New Age Islam
Sun May 26 2024, 04:25 AM

Islamic World News ( 23 May 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

The Kerala Story: Muslims Flee Homes In Maharashtra's Akola Fearing Police Would Falsely Implicate Them In The May 13 Riot-Related Cases

New Age Islam News Bureau

23 May 2023

 

A motorcycle set on fire by miscreants during the communal clash in Maharashtra’s Akola city on Saturday. Photo Credit: PTI

------

India

Reservation for Dalits converted to Islam, Christianity opposed

Congress must restore Muslim quota in Karnataka: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind chief Madani

40% Muslim students in Hyderabad failed Inter, lack coaching: Study

Pinarayi Vijayan In Unholy Nexus With ‘Islamic Extremists’, Plans To Make Son-In-Law Future Kerala CM: BJP Leader

--------

Europe

Mosque Vandalized By Supporters Of PKK Terror Group In Germany

Austria saw over 1,300 anti-Muslim attacks in 2022

Postgraduate scholarships for British Muslims looking to study at BU

Case Of Russian Teen Accused Of Burning Quran To Be Investigated In Chechnya

CAIR Condemns French Government Collection of Data on Muslim Students’ Religious Observances

--------

North America

Muslim group CAIR says discrimination cases in New Jersey rose 46% in 2022

New report assails Hamline University's handling of Islamic art controversy

Arson is the latest in a string of attacks on Minnesota mosques

--------

Arab World

Kingdom makes history as Saudis soar into space

Hajj ministry trains over 400 Turkish group leaders ahead of pilgrimage

Saudi Towards Space Exhibitions Launched In Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran

Custodian of Two Holy Mosques receives written message from Bahrain King

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief carries out aid projects in Bangladesh and Sudan

Russian Interior Minister arrives in Saudi Arabia

--------

Mideast

Former Israeli Soldier Returns Key To Al-Aqsa Mosque After Stealing It 56 Years

Oman Mufti Urges Islamic Nation To Support Palestinian Resistance

5 Iranian Security Guards Killed Near Pakistan’s Border

What’s driving Israeli excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Raisi insists on strengthening ties with Muslim, neighbouring nations

A role model for the Islamic World

Bahrain to host first meeting of Muslim-Christian Dialogue Permanent Committee

IImam invites prayers to take arms on election night

Bahrain condemns Israeli minister's storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque

--------

Pakistan

50 Islamist Terrorists Storm Energy Plant In Northwest Pakistan, Killing 6

Party Members Being Forced To Quit At Gunpoint: Imran Khan

Bushra Bibi heaves a sigh of relief as court grants interim bail in Al Qadir Trust case

Islamabad ATC grants Imran bail in 8 cases related to Judicial Complex violence

PTI moves top court against proposed military trials

COAS announces to observe ‘Youm-e-Takreem-e-Shuhada-e-Pakistan’ on May 25

2 Soldiers, 3 Militants Killed In Operation In Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

--------

South Asia

Acting Minister of Interior Urges UN to Invite Islamic Emirate to Meetings on Afghanistan

None Will Be Allowed To Do Politics of Killings in Bangladesh: I & B Minister, Dr Hasan

Bangabandhu earned admiration of masses for his uncompromising stand for global peace: PM

Dhaka wants to further deepen ties with Qatar: Dr Momen

Former Islamic Emirate Leader Remembered on 7th Anniversary of Death

‘We Want Iranian Officials to Align Water Demands with Treaty’: Muttaqi

Mine Blast Kills 1 Child, Injures 1 in Afghanistan’s Ghazni

OCHA Asks For Urgent Funding To Help Disabled People In Afghanistan

--------

Africa

In Last-Minute Demolition Spree, El-Rufai Bulldozes 3 Islamic Schools, 1 Hospital Belonging To Shi’ites In Kaduna

“I’m Ready To Lose Friends”, Islamic Scholar Appointed Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Speaks

Restoring Grazing Routes Will Resolve Herders-Farmers Clashes — Miyetti Allah

Gunmen kidnap 5 Islamic group members along Abuja-Kaduna expressway

Plateau: 4 killed Sunday night as natives chide Miyetti Allah for distorting facts

--------

Southeast Asia

Need To Bridge Gap Between Sharia, Conventional Finance Literacy: Financial Services Authority

‘Allah’ Issue: Proposal To Improve Policies To Be Tabled At Conference Of Rulers’ Meeting In July

PM Anwar: Non-Muslim Use Of 'Allah' Restricted To East Malaysia, Govt To Amend Laws

Muslim World League commends MUI for work at international events

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kerala-story-muslims-maharashtra-akola/d/129838

------

The Kerala Story: Muslims Flee Homes In Maharashtra's Akola Fearing Police Would Falsely Implicate Them In The May 13 Riot-Related Cases

 

A motorcycle set on fire by miscreants during the communal clash in Maharashtra’s Akola city on Saturday. Photo Credit: PTI

------

May 23, 2023

Nagpur: Hundreds of Muslims men, most of them poor labourers, from six areas dominated by the minority community have reportedly fled homes fearing Akola police would falsely implicate them in the May 13 riot-related cases.

SP Sandeep Ghuge refused to comment on the allegations of false cases, exodus of minorities and prejudiced action against a specific community. He claimed that the lanes are looking deserted due to the curfew orders issued by the collector.

Collector Neema Arora stated that there has been no ill-intended action against any specific community. “We have no clue from where this rumour (about exodus) has originated but there could be mala fide intention.”

On the curfew, the collector stated there was no such order in force now except within the limits of the Old City police station where the Criminal Procedure Code Section 144 is in force between 8pm and 8am restricting assembly of four or more people.

Asif Ahmed Khan, a social worker from Akot File area, said that entire localities in the six areas have been looking like abandoned places since May 14 following the riots.

“Each locality has a population of at least 10,000. What we are seeing right now is just women and kids. Cops are picking up Muslim men in gross violation of rules and booking them under section 307 of IPC for attempt to murder,” alleged Khan adding such actions have shocked them.

Khan also said the the Old City area is still completely shut down from 8pm to 8am while Sec 144 is in force in other areas too. “Besides Old City and Akot File areas, Sontakke Plot, Hamza Plot, Gudwale Plot and Khiar Mohammad Plots are witnessing an unprecedented exodus,” he said.

Clashes had started in Akola on May 13 over an Instagram chat on a post regarding the movie ‘The Kerala Story’. Khan alleged that police were taking one-sided action while members from both communities took to violence. “It was pointed out before court too that only six people from another community are booked while over 100 Muslim men are facing criminal charges. How can only six men face a huge mob?” he said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/muslim-men-flee-homes-in-akola-fearing-police-excesses/articleshow/100433756.cms

--------

Brawl Breaks Out At Birmingham Theatre In England After Muslim Activists Disrupt 'The Kerala Story' Screening

 

The Kerala Story Shows Disrupted By Muslim Activists At Birmingham, UK ( Photo Credit – The Kerala Story Poster)

------

May 23, 2023

Birmingham: The screening of 'The Kerala Story' was disrupted at Birmingham in England after Muslim activists stormed a theatre claiming the film was spreading Islamophobia.

A 10-minute clip uploaded on the British Muslim news website '5Pillars' showed Kashmiri activist Shakeel Afsar, 35, with a group of demonstrators entering Cineworld theatre and causing the film to be paused.

In the clip, Afsar along with at least two others can be seen asking to speak to the cinema manager about the 'Islamophobic' nature of the film.

The staff at the Cineworld were forced to pause the screening as mayhem broke out, with audience members seen confronting the activists and telling them to leave, Daily Mail reported.

After the activists were ejected by the security personnel, a theatre attendant could be heard telling the audience: "If you want to watch this film, you should calm down first. I am going to resume this film. We're trying to deal with this in the best way we can. We've paused the film, we've turned the lights on, we've called the police."

Last year, Afsar, an entrepreneur and property developer, led a campaign to pull 'The Lady of Heaven' from the cinemas.

He was also banned from protesting outside a primary school in Birmingham in 2019 after demonstrating against the teaching of LGBT values, Daily Mail reported.

Source: onmanorama.com

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

https://www.onmanorama.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/2023/05/23/the-kerala-story-screening-birmingham-muslim-activists-film-disruption.html

--------

Thomas Backer's 'Garden Of Evil': 'There’s No Statue Of Bin Laden At Ground Zero'

 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (Photo by Preston Keres/USDA)

-----

May 22, 2023

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell is obsessed with the bizarre collection of Hitler memorabilia that billionaire Harlan Crow has in his Texas home. He pondered whether anyone would be willing to touch it and what they would feel touching something that served a mass murderer.

Among the things at his Texas estate is a garden of statues of famous dictators. Crow calls it his "Garden of Evil" and explains that it honours all of those who prevailed over evil. It's something that he spoke to The Atlantic about, in an effort to sanitize his "collections."

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie didn't buy it.

"I still find his decision to collect these statues so odd, and so bizarre for a lot of the reasons you described," he explained. "He says they are there to commemorate the victims of atrocities, but one does not honour the victims of atrocities with statues of the people who committed the atrocities, right? There is no statue of bin Laden at Ground Zero. It does not make any sense."

Bouie also pointed out Crow's selective understanding of "evil." O'Donnell noted that there were no white supremacists or segregationists in his so-called "Garden of Evil."

"In a way that is unusual," Bouie continued. "As you mentioned, he does not seem to have any connection to U.S. history, or the terrible things that happened in our own history. The entire project, such that it is, is very strange, and in that interview, his attempts to explain it, to contextualize it, just for me, raised many more questions about what he is thinking than they provided any answers to. It is all very strange, all very strange."

O'Donnell pointed out that The Atlantic piece also ignores the links to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia.

"That is a great point. Harlan Crow has stated political goals, in terms of the intended candidates he funds, in terms of organizations he provides money for, the support he gives to the legal movement," explained Bouie. "It is in direct tension with the political values he says he holds. In direct tension with the stated opposition to Donald Trump. In tension with his apparent support for abortion rights. Again, if he is having conversations with Virginia Thomas, Virginia Thomas, who is a right-wing political activist, with very strong conservative views. It is, again, tough to understand how he rationalizes and thinks about his friendship with the Thomases in terms of his own stated political beliefs."

He noted that reading the interview made him think of Harlan Crow as a "low-information voter who just happens to have a billion dollars."

Source: rawstory.com

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

https://www.rawstory.com/harlan-crow-garden-of-evil/

--------

Saudi Religious Centre Chief, Dr. Zuhair Al-Harthi, Visits Vatican To Promote Interfaith Dialogue

 

Dr. Zuhair Al-Harthi. (SPA)

-----

May 23, 2023

RIYADH: The head of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue recently visited the Vatican as part of a trip to promote interfaith cooperation.

During his official visit, KAICIID Secretary-General Dr. Zuhair Al-Harthi met with Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a member of centre’s board of directors at the Vatican department.

Al-Harthi thanked Guixot for his ongoing support for the centre, and both highlighted the importance of interfaith dialogue and understanding.

He also had talks with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the prime minister of the Vatican State, at his office in the Vatican. They discussed avenues of cooperation, ways to encourage dialogue, and the Pope’s visit to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, in August.

Parolin noted the key humanitarian role played by the centre which, he said, provided a global platform for dialogue and the promotion of peaceful coexistence. And he wished the centre success with its future mission in Portugal, its new host country.

Al-Harthi and Parolin both pointed out the important role of religious leaders in helping to resolve societal challenges.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308411/saudi-arabia

--------

Turkey’s Camlica Mosque: Ottoman Heritage Or Modern Symbol Of Turkish Pride And Nationalism?

 

A man waves a Turkish flag at the courtyard of the Grand Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, on May 3, 2019 [File: Murad Sezer/Reuters]

------

22 May 2023

Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul’s skyline has been rapidly transforming over the years as towering new skyscrapers pop up and expansive bridges connect the metropolis that spans two continents.

Since 2019, Grand Camlica Mosque – which stretches over 57,500sq metres (620,000sq feet) and has six minarets and a towering central dome – has been the most visible structure on the Anatolian side of Turkey’s cultural capital.

Perched on the hill after which it is named, the now-largest mosque in Turkey opened its doors to the public on March 7, 2019, as a place of worship as well as a symbol of state pride and Turkish national identity.

Since the establishment of the modern republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923, Turkish nationalism has been largely defined by secular symbols that lean away from religion and the country’s Ottoman past.

As president of the early republic, Ataturk outlawed the fez and turban – two forms of Ottoman male headgear – and later the headscarf was banned in state institutions. He also transformed the Turkish language from Arabic to Latin script, moved the capital city from the Ottoman epicentre of Constantinople – later known as Istanbul – to a newly established Ankara, and replaced religious courts with a European-inspired legal system.

Although the “headscarf ban” was notably overturned by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which came to power 20 years ago, religious symbols have remained distinct from the secular Turkish state.

Yet, Camlica Mosque reflects how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attempted to challenge the secular narrative of Turkish nationalism by attempting to connect state pride to an Ottoman past and an Islamic heritage.

“The main objective of the 1923 Turkish revolution was to create a new nation and national identity by fighting the old one,” said Turkish sociologist Ferhat Kentel. “To do this, the Kemalists cut ties with Ottoman times.”

“The same goes with AK Party. It used religious and Ottoman symbolism, such as Camlica Mosque, but especially Hagia Sophia Mosque, to cut ties with the Kemalist regime,” he added.

Strong symbolism

Hayriye Gul, one of the two female architects behind the design of the complex, told Al Jazeera that the structure aimed to contribute to the silhouette of Istanbul in a modern and practical way while reflecting traditional Turco-Islamic architecture.

“It’s a modern version of the traditional mosque which included a madrassa [school] and hammam [public bath]. To suit today’s needs, it has a conference hall, parking lot and library,” said Gul.

For Gul and her co-architect Bahar Mizrak, the building also evokes a sense of national pride.

“As Turkish citizens and architects, we’re proud to be part of building such a monumental mosque during the republican era,” said Mizrak.

Designed as a successor to Ottoman-era mosques, the complex is inspired by the work of the empire’s chief architect Mimar Sinan who built Istanbul’s famous Suleymaniye Mosque, among 300 other structures.

Camlica Mosque includes a prayer hall that can hold about 60,000 people, a museum, a gallery, art workshops, a library and a conference hall, and has many symbolic features that link Turkish and Ottoman history to national identity.

Seen from anywhere in the city centre, the mosque’s main dome stands 72 metres (236 feet) tall to represent the 72 ethnic groups in Turkey and spans 34 metres (111 feet) to represent the city of Istanbul’s number plate.

