day of Noruz, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution addresses
the nation and assigns a specific name to the year. What is the purpose and
philosophy behind choosing a specific name for the year?
the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei is looking
for the establishment of an Islamic system. Systematization is a process that
requires institutionalization and cultural evolution. One of the measures taken
by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution yearly to prepare the bedrock for
systematization is naming the years. By naming a year with a specific pivot,
more attention will be paid to certain features of the goals behind that pivot
and all executive branches of the government, elites, scientists, and the
public will acknowledge the importance of the issue.
Leader always explicates the main conceptual specifications of every issue.
Then scholars and scientists of the country study those specifications to
explain the goals and outcomes of every issue. Meanwhile, the executive branch
of the government tries to plan its future actions accordingly. The legislative
body of the government, also, tries to revise existing regulations according to
the new issue or pass new laws if needed. Finally, relevant institutions will
try to inform the public of different characteristics of the issue.
naming the years is a clever and scientific strategy to lead the Iranian
society step by step towards the favorable Islamic system and to prepare all
the factors which are going to be crucial and effective in that ideal Islamic
year’s name is related to the past. Each name is like a piece of a puzzle and
these pieces collectively make a bigger picture. So there is a precise
direction in naming each year which acts as the plot that interconnects all the
names. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, since the first year in which the
process of naming the year started, has chosen the names in an order that
illustrates a certain transcendental goal once you analyze the names
several past years, the names chosen by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution
have been related to the economy. When you study the names, you will realize
they are small parts of a big economic plan which all together, will help us
move towards creating an ideal functional economic system. In fact, the
concepts considered by the Leader (e.g. boost in domestic production,
improvement of consumption patterns, innovation and prosperity, flourish in
production, and surge in production) all together form the structure of the
aforementioned ideal economic order. The Leader’s emphasis on the category of
"production" in recent years is mainly rooted in the fact that in our
path towards creating a new Islamic civilization, the most important challenge
to overcome at the moment in the country is the strengthening of the national
economy and creating an efficient economic system.
the concepts behind these names alongside each other illustrate the perfect
picture of a convenient economic order.
economist, what's your idea about the importance of "production" in
economic empowerment? Given the fact that our country has been under
suffocating international sanctions for over four decades, isn't the
expectation of a production leap rather unrealistic?
of all, in every country which endeavors to achieve development, the element of
"production" is the most significant factor in economic planning.
Production is also vital to the "resistive economy". In a resistive
economic strategy, production is the fundamental factor for economic growth.
Production has very serious effects on obtaining economic goals in every country.
Production results in the abundance of merchandise in an economy, meaning the
people of the country, industries, and all economic activists including the
final consumer and production units can find whatever they want in the market.
This is the first influence of production growth.
second influence is the containment of inflation. The most effective method to
control or reduce the inflation rate is the production growth which can even
end up in price reduction.
third influence of production growth is the reduction of the countries'
dependency on foreign merchandise and consequently reducing the demand for
foreign currency. Through this strategy, the impacts of financial and
bank-related sanctions against a country will decrease.
next influence of growth in production is the increment of job opportunities
which results in the increment of revenue and welfare of the society.
last but not least influence is the increase of states' revenues from taxing
without increasing the taxes. This has two effects: first, for economies like
what we have here in Iran, it will decrease the dependency of the government on
revenues from selling oil, and second, it will expand the governmental services
and increment of public welfare.
sum up, strengthening national production will result in public welfare for
citizens and economic authority for the country on a global scale. So, the
"production" is considered as a fundamental factor in economic
planning and when we analyze the national and international economic status of
more developed countries of the world which hold an economic hegemony or
authority in global level, we realize there has been a substantial program in
fields of production. They have empowered their national production and
consequently increased public welfare and economic power internationally.
domestic production requires various infrastructures. Our country has been
struggling to make its way through uncountable impossible-to-defeat challenges
to establish these infrastructures for more than 40 years. What's our status
today? Do we have those infrastructures?
I should point out that we had a relatively good advancement in the
"flourish of production" which was last year’s name. Even though our
revenues from selling petroleum reduced and our oil-oriented economic growth
rate was negative, the economic growth rate of Iran was positive last year.
This means that our real production rate in sections like agriculture,
industries, and services increased and we got past the economic depression of
it is true to say that the prosperity of production began last year. But, as
the Leader mentioned in his new years' speech, this prosperity was limited and
Iranian people didn't feel its influence in everyday life. That's why the
current year was named "Surge in Production" which one of its results
is a sensible effect in public livelihood so that people feel the economic
conditions are getting better.
surge in production certainly needs infrastructures and some factors.
Fortunately, Iran is one of the few countries in the world which has all the
infrastructures and factors required for strengthening the production (or even
a surge in production) at its disposal. Ironically, our main problems are
privative, meaning the obstacles which exist in our way to boosting production
rate. By removing these obstacles, we achieve the production leap.
want to briefly talk about the infrastructures and capacities of production in
Iran. Hardware-wise, production requires five factors. The first factor is the
market. The second factor is the workforce. The third is knowledge and
technology. The fourth factor is capital, and the fifth factor is natural
resources. If a country would possess all these factors, it has a phenomenal
capacity for production. Our country is rich in all those factors.
market factor, we already have a population of 84 million which means a huge
ipso facto market. We also have 15 neighboring countries with a population of
over 400 million people. These countries, collectively, spend $2 billion on
different merchandise and services of which, $1.2 billion are imported from
other countries. Iran can be one of the good exporters to these neighboring
countries because, first, for most of these countries, Iranian merchandises are
well qualified enough and second, most of these countries are culturally close
to us. For example, most of our neighbors did not/will not acquiesce to
sanctions programs against us. This means our domestic and regional market is a
rich one and no matter how much we produce; the market exists out there.
the workforce, our country possesses over 40 million young workforces of which,
15 million are academically educated and account as expert workforces. This
gives us a high capacity for production.
the science and technology sector, Iran is a leading country in the field of
new technologies in the region or as in some cases, in the world. We have
100,000 university professors who can run knowledge enterprises and perform activities
in the technology sector. We also have more than 4,600 active knowledge
enterprises in Iran which almost have produced any merchandise they have been
ordered to produce. Many of these enterprises are producing productions that
only one or two countries are capable of producing in the world. These
knowledge enterprises and the technological power in Iran which has been
flourishing since not long ago have proved there are no dead-ends in fields of
technology and technical skills in the country.
the capital, we have over $550 billion of liquidity of which, if only one third
would be directed towards the production, causes a production blast rather than
a production leap. So we don't even need foreign investments to boost
production and there is enough cash flow in the country to achieve that goal.
the natural resources, Iran is a very rich country. Iran, alone, possesses
natural resources equivalent to a group of European countries combined. Iran is
three times bigger than France in the size of the land. The land is an
important element for production. As of geographical location, Iran is located
on the 30th parallel north which is considered as the best agricultural climate
in the world. We have rich sources of groundwater, surface water, and
precipitations and also deep waters which are recently being studied. We have
40 million hectares of fertile agricultural land for traditional agricultural
methods and if we use modern agricultural methods, the entire width of Iran can
be used for agriculture. As of oil and gas which are the most important
minerals and raw materials of the world, Iran is the richest country and ranks
first among others for total oil plus gas resources. As of other sorts of
minerals, except for a handful of minerals, all other resources exist in the
terms of man-made infrastructures, Iran is in very good shape. Our roads
network has expanded in every corner of the country interconnecting every rural
and urban zone with appropriate routes. The ICT (Information and Communications
Technology) network is desirably developed all over the country. The energy
network is well expanded. Every populated area enjoys an electricity network
and most of the villages in the furthest corners of the country have access to
gas networks. In sum, all of the necessary infrastructures for boosting the
production are favorably developed across the country since the Islamic
Revolution in 1979.
it is true to say we have extensive land which is armed and has all the
requirements of the production leap at its disposal. It means we have
everything we need to boost high-quality production on a global scale and the
main challenge to achieve that goal is removing the obstacles in the way of
becoming an international economic power. Once these obstacles are defeated, an
economy, in essence, tends to increase the production rate.
everything is ready, if all factors are gathered right here right now, why we
can't feel a sensible change in approaches towards the production process? The
statistics even imply a considerable decrease in the production rates within
the last few years. You even argued that growth in the production rate will
dramatically decrease the impact of different international sanctions. What
part of the government is responsible for eradicating those obstacles mentioned
the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the real production growth rate is multiplied
by 16.4 which means we have moved from $100 billion of PPP (Purchasing Power
Parity) in 1979 to $1,650 billion of PPP in 2019. This is while our population
has multiplied by 2.8 and this means that real per capita production rate in
Iran is now 7 times more than before the Islamic Revolution. This is a rare
growth that is distinguished once compared with a country like the United
States which over the same period, had its per capita production rate
multiplied only by 2. It is a true argument that the U.S. has more population
than Iran and its two-times growth worth more than our seven-times growth, but
our growth ratio during the past 40 years has been significant and we expect it
may see less emphasis on the production empowerment during the last few years.
One reason is that those who are responsible for the lubrication of the
production process, especially in the executive branch of government, have
focused way more on foreign interactions and political exchanges with western
countries than activating domestic capacities for production. This approach
drew the attention of economic activists away from the domestic capabilities of
the country in the fields of production.
of Iran have been engaged in nuclear negotiations with different countries of
the world since 2003. From 2004 to 2013 the production process was not
marginalized by intense nuclear negotiations and moved progressively forward
parallel to diplomatic negotiations and interactions. But, unfortunately, since
2004 on, more than 90 percent of countries' power was dedicated to negotiations
and we fell short of power to strengthen domestic production. Those
negotiations finally resulted in The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
which didn't last long and had no positive effect on production units.
entities have different responsibilities. Central Bank and the banking network
of the countries' responsibility is directing the heavy mass of liquidity
towards production. The responsibility of the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and
Trade is regulating the trade policies; partly to manage and control the
importations, and partly to empower the exportations. This ministry is also
responsible to provide the infrastructures necessary for production and lifting
the bureaucratic obstacles in the way of increasing the production rate which
is almost the most important obstacle amongst all for entrepreneurs. The
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance is another part of the executive body
of the government which accounts for removing those obstacles (which most of
them are solvable merely by signing an order on a paper). The Presidential
Deputy for Science and Technology is another effective entity in this process
which fortunately has been very positively active in recent years both in
reinforcing the technology in the country and canalizing those technologies
toward production. The taxation system of the country must try to lift the
burden of taxation pressure off the shoulders of the real production activist
who mainly have a clear tax file. Taxation pressures should be focused on the
part of the economy that doesn't produce value-added. (e.g. capital gain tax,
are two main role-players in a resistive economy: state or government, and
people as the main body of society. These two form the foundations of the
resistive economy. The main task of government is planning and providing the
infrastructures, but those plans will go no further than papers and books if
the society would not act accordingly. Indeed, the government acts as the brain
and operational arms are the people. For example, investments are conducted by
the body of society. It is also the same about working, selling, marketing,
producing and this list goes on and on. The word "people" here means
university professors, workers, engineers, families, etc. For a country that is
seeking to achieve a production leap, it is crucial to have a pure and unmixed
public opinion and a culture consonant with this goal.
members of the society, also by purchasing national productions, can accelerate
the progress. Those who produce merchandise or prepare services are responsible
to increase both the production rate and quality of the productions.
Muslim community distributes R7m worth of humanitarian aid
Muslim community has distributed more than R7 million worth of welfare and
relief aid across the country since the lockdown began.
SA Muslims Covid-19 response task team has been co-ordinating with the national
and provincial government and other stakeholders to ensure that the needs of
vulnerable families are met.
Gauteng, the organisation, in partnership with the provincial government, has
handed out food hampers along with blankets, hygiene hampers, sanitisers, and
Africa Muslims Agency has distributed hygiene kits and food hampers across the
province. In the Johannesburg CBD, 500 people received food hampers and
blankets were distributed to the homeless in the Mayfair area.
Relief South Africa expended 685 one-month food hampers, hygiene packs, and
household packs. The Al Imdaad Foundation distributed food hampers, blankets,
hygiene packs, and toothbrushes to the homeless and vulnerable groups in
Lenasia South, Windsor, Eikenhoff, Grosvenor, and Eldorado Park," said
project spokesperson Shanaaz Ebrahim-Gire.
Natal Memon Jamaat welfare team in collaboration with the World Memon
Organisation, Jama'atun Nisa and Being Muslim team distributed over 600 family
food hampers and hygiene packs in the three days leading up to the lockdown.
then, these organisations have distributed food hampers with hygiene content to
various needy families residing in Bonela, Seaview, Canelands - Verulam,
KaPata, Pietermaritzburg, Phoenix and other areas around Durban Central.
Africa Muslims Agency, as part of their #Humanitize and #12MillionMeals
campaigns, distributed hygiene kits and food hampers and will continue to
distribute these much-needed items in the Durban and Newcastle areas,"
the Western Cape, food hampers will be distributed to vulnerable families and
informal settlements in Lost City, Athlone, Heideveld, Hanover Park, parts of
Mitchells Plain, Salt River, Woodstock, Factreton, Parow, and others.
other provinces, SANZAF's offices in Port Elizabeth, East London and Kimberley
are also active in responding to emergency cases," said Ebrahim-Gire.
outbreak: Police search mosques to trace Tablighi Jamaat members
across the country are being carried out in mosques and other locations to
members of the Tablighi Jamaat members who attended events at the Markaz centre
in Delhi’s Nizamuddin.
the last few days, searches have been carried out in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh,
Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
are on to trace these members and evacuate them without any delay. They are
being traced and sent in quarantine and if required, they are being tested for
Covid-19, an official told India Today TV.
Delhi alone, 17 mosques with 168 foreigners and 10 Indians staying have been
identified. Among the foreigners, maximum are from Indonesia.
Tablighi Jamaat members travelled extensively to states like Uttar Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
among other parts of the country.
police have now been asked to compile a list of members who visited big mosques
in their jurisdiction, sources said.
any contact history with a Covid-19 positive case is established, people in the
area will be immediately screened and sent for quarantine, sources have told
India Today TV.
April 2, 9,000 people with a contact history with members of the Tablighi
Jamaat, who were part of the congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi, were
identified and sent in quarantine.
the 9,000 quarantined, 1,306 are foreigners and the others are Indians.
Markaz had about 2000 Jamaat workers including 250 foreigners out of which
1,804 have been quarantined, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has blacklisted 960 foreigners, present in India
on tourist visas, for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities. The MHA
has also directed police chiefs of all states and Union Territories to take
necessary legal action against all such violators on priority.
Chief Minister Reaches Out To Muslim Leaders To Expedite Tabligh Testing
With distrust derailing the testing and quarantining of those who attended the
Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi in March, Karnataka chief minister BS
Yediyurappa on Friday reached out to Muslim leaders and legislators to dispel
fear and rumours and bring back on track the state’s fight against Covid-19.
day many Tabligh delegates tested positive in Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana,
Andhra and other states, Yediyurappa urged the leaders to take urgent
confidence-building measures with the community and help the government trace
all delegates and their contacts.
75-year-old man died in Bagalkot on Friday hours after he was confirmed
positive, taking the state’s toll to four. A kirana merchant by profession, he
had been kept in isolation in the district hospital and was being treated for
symptoms, DC K Rajendra said. He is the first patient from the district; with
Bagalkot, 15 of the state’s 30 districts have come under the corona cloud.
in Bagalkot said the victim had not travelled anywhere recently. His son and
daughter had arrived from Bengaluru 10 days ago and they have tested negative.
Test reports of another family member are awaited.
in the day, three Tabligh delegates from Belagavi district tested positive for
the infection. Along with the Bagalkot victim, they were the only Covid-19
cases to be reported in the state in 24 hours.
Centre had sent the state a list of 1,500 people linked to the congregation at
Nizamuddin Markaz, which has since emerged as a super-spreader of the virus,
triggering cluster infections in several states. With increasing incidents of
assault of healthcare workers and resistance to testing and quarantine being
reported, Yediyurappa said there was a need to create awareness.
sought the help of community leaders to help us identify and trace those who
attended the Nizamuddin Jamaat meeting,” Yediyurappa said.
those present at the meeting were Congress MLAs Zameer Ahmed Khan, NA Haris and
Rizwan Arshad; party MLCs CM Ibrahim and Nazir Ahmed and KPCC working president
Salim Ahmed. Pledging support to the state’s fight against the pandemic, the
leaders assured the CM that they would hold meetings with religious leaders and
stress on testing as a means to contain the outbreak
Search on for 10 who fled Shirur mosque
The Pune rural police on Friday registered an FIR and launched a search for 10
people, who ran away from a mosque in Shirur after they were stamped on April 1
for home quarantine as a precautionary measure.
divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said, "These people are in no way
connected with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in New Delhi.
They escaped from the mosque on April 1 in a truck carrying medicines and
Friday, the police booked the trustee of the mosque for helping them escape.
All of them hail from Rajasthan and Haryana, the police said. The police have
booked all the 11 men under IPC sections 188, 269 and 271 and invoked
provisions of the National Disaster Management Act.
sixth coronavirus positive patient attended Delhi mosque event
reported a sixth novel coronavirus case on Friday after a Cuttack resident
positive for Covid-19 who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event at Delhi's
who came in contact with the Covid-19 positive person are now be traced,
Subrota Bagchi, chief spokesperson of Odisha government for Covid-19 management
21 of the returnees have tested negative, one positive case has been reported
from Cuttack. Five test results are awaited," Bagchi said.
the fresh confirmed case from Cuttack, Odisha government declared a complete
shutdown in Cuttack from tonight till next 48 hours.
also informed that 40 people from Odisha, who took part in the religious
congregation, are still stranded in Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
and Andhra Pradesh.
Tablighi members holed up in Sadar mosque test +ve
The Sadar area that borders Lucknow Cantonment was sealed on Friday after 12
natives of Saharanpur holed up in a mosque in Qasaibada area tested positive
for Covid-19 on Friday morning. Barring medical emergencies, movement of
residents or vehicles even for essential services was barred by the district
administration. At least 2km of Cantonment straddling Sadar’s virus hotspot has
also been sealed. Police sources told TOI that presence of these 12 men at the
Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizamuddin area is being verified.
and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel have been deployed and the
area is being sanitized on a war footing. At least six teams of health
department are scanning residents for symptoms of flu or fever. Senior police
officials, including the joint-commissioner of police immediately rushed to the
area after the 12 men tested positive and began making announcements, ordering
residents to stay indoors.
least 12 members of Tablighi Jamaat had come from Saharanpur district and were
holed up in the mosque at Sadar. We are probing whether they participated at
the Nizamuddin event,” said Pandey.
administration officials said the area comprising 450 houses, 150 shops and
kiosks has around 3,000 residents. Talking to TOI, Lucknow police commissioner
Sujeet Pandey said, Sadar has been turned into a sterile zone to prevent spread
also said 250-strong police team has been deployed to enforce total lockdown.
“We will not allow even essential services to operate in the area. Those
needing medical help can contact police,” he added.
in charge at chief medical officer (CMO) office, MK Singh, said teams have been
constituted to knock at every house and ask members if they came in contact
with visitors at the mosque. “Then we will scan every family member for
symptoms and quarantine or isolate them,” he said.
to TOI, Amit Mishra, chief executive officer, Lucknow Cantonment Board, said,
“We have instructed all shops in the area open for essential services to down
shutters and advised residents to stay indoors. The mosque is also closed and
the area is being sanitised,” he said.
attacked while dispersing crowd at mosque
The fight against COVID-19 in the State got a communal tint on Friday after a
few policemen, who tried to disperse a mob gathered at a mosque in Tenkasi,
were attacked. Four people were arrested in connection with the case and the
personnel had to resort to a lathi-charge.
to police, around 500 people gathered at a mosque in Nadupettai area of Tenkasi
for Friday prayers, despite the lockdown. Immediately, a team rushed to the
spot to announced on the megaphone, asking the people to disperse. “Suddenly, a
group of people started attacking us with chairs, and four personnel were
injured in the melee,” said a policeman. A lathi-charge followed, after which
the mob dispersed.
Coimbatore, the district joint secretary of the Bajrang Dal, D Satishkumar, was
arrested for inciting communal hatred through a post on his Facebook page. He
was booked for holding a particular community responsible for the disease
the Chief Secretary swung into action and held talks with various community
requested them to appeal to members of community not to visit places of
worship. Across the State, District Collectors too held similar meetings with
local leaders from all faiths. The discussions centred around the increasing
number of COVID-19 patients in the State and upcoming festivals, including
Meshach Raja, Bishop of Church of Episcopal Fellowship International Diocese,
Chennai said: “the government must stop the malicious propaganda that COVID-19
was being spread by Muslims. Giving a
religious colour to an infectious disease would be worse than the virus
responsible for the disease.” Mohammed Mansoor of Federation of Muslim
Organisations, echoed similar views.
from two Patan mosques isolated
to Pew Research Centre, Tablighi Jamaat operates roughly in 150 countries
around the world, including Western Europe, Africa, and South Asia. It is hard
to monitor and supervise because there are so many, and temporary participants
often make the group’s membership. Because of a lack of centralised control,
missionaries improvise, rather than follow a standard strategy. As a result,
the impact often tends to depend on the methods, intentions, and inclinations
of local leaders.
the British town of Dewsbury, Tablighi Jamaat functions as regional
headquarters coordinating activities throughout Northern Europe. Other centers,
often focus on local concerns, or serving ethnic populations. In Barcelona, it
has geared to the needs of the immigrants of North African origin. In France,
while there is a center, most Tablighi groups operate independently, building
relationships with local mosques. In Germany, Tablighis have found it difficult
to penetrate Muslim communities, comprised largely of immigrants from Turkey —
where the Tablighi Jamaat has virtually no presence. And in Western Europe, it
has adapted to the reality of religious, social and political pluralism in the
region, and has shown a willingness to partner with non-Muslim political
institutions to further its ends. In South Asia too, the Tablighi Jamaat has a
great following, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and
Yogi Adityanath's Tough Move Against Quarantined Islamic Sect Members
Delhi: Some members of the Islamic missionary sect Tablighi Jamaat, which
organised a religious gathering in Delhi linked to hundreds of coronavirus
cases, face charges under the National Security Act (NSA) after allegations of
assault on nurses and obscene behavior at a hospital in Ghaziabad, Uttar
Pradesh. Describing them as "enemies of humanity", Chief Minister
Yogi Adityanath ordered charges under the tough law that allows detention
without charges for up to a year.
will not follow the law, nor will they accept order. They are the enemies of
humanity, what they have done with women healthcare providers is a heinous
crime. We are invoking the National Security Act against them, we will not
spare them," Yogi Adityanath said.
incident like Indore where doctors were attacked should not be seen anywhere in
the state. For this, we will take whatever action is required by law," he
Tablighi members, quarantined at Ghaziabad's MMG Hospital, have been accused of
endangering staff by violating coronavirus precautions. They passed lewd
comments, roamed about without clothes in the isolation ward, used expletives,
refused medicine and kept asking for beedis and cigarettes, according to a
written complaint to the police by the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital.
Ghaziabad, officials have tracked down 136 who attended the religious gathering
last month at Markaz Nizamuddin, the Delhi headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat,
which is a major coronavirus hotspot linked to nearly 650 cases and 12 deaths.
Six of them had symptoms of coronavirus and were admitted to MMG hospital on
March 31. One tested positive.
nurses and paramedical staff have complained about obscene behavior by these
patients," Ravindra Singh, the chief medical officer of the hospital told
workers help sanitize Grand Mosque in Makkah
04, 2020MAKKAH: An army of 3,500 workers has been taking part in a major
cleaning operation at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The General Presidency for
the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has been overseeing the disinfection
program as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus
for the department responsible for cleaning and carpets at the Grand Mosque
have used 2,160 liters of eco-friendly sanitization solution and 89 pieces of
equipment for the six daily cleaning operations at the holy site, which have
included its squares and facilities, and the cleaning of carpets every five
of Grand Mosque brings to light importance of Supplication and Imam of
Prophet's Mosque praises solidarity between leadership and individuals during
April 03, 2020 SPA -- Imam of the Grand Mosque (Alharam) in Makkah brought to
light today the importance of supplication (Dua), and the Imam of the Prophet’s
Mosque in Madinah praised the solidarity between the leadership and individuals
during coronavirus crisis.
his Friday sermon delivered at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Dr. Bandar
ibn Abdulaziz Balilah, detailed the benefits of supplication, noting that
supplication saves from distress and distract badness.
concluded that supplication is also a key to change and a good source for
victory, especially if it is accompanied by the power of certainty and
Madinah, Sheikh Abdulbari Al-Thobaiti, stated that, in light of the current
global crisis caused coronavirus, every person in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
lauded the cohesion that is embodied between the leadership and individuals.
added that the leadership seeks to enact regulations and procedures to protect
lives and preserve interests, while the individuals are aware of their role to
adhere to instructions and guidelines.
pointed out that overcoming this crisis will be by Allah's grace, his mercy and
kindness, then with more solidarity.
stated that, in light of this pandemic, businessmen and intellectuals should
sense their religious and national duty in such events to mitigate the effects
of this crisis
Press: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' Supports Employees in Private Sector
April 04, 2020, SPA -- Saudi newspapers highlighted in their editorials today a
number of issues at local, regional and international arenas.
Al-Yaum, Al-Bilad and Al-Eqtesadiah newspapers reported that the Custodian of
the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ordered to pay a
monthly compensation to Saudi employees in the private sector in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia at 60% of the wage registered in social insurance for a period of
papers highly commended such unprecedented step as it reflects the Custodian of
the Two Holy Mosques' keenness on mitigating the social implications and
economic consequences of the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, along with supporting employees' job stability and the sustainable
ability of the labor market.
combats Covid-19: Islamic Affairs Department launches fund ahead of Ramadan
part of facilitating community contributions and donations to efforts to combat
the coronavirus outbreak in UAE, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities
Department in Dubai has announced the 'Social Solidarity Fund Against
of the fund seeks to support the fight against coronavirus in collaboration
with government entities, charity associations and members of society.
launch coincides with the approach of Ramadan, allowing members of society to
contribute their Zakat donation during the blessed month in the form of support
for the fight against Covid-19. The Fund will help unify efforts to contain the
spread of the pandemic and allow all members of society to contribute to
General of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department Dr. Hamad bin
Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani said the department is keen to support preventive
measures and contribute to efforts to combat the outbreak.
Shaibani added the Department is the sole entity authorised to manage donations
in liaison with the Command and Control Centre for Combating Coronavirus. The
Fund aims to contribute towards medical treatment and equipment, and other
efforts to ensure the health, safety and protection of the community.
also said the main role of national establishments in the current period is to
streamline efforts to fight the virus. The leadership has set an example for
providing support to all members of society, both expatriates and residents, he
was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers
Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim
that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil
statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince
Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the
reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the
deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."
minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the
withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the
fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further
cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.
Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying
facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the
pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector
in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get
rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.
further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve
oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."
refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal
which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil
separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom
refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.
"was the first to declare to the media that all the participating
countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of
April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.
said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their
production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of
Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US
President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production
by 10-15 million barrels per day.
Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in
the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the
desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.
global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at
the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as
billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.
global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels
per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state
control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest
producer of crude.
meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but
details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet
been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.
decree allocates 9 billion riyals for employees affected by coronavirus
King Salman issued a royal decree ordering the allocation of SR9 billion ($2.4
billion) to compensate citizens working in facilities affected by repercussions
of the pandemic.
royal decree exempts Saudis working in the affected private sector facilities
from Articles 8, 10 and 14 of the Unemployment Insurance (Sanad) scheme.
employees are to be given a monthly compensation of 60 percent of the
registered wage in social insurance for three months with a maximum of SR9,000
Minister and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Organization for
Social Insurance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that the support mechanism will work
as stipulated in the Sanad scheme for facilities included in the royal decree.
covers 100 percent of Saudis working in facilities employing five or less and
up to 70 percent in facilities that employ more than five.
employer will be exempted from paying the monthly salary for beneficiaries
during the compensation period as per the decree.
facilities should also continue the payment of salaries for employees (Saudis
and non-Saudis) who are not included in the compensation.
impact: Homeless Pakistani family in UAE running out of options to stay safe
residents of the country are staying put and supporting the UAE's #StayHome
campaign to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 virus, a homeless Pakistani
family says they are struggling to put a safe roof over their heads.
family of four - Uzma Farooq, 28, along with her siblings Rabiya and Bilal
Farooq and their ailing mother Khalda Farooq - roughed it out on park benches,
in mosques and even in hospital corridors for one month. But now, with
night-time restrictions in place, they're at their wits' end and are running
out of options to stay indoors, says Uzma.
haven't changed our clothes for days as there is no place to freshen up, and we
haven't eaten properly as there's no money. But what hurts the most is seeing
our aged mother suffer," she told Khaleej Times.
[Khalda] cannot sit or stand for long, she has no energy left and what we fear
the most is for her health as she is a heart patient, has bad knees and is also
severely anaemic. She has been advised to get iron drips as her haemoglobin
level is very low. My mother has also developed anxiety and her immune system
is very weak. We are all very worried," she said.
around two weeks after they had to leave their rented accommodation in the
Rolla area in Sharjah, the family stayed at a friend's place. But with rising
cases of Covid-19, the friend asked them to look for another place since their
apartment was small and congested.
from Sialkot, Pakistan, moved to the UAE three years ago after taking up a job
in sales promotion in a perfume company in Sharjah. Her sister Rabiya soon
joined her and took up a job as a nanny in a day-care. Things were working well
for them and they recently called their younger brother Bilal too, who was set
to take up a job at a mobile repair shop, and had applied for a work visa
through an agent. But the agent fled with his money, leaving him broke and
how and why she came to the UAE, Uzma said: "We had a doting father, who
wanted us to get a good education and do well in life. But as luck would have
it, he died in a car accident [in Pakistan]. We were staying in a joint family,
and our relatives took all his share and asked us to leave the house. We were
all quite young at that time and with no way out, I came to the UAE and got
myself a job to support my family. Thanks to this blessed country, I was able
to support my family and they moved into a rented accommodation. My aim was to
gradually shift all of them here and we managed it until my company shut down
and my mother got very sick. We had to admit her and get her tests and drips
hospital expenses to foot and with no income, the family soon ran out of money
and had to vacate the apartment. Since then, they have been living it rough.
and authorities are very kind here, which is how we managed to stay without a
home for a month but now with the restrictions on being out and the closure of
mosques and malls, we are finding it hard to find a place to sit, especially
people of the UAE generous, Uzma said: "Even though we have been living in
parks, mosques and hospitals, people, security guards and hospital staff have
been very kind to us. They gave us food and accommodated us for as long as they
could, but it is now becoming impossible. I am sure we will get jobs once again
when the market opens up. For now, we just need a place to stay. We can't think
straight now as we haven't slept for days."
BBC begins broadcasting weekly Islamic sermons as mosques remain shut
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has begun airing Islamic reflections and
prayers on 14 local radio stations as mosques remain shut amid the coronavirus
to local media reports, every Friday at 5:50am, a different imam will lead the
broadcast, reciting a verse from the Quran or a saying from the Prophet
Muhammad, then translate it and talk about its relevance, followed by a minute
radio is all about connecting communities and we hope these weekly reflections
will go some way to helping Muslims feel a sense of community while they are
isolating," said Chris Burns, the head of BBC Local Radio.
British government ordered all places of worship closed on 23 March, as part of
its measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
before the announcement, more than 375 mosques and prayer facilities suspended
congregational activities, according to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
all of our communities is paramount, and it's reassuring so many mosques and
prayer facilities have heeded this advice in trying their best to minimise the
spread of the coronavirus," Harun Khan, secretary general of the MCB, said
of Britain's mosques hold thousands of worshippers at a time, including the
East London Mosque, which has capacity for 7,000, London Central Mosque with
more than 5,000 and Birmingham Central Mosque, which regularly hosts 2,500
worshippers or more for weekly Friday prayer services.
mosques and Muslim communities have tried fill the void of the closure by using
virtual means to engage in spiritual practices, though the lack of physical
connection has been hard to replace.
the impact of the closure will be even more impactful during the holy month of
Ramadan, which is set to begin in the third week of April.
Farley, a journalist with BBC Radio 4, responded to criticism of the
announcement by pointing out that the BBC already broadcasts Christian services
to those complaining about/questioning this, just a reminder that a Christian
service is broadcast each Sunday at 8am on all 39 BBC local radio
stations," he tweeted.
the country's fight to combat the virus, Muslim doctors and health-care
professsionals have been among the first to die on the front lines.
Nasreen, a 36-year-old nurse, became the latest Muslim fatality in the UK,
joining five others who have lost their lives in the fight against the disease.
UK lockdown could be relaxed in weeks, says top govt adviser
distancing measures in the UK could be relaxed within weeks if there are signs
the coronavirus epidemic is slowing, a leading scientist and government adviser
Neil Ferguson - of Imperial College London, which is advising the government on
its coronavirus response - said the UK's epidemic was expected to plateau in
the next week to 10 days, but said people's behaviour was critical to
determining what happens next.
told BBC Radio 4: "The critical thing first is to get case numbers down,
and then I'm hopeful... in a few weeks' time we will be able to move to a
regime which will not be normal life, let me emphasise that, but will be
somewhat more relaxed in terms of social distancing and the economy, but
relying more on testing."
Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have urged people to
"stick with the guidance" to stay at home and resist the temptation
to break the COVID-19 outbreak social distancing rules this sunny weekend.
what would happen if people flouted the lockdown rules, Prof Ferguson replied:
"That moves us to a slightly more pessimistic scenario.
still think things will plateau but we'll be at quite high levels of infection
for weeks and weeks rather than seeing quite a rapid decline as the type seen
government ramped up measures against the coronavirus epidemic last month after
a report by Prof Ferguson's team predicted the UK could otherwise have seen 250,000
said on Saturday he was also confident successful antibody tests could be ready
in days, adding he was "hopeful" some of the intense social
distancing restrictions could be substituted with speedy access to testing and
rapid contact tracing in a few weeks' time.
there is a swift decline in case numbers, ministers would consider whether they
could relax certain measures in "a way which is safe and still ensures the
epidemic goes down".
Ferguson added: "We want to move to a situation where at least by the end
of May that we're able to substitute some less intensive measures, more based
on technology and testing, for the complete lockdown we have now."
comments come after a key government adviser warned the UK had "painted
itself into a corner" with no clear exit strategy from the crisis.
Graham Medley, a pandemic modeller also advising the government on the COVID-19
outbreak, warned the lockdown measures are merely a "placeholder".
to a report in The Times, his modelling showed that letting people return to
work or reopening schools would allow the pandemic to take off again and no way
had been found of easing the lockdown while controlling the virus.
told the newspaper Britain must consider allowing people to catch the virus in
the least deadly way possible rather than allowing the impact on the economy,
people's mental health, and harms in terms of domestic violence, child abuse
and food poverty to continue indefinitely.
Medley told The Times: "This disease is so nasty that we had to suppress
it completely. Then we've kind of painted ourselves into a corner, because then
the question will be, what do we do now?
will have done three weeks of this lockdown, so there's a big decision coming
up on April 13. In broad terms are we going to continue to harm children to
protect vulnerable people, or not?"
Medley added: "If we carry on with lockdown it buys us more time, we can
get more thought put into it, but it doesn't resolve anything, it's a
specialists have said they are currently "testing to the limit of our
materials", adding that they are ready to increase capacity, but only if
given a "reliable supply" of equipment to do so.
Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) warned there is a "very real
risk" that hospitals may run out of reagents, leaving patients unable to
UK has numerous high-quality accredited laboratories with suitable equipment,
with the capability to process over 100,000 tests per day, set up and ready to
meet testing targets," a spokesman for the IBMS said.
England could process up to 25,000 a day, which by May could rise to 100,000,
meeting the ambitious target set down by Matt Hancock, all within the NHS.
However, there is a material supply issue with a worldwide shortage in reagent
Should Boris Johnson take time off sick?
Boris Johnson insisted he was “feeling better” despite continuing to suffer
from Covid-19, he admitted he still had a temperature and his eyes looked weary
as he urged people not to break the lockdown rules this weekend – even if they
were starting to feel “a bit stir-crazy”.
Prime Minister has carried on working while in self-isolation, where he
remains, and he may regard this as an important thing for him to do in a
genuine attempt to provide reassurance to the country that the person who is
supposed to be in charge still is and the wheels of government are still
turning, not falling off.
any head of government worthy of the title will experience significant amounts
of stress and worry about the decisions they are required to make, even in more
normal times. And, in a life-and-death situation like the current coronavirus
pandemic, those pressures will be greatly increased.
it’s possible that by continuing to work, Johnson is actually putting his
health at greater risk. No government should revolve entirely around one
person. The health of dictators and absolute monarchs – or the appearance of it
– may be crucial to their survival, but this is not true in a democracy.
Ministers are allowed to take time off – as Johnson’s recent holiday to St Vincent
and the Grenadines in the Caribbean demonstrated.
even if he is not damaging his own recovery, he could end up setting a bad
example for the rest of the country. Company bosses may decide that if Johnson
can ‘bravely soldier on’, then so will they. And some are likely to then
conclude that if they can do it, why not their staff?
and his advisers might fear he would look weak to ‘go off sick’, but no one
would – or should – blame him. And it would also help get the message across
that this disease should not be treated in any way lightly.
amateur experts appear to have focussed on the higher chance of death among the
elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, but the Covid-related
deaths of people like Areema Nasreen and Aimee O’Rourke, both nurses in their
30s and each mothers of three children, should underline that the lives of
every one of us are in danger.
as no one is bulletproof, no one is Covid-proof. If the Prime Minister publicly
acknowledged this by taking time off to speed his recovery, it could help get
this message across – however stir-crazy Johnson might end up feeling.
Elizabeth II to address the nation on coronavirus Sunday evening
Barnali Pal Sinha
Elizabeth II is scheduled to address the nation and the Commonwealth on the
coronavirus pandemic on Sunday evening, in a rare television broadcast. Buckingham
Palace informed in a statement on Friday that the head of the state has already
recorded the televised address to Britons.
Majesty The Queen has recorded a special broadcast to the United Kingdom and
the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak," the palace said
in a statement as reported by Independent. The address was recorded at Windsor
Castle and will be broadcast Sunday at 8 p.m. local time.
country's Department of Health and Social Care has said that more than 3,600
people in the UK have died during the coronavirus pandemic, and around 38,000
people have tested positive for the virus.
queen's rare address comes at a time when the entire world is grappling with
the deadly COVID-19, with Spain and the UK topping maximum number of cases. It
was earlier reported that the 93-year-old monarch would address the nation at a
critical time during the ongoing crisis.
queen addresses the nation in a customary annual recorded message on Christmas
Day. The only other instances when the monarch addressed the nation in her
68-year-reign was after the death of her mother – Queen Mother, the funeral of
Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and during the Gulf War in 1991.
Palace announced in March that all her official engagements would be postponed
or cancelled in view of the coronavirus outbreak. She later left the Palace for
Windsor Castle, west of London. This was done "as a sensible precaution
and for practical reasons in the current circumstances," the palace said
in a statement at the time.
queen and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh are self-isolation
currently at Windsor Castle.
community prepares for less social Ramadan as mosques shutter due to COVID-19
normal Friday afternoon, mosques would be packed with hundreds of praying
people, standing shoulder to shoulder and following the lead of an imam.
for the last three Fridays, the mosques has been empty and silent. The
community centres have shut their doors following health experts'
recommendation to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19.
it's not just Friday prayers that are cancelled. The New Brunswick Muslim
community is preparing to spend the month of Ramadan, and possibly Eid, the holiday that follows, indoors.
week New Brunswick extended its state of emergency for another two weeks, and
continues to make physical distancing guidelines the law, banning gatherings of
any size, including for religious reasons.
the number of cases rises each day, reaching 91 cases by Thursday, people are
not likely to see that change anytime soon.
the last few years, with the significant increase of the population in Moncton,
this has been quite a big affair. There are lots of people turning up for these
prayers at the mosque," Akhtar said.
large gathering to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan might also be cancelled,
said Abdul Rahimi, president of the Saint John Islamic Association
are hoping for good [news]," he said. "If everything goes well, we
will have the Eid prayer, but we have to obey the law."
said his mosque usually invited an imam to visit from Ontario and give the Eid
sermon. He said travel restrictions and mandating a 14-day isolation after
crossing provincial borders would make that difficult this year.
El-Bayoumi of the Fredericton Islamic Association said the Friday prayer holds
a special place for people. He said some people follow Friday prayer online or
over the radio, but it's not the same experience.
I was too young to go anywhere I know that that we used to turn the radio on
Friday and listen to it. But it has not been done anywhere. So… there is
nothing remotely that can be followed or that can be watched."
El-Bayoumi says following along with prayer online can be tough since mass
gatherings are being banned globally. (Hadeel Ibrahim/CBC)
like a church, a mosque is a community centre as well as a place of worship,
Rahimi said. Sunday school, and social events were also cancelled when the
you're asking me, I know it's not easy, it's boring, but you got to do what you
got to do," he said. "The virus is a very critical virus, it's the
killer. At this point everybody knows that their life is more important than
call on Trump to remove Iran sanctions is a ‘game changer’
presidential frontrunner Joe Biden’s recent call on the Trump administration to
lift sanctions against Iran over the coronavirus pandemic is a significant
shift and will increase pressure on Washington to remove all illegal sanctions
on Tehran, says a journalist and former US Senate candidate.
Biden's latest statement on lifting the sanctions on Iran is a tremendous
step,” Mark Dankof said Friday during a phone interview with Press TV. “This is
a potential game changer.”
between the thinking left and the thinking right, hopefully we can put enough
pressure on the powerbrokers in this country to do what should have been done
all along and that is to ensure that we have no sanctions on the Iranian
government whatsoever,” Dankof said.
before COVID-19, this should have been the case, because the Iranian government
abided by its end to the [nuclear] deal,” he added. “The United States
unilaterally pulled out and basically punished the Iranian government for
living up to its end of the deal.”
statement on Thursday, Biden highlighted Iran’s struggle “to contain one of the
deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world” and that the “Iranian people are
former US vice president added that “it makes no sense, in a global health
crisis, to compound that failed strategy with cruelty by inhibiting access to
needed humanitarian assistance. Whatever our profound differences with the
Iranian government, we should support the Iranian people.”
US reinstated sanctions against Iran in 2018 after President Donald Trump
withdrew the US from the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world
powers, and launched a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic
says US "medical terrorism" against Iranians through imposing
toughest ever sanctions on the country is leading to a "humanitarian
catastrophe" as it makes it “impossible” for ordinary people to have
access to essential drugs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
US vice president and 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden calls on the Trump
administration to immediately lift Iran sanctions which have hampered Iran’s
efforts to curb the coronavirus.
think as the American public finds out more about the ravages of COVID-19 in
the United States, it's beginning to have a little more empathy for other
people around the world who are battling this thing in an even tougher fight,
and that especially includes Iran because of these draconian and illegitimate
sanctions,” Dankof said.
sanctions “also betrayed Trump's America First rhetoric by showing that in
fact, Israel was more in control of American foreign policy than Americans
are,” Dankof said.
countries such as China and Russia have also urged the Trump administration to
lift illegal bans on Iran. Russian foreign ministry called the sanctions
“anti-human” and that such sanctions prevent effective fight against the lethal
diplomatic missions of Iran and seven other countries including Russia, China,
Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, penned a letter to Antonio
Guterres, UN Secretary-General, emphasizing again that unilateral sanctions
were obstructing the battle with the “common enemy”.
Pompeo’s claim that humanitarian assistance, medical devices, equipment and
pharmaceuticals, are not sanctioned, many banks and companies have refrained
from doing business with Iran fearing US secondary sanctions.
fires intelligence official who had key impeachment role
Donald Trump announced Friday, April 3, he was firing a senior intelligence official
who had a central role in the complaint last August that sparked the
impeachment trial of the US leader.
letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Trump said he had lost confidence
in Michael Atkinson, the independent inspector general of the broad US
reviewed and transmitted an anonymous whistle-blower's complaint in August that
alleged that Trump had sought personal political favors from Ukraine in
violation of US law.
complaint became the basis for Trump's impeachment, which saw him put through a
historic trial for removal in the Senate in January.
president was charged with holding up official military aid to Ukraine in
exchange for Kiev helping to smear his expected 2020 election foe, Democrat Joe
deciding the complaint had merit, Atkinson, a 55-year-old veteran government
attorney, forwarded it to the Justice Department and to Congress, setting off
the impeachment investigation.
then testified in a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee
investigating the allegations, at a time when the White House sought to prevent
other administration officials from giving evidence.
then embarked on a campaign to force from office a number of officials in the
White House, State Department and Pentagon who cooperated with the probe.
is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as
inspectors general," Trump wrote in the letter to the two top senators on
the Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.
the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the president is
once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the intelligence community
by firing yet another an intelligence official simply for doing his job,"
work of the intelligence community has never been about loyalty to a single
individual; it's about keeping us all safe from those who wish to do our
denigrating science’ as virus wreaks mayhem in US: Analyst
Trump does not believe in science, he has denigrated science at every
imaginable level, he has gotten rid of health positions that should have
remained in place, people that would have kept on top of these things, would
have communicated with other areas of the world, would have seen what was
happening sooner, would have been unbelievably helpful,” Carol Duff, professor
of nursing sciences from Grand Rapids, Michigan, said during a Friday edition
of Press TV’s The Debate program.
does not want to be blamed for anything that has happened and is more than
willing to blame other countries… President Trump came in to the presidency
denigrating science, you can’t live in a world without science, and especially
as we have seen now, you cannot live in a world without very good medical
science. Our lives depend on it and had depended on it; now we see what’s
about media reports exposing a lack of medical equipment and supplies in the
United States and the Trump administration‘s failure to meet demands, Duff
said, “I don’t think that the personal protection gear is extremely limited all
over the United States but in some areas it absolutely is and this further
compromises not only our health care workers who are with the very sick people
or every sick person that comes in, but also compromises the health of those
people who are ill or people who do not have COVID but are being evaluated
because they possibly may have it.”
made the comments as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause mayhem in the
US, with the overall death toll exceeding 7,000 and the confirmed cases
standing at more than 277,000. The Trump administration has come under fire
from medical staff and Democrats for belittling the deadly virus.
health experts warn that mass shutdowns of businesses and schools over the
coronavirus outbreak will lead to thousands of deaths and suicides unrelated to
the disease itself.
Feigl-Ding, epidemiologist and health economist from Washington, was the other
panelist invited to The Debate program who also reaffirmed that the US
administration had failed to realize the enormity of the pandemic.
think he dropped the ball a long time ago,” he said. “This epidemic has usually
a doubling time of usually 6 days; the doubling time in the United States has
now dropped to 2.5 days — 2 days in New York… it is just terrible response,
terrible preparation and terrible policies that allow a lot of our reserves and
stockpiles to be depleted very quickly.”
New York, the US state hardest hit by the coronavirus in the number of
infections and lives lost, the fatalities rose above 2,900 — which is on a par
with the death toll from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
York Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded with the US government for more help in
expectation of a surge in COVID-19 cases next week.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases, warned last week that the global pandemic could kill between 100,000
and 200,000 Americans, infecting millions of others.
coronavirus, a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, jumped from wildlife to
people in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and is currently affecting
more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. It has so far
affected more than 1,118,000 people and killed over 59,000, according to a
running count by worldometers.info.
records 1,169 coronavirus deaths, new global daily high: Johns Hopkins
United States recorded 1,169 COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, the
Johns Hopkins University tracker showed on Thursday, the highest one-day death
toll recorded in any country since the global pandemic began.
Italy still has the highest total death toll, with over 14,000 dying of the
disease there, followed by Spain at over 11,000.
US also recorded more than 30,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the same 24-hour
period, bringing the total number of officially reported cases in the country
to more than 243,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
York City is at the epicenter of the American outbreak, recording more than
1,500 deaths and nearing 50,000 positive cases, according to figures released
late Thursday by city health authorities.
than 1.3 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the US, Vice President
Mike Pence said Thursday at a daily White House press conference on the virus.
are now conducting over 100,000 coronavirus tests per day," President
Donald Trump added at the same briefing, saying that was "more than any
other country in the world, both in terms of the raw number and on a per capita
House projections show the virus is expected to kill between 100,000 and
240,000 people in the US.
Friday congregation: mosques locked down in Landi Kotal
elsewhere in the country, mosques in Landi Kotal were suspended for Friday
congregations. On Thursday night, the federal government as precautionary step
decided to lock down all mosques for Friday prayers, following consultations
with religious scholars.
Islamic Ideology Council Dr Qibla Ayaz in his statement to the media also
conferred the decision and asked the Muslims to offer their prayers at homes in
the best interest of the masses. The local administration from morning deployed
police officials at mosques and directed management of all mosques to close it
for performing the religious congregation.
Home Officer (SHO), police station, Landi Kotal, Amjad Shelmani who visited the
mosques urged the believers to offer their Friday prayers at their homes.
the other hand, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Allama Noorul Haq
granted health safety kits to the Medical Superintendent (MS) of Headquarter
Hospital, Landi Kotal Dr Naik Dad Afridi.
safety kits consist of 30 thermal scanner guns, 40 cotton of surgical mask, 50
coverall, 50 hygiene kits, 3,000 pairs of gloves and 42 sanitizers.
minister said that the same commodities would also be provided to Jamrud and
Mulagori health centers to tackle possible coronavirus cases in the area. The
MS thanks the Minister for supplying the safety products as it were dire need
of the health officials combating the fatal COVID-19.
remain closed amid strict lockdown
While most mosques in the city complied with the Sindh government’s ban on
congregational prayers on Friday afternoon amid a three-hour lockdown, some
clerics continued to defy the law, even leading to violence in one instance.
incensed mob turned on the police officers who tried to prevent worshippers
from offering Friday prayers at Liaquatabad’s Ghousia Mosque. The khatib of the
mosque, terming the lockdown ‘un-Islamic’, had said that the prayers would
continue to be held there.
video, going viral on social media, showed scores of angry people chasing
police officials, throwing stones at them and forcing them to flee. According
to area residents, the law enforcers had attempted to arrest the peshimam
police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said that the Liaquatabad police had registered
a case against over 250 people, while arresting seven, including the prayer
leader. He added that action would be taken against the imam who had incited
FIR includes charges pertaining to multiple sections of the Pakistan Penal
Code, as well as a clause of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
to the police, when they found out about the congregational prayers being held
at the mosque, they went there to arrest the imam. However, they claimed, the
cleric incited the worshippers to violence, who attacked the police officials.
The cops, trying to save their lives, were forced to flee.
who did attend Friday prayers at other mosques, along with the prayer leaders
who led them, said they had left matters to the Will of Allah, adding that no
harm would befall them unless it was Divine Will.
government and police are making statements to create fear. Nothing will
happen,” insisted the imam at Jamia Mosque Quba, in Defence View – the only
mosque out of four to open for prayers in the area, with three or four dozen
people turning up to offer prayers there despite announcements to pray at home.
“Karachi is a city of 20 million people – the government cannot implement its
decision in every nook and cranny,” he added.
majority of mosques remained closed, however, while the few that were open
witnessed thin attendance. Heavy contingents of police and Rangers personnel
were also deployed in front of some mosques, including the New Memon Masjid in
Kharadar, where scores of worshippers had arrived last week.
Mukarram Mosque is in front of my home. It was closed, so we prayed at home,”
Rizwan Siddiqui, who lives in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, told The Express Tribune.
Siddique Akbar Mosque in Akhtar Colony, Qari Abdul Basit said that only five
people had prayed at the mosque, as permitted by the government. “We had
already informed the area’s citizens not to attend Friday prayers, since there
is a ban on crowds assembling,” he explained.
Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, meanwhile, in a video message, thanked
the people of Sindh for praying at home on Friday. He said that 98 per cent of
people had followed the government’s decision of a full lockdown. “I hope the
two per cent who defied government orders will reconsider their decisions next
time,” he added.
other towns and cities of the province, including Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad
and Mirpurkhas, the doors of most mosques were locked, with only four or five
people belonging to the mosque offering prayers inside.
prayed Friday prayers at our Jamia Mosque with the usual number of
worshippers,” Abdul Hanan, a resident of a village in Qambar-Shahdadkot, told
The Express Tribune. “The partial ban is only implemented in the cities and
towns. Here, people pray at the mosque five times a day without any fear
files plea before SC to become party in UTPs case
A lawyer has sought permission from the top court to become a party in the
hearing of the case regarding release of under-trial prisoners (UTPs) in view
of the coronavirus pandemic.
Umar Asadullah, an advocate, stated in his application that he had been
motivated to file the plea after reading a paragraph of April 1 Supreme Court
order asking lawyers to assist the court in preparing a synopsis before the
next date of hearing.
apex court is seized with a petition moved by Syed Nayab Hassan Gardezi, an
advocate, on behalf of Raja Muhammad Nadeen challenging the Islamabad High
Court’s March 20 order of granting bail to over 400 UTPs. The Supreme Court is
to resume hearing in the case on Monday.
preliminary hearing on March 30, the Supreme Court had restrained all the high
courts, as well as the federal and provincial governments, from passing any
order or releasing UTPs before a decision on the matter.
the last hearing on April 1, the apex court had observed it would determine the
legality of March 20 Islamabad High Court (IHC) order as well as the March 26
instructions of the Chief Justice Sindh High Court (SHC) to release the
under-trial prisoners (UTPs) from country’s overcrowded jails in the wake of
the deadly corona outbreak.
the fresh application, Mirza Umar Asadullah contended that he mainly practised
on the criminal side before the Supreme Court and therefore his valuable rights
were involved in different cases which were the subject matter of the case
being heard by the apex court.
on April 1, the Supreme Court was told that 519 prisoners had been released
from the prisons in Sindh under the directives by a judicial magistrate along
with the list of prisoners. The Advocate General of Sindh, Salman Talibuddin,
had stated the release was authorised by the chief justice of the SHC through
Sindh had also assured the apex court that he would provide a complete list of
all 519 prisoners, their names, their prisons, whether they were under trial or
convicted, detail of cases they were facing under what offences.
the last hearing, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Syed
Qalbe Hassan ,had also furnished a report with the heading “What makes
Pakistani prisoners more vulnerable through the Cornonavirus.”
statistics had shown that out of 114 prisons in Pakistan, the recommended
capacity to house prisons is 57,742, but presently these jails were overcrowded
with 77,275 inmates. Of this, 25,456 prisoners are convicted while overwhelming
majority constitutes UTPs to the tune of 48,008. The women prisoners who were
living along with their children are 1,184 while 1,500 are elderly prisoners
above the age of 60.
General Khalid Jawed Khan had also proposed the release on personal surety bond
of those accused who have been charged with offences under non-prohibitory
clauses or under vagrancy laws or offences carrying less than three years’
sentence. But there must also be condition that this benefit must not be
extended in cases involving abuse or violent acts against children and women.
efforts needed to fight coronavirus, Murad tells PM
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Friday that it was an alarming
trend that an 87 per cent rise in coronavirus cases was witnessed across the
province during the past 18 days and more focused and collective efforts were
needed to control the pandemic.
meeting was attended by Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, CM’s coordinator Haris
Gazdar, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and other relevant officials.
chief minister said that there were 783 cases reported till April 3. “If the
figures of the cases of the last 17 to 18 days are calculated it will show an
87 per cent increase in the infection — this is alarming and it must be
contained with ... collective efforts.”
director general of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) told the
chief minister that he sent the PPE to the provincial authorities and if they
were used he would arrange more kits.
CM also said that the testing kits provided by the NDMA had some accuracy
issues, as was pointed out by experts working with the provincial government,
therefore they were not being used.
meeting was told that up to till afternoon of April 3, 783 cases of coronavirus
had been detected. Out of 783 cases, 342 cases are in Karachi, 51 in Hyderabad,
273 in Sukkur, seven in Larkana, two in Ghotki, one in Jacobabad, one in Dadu
and six in Shaheed Benazirabad.
chronology shows that on March 31, 49 cases were detected, on April 1, 367 and
on April 2, 40 cases were detected. The number of local transmissions has
reached 438. Around 297 people are in isolation at their homes, 65 patients,
including 25 pilgrims, have been cured while 11 succumbed to the virus.
chief minister directed all the district hospitals to provide their extra
ventilators and other equipment to tertiary care hospitals so that serious
patients of coronavirus could be shifted and treated there.
issued these directives while presiding over a meeting on health-related
issues. The meeting was attended by the health minister, chief secretary,
health secretary and other relevant officials.
chief minister said that there were six tertiary care hospitals in the
province, except Karachi. They are in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Gambat, Khairpur,
Larkana and Nawabshah. In these hospitals, the provincial government had
developed best facilities to treat coronavirus patients with severe symptoms,
have issued directives to all the DHOs to send their extra ventilators and
other equipment to tertiary care hospitals and once the pandemic is over these
ventilators and equipment would be returned to their respective hospitals,” he
said, directing the DHOs to expedite the exercise.
Shah also talked to each DC, DHOs and elected representatives and inquired
about the isolation centres/facilities they had set up in their districts.
chief minister said that over 4,500 people of Tableeghi Jamaat (TJ) had
returned and most of them had tested positive for Covid-19. Therefore, he
directed all the DCs to keep the Tableeghi Jamaat people [returned from
Raiwind] in isolation.
said that those that tested positive, their family members and others with whom
they were in close contact might also be kept in isolation at their respective
CM said that there was a standard operating procedure (SOP) for testing, under
which a person with travel history and symptoms was required to be tested.
Without symptoms, nobody would be tested.
health minister said that there were 14 experts who would visit different
districts and train the health staff on how to take a sample of a suspected patient
and send the same to Karachi or Hyderabad.
the CM directed the health department to issue necessary instructions to the
regional blood banks to provide blood for thalassaemia patients. “I am worried
about the patients, particularly the children,” he said and added they must be
administered blood as per schedule.
more Americans evacuated from Pakistan
As many as 294 American citizens, including nine diplomats, departed for the US
aboard a special flight from Islamabad and Karachi in the early hours of Friday
to a spokesman for the aviation division, the chartered plane first landed at
Karachi airport and then at Islamabad to take back the American citizens as the
US authorities had planned to evacuate its people.
special chartered flight arrived at the Karachi airport to take 119 US citizens
and then the flight reached the Islamabad International Airport to take 175 US
citizens, including some diplomats, according to sources.
both airports, special arrangements had been made to check the spread of
coronavirus as scanning of passengers and spray to their luggage were carried
out by the Pakistani authorities. Besides the luggage, some pets were also with
on March 22, several US embassy staff in Islamabad had departed for America on
a flight contracted by a private company.
as many as 195 Pakistanis stranded in Istanbul (Turkey) arrived at the
Islamabad International Airport on a Pakistan International Airlines flight on
FIA immigration official said the 195 Pakistanis stranded in Turkey were
brought to Islamabad on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) special flight
PK-782, which was operated from Karachi to Toronto on Thursday.
after their arrival, all the Pakistani passengers were screened by the health
authorities at the Islamabad airport. They were later shifted to different
hotels for quarantine.
government has planned a week-long repatriation flight operation from Saturday
to bring back its nationals stranded overseas due to the suspension of
international flight operation in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
allows govt to turn hotels into quarantine centres
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday gave a nod to turning three- and
four-star hotels into ‘quarantine centres’ where the National Disaster
Management Authority (NDMA) has planned to keep coronavirus patients.
month the NDMA had proposed to the government that the hotels in all major
cities across Pakistan be converted into quarantine centres for suspected and
confirmed coronavirus cases. Later with the federal government consent, the
NDMA also issued directives to the management of different hotels on March 16
and March 28, to vacate the premises for the purpose.
NDMA order to vacate the hotels was however challenged by three-star Hotel
Margalla, situated in Islamabad, through Advocate Sikandar Bashir Mohmand.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that the federal government had taken
several measures to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. The measures taken
by the federal government and the NDMA were obviously to safeguard the public
at large and their fundamental rights. The chief justice observed that since it
was an extraordinary situation and it was settled law that the interest of
public at large prevailed over individual rights.
petitioner contended before the court that the NDMA was not authorised to take
such a decision and the government should utilise the places it owned rather
than turning private properties into quarantine centres. “Why does the
government not use the prime minister’s home instead?” said the petitioner.
response to the petitioner, Justice Minallah observed: “The government is
taking measures for the protection of its people. How can the court interfere
then? When it comes to protecting the people, the government can even use my
petitioner’s lawyer, however, argued that the fundamental rights could not be
suspended even if a constitutional emergency had been invoked.
lawyer said hotel staff had been sent on leave since March 28 for an indefinite
period due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Minallah suggested that if the petitioner believed the decision would cause
damage to hotels, he could make a claim later on.
lawyer, however, could not convince the court. Subsequently, Justice Minallah
issued the written order stating: “The learned counsel, despite his able
assistance, was not able to satisfy this court that the jurisdiction under
Article 199 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 ought
to be exercised in the prevailing exceptional circumstances.
is noted that the said jurisdiction is discretionary in nature. It is in public
interest not to exercise the jurisdiction, because it will inevitably amount to
interference with the measures taken by the Authority and the Federal
Government to meet the challenges that have arisen due to the extraordinary
cannot be ruled out that interference by this Court with the decisions of the
Authority and the Federal Government may risk jeopardizing the interests of
public at large and their fundamental rights”
IHC chief justice preferred to exercise judicial restraint in this matter
instead of passing an adverse order against the NDMA’s initiative of turning
hotels into quarantine facilities.
Court is, therefore, satisfied that restraint ought to be exercised. In view of
the above, this Court is not inclined to exercise its jurisdiction under
Article 199 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and,
therefore, this petition is accordingly dismissed.”
court, however, allowed the hotel to claim any damages if they wanted to be
compensated but at a later stage. The court order read: “It is observed that in
case the petitioner hotel suffers loss, it would not be without remedy because
in such an eventuality remedies available under the law can be resorted to
contain the spread of deadly coronavirus, the NDMA had already converted many
educational institutions, public halls such as Expo Center in Karachi and
Lahore and Pak-China Center in Islamabad, hostels and even train coaches into
makeshift quarantine centres.
puts into mosques 321 foreign members of Tabligh Jamaat
authorities in Bangladesh have put 321 foreign members of the Tabligh Jamaat
into two mosques in Dhaka as India has quarantined thousands after hundreds
linked to a gathering of the organisation were diagnosed with COVID-19.
of the 321 of its foreign members identified in Bangladesh, 191 have been kept
at Kakrail Jam-e-Masjid, the Tabligh’s Markaz or headquarters in the country.
remainders, 130 followers of Saad’s rival Maulana Zubair, have been gathered at
Kolapotti Madina Jam-e-Masjid in Jatrabari, said Md Mazharul Islam, the chief
of the local police station.
30 to 40 people have also been kept in the mosque to look after the foreigners.
As many as 40 students of a madrasa are also there.
Ijtema, the second largest annual congregation of Sunni Muslims after hajj, is
organised by the Tabligh in Tongi on the outskirts of Dhaka every year. It was
held in January this year.
has detected coronavirus among 650 of those who attended the Tabligh gathering
in Delhi. It has placed around 2,000 of the attendees and 7,000 close contacts
had earlier reported spread of the virus from a similar Tabligh gathering while
Indonesia had halted the organisation’s event.
Mizanur Rahman Sayeed, director general of Shaykh Zakaria (Radi-Allahu anhu)
Islamic Research Centre, said Tabligh members do not need to preach Islam by
going door to door during a pandemic.
lose the Afghan Hindu and Sikh Communities, Protect Them
Islamic State, Hindu and Sikh communities remain religiously discriminated
despite the fact that, as per the Afghan constitution, freedom of practicing
religion to the followers of other faiths is recognized and protected.
Religious discrimination aside, for a once an economically prosperous Sikh
community in Afghanistan, the economic situation has turned worse throughout
recent years while their properties are also disputed and encroached. On the
other hand, one of the most notable hindrances for the Hindu and Sikh community
in Afghanistan is the security threats posed on them by the terrorist groups
including Daesh/ISIS. In light of these problems, one can conclude that it is
important to deliberately explore the struggles suffered by the Hindu and Sikh
community and find circumvent to ensure and guarantee the equality of the
citizens in the society as per the Afghan constitution.
Afghanistan, the origin of the Sikh community has broadly two streams. In the
first trace, one group is the descendants of Guru Nanak, the founder of
Sikhism, whose move to Kabul is recorded to be around 1520. Alongside speaking
in Pashto and Dari, the author makes an assumption that the Afghan Sikh
community is natively Afghans because of the Afghan Sikh community potentially
from groups who did not adopt Islam as the religion became regionally dominant
between the 9th and 13th centuries. In the second trace, the Afghan Sikh
community derived from the short-lived Sikh Empire (1799-1849) when the empire
had control over the territory of Khyber Pass which remained connected through
trading routes into Kandahar and Kabul. Hindus and Sikhs are, according to the
South Asia State of Minorities Report (2018), largely discriminated and
persecuted which is why their numbers have decreased to a mere 220 families.
to all Afghans, the Afghan Sikh community is also vulnerable to security
threats posed by terrorist organizations, particularly Daesh and IS. Tensions
of the Sikh community related to security threats by Daesh heated when Islamic
State (IS) declared responsibility of a suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad
which claimed the lives of 10 Afghan Sikhs, including the only Sikh candidate
for the parliamentary elections. Earlier this month, an attack carried out by
the Islamic State on the Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul claimed the lives of 25 Afghan
Sikhs, including women and children.
perpetual security turbulence is continuously present on all Afghans, Islamic
State (IS) has announced its fight against polytheists which is directly
concerning the Sikh community in Afghanistan. In the light of such hostile
society in terms of security, Afghan Sikhs are driven to abandon the country
attempting to find a society that is friendlier to their beliefs.
of the most important reasons for the Sikh community’s disillusionment from
Afghan society is its unfriendly education environment to their children.
Principally, education holds an important part in one community because it can
ensure a well-heeled society in the long run. In a Muslim-majority country,
Sikh families tend to avoid sending their children to public schools due to
bullying. In an article on Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, Ekhtyar noted that
education ministry’s top priority to provide education to the Sikh community
was through building special schools for the [Hindu and Sikh] minority to which
the Sikh community disagreed; arguing that Sikh community do not want to
separate from their Muslim brothers (2011). On the other hand, the system of
education is a one-way road to Non-Muslim minorities as it obligates them to
study Islamic Education whereas religious education to the Afghan Sikh
community is only available informally at Gurdwaras.
point in time when the regime of the Taliban had control of Afghanistan, the
land and belongings of the minorities (including the Sikh community) were
seized while the Sikh community, in particular, had to separate themselves from
the Muslims population with yellow armband and mark their homes and businesses
with yellow flags. From the regime of the Taliban until recently, for a once an
economically prosperous Sikh community in Afghanistan, the economic situation
has turned worse to an extent that their trade is reduced in herbal medicine
and spices only. Afghan Sikh community, therefore, suffer from economical
challenges that can drive them to abandon Afghanistan.
security unrest, challenges in terms of education and economic instability as
major issues, there are peripheral or small issues that can create a hostile
environment to this religious minority in Afghanistan, including but not
limited to the currently offered Indian citizenship to the Sikh minority
community in Afghanistan. Data collected shows that this minority group has
largely migrated to settle in Kabul which is relatively safer than the rest of
the country. Doubtlessly, any kind of unrest in the central Kabul might be the
driving incentive for them to abandon the country which can (1) be a big
failure of the state in terms of protecting the rights of minorities as per
Afghan constitution and (2) perhaps weaken the already flawed young Afghan
democracy and its reputation.
Hindu and Sikh communities take tough decision after deadly Kabul attack
Hindu and Sikh communities in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of
Nangarhar, took a tough decision to relocate to a third country after a deadly
attack in Kabul city which targeted a Sikh temple, killing at least 27 people.
two Hindu families currently live in Jalalabad city who have also decided to
move after the Sikh community in the town deided to shift the ‘Saroop’ of Guru
Granth Sahib to safety, apparently to a third country.
source within the Sikh community in Jalalabad city told The Times of India that
they predict more attacks after deadly attack on Sikh temple in Kabul city.
source further added that the Sikh community will most likely shift the
‘Saroop’ of Guru Granth Sahib to Peshawar Gurdwara in Pakistan.
comes as a group of terrorists attacked the Sikh temple in Kabul city late last
month, killing at least 27 people including an Indian national and wounding
positive cases rise to 299 across Afghanistan
Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan confirmed that the positive cases of
the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has risen to 299 across the country.
Mayar, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health, confirmed that the
ministry has so far recorded 299 positive cases in various provinces of
further added that the ministry recently recorded 11 new positive cases of
COVID-19 in Kabul, 2 in Samangan province and one cases each in Balkh, Kunduz,
Ghazni, Logar and Faryab provinces.
comes as the number of COVID-19 positive cases have risen close to 1.1 million
across the globe as the disease has so far killed more than 95 thousand people.
appoints Atmar as acting minister of foreign affairs
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has appointed the former National Security Adviser
Mohammad Haneef Atmar as the acting Minister of Foreign Affiars of Afghanistan.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani issued
a decree, appointing Mr. Atmar as acting minister of foreign affairs.
statement further added that President Ghani appointed Mr. Atmar as per the
paragraph 13 and Article 64 of the constitution of Afghanistan.
ARG Palace also added that Atmar is one of the influential political figures of
the country who has served in vital governmental institutions in the past two
has previously served as the minister of rural rehabilitation and development,
minister of education, minister of interior and national security adviser.
Afghan President Protective Service personnel killed, wounded in Kabul city
gunmen opened fire on two personnel of the Afghan President Protective Service
in Kabul city late on Friday night, leaving one dead and another one wounded.
Arian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, said the gunmen opened fire
on the two PPS personnel in Paghman district at around 8:20 pm on Friday.
said one of the PPS personnel, Qeyamuddin Maqsoodi, lost his life in the attack
and another one sustained injuries.
poor families during the Coronavirus crisis, Afghanistan
Thursday 2 April 2020, the director-general of the World Health Organization
said the lockdown to limit the COVID-19 transmission had “unintended
consequences for the poorest” and “most vulnerable”. “I call on countries to
ensure these populations have food [and] life essentials during the crisis,”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted.
now more than 1000000 one million people are affected by the novel coronavirus
around the world and out of this more than 53000 people have died, more than
210000 people have been fully recovered and the numbers are increasing every
Afghanistan is increasingly facing an ever more severe threat: the novel
coronavirus. If serious actions are not taken to prepare, the Afghan Public
Health Ministry estimates that 80 % population of Afghanistan will be infected
and 110,000 Afghans will die from COVID-19, till now 273 people are infected by
the coronavirus in Afghanistan.
Khandahar, Logar and Kabul provinces have been lockdown by the government, the
Afghan government has limited the movement of residents in Farah, Nangarhar and
Nimruz provinces, praying in mosques has been suspended to prevent any possible
spread of the virus.
is one of the poorest countries in the world and more than 42% of the Afghans
are living under the poverty line. Most of the people in Afghanistan are taxi
drivers, shopkeepers and day laborers, and earn enough to hardly make one-day
family food expenses. In this lockdown, these people in the community suffer
the most and they are faced with two hazards the Covid19 and Poverty because
they are unable to get any work during the lockdown period and they do not have
any savings so that they can spend it now.
this time of crisis, the government should focus more on the poor people and
help in providing them with food and life essentials during the lockdown
period, the people can also do their part, by doing the following to help the
poor families during this period.
awareness: Those people, who have more information about the novel coronavirus,
try to find out about families and people who do not have access to Facebook
and other social media and are unaware of the coronavirus. Provide them with
accurate information the most important, how to protect themselves and the
symptoms of the virus, so they do not become infected.
traders: should not take this opportunity and try to earn from it by increasing
the prices of the products and selling them on higher prices, it’s not the time
to make a profit but instead, the traders should sell their goods to the
markets and shops much cheaper and they sell it to the public especially to the
poor on cheaper prices.
wealthy and the businessman: the lesson we can learn from the coronavirus is
that it sees us all equal, poor, rich, black, white, educated, uneducated, it
infects and attacks all of us. Try to buy food products for needy people so
that they can use them during the lockdown period, as during this period they
can’t go outside or work and earn money in order to bring food to their family.
afghan brothers and sisters living outside Afghanistan can raise money from
their friends and the Afghan community out there and send them back to
Afghanistan to their families and friends to help the needy families in this
there are markets and shops in your area talk with them to place a basket in
there market and shops and those people who buy goods from their should buy one
or two food products for the needy people and place it in the basket and should
be latter distributed among the needy families.
are many charitable organizations in Afghanistan who always helps the poor and
needy families across the country, contact them and send them money to help
more and more needy families.
can also help these families by providing them with handwashing soap, hand
sanitizers, face masks and disposable gloves to prevent them from getting
issues decree specifying Saleh’s responsibilities as First VP of Afghanistan
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has issued a decree to specify the responsibilities of
Amrullah Saleh, the First Vice President of Afghanistan.
has authorized Saleh to distribute land to refugees and internally displaced
people and coordinate with the United Nations institutions and Non-governmental
Organizations, according to a copy of the decree being circulated on social
decree also states that the President granted the authorities to Mr. Saleh in a
bid to help with the effective and proper implementation of the government
affairs as well as incorporation of reforms.
other parts of the decree, it is stated that the First Vice President is
obliged and must report to the President and to the cabinet regarding the
methods of his activities.
the ARG Presidential Palace in a statement said President Ghani has granted
some other ‘special authorities’ to Mr. Saleh by preserving the authorities,
the First Vice President has.
statement further added that the rumors being circulated on social media,
suggesting that the President has limited the authorities of Mr. Saleh, are
untrue and baseless.
small traders going online for Ramadan food sales
LUMPUR • With some states in Malaysia banning the hugely popular Ramadan
bazaars amid the coronavirus pandemic, netizens have started social media
groups to help small traders sell online, avoiding what they claim are the high
commissions charged by food-delivery players such as GrabFood.
states have already banned these once-a-year food bazaars in order to prevent
large crowds from gathering, with more states expected to join soon.
designer Amirul Rafiq started a Facebook group called Seremban Online Bazaar
Ramadhan 2020, when he heard that there will be no such bazaar in Negeri
Sembilan this year. Mr Amirul said Ramadan bazaar sellers can promote their
business through the online group and then contact him to arrange for runners
Seremban, there could be up to 1,000 sellers who usually set up stalls at
popular Ramadan bazaar locations. When it was announced that they couldn't do
any business this year, a friend who is also a seller asked if we can start
setting up a network for runners to help them do delivery," he said.
group now has over 7,000 members. Mr Amirul said the plan is to help the
sellers raise awareness about the dishes they will be offering during Ramadan
and get customers interested.
states of Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu and Kedah have decided
not to organise these bazaars, even as federal Cabinet ministers said they have
not made a decision on the matter.
was into its 17th day of the 28-day movement control order (MCO) yesterday,
with most businesses shut and the public advised to stay indoors.
annual bazaars feature stalls selling freshly cooked food and beverages, among
other things. The stalls are often set up along closed-off roads and in
open-air car parks all over the country. They are mostly packed with Malay
Muslims looking for food and drinks to break their day-long fast.
yesterday said there were 217 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 3,333
infections. There were three more fatalities, taking the death toll to 53.
Zamri Mohammed, secretary for confederation of small hawkers and traders
Malaysia said: "You have to understand that some people like our Mak Cik
Kiah (older women) wouldn't know how to get on social media or engage with
delivery platforms to help with their business."
said some sellers are reluctant to sign up with established delivery platforms
such as Grab and Foodpanda. "Some of these platforms could take a commission
of up to 35 per cent per delivery. So if you're selling a food item for RM10
(S$3.30), then you only take home RM6.50," he said.
resident Mohd Wan Azenan, who has been selling at Ramadan bazaars since 2012,
set up the Bazaar Ramadhan Online Dungun group with his wife Rozana Manaf on
March 31. It now has over 600 members.
we have to do what we can to help people promote their food business for
delivery during fasting month," he said.
Indonesia’s Widodo allows travel after Ramadan, raising fears infection will
is bracing for millions of people from Jakarta, the epicentre of the country’s
coronavirus outbreak, to head for their hometowns across the archipelago after
President Joko Widodo said he would not ban this year’s usual surge in travel
towards the end of the Muslim fasting month in May.
scenario would be a repeat of the way mainland Chinese residents left big
cities – including Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first reported – to
return to the provinces and travel overseas ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday
in February, fuelling the spread of Covid-19.
Indonesia, which has a population of 270 million, the migration raises the
stakes for a contagion that has seen 1,986 confirmed cases since the country
reported its first case on March 2.
decision came as Indonesia reported its biggest daily spike in infections, with
196 new cases. The pandemic has killed 181 people there, surpassing South
Korea’s total of 174 to become the highest in Asia after China.
president has resisted calls from public health experts and provincial leaders
to take tougher measures, including a lockdown, to stem the disease’s spread.
instead declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and called for stricter social
distancing, promising US$1.5 billion in social assistance and subsidies for
low-income workers. Widodo said he would not ban mudik, the journey home for
the Eid ul-Fitr holiday after Ramadan, but urged people to stay in the capital
where they could get social assistance.
also warned the country’s provinces not to make their own rules and follow the
policies set by the central government, a move analysts say hampers efforts to
deal with the virus.
is confusing the people. The government is not speaking in one voice,” said
Muhammad Habib Abiyan Dzakwan, a researcher from the Centre for Strategic and
International Studies’s (CSIS) disaster management research unit.
Muslims attend congregational Friday prayers in Medan, North Sumatra on April 3
without applying social distancing rules amid concern over the Covid-19
pandemic. Photo: AFP
Ariawan from the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Public Health described
Widodo’s current measures as a “moderate intervention”.
to a report he co-authored, Iwan said, the disease could kill close to 48,000
people across the country – but in the worst-case scenario, with no restriction
on movement, there could be up to 240,000 deaths.
hope there will not be as many deaths as that,” he said. “The government needs
to carry out more intensive interventions.”
influential Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on Friday said mudik was haram, or
forbidden, as it could spread the “dangerous virus”, a move that could hold
sway in a country where about 90 per cent of the population are Muslims.
is in keeping with the guidance shown by his holiness Prophet Mohammed when he
forbade people to enter an epidemic zone as well as leave it,” said MUI
secretary general Anwar Abbas.
vice-president Ma’ruf Amin later the same day urged the MUI to issue a fatwa
against mudik in the middle of an epidemic, according to local media.
the past week, the governors of West and Central Java have been calling on
migrant workers not to leave Jakarta and urging those working overseas not to
return home, as they worry the exodus will hasten the spread of the coronavirus
and overwhelm provincial medical facilities.
secures food supply for Ramadan, Idul Fitri as COVID-19 stokes anxieties
Jakarta administration has secured sufficient food supplies for residents to
prevent shortages during the coming Islamic holy month of Ramadan as the
COVID-19 outbreak stokes uncertainty in the capital, the country’s hardest-hit
food supply is enough for the needs leading up to Ramadan and through Idul
Fitri,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said during an online video conference
with Vice President Ma’ruf Amin on Thursday.
month of Ramadan will begin on April 23 and will end with Idul Fitri
celebrations. People typically buy more during the fasting month, which pushes
up the prices of basic commodities.
city administration is expecting a surge in demand for staple foods as millions
of Jakartans are Muslim, 85.3 percent of the capital’s 10 million people,
according to the 2010 census.
commodities, such as garlic and sugar, are of particular concern in Jakarta.
Statistics Indonesia’s Jakarta office (BPS Jakarta) found that the average
price of garlic had risen by 0.21 percent to Rp 44,465 (US$2.68) per kilogram
and the average price of sugar by 20.62 percent to Rp 15,583 per kilogram,
according to data released on Wednesday.
Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously said the government would keep garlic prices
between Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000 per kilogram and would keep sugar prices to Rp
12,500 per kilogram by procuring additional supplies from overseas.
logistics, however, are posing a challenge to both the administration and the
central government’s plans to ensure the food supply.
has had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. As the national
epicenter of the outbreak, the capital city has declared a state of emergency
between March 16 and April 19, including the suspension of schools, in-office
work, large religious gatherings and public activities.
suspension of such activities is in line with the government’s recently issued
large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measure.
suspension of public religious activities drew the government’s attention as
Muslims traditionally perform more rituals during the holy month.
Vice President Ma’ruf asked Anies how long the measures would last, the
governor said his administration had not made any decisions.
still have time, and we will observe the developments before Ramadan,” said
Anies. “We will probably wait for the Indonesian Ulema Council [MUI] to give
advice if the COVID-19 situation shows no improvement leading up to Ramadan.”
addition to declaring a state of emergency, the Jakarta administration is
allocating Rp 3 trillion of its Rp 87.9 trillion 2020 regional budget for
COVID-19 efforts until May.
governor is planning to allocate more money to fund the COVID-19 response from
a profit-sharing fund worth Rp 7.5 trillion run by the Finance Ministry.
identify Covid-19 infection chain involving 40k people
LUMPUR (Bernama): The police today said 40,000 people are involved in the
Covid-19 chain infection, including those linked with the tabligh cluster.
of Police Abdul Hamid Bador (pic) on Saturday (April 4) said the data was
analysed by a task force from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
headed by Bukit Aman CID chief Huzir Mohamed to identify those who most likely
to be infected by the coronavirus.
said from the data provided by the Health Ministry, the police had identified
several areas where certain individuals and groups were required to go for
analysed the data by helping the ministry to identify up to about 11,000
tabligh members who attended the assembly at the Sri Petaling Mosque recently.
this data, the team refined and used specific methods to identify the network
of close contacts, travel and who might be affected by those involved.
identified the individuals concerned, including getting complete information,
such as their home addresses, telephone numbers and identity card numbers, to
give to the ministry for the persons concerned to undergo Covid-19 screening, ”
added many of the tabligh members had been screened and urged the public not to
criticise or discriminate against them.
said the team was also trying to get information on tabligh members who were overseas,
and details on them would be given to Immigration for necessary action to be
taken upon their return.
is to confirm their arrival, whereby the police will take the necessary action
to escort them to the quarantine centre for the mandatory 14-day quarantine.”
to this, it was reported that the organiser of the tabligh gathering at Sri
Petaling said 95% of the about 11,000 attendees had been screened for Covid-19
say Hadi's appointment aimed at appeasement
JAYA: The appointment of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (pic) as the
special envoy with ministerial position to the Middle East, which came under
heavy criticism during the height of a health crisis, was a political decision
aimed at appeasement, said several analysts.
senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Dr
Oh Ei Sun said such an appointment was to appease leaders who weren't appointed
these are done to appease party presidents who are not included in Cabinet,
such that they would still have ministerial privileges domestically and be
accorded ministerial courtesy when travelling overseas.
has to be some semblance of political normalcy even during the movement control
order (MCO). So, there was the appointment of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as
Khazanah Nasional Bhd chairman and now this,” he said.
analyst Prof Awang Azman Awang Pawi from University Malaya also agreed that
Hadi's appointment was a political appointment.
said it was done to satisfy PAS supporters who were beginning to voice out at
the grassroots level against the ministerial appointments.
to Prof Awang, the appointment of PAS ministers was perceived as least
strategic compared to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which dominated
vital portfolios such as the Home Ministry, the Rural Development Ministry, and
the Economic Affairs Ministry.
appointment will lessen criticisms by PAS grassroots, who wanted their leaders
to be given strategic positions in the government.”
Awang also said the government must justify Hadi’s appointment in various
aspects, as it came while the country faces the Covid-19 economic fallout.
this should be his main key performance index, as it comes with a big salary
and a ministerial position when the economy is declining,” he added.
Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, who heads the Institute of Ethnic Studies at
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), said it is the prerogative of the ruling
government to appoint leaders into the position.
expected this to happen when he (Hadi) was not named in the Perikatan Nasional
(government). Anyway, only a prime minister can appoint a minister, the role is
also decided by the prime minister only, ” he said.
also said such positions were accorded to various leaders in the past, such as
former MIC president Tun S. Samy Vellu as special envoy to India and South Asia
with ministerial rank, and Mohamed Rahmat as ambassador to Indonesia with
Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Prof Sivamurugan Pandian explained that Hadi’s
position does not overlap with other similar positions such as ambassador or
may be appointed for some political reason, to accommodate their expertise,
networking and working closely with the government machinery as they are not
part of the Cabinet."
PAS as a key player in Perikatan, Prof Sivamurugan said Hadi’s appointment may
have a political impact to the coalition and the Islamist party itself.
can also use this as a channel to get assistance from the Middle East to assist
Malaysia on Covid-19 cases and likewise."
sends another military convoy to de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib
has dispatched new reinforcements to Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, as
Ankara beefs up its military presence in the embattled region following a
ceasefire reached earlier this month with Moscow to halt an escalation of
violence there, says the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Britain-based war monitor, citing activists requesting anonymity, reported that
a Turkish convoy, consisting of nearly 35 military vehicles, crossed into the
Syrian territory through Kafr Lusin border crossing on Friday afternoon, and
headed toward Turkish positions.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on March 13 that the Russian and Turkish
militaries had agreed on the details of a new ceasefire in the Idlib
de-escalation zone following four days of talks in Ankara.
said the first joint patrol by Turkey and Russia on the M4 highway in Idlib would
take place on March 15, and that Turkey and Russia will set up joint
coordination centers in the area.
and Russia agree to begin joint patrols along a key highway in Syria’s
northwestern province of Idlib as part of a ceasefire agreement, Turkey’s
defense minister says.
announcement followed a telephone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin
and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan the previous day to discuss
the implementation of the agreements the two leaders had reached in Moscow the
Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed the importance of continued close
joint efforts, first of all between the Russian and Turkish defense ministries,
in order to ensure a stable ceasefire and further stabilization of the
situation,” a Kremlin press release read.
airstrike, gunfire leave nearly dozen civilians dead in Yemen
a dozen people have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when
warplanes operated by the Saudi-led military coalition and militiamen loyal to
Yemen's former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi launched separate attacks in
the northwestern province of Sa’ada and the central province of Ma’rib over a
span of 24 hours.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Yemen’s Arabic-language
al-Masirah television network that three people were killed and a woman was
injured on Friday, when the warplanes struck Ghafra area in the Dhaher district
source added that the air raid also resulted in the death of dozens of
livestock and destruction of the house targeted.
incident took place only a day after Saudi-sponsored militiamen opened fire at
a civilian car travelling along a road in the Raghwan district of Ma’rib
province, killing all five occupants.
the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said Yemeni
air defense units had thwarted a Saudi-led airstrike against strategic and
residential areas in the northern province of al-Jawf.
said in a post published on his official Twitter page that a Saudi-led warplane
sought to bombard areas in the Hazm district at 1:05 a.m. local time Friday
(2205 GMT Thursday), when the domestically built, long-range Fater-1
(Innovator-1) surface-to-air missile defense system intercepted the jet and
forced it off the Yemeni airspace.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on
Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring Hadi back to power and crush the Houthi
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than
100,000 lives over the past five years.
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars' worth
of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in their war
and its allies have been widely criticized for the high civilian death toll
resulted from their bombing campaign in Yemen.
UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including
10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger
sneaking COVID-19 medical stocks - ordered by others - into Israel: Senior
spy agency Mossad has been running clandestine operations to sneak the medical
supplies ordered by countries fighting the coronavirus outbreak into Israel, a
senior Mossad official has revealed.
head of Mossad’s technology department, identified only as “Het,” made the
revelation in an exposé aired by Israel’s Channel 12 “Uvda” investigative news
program earlier this week, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
said that Tel Aviv had ordered Mossad to procure up to 130,000 objects related
to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel, ranging from protective gear to test
kits, medicine, and ventilators.
have overseen many operations in my life, and I’ve never dealt with such a
complex operation,” the Mossad officer remarked.
claimed that countries are locked in a covert battle to take control of a
limited supply of ventilators needed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
are utilizing our special connections to win the race,” he said, adding that
the spy agency was trying to do so by trying to “lay our hands on stocks
ordered by others.”
reports of Israel using its notorious Mossad spy agency to obtain medical
supplies amid the global pandemic have prompted observers to question Israel’s
means of acquiring the supplies.
Bahraini cleric demands release of prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak
most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim has demanded the immediate
and unconditional release of political dissidents currently being held in the
Manama regime’s prisons in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic,
stressing that failure to take the measure will have dire consequences.
if the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain,
whose number stands in thousands, might not be recognized as a religious,
constitutional, national and human right and would have no priority among the
policies of ruling authorities, there is inevitable truth that COVID-19 virus
could hit prisons and lead to consequences much more catastrophic that what the
world has been witnessing,” Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website quoted
the cleric as saying in a statement.
added, “Because of the high number of [coronavirus] patients and victims,
security calculations cannot remain as perceived by local and foreign
institutions in normal circumstances.”
Qassim then stressed the need for the freedom of political prisoners, saying,
“Sitting idle and waiting for COVID-19 to strike prisons by surprise would
plunge the country into chaos.”
not let coronavirus rip the homeland apart, and push it into unprecedented
insecurity and hiatus. Neither reason nor suppression will be able to manage
the situation once public rage over the spread of the virus boils over,” the
top Bahraini Shia cleric pointed out.
a group of political prisoners at the notorious Jau Prison, south of Manama,
have expressed their support for Sheikh Qassim’s statement, and called on the
international community and human rights organizations to pay attention to
are a group of prisoners of conscience in Jau Prison. We appeal to the
international community, human rights organizations, and decision-making bodies
of the world to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe at Bahrain's prisons,” the
dissidents said in a statement.
Members of the European Parliament urge the Bahraini king to free political
prisoners, and start sincere negotiations with the opposition.
statement added, “Apart from intense fears that the coronavirus pandemic could
be transmitted to prisons and cause infections, the prison administration
continues to neglect healthcare, and either cancels or postpones necessary
medical appointments for people with chronic diseases.”
the exceptional situation in the world in light of the coronavirus outbreak,
which requires the utmost protection and safety measures, we demand to provided
with sanitary ware and prison buildings that are home to hundreds of inmates to
be regularly disinfected,” the prisoners highlighted.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama has gone to great
lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide
China urge end to unilateral sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic
Group of 77 (G-77) and China have called for an end to unilateral coercive
economic measures against developing countries amid global efforts to contain
the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
statement released on Friday, the coalition of developing nations warned that
unilateral sanctions adversely affect the capacity of the targeted countries to
deal with the highly contagious disease.
Group of 77 and China consider that at this juncture, the enactment and
application of unilateral coercive economic measures will have a negative
impact on the capacity of States to respond efficiently, specifically in the
acquisition of medical equipment and supplies to adequately treat their
populations in the face of this pandemic. Ultimately, these measures also
affect the essential cooperation and solidarity that should prevail among
nations,” the statement read.
therefore call upon the international community to adopt urgent and effective
measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against
developing countries,” it added.
coronavirus, which can cause potentially fatal respiratory malfunction, has
infected over one million people and claimed 59,197 lives worldwide.
battle against the fast-spreading virus has been exceptionally hard in the
countries like Iran as their efforts have been severely hampered by illegal
American economic sanctions.
US restrictive measures have hindered Iran’s ability to import medicine and
other medical supplies to confront the coronavirus.
this week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said US “medical
terrorism” is leading to “humanitarian catastrophe”; as it makes it
“impossible” for ordinary people to have access to essential drugs amid the
the flu-like virus has so far infected 53,183 people and killed 3,294 others,
according to the Iranian Health Ministry. Some 17,935 patients have also
recovered from the respiratory disease.
in their statement, the G77 and China said they are “resolved not to allow any
stigmatization or discrimination of States, peoples or individuals in
connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a time for the international
community, developed and developing countries alike, to demonstrate our capability
to work together in solidarity to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and to build
a community of shared future for humankind.”
another development on Friday, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya
called on the countries sanctioning Iran, Cuba and Venezuela to lift their
measures for humanitarian reasons so that they may have access to medical
supplies to deal with the coronavirus.
Thursday, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution for the
first time on the coronavirus pandemic demanding “multilateralism” in the fight
against the virus.
UN General Assembly approves a resolution calling for "international
cooperation" and "multilateralism" in the global fight against
resolution called for “intensified international cooperation to contain,
mitigate and defeat” COVID-19 and recognized the pandemic’s “severe disruption
to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the
devastating impact on the livelihood of people.”
assembly, however, failed to approve another resolution that was urging an end
to trade wars, protectionist practices and US unilateral sanctions on countries
across the world.
plans massive liquidity injection to fix economic woes
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says it is ready for massive liquidity injections
into the banking system as part of efforts to help government shore up the
governor Abdolnasser Hemmati said on Friday that the lender would ramp up its
efforts for implementation of the newly-launched open market operations (OMO)
to help the government fix the economic woes caused by the US sanctions as well
as the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.
CBI is ready to extensively use the OMO for helping the government face the
problems and assist the economic growth,” said Hemmati in a social media post.
promise comes a day after the CBI board of governors approved a series of
guidelines and rules for implementation of the OMO policies, including the
rates for repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements.
the new policies, which has been a first in CBI’s 60-year history, the bank
buys and sells bonds issued by the government and owned by state and private
banks in Iran.
repo and reverse repo trade allows the CBI to regulate the size of overdrafts
in the intrabank system and control the interest rates in the market.
encouraged the government to issue more Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, to both
access new sources of financing and help the banks to have a better control
over their balance sheets.
said CBI’s implementation of the OMO policies is becoming more popular in the
market after several rounds of trade that began in January.
said even those who initially criticized the new policies are now demanding
their increasing use by the CBI.
This Is The First Time I Would Miss Juma’at Service, Says 110-Year-Old Ondo
is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the
soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” This quote is from
Karl Marx. The German philosopher was said to be making a
structural-functionalist argument about religion and particularly about
organised religion when he made the timeless statement.
it is said, believed that religion had certain practical functions in society
that were similar to the function of opium in a sick or injured person: it
reduced people’s immediate suffering and provided them with pleasant illusions
which gave them the strength to carry on. Perhaps the attitude of the
religious-minded in Nigeria, particularly, Muslims and Christians, is a
testament to this statement. And if the statement is anything to go by, these
are definitely not the best of times for this section of Nigerians.
spiritual life of Muslims and Christians has been hit hard in the face of the
government’s crackdown on the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. For the time
being, there are no more church services on Sundays, just as Muslims have since
ceased to gather for their Friday prayers. Most neighbourhood mosques have
equally been deserted.
Muslim leaders speak to SAHEED SALAWU on how they and their followers have been
coping with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Their responses
are as follow:
father of the National Organising Secretary of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of
Nigeria, Alhaji Aderibigbe Kilani Balogun, is the oldest Muslim in Afin Akoko,
Ondo State, he is 110 years old. He said this was the first time ever that he
would miss a Jum’at service. However, he said he knew that the government’s
heart was in the right place at this time in banning all religious gatherings.
The Muslim leader assured Muslims that their private prayers in their homes
would be accepted by Allah.
Ishaq Kunle Sanni, chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State: “From the little
one can see, because everybody is staying at home, in my own area, and from all
the information at my disposal, Muslims are complying with the directives of
the government. This is because Islam is a way of life. There is nothing that
has happened, that is happening and will happen that is not accommodated in the
Sharia. Plagues happened in the time of the Prophet and the Prophet told the
people to keep distance from one another.
the time of Imam Malik (an Arab Muslim jurist and premier scholar of prophetic
traditions), the mosque was closed for 12 years because there was a kind of
epidemic like this. Sp, you cannot be holier than the Prophet, his Apostles and
the imams that succeeded them.
we know in Islam is that if you intended to do a good thing and you were unable
to do that good thing, Allah would deem you as having done it and reward you
accordingly. You have always prayed in the mosque five times a day with the
jama’a but because of certain peculiarities you can’t go to the mosque, you
will still get the same amount of blessing. The Qur’an says, ‘obey Allah, the
Prophet and those who are charged with authority over you. So, Allah has
spoken, the Prophet has spoken and those in authority say stay at home. If you
disobey, even if nothing happens to you, you have disobeyed God. A month ago,
the president or the governors did not tell anybody not to go to the mosque,
because that would be against the constitution, your right to freedom of
religion or association. But this is something that is global. It is a peculiar
situation and any reasonable Muslim would know that it is not because the
governor of Oyo State or the governor of Osun State or the governor of Rivers
State or the governor Kano State hates Islam. It is not against the Muslims
alone. It is comprehensive; it is general. So, it is very easy to convince a
Muslim. The imams know the antecedents; that things like this happened in the
time of the Prophet and after the time of the Prophet, and what our governors
have done is exactly what the Prophet did.
Prophet said, if there is an epidemic in a town, the people in that town should
not go out and those outside should not enter that town. We have all these
things in Islamic history. There is not a reasonable Muslim who would find
fault with what the authorities have done except people who want to be
overzealous, who may know the truth but want to do something different.
have gone round. We have issued statements and talked to the imams and so on.
There was supposed to be a special prayer by the chief imam [of Ibadan] last
week but he cancelled it, and he issued a statement that all mosques should be
am talking to you now, at the central mosque of Bodija, there are about four of
us here talking to each other from a distance, brainstorming on how to get
round to our people, you know, even to provide little things to make them
comfortable. We are not up to 10 because we have to obey the law of the land.
You are not a good Muslim unless you obey the law of the land. Under normal
circumstances, you find about 60 people but the place has been closed down. We
pray that by the grace of God, this thing will end soon.
some people don’t understand, these government directives are in our interest
because it is when you are alive that you can worship God. And somebody who
worships for 10 years, you cannot compare him with somebody who worships for 50
years in terms of the benefits they are going to get from Almighty Allah. So,
it is better to play safe, worship God for so many years so that you can get a
lot of barakah (blessings) on the Day of Judgment. ‘I must enter the mosque’;
‘I must pray Juma’at’; ‘I must pray in congregation’. Why? The situation on the
ground does not allow for it, and then obedience to the authorities is
obedience to God, according to the Islamic principle and jurisprudence.
from the government directives, the generalissimo and supreme leader of the
Muslim Ummah in Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar,
after due consultations with the fatwa committee of the Supreme Council For
Islamic Affairs, directed that all mosques be closed until the pandemic
Bashir Olanrewaju, Oyo State Missioner, Ansaruddeen Society of Nigeria: “So
far, the Muslim community in Oyo State has been able to comply with the
government’s stay-at-home directive. My followers are no exemption. All mosques
have since been shut down completely. There have been no Jum’ah prayers and
daily congregational prayers in all our mosques throughout Oyo State as we have
been able to monitor them.
have been able to cope with the COVID-19 challenges with prayers, endurance and
strict observance of the medical tips provided for the prevention of the deadly
disease. We have also made efforts to disabuse the ignorant minds of some of
our people concerning the reality of coronavirus, especially those who believe
it to be a myth.
secretary general and Chief Imam Alhaja Wasilat Aduke Alli central mosque,
Ifeoluwatedo new Ife road ibadan, Alhaji Mas’ud Akintola: “The level of
compliance is very high, especially in this part of the country since the
leadership of the Ummah had spoken. Congregational prayers have stopped since
about two weeks ago and the awareness about the virus is increasing daily
position of Islam in respect of epidemic or pandemic is very clear: those
affected should be isolated, while those not affected should not mingle with
the affected. Hence we are able to cope.
congregational daily prayers have been suspended at the respective mosques and
members of the ummah have been praying at home since the restrictions started.
At the NACOMYO level, we have suspended all our activities until further
notice. We were supposed to have a da’wah retreat this month. This and others
have been suspended. We also asked our members to comply with the advice of
healthcare professionals in combating the scourge.
Alhaja Wasilat Aduke Alli Central Mosque, Ifeoluwatedo, New Ife Road, Ibadan,
where I am the chief imam, Jum’ah and daily prayers have been suspended.”
president of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) and
current Ogun State coordinator of the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria
(MMWG), Alhaji Kamal’deen Akintunde: “First and foremost, the present
experience occasioned by efforts of government (and stakeholders) geared
towards curtailing the coronavirus that is ravaging the world constitutes an
impediment to human activities, especially in terms of economic survival and
seeking the favours of Allah for the attainment of human purpose in life. It
constitutes an affront on religious right and freedom.
since the government has a responsibility to do and means well for all and
sundry, the stay-at-home order could be said to be in the overall best interest
and at attainment of individual and collective goal.
it is unfortunate that a section of Nigerians, including the religious-minded,
are indifferent to that government’s directive banning religious gatherings,
including Friday prayers, which have been proved to promote the transmission of
is the belief of some Muslims that the mosque is a sanctuary, a place of refuge
and worship which offers opportunity to cry to the Creator of the earth and the
heavens to rescue the troubled world from the seeming incurable epidemic that
has brought the whole world to near standstill due to the lockdown, a
result-yielding measure at containing the spread of the disease. Compliance
with the order thus becomes strange to such people and sects or groups who hold
such sentiment and they are reluctant to abide. But such divine favour seekers
have forgotten the prophetic tradition that the desire to worship should be
devoid of safety.
of the order by government has, therefore, become expedient and a must adhere
to by the citizens since it is targeted at saving lives. More so that it often
said that ‘there is nothing in this world that is not health-related’. It
requires being in a good state of health and safety to worship your God.
doubt, it has been pretty challenging to cope with the constraints posed by the
pandemic, especially the precautionary measures that have undermined group or
cluster activities, socio-communal, religious interactions and economic
well-being. The well-intended directive by government has put a stop to group
observance of the five daily prayers and even ordinary handshake.
the present experience is for a limited time, aimed at checking the spread or
occurrence of coronavirus, Nigerians and Muslim faithful must show
understanding with the government and imbibe practices and behaviours that will
ward off diseases, promote health and prolong life.
order, checking people’s activities that will not put them at the risk of
contracting the disease has made them not to be enthusiastic in group or
congregational observance of the five daily prayers in mosques, more so that
they must maintain the socio and physical distancing rule which contravenes the
Islamic norm of shoulder-to-shoulder standing position and group-rendered
Ibrahim Kilani is the National Organising Secretary of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of
Nigeria. He disclosed that immediately the government gave the directive, the
national president of the organisation, Dr Ademola Sanni, sent a circular to
branches nationwide to suspend all activities, including the Jum’ah service and
the weekly asalatu.
to Alhaji Kilani, in compliance with the directive of the Ondo State government
and Muslim leaders, all central mosques in the state have been closed for the
weekly Jum’ah, a development which is unprecedented in the history of Islam in
Akoko land. He added that central mosques in places like Ikare, Afin, Oka,
Akungba, Oyin Arigidi and Ogbagi are currently under lock.
the compliance might not go well with many Muslims because the importance
Muslims attached to weekly Jummah service. At Ikare Akoko Central Mosque which
has the largest congregation in Akoko land was locked from the gate. Only the
security men are around the mosque.
hereby call on Muslims to embark on fervent prayers in their various homes as
this is acceptable in our current situation. This is a period of emergency that
calls for great understanding. Many of the containment measures being taken by
the governments might look like infringement on our religious right but they
are only temporary,” he said.
Mosques In Kaduna Have Closed Down —Dr Tukur
Adams Tukur is one of the prominent Islamic scholars in Northern Nigeria. He is
the Chief Imam of the Almanar Mosque, Kaduna. He holds a PhD and also
teaches at the Kaduna State University
(KASU). In this nterview by MUHAMMAD SABIU. he shares his thoughts on the
outbreak of the coronavirus and the impact the closure of mosques as well as
the suspension of congregational prayers on the Muslim ummah. Excerpts:
closure of mosques during coronavirus pandemic is in line with Islamic point of
view. Islam enjoins Muslims to take precautions against
all harmful things or situations. So these situations have originated from the
Prophet (SAW). He said if people are
attacked by any illness, the people should restrict themselves from the area
where the problem is identified and those
who are not affected should stay where they are. They should not be allowed to
go near the crisis area. This is the Islamic point of view and the step taken
by the government as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus was line with
the teachings of Islam. So Islam is always protecting human beings or humanity.
So, banning congregational prayer is not banning the prayer itself. With the
ban, you can’t go to the mosque but you are expected to remain at home and
observe your five daily prayers.
authorities did is in tandem with Islamic teachings. The only thing now, one can not interact with
his fellow Muslims but if you stay at home and pray, in shaa Allah, God will
accept one’s prayers. If you can remember during rainstorms season Muslims are
enjoined to remain at home. Those who are in mosque should pray in the mosque.
So there is nothing new here.
I have told them during the previous Hutuba (sermon) when the curfew was
imposed in the state, to obey the directives of the state government. In my
sermon, I enlightened them to follow all the health guidelines presented by
experts such as washing of the hands with soap and using sanitiser; avoiding
crowds and what have you. Apart from that, as a mosque, we have made use of the
radio and television to reach our audience. We have presented many programmes
to that effect including the social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
And our major thrust of the Hutuba is for every Muslim to remain at home. They
should be law abiding. All the mosques
in the state capital and its environs have been closed down and we have
complied with the directives.
are closed so the proximity among those attending prayers in these mosques is
no longer there. But let us assume, the government directs that people should
not be above 20 in number, so if that should be the case, every person coming to pray in the mosque
should give a gap like one meter. We are
taking our own instructions from the medical personnel because in lslam you
have to respect other people’s field. So what they said is what we are going to
implement. It is their field. They know about the existence of the coronavirus
and the measures to be taken, the prevention and other stuff. So, we scholars
are taking advice from the medical people and then we enlighten our people
about what we learn from them. Islam protects every life and property of every
human being. So, let us assume that the people are allowed to come to the
mosque, the medical personnel advice that we should give one meter gap during
prayers is what we are going to implement. But now we are already on a lock
down. There is no more congregational prayers not to talk of distancing
some Islamic scholars were of the view that this coronavirus is a sign that the
world is gradually coming to an end. What is your view?
You know Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had said
that there are 10 signs that will show us that the end of the world has come.
Of course, the coronavirus is a sign but a minor sign. So the major signs of
the hour have not yet surfaced. Among the major signs are the coming of Prophet
Isa (Jesus Christ), appearance of Mahdi, eclipse, a smoke that will cover this
world, the appearance of yajoji and wama
joji, an animal like camel that will diffenriate between believers and non
believers. We have 10 signs that will first surface on the earth before the
hour. It is not yet. But we can say the outbreak of the coronavirus is a sign but a minor sign.
Operatives, Youths Clash During Enforcement Of Public Gathering Ban At Adamawa
of persons are currently feared injured after security operatives and Muslim
youth clashed at Juma'at Mosque in Yola, Adamawa State.
clash, occurred at about 2:00pm on Friday when the security operatives arrived
the Damilu Jumma'at Mosque to enforce the ban on public gathering imposed by
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri in a bid to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the country,
according to a worshipper.
erupted when a combined team of law enforcement operatives stormed the mosque
and allegedly arrested the imam and some top officials.
for the police in Adamawa, Suleiman Nguroje, told our correspondent that there
was no injury inflicted on any worshipper.
said, “We were patrolling round the city to monitor compliance with the
lockdown order when we got a distress call that something was happening around
Damilu Jumma'at mosque.
Police invite 2 Imams over Jumat during lockdown
Brisibe The Imams for the Ughelli main Mosque and Okorodafe Mosque were both
invited by the Police following Friday Jumat services in the mosques despite
the 14-day lockdown ordered by the Delta State Government. Hundreds of Muslims
had despite the lockdown, stormed the Mosques in flagrant disregard of the
order by the state government which was done to curb the spread of coronavirus
in the state. Angered by the position of the Muslim faithful, the Ughelli
Police Commander, ACP Adamu Lawal Shinkafi had summoned the Imams of the two
Mosques for a meeting which was still ongoing as at the time of this report.
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