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Three Muslim Men Risked Their Lives To Save Around 30 People From Drowning During The Durga Idol Immersion Ceremony In West Bengal

New Age Islam News Bureau

10 October 2022


Jalpaiguri: Rescuers attempt to stop people from getting swept in flash floods in the Mal river, in Jalpaiguri district, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Idol immersion of several community Durga pujas was being held in the river when the tragic incident happened. Photo: PTI


• Protests On Mahsa Amini Death In Police Custody Continue Across Iran, Rights Group Reports 185 Deaths, Including 19 Minors

• Head of Muslim Group: Islamophobic Hate Crime Rising as UK Government Tries to 'Appease Far-Right'

• Don’t Be Selective About Injustice, Say Malaysian Uyghur Supporters

• Sanders And Others May Succeed In Removing Military Support For The Saudi Monarchy



• AIMPLB Moves Supreme Court Opposing Pleas Against Places Of Worship Act

• Darul Uloom To Hold Seminar To Discuss Madrasa Education With Representatives From Kul Hind Rabta e Madaris e Islamia

• BJP MP Parvesh Verma Orders The People Of Delhi To Financial Boycott Muslims At A Meeting Organised By Vishwa Hindu Parishad

• MP: After 3 Homes Razed Over Dispute at Garba Pandal, 5 More Muslim Families Served Eviction Orders

• Muslims Not Getting ‘Due Share’ Despite Significant Contribution: Sharad Pawar

• Two terrorists killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag

• Supreme Court to decide on validity of Karnataka hijab ban this week

• Houses of Muslims being demolished over ‘petty’ charges: AIMPLB

• Muslim federation to reserve seats for women in its panel

• Muslims Use Condoms Most, Numbers On Decline: Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi



• Two security members killed in Iran night-time protests

• ‘Blood on your hands:’ Iran hackers interrupt broadcast with message to Khamenei

• Iran’s Raisi says students won’t allow enemy’s ‘false’ dreams to come true

• IRGC, Army, Border Guards Kick Off Joint Naval Drill in Persian Gulf

• Gov't Spokesman: West Engaged in Genocide Campaign Against Iranian Patients

• Visitors to Iran should respect laws, foreign ministry says as protests continue

• Turkey’s ‘Disinformation’ Bill To Have Pre-Election ‘Chilling Effect’: Watchdog

• Four Yemeni soldiers killed as troops attack Al-Qaeda stronghold in Abyan

• Normalization deals enormously benefited Israel’s arm industry: Report

• Retaliatory armed operations will continue in occupied al-Quds, West Bank: Palestinian resistance groups



• Germany Wants Those Behind Iran Crackdown Banned From EU, Assets Frozen: Report

• Iran-made drones used in Russian strikes against Ukraine: Zelenskyy

• Three men face murder charge after stabbing near UK mosque

• UN chief says West’s ‘moral responsibility’ to help Pakistan


Southeast Asia

• Veep: Umno not against PAS’ agenda to unify Muslim community, we're against Bersatu

• 196-year-old Jamae Chulia Mosque in Chinatown to get $3m restoration from end-2022

• Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolves Parliament, calls snap polls


North America

• New York Muslim Police Officers Society Sends Relief Goods To Flood-Hit Pakistan

• US says failed rocket attack targeted American troops in Syria

• Senator Murphy: Decades-long US-Saudi partnership is ‘broken’

• Rocket attack targets base housing US occupation troops in northeastern Syria

• US approves $3 billion sale of air-defence missile system to Kuwait



• UN Should Ensure Implementation Of International Law Everywhere Equally: Bilawal

• Pak Minister Baig’s abduction reflects growing resurgence of Taliban in Gilgit-Baltistan

• Imran Khan claims ruling party behind audio leak

• Pak minister, two foreigners abducted by militants in Gilgit-Baltistan freed

• Imran urges youth to study Seerat-e-Nabvi for prosperity

• FO rejects India’s ‘unwarranted remarks’ on FM Bilawal and German counterpart’s joint press conference

• Govt will not seek Paris Club debt restructuring: Dar

• Muslims in Pakistan celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday


South Asia

• Acclaimed Afghan Singer Joins Hazara Protests in Washington D.C.

• Afghans still worried over drone strikes after US puts limits on drone use

• Unidentified Gunmen Kill Man in Northern Afghanistan

• Taliban Meets Members of Afghan Sikh and Hindu Community

• Taliban Delegation Meets Top US Officials in Doha


Arab World

• Saudi Ports Authority Signs $170 Mln Contracts To Develop Jeddah Islamic Port

• Lebanon expecting final draft from US mediator over maritime demarcation within hours

• Iraqi Kurdistan lawmakers delay polls and extend term

• British warship intercepts dhow carrying $16.6 mln worth of meth in Arabian Sea

• Saudi leaders send condolences to Thai king over mass shootings

• Saudi foreign minister discusses relations with counterparts from Malta, El Salvador



• 2023 Poll: Plot Against APC Muslim-Muslim Ticket Thickens As Dogara, Lawal, Aliero Move To Adopt Consensus Candidate

• Eid el-Maulud: Sani, Bello congratulate Muslims, urge prayer for sustained security improvement

• Greece and Egypt call Turkish-Libyan gas deal ‘illegal’

• 76 dead after boat capsizes in south-eastern Nigeria

• Algeria, France sign 11 agreements to boost cooperation

• UN condemns ‘heinous killing’ of migrants in Libya

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Three Muslim Men Risked Their Lives To Save Around 30 People From Drowning During The Durga Idol Immersion Ceremony In West Bengal


Jalpaiguri: Rescuers attempt to stop people from getting swept in flash floods in the Mal river, in Jalpaiguri district, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Idol immersion of several community Durga pujas was being held in the river when the tragic incident happened. Photo: PTI


Astha Savyasachi

Oct 10, 2022

In the midst of festivities, in the broad daylight of October 4, a crowd of locals in the Kheda district of Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gathered to watch a group of Muslim men being tied to a pole and flogged with canes by police personnel.

The men were accused of throwing stones at a Garba event. They were seen begging for mercy as plain-clothes cops continued to thrash them in full public view while the frenzied crowd chanted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Decades from now, when history will recollect the events from today’s India, the crowd, even the children, relishing and cheering at the people being flogged, would be seen as no less horrifying than the Roman Colosseum which sponsored the shows of death.

The very next day, on the other end of India, three Muslim men risked their lives to save around 30 people from drowning in flash floods during the Durga idol immersion ceremony in West Bengal.

On Vijaya Dashmi, hundreds of people had gathered on the banks of the Mal river near Malbazar town in Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district to participate in the Durga idol immersion ceremony. All of a sudden, at around 8:30 pm, flash floods struck and scores of people were swept away.

The 20-year-old Toriful Islam and his friends were excited about the Dussehra mela. They never miss out on Vijaya Dashmi celebrations and the idol immersion ceremony. With his arm on his best friend’s shoulder, Toriful was standing on his tiptoes to look further when a flood struck the river. Within minutes, the floods wrecked havoc with people being washed away.

Talking to The Wire, Toriful, a class 12 student and the youngest son of a local pan seller, said he “felt terrible and jumped right into the river”.

He dreams of being an academician and being able to study for as long as he can. When asked if the thought of his life bothered him before jumping right into the river, he smiled and said, “See, I only have one life. What I saved was 10 lives. Ten is greater than one. Isn’t it?”

When asked about the crowd cheering at the Muslim men being flogged publicly, he said, “Festivals are for everyone. If I as a Muslim had stood there and looked at Hindus being washed away, it would have been a sin. We are humans. We should become humans before becoming Hindus and Muslims.”

He added, “I would ask those who discriminate: What is the purpose of being a human? It is to help fellow humans. Where would we go if we do bad to others? Hindus and Muslims together make up our beloved Hindustan.”

Toriful told us about his family’s reaction, “My family was very happy and proud. They said that you saved 10 lives. You didn’t run away from a difficult situation. Our parents and teachers always teach us to do good for others.”

When asked if he looks forward to any reward, he promptly replied, “No. No. Even if they give me any reward, any money, I won’t take it. I didn’t do it for money. I did it because I couldn’t see people dying in front of my eyes. And till I am alive, I will keep helping those in need.”

Toriful saved the lives of at least 12 people. His relative, the 22-year-old Foridul Islam, who works as a master mason, also saved around 10 lives.

Another Samaritan who came to the rescue of hundreds of people was Mohammad Manik, a 28-year-old welder, who went to attend the idol immersion ceremony with his friends. He alone rescued around 10 people, including two children and three women.

“I saw people, children as young as my son, being swept away by the flood. I couldn’t just stand there and watch. So I dived in and tried my best to rescue people,” said Manik, the father of a three-year-old boy.

He lives in West Tesimala village, a few kilometres from Malbazar, with his parents, wife and son. He told The Wire, ‘While I was helping those who were clinging to the rocks, I realised that my right big toe was badly hurt and I was bleeding. I borrowed a handkerchief from a firefighter, tied it around my toe and continued my work. Nothing else came to my mind. All I thought was that I have to save as many people as possible.”

At around 11:30 pm, he was taken to the district hospital where he received first aid.

He added, “I don’t see Hindus and Muslims. I only see humans. In Islam, they say that saving the lives of others is a deed of sabab. I did that only. I took Allah’s name and dived in. I had to save people. Both Hindus and Muslims have the same blood in their veins.”

He further said, “I have a message for those who believe that Hindus and Muslims cannot celebrate their festivals together. People of all religions should live together like brothers. In my locality, all the workers live in harmony. There are Hindus, Muslims, Adivasis and people from all castes. All are my brothers. On Eid, they come to our house to enjoy the sewayin and on Diwali, we go to their place and light the diyas.”

He smiled and asked, “Isn’t that the purpose of festivals?”

Source: The Wire

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Protests On Mahsa Amini Death In Police Custody Continue Across Iran, Rights Group Reports 185 Deaths, Including 19 Minors


A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini. (Image: Reuters)


09 October, 2022

Protests ignited by the death of a young woman in police custody continued across Iran on Sunday despite a fierce crackdown by the authorities, as a human rights group said at least 185 people, including children, had been killed in the unrest.

Demonstrations that began on September 17 at the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in her Kurdish town of Saqez, have turned into the biggest challenges to Iran’s clerical leaders in years, with protesters calling for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“At least 185 people, including at least 19 children, have been killed in the nationwide protests across Iran. The highest number of killings occurred in Sistan and Baluchistan province with half the recorded number,” said the Norway-based Iran Human Rights in a statement on Saturday.

Denying use of live bullets, authorities have described the protests as a plot by Iran’s foes including the United States, accusing armed dissidents - among others - of violence in which at least 20 members of the security forces have been reported killed.

Videos shared on social media showed protests continued in dozens of cities across Iran early Sunday with hundreds of high school girls and university students joining in despite the use of tear gas, clubs, and in many cases live ammunition by the security forces, according to rights groups.

A video posted on Twitter by the widely followed activist 1500tasvir showed a man shouting “don’t hit my wife, she is pregnant,” while trying to protect her from a dozen riot police beating the couple in the city of Rafsanjan. Other videos showed protesters blocking some streets in southern Tehran.

Some posts on social media said shops were closed in several cities after a call by activists for a mass strike.

Reuters could not verify the videos and posts. Details of casualties have trickled out slowly, partly because of the restrictions on the internet imposed by the authorities.

Amini was arrested in Tehran on September 13 for wearing “inappropriate attire.” She died three days later at a Tehran hospital.

A state coroner’s report on Saturday said Amini had died due to pre-existing medical conditions. Her father has held the police responsible for her death with the family lawyer saying “respectable doctors” believe she was beaten while in custody.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Head of Muslim Group: Islamophobic Hate Crime Rising as UK Government Tries to 'Appease Far-Right'





Anas Altikriti, CEO of Cordoba Foundation, told Anadolu Agency that the British Muslim community has sensed that “there is a tangible rise in far-right and far-right groups that are now in government”.

His comments came after the publication of statistics Thursday by the Home Office that showed Islamophobic hate crimes in England and Wales skyrocketed last year with Muslims the most targeted group for the year ending March 2022.

The number of religious hate crimes recorded by police that targeted Muslims was 3,459, a 42% increase since last year.