Four minarets are 107.1 metres (351 feet) high, signifying the Manzikert Victory of 1071 which saw Seljuk Turks, led by King Alp Arslan, crush an imperial Byzantine army said to be twice their size.

Inside the dome, 16 names attributed to God in Islam are artistically drawn to signify the 16 Great Turkic Empires before the establishment of the modern republic. The number 16 also features in Turkey’s presidential seal, with its large 16-pointed sun surrounded by 16 five-pointed stars to symbolise the Turkish Republic and the 16 great empires.

Linking to more religious symbols, the complex has five smaller domes that represent the five pillars of Islam, and eight monumental doors to represent the eight gates to heaven, according to Muslim belief.

Nationalist projects, messaging

While some observers have linked the decision to build Camlica Mosque to the government’s 2020 reconversion of Hagia Sophia and the 2017 construction of a mosque in Taksim – a square associated with secularism and republicanism, others say the former is part of the government’s political manoeuvring.

“There was a need to build a mosque in Taksim because there wasn’t any, and the reconversion of Hagia Sophia was a historic promise of the conservatives, not of Erdogan. But Camlica Mosque was never needed, Osman Sert, PanoramaTR research director, told Al Jazeera.

“Camlica Mosque was a political decision and part of a series of nationalist projects launched by Erdogan and the AK Party to build national pride at a time when they have little to offer in terms of economic development,” he added.

Over the past five years, Turkey’s economic crisis has seen the Turkish lira drop to historic lows and people’s concerns over the cost of living grow. Meanwhile, Turkey has undertaken a range of political and economic measures to boost its national pride and independence.

Among those projects are TOGG, the first ever Turkish-made electric car launched in 2022, the TCG Anadolu, an amphibious assault ship and Turkey’s first landing platform dock in 2023; and Camlica Tower, a huge telecommunications tower inaugurated in 2021 as Istanbul’s tallest.

Erdogan has also invoked nationalist messaging during his electoral campaign ahead of the May 14 vote by incorporating the country’s centenary celebration into slogans, and promising that the next 100 years will be the “Century of Turkey”.

According to Sert, Erdogan’s nationalist rhetoric has particularly spiked since the 2016 coup attempt which could have seen his government overthrown.

“The coup attempt was a breaking point in the country’s history that created public concern about the republic’s security and continuity. It triggered nationalist feelings wrapped around worries that the country’s fate was under threat,” Sert told Al Jazeera.

He added that the emergence of the leader of the ultranationalist, right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, as Erdogan’s main political supporter at the time also indicated this.

“To make this momentum more sustainable, Erdogan needed the consent of the people, so religion and nationalism came together,” he said.

National pride

But according to Kentel, “Erdogan’s ideology is not religious, but nationalist with some religious undertones.”

Erdogan and the AK Party have been successful in “integrating traditional and conservative sectors of society into nationalist identity. With this renewed form of nationalism, sectors which did not previously associate with the nation-state, now relate strongly with it,” he said.

Kentel and Sert said while this form of nationalism has attracted conservative sectors of society, it has polarised and alienated many others.

Still, Camlica Mosque has become an important stop for tourists and locals visiting Ottoman palaces and mosques, with many seeing it as a success for Erdogan and his party.

“Camlica Mosque is a source of national and political pride. It represents Islam’s presence in the modern world and symbolises AK Party’s political power,” said Mustafa, a 39-year-old accountant visiting the mosque.

“While values of the republic were secular and mostly rejected by the country’s conservative sectors, the AK Party has managed to keep these concepts while appealing to a larger segment of society,” he added.

Another mosque-goer, 37-year-old Suheyb, agreed: “The AK Party brought the state closer to the people. Camlica Mosque is seen as a symbol of this transformation.”

Like the mosque-goers, former AK Party parliamentarian, Iffet Pollat, told Al Jazeera that Camlica Mosque was a “salutation to the Turkish Republic, to Ottoman heritage and our Muslim ancestors, all in one. It is a masterpiece of the Turkish Republic under Erdogan”.

Source: aljazeera.com

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

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/5/22/turkeys-camlica-mosque-ottoman-heritage-or-modern-nationalism

--------

 India

Reservation For Dalits Converted To Islam, Christianity Opposed

May 22, 2023

A delegation of Dalits from Anusuchit Jati Bachao Manch (AJBM) Monday submitted a memorandum to Ahmedabad collector opposing any move to provide Scheduled Caste reservation benefits to those Dalits who have converted to Islam or Christianity.

Currently, the Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions seeking reservation benefits to such Dalits.

If the Dalits converted to Islam or Christianity are given reservation benefits, it would endanger the future of upcoming generations of Dalits, AJBM stated in a press statement.

Source: indianexpress.com

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/reservation-for-dalits-converted-to-islam-christianity-opposed-8623599/

--------

 

Congress must restore Muslim quota in Karnataka: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind chief Madani

May 22, 2023

By India Today News Desk: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madani urged the Congress government in Karnataka to restore the 4% quota for Muslims in the state. The quota was scrapped by the then BJP-led government in March this year.

"It is time for the Congress to fulfil its election promise and restore reservations given to Muslims on the basis of economic backwardness," Madani said, lauding the grand-old party for its stance on banning Bajrang Dal and other such organisations in the state.

Madani also alleged that efforts of 'Hindu revivalism' are on, under the National Education Policy (NEP). "Efforts to promote Hindu revivalism have started under the guise of the new National Education Policy, against which a resolution was passed in the general body meeting of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind," he said.

Apart from the restoration of Muslim quotas in Karnataka, Madani also called for the formation of separate schools and colleges for Muslim boys and girls to provide high quality education.

He made the remarks on the last day of the three-day meeting of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. The 4% Muslim quota was withdrawn by the previous BJP dispensation under ex-CM Basavaraj Bommai.

Talking about Congress's thumping win in Karnataka, he said the election results show the people of the state rejected the agenda of hatred.

He also said the Congress would not have been ousted from power (at the Centre) if it had taken such a strong stand against communalism 75 years ago. "After the assassination of Gandhiji (in 1948), the country would have been saved from destruction if sectarianism was crushed at the time," Madani asserted.

Condemning moves to bring about a Uniform Civil Code in the country, Madani said it was a "conspiracy to take away the religious freedom of the citizens".

Source: indiatoday.in

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/congress-must-restore-muslim-quota-in-karnataka-jamiat-ulama-i-hind-chief-madani-2382826-2023-05-22

--------

 

40% Muslim students in Hyderabad failed Inter, lack coaching: Study

May 22, 2023

HYDERABAD: A recent study conducted by the Social Data Initiative Forum has revealed that 40% of students from the Muslim community did not pass the Intermediate examinations.

The study attributes this outcome to inadequate coaching and guidance.

According to Syed Khalid Saifullah of Social Data Initiative Forum, Of the 4.19 lakh students who appeared for the Intermediate examinations this year, 71,619 were Muslims. While the overall failure rate in the state is 36%, it rises to 40% for Muslim students, with a total of 32,686 Muslim students failing.

The research also highlights the significant failure rate among Muslim students in Hyderabad, where a staggering 50% did not clear their Intermediate exams.

“The Social Data Initiative Forum, in partnership with Shaheen Academy, has launched FreeSupplementaryCoaching.com, a website that offers free online classes in all subjects, comprehensive educational resources, and support to help students overcome their academic challenges,” said Khalid Saifullah.

He said Muslim students from Hyderabad had fared badly in the Intermediate exams when compared with their counterparts in districts. Hyderabad has been divided into three zones for purpose of Intermediate exams. A comparison between Muslim students from Hyderabad and those from other districts reveals that students from Zone II in Hyderabad had a 52% failure rate, whereas Muslim students from Mulugu performed well, with only 10% failing the exam.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/40-muslim-students-failed-inter-lack-coaching-study/articleshow/100406819.cms

--------

 

Pinarayi Vijayan in unholy nexus with ‘Islamic extremists’, plans to make son-in-law future Kerala CM: BJP leader

May 23, 2023

BJP national vice-president A P Abdullakutty Monday alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made an unholy nexus with “Islamic extremists” and “jihadis” to make his son-in-law P A Mohammed Riyas, the incumbent minister for public works department and tourism, a future chief minister of the state.

Addressing a party convention in Kannur, Abdullakutty said, “For the son-in-law, Vijayan has converted the party into Communist Party of India-Muslim. Pinarayi plans to make Riyas the state’s chief minister in the future. For this, he made an alliance with all Muslim extremists and jihadis.”

Abdullakutty, who had served as a CPI(M) MP for two terms before the party sacked him, said the BJP would resist any move to make Riyas the next chief minister.

The BJP leader said bribe money from various deals had gone to the CPI(M). “After the party has gone into the hands of Vijayan, the bribe money flows to a single family. Vijayan is using Riyas for all corrupt dealings in the public works and tourism departments. For the last seven years, Kerala has been witnessing the worst government (in its history). There is corruption in every deal and project. All the rivers of corruption are flowing to a single sea, and Vijayan has made his official residence a sea of corruption,” he said.

Referring to the suicide of a minor Muslim girl at a religious institution in Thiruvananthapuram, Abdullakutty said the madrassa where the incident happened did not have permission to run a hostel for minors. “Does Vijayan have the courage to close down that illegal hostel at that madrassa,” he said.

Source: indianexpress.com

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/thiruvananthapuram/pinarayi-vijayan-in-unholy-nexus-with-islamic-extremists-plans-to-make-son-in-law-future-kerala-cm-bjp-leader-8624055/

--------

 

Europe

 

Mosque vandalized by supporters of PKK terror group in Germany

22.05.2023

BERLIN

A mosque in northwest Germany was vandalized by supporters of the PKK terror organization, authorities reported on Monday.

The assailants wrote various slogans on the walls of the Bad Bentheim mosque, which is run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) association.

Hakki Gumuskusak, the chairman of the mosque association, has condemned the attack and called on German authorities to take the necessary security measures.

“We will not allow these perpetrators to undermine peace and security in our town. We hope that this incident will be resolved as soon as possible by the authorities,” he said.

The local police in Bad Bentheim have appealed for witnesses and requested anyone with information to come forward and assist in an investigation into the incident.

In recent years, numerous mosques have been targeted by the followers of the PKK terror organization. However, only a few incidents have resulted in the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators, ensuring justice is served.

The PKK, classified as an "ethno-nationalist" terrorist organization by the EU's law enforcement agency Europol, has been banned in Germany since 1993. However, it remains active in the country with nearly 14,500 followers among the Kurdish immigrant population.

Turkey has long urged its NATO ally Germany to take stronger action against the PKK, emphasizing that the terrorist group utilizes the country as a platform for recruitment, propaganda, and fundraising activities.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people.

Source: aa.com.tr

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/mosque-vandalized-by-supporters-of-pkk-terror-group-in-germany/2903471

--------

 

Austria saw over 1,300 anti-Muslim attacks in 2022

22.05.2023

Austria saw 1,324 incidents of anti-Muslim racism and Islamophobia last year, according to a report released on Monday.

According to the 2022 Report on Anti-Muslim Racism released by the Austrian Documentation and Counseling Center for Muslims, a majority of the attacks took place on digital platforms.

The report said 15.2% of those subjected to anti-Muslim racism, verbal and physical attacks were men while well over double that, 40.2%, were women.

The figures also showed that of the online attacks, 92% were hate speech against Islam and Muslims, while 5% were incitement.

While 81.6% of the attacks were carried out on online platforms, 38.9% of them happened in various areas of social life in Austria, where some 700,000 Muslims live.

The capital Vienna saw the largest number of racist incidents with 112, said the report, stressing that these records reflect only a portion of total attacks.

Speaking to Anadolu, Selime Ture of the documentation and counseling center said that anti-Muslim racism is becoming "normal" in the Austria.

She said some "so-called academic studies" by biased institutions play a key role in this rising trend.

Ture added that an admission of the Islamophobia problem is badly needed, as it is denied in Austrian politics.

Source: aa.com.tr

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/austria-saw-over-1-300-anti-muslim-attacks-in-2022/2903419

--------

 

Postgraduate scholarships for British Muslims looking to study at BU

Monday, May 22, 2023

We’ve teamed up with the Aziz Foundation to offer scholarships to students from British Muslim communities, who are interested in further study.

If you’re a British Muslim and considering studying a postgraduate course – but are concerned about how you might pay for it – these scholarships will cover the full tuition fees.

For the next academic year, we’ve committed to welcoming up to three scholars and we hope to increase that number in future years.

The scholarships are for students starting a Master’s degree in September 2023 in courses covering a wide range of areas, including Media and Journalism, Technology, Sustainability and the Environment, Law, Policy, and Creative Content.

Ibrahim Mohammed from the Aziz Foundation, said: "It is with great excitement that we declare Bournemouth University as one of our Preferred Partners, as they have shown a dedicated effort to expanding access to postgraduate education and diminishing educational disparities for underrepresented students. Our collaboration with the university will allow us to develop initiatives that promote inclusivity and expand opportunities for British Muslim communities at the postgraduate taught level."

You can find more information on the scholarships and how to apply on the Aziz Foundation website.

Source: bournemouth.ac.uk

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

https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/2023-05-22/postgraduate-scholarships-british-muslims-looking-study-bu

--------

 

Case Of Russian Teen Accused Of Burning Quran To Be Investigated In Chechnya

May 22, 2023

In Volgograd, a criminal case was opened under an article on insulting the feelings of believers after the burning of the Quran against the backdrop of a mosque. The security forces reported on the detention of a suspected local resident Mykyta Zhuravel - he allegedly already confessed to working for the Security Service of Ukraine.

19-year-old Zhuravel was born in Ukraine, then moved to Volgograd, where he worked as a food delivery man, writes V1.ru. According to investigators, on May 19, he burned the Quran on the instructions of the SBU, for which he was allegedly promised 10,000 rubles. The press service of the Sledkom of the Russian Federation stated that the detainee had allegedly already confessed and stated that he had filmed military facilities for the SBU. Except for Zhuravel's confession, it is not reported what exactly is being discussed and what the case is based on.

Under the article on insulting the feelings of believers, he faces imprisonment for up to three years. Whether a criminal case on cooperation with Ukraine will be opened is still unknown. How the security forces found the suspect in less than a day is also not reported.

On the eve of the fact that what happened is connected with the "provocation" of the Ukrainian military or the military of other countries, the Mufti of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Volgograd Region Kifah Bata Mohammad told reporters.

Update: the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bastrykin, ordered that the case of the burning of the Quran in the Volgograd region be transferred to investigators from Chechnya. The reason for this is allegedly "numerous appeals from residents of the Chechen Republic with a request to recognize them as victims."

A criminal case was opened in Moscow after a video of the burning of the Quran near the White Lake in the Kosino-Ukhtomsky district of the capital was published on the network. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said the day before that this was a provocation by Ukraine. Whether there is a suspect in the case is still unknown.

In January, far-right Danish politician Rasmus Paludan, leader of the anti-Islamist Stram Kurs ("Hard Course") party, burned the Quran three times over ten days . On the published video of the third action, Paludan said that the sacred book for Muslims is "burning through the fault of Chechnya and its leader," as well as Swedish-born UFC fighter Khamzat Chimaev, who called Paludan a "terrorist" after the first burning of the Quran.

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, used Paludan's action with the burning of the Quran in Sweden to justify the war against Ukraine and criticize the "Euro-Ichkerians". He unsubstantiatedly accused the Swedish authorities that the action was "paid for" by them.

Source: kavkazr.com

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

https://www.kavkazr.com/a/v-volgograde-zaderzhali-podozrevaemogo-v-aktsii-sozhzheniya-Qurana-na-fone-mecheti/32421112.html

--------

 

CAIR Condemns French Government Collection of Data on Muslim Students’ Religious Observances

May 22, 2023

(WASHINGTON, DC, 5/22/2023) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, today condemned France’s reported request that schools provide data on the number of pupils absent on the Muslim end-of-Ramadan holiday of Eid ul-fitr.

France’s Ministry of the Interior reportedly confirmed that it asked schools in the city of Toulouse “to evaluate” the rate of absenteeism on Eid ul-Fitr, on 21 April, but said that request did not constitute a census on faith.

SEE: Outcry after French police question schools about pupils absent on Muslim holiday

https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20230522-outcry-after-french-police-question-schools-about-pupils-absent-on-muslim-holiday-eid

CAIR compared the alleged actions of French police to the 2001 to 2014 NYPD illegal and unconstitutional human mapping program that spied on and infiltrated Islamic institutions, including houses of worship, student groups and businesses that catered to the Muslim community. 

In 2014, the NYPD disbanded its special unit that conducted widespread warrantless surveillance of law-abiding Muslims and settled one – of several lawsuits – in 2018, agreeing not to conduct surveillance based on religion or ethnicity.

CAIR OP-ED: Ten Post-9/11 Measures that Targeted Muslim Americans—and the U.S. Constitution

“We are concerned that this reported collection of information on the religious observances of French Muslim students is just part of the multifaceted governmental attack on Islam and the Muslim community in France,” said CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “These types of discriminatory policies targeting Muslim were illegal and counterproductive when used against American Muslims and are similarly unjust and damaging in France.”

He noted that France has repeatedly targeted that nation’s Muslim community with discriminatory actions and policies.

SEE: CAIR Urges Biden to Condemn France’s Forced Closure of Last Major French Muslim Civil Rights Organization

CAIR Warns American Muslims Against Travel to France, Condemns Macron’s ‘Hypocritical’ Attempt to Suppress Boycott Campaign

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.              

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.             

Become a Fan of CAIR on Facebook          

http://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational            

Subscribe to CAIR’s Email List          

https://action.cair.com/a/newsletters

Subscribe to CAIR’s Twitter Feed          

http://twitter.com/cairnational           

Subscribe to CAIR’s YouTube Channel          

http://www.youtube.com/cairtv           

Follow CAIR on Instagram          

https://www.instagram.com/cair_national/

Donate to CAIR          

https://action.cair.com/a/donate

Do you like reading CAIR press releases and taking part in our action alerts? You can help contribute to CAIR’s work of defending civil rights and empowering American Muslims across the country by making a one-time contribution or becoming a monthly donor. Supporters like you make CAIR’s advocacy work possible and defeating Islamophobia an achievable goal. Click here to donate to CAIR.

If you would like to join CAIR’s media list, please sign up here: https://action.cair.com/a/newsletters — For more information, email: info@cair.com, CC ihooper@cair.com   

END   

Source: cair.com

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

https://www.cair.com/press_releases/cair-condemns-french-government-collection-of-data-on-muslim-students-religious-observances/

--------

 

North America

 

Muslim group CAIR says discrimination cases in New Jersey rose 46% in 2022

23.05.2023

WASHINGTON

Discrimination cases against Muslims in the US state of New Jersey saw a 46% increase in 2022 from the previous year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

CAIR-NJ said in its 52-page report, titled "Beyond the Courts," that they received 152 calls for help in 2022, up from 104 in 2021.

According to the report, the complaints involved various forms of discrimination, with 22.4% cases related to employment, 17.8% coming from schools and 11.8% related to hate and bias.

"While it is true that the tragic events of September 11, 2001 shot Muslims into the international spotlight overnight, structural anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry and the resulting violence have long preceded the events of 9/11," Qasim Rashad of the United Muslim Masjid in Philadelphia wrote in the report.

"The Patriot Act — unanimously passed by the Senate within one month of 9/11 — was not the first of its kind. In many ways, it was an expansion of the already existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which was notoriously weaponized against American Muslims, among other non-white groups," Rashad added.

CAIR last month released a report covering nationwide incidents of civil rights complaints by Muslim Americans in 2022 which revealed a 23% decrease.

The Muslim advocacy group received 5,156 complaints nationwide in 2022, down from 6,720 complaints in 2021.

CAIR noted that it is also the first recorded decline since they started tracking such data in 1995.

Source: aa.com.tr

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/muslim-group-cair-says-discrimination-cases-in-new-jersey-rose-46-in-2022/2903725

--------

New report assails Hamline University's handling of Islamic art controversy

MAY 22, 2023

Hamline University in St. Paul found itself at the center of a fierce debate over academic freedom and religious tolerance after a student raised concerns about an instructor’s decision to show images of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

A national organization promoting academic freedom released a new report Monday assailing Hamline University's response after an art history instructor showed images of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

The American Association of University Professors accused the private university in St. Paul of engaging in "what amounted to a de facto campaign of vilification against Professor [Erika] López Prater that also represented an assault on fundamental principles of academic freedom."

The association is one of many groups that have commented on the episode last fall that placed Hamline University at the center of a high-profile debate over academic freedom, religious tolerance and Islamophobia. López Prater's contract was not renewed for the spring semester.

The university didn't immediately comment on the report, and an attorney for López Prater couldn't immediately be reached.

López Prater was working as an adjunct instructor at the university when she showed students two centuries-old artworks depicting the Prophet Muhammad. One showed the prophet — including his face — as he received a revelation from the Angel Gabriel that would later form the basis of the Qur'an. The second showed a similar moment, but with the prophet's face veiled and his image surrounded by a halo.

Scholars and religious leaders have sometimes disagreed about whether Islam permits images of the Prophet Muhammad. Some Muslims argue the images are strictly prohibited to avoid idolization, while others have images of the prophet in their homes.

López Prater said she provided a disclaimer in the syllabus for the course and spent "at least a couple minutes" preparing students for the images. One of her students, Aram Wedatalla, president of the Muslim Student Association, said she heard the professor give a "trigger warning," wondered what it was for "and then I looked and it was the prophet." Wedatalla contacted university administrators.

The university decided not to renew López Prater's contract. In a campus email, an administrator called her actions "undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic," a word choice that the university's president and board chair have since described as "flawed."

The American Association of University Professors' 19-page report was based on information gathered during a two-day visit to campus, interviews with five administrators and others on campus, and written statements issued through López Prater's attorney.

The association wrote that López Prater's decision to show the artworks was justifiable, appropriate and "protected by academic freedom."

"The committee can only speculate about the reason for the decision not to reappoint Professor López Prater," the report said. "But circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that it was directly and solely a consequence of what transpired during the October 6 class meeting."

A footnote in the report says Hamline University told the association it "does take issue," with the group's findings, saying they were speculative and contradictory.

The association's report says it also has concerns "about the climate for academic freedom at Hamline" based on incidents with other staff members, including one who felt his attempts to publicly defend López Prater had been stifled.

López Prater has sued the university for religious discrimination, defamation and other claims. A federal judge heard arguments on some motions last week and is weighing whether to dismiss the case, allow it to proceed, or move it to state court.

Source: startribune.com

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

https://www.startribune.com/new-report-assails-hamline-university-handling-of-islamic-art-controversy/600276895/

--------

 

Arson is the latest in a string of attacks on Minnesota mosques

May 22, 2023

A suspect was arrested on suspicion of arson after a fire last week at a mosque in St. Paul, Minnesota, at least the fifth such act of vandalism in the state so far this year that has left members of the Muslim community “living in fear,” a state senator said.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at a news conference that the mosque, the Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center, was “completely burned” after being set on fire Wednesday.

The building was unoccupied at the time, and no injuries were reported, the St. Paul Fire Department said.

The suspect, Said Murekezi, 42, was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of arson, the St. Paul Police Department said.

Murekezi, who told the police he is Muslim, said he was protesting homelessness, according to charging documents. Murekezi told the police that if he hadn’t been caught, he would “torch another one” or attack a church, the documents said.

The attack comes after a spate of other acts of vandalism against Islamic houses of worship in Minnesota.

Three weeks ago, a window was smashed at the Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center, the documents said. On May 12, another mosque in St. Paul was vandalized when someone smashed its doors, Hussein said. No one has been charged in either of these cases.

In April, Jackie Rahm Little was charged with arson after setting fire to two mosques in Minneapolis. In one case, he was interrupted in the act, according to court documents. In the other, a mosque representative told investigators that the fire caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

The state senator, Zaynab Mohamed, said on Sunday that the Muslim community in Minneapolis was feeling “shaken by these attacks.”

“Especially the people who go to these mosques on a regular basis, they’re living in fear right now,” she said. “These attacks aren’t new. They’ve been happening for a long time. But this year they’re happening more often, and they’re more destructive.”

Hate crimes in the United States increased nearly 12% in 2021 compared with 2020, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But that data is incomplete, and experts say that the figures are likely to be underestimates.

Of the 1,590 hate crimes related to religion that were reported, almost 10% were anti-Islamic, the bureau said.

Hussein said in an interview on Sunday that he believed some of the vandalism to be copycat acts and that many mosques were struggling financially to prevent attacks, noting that the Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center didn’t have security cameras.

“Our community is feeling vulnerable,” Hussein said. “We are under-resourced and under attack.”

Source: chicagotribune.com

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

https://www.chicagotribune.com/midwest/ct-aud-nw-nyt-minnesota-mosque-attacks-20230522-wqkvss2plfairkavhtt2i2hhbq-story.html

--------

 

Arab World

 

Kingdom makes history as Saudis soar into space

May 22, 2023

RIYADH: The Arab world is celebrating a historic moment after three Arab astronauts were united in space for the first time, with Emirati astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi welcoming Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni to the International Space Station.

“Following in Prince Sultan bin Salman’s pioneering footsteps, three Arab astronauts will be in space together,” tweeted Al-Neyadi.

The Axiom Mission 2, or Ax-2, journeyed to the ISS in the SpaceX Dragon Freedom, which successfully docked on the space-facing port at about 4.12 p.m. KSA time. The Ax-2 mission set a new record for transit time from lift-off to soft capture at 15 hours, 35 minutes. It was the most efficient and fastest transit to the ISS from Launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In the hours before reaching the ISS, while in orbit, the Saudi astronauts greeted the Kingdom from space.

“We are here feeling microgravity thanks to our Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the leaders, King Salman, and the visionary Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for their support in this mission,” said Barnawi.

She added: “To the people around the world, the future is very bright, and I would like you to dream big. Believe in yourself and in humanity.”

Alqarni shared his gratitude to King Salman and the crown prince for their “never-ending empowerment, support and trust.”

He added: “This moment is historic, not just for me, but for every Saudi. I couldn’t have done it without the support, love and trust from all of you guys.”

The Ax-2 launch took place slightly after midnight in the Kingdom, and Saudis around the country gathered to witness history in the making. Many tuned in to the livestream to witness the docking and the welcoming of the Saudi astronauts into the ISS.

The monumental flight of Saudis into space reflects the ambitions of the nation and has inspired the next generation to take giant leaps toward space travel.

“As our Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, ‘the sky is the limit’ for Saudi society’s ambitions. Today, we are literally living in this moment,” said Prince Mansour bin Saad Al-Saud, assistant secretary-general at the King Faisal Foundation.

“As the first Saudi woman in space, our good wishes and prayers are with her and astronaut Ali Al-Qarni. I wish to congratulate Al-Faisal University for the historical achievement of its alumnus astornaunt Rayyana being the first Saudi woman to head to space, this is just the part of our extraordinary journey with young Saudi leaders,” he added.

Amal Shuqair, the deputy minister for scholarships at the ministry of education, was present during the Ax-2 mission launch.

The Saudi delegation included Princess Reema bint Bandar, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the US, and Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha, the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Commission.

“I feel like we all shared the same feeling of being proud of them and of this mission. We were the talk of the town,” said Shuqair.

She added: “All the Saudi students watching the launch were very eager to take in the footsteps of the two Saudi astronauts.”

The families of the two Saudi astronauts were also present at the International Space Station in Florida, bidding farewell to them ahead of the launch.

In a Facebook post, Ahmed Barnawi, Rayyanah’s younger brother, shared his feelings on the launch of the Saudi mission.

“The excitement, pride, and happiness is overwhelming. Big sister is taking more than just a step, further than just a leap, she’s soaring ... into space,” said Ahmed Barnawi.

The Saudi astronauts, a day after they blasted off to space, have become heroes and role models for young Saudis, including Anmar Al-Asiri, who shared his joy and excitement at the Saudi space mission.

In a video uploaded by Anmar’s father, Hossam, on Twitter, Anmar greeted the Saudi astronauts and proudly showed them his DIY space rocket.

In celebration of the Saudi Space mission, Ithra in Dhahran was lit in blue to mark the historic occasion.

In the follow-up to the launch, the commission organized three major Saudi Toward Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran. The exhibitions and their accompanying attractions will run until June 2.

Targeted at youth, the exhibitions will highlight the country’s research contributions and scientific impact in the sector.

The immersive and interactive space exhibition in Riyadh is being held at the King Abdullah Financial District. It consists of three main zones; the exhibition zone, with several large screens, installations, VR experiences, smart screens and guides on the ground; a zone showcasing live experiments by experts in the field; and a zone featuring food vendors and areas to relax.

The exhibition in Riyadh also held a private countdown viewing party for select guests to witness the launch live.

While awaiting the countdown, the convention center provided interactive programming to keep children engaged.

Nourah bint Khalid Al-Saud brought her 12-year-old son, Bandar, and 8-year-old son, Mohammed, to the launch viewing party.

Bandar enjoyed exploring the spaceship journey on display and inspecting the spacesuits.

“I learned today about who is going to space and when they are going, and that they’ll be testing everything and doing experiments,” he told Arab News.

Mohammed was bursting with eager energy and reflective wonder. He had been fully transfixed on all things space, and was excited to witness history being made in real-time.

“It’s the first time a female has been to space from our country, so it’s exciting,” he told Arab News.

The Ax-2 mission crew will witness 16 sunrises and sunsets a day on the ISS. The ISS international laboratory has supported several scientific discoveries, publications and historic breakthroughs.

During their time on the ISS, the Saudi astronauts will conduct 14 experiments, including research on inflammatory diseases, intercranial pressure and monitoring changes in the optic nerve. They will also undertake an artificial rain experiment which simulates the cloud seeding process used in the Kingdom and other countries to increase precipitation rates.

The Ax-2 is a planned 10-day mission that includes eight days on the ISS, one day for ascending and docking and one day for undocking and descent. The mission marks the second fully private mission to the ISS.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308331/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Hajj ministry trains over 400 Turkish group leaders ahead of pilgrimage

May 22, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has conducted a program to train over 400 guides who will lead groups of Turkish pilgrims during the Hajj season.

The training program took place in Ankara and trained 421 Turkish group leaders who will guide pilgrims accompanying them on Hajj.

The program aims to raise the quality of services provided to pilgrims, facilitate their journey, and enrich their religious and cultural experiences in order to achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

It included a detailed explanation of a pilgrim’s journey from beginning to end, what to expect during the performance of rituals, and how to manage crowds during Hajj.

Similar training programs have taken place in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Nigeria this year during which around 300 leaders were trained.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308291/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Saudi Towards Space exhibitions launched in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran

May 22, 2023

JEDDAH/RIYADH: The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran to coincide with the take-off of Axiom’s second mission to the International Space Station.

The events, running until June 1 in the capital and June 2 in the other two cities, aim to give visitors an intergalactic experience while providing opportunities to explore the vast field of space, and learn about space flight, astronomy, and cosmology.

Information will also be provided on modern scientific theories about the nature of the universe, delivered through the use of educational games, interactive simulators, live shows, and workshops.

Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni were among a crew of four that blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida early on Monday on the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour rocket, becoming the first Saudis in space since Prince Sultan bin Salman in 1985.

The commission aims to boost national interest in the space sector and inspire the next generation to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In Jeddah, Abdulrahman Al-Najjar, a member of the guiding team at the exhibition, said it provided educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn more about space travel.

“This is an exhibition, it’s recreational, interactive, immersive, and there is virtual reality,” he added.

Father of two boys, Saad Al-Aboud, said: “It’s history in the making for a whole new generation as on Monday we witnessed our astronauts go to space.

“It (the exhibition) provides actual scale models so people can understand what it really took to get to the Moon.”

Mohammed Abdulwahed said he attended the exhibit because one of his sons, Khalid, 12, loved everything to do with space.

“We stood until midnight to watch the historical trip of our astronauts, we really had mixed feelings, but we are really proud of them and hope they accomplish what they are aiming to,” he added.

Khalid said that he stayed up all night to watch the launch. “I like it and I love Ali and Rayyanah.”

In Riyadh, the vast space in which Winter Wonderland was once housed has been converted into an immersive and interactive space-centric area.

It has three main zones — an exhibition area with several large screens, installations, VR experiences, smart screens, and guides on the ground, a zone housing a stage with live experiments by experts in the field, and another space with food vendors and rest areas.

Invited guests also attended a countdown viewing party to watch the launch live on a large screen.

Nourah bint Khalid took her sons Bandar, 12, and Mohammad, eight, to the exhibition’s opening night in Riyadh.

Bandar said: “I learned today about who is going to space and when they are going, and that they’ll be testing everything and doing experiments.”

Mohammad said: “It’s the first time a female from our country has been into space, so it’s exciting.”

Khalid said: “Yesterday, their father and I talked about how we were lucky to have a child who was interested in space now. If his passion for space continues, he’ll have a place that can help him achieve his goals or reach higher places.

“This is a very historic moment and we’re extremely proud. The moment I walked in here, I choked up. This proves that when Saudis decide to do something, they can do the best. They can go all the way, from zero to forever.”

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308271/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Custodian of Two Holy Mosques receives written message from Bahrain King

May 22, 2023

RIYADH — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received a written message from King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The message focused on the strong bilateral relations between the two countries and explored ways to support and further enhance them across various domains.

The message was presented to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah during his meeting Sunday with the Bahrain Ambassador Sheikh Ali Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, at the Ministry's headquarters in Riyadh.

During the reception, they discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on issues of mutual interest. — SPA

Source: saudigazette.com.sa

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

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/632674/SAUDI-ARABIA/Custodian-of-Two-Holy-Mosques-receives-written-message-from-Bahrain-King

--------

 

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief carries out aid projects in Bangladesh and Sudan

May 23, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency carried out aid projects to help unprivileged communities in Sudan and Bangladesh.

In Sudan, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) distributed food aid and shelter supplies to 1,565 displaced families in Wad Madani, the capital of the state of Gezira.

The initiative was part of the Saudi relief airlift, led by KSrelief, aimed at assisting the Sudanese people whose country has been reeling from violence triggered by clashes between the army and paramilitaries.

The aid agency concluded its ‘Noor Saudi Arabia’ voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh, which was held in cooperation with Al-Basar International Foundation, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

During the one-week campaign, the KSrelief’s volunteer medical team examined 4,749 cases, distributed 1,205 glasses, and performed 484 successful cataract operations.

“This comes within the voluntary projects provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by KSrelief, to support the medical sector in many different countries,” read the SPA statement.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308566/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Russian Interior Minister arrives in Saudi Arabia

May 22, 2023

RIYADH: Russia’s Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev arrived in Riyadh on Monday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Upon his arrival at King Khalid International Airport, Kolokoltsev was received by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif.

Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al-Faleh, undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, and Russian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sergei Kozlov also received Kolokoltsev.

The two interior ministers discussed means to enhance avenues of security between the two countries’ interior ministries as well as areas of common concern.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308396/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Mideast

 

Former Israeli Soldier Returns Key To Al-Aqsa Mosque After Stealing It 56 Years

May 21, 2023

A former Israeli soldier handed back a key Thursday for a gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem after stealing it 56 years ago, Anadolu reports.

The Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem published a video showing its director general Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib receiving the key from the man, identified as Yair Barack.

In the video, Barack said he was part of the Israeli battalion that fought on the East Jerusalem front, adding that many of his comrades died during the fighting in 1967.

"I arrived at the Al-Mughrabi Gate (in the western corridor of Al-Aqsa Mosque)…and when I looked at the left side, I found a key. I don't know why I put my hand on it and took it," he said.

"I put the key in my pocket, and since then, I've had it in my possession," he added.

Barack said that after 40 or 50 years, he began feeling uncomfortable that the key was still with him "simply because I stole it and I now decided to return it."

"Now I am here. I returned the key that I had stolen. I returned it back to its owners…and this is what Israel should do — to return back to the Palestinians their land, rights, respect, independence, freedom and security," he said.

He said that after returning the key, he felt he "did the right thing."

His handing back of the key came as Israeli settlers along with scores of Israeli officials joined a "flag march" to celebrate their occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Commenting on the controversial march, he said this is one of the worst days in the year for him, adding he stopped celebrating "flag day" a long time ago.

The Flag March is staged by Israeli settlers every year to mark what they call the unification of Jerusalem, in reference to Israel's occupation of the city in 1967.

"I was part of it at that day. I wished I didn't do it, which is occupying Jerusalem," he said.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Source: middleeastmonitor.com

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

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230521-former-israeli-soldier-returns-key-to-al-aqsa-mosque-after-56-years/

--------

 

Oman Mufti urges Islamic nation to support Palestinian resistance

May 22, 2023

The Grand Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamad Al Khalili, urged the Islamic nation to stand by the Palestinian resistance, especially after it confronted the recent Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.

Al-Khalili tweeted yesterday that his call was made "in view of the effort and jihad made by the Palestinian resistance in confronting the Zionist attacks, and of the number of martyrs who went on this path, given what it cost them in terms of effort and giving and what they need to treat their wounded and fulfil their needs. 'whatever you spend in good will be paid back to you in full and you shall not be wronged.'"

He added: "We urge the entire Islamic nation to stand by the Palestinian resistance and support them with the wealth that God has bestowed upon them."

On 9 May, the Israeli occupation launched an attack on the Gaza Strip by assassinating three senior leaders of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement.

The Israeli aggression on Gaza continued for five days, during which the Palestinian Ministry of Health documented the death of 33 Palestinians and the injury of 147 others as a result of the violent Israeli air raids.

Source: middleeastmonitor.com

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

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230522-oman-mufti-urges-islamic-nation-to-support-palestinian-resistance/

--------

 

5 Iranian Security Guards Killed Near Pakistan’s Border

May 22, 2023

At least five Iranian security guards were killed in a clash with militants near the Pakistani border, according to official Iranian TV on Sunday.

The report said the incident occurred in Saravan town near Iran’s Pakistan border in the Sistan and Balochistan province, 1,360 Km southeast of Tehran.

Sunday’s attack was carried out by “a terrorist group that was seeking to infiltrate the country” but whose members “fled the scene after suffering injuries”, IRNA said.

Iran foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani condemned the attack saying Iran expects Pakistan to “crackdown on terrorist groups” and “try to improve the security of the common borders”.

“Certainly, these terrorist groups aim to disrupt the security of the common borders and the security of the people living on the borders of the two countries,” he added.

So far, no group or individual have not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Poverty-stricken Conflicts involving drug trafficking gangs, Baluchi rebels, and Sunni Muslim extremist organizations have occurred in Sistan-Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan.

This was one of the deadliest attacks in the region in recent months.

Source: khaama.com

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

https://www.khaama.com/5-iranian-security-guards-killed-near-pakistans-border/

--------

 

What’s driving Israeli excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Israeli-funded digging in occupied East Jerusalem has been condemned by international archaeologists.

The Israeli government has held its weekly cabinet meeting in tunnels excavated under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

Above ground, a far-right Israeli minister entered the area shortly before the government gathered and proclaimed Israelis as “landlords of Jerusalem”.

This has infuriated the Palestinians, who have been increasingly angered by more incursions by ultra-nationalist Jewish groups into one of Islam’s holiest sites.

Al-Aqsa was also a flashpoint earlier this year, with Israeli police filmed beating Palestinians praying inside the mosque.

The cabinet meeting again brings into focus the controversy provoked by Israeli archaeology and excavation beneath the ancient city.

So why is this work so controversial?

Presenter: Nastasya Tay

Guests:

Alon Arad – Executive director of Emek Shaveh

Mazin Qumsiyeh – Director of Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability

Rami Khouri – Director of Global Engagement at the American University of Beirut

Source: aljazeera.com

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

https://www.aljazeera.com/program/inside-story/2023/5/22/whats-driving-israeli-excavations-under-al-aqsa-mosque

--------

 

Raisi insists on strengthening ties with Muslim, neighboring nations

May 22, 2023

TEHRAN- President Ebrahim Raisi has said that his administration is taking more proactive steps to enhance relations with Muslim nations and neighbors.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Raisi said Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, stressed the importance of Iran’s international ties in his recent remarks.

“Although relations with the target countries have expanded significantly in less than two years, they can still improve beyond the current level given the existing capacities,” the president noted.

Speaking with a group of Foreign Ministry officials and ambassadors to other countries in Tehran on Saturday, Ayatollah Khamenei warned of adversaries’ efforts to sour ties between Iran and its neighbors.

Based on the remarks made by Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran has broad boundaries with its neighbors and the government’s strategy for successful communication with the neighboring countries is of utmost importance.

In other parts of his speech, President Raisi praised the Iranian Navy’s 86th flotilla of warships for completing its task after traveling across the globe in an “honorable and proud” manner.

The president pointed out that the mission depicted “the strength and power of the Navy and the Armed Forces of Iran,” which, he said, “deserves appreciation.”

Source: tehrantimes.com

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

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/485005/Raisi-insists-on-strengthening-ties-with-Muslim-neighboring

--------

 

A role model for the Islamic World

May 22, 2023

Throughout much of the Islamic world, human rights are systematically violated. It was recently reported that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian regime shut down a café for a couple of days for the crime of serving women who refused to don a hijab. This comes after the Iranian regime poisoned hundreds of schoolgirls and violently suppressed protests, which were launched following the Morality Police violently slaughtering Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish girl.

Prominent Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar emphasizes,” There is a correlation between radical Islam and human rights abuses.” Former Israel Consul General to Istanbul Eli Shaked concurred, adding, “Unfortunately, you will not find a single Arab country that is democratic and maintains human rights. Women’s equality is equally lacking.”

“Take a look at Lebanon, which was ruled by the Christians for so many years” he added. “The Christians were the strongest part of the community. Nowadays, it is Hezbollah, which is actually leading Lebanon and it is chaotic. Radical Islamism is the main cause for Lebanon’s disaster. When the Christians were the strongest part of the society, Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East. The country was very successful economically, politically and socially. Now, Lebanon is facing a disaster.”

Additionally, anti-Semitic prejudice is common throughout the Islamic world. Take Indonesia as an example. Indonesian activist Aryo Brahmantyo, speaking on a webinar on “the Holocaust and anti-Semitism today” that was organized for the Irwin Cotler Fellowship Program, stated that Holocaust education is very difficult in most parts of the Muslim world including in his country: “In 2022, a Holocaust Museum was opened in Indonesia. It was the first Holocaust museum in the country. However, the museum would become a source of controversy in Indonesian society.”

“Judaism is not an officially recognized religion in Indonesia,” he added. “This reality adversely affects Holocaust education in Indonesia, especially when accompanied by the lack of interfaith dialogue and suspicions and prejudices against the Jews. The people are often misled by material distributed by anti-Semitic people.”

The plight of Holocaust education in Iran and Lebanon is even worse, and this affects how these societies relate to not only Jewish people, but also other minority groups as well. In fact, the plight of Baha'is in Iran is even worse than the plight of Jews in the Islamic Republic, as their very right to exist is against the law while Jews are granted rights as third class citizens.

However, not every country in the Islamic world is like Lebanon, Iran, or Indonesia. Contrary to the myths, there are some enlightened Muslim countries and such countries can serve as role models for what other Muslim countries can inspire to become. For example, Azerbaijan is a country that every Muslim country should aspire to be like. Rabbi Zamir Isayev stated in an interview that Azerbaijan is one of the few countries in the world where there is zero anti-Semitism. In many places in Azerbaijan, the synagogues are left unlocked at night, for there is no need to lock them, as there is no danger that someone will steal from the synagogue, let alone commit anti-Semitic vandalism or graffiti on the holy site.

Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Israel Mukhtar Mammadov recounted a story of a Muslim man who was seeking medical treatment for his wife in a hospital in Guba near a synagogue: “He was looking for a mosque to pray for the plight of his wife, but could only find a synagogue. So, the local Jewish community invited him inside and he proudly prayed for the fate of his wife inside the synagogue.” He asked, “In what other country do Muslims go to synagogues to pray? But in Azerbaijan, this is considered normal,” as the national government has a multiculturalism policy, where every faith receives equal funding, equal recognition and equal appreciation. In fact, in Azerbaijan, it is common to celebrate Easter, Passover and Novruz in unison, with each faith greeting each other on their holiday.

Rafael Nabizade, an Azerbaijani activist, stated that he had the privilege to hear the testimony of Holocaust survivor Lev Schwartz at Ada University in Azerbaijan: “He is originally from Ukraine but lives today in Baku. He told us the story of his community of 3,000 Jews, which was completely destroyed by the Nazis. His family faced the horror of the Holocaust, but miraculously escaped from death. I have to mention that 300,000 Azerbaijanis out of 600,000 died on the battlefield during World War II and did not return home. Azerbaijan was one of the few countries where the Jewish people found shelter. Most of the Eastern European Jews stayed in Azerbaijan.” Thus, Azerbaijan is a haven for Jews seeking a tolerant anti-Semitic free atmosphere, in a world dominated by hatred and bigotry.

As for women’s rights, Azerbaijan was among the first countries in the Muslim East to grant women the right to vote. Women were granted the right to vote in 1918 in Azerbaijan, a good two years before the United States. Azerbaijan’s Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva is presently a woman, who also serves as the country’s First Lady. In fact, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev is one of the few rulers in the world who respects his wife so much that he decided to make her Vice President. Compare this to the wife of Iran’s President Jamileh Alamolhoda, who is covered in black from head to toe with a chador and does not hold any official position.

Azerbaijan should serve as role model for the entire Islamic world. It is already a beacon of light in a region with much darkness..

Source: israelnationalnews.com

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

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/371785

--------

 

Bahrain to host first meeting of Muslim-Christian Dialogue Permanent Committee

22 May 2023

Manama, May 22 (BNA): The Kingdom of Bahrain is set to host tomorrow Tuesday the first meeting of the Permanent Committee of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue between the Muslim Council of Elders and the Vatican.

The Muslim-Christian Dialogue Permanent Committee was set up per a memorandum of understanding between Abu Dhabi-based Muslim Council of Elders and the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, in the Vatican City.

The committee is one of the outcomes of Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence, which was hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain in November in conjunction with the historic official visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain of His Holiness Pope Francis and Al Azhar’s Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders. The visit was made at an invitation by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The committee meeting aims to coordinate efforts and joint initiatives to foster interreligious and cultural dialogue and promote dialogue between Islam and Christianity.

President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa, will represent Bahrain in the Muslim Council for Elders, which is working on the implementation of many initiatives and projects to promote inter-faith dialogue, in general, and dialogue between Islam and Christianity, in particular.

Bahrain’s hosting of the Permanent Committee of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue reflects the lofty approach of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in supporting all efforts aimed at promoting dialogue and human coexistence.

Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb and His Holiness Pope Francis signed in Abu Dhabi in 2019 the Human Fraternity Document, which is considered the most important in the history of interreligious dialogue.

Source: bna.bh

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

https://www.bna.bh/en/news?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDippk3czWoYxMwpF3u3p7cQ%3d

--------

 

IImam invites prayers to take arms on election night

22 May 2023

During the Friday praying on May 19 at the Cebeci Mosque in Sultangazi, İstanbul, the imam of the mosque, Murat Gündoğdu, invited the community to take arms on the second round of the presidential elections.

İsmail Arı from Birgün Daily reported on the event and also shared the videos recorded during the event by mobile phones showing that the imam invites the prayers to take guns for election night.

Imam Gündoğdu is heard saying, "Prepared your guns for the May 28 night. I have two guns, fully loaded. Let me see if they can! What is this torture that this country suffers because of you for 80 years? What is this that we suffer from the offsprings of the Armenians? We have so many martyrs."

Source: bianet.org

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

https://bianet.org/english/politics/279104-imam-invites-prayers-to-take-arms-on-election-night

--------

 

Bahrain condemns Israeli minister's storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque

22 May 2023

Manama, May 22 (BNA): Bahrain strongly condemned and denounced the Israeli Minister of National Security and a group of extremists storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli official stormed the mosque under the protection of the Israeli police.

Foreign Affairs Ministry considers this act as a serious violation of international law and a provocation to Muslims.

In a statement, the ministry affirmed the unequivocal stance of the Kingdom, calling for respect for the role of Jordan in taking care for sanctities and endowments in accordance with international law and the existing historical situation.

Source: bna.bh

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

https://www.bna.bh/en/news?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDgHEr766ngFx5snQhMDZ%2fmc%3d

--------

 

Pakistan

 

50 Islamist Terrorists Storm Energy PlantIn Northwest Pakistan, Killing 6

MAY 23, 2023

Islamist terrorists stormed a natural gas and oil extraction plant in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing four police and two private guards, police said.

The attack by up to 50 terrorists took place at a plant run by the MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company in Hangu district near the Afghan border, police official Irfan Khan said.

No group has claimed responsibility.

The company did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

How did the Islamist terrorists attack the gas and oil plant in Pakistan?

The police said the terrorists targeted two wells - M-8 and M-10 - with heavy weapons including rocket-propelled grenades.

“The security guards at M-8 repulsed the terrorists’ attack but the casualties took place at M-10," said Khan.

He added that the terrorists also damaged a solar power plant at the gas power plant before fleeing to adjoining North Waziristan, where they had come from.

Various terrorist factions, including the Pakistani Taliban, have operated for years out of remote mountains in the northwest, launching attacks on security forces and infrastructure in their campaign against the state.

Source: jpost.com

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

https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-743928

--------

 

Party members being forced to quit at gunpoint: Imran Khan

23-05-23

An anti-terrorism court of Islamabad has extended PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s bail in eight cases registered under terrorism charges till June 8.

ATC judge Raja Jawad Abbas was hearing Imran Khan’s petition for bail in eight terrorism cases.

In an informal conversation with the media outside the ATC, Imran Khan claimed his party leaders were not quitting the party themselves, but being forced to do so.

“They are being forced to quit the party at gunpoint,” he further claimed.

The PDM’s vote bank is running out, Imran said, adding he was worried only for his party workers and women.

“I am disturbed at the way the workers and women are being treated,” he added.

During the hearing, the judge said the statement had been recorded in one case only. Lawyer Salman Safdar said his client had submitted a written statement.

The lawyer further said it’s not that they did not want to face the cases, adding the Lahore ATC granted time as they joined the investigation there.

The lawyer further said his client’s cases are fixed before the IHC on June 8, adding they are only accused to the extent of personal choices in these cases.

The special prosecutor said Imran Khan did not appear on April 6 and 18, adding a JIT had been formed in four cases but the PTI chief is not joining the investigation.

The high court has asked you to go to the suspect and have him join the proceedings, the court said.

The special prosecutor said it is important to join the probe in an interim bail.

Imran Khan told the court that he faced two assassination attempts, first in Wazirabad and then in the Judicial Complex. The interior minister admitted on Monday that his life was in danger, the PTI chief claimed.

“The interior minister belongs to the opposition party but he has also said my life is in danger,” Imran remarked , adding he is ready to join the probe and the team could come to his home for the purpose.

The court also summoned a senior officer of the JIT in the case of making Imran Khan join the probe in various cases.

Source: samaaenglish.tv

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

https://www.samaaenglish.tv/news/40036184/pakistan-party-members-being-forced-to-quit-at-gunpoint-imran-khan

--------

 

Bushra Bibi heaves a sigh of relief as court grants interim bail in Al Qadir Trust case

23-05-23

An Accountability Court in Islamabad on Tuesday granted deposed prime Minister Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi interim bail till May 31 in Al Qadir Trust corruption case.

Hearing

The former first lady submitted a bail plea through her council Khawaja Haris in Al Qadir Trust Case in Accountability Court.

It stated that under the NAB Amendments Act, the accountability court has the power to take up the bail application.

Judge Muhammad Bashir conducted a hearing of case and approved interim bail of Bushra Bibi until May 31 and directed her to submit surety bonds of Rs 500,000.

He also took her signatures to ensure the submission of surety bonds, before issuing a notice to the investigation officer.

While notice has also been issued to NAB by court and sought reply till May 31.

Imran Khan, Bushra appears before NAB

After, securing bails in separate cases reached the NAB Rawalpindi’s office for PTI chief’s appearance in a £190 million settlement case.

Prosecution team formed

On the other hand, the prosecution team was constituted in the Al Qadir Trust case against Khan and his wife. In this regard, the accountability authority has also issued a notification.

It stated that Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar will lead comprising Sohail Arif, Usman Masood, and Rafi Maqsood.

Khan and NAB

The anti-graft watchdog summoned former prime minister Imran Khan, who was ousted from office through a vote of no-confidence in April last year.

The summons linked to an alleged corruption case involving 190 million pound.

In response to call-up notices, Imran wrote back that he would be in Islamabad on May 23 for the hearing of different cases against him.

He added that he would be able to attend the NAB headquarters in Rawalpindi at 11 am after he was done with the court hearings.

The PTI chief also demanded that the inquiry report of the matter or its copy should be provided to his lawyer immediately.

The anti-graft watchdog investigation team will grill the former prime minister regarding the alleged illegal settlement with Bahria Town worth 190 million pounds.

The Bureau has also sought details of all family assets, bank accounts and transactions from Chairman PTI.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted bail to Imran Khan and ordered him join the investigation.

Apart from this, upon reaching Islamabad, the PTI chairman will also appear in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) for the extension of interim bail in the cases registered under the provisions of terrorism.

On the other hand, Khan is also likely to reach the IHC to get biometrics done in connection with new bail requests in new cases.

Security beefed up

In order to ensure the preservation of law and order in the capital city, a substantial presence of police forces and Rangers has been strategically stationed outside the judicial complex and the NAB office in Rawalpindi.

To further bolster security measures, the law enforcement authorities have taken the step of sealing off the roads surrounding the NAB office situated in Melody. This restriction applies to all unauthorized individuals seeking entry into the office premises.

What is the Al Qadir Trust case?

Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz recorded his statement with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) along with former ministers of Imran Khan’s cabinet in the Al Qadir University land allotment case.

The development surfaced on Wednesday as NAB pursues a graft case against Imran Khan.

Others included in the case are former federal overseas minister Zulifiqar Bukhari, and former advisor on accountability Shehzad Akbar are also involved in the case were land was allotted for Al Qadir Trust University in exchange for ensuring that the £190 million (Rs70 billion) seized in the UK are returned to Riaz in Pakistan.

SAMAA TV sources claimed NAB has recorded an initial statement of Malik Riaz in the case.

It is pertinent to note that Riaz appeared before the bureau at its Rawalpindi office two weeks ago.

Sources told SAMAA TV that Malik Riaz was questioned about his connection with the case and whether he had allotted land for the varsity, details of the allotment agreement and any conditions imposed and records of the same.

Last year in November, NAB had sent a call-up notices to property tycoon Malik Riaz and asked him to come up with complete record regarding purchase of 458 kanals in Sohawa Tehsil, the agreement through which Bahria Town donated land to Al Qadir Trust along with revenue documents, and details of other property transferred by him, or by any of his relatives, in favor of Al Qadir Trust or any of its trustees.

Source: samaaenglish.tv

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

https://www.samaaenglish.tv/news/40036163/pakistan-bushra-bibi-heaves-a-sigh-of-relief-as-court-grants-interim-bail-in-al-qadir-trust-case

--------

 

Islamabad ATC grants Imran bail in 8 cases related to Judicial Complex violence

May 23, 2023

An anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on Tuesday granted PTI chief Imran Khan bail in eight cases pertaining to the violence at the Judicial Complex.

The court approved the bail, while hearing the PTI chief’s plea, till June 8.

The former premier is also expected to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad later today in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case.

Meanwhile, an accountability court has granted bail to Bushra Bibi, the wife of Imran Khan, in the Al Qadir Trust case until May 31. Earlier in the day, she filed a plea with the court, seeking bail to prevent her arrest by the NAB.

The hearing

As the hearing began, Imran’s counsel informed the court that there were a total of eight cases filed against his client and that Imran had recorded his statements in all of them.

Expressing readiness to answer any further questions, Barrister Safdar, the counsel for the PTI chief, requested the court to allow him to present arguments for all the cases on the same day.

The court suggested that the lawyer could present arguments for “at least one case.” Safdar responded by highlighting that Imran was also required to appear before an accountability court on the same day, indicating time constraints.

He requested the court to allow him to present arguments on the following day and permit Imran to participate in the investigation within the courtroom premises, similar to a previous allowance granted by a Lahore ATC.

In response to Safdar’s statements, the prosecutor expressed dissatisfaction, noting that Imran had not appeared before the investigating officer despite being ordered to do so by the Islamabad High Court. Additionally, the prosecutor mentioned that Imran had also failed to appear before the JIT that had been formed.

The prosecutor provided details of the dates on which Imran had been summoned but did not comply. In response, the judge remarked, “Did you not see that you were given the directive to go to Imran?” The judge then asked the prosecutor if he had provided the investigation questionnaire to the former premier.

Subsequently, the prosecutor requested the court to order Imran to participate in the investigation process regarding the cases.

Barrister Safdar stated that he had prepared the statements, but there was a lack of interest in accepting them. In response, the judge inquired about the progress made by the JIT established for cases filed in Punjab. The lawyer replied that the JIT had visited Imran’s residence in Zaman Park to facilitate his participation in the investigation.

Judge Abbas subsequently inquired about the preferred method for Imran to participate in the investigation, prompting the prosecutor to state that he wanted Imran to comply by appearing when summoned.

The judge then questioned why the prosecutor had not recorded Imran’s statements during his period of police custody at the Police Lines office. In response, the prosecutor explained that Imran was under the custody of the NAB during that time.

Judge Abbas made a remark, saying, “Custody is custody. What does this even mean?” He further asked the prosecutor why he had not approached the court for permission to record the ex-PM’s statement while he was in custody.

Every time I step out of my home, I put my life at risk: Imran

As the hearing proceeded, Imran approached the rostrum and informed the court about an assassination attempt, stating, “An assassination attempt was made. The second one took place at the judicial complex.”

He further expressed concerns about his safety, saying, “Every time I step out of my home, I put my life at risk. The interior minister has acknowledged the danger to my life, and I believe there is a threat.”

Imran added, “In Lahore, the JIT came to my house and conducted investigations there. We cooperated with them. I only request that I be included in the investigation, similar to what the Lahore High Court has allowed.”

The court inquired if the JIT was present in the courtroom, to which the prosecutor responded that they were not. Judge Abbas commented, “This shows their lack of seriousness. If they were serious, they would have been present here. At least someone from the JIT should have been present.”

The ATC then summoned the JIT to appear within thirty minutes and provide information to the court regarding how they intended to record Imran’s statement.

Subsequently, the court extended bail for the former premier in the cases until June 8.

Imran has already stated that he sees “80 per cent chances” of his arrest when he will be in the capital for his court hearings.

During a session on Twitter Spaces last night, however, Imran called on his supporters to remain peaceful in case he is taken into custody. “I urge people to remain peaceful because if you get violent, they will get a chance to crack down again. We have to always protest peacefully,” he said.

The PTI chairman claimed the chances of his arrest were “high” even though he had secured bail in all cases. “I have all the bails required but the situation is such that they can arrest me again,” he said.

He added that peaceful protest was a fundamental right and nobody could stop people from organising a non-violent demonstration, even outside the General Headquarters.

NAB summons

Earlier this month, the NAB had summoned Imran and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case and the investigation into the alleged misuse of authority as public office holder in aiding and abetting illegal transfer of £190 million, for personal gains, but they did not appear before the bureau.

Imran, however, had submitted a detailed reply on May 18 and said that he was not the custodian of the document signed between property tycoon Malik Riaz’s family and the National Crime Agency (NCA) neither did he have any copy of the document.

“All the allegations made by you in the call-up notice are absolutely false, frivolous and concocted, and based on a deliberate misconception of law and facts, and baseless conjectures and surmises,” the PTI chief said in his reply.

He said the correspondence between the government of Pakistan and NCA, UK constituted an official record and should be with the department concerned.

“Similarly, the correspondence (sought by NAB) comprises official records and should be with the department concerned of the government, and I cannot provide the same as I am not its custodian,” he said, adding that documents regarding the Al-Qadir Trust would be available with the chief finance officer (CFO).

“In this respect … [CFO] informs me that he has already provided you (NAB) with the bulk of the documents mentioned in your call-up notice. Accordingly, you may kindly check your record before issuing me a fresh call-up notice as requested,” Imran said.

He also termed the case “politically motivated”. “Your (NAB) allegation that a call-up notice dated 02-03-2023 was earlier issued to me, but I neither joined the inquiry nor provided documents specified therein … This allegation is absolutely false and contumaciously malicious,” he said and added during the entire course of the inquiry, NAB sent only one call-up notice which was promptly responded to.

“Thereafter, you neither sent me any further call-up notice during the inquiry, nor did you refute the purely legal objections … ,” he added.

He said the NAB purportedly completed the inquiry and converted it into an investigation on April 28, but he was not provided with a copy of the inquiry report. The PTI chairman accused the accountability watchdog of playing an “instrumental [role] in my abduction”.

He said he was present in the high court to file a plea seeking a court order to acquire a copy of the investigation report, but he was taken into custody. “You, after taking me into custody pursuant to my illegal arrest, delivered to me a copy of the said inquiry report,” he said in response to the notice.

He further said he would request that before serving him a call-up notice and recording his statement, a copy of the said inquiry report along with his clothes and shaving kit he had left behind at Police Lines Islamabad might also be sent to him at his Zaman Park residence.

Subsequently, NAB had on May 19 again served summons on Imran and his wife for May 23 (today) to record their statements.

Imran’s arrest saga

Imran was whisked away from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises by paramilitary forces in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9, leading to violent protests across the country. The PTI chief had immediately approached the high court for release but it had declared his arrest legal.

On May 10, an accountability court in Islamabad granted the graft watchdog eight-day remand of Imran.

The ex-premier had then moved the Supreme Court, which had declared the arrest to be “unlawful” on May 11 and had told Imran to appear before the IHC the next day.

“The manner of execution of the arrest warrant issued by the Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) dated 01.05.2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case within the premises of the IHC against the petitioner is invalid and unlawful,” the ruling had said.

The top court had also highlighted that the fundamental rights of the petitioner under Articles 4, 9, 10-A and 14 of the Constitution had been infringed.

On May 12, the IHC barred authorities from arresting Imran in cases — including those that are undisclosed — registered across the country until (May 15). The court had also accepted Imran’s bail petition in the Al-Qadir Trust case for two weeks and stopped authorities from arresting the PTI chief till May 17 in any case registered in Islamabad after May 9.

Last week, the IHC had extended its order to prevent Imran’s arrest in cases filed against him after May 9 until May 31.

Source: dawn.com

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1755219/islamabad-atc-grants-imran-bail-in-8-cases-related-to-judicial-complex-violence

--------

 

PTI moves top court against proposed military trials

May 23, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The PTI on Monday approached the Supreme Court against the federal government’s decision to prosecute civilians under the Army Act, carry out crackdown on supporters over violence on May 9, and summoning of the military under Article 245 of the Constitution.

The former ruling party urged the court to declare the government’s decision to try civilians in military courts as well as the crackdown on the party and its supporters as illegal and unlawful.

Moved through Advocate Gohar Khan, the PTI also challenged the deployment of the armed forces in aid of civil powers in Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan. The trial of civilians through military courts, the petition argued, was a clear violation of constitutional guarantees of due process and fair trial. Such trials are highly deprecated internationally and widely considered as falling short of providing a fair trial, it added.

“They constitute a violation of Pakistan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which has been ratified by the country,” the petition said.

Even domestically, the petition argued, the Supreme Court has repeatedly deprecated such practice. The trial of thousands of workers of a political party or a leader through such courts is unheard of in the history of this country, the petition argued.

It added the limited circumstances in which military courts for civilians were utilised needed constitutional amendment which was done earlier in relation to the hardcore terrorists only. The workers and supporters now being sought to be tried through military courts were not part of any terrorist organisation and pose no threat to national security, the petition stressed.

Deployment of army

Under Articles 9, 14, 17, 19 and 23, the government’s decision to deploy the army was aimed at depriving the citizens of Pakistan of access to their constitutional right to life, dignity, association, equality and protection of property. The political parties that have the support of and alliance with the federal government were allowed to hold a public gathering at the gate of the Supreme Court despite the imposition of Article 245 and Section 144 and other legal prohibitions.

“Thus clearly there is a discriminatory attitude in violation of Article 25 which ensures equality of citizens,” the petition said.

It said the Constitution envisaged the right to social, economic and political justice, but this right too, in effect, stands denied to the people of Pakistan because of the severity of actions and immunities afforded in a mala fide manner and in excess of jurisdiction through the guise of Article 245.

The petition alleged that the power of Article 245 was not rightly exercised by the cabinet which has to approve the request made by the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The constitutional authority of the KP and Punjab governments was questionable following the lapse of the time period allocated to the caretaker government, it added.

The petition alleged that the present political propaganda campaign of labelling PTI as a terrorist organisation was also another tactic to deny the holding of the elections and eventually oust party chairman Imran Khan and the petitioner party from the electoral process.

Moreover, there is a clear contradiction between holding the petitioner political party responsible for carrying out terrorist acts against the military installations and the stance of the government in invoking Article 245 to allow armed forces to act in aid of civil power for the entire province.

The invocation of Article 245 in an arbitrary manner was also violative of Section 131 and sections 4 and 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 which provides that the armed forces will use the necessary force to prevent an offence.

The crackdown against the political party by means of using excessive force under the garb of Article 245 is arbitrary, disproportionate and unreasonable, the petition said.

Source: dawn.com

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1755196/pti-moves-top-court-against-proposed-military-trials

--------

 

COAS announces to observe ‘Youm-e-Takreem-e-Shuhada-e-Pakistan’ on May 25

May 22, 2023

Award distribution ceremony in honor of martyrs and veterans was held at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday.      

Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir conferred military awards on the officers and troops of Pakistan Army for their bravery and outstanding service to the nation during operations.                      

51 officers were awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military), 22 officers and Jawans were awarded Tamgha-e-Basalat and two Jawans were awarded special medals of the United Nations.          

A large number of senior officers of Pakistan Army and families of martyrs participated in the ceremony.      

Speaking on the occasion, the Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir said we are living in a free land due to great sacrifices rendered by the martyrs.

He said sacrifices of martyrs and services of Ghazis are our valuable asset.  He said Pakistan Army as an institution always remembers martyrs and their bereaved families.

The Army Chief said every soldier and officer of the Pakistan Army puts his duties and responsibilities first, regardless of regional, linguistic, and political prejudices.

He said a strong army guarantees the security and unity of the country.              

Condemning recent attacks on military installations and memorials of martyrs, he said such incidents are intolerable.

The Army Chief announced to celebrate "Youm-e-Takreem-e-Shuhada-e-Pakistan" on Thursday.

Source: radio.gov.pk

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

https://www.radio.gov.pk/22-05-2023/a-strong-army-guarantees-security-unity-of-country-coas

--------

 

2 Soldiers, 3 Militants Killed In Operation In Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

May 22, 2023

Three terrorists were killed during a security force operation in the Tank area of Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the military said.

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani army, announced that two soldiers were killed during an operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The security forces carried out an intelligence-based operation on Saturday in response to the alleged presence of terrorists, the statement said.

“The killed terrorists had remained actively involved in numerous terrorist activities against security forces as well as innocent citizens,” said the ISPR.

“Sanitization of the area is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists found in the area,” said the military.

In a similar incident, officials said three Pakistani soldiers were killed in a heavy exchange of fire between the security forces and militants in Zarghoon, Marget area of Balochistan province.

“The troops on the post retaliated readily to the fire raid, thereby pushing back the terrorists. However, in the ensuing heavy exchange of fire, three soldiers embraced shahadat while one terrorist was sent to hell by the security forces,” a statement said.

Unprecedented terrorist attacks have occurred in Pakistan during the previous two years, killing hundreds of law enforcement officers and ordinary Pakistani.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) terrorist organizations have recently carried out several devastating strikes.

Meanwhile, Pakistani officials said the government is determined to eliminate militant groups and maintain peace, stability and progress.

Source: khaama.com

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

https://www.khaama.com/2-soldiers-3-militants-killed-in-operation-in-pakistans-khyber-pakhtunkhwa/

--------

 

South Asia

 

Acting Minister of Interior Urges UN to Invite Islamic Emirate to Meetings on Afghanistan

23-05-23

The acting Minister of Interior, Sirajuddin Haqqani, met with the UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, and he requested that representatives of the Islamic Emirate be invited to UN meetings held on Afghanistan.

According to the MoI, Otunbayeva welcomed the improvement in security, saying that the UN will continue its aid for the people of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the chief of staff for the office of the political deputy Prime Minister met with Scott Smith, director of political affairs at UNAMA, and they discussed countering narcotics, and assistance to Afghanistan.

“There was discussion about humanitarian assistance, climate change and improvement of relations between the Islamic Emirate and world. The UN will play a positive role in this regard,” said Hassan Haqyar, press director for the office of the political deputy of the PM.

In a meeting held between former President Hamid Karzai and Markus Potzel, deputy head of UNAMA, the reopening of schools and universities for girls, women’s access to work, and the start of an intra-Afghan dialogue were agreed upon as important.

Karzai said on Twitter he and Potzel discussed the current situation in the country as well as humanitarian aid.

Political analysts said that the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) can play an essential role in removing challenges.

“The responsibility of the Islamic Emirate is to answer their legitimate wishes, regarding the ensuring of human rights, women’s rights or the education of women,” said Wahid Faqiri, a political analyst.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier host an international meeting on Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar.

Guterres told reporters that a similar meeting would be held in the near future.

Source: tolonews.com

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-183473

--------

 

None Will Be Allowed To Do Politics of Killings in Bangladesh: I & B Minister, Dr Hasan

22 May 2023

DHAKA, May 22, 2023 (BSS) - Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League (AL) Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud today said none will be allowed to do politics of killings and create the 1975-like incident anymore in the country.

"Many conspiracies were hatched during the period of Bangabandhu too. Bangabandhu was assassinated when the perpetrators had failed to face him politically," Dr Hasan said.

e was addressing as the chief guest a demonstration in protest against the threat of killing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in front of Mohammadpur Town Hall in the city this afternoon. The Dhaka City North unit of AL organised the rally.

awmaker Sadek Khan, Dhaka North AL President Bazlur Rahman, Organizing Secretary Azizul Haque Rana and leaders of different ward units spoke on the occasion with Mohammadpur AL President MA Sattar in the chair.

He said now opponents of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, anti-liberation forces and anti-development forces want to assassinate Sheikh Hasina as they failed to face her politically and it was accidentally disclosed by their Rajshahi district unit convener.

"None will be allowed to do politics of killings in the country. Awami League remains prepared. None will be allowed to create situations like '1975' anymore. I am asking our leaders and workers to burn the hands which will carry bombs to hurl," he said.

Dr Hasan said the countrymen is frightened and even the US Embassy has become frightened as the BNP is doing politics of killings, giving the threat of killing, carrying out attacks on police and vandalizing vehicles.

Now the US has alerted its citizens due to the ill-politics of the BNP, he said, adding that today the BNP wants to make people frightened by doing ill-politics.

"The BNP should not be allowed anymore to play the game of making people frightened. We will have to stay in the streets," he said.

He said AL is a party which came to today's position by making struggles and movements on the streets.

"Bangabandhu's blood is flowing in the veins of our leader, Sheikh Hasina. This blood doesn't know how to compromise and this blood marches ahead, defying all threats," he said.

About today's demonstration, the AL joint general secretary said AL was holding a peace rally in protest against the BNP's evil efforts to create disorder.

"But today we are holding a protest rally as the BNP's Rajshahi district convener in his address on Friday last gave death threat to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," he said.

The minister said Ziaur Rahman grasped the state power through the assassination of Bangabandhu.

Zia sustained his staying in power by killing a huge number of army personnel and 22,000 leaders and workers of AL, he mentioned.

Dr Hasan said Ziaur Rahman's wife Begum Khaleda Zia also did the politics of killings.

At the directives of Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman, gruesome grenade attacks were carried out on August 21, 2004, he said.

"BNP and militant groups killed people by launching attacks on our rallies in different places," he said.

In 2013-2014-2015 period, they killed innocent people by carrying out arson attacks, he said.

"So, the BNP does politics of killings. They cannot come out of this politics. They and anyone will not be allowed anymore to do politics of killings in the country," he said.

Source: bssnews.net

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

https://www.bssnews.net/news/top-news/126825

--------

 

Bangabandhu earned admiration of masses for his uncompromising stand for global peace: PM

22 May 2023

DHAKA, May 22, 2023 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the World Peace Council awarded Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman its highest prize- the Joliot-Curie Peace Medal-for his commendable contributions to global peace and freedom.

 "Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's uncompromising stand in favor of global peace earned him the profound admiration of the masses around the world," she said in a message issued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Joliot-Curie Peace Medal Award to Bangabandhu.

Sheikh Hasina said inclusion of the name 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib' on the same list as that of other globally renowned recipients of this award like Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Jawaharlal Nehru, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Pablo Neruda, Martin Luther King, Yasser Arafat, Leonid Brezhnev once again demonstrated the high esteem with which the global community honored and respected Bangladesh's Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

When the world is troubled by so many wars and conflicts at the present juncture, his acceptance of this award fifty years ago reminds us that there is no alternative to peace for the well-being of humankind, she added.

She said Bangabandhu was dedicated to the cause of peace in his lifelong struggle. In his student life, he fearlessly rushed to rescue the helpless people facing danger, risking his own life during the horrific riots in Kolkata, she said, adding that as a young politician, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman participated as a delegate in the first-ever Asia-Pacific Regional Peace Conference held in Beijing and in 1956, he participated in the World Peace Conference held in Stockholm.

The premier said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was imprisoned for more than a decade during his quest for economic and political freedom for the people of Bangladesh.

After being released from a Pakistani prison in January 1972, he declared at his first press conference in London- 'friendship with all and malice towards none' as the core principle of peace, which was later adopted as the guiding principle of the foreign policy of newly independent Bangladesh, she added.

"Bangabandhu always supported the freedom-seeking people of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and expressed unequivocal support for the oppressed," she said.

The Prime Minister expressed her happiness for taking many programmes, including publication of a souvenir book by the Cabinet Division to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the conferment of the Joliot- Curie Peace Medal to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"I believe that celebration of the 50th anniversary of Joliot-Curie Peace Medal Award to Bangabandhu will be beneficial for learning more about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib-the immortal exponent of global peace," she said.

Source: bssnews.net

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

https://www.bssnews.net/news/126793

--------

 

Dhaka wants to further deepen ties with Qatar: Dr Momen

DHAKA, May 22, 2023 (BSS) - Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today said Dhaka wants to further deepen its relation with Qatar for getting more energy from the world’s largest LNG export nation as well as ensuring well being of Bangladeshi expatriates working there.

“We want more energy from Qatar … we want to make the relation deepen,” he said at a media briefing at foreign ministry hours before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s  departure for Doha to attend the Qatar Economic Forum-2023 from May 23 to 24.  

He said the two-time visits by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Doha within three months this year bear the sign of Bangladesh's visible presence in the international economic arena as well as its close friendly relations with Qatar.

During the last visit of PM, the foreign minister said Dhaka wanted to import more LNG from Qatar to ensure Bangladesh’s energy need amid ongoing global economic crisis.   

Momen said that the negotiation between Dhaka and Doha to import more LNG gas has been going on while the issue would be discussed during this visit. “They (Qatar) have already shown positive sign (to export LN to Bangladesh),” he added.  

On the sideline of the economic forum, Prime Minister Sheikh Haisna will hold a meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.  

Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi and Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia Khalid A. Al-Falih will also call on Bangladesh Premier during the visit.

Momen said the 3rd economic forum will focus on nine important contemporary issues - energy security; technology and innovation; changing market systems; innovation in the health sector; climate finance; trade strategies and arrangements; manpower in the fourth industrial revolution; sports in the digital world; and the future of foreign investment.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka for Doha this afternoon on a three-day official visit to attend the Qatar 3RD Economic Forum-2023 at the invitation of Emir of Qatar.

A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the Premier and her entourage members, took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka at 3.13pm.

The Qatar Economic Forum is the Middle East's leading voice dedicated to global business and investment.

The main objective of this forum is to find out a solution by increasing mutual cooperation among the international community to deal with the multi-faceted challenges and crisis going on globally and the adverse economic consequences arising from them.

On May 23, Sheikh Hasina will join the opening session of the 3rd QEF and address the students of Qatar University in Doha. 

On May 24, the Premier will join the QEF, have a meeting with Emir of Qatar and visit Awsaj Academy, a specialised school.

The Prime Minister is expected to return home in the morning of May 25.

The Premier entourage included Foreign Minister, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Private Industry and Investment; State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and senior government officials.

Foreign ministry’s Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin was also present at the briefing.

Source: bssnews.net

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

https://www.bssnews.net/news-flash/126791

--------

 

Former Islamic Emirate Leader Remembered on 7th Anniversary of Death

23-05-23

The former leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, was remembered in a ceremony attended by senior members of the Islamic Emirate’s officials in Kabul.

On the 7th anniversary of the death of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the former leader of the Islamic Emirate, the second Deputy PM Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi said that the Islamic Emirate’s policies do not intend hostility to neighbors and world countries, but they want relations with everyone based on mutual respect.

He called on the international community to remove sanctions on Afghanistan and to implement development projects.

“In the political aspect, there were preconditions that happened during the tenure of Mullah Mansour, which was the prisoner swap between the invaders and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The prisoner swap with the inmates in Guantánamo Bay took place with the permission of Mullah Mansour,” Hanafi said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, the acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum Shahabuddin Delawar said that no one should be arrogant due to his position and seat and that all people should see themselves in the Islamic Emirate.

“We did Jihad to satisfy Allah,” he said. "It is very arrogant to say 'I did Jihad and am a scholar of Hadith.' What are you? You are just a normal human...,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff of the Islamic Emirate’s Defense Ministry, Fasihuddin Fitrat, praised the achievements of Mullah Mansour, saying that his political understanding prevented Afghanistan from turning into a proxy war among major powers.

Source: tolonews.com

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-183472

--------

 

‘We Want Iranian Officials to Align Water Demands with Treaty’: Muttaqi

22-05-23

The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, referring to recent tensions over water between Kabul and Tehran, said that the recent droughts should not be ignored, and Kabul expects the Iranian officials to make their demands based on the treaty.

Addressing a ceremony on the 7th anniversary of the death of former Islamic Emirate leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the acting Minister of Foreign Affair Amir Khan Muttaqi said that the Islamic Emirate is committed to the Helmand water treaty signed in 1973.

“Regarding Iran's water rights, the Islamic Emirate is committed to the water treaty of 1973 but the drought that exists in Afghanistan and region should not be ignored,” he said.

He also said that the issue of water should not be politicalized and it should be solved through negotiations. 

“The pain of the people of Sistan and Baluchestan is our pain. Our hearts melt for them as much as they melt for the people of Afghanistan, but we also suffer from a shortage of water,” Muttaqi said.

The tensions between the two neighboring countries has risen since Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said that the current Afghan government should ensure Iran's water rights of the Helmand River based on international treaties. 

“I will remind the rulers of Afghanistan that they should not regard our demand as being ordinary and must take it very seriously,” Raisi said. 

According to the 1973 treaty, Afghanistan is committed to sharing water from the Helmand River with Iran at the rate of 26 cubic meters of water per second, or 850 million cubic meters per annum.

Source: tolonews.com

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-183468

--------

 

Mine Blast Kills 1 Child, Injures 1 in Afghanistan’s Ghazni

May 22, 2023

One child was killed, and another was injured when an explosive device left over from a past conflict exploded in the Deyak district of Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, according to provincial spokesperson Niyaz Mohammad.

On Sunday, two youngsters, ages 9 and 12, found the explosive device that resembled a toy and tried to carry it home. However, a provincial official said that the explosive device detonated quickly, killing one of the children on the spot and injuring the other.

A similar incident occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, killing two sisters.

Meanwhile, on May 9, another incident occurred in the southern province of Kandahar, killing three children from the same family.

The incident occurred in Haji Aziz area of Kandahar City when the children found the mortal mine which had been left from the past wars.

According to the official, the siblings were playing with the mine when it exploded, killing all three.

In recent years, unexploded bombs from earlier conflicts have proliferated nationwide, killing and injuring men, women, including children.

International organizations, including Australia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), have made contributions to support demining in the country since last November.

Afghanistan is one of the most contaminated with unexploded mines in the world due to the four decades of conflict, killing dozens of people each month, including children.

Source: khaama.com

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

https://www.khaama.com/mine-blast-kills-1-child-injures-1-in-afghanistans-ghazni/

--------

 

OCHA Asks For Urgent Funding To Help Disabled People In Afghanistan

May 22, 2023

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan, funding is urgently needed to assist Afghans with disabilities.

OCHA tweeted that 2.4 million people will live with disabilities in Afghanistan by 2023 and are disproportionately impacted by the current humanitarian crisis.

These people already encounter many obstacles when accessing essential services, healthcare, education, and job opportunities.

Their problems have been worsened by the current crisis, which is defined by conflict, displacement, and economic instability. As a result, they are now even more vulnerable.

The organization noted that aid organizations seek to assist 2 million people with disabilities, but financing is desperately needed to support them.

These plans cover a range of initiatives offering crucial support, such as healthcare, therapy, assistive technology, and inclusive educational initiatives.

The objective is to guarantee that those with disabilities receive the support required to regain their independence, engage in society, and use their fundamental human rights.

However, timely and enough finance is crucial in making these plans a reality.

Source: khaama.com

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

https://www.khaama.com/ocha-asks-for-urgent-funding-to-help-disabled-people-in-afghanistan/

--------

 

Africa

 

In last-minute demolition spree, El-Rufai bulldozes 3 Islamic schools, 1 hospital belonging to Shi’ites in Kaduna

May 22, 2023

Days to the end of his tenure, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has commenced nucturnal demolition of properties belonging to members of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, across the state.

DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the properties are among the 48 marked for demolition by the outgoing governor.

In a leaked memo addressed to the governor and dated April 20, the director general of Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority, KASUPDA, Ismail Umaru-Dikko, sought the governor’s permission to demolish 907 structures across the state.

In the memo which was sighted by DAILY NIGERIAN, some of the reasons for demolition include encroachment, urban renewal upgrades, and non-compliance with the Special Regularisation Programme.

Confirming the incident to DAILY NIGERIAN on Monday, the spokesperson for the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, said government officials led by heavily armed security operatives began the demolition exercise in the early hours of Sunday.

According to him, the structures demolished include schools, hospitals, and residences belonging to their members.

Mr Musa said: “Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El-Rufai attacked and demolished three Islamic schools, one hospital, and some parts of the residence of one Alhaji Musa Birnin Yaro, a follower of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.

“The three Islamic schools demolished by the outgoing governor on Sunday at around 2:00 am belong to the Islamic movement in Nigeria under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky (H).

“They also demolished a hospital called Kawthar Hospital and Maternity.

JaizBank

“A copy of the Holy Qur’an was sighted on the ground in one of the demolished schools as the bulldozer’s operators destroyed everything in the building, not minding the holy books within.

“The three Islamic Schools demolished by the Governor using state resources, security, and equipment are: Fudiyya Nursery, primary and Secondary School Tudun Wada Kaduna, Fudiyya Islamic School Unguwan Rimi, Rigasa Kaduna and Fudiyya Islamic School Dan Madami, Rigasa Kaduna.

“Today being Monday 22nd May, 2023, at around 3:00 am, they went and demolished the residence of one Alhaji Suleiman.

“The residence has an Islamic school where his children and those of his neighbours, most of whom are not members of the Islamic movement, receive teachings.

“They went further to Maraban Jos, where they demolished a registered Fudiyya Nursery and Primary School completely.”

Mr Musa noted that all the schools demolished by the governor were duly registered with the state government.

Spokesman for the governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, did not respond to DAILY NIGERIAN calls nor reply to an SMS seeking government’s reaction on the matter.

Source: dailynigerian.com

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

https://dailynigerian.com/minute-demolition-spree-rufai/

--------

 

“I’m Ready To Lose Friends”, Islamic Scholar Appointed Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Speaks

May 22, 2023

Islamic preacher and new chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, has sent a warning message to friends and associates AbdulLateef said his friends should stop putting pressure on him just because of his recent federal appointment The former Lagos state commissioner for home affairs vowed not to meddle in awarding of contracts because that is not within the purview of his responsibilities PAY ATTENTION: Donate to Legit Charity on Patreon. Your support matters! FCT, Abuja - AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, the newly-appointed chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has asked friends and associates to stop putting unnecessary pressure on him with requests. Writing on his verified Facebook page on Friday, May 19, AbdulLateef declared that he would not award any contract throughout his tenure. Abdulhakeem Abdullateef was recently appointed by Buhari as chairman of the governing board of the NDIC. Photo credit: Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, Muhammadu Buhari Source: Facebook Why I won’t award contracts, new NDIC boss, AbdulLateef AbdulLateef said he would avoid awarding contracts because it “is not a part of my responsibilities”. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU "I am never going back home": Pretty Nigerian girl in tears as she ditches... PAY ATTENTION: Join Legit.ng Telegram channel! Never miss important updates! Furthermore, the former Lagos commissioner vowed not to interfere in the functions of management as he is only at the NDIC ‘to lead the governing board of NDIC in good corporate governance’. He said: “Stop putting pressures [sic] on me with requests. I will not honour your requests. I am going to be very different. I am ready to lose friends and relationships. "I will not award any contract throughout my tenure because that is not a part of my responsibilities.” Awarding contracts in Nigeria and how some deals breed corruption A 2021 investigation by MAWA Foundation uncovered how Nigerian government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have continuously violated procurement rules in awarding contracts, actions that have helped undermine development and breed corruption. Although there exist laws that regulate contract awards in Nigeria to ensure that there is no room for corruption, the investigation by MAWA Foundation uncovered how MDAs are engaged in an apparent abuse of the laws. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU Black Sherif: Netizens question scary satanic signs at musician's New York... The exposé revealed that MDAs are awarding contracts in total disregard and breach of the law. NDIC asks depositors of 20 failed banks to come for claims payment Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the NDIC asked customers of 20 failed banks in Nigeria to come for verification and payment of their deposits that are more than the guaranteed sums known as liquidation dividends. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDIC, Bello Hassan, made the call while delivering a speech at the Corporation’s special day at the 36th Lagos International Trade Fair. NDIC begins customers' verification of failed banks 20 years ago Legit.ng also reported that the NDIC started verifying the insured depositors of Peak Merchant Bank in liquidation. This is in line with its duty of deposit guarantee and reimbursement of depositors in case of bank failure.

Source: legit.ng

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

https://www.legit.ng/nigeria/1535580-im-ready-lose-friends-islamic-preacher-appointed-ndic-chairman-speaks/

--------

 

Restoring Grazing Routes Will Resolve Herders-Farmers Clashes — Miyetti Allah

Tue, 23 May 2023

The Bauchi State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Sadique Ibrahim Ahmed, has said that bringing back cattle grazing routes is the only way of resolving clashes between herders and farmers.

Sadique, who is the Chairman of the Coalition of Fulani Associations, said this when he interacted with newsmen yesterday in Bauchi.

He said, “There are cattle routes and grazing grounds, and cattle rearers are confined to those areas. Those that go outside those areas are arrested and farmers are asked to come to make their claims. If they don’t have the money their cattle are sold and farmers are settled.

“So we have appealed to state governors and the federal government to go back to that again and make sure that they prepare those grazing areas and put the veterinary in place.”

Bauchi State: Let service delivery be our guide

Nigeria accounts for 14% of world’s maternal deaths — Osinbajo

“What is happening to herders today in Nigeria is worrisome. Many of them are being chased from a place where their forefathers have lived for more than 100 years. Today, a Fulani man is being chased away from a legitimate land he bought with his money; that is not fair.”

Many people are killed yearly across Nigeria in violence between herders and farmers.

Source: dailytrust.com

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

https://dailytrust.com/restoring-grazing-routes-will-resolve-herders-farmers-clashes-miyetti-allah/

--------

 

Gunmen kidnap 5 Islamic group members along Abuja-Kaduna expressway

May 22, 2023

Gunmen suspected of being kidnappers have reportedly abducted five members of an Islamic group.

The five abductees are members of Dawah Tabligh Jammah, who on Sunday were returning home from a Dawah programme held in Kano State.

The victims were abducted in the early hours of Sunday along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

A member of the group who spoke with DAILY POST noted that all five victims are from Oyo State.

Mallam Ibrahem Al-Amin, a member of the group who spoke with DAILY POST on Monday, confirmed the abduction.

He said: “Between Kaduna and Abuja expressway on Sunday, five of our members were kidnapped. They were coming from the Dawah programme in Kano, which started on Thursday and ended on Sunday. They are members of Dawah Tabligh Jammah, all five of them are from Oyo State.”

Efforts made by DAILY POST to get a reaction from the Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Muhammed Jalige, were futile. Calls to his phone were not answered. He also did not reply to text messages sent to him up until the time of filing this report on Monday.

Source: dailypost.ng

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

https://dailypost.ng/2023/05/22/gunmen-kidnap-5-islamic-group-members-along-abuja-kaduna-expressway/

--------

 

Plateau: 4 killed Sunday night as natives chide Miyetti Allah for distorting facts

May 22, 2023

Four men were on Sunday night shot and killed at the Daika town, Panyam district of Mangu local government of Plateau State.

Although no security agency confirmed the development as the Police Public Relations Officer, Alfred Alabo did not pick up his call at the time of this report but a resident, Manasseh Bamshak said the incident happened at about 11 pm.

Recall that since the repeated attacks in many communities in the local government area, residents are making efforts to protect their homes as they keep vigil to prevent further killings.

He said, “Four young men were shot and killed in front of their homes at about 11: 00 pm on Sunday, at Daika town. Some Fulani militias were passing on a motorbike along the Mangu-Panyam road and they opened fire and killed them. Among those killed are Musa Dapada and three others.”

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Affairs, Mwaghavul Development Association, MDA, Da Lawrence Kyarshik has chided the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria, MACBAN over their stance of the ongoing attacks in Mwaghavul land.

MDA is the umbrella body for the indigenous tribe of Mangu LGA.

Kyarshik who issued a rejoinder on the MACBAN’s letter to diverse governments and security agencies alleging a “genocidal mission against Fulani communities in Plateau State,” said the said letter is “the clear intention of the leadership of MACBAN to mischievously delude the general public in order to cover up their sustained genocidal atrocities against the peace-loving ethnic nationalities on the Plateau.

His words, “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have responded to MACBAN’s letter, because it is an unintelligent mumbling, and more importantly, because we are still mourning the loss of our loved ones in the most planned and coordinated genocidal attacks on the Mwaghavul nation by Fulani terrorist herdsmen, obviously led by MACBAN.

“However, due to the deliberate false allegations raised in the letter against the Mwaghavul Nation, and the clear intention of the leadership of MACBAN to mischievously delude the general public in order to cover up their sustained genocidal atrocities against the peace-loving ethnic nationalities on the Plateau, especially the one they are currently executing against the Mwaghavul nation, it is crucially important to respond to it, in order to correctly contextualize the issues.

“We find it laughable that MACBAN falsely claimed that the Mwaghavul nation plans a genocidal mission against the Fulani in Mwaghavul land. For the avoidance of doubt, the Mwaghavul people are one of the most peaceful people throughout the country and are known to have accepted and peacefully hosted other ethnic groups, including the Fulani…

“They should be burying their heads in shame, for the deep pains they have inflicted on a peaceful nation, rather than deliberately distorting facts, in a desperate effort to cover up their atrocities…”

He noted that the majority of crimes including kidnapping and armed robbery being perpetrated in Mangu LGA are done by criminally-minded herders and urged MACBAN to “stop playing the victim when it is in the public domain that they are the aggressors…”

Source: vanguardngr.com

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

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/05/plateau-4-killed-sunday-night-as-natives-chide-miyetti-allah-for-distorting-facts/

--------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Need To Bridge Gap Between Sharia, Conventional Finance Literacy: Financial Services Authority

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The gap between sharia financial literacy and conventional financial literacy needs to be addressed, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has said.

The 2022 National Literacy and Inclusion Survey conducted by the OJK pegged the sharia financial literacy rate at 9.14 percent and conventional financial literacy rate at 49.68 percent, Head of Literacy, Inclusion, and Finance at the OJK Aman Sentosa informed.

"The point is: indeed, there is still a gap between sharia finance literacy and conventional finance literacy. But this, we still need to be grateful because there is some improvement, despite being far below the rate of conventional finance literacy," he said at the Indonesia Sharia Finance Olympiad (ISFO) here on Monday.

The gap between the two variables needs to be made smaller through massive information dissemination among the people, including students, about sharia finance so as to improve their literacy on the topic, he added.

Sentosa highlighted the risk of people falling victim to fraudulent schemes if they are not well-informed about the aspect—to the point that they may lose their trust in financial services providers as a whole.

"Low financial literacy leads to intense dissatisfaction and high rates of public complaints to the Financial Services Authority about financial services, including reports about faux investments, illegal lenders," he elaborated.

At the same event, Secretary General of the Indonesian Association of Islamic Economists (IAEI) Astera Primanto Bhakti said Indonesians do not have a really good grasp of sharia finance yet, despite the need for such understanding growing ever more vital each year.

"There is always the dichotomy of conventional versus sharia among the people. when, in (reality), there are many sharia economy activities done by people, for example, transactions which begin with akad (Islamic contract)," Bhakti pointed out.

The OJK hosted the ISFO, a quiz competition on sharia economy and finance, as part of an effort to improve people's, particularly students’, sharia financial literacy, he added.

He said he expects that the three winners of the competition would help spread knowledge about sharia economy and finance among others.

Source: en.antaranews.com

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

https://en.antaranews.com/news/282471/need-to-bridge-gap-between-sharia-conventional-finance-literacy-ojk

--------

 

‘Allah’ issue: Proposal to improve policies to be tabled at Conference of Rulers’ meeting in July

23-05- 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to improve the policies and regulations relating to the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims will be tabled at the meeting of the Conference of Rulers in July, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) said.

He said the government will also refer to the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) chaired by the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for the purpose.

“We will refer first to the MKI chaired by the Selangor Sultan to seek their advice to improve the policies so that a final decision can be made, which is to prohibit the use (of the word ‘Allah) in the peninsula but be allowed with certain conditions in Sabah and Sarawak.

“InsyaAllah, the proposal will be tabled at the Conference of Rulers’ meeting in July,” he said during Minister’s Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Anwar said this in reply to Datuk Idris Ahmad (PN-Bagan Serai) who wanted to know whether the government has obtained the approval of the Malay Rulers and consulted the state Islamic religious councils first before withdrawing its appeal in the case relating to the use of the word ‘Allah’.

Anwar said the decision to withdraw the appeal was part of the efforts to improve all the related policies and regulations.

“It was done after taking into account the Attorney-General’s views (to have better regulations). If not, there will be appeal after appeal due to loopholes.

“That’s why we want to put an end to it by amending all policies to make it clearer so that no such cases can be taken to court. For me, it is better this way,” he said.

On May 17, Anwar in a statement said the Cabinet has obtained the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to submit its proposal to improve the enforcement of policies relating to the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims to the Conference of Rulers.

He said the proposal will also include recommendations to strengthen inter-racial unity and inter-faith harmony in Malaysia.

The issue was discussed at the Cabinet meeting following the Attorney-General’s decision to withdraw the appeal against the High Court’s ruling on the case involving a Christian woman, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, and her publication material containing the word of ‘Allah’. –Bernama

Source: thesundaily.my

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

https://www.thesundaily.my/local/allah-issue-proposal-to-improve-policies-to-be-tabled-at-conference-of-rulers-meeting-in-july-LB11011082

--------

 

PM Anwar: Non-Muslim use of 'Allah' restricted to East Malaysia, govt to amend laws

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today pledged that the government will amend and revoke all laws that are in conflict with a Rulers Council's decision that the word “Allah” can only be used by Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia, and with restrictions for non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak.

During Prime Minister's Question Time (PMQ), Anwar said this was to ensure that the issue may no longer be contested in any courts, after the 2021 landmark decision in the Jill Ireland case where Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Nor Bee Ariffin ruled the government had erred in issuing the 1986 ban on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

“On the advice of the attorney general, the decision is to streamline all related regulations. Otherwise, if we appeal, the case may surface again because of existing conflicts.

“So, because of that we are putting an end by amending all regulations to make it clear and no further cases can be brought to court,” said Anwar during Prime Minister's Question Time today.

He said this in response to Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru) who urged the government to justify its decision to withdraw an appeal in the Ireland case.

Prior to that, Anwar also announced that the government will present a proposal to the Conference of Rulers in July on the usage of "Allah" for non-Muslims in the country.

He told Parliament that the root cause of the issue was due to the contradicting directives from the administration and Home Ministry back in 1996, hence, the current government wishes to streamline all regulations revolving around the matter.

"Although there were differences in opinion, some agreed that it (the use of the word) could be allowed for the non-Muslims (in general). They, however, are personal views," he added.

Previously, Anwar said that persisting with the appeal in the “Allah” court dispute with a Sarawakian Christian would have been futile after a 1986 Cabinet and the Conference of Rulers had decided that non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak could use the word under certain conditions.

On April 18, the government and the home minister withdrew its appeal against the High Court's 2021 decision in Jill Ireland's case, which had quashed the Home Ministry's December 1986 directive which banned the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications in Malaysia.

The High Court had declared the Home Ministry's December 1986 directive to be “unconstitutional and unlawful”, as it contradicted and was inconsistent with the Cabinet's May 1986 policy decision regarding the use of the word “Allah”.

The High Court’s 2021 decision did not touch on theology or religious debate, but was based purely on legal and constitutional issues as well as all available evidence presented in court including historical documents — which documented the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications in Malay as early as the year 1629.

News of the appeal withdrawal was reported on May 15, which was confirmed by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

On May 19, Saifuddin took to Twitter to explain that the court case involved an administrative issue linked to the government's 2008 seizure of eight compact discs from Jill Ireland.

The eight CDs contained the word “Allah” and were for her personal use as she was a Melanau Christian whose primary language was Bahasa Malaysia.

Saifuddin said that the Anwar administration would as a “responsible government” study a more comprehensive directive to handle the issue of the usage of the word “Allah”, since the old Home Ministry directive in 1986 – which contradicted the Cabinet's May 1986 decision – could not be used or applied.

The word “Allah” is Arabic for God and had been adopted into the Malay language, and had been used for generations and hundreds of years by Malay-speaking Christians in the country — especially those from Sabah and Sarawak — in the practice of their religion and professing of their faith.

Source: malaymail.com

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/05/23/pm-anwar-non-muslim-use-of-allah-restricted-to-east-malaysia-govt-to-amend-laws/70542

--------

 

Muslim World League commends MUI for work at international events

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa praised the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) for its commendable work at the International Conference on Religion, Peace and Civilization.

"We appreciate the great work of the MUI and all religious foundations that took part in initiating this event," he stated at the event via video that was monitored online in Jakarta, Monday.

Al-Issa said this event can enlighten the views, thoughts, and morals of the people regarding religion, peace, and civilization.

He also said that this event was important to hold in the wake of several cases of religious phobia that he believes cannot be tolerated.

According to Al-Issa, religion cannot be separated from civilization and human life in society. He also quoted the words of the modern philosopher from France, Henri Bergson.

"Many people gather without knowledge, art, and philosophy, but there are no people, who gather without religion," the former minister of justice of Saudi Arabia stated.

He stressed that religious differences were not a justification for disputes, but instead, upheld the establishment of a respectable human civilization.

He believes that the existence of differences is useful for understanding one another, maintaining diversity, and for healthy competition among religious believers, so that they work hand-in-hand for a common good.

"Dialogue like this is not an option, but it is a strategy to integrate all the interests of society," he affirmed.

He stated that all religious leaders in the world must work together to avoid disputes and build a harmonious life among religious adherents.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Al-Issa prayed that this event would be facilitated and launched, and those related to this event be accepted for their good deeds by Allah Subhanahu wa Taala (SWT).

Source: en.antaranews.com

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

https://en.antaranews.com/news/282480/muslim-world-league-commends-mui-for-work-at-international-events

--------

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kerala-story-muslims-maharashtra-akola/d/129838

 

New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Loading..

Loading..