“The figures that came out today only go to confirm the actual feeling that is quite tangible and quite powerful throughout the Muslim community we have been sensing, and seeing, observing ourselves, the rise in anti-Muslim sentiments and actions as well as the narrative, the overall overriding narrative, whether it be official, whether it be through society -- that the classes Muslims as almost second class citizens on the margins of society that are deserving of being the targets of the overall rise of far-right and nationalist sentiments,” said Altikriti, whose group tries to bridge “the gap of understanding between the Muslim World and the West”.

“It's something that confirms those kinds of feelings. I think that the actual figures are far greater than what we saw will be it that they do confirm that Muslims are the targets of the, you know, the greatest anti-religious sentiments expressed against any religious minority. The fact is that this is something that we've been warning about for more than a decade now,” he said.

Altikriti underlined that “there is a tangible rise in far-right and far-right groups that are now in government, only 15 years ago, were almost banished to the sidelines of societies”.

He said, “They were not entities, they didn't really matter in any election or any. But now, less than two decades on, we see that many, throughout Europe and even here in the UK. They have a huge impact on not only government, as we saw in Austria, as we see in Sweden, as we see now in Italy, for instance, but also on the narrative itself, because what happens is that with the rise of far-right sentiments, the sort of mainstream right in our case, for instance, the Conservative government tends to try to appease the far right by adopting some of their positions. So all of a sudden, you have the far-right, albeit, not actually in government, but their positions, their viewpoints, their sentiments, their statements are actually being adopted and espoused by the actual government.”

“What these figures go to show is that we are at risk of the sorts of dissemination and the breakup of the very fabric of British society and it's something that we must pay serious attention to. I think that the Conservative government is espousing policies that the Conservatives of 25, 30, 35 years ago would have never even imagined, and particularly the kind of narrative in regards with the immigrants and the minorities and the like,” said Altikriti.

“It's something which is absolutely disgraceful in terms. I mean, only two days ago, we heard the Home Secretary no less,” referring to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s recent remarks that it was her ‘dream’ to see planes taking off to carry immigrants to Rwanda,” he said.

“And as I tweeted, an immigrant daughter of immigrants, who expressed that her dream, no less, her dream - not a goal, not her ambition - her dream was to see a flight take off, carry immigrants off to the other side of the world,” he added.

“It's something that is quite shameful to be perfectly honest. I mean, our position, today, we're talking about the figures in regards to the anti-Muslim sentiments but in all, whether it be anti-religious anti-minority sorts of statements whether it be the sorts of nationalist overtures that belittle anyone else it's something that we see every single day,” said Altikriti. 

Altikriti said far-right examples were in pockets of societies before but they are now “in the corridors of government and that's something which is extremely dangerous”.

“This replicates the kind of images we're seeing across Europe. Again, I mean, we take, for instance, Sweden, which only a few years ago was celebrated by the entire world as being one of the most open, one of the most tolerant, one of the most accepting and welcoming countries and societies to minorities from across the world,” he said.

“Now, where the far-right is a serious player and influential player in the makeup of the government. We've seen Italy for instance, elect a virtually fascist prime minister. So, what we're seeing in Europe is, unfortunately, being replicated across to the UK and even further beyond. You know, in the past we saw how the tide of Trumpism actually reflected on many of our policies here in Europe,” he added.

“And that hasn't gone away. I mean, despite the fact that (Donald) Trump isn't the (US) president, but Trumpism is very, very much present,” said Altikriti.

He added, “And I think when we're asked about the reasons for this, I think that it's a cumulative success of failures of governments or governments on economic issues and social issues, on intelligence and the such and the constant usage of in this particular case of Muslims as a viable and acceptable target to explain or to justify these governmental political economic failures."

“So this, with the accumulation, bit by bit, we've arrived at a stage where in the UK we are facing one of the greatest cost of living crises -- that is in living memory since World War II – problem, and we're looking at a recession the likes of which we haven't seen, and with it, is this narrative about, how minorities should shoulder the blame,” he said.

“So once again, we're not learning from our mistakes, unfortunately,” he added. 

“The first thing I would warn against is to ask the victims to solve the problem of the culprits. The abuser in this particular case, you know, someone who's racist, a government, which is Islamophobic -- I mean, what can I do?” said Altikriti.

He said he finds it “extremely difficult to engage in discussions whereby the Muslim community is discussing building fences around the community trying to isolate ourselves -- we'll secure ourselves with CCTV cameras with high fences with bodyguards and as such, that's not what we want as Muslims”.

“We are British citizens. We want to be part of Britain or we want Britain to be part of our religious institutions. We want to accept our neighbors into our mosques. We want, you know, to have the discussion about the problems and the challenges that face all of us, whether it be about the cost of living, whether it be about energy bills, whether it be about government budgets, and taxation and all of that. We want -- we are part of all of this and we want to be part of the general discussion. The issue of racism, whether it be Islamophobia, whether it be anti-Semitism, whether it be any other targeting of any other minority religious or otherwise, it's something that we all have to work together in order to solve,” he added. 

Altikriti said the problem is not only Islamophobia but other religious groups targeted by hate crimes.

“I can't solve only my problem as a Muslim. So, the problem of Islamophobia was for instance -- my Jewish neighbors are being attacked, or my Hindu neighbors are being attacked, or the such or someone is trying to stir up problems such as we're seeing in Leicester and Birmingham and as such, between Hindus and Muslims,” he said.

“This is something that we must work all together in order to confront and I'm not saying here about us as minorities, I'm talking about all British people because as we saw with the civil rights movement in America whether it be 30,40, 50 years, 200 years, there will come a time when the culprits when the perpetrator of these discriminatory crimes will have to come to account," he added.

“And we don't want our children to pay the price for the ignorance and arrogance and stupidity of people amongst us today,” he said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Don’t Be Selective About Injustice, Say Malaysian Uyghur Supporters


Malaysian supporters of China’s Uyghur community at a protest rally in Kuala Lumpur in July. (Abim pic)


Reshna Reem Ganesan

October 10, 2022

PETALING JAYA: The government has been accused of practising a double standard by abstaining during a United Nations vote on abuse of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China.

Azmi Abdul Hamid, president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations, said Malaysia should not be selective when it comes to standing against injustice.

He said Malaysia had upheld itself as being “very principled” about human rights and voicing the plight of the oppressed. However, the country made an exception about taking a stand on the alleged abuses faced by the Uyghur community.

Azmi said the government must explain its decision. Malaysia should not allow itself to be dictated by “oppressive powers”, he said.

Last week, Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub and Terengganu Amanah chief Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah questioned the government’s decision, with the latter describing it as embarrassing.

Another group of Uyghur supporters said Malaysia had chosen, by its abstention, not to seek truth and help those being persecuted.

Zuhri Yuhyi, president of the Malaysia4Uyghurs group, said: “We have kowtowed to China because our leaders don’t want it to interfere with trade relations. Our silence is complicity.”

Malaysia4Uyghurs is a coalition of Islamic, Christian and human rights groups advocating the plight of Uyghurs.

On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council voted 19-17 against holding the debate on Xinjiang and the Uyghurs. Malaysia was among 11 countries which abstained. The others were Argentina, Armenia, Benin, Brazil, Gambia, India, Libya, Malawi, Mexico and Ukraine.

In a report on Xinjiang last month, former UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet cited potential “crimes against humanity” against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities being carried out in the Chinese province.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Sanders And Others May Succeed In Removing Military Support For The Saudi Monarchy


US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, sits next to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., June 16, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP photo)


08 October 2022

Independent US Senator Bernie Sanders and others may succeed in removing military support for the Saudi monarchy, according to an American political commentator in Oregon.

Charles Dunaway made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday after Sanders called for the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia and an end to military aid to the conservative kingdom for lowering oil production.

“If Saudi Arabia, one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, wants to partner with Russia to jack up US gas prices, it can get Putin to defend its monarchy,” the Vermont senator tweeted Friday after the OPEC+ bloc announced a cut in daily oil production.

“We must pull all US troops out of Saudi Arabia, stop selling them weapons & end its price-fixing oil cartel,” he added.

In a related move, a group of lawmakers has introduced a new bill that aims to end the US military support to Saudi Arabia.

House Representatives Tom Malinowski, Sean Casten and Susan Wild launched the motion on Wednesday.

“We see no reason why American troops and contractors should continue to provide this service to countries that are actively working against us,” they said.

Several congressional Democrats have had similar remarks on the announcement, which is poised to counter-sanctions on Russian oil and potentially drive up gas prices ahead of the midterm US elections.

“Once again, a handful of US Senators are calling for an end to military aid to Saudi Arabia.  Earlier this year, the same Senators tried and failed to reduce military support for the Saudi monarchy because of the war against Yemen.  Similar efforts were made following the dismemberment of Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi,” said Dunaway.

“In each previous case, these efforts have failed but this time the US is in a far different position.  The US/NATO provocations in Ukraine have forced Russia’s hand and triggered a war that could result in the end of American hegemony.  Unfortunately for the US, its liberal use of illegal sanctions has eliminated several major OPEC+ nations as suppliers,” he stated.

“With an election only 4 weeks away, and US gas prices over $5/gallon in several key states, the Biden regime will be under considerable pressure to take some action, or at least give voters the perception that they are taking action,” he added. 

The ABC News-Washington Post poll, produced by Langer Research Associates and published on September 25, found that two-thirds of US voters think the upcoming midterm elections in November are more important than past midterms. 

The poll found that 67 percent of voters feel casting a ballot in the midterms is more important than in past elections, with 35 percent saying this year is “much” more important.

“The neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment in Washington seems to have eliminated diplomacy as an option because it implies a willingness to compromise.  Instead, we see continuing pressure and threats against those who fail to obey, or outrageous demands being made of negotiating parties.  This case is different,” the analyst noted.

“Given the key role the Saudis play in West Asia, particularly in support for the Israelis and opposition to Iran, it seems unlikely that Senator Sanders and others will succeed in removing military support for the monarchy,” he concluded.

Legislation introduced in the House by Representatives Sean Casten (D-Ill.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) and Susan Wild (D-Pa.) would remove American troops and military hardware from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The number two Democrat in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin, also demanded the passage of the legislation this week, and voiced support for a broader reevaluation of the Washington-Riyadh relationship, specifically seeking “unanswered questions” about the role of the Saudi state in the 9/11 attacks.

“The Saudi royal family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation,” Durbin said Thursday. “It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without this alliance with these royal backstabbers.”

US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer rebuked Saudi Arabia. The senior Democratic senator from New York threatened Saudi Arabia, saying Riyadh will pay the price for what he called its “deeply cynical action” of supporting a 2 million-barrel cut in oil supplies, which will put more pressure on the American economy.

“What Saudi Arabia did to help Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans. We are looking at all the legislative tools to best deal with this appalling and deeply cynical action, including the NOPEC bill,” Schumer tweeted on Friday.

Source: Press TV

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AIMPLB Moves Supreme Court Opposing Pleas Against Places Of Worship Act

Oct 09, 2022

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the Supreme Court opposing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of certain provisions of a 1991 law that prohibit the filing of a lawsuit to reclaim a place of worship or seek a change in its character from what prevailed on August 15, 1947.

In its impleadment application, the AIMPLB told the top court that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 is a “progressive legislation” in line with the secular values of Indian polity and promotes harmony, public tranquillity and peace amongst the different sections of the people.

A bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit is scheduled to hear on October 11 a batch of petitions questioning the validity of certain provisions of the 1991 law.

The Muslim body in its application filed through advocate MR Shamshad contended that the Act does not violate any cultural rights of any section of the people and is based on the fundamental features of the Constitution which are unamendable.

Therefore, any attempt to repeal the said Act or to amend the same annihilating the basic aims and objects or principles on which the said Act is based would be “unconstitutional and thus void”, the AIMPLB contended.

The impleadment application filed in the matter of ‘Vishwa Bhadra Purjari Purohit Mahasangh’ and others claimed that hearing the petitions challenging the validity of the law will only create problems on the ground and alleged that the litigants have a “political agenda”.

It added that “the Act is conceived to promote harmony amongst the different sections of the people and prevent the breach of public order and promote public tranquility and peace.

“The Act, therefore, does not violate any cultural rights of any section of the people. The Act envisages peaceful co-existence and thereby promotes the diversity of cultures in our country. The Act achieves the objective of promoting syncretic culture (Ganga-Jamuna Tehzeeb) which is the basic ethos of Indian culture”.

The AIMPLB claims that there are innumerable instances in history where the Jains and Buddhist places of worship have been converted to Hindu temples as well as Muslim places of worship have been converted to Gurudwaras and Hindu places of worship have been converted to mosques.

The Muslim body further said that the object and the purpose of the Act were to put an end to ancient and stale claims relating to the places of worship.

It said any dispute relating to a place of worship between different communities is highly sensitive and endangers the breach of public order and disturbs the peace and tranquility of the society.

“Our country has witnessed blood baths after the controversy erupted in respect of Babri Masjid”, it said and referred to the finding of the Srikrishna Commission set up to enquire into the causes of the riots in Mumbai in December 1992 and January 1993 and the causes of the bomb blast that occurred in March 1993.

It said that the unequivocal finding of the Commission is that the December 1992 riots were due to the hurt feeling that the Muslims felt by the “shameful act of demolition of Babri Masjid” on December 6, 1992.

On September 9, the top court had said that the pleas challenging the validity of certain provisions of a 1991 law can be referred to a five-judge constitution bench for adjudication and had asked the Centre to file a reply to the PILs questioning the law.

The top court, on March 12 last year, had sought the Centre’s response to one of the pleas filed by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay challenging the validity of certain provisions of the law which maintain the status quo concerning ownership and the character of religious places as prevailing on August 15, 1947.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Darul Uloom To Hold Seminar To Discuss Madrasa Education With Representatives From Kul Hind Rabta e Madaris e Islamia

10 Oct 2022

Darul Uloom Deoband, an Islamic seminary, is all set to hold a seminar to discuss madrasa education. At least 4,000 madrasas across India are affiliated with the Darul Uloom. The seminar will see representatives from Kul Hind Rabta e Madaris e Islamia, the largest madrasa management body.

The seminary’s Vice Chancellor Abul Qasim Nomani told the Times of India that the body was constituted to “improve the education system of madrasas and solve its problems” and that “necessary steps will be taken to discuss the education system and its problems.”

Meanwhile, Darul Uloom’s spokesperson Ashraf Usmani told the publication that the purpose of the seminar was to “discuss education quality provided by madrasas in the country.” The publication also quoted an unnamed employee as saying that a discussion on modernisation of madrasa education was also on the agenda.

This is significant in light of the increased demand for modernising the syllabus of madrasas that in popular perception are just schools that offer religious education. Darul Uloom is headquartered in Deobandh in Uttar Pradesh, a state where a survey of madrasas is ongoing. It was in connection with this survey that the Jamiat e Ulema Hind had held a meeting in Deobandh itself, a few weeks ago.

A brief history of madrasas

In his 2016 paper titled Modern Education in Madrasas: A Perspective Study of Darul Uloom Deobandh, that appeared in the Asia Pacific Journal of Research, Dr. Asjad Ansari explains the genesis of the madrasa system. “Madrasah is an Arabic word which simply means a place of learning. Madrasa as an educational institution is the result of historical evolution having its roots and origin in Madina at Ashaab-e-Suffa, a pavement, near Prophet's Mosque, where Prophet Muhammed used to disseminate religious knowledge to his companions,” writes Dr. Ansari. He further explains, “The history of madrasa education in India is spread over more than a thousand years. Initially, madrasa education system came with the Arab settlers who came with Malik Ibn-e-Deenar and settled in the western coast of Kerala.”

Dr. Ansari goes on to say, “Post-independent India witnessed the emergence of huge number of madrasas being established by different sections of Muslim society. These sections were representing different schools of thought and so were the madrasas established by them. Madrasas became the centres of higher learning for the concerned ideology and school of thought. Naturally, the syllabus adopted by them was to cater their ideological notions and produce such scholars who become their ambassadors and propagate their ideology.”

Madrasa modernisation in India

According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA), there are over 24,000 madrasas in India. The Government of India launched two programs for madrasa modernisation - Modernization of Madrasa Schemes (MOMS) and Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) to introduce modern subjects in Madrasa education to bring Madrasa graduates at par with the graduates of public institutions.

A 2018 report by SPQEM cited a 2005 study by MK Qasmi to explain the curriculum taught at Indian madrasas. It said, “The Curriculum of Madrasas in India is regulated by three major Islamic institutions, namely, Darul Uloom Deoband, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow and Jamiatul Hidaya Jaipur. Darul Uloom covers syllabus for four stages like, primary, middle, high school and specialization. It includes subjects like Urdu, Persian, Hindi, English, Mathematics, Geography, Arabic Grammar and Composition in its curriculum. Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow covers the complete primary education as prescribed for general schools besides giving a sound religious base to its students. Jamiatul Hidaya Jaipur begins at the upper primary stage i.e. from class VI and continues for a period of nine years divided into two levels of Sanwi and includes Hindi, English, Social Sciences and intensive technical training in its syllabus besides Islamiyat.”

The SPQEM report also points out how madrasas suffered due to inefficient methods of recruitment for teachers. It says, “In all states, the recruitment and appointment of teachers is an internal affair, as Madrasas follow their own procedure to identify, select and appoint teachers. The teachers are recruited mainly through the Madrasa Management Committee (MMC). In most of the cases, MMCs do not follow the advertised procedure in filling up the vacant positions of teachers. The common practice is to put notice on the notice board of the Madrasa/Masjid. In some cases, announcement is made in the Friday prayer for the vacant positions.”

But most disturbingly, the report found, “Presently there is hardly any prescribed format for the curriculum to be taught in the Madrasa. Therefore, the curriculum is mainly guided by the Islamic law in addition to the prescribed textbooks from the state education board.”

Source: Sabrang India

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BJP MP Parvesh Verma Orders The People Of Delhi To Financial Boycott Muslims At A Meeting Organised By Vishwa Hindu Parishad

 Oct 09, 2022

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament from west Delhi Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma on Sunday allegedly called for a “total boycott” of Muslims while speaking at a meeting organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in north-east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden.

The ‘Jan Akrosh’ meeting was organised by VHP to protest against the murder of Manish, a 25-year-old resident of Sunder Nagri, located near Dilshad Garden, allegedly by three Muslims.

In a purported video which was widely shared on the social media, Verma --- without naming the Muslim community --- is heard saying, “There is no need to buy vegetable from their stalls. They have meat shops; there is a need to close down all the meat shops which are running without licence. If you want to set them straight, the only solution is total boycott. Do you agree? Raise your hands if you agree. Say with me that ‘we will boycott them’. ‘We will not buy anything from their shops, we will not employ them’.”

In another video tweeted by VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal, the west Delhi MP is heard saying that “Jihadist” mindset is the reason behind Manish’s murder. “Today, Manish is not with us because of people with jihadist mindset.…our police is capable of taking action and we, Hindus, are also capable of taking action. If we want today, we can teach them a lesson within 24 hours. But we follow the law and have faith in the judicial system,” Verma said.

The Congress slammed the BJP MP for asking people for financial boycott of the Muslims. Congress spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed tweeted, “BJP MP Parvesh Verma orders the people of Delhi to financial boycott Muslims. Will @DelhiPolice act against this man for inciting hatred amongst communities? Does PM Modi condone this speech? Is this what BJP meant by Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas! Speak up @narendramodi.”

Verma did not respond to queries seeking his comment on the speech.

When contacted, Vinod Bansal said that he wasn’t there when Verma addressed the gathering. “I don’t know what he (Parvesh Verma) has said. But today’s meeting was to protest against the growing attacks against the Hindu community. Five Hindus have been killed in this area alone, and so many in other parts of the city. We have the right to boycott people who attack us (Hindus) and play with our religious sentiments. We are not attacking any particular community; we are opposing the Islamist Jihadist elements, anti-social elements and anti-Hindu mindset. No one targeted the community, but the Jihadist elements.”

Source: Hindustan Times

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MP: After 3 Homes Razed Over Dispute at Garba Pandal, 5 More Muslim Families Served Eviction Orders

Kashif Kakvi

Oct 10, 2022

Bhopal: There seems to be no end to ‘bulldozer injustice’ in Madhya Pradesh.

A fresh set of demolition orders were issued to five houses belonging to Muslim families of Surjani village in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district on Friday evening.

These orders came 48 hours after the homes of three other Muslim families of the village had been razed to the ground over an allegation of stone pelting at a Garba pandal during a tiff that broke out over rash driving by a 14-year-old boy.

On October 4, the homes of three Muslims were razed to the ground by the Mandsaur district administration for not having “building permission”.

The action came after the names of their family members surfaced amongst the 19 people who were named for allegedly instigating an attack on 32-year-old Shivlal Patidar and his friend outside the Garba pandal and also pelting stones on the pandal. Their homes were demolished within 24 hours of serving notice.

In the latest case, the ‘Bedakhli’ (eviction) order was passed on the evening of October 7 and was pasted outside the homes of Abdul Gaffar Pathan, Abdul Rasheed, Amjad Pathan, Faiz Mohammad Pathan and Riyaz Pathan, residents of Surjani village.

Apart from the ‘Bedakhli’ order, the Sitamau Naib Tehsildar court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each family for allegedly building a pakka house encroaching government lands. “…you were informed to remove the encroachment today from the government land and inform the court. And also submit the penalty in the court,” the order reads.

“If you didn’t comply with the court order, the court will take action under Section 248 (2-A) of the MP Land Revenue Code 1959. The expense of removing encroachment by the district administration will be charged to you,” the order reads.

Gulshana Bi, wife of Amjad Pathan, who has been served a notice by the court, alleged, “With an intention to stop us from going to higher courts or appeal to senior officials, the administration served notices on Friday evening. We can only reach out to the court on Monday, but by then the administration may demolish our homes.”

She further said, “We have nothing to do with the October 2 brawl and none of our family members are named in the FIR. Yet, we have been targeted.”

She alleged that dozens of members of the Patidar community had encroached government lands in the village. “Many have encroached the prime lands alongside the road but they were never served notices,” she said.

“Since the members of the majority community want us to leave the village, the district administration is deliberately targeting us. In the recently concluded panchayat polls, we didn’t vote for the sitting sarpanch [village head]. He threatened us with action against us. Therefore, the first demolition notice was issued by the panchayat and signed by the sarpanch and not the revenue department.”

Brushing aside the allegations of targeting, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Sandeep Shiv told The Wire, “The Tehsildar court passed an order in July 2021 to remove encroachment from government land. But they did not comply with it even after a year. Therefore, ‘Bedakhli’ orders have passed.”

SDM Shiv emphasised that the residents had been informed to produce a stay order in the next couple of days to prevent eviction.

Surjani village of Sitamau tehsil has over 100 homes with over 450 voters. There are 29 Muslim families in the village who are facing demolition threats.

The villagers allege that police and revenue officials are threatening to demolish the homes of the remaining 13 accused. “If the government demolishes the remaining 16 homes of the accused, and five homes of other residents claiming encroachment, only five Muslim homes will remain in the village,” said a local requesting anonymity.

“Owing to fear of home demolition, the villagers are moving out with their belongings. The three families whose homes were demolished on October 4 are living in tents,” he added.

When contacted, Mahipal Singh, the sarpanch of the village, refused any comments on the incident. Villagers claim that they are trying to reach out to the collector Gautam Singh urging him to stop the demolition.

The communal flashpoint

According to the villagers, 32-year-old Shivlal Patidar objected to 14-year-old Salman Khan driving his bike rashly on the evening of October 2, which ended after a squabble between the two.

Hours later, Shivlal complained to Salman’s grandfather Hafiz Khan (62) who was seated meters away from the Garba pandal erected alongside the Ambe Mata temple of the village. Salman, who was standing meters away with his teenage friends Sohail and Rais, joined the conversation and objected to Shivlal.

“I slapped him thrice for misbehaving with Shivlal in front of villagers. But it did not prevent the incident,” said Hafiz Khan over a call.

In retaliation, Salman allegedly misbehaved with Shivlal. Seeing this, Shivlal’s friend Mahesh and others who were standing near the Garba pandal rushed to him armed with sticks and rods sensing a brawl. After a heated argument between the two, the busiest part of the village turned into a battlefield.

A clash broke out and both the groups pelted stones at each other, with Shivlal’s friend, Mahesh, suffering injuries. Around 8 pm, residents alerted the police control room about the incident.

Many people, including Salman, fled the spot after hearing police sirens. Dinesh Parajapti, the town inspector of the Sitamau police station, arrived at the scene and discovered Shivlal and his injured friends.

Three Muslims from the village were taken into custody by police. During a late-night search, four people were detained.

To prevent further clashes, the district administration deployed a team of over 200 cops in the village.

“When we arrived at the spot, we found only members of the Patidar community there. The opposing side had left the area. Three people were detained right away, and four more – including two minors –were detained the following day,” said Parajapti.

On the complaint of Shivlal, the police have booked Salman, his father and 17 others under eight sections of the Indian Penal Code, including attempt to murder, and arrested eight accused so far.

In the FIR, which was filed at 2 am on October 3, Shivlal claimed that Salman crossed him while driving too fast on October 1 while he was watching Garba at the pandal. He allegedly then complained to Salman’s father, Aklu Khan (38), about the incident.

A day later, on October 2, at around 9 pm, while he and his friends were standing close to the Garba pandal, Salman and his father Aklu Khan, grandfather Hafiz Khan, Sohail Khan and his father Jafar Khan, Raes Khan, and 13 other people arrived at the scene armed with sticks and stones and started hurling insults at him and his group, according to the FIR.

In his FIR, Shivlal also claimed that Aklu Khan attacked him with a stone and then picked up an iron bar that was nearby and beat Mahesh in the head as they were trying to stop them. The gang started pelting stones at the Garba pandal as a commotion erupted, injuring two other people, including a villager Mangubai.

However, the chain of events described by Shivlal in the FIR is different from the accounts shared by the eyewitnesses and Salman’s grandfather.

Countering Shivlal’s allegation in the FIR, Salman’s 62-year-old grandfather, Hafiz Khan, claimed that it was on October 2 around 6:30 pm, while he was seated a few feet away from the Garba pandal, when Shivlal complained to him about Salman. The brawl occurred subsequently.

“The FIR said that my son and grandson attacked the pandal, which is not true. A rift between Salman and Shivlal for rash driving is being given a communal colour. We have been living here peacefully for generations but have never seen such a communal outbreak,” said Hafiz Khan.

“When the SP visited the site, he observed the stones were planted not pelted,” claimed a local who was accompanying the SP.

The message of the conflict spread like wildfire. According to a local, a WhatsApp message, which was forwarded widely to several groups, claimed Muslims allegedly stormed the Garba pandal in Surjani village, assaulting ladies and destroying the deity idol.

A mob of around 2,000 men arrived in the village within an hour, but authorities prevented them from going into the Muslim neighbourhood known as Pathan Mohalla.

According to Salman’s grandfather Hafiz Khan, a truck belonging to his relative Ansar Khan that was parked on the village’s main road and near a petrol pump was set on fire at about 11 pm. The truck was set ablaze by several miscreants, according to the CCTV footage of the incident.

The mob attempted to incite Muslims by torching the vehicle and throwing things into Muslim neighbourhoods, which were under police protection, but Muslims did not respond, according to a resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The resident said that the police officers threatened to add names to Salman’s FIR, if anyone ventured to file a complaint when they attempted to file an FIR of arson and stone pelting. “It has been six days since the truck was set on fire but the police did not lodge an FIR,” he said.

#Mandsaur: What happened 12 hrs before homes of 3 Muslims razed:

– After a WhatsApp forward, over 1000+ ppl gathered in village.

– Under police nose, stones pelted on Muslim locality, a truck of Ansar khan set on fire.

– “Police refused to lodge FIR, threatened on contrary.”


काश/if Kakvi (@KashifKakvi) October 6, 2022

When asked, Dinesh Parajapti, town inspector of Sitamau police station, replied, “We have received the complaint but FIR has not been registered.”

The houses of the three accused demolished

Within 12 hours after the FIR, demolition notices were pasted outside the houses of the three accused. And within 24 hours, all the three houses were razed to the ground.

Shama Bi Rahman, the mother of Raes Khan, said that her home was demolished rather than that of her son, Raes Khan, while Aklu and Jafar’s homes were torn down. Money, jewellery, and other expensive items were either destroyed or discarded with the rubble.

“My house shares an entry gate with two other residences that my two sons built separately. They posted a notice on the main gate in the evening stating that they would be destroying Raes’s two-room home, but the next day they came and destroyed our home instead. About 20 years ago, my son left the house,” said Shama Bi.

When asked about the same, SDM Sandeep Shiv said, “The demolition was carried out as per the findings of the panchayat department as they are the authorities to give permissions. They had been given enough time to present their side.”

Shama Bi claimed that they weren’t given any time to vacate the houses.

Left on the streets with her house demolished and her husband Aklu Khan and 14-year-old son Salman in jail since October 2, Channo Bi (38) was left with no option but to take shelter under a temporary tent erected next to the rubble of her home.

Just like Channo Bi, the home of Sabzo Bi (40) also razed on October 4. Her husband, accused in the case, is on the run while her two sons, one of them being a minor, were arrested by the police for alleged stone pelting.

Left without a roof, they have been on the streets since October 4 with their children including two toddlers. And other villagers refused to come to her aid fearing demolition and police action.

In order to take shelter from the continuous rains in the region, they put together a makeshift shelter by tying a plastic sheet to a pole, however, on the night of October 8, Sitamau police took it down, Channo Bi alleged.

Fearing demolition, none of the villagers offered shelter as police personnel are continuously threatening them with similar action, especially the remaining Muslim families in the village. It was out of necessity that we had to put up the tent, but now I’m homeless again. We don’t know what to do,” said Channo Bi over the call.

Source: The Wire

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Muslims not getting ‘due share’ despite significant contribution: Sharad Pawar

Oct 08, 2022

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday called for finding ways to provide the Muslim community their “due share”, saying they have made a significant contribution in all fields. Addressing an event titled 'Issues Before Indian Muslims', Pawar batted for Urdu but also stressed the importance of the "main language" of states.

"Members of the Muslim community have a feeling they are not getting their due share despite being such a large part of the country, which is actually a reality. Deliberations have to be held on how they can get their due share," he said, as quoted by PTI.

The event was held in Nagpur by the Vidarbha Muslim Intellectuals Forum.

On the issue of the high rate of unemployment among Muslims, the NCP supremo noted that unemployment was an issue across all communities in the country, but added that complaints by minorities were genuine and needs to be looked into. He asserted that the Muslim community can contribute hugely in the fields of art, poetry and writing through Urdu, adding that its members have "quality and capacity" but need "support and equal opportunity", reported PTI.

Pawar also said that the Muslim community has made the biggest contribution to the Hindi film industry in taking it to the top, and one cannot ignore it. reported news agency ANI.

"Today, in all the fields, whether it is art, whether it is writing, or whether it is poetry, the highest contribution has come from the Minorities and has come in the Urdu language," the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

"We have Bollywood in front of us, which has contributed the most in taking it to the top, it is the Muslim minorities who have contributed the most and we cannot ignore their contribution," he added.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Two terrorists killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag

Oct 10, 2022

ANANTNAG (JAMMU AND KASHMIR): A total of two terrorists were neutralised in the Anantnag encounter by the security forces, said the officials on Monday

"#AnantnagEncounterUpdate: 01 more #terrorist killed. #Operation in progress. Further details shall. @JmuKmrPolice," the Kashmir Zone Police informed in a tweet.

Earlier one terrorist was killed earlier in the encounter that broke out in the Tangpawa area of Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag on Sunday evening, according to the police.

"#Anantnag EncounterUpdate: 01 #terrorist killed. #Operation going on. Further details shall follow," Kashmir Zone Police tweeted on Monday morning. The operation is still underway.

Last week, four terrorists were eliminated in two separate encounters conducted in a joint operation launched by the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police in Shopian district in Jammu and Kashmir, said the police.

Three terrorists were killed in an encounter in the Drach area of the Shopian district on Tuesday night, police said on Wednesday.

Another local terrorist was killed in the encounter in the Moolu area of Shopian.

"Jt op launched by #IndianArmy & @JmuKmrPolice today. Area cordoned & contact established. Firefight ensued & 01 terrorist eliminated. 01 soldier injured, evacuated to 92 BH & stable. 01xAK Rifle & other war like stores recovered.

One soldier was injured in the exchange of fire between terrorist and security forces.

Source: Times Of India

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Supreme Court to decide on validity of Karnataka hijab ban this week

Oct 10, 2022

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will pronounce this week its verdict on the validity of the February 5 Karnataka government circular banning students from wearing religious clothing, including hijab, to state-run educational institutions.

While the Karnataka government had termed the circular a “secular decision” aimed at preventing students from getting embroiled in religion and making them study with an open mind, the Muslim side had invoked right to freedom of religion, right to privacy, right to dignity, and right of choice of clothes to question the circular’s validity.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia had reserved its verdict on a bunch of 26 pro-hijab petitions which had challenged the Karnataka high court order upholding the validity of the state’s decision. As many as 21 advocates had argued for the Muslim side and only six in support of enforcing uniforms without religious attires.

The hearings had lasted 10 days and spanned two weeks. The Muslim side engaged 21 lawyers, including senior advocates Dushyant Dave, Rajeev Dhavan, Devadatt Kamat, Salman Khurshid, Huzefa Ahmadi, Meenakshi Arora and Sanjay Hegde. In contrast, the Karnataka government had engaged only three law officers — solicitor general Tushar Mehta, state advocate general Prabhuling Navadgi and additional solicitor general K M Nataraj — to argue that the direction to enforce uniforms in schools did not breach any fundamental right.

The court will resume business on Monday after a week-long Dussehra break. Justice Gupta will retire on October 16, which gives the bench a window of five working days (Monday to Friday), and in exceptional circumstances even Saturday, to pronounce the verdict.

Monday as usual would see a flurry of PILs getting listed before many benches of the SC. Of the 53 PILs listed for adjudication, as many as 24, or 45% of them, are listed for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice U U Lalit.

Source: Times Of India

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Houses of Muslims being demolished over ‘petty’ charges: AIMPLB

9th October 2022

New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Saturday alleged that some state governments were adopting Israel-like policies and imposing a “bulldozer culture” to target Dalits and Muslims by demolishing their homes over “petty” allegations.

In a statement, AIMPLB’s general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani claimed that in several cities, houses of Muslim and Dalits have been demolished.

He alleged that the Centre and some state governments are adapting Israel-like policies in the country by imposing the bulldozer culture “which is objectionable and shameful act for the country”.

The image of India is of a democratic country where every citizen has the right to protest peacefully and freedom of speech, but in the recent past, governments’ attitude has been changing to “dictatorship”, Rahmani alleged.

A person works profusely for ages and builds his or her house, and not just that person, in many cases, his or her parents, children and sisters and brothers live together, Rahmani pointed out.

“There is joint ownership of the family. Now if any major or minor boy of the home joined stone pelting agitation in any sense would it be right for the government to give a sentence for the crime of an individual to the entire family, old parents, innocent children,” he asked.

“Suppose there are 50 houses of Muslims and Dalits and none of them have taken permission to build their houses, but precisely few of them have been targeted and demolished as they were involved in stone pelting as claimed by the police. Is this the correct course of law?” Rahmani said.

The governments are themselves filing complaints and giving judgements, he alleged.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Muslim federation to reserve seats for women in its panel

Ziya Us Salam

OCTOBER 08, 2022

Two seats each have been earmarked for women and notified Muslim OBC representatives. This is the first time ever that seats have been reserved on caste lines in any Muslim body in the country.

In a development likely to have far-reaching implications for leading Muslim organisations in the country, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat has announced plans to reserve seats for women and Pasmanda community representatives to the body’s 25-member national executive. Besides, plans have been announced to bring on board four members from southern States and one representative of northeast India.

Two seats each have been earmarked for women and notified Muslim OBC representatives. This is the first time ever that seats have been reserved on caste lines in any Muslim body in the country.

Incidentally, the Mushawarat is the umbrella body of 12 Muslim organisations, including Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the Muslim League, Indian National League and Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith. The changes have been brought in with select amendments to the constitution of the Mushawarat. The amendments were brought in through a referendum that took place via a postal ballot.

“The moment the amended constitution got the consent of the members, it was considered passed,” says Navaid Hamid, President, AIMMM. A little over 81% of the members voted in favour of reservation for women through a referendum while nearly 74% voted in favour of Pasmanda reservation.

The groundbreaking changes come with a cloud of uncertainty. Three leading organisations, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, its student wing SIO, and Indian National League boycotted today’s deliberations. It was argued that Mr. Hamid is a caretaker president and hence, not authorised to bring in far-reaching changes to the constitution. They argued that Mr. Hamid’s extended tenure as the president of the body ended in September this year. Hence, the changes he has brought in cannot stand legal scrutiny.

Among those who participated in today’s deliberations were representatives of Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, Markazi Ahl-e-Hadith-e-Hind, All India Momin Conference, Jamiatul Quraish and Association of Muslim Professionals, while others sent in letters of support.

“His elected term ended on December 31, 2019. His grace period also ended on September 5, 2022. He is not authorised to amend the constitution. His plans to reserve seats for women and Pasmanda are unprecedented. In Mushawarat, we have never seen the caste of a person occupying a seat,” says Zafarul Islam Khan, former president of the Mushawarat, adding, “When I became the president in 2008, the first choice was Maulana Abdul Haq Ansari who was the president of Jamaat-e-Islami. He was a Pasmanda. It did not matter to any member. However, the Jamaat’s policy was to not accept any presidency. So, he did not become the president of the Mushawarat and I got a chance.”

Mr. Khan contends that the Mushawarat today is a mere coterie of yes men, and Mr. Hamid is a mere caretaker till fresh round of elections take place; the changes go against the letter and spirit of the body.

Source: The Hindu

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Muslims Use Condoms Most, Numbers On Decline: Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi

Oct 10, 2022

HYDERABAD: In a sharp riposte to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent remarks on community-based population imbalance, AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the Muslim fertility rate was on the decline and Indian Muslims use condoms the most.

“The gap between two children is called spacing. Muslims are maintaining this space as they are the ones using condoms the most. If Hindus and Muslims have the same DNA, then where’s the imbalance? There’s no need for population control as we’ve already achieved replacement rate,” Owaisi said while addressing a public meeting here late Saturday.

Later, taking to Twitter on Sunday, Owaisi sought to remind people that the BJP-led Union government had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court in 2020 stating it cannot enforce family planning. “The RSS chief is trying to scare Hindus by saying the population of Muslims is increasing, while in fact it’s on the decline,” he tweeted. Churning out statistics while claiming that these were government data, Owaisi said: “There were 90lakh female foeticides among Hindus between 2000 and 2019. For every 1,000 males born Muslim, 943 are females. For 1,000 males born Hindu, 913 are girls.”

The AIMIM chief went on: “The population of those in 60+ age-group will go up to 20crore by 2031 and 40crore by 2061. These senior citizens will depend on their children for food, medicines and other needs. But the Modi government is not giving jobs nor talking about support for the elderly. Remember the data.”

According to Owaisi, “Bhagwat will not speak on these issues but harp on the concept of Hindu Rashtra”. “And BJP and RSS will continue to project Muslims as terrorists, cow-slaughterers and anti-national. The concept of Hindu Rashtra is against nationalism and BR Ambedkar’s Constitution,” Owaisi said.

Referring to some Muslim youths being tied to a street pole in Gujarat and thrashed by police for allegedly hurling stones at a garba event, Owaisi said the cops should have instead taken them to the police station. "But they chose to insult and tear apart their self-esteem."

Source: Times Of India

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Two security members killed in Iran night-time protests

09 October, 2022

Two members of Iran’s security forces were killed amid protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, state media reported on Sunday.

A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly of protesters but also members of the security forces.

A member of the Basij force was killed Saturday night “after suffering a serious head injury following an armed attack by a mob” in the south of the capital, state news agency IRNA said.

The Basij is a paramilitary militia linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the ideological arm of Iran’s military.

The agency added that a Guards member was also killed on Saturday during protests in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province, from which Amini hailed.

The deaths bring to at least 14 the number of security forces killed during more than three weeks of protests, according to local media.

Fars news agency had said on September 27 that “around 60” people lost their lives during the protests, a figure it has not updated since.

Protests were reported in different cities on Saturday, including Tehran and Sanandaj.

“Police forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds in dozens of locations in Tehran,” IRNA reported, adding that the demonstrators “chanted slogans and set fire to and damaged public property, including a police booth and trash bins.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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‘Blood on your hands:’ Iran hackers interrupt broadcast with message to Khamenei

09 October, 2022

Hackers interrupted an Iranian state broadcast to display a photo of Ali Khamenei along with the message “the blood of our youths is on your hands” on Saturday amid protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.

Hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) claimed responsibility for the incident that took place around 6pm local time during a news bulletin.

The image also showed Khamenei engulfed in flames and in a rifle’s crosshairs.

The country has been racked by protests in recent weeks after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Amini was arrested in Tehran on September 13 for wearing inappropriate attire, and died three days later.

A coroner’s report on Friday denied that Amini had died from blows to the head and limbs, saying her death was the result of a pre-existing medical condition.

Amini’s family, however, have denied that she had a pre-existing condition, and her father has blamed police for her death.

Edalat-e Ali hacked news websites and television and radio stations to broadcast anti-regime messages earlier in the year, Iran International reported.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran’s Raisi says students won’t allow enemy’s ‘false’ dreams to come true

08 October, 2022

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Saturday that the country’s students won’t “allow the enemy’s false dreams to come true,” as protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini entered their fourth week.

A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly of protesters but also members of the security forces, and gatherings have been reported in universities and schools across the country.

“The enemy thought it could pursue its desires in the university, unaware that our students and professors are awake and will not allow the enemy’s false dreams to come true,” Raisi said, according to a presidency statement.

Raisi’s remarks came as he attended a ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year at Tehran’s Al-Zahra, the first all-female university in Iran, founded in 1964.

Academics “will certainly defeat the enemy in the field of science and knowledge as well as in other fields,” he said.

On Sunday, Fars news agency reported on a rally at Al-Zahra University, where female students held a protest in support of Amini.

Source: Al Arabiya

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IRGC, Army, Border Guards Kick Off Joint Naval Drill in Persian Gulf


"The 3-day naval drill entitled 'Prophet Mohammad' started with the participation of the border guards of the Southern coastal provinces of the country and the Islamic Republic of Iran Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) navies on the coast of the Persian Gulf," Colonel Yadollah Sharafi said.

He pointed out that the purpose of holding the exercise is to improve the ability of the border guard forces and synergy with the operating forces against foreign aggression and border confrontation on the sea coast.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy launched a large-scale parade at the 2nd Naval District of the Persian Gulf near the port city of Bushehr.

The IRGC naval vessels paraded in the waters of the Persian Gulf on the occasion of the anniversary of martyr Nader Mahdavi, a former IRGC Navy Commander, and his companions.

On October 8, 1987, Nader Mahdavi, along with nine of his companions from the Marines of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, fought directly with the American forces who trespassed the territorial waters of Iran near the Persian Gulf region and were martyred by the US terrorist forces.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Gov't Spokesman: West Engaged in Genocide Campaign Against Iranian Patients


Bahadori Jahromi made the remarks in a Persian-language post on his twitter account while projecting that 220 Iranian thalassemia patients would be the victims of sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran by the end of the current Persian year (March 22, 2023).

“Seventy thalassemia patients lost their lives in the year 2018, 90 in 2019, 140 in 2020 and 180 died last year due to sanctions. According to the projections this year, 220 patients will be the victims of cruel sanctions. Add to this statistic, EB (epidermolysis bullosa) patients and all those [patients with rare and refractory diseases] in need of special medicinal products,” Bahadori Jahromi wrote.

“The West is taking revenge on Iranians through a genocide campaign against the patients,” he added.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani censured the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and said that the bans were the "backbone" of the so-called American human rights regulations.

“The whole Iranian people, without any distinction and discrimination, have been struggling for many years with the brutal sanctions of the United States, which have targeted their livelihood, jobs, health and normal life,” Kana’ani said.

“Even EB children were not exempted from the unilateral, illegal and cruel US sanctions. Sanctions are the backbone of American human rights,” he noted.

The United States, under the hawkish former president Donald Trump, unilaterally walked out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and reinstated crippling sanctions under the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Visitors to Iran should respect laws, foreign ministry says as protests continue

10 October, 2022

Foreign visitors to Iran should respect the Islamic Republic’s laws, its foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday, as protests continue over a woman’s death in police custody that Tehran has blamed on “foreign enemies.”

Last month, Iran said it had arrested nine European nationals for their role in the unrest over Mahsa Amini’s death.

“Iran is a safe country... We expect foreigners who visit Iran for tourism and business ... purposes to respect our laws,” foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kaanani told a televised news conference.

Anti-government demonstrations that erupted on Sept. 17 at Amini’s hometown of Saqez, have turned into the biggest challenge to Iran’s clerical leaders in years, with many calling for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Turkey’s ‘disinformation’ bill to have pre-election ‘chilling effect’: Watchdog

09 October, 2022

Turkey’s proposed “disinformation” bill threatens free speech and could further harm journalism ahead of next year’s elections, a European rights watchdog’s legal body said, calling for Turkey’s parliament to reject it.

The Venice Commission, which advises the Council of Europe, said prison sentences and other fallout from the draft legislation would be disproportionate to its aims and could lead to “arbitrary restrictions of freedom of expression.”

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government says the legislation would address misinformation in the press and on social media. His ruling AK Party and allies have a majority in parliament and are expected to adopt it as soon as this week.

Critics, including opposition parties and press groups, are primarily concerned over an article saying those who spread false information about Turkey’s security to create fear and disturb public order would face one to three years in prison.

“The Commission is particularly concerned with the potential consequences of such provision, namely, the chilling effect and increased self-censorship, not least in view of the upcoming elections in June 2023,” it said late on Friday.

It said the bill “constitutes an interference with the freedom of expression” protected by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It asked lawmakers to clarify terms in the bill and to reject the draft amendment, which was debated last week.

There are alternative non-criminal ways to counter misinformation and disinformation in a democratic society, the Venice Commission said in a 23-page assessment.

The bill would continue a decades-long crackdown on free speech and the media under Erdogan, who faces tight presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

A Reuters investigation recently showed how the mainstream media has become a tight chain of command of government-approved headlines.

Parliament is set to resume debate over the legislation on Tuesday after it passed the first 15 articles last week.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Four Yemeni soldiers killed as troops attack Al-Qaeda stronghold in Abyan


October 09, 2022

AL-MUKALLA: Four Yemeni soldiers were killed and several others injured by roadside bombs in Yemen's southern province of Abyan after military forces attacked Al-Mafed, Al-Qaeda's bastion.

Mohammed Al-Naqeeb, a spokesman for the pro-independence Southern Transitional Council, which commands military operations in Abyan, told Arab News that two bombs exploded on Sunday as a convoy of soldiers drove through Omaran valley, an area that once housed Al-Qaeda facilities, killing four soldiers and injuring several others.

Al-Naqeeb said: “We don't know if the roadside bombs were planted by Al-Qaeda today or during the most recent military operations.”

A military offensive against Al-Qaeda militants began last month inside their strongholds in the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa. The action followed a series of deadly attacks on military and security outposts and kidnappings, for which Al-Qaeda claimed credit.

Southern forces launched the fourth and final phase of the Eastern Arrows military offensive on Saturday by attacking Al-Qaeda's last stronghold in Abyan.

Al-Naqeeb said that forces were preparing to move toward the district's remote and rugged mountains, which have long housed Al-Qaeda militants and military facilities.

The province of Abyan will be declared free of militants for the first time in years if government forces take full control of the district's urban and rural areas.

Al-Qaeda militants, according to local military officials, sought refuge in other mountains in the Houthi-controlled central province of Al-Bayda, while others fled to Wadi Hadramout and Marib.

Yemeni military forces in Shabwa earlier drove Al-Qaeda out of Al-Mousinah and pursued them to the province’s mountainous areas.

Separately, local and international human rights organizations and activists have condemned the Houthi drone attack in Taiz, which left eight civilians injured.

According to residents, a drone struck a civilian vehicle in Al-Majasha in Maqbanah district, west of Taiz, injuring eight.

The Geneva-based SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that the civilians were on their way to a wedding and were not close to a military location. It called for international condemnation of the Houthis’ repeated and arbitrary attacks.

It added: “The civilians were not part of an armed group and were not near a military area or site, reflecting the true intentions of the Houthis.”

Source: Arab News

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Normalization deals enormously benefited Israel’s arm industry: Report

10 October 2022

A report says the Israeli arms industry has disproportionately benefited from the warming of ties between Israel and some Arab countries, as deals worth more than $3 billion have been signed between the regime and three countries that normalized their ties with it in the past two years.

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday said Israel embraced its expanding acceptance by once-wary Arab countries by signing military deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco after it reached normalization agreements with them.

“Few have benefited more from the warming relations than Israel’s military contractors,” the WSJ said.

The Tel Aviv regime’s ministry of military affairs has announced that the Israeli military companies have sealed over $3 billion in deals with the three countries since the agreements were reached.

The ministry said military sales to the Persian Gulf Arab countries hit 7% of total exports last year, helping drive Israel’s global military sales to a record $11.3 billion.

The deals include supplying the UAE and Bahrain with advanced air defenses, according to former Israeli officials and military contractors.

The contractors have also sealed a deal with Morocco to build drone factories in the north African country.

According to the contractors, talks are underway to sell the three nations everything from advanced radar technology to cybersecurity systems.

The WSJ cited former Israeli leaders and arms-industry officials as saying that the UAE bought a small Israeli surface-to-air missile system designed to bring down drones last year to allegedly protect its high-profile World Expo from Yemeni retaliatory attacks over Abu Dhabi’s involvement in the Saudi-led war on the impoverished country.

The new cooperation, however, has its limits, with the WSJ citing Israeli officials as saying that the Israeli military sales to the Persian Gulf Arab regimes are restricted to air defenses.

“Israeli government approval to sell advanced offensive weapons is unlikely to come any time soon.”

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed United States-brokered agreements with Israel to normalize their ties with the regime back in September 2020. Some other regional states, namely Sudan and Morocco, followed suit soon afterward.

Source: Press TV

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Retaliatory armed operations will continue in occupied al-Quds, West Bank: Palestinian resistance groups

09 October 2022

Palestinian resistance movements have said that armed retaliatory operations will continue unabated and will repeatedly target the Tel Aviv regime’s security apparatus, hailing the latest shooting attack in the occupied East al-Quds leading to the killing of an Israeli soldier near the Shuafat refugee camp.

“Such operations convey the message that the Palestinian nation’s uprising is going on and will not draw back. Young Palestinian combatants will not stop chasing down occupiers and settlers in order to give them proper responses for their crimes and incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound,” Hamas spokesperson Abdel-Latif al-Qanou said.

Qanou said that the wrath of al-Aqsa, which is reaching the boiling point anywhere across the West Bank and occupied al-Quds, will eventually go off in the face of the occupying regime and settlers, and will not appease unless the Zionists’ plans aimed at Judaization and partition of the al-Aqsa Mosque are dropped.

He pointed out that Palestinians residing in the cities of Jenin, Nablus, al-Khalil, Ramallah, al-Quds and elsewhere in the West Bank are all united to defend al-Aqsa Mosque, and will not back down until the sacred site is purged from the grip of the occupying regime.

Fawzi Barhoum, another spokesperson for Hamas, emphasized that the heroic operation shows that no matter how much the Israeli enemy would intensify its repressive measures, armed resistance will continue in the West Bank and occupied al-Quds.

The Hamas spokesman described the shooting attack as a natural response to Israeli crimes and atrocities against the residents of al-Quds, assaults against women and children, as well as the desecration of the Ibrahimi Mosque and al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Tariq Ezzedine, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad resistance movement in the West Bank, also said the East al-Quds operation points to the righteous nature of the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

He went on to highlight that the operation comes at the appropriate time and place, and is in response to the crimes that the Tel Aviv regime has committed against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Ezzedine stressed that the heroic operation dealt heavy blows to Israel’s security, military and political organs, which are trying to employ all criminal methods to eliminate the Palestinian uprising. The Israeli bodies have, however, failed in the face of resistance fighters’ recurrent retaliatory moves.

He noted that the operation conveys the important message that “our hands are tied” and the uptick in Israeli crimes will never undermine the determination of resistance fighters and will not discourage them from performing their duties.

Moreover, the Palestinian Freedom Movement stated that the incident clearly shows that resistance is in full effect, and will target the Israeli security apparatus time after time.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also said Palestinians view nothing but resistance as the sole effective way to deter Israeli aggression and terrorism.

It underlined that the latest retaliatory operation in East al-Quds will push hundreds and even thousands of young Palestinians to the fields of confrontation with Israel.

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Source: Press TV

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Germany wants those behind Iran crackdown banned from EU, assets frozen: Report

09 October, 2022

Germany will ensure the European Union freezes the assets of those responsible for a violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Iran and bans their entry to the bloc, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told a German Sunday newspaper.

Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic have submitted 16 proposals for new EU sanctions against Iran for its clampdown on protests ignited by the death in policy custody of a young woman, a German foreign ministry source said last week.

Those proposing the sanctions are aiming for the EU foreign ministers to decide on them at their meeting on Oct. 17, with no resistance expected from the members of the bloc.

The protests, which initially focused on women’s rights, have spiraled into the biggest show of opposition to Iran’s authorities in years, with many calling for the end of more than four decades of Islamic clerical rule.

On Saturday, female students in Tehran chanted “get lost” as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited their university campus on Saturday and condemned protesters enraged by the death of a young woman in custody, videos on social media showed.

“Those who beat up women and girls on the street, who abduct, arbitrarily imprison and condemn to death people who want nothing other than to live free - they stand on the wrong side of history,” Baerbock told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“To those people in Iran we say: we stand by you, and will continue to do so,” she said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran-made drones used in Russian strikes against Ukraine: Zelenskyy

10 October, 2022

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure during Monday’s strikes across the country, including by Iran-made drones.

“This morning is difficult. We are dealing with terrorists. Dozens of missiles and Iranian Shaheds. They have two targets. Energy facilities throughout the country,” Zelenskyy said in a video address on social media, adding that “the second target is people.”

“They want panic and chaos, they want to destroy our energy system,” Zelenskyy said.

Strikes were reported in multiple cities across Ukraine, including rare attacks on the capital Kyiv and the western Lviv region.

Zelenskyy said that attacks also took place in Dnipro, Vinnytsia and Ivano-Frankivsk in central Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv and Sumy regions in the east, among others.

“There may be temporary power outages now, but there will never be an interruption in our confidence – our confidence in victory,” Zelenskyy added.

Earlier in the day, Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to wipe his country “off the face of the earth.”

“They are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth...destroy our people who are sleeping at home in [the city of] Zaporizhzhia. Kill people who go to work in Dnipro and Kyiv,” Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Three men face murder charge after stabbing near UK mosque

October 09, 2022

LONDON: Three men have been charged with murder by British police a week after Haji Choudhary Rab Nawaz was fatally stabbed outside the Jamiah Masjid & Institute in Coventry, England.

The 52-year-old was knifed on Oct. 2, dying in hospital soon after the attack.

Adam Razaaq, 20, Hasnian Razaaq, 23, and Mohammed Faisal, 29, are set to appear at Coventry Magistrates’ Court next Saturday.

The three men, from Halesowen and Birmingham, have been bailed.

West Midlands Police, which has oversight of Coventry and the surrounding area, said that the men had also been charged with attempted murder after another man was found with a knife wound at the mosque fight.

Nawaz was knifed to death during a fight involving a large group of men, some armed with knives, with the police called out to calm the situation.

Source: Arab News

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UN chief says West’s ‘moral responsibility’ to help Pakistan

Anwar Iqbal

October 9, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan is the victim of “a grim calculus of climate injustice”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, while calling on industrialised nations that drive 80 per cent of climate-destroying emissions to help the country recover, adapt and build resilience to disasters.

While concluding a debate on the devastation caused by the recent floods, the UN chief called help for Pakistan a “moral responsibility” of industrialised nations.

“This time it is Pakistan, tomorrow, it could be any of our countries and our communities,” he added.

On Friday, the UNGA unanimously adopted a resolution urging donor nations and institutions to provide full support to rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

Mr Guterres, who recently visited Pakistan, told the UNGA that flood waters covered a landmass three times the total area of his own country, Portugal.

“Pakistan is on the verge of a public health disaster”, he warned, adding that now cholera, malaria and dengue fever could take “far more lives than the floods”.

In another appeal for help, the UN refugee agency said on Saturday that it urgently needed relief goods for more than 650,000 people.

UNHCR Spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said Pakistan was facing “a colossal challenge” and more support were needed.

Source: Dawn

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Southeast Asia


Veep: Umno not against PAS’ agenda to unify Muslim community, we're against Bersatu

By Zarrah Morden

10 Oct 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Umno is not against Islamist party PAS’ agenda to unify the Muslim community but is instead opposing its on-and-off ally Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said today.

The Umno vice-president accused Bersatu of being established merely to undermine Umno, and inevitably destroy the Malay nationalist party.

“[Bersatu’s] strength is superficial. Not built through genuine struggle, but through the most sly and ugly political betrayal syndicate in Malaysian political history,” he said, referring to the role Bersatu’s leaders played in the so-called “Sheraton Move” that resulted in Perikatan Nasional’s formation.

“Because of that, Bersatu does not have the standing as a supporter of Malay unity and solidarity.”

He labelled Bersatu as a “traitor” party, contrasting it with Umno which he said is currently focusing to restore its full strength to be the choice of Malay voters.

Yesterday, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang said his party had yet to arrive at a conclusion on whether it would ally with Bersatu or Umno for the next general election (GE15).

Source: Malay Mail

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196-year-old Jamae Chulia Mosque in Chinatown to get $3m restoration from end-2022

Syarafana Shafeeq

OCT 9, 2022

SINGAPORE - One of Singapore's oldest mosques, Jamae Chulia Mosque, will undergo a year-long restoration, estimated to cost $3 million, from the end of 2022.

The 196-year-old mosque, located in Chinatown, will remain open for prayers during the restoration period. It was last renovated more than a decade ago, mainly for roof works due to leaking, and a paint job.

The mosque was originally built in 1826 to serve the Tamil Muslim community in Chinatown, who often refer to it as "Periya Palli" - Tamil for "Big Mosque".

The restoration will expand the classroom space, which currently fits 15 people, to five classrooms that can hold around 100 people in total. Jamae Chulia Mosque is one of the few in Singapore that holds Islamic religious classes in Tamil.

Ramps and handrails will also be installed to make the space more accessible and wheelchair-friendly. Works will also include treating the rising water dampness in the walls, repairing surface cracks, and restoring timber fixtures and rusted ironmongery.

A new community plaza will be built in the open space behind the mosque, to be used for festive occasions, celebrations and communal functions.

The space can also be used for prayers, increasing the mosque's capacity for congregants from 1,500 to 1,700.

At the launch of the restoration project on Sunday, Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said: "Many of you here have shared with me stories of how you grew up with the mosque during our engagement sessions, and I am very heartened that you take pride in preserving and protecting Jamae Chulia Mosque so that it can continue to be experienced and utilised by our future generations.

"The Indian Muslim community has made valuable contributions towards building our community of success. We are fully supportive of the efforts to uplift the community as we undertake this journey together."

The mosque was built by South Indian Tamil Muslim migrants, under the guidance of Chulia pioneer Anser Saib. The Chulias were early migrants from the Coromandel Coast of Southern India, and were mostly small traders and money changers.

The restoration project will also set up a customer service counter near the main entrance to cater to tourists, as the mosque is a popular attraction within the Chinatown belt.

It is among three Islamic heritage buildings in the Chinatown area, alongside Al-Abrar Mosque and Nagore Darga.

Jamae Chulia Mosque was put under the charge of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in 1968, and gazetted as a national monument in 1974. It is believed to be the oldest among the five mosques that are monuments.

Other mosques that are national monuments in Singapore include Sultan Mosque and Hajjah Fatimah Mosque.

The estimated $3 million needed for the project will be gathered through online collections by the community and other fundraising projects.

Chairman of Jamae Chulia Mosque Rasheed Zaman said he hopes to see support for the project from the larger community, not just Indian Muslims.

He said: "Being in the Central Business District, we have a lot of congregants coming to the Masjid, and they have been supporting us in the form of donations and volunteering. A Masjid is for all Muslims, so we are hoping for all Singapore Muslims to come forward and donate for this cause."

Muis also announced that a commercial mixed-development, including short-term communal residences and co-working spaces, will be built behind the mosque through its subsidiary, Warees Investments. It will redevelop the land under its Wakaf Revitalisation Scheme to maximise the overall value of the land.

More details will be announced in the second quarter of 2023, with the development expected to be ready by 2025.

Source: Straits Times

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Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolves Parliament, calls snap polls

OCTOBER 10, 2022

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Parliament will be dissolved, paving the way for general elections

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Parliament will be dissolved Monday, paving the way for general elections that are expected to be held in early November.

The elections would come nine months before Parliament’s term expires, following calls for early polls from Mr. Ismail’s United Malays National Organization. UMNO, the biggest party in the ruling coalition, was feuding with its allies and is aiming for a big win on its own.

Mr. Ismail said he met on Sunday with King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who consented to the dissolution. He said he decided to call early polls to counter criticism over the legitimacy of his government — the third since 2018 polls.

“With this announcement, the mandate will be returned to the people. The people’s mandate is a powerful antidote" to create a firm and stable government, Mr. Ismail said in a televised announcement.

The Election Commission is expected to meet within the week to announce a date for the vote, which must be held within 60 days from Parliament’s dissolution. It is likely to be held early November before the year-end monsoon season that often brings devastating floods.

UMNO’s allies in the government and opposition parties have protested any plans to hold elections during the monsoon season, which last year killed more than 50 people and displaced thousands. But UMNO’s top leaders decided recently that polls must be called this year for UMNO to capitalize on the return of ethnic Malay voters and an opposition in disarray.

“Ismail Sabri has succumbed to pressure by his party UMNO, serving the shortest tenure as a PM, and entering the country into polls during a dangerous season of monsoon floods,” said Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia expert with Malaysia’s Nottingham University.

“UMNO believes it has the advantage with early polls and has maintained pressure as they hope to return to power as the dominant party,” she said.

UMNO led Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957, but was brought down in 2018 elections by a multibillion-dollar financial scandal that saw ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak imprisoned for 12 years for graft. The party’s current president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is also on trial for graft.

UMNO returned to power in March 2020 as part of a mainly Muslim coalition government after the reformist alliance led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad collapsed due to defections.

The new government was unstable due to a razor-thin majority in Parliament, and then-Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was forced to resign 17 months later after some UMNO lawmakers withdrew support for him.

Source: The Hindu

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North America


New York Muslim police officers society sends relief goods to flood-hit Pakistan

Mucahit Oktay 



The New York Police Department’s Muslim Officers Society sent their first shipment of relief goods to flood-hit Pakistan on Sunday.

The clothes and cleaning materials collected by the members of the society for people affected by the floods that hit Pakistan in August were dispatched to the country from John F. Kennedy International Airport with the sponsorship of Turkish Airlines Cargo.

Speaking following the delivery of relief goods to Turkish Airlines Cargo at the airport, Adeel Rana, the head of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society, said millions of people's homes were under water in the flood disaster in Pakistan and they needed all kinds of help, adding they would continue to send aid from New York after the first cargo.

Rana also thanked Türkiye's Consul General Reyhan Ozgur and Turkish Airlines, which mediated the free delivery of the aid cargo to Pakistan.

The society’s vice chairman, Ali Hammutoglu, said they established delivery centers at three different points in New York and much more aid materials were collected in a short time than they expected.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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US says failed rocket attack targeted American troops in Syria

October 09, 2022

WASHINGTON: The US military said late on Saturday that unidentified forces fired a rocket at a compound in Syria hosting US troops and partnered local forces, but failed to cause any injuries or damage.

The military, in a short statement, said the 107 mm rocket failed to impact anything inside the Rumalyn Landing Zone US compound in northeast Syria.

“Additional rockets were found at the launch site,” said the US military’s Central Command, which oversees US troops in the Middle East.

Central Command did not say who it believed might be responsible for the failed attack.

It came just two days after a rare US helicopter raid on a government-held village in Syria’s northeast killed a Daesh militant on Thursday, followed hours later by a separate US air strike later that killed two other militants.

US forces first deployed into Syria during the Obama administration’s campaign against Daesh, partnering with a Kurdish-led group called the Syrian Democratic Forces. There are about 900 US troops in Syria, most of them in the east.

Source: Arab News

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Senator Murphy: Decades-long US-Saudi partnership is ‘broken’

10 October 2022

Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy called for a reassessment of the US military alliance with Saudi Arabia after the kingdom and its oil-exporting allies agreed to a production cut, ahead of the November midterm elections which Democrats are already set to lose to the Republicans.

In an interview on Sunday, Murphy lambasted OPEC+’s cut of 2 million oil barrels per day, and called the decades-long US-Saudi partnership “broken.”

The oil-exporting alliance, which includes the 13 OPEC nations and 11 non-members including Russia, made the production cut announcement on Wednesday. The group agreed to cut output by 2 million barrels per day, equal to 2 percent of global supply.

The OPEC move was a large blow to the administration of US President Joe Biden, who visited oil-rich Saudi Arabia on a July trip to appeal to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Independent observers believe the Biden administration is worried that the decision to cut oil production will cause a gas price hike in the US.

“I don’t have any problem with American presidents meeting with our friends or adversaries,” Murphy said on Sunday. “I think it’s clear that right now the relationship is broken. But it’s been broken under Democratic presidents and Republican presidents.”

The OPEC decision was made as US-led Western nations continue attempts to curb Iran’s and Russia’s oil trade as part of illegal sanctions, while also grappling with soaring energy prices in the US.

The decision has prompted some lawmakers, including Murphy, to rethink Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, which routinely purchases American weapons and hosts troops.

“We sell massive amounts of arms to the Saudis,” Murphy said on CNN. “I think we need to rethink those sales. I think we need to lift the exemption that we have given this OPEC+ cartel from U.S. price-fixing liability. I think we need to look at our true presence in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia.”

“For years, we have looked the other way as Saudi Arabia has chopped up journalists, has engaged in massive political repression, for one reason: We wanted to know that when the chips were down, when there was a global crisis, that the Saudis would choose us instead of Russia,” Murphy told Tapper.

“Well, they didn’t. They chose Russia,” Murphy added.

A team of Saudi operatives murdered Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.

Source: Press TV

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Rocket attack targets base housing US occupation troops in northeastern Syria

09 October 2022

A military facility occupied by US occupation forces in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah has  come under a rocket attack from nearby areas, as Washington continues to plunder natural resources of the energy-rich regions of the war-ravaged Arab country.

The US military's Central Command, which oversees American troops in the Middle East, asserted in a short statement that the 107mm rocket, launched at around 10:12 p.m. local time (1912 GMT) on Saturday, failed to impact anything inside the Rumalyn Landing Zone.

It added that “Additional rockets were found at the launch site,” further claiming that the projectile did not cause any injuries or damage.

The development came hours after the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates demanded the immediate withdrawal of US occupation forces from the war-ravaged Arab country.

The ministry said in a statement that presence of American troops in Syria was illegal, and called for an end to Washington’s support to Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which it said served the US interests in Syria.

The statement went on to condemn the looting of Syrian crude oil by US forces, saying that, “The continuation of US despicable policy of stealing Syrian oil across the Syrian-Iraqi border and transporting it to northern Iraq represents piracy and an attempt to return to the outdated colonial era.”

It further said that the US practices run counter to international law and UN charters, demanding the UN Security Council to censure the act.

The ministry also said Syria reserves the right to get compensation from the United States for the losses it has caused and the oil it plundered.

The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of the Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

On Saturday, Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources in al-Ya'rubiyah town, reported that a convoy of 50 tankers, laden with oil from the energy-rich Jazira region, left Syria through the illegal Mahmoudiya border crossing on Friday, and headed towards Iraqi territories.

Source: Press TV

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US approves $3 billion sale of air-defense missile system to Kuwait

08 October 2022

The US State Department has approved a $3 billion military deal with Kuwait that paves the way for the sale of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missiles System (NASAMS) to the Persian Gulf kingdom, the Pentagon declared.

"The proposed sale will improve Kuwait's capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing the ability to defend itself against regional malign actors and improve interoperability with systems operated by US forces and other [Persian] Gulf countries," the US Defense Department said in a statement cited by Defense News on Friday.

While the estimated cost of the deal for Kuwait comes in at $3 billion, the report adds, the final dollar amount is subject to change until the Pentagon finalizes a contract with Raytheon.

According to the report, the weapon is manufactured as a joint venture between US-based Raytheon Technologies and Norway’s Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace, though the principal contractor on the Kuwait sale is Raytheon.

The State Department’s approval, meanwhile, kicks off the 30-day congressional review period. Congress has advanced legislation in recent months to accelerate the slow-moving delivery of weapons to its customers across the globe.

However, such efforts have so far centered largely on a $14 billion backlog of foreign military sales to Taiwan as Washington actively seeks to contain China’s growing influence in the region by increasing its military presence and weapons sales in the Indo-Pacific region.

The United States itself uses NASAMS to protect the airspace over the White House and the Pentagon. Both Hungary and India have also purchased NASAMS to defend their territories in recent years.

Source: Press TV

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UN should ensure implementation of international law everywhere equally: Bilawal

October 8, 2022

BERLIN: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called upon the United Nations to ensure implementation of international law everywhere on equal footings, as India’s unilateral actions in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) after the events of August 2019 cannot be approved particularly in the scenario when Russian actions in Ukraine are disapproved by the global community.

He stated this during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, while responding to a query regarding India’s unilateral actions of August 2019 in IIOJK.

He was flanked by his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan has been raising the issue with foreign dignitaries during engagements. “During our meetings, we continue to raise the issue of occupied Kashmir, particularly after the events of August 2019. We believe that international law should apply everywhere. UN resolutions should be respected everywhere. Unilateral actions in occupied Kashmir cannot be approved while unilateral actions in Ukraine are disapproved,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called for maintaining consistency in similar issues particularly at the United Nations level. He pointed out that Kashmiris continue to raise their voices and people in Pakistan and around the globe were looking forward to the moment when United Nations plays its part in finding a just solution to the Kashmir dispute.

The Foreign Minister also referred to the ceasefire agreement with India despite New Delhi’s unilateral actions in IIOJK. He expressed the hope of seeing the resolution of the dispute soon.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Pak Minister Baig’s abduction reflects growing resurgence of Taliban in Gilgit-Baltistan

8 October, 2022

Gilgit Baltistan [PoK], October 8 (ANI): Incidents of the growing influence of the Taliban in the occupied Gilgit-Baltistan region are increasing on daily basis with the law enforcement failing to control the law and order situation while Taliban continues to enjoy a stronghold in the region.

The kidnapping of a senior Pakistani minister from Gilgit Baltistan is a reminder of the same. Abaid Ullah Baig, a minister from the Gilgit Baltistan region was travelling from Islamabad to Gilgit city when he was abducted by militants headed by Taliban commander Habibur Rehman.

The kidnapping took place near Babusar Top which is a mountain pass connecting the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with the country’s north. The leader of the militants Rehman is a prime accused in the Nanga Parbat base camp attack.

The 2013 Nanga Parbat massacre was a terrorist attack that took place on the night of 22 June 2013 in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. About 16 militants, reportedly dressed in Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts uniforms, stormed a high-altitude mountaineering base camp and killed 11 people; 10 climbers and one local tourist guide.

Rehman was arrested in the case but he managed to flee in March 2015 after a jailbreak in Gilgit.

In the latest incident of the abduction of a Pakistan minister in the Cabinet holding the Ministry of Finance, Industries, Commerce and Labour the militants had blocked the road and left tourists stranded for hours.

The senior minister belongs to the PTI party. Arab News reported quoting a Jirga member that the militants belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban.

However, Baig was set free after negotiations with militants, a top government official said on Saturday, adding the talks were facilitated by local clerics.

“He [Baig] is back. And road [is] open,” Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani told Arab News and added that the minister was set free after “successful” negotiations through local ulemas.

“The minister has been released at around 3 am today as a result of successful negotiations,” Muhammad Alamgir, station house officer (SHO) of Jal area in Diamer district told Arab News.

“A local jirga comprising clerics and officials negotiated with the militant group.”

Alamgir said the road was blocked at 2 pm on Friday by a group of protesters, led by militant commander Habibur Rehman. “They blocked the road and held the minister, Col (retired) Abaidullah Baig, hostage,” he said.

“Their main demand was the release of incarcerated prisoners from the Minawar Jail, Gilgit.”

Moreover, Faizullah Faraq, a former minister and member of the jirga that negotiated with militants, said they had kept the minister in a room and wanted him to use his influence to pressurize the government.

“They thought their demands will be met, if they keep the minister for a longtime,” Faraq told Arab News. Ziaullah Thakvi, another Jirga member, said around 200 militants, mostly from outside Diamer district, had blocked the road, which left tourists from European countries among others stranded.

“Locals kept the foreigners at their homes and were all safely taken out later,” he told Arab News.

The Jirga member Ziaullah Thakvi quoted a militant commander for GB, Abdul Hameed, as telling the clerics, “We are leaving the area for ten days but if the process to meet our demands did not begin, then do not come in front of us next time.”

A TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khorasani was not reachable for comment. Gilgit Baltistan’s chief secretary said it was a “local group” of militants.

Source: The Print

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Imran Khan claims ruling party behind audio leak

Oct 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD(ANI): Pakistan's former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan on Friday claimed that the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (N) was behind the "new game of fake audios," hours after another audio of the PTI Chairman leaked.

Earlier, on Friday, two audio recordings featuring PTI Chief Imran Khan surfaced in one of them he was heard talking about 'buying' MNAs and in the second one, the former PM was using a "US cypher" to brand those who would vote against him in April's confidence vote as traitors, Dawn reported.

The audio leak comes a week after a leaked audio recording of PTI leaders was released recently.

While addressing the public rally, Imran Khan claimed that PML-N was behind all these audio leak games.

Whereas other party leaders said the leaked audios were a work of "cut and paste" in which bits of different conversations could be joined together, reported Dawn.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that these leaks reveal Khan's "hypocrisy" and his "anti-state actions" made him unfit for the high office.

In Friday's audio leak, Imran Khan was heard talking about his strategy to win the support of five MNAs through horse trading.

"You have a misunderstanding that now the number game is complete [...] don't think this is over."

"You see, 48 hours is a long, long time. Big things are happening. I am making my own moves that we can't make public," Khan purportedly says and adds that he "is buying five".

"I have given the message that those five are very important. And tell them that if they secure these five [...] and if he secures 10, then the game will be in our hands. The nation at this moment is alarmed. Across the board, people want us to win somehow," he added.

"Hence, don't worry about whether this is right or wrong [...] even if they get one, it will create a huge difference," the voice adds as quoted by Dawn.

In the second audio, PTI leaders featuring Shireen Mazari, Asad Umar and Khan said the cypher, which he has used to further a foreign conspiracy narrative behind his ouster, had a global impact and urged his close aides to brand those who would vote against him in the confidence vote as Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq, according to Dawn.

Source: Times Of India

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Pak minister, two foreigners abducted by militants in Gilgit-Baltistan freed

Oct 9, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Militants on Saturday freed a senior minister and two foreigners in the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region in northern Pakistan following “successful” negotiations with government officials, facilitated by local clerics.

Colonel (retired) Abaidullah Baig, a minister in the GB government, and the two foreigners were abducted on Friday from Babusar Top — a mountain pass connecting the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with Gilgit-Baltistan — where the militants, belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had set up road blockades. They were demanding the release of their jailed accomplices.

The minister was released around 3 am, said Muhammad Alamgir, station house officer of Jal area in GB’s Diamer district. “A local jirga (council of elders) comprising ulemas (clerics) and officials held talks with the militants,” he added.

“He (Baig) is back home and the road is open for traffic,” said Mohiuddin Ahmad Wani, GB’s chief secretary, adding that the minister was set free “unconditionally”.

In a purported conversation with a journalist shared on social media, Baig could be heard saying the militants had two demands: the release of their accomplices from jail, and imposition of Islamic law, with no women sports activities.

Official sources said Habibur Rahman, GB’s most wanted militant commander accused of the 2013 killing of 11 people — 10 of them foreign tourists — in the Nanga Parbat base camp, and about 200 of his men had blocked the road in Thak village of Chilas in Diamer on Friday, leaving travellers on both sides stranded.

Ziaullah Thakvi, a jirga member, said the militants demanded that their incarcerated fellows be released or moved to Diamer, and treated like other inmates.

Faizullah Faraq, another jirga member, said the militants belonged to the TTP and most of them were “outsiders”. “I could only identify two from Diamer – Habibur Rehman and Abdul Hammed,” Faraq said, adding that a majority of them were Pashtuns.

The GB chief secretary, however, said it was a “local group” of militants.

Source: Times Of India

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Imran urges youth to study Seerat-e-Nabvi for prosperity

October 09, 2022

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has urged the youth to follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and study his character for the prosperity of the nation.

"Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for the first time in history created a welfare state but now there is no Muslim state which is a welfare state. Scandinavian countries are the closest to Riyasat-e-Madina," he said while addressing a ceremony in connection with Eid Miladun Nabi in Islamabad.

Imran said when he went to the UK, he for the first time saw how a welfare state worked. "They take care of their animals more than we care about our people. Even stray dogs are provided shelter homes," he added.

The deposed premier said that the societies which follow the principles of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) will have prosperity, whether they are Muslims or not. "Allah gave him [Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)] the title of Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen... he is a blessing for the entire humanity," he added.

In Riyasat-e-Madina, Imran said the Prophet (PBUH) united the people and did not divide them. "Mohammad Abduh, a famous Egyptian scholar, when he went to Europe, he said he saw Islam but no Muslims but when he returned to Egypt, he said he saw Muslims, but not Islam."

The PTI chief went on to say that "our prime minister goes to foreign countries and begs for money", saying that the country will default and it is a shameful moment for the entire nation. "Some white persons come from abroad and everybody here bows before them. We need to reflect back on this holy day. This country was not founded that some people make money and the rest become their slaves," he added.

Imran said that Pakistan has also the resources in the world to become a prosperous country. "We have all the resources. We have all seasons. During my tenure, I came to know how blessed we are.," he said and added that everyone particularly the youth has to play a role in the uplifting of the country.

"I made Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen authority so that everybody gets to know about the character of our Prophet (PBUH). Youth are being targeted with Western values therefore we need to stop the onslaught with Prophet's (PBUH) character. Our children start to copy Western culture. We will revive Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen authority when we get back into power. We should give a strong foundation to our children. I urge the youth to read books and study the character of our Holy Prophet (PBUH)."

He said that the PTI government tried to change the curriculum after 75 years. "We have a separate education system for the rich and the poor. We tried to change that but probably this government had suspended the plan."

Source: Tribune Pakistan

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FO rejects India’s ‘unwarranted remarks’ on FM Bilawal and German counterpart’s joint press conference

Naveed Siddiqui

October 9, 2022

Pakistan has rejected the “unwarranted remarks” by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ (EAM) official spokesperson regarding Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s joint press conference with his German counterpart in Berlin wherein the two spoke about the United Nations’ role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, according to a press release by the Foreign Office on Sunday.

In the press conference, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had said: “Germany also has a role and responsibility with regard to the situation in Kashmir. Therefore, we support intensively the engagement of the United Nations, to find peaceful resolutions in the region.”

Reacting to her remarks, EAM spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the global community had a responsibility to “call out international terrorism, especially of a cross-border nature” in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

“The UN Security Council and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) are still pursuing Pakistan-based terrorists involved in the horrific 26/11 attacks,” he said. “When states do not recognise such dangers, either because of self-interest or indifference, they undermine the cause of peace, not promote it.”

Responding to Bagchi’s “gratuitous remarks”, the FO said they had “exposed the desperation of a country that finds itself increasingly isolated on the issue of its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and the reprehensible human rights violations being perpetrated by its ruthless occupation force in the occupied territory”.

The press release said the two foreign ministers had highlighted the centrality of the Kashmir dispute and agreed that there was a role and responsibility of the international community as well as a need for intensified efforts from the UN, with regard to a peaceful and just resolution of the issue.

The FO said that India’s “proclivity” to hoist the “bogey of cross-border terrorism” whenever there was a call for increased scrutiny of its actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK) was “well known”.

“It must, however, realise that no amount of obfuscation will change the reality of its repression in IIOJK. India’s credentials as a purveyor of state terrorism in IIOJK and as an instigator of cross-border terrorism in Pakistan need no reiteration.

“Hollow denials and evasion of responsibility will no longer cover up India’s mischievous strategy of posing as a ‘victim’ of terrorism while shifting blame elsewhere,” the FO said while rebuffing Bagchi’s remarks.

On the other hand, it added that Pakistan’s contribution to the cause of counterterrorism was globally acknowledged.

It also pointed out that Bagchi’s allusion to the FATF characterised India’s “bias, hostility and partiality” towards Pakistan and “corroborates Pakistan’s long-standing view that India has been politicising FATF and trying to misuse its membership of FATF to target Pakistan.”

The FO called on the FATF to take note of India’s “irresponsible statement”.

“Rather than making preposterous remarks about statements made by foreign ministers, India would do well to introspect, address the international community’s valid concerns and mend its conduct in the IIOJK.

“Pakistan urges the international community, particularly human rights and humanitarian organisations to condemn India’s barbaric state-terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and ensure that Kashmiris are given their right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions and as per their own wishes,” the press release reads.

On Monday, the FO had “categorically rejected” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s remarks insinuating that Pakistan was involved in “international terrorism”.

Source: Dawn

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Govt will not seek Paris Club debt restructuring: Dar

October 9, 2022

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday said Pakistan will not seek debt restructuring from Paris Club creditor nations, as he seeks to restore market confidence after a credit rating downgrade.

The new rating from Moody’s raised concerns that Pakistan could default on its foreign debt as the country contends with economic turmoil and a balance of payments crisis.

“We have decided not to go to Paris Club,” Dar said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad, adding that in consultation with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif it was decided that it wasn’t in the nation’s interest to ask for a restructuring.

“We will fulfil all sovereign [debt] commitment,” he said.

Dismissing market rumours that the government might extend maturities for its bonds, Dar said the country will fulfil all multilateral, international and bond obligations.

“God willing, we will pay the bonds on time,” said Dar.

“We are not extending the bond maturity.” Pakistan’s Eurobond matures in December this year.

Moody’s last week downgraded Pakistan’s credit rating from B3 into so-called junk territory at Caa1, citing external risks and concerns about its ability to secure required financing to meet its needs in the next few years.

Dar has previously said that the country will meet the requirement to raise nearly $35 billion in external financing for the 2022-23 financial year.

PM Shehbaz last month made an appeal to the Paris Club for a debt moratorium after the already struggling economy was hit by devastating floods that the government estimates will cause economic losses of up to $30bn.

Source: Dawn

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Muslims in Pakistan celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday

Sunday, 09 October 2022

Nasir Kazmi

Press TV, Islamabad

Thousands of Muslims have held a gathering in the Pakistani capital Islamabad to celebrate the birth anniversary of Islam's Holy Prophet Muhammad.

The occasion is one of the key festivities on the Islamic calendar and holds a special significance for Muslims around the world. The same goes for the people of Pakistan, who are always excited about commemorating this day.

The participants in the ceremonies say the day provides Muslims with a great opportunity to understand the teachings and the message of Prophet Muhammad.

Source: Press TV

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South Asia


Acclaimed Afghan Singer Joins Hazara Protests in Washington D.C.

By Saqalain Eqbal

09 Oct 2022

Renowned Afghan singer Farhad Darya took part in the demonstration held in Washington D.C. against the “genocide” of the Hazaras and urged the people in a brief address to stop being divided and unite as one.

Along with his wife, Farhad Darya, another Afghan artist, participated in the mass protest against the systematic abuse of Hazaras that was held in the US capital. Darya said that the people’s voice has now reached a global level and will not be silenced.

These protests, according to Farhad Darya, who actively engages on social media and remarks on the goings-on, “opened the gate of mass protests and it will not stop.”

Global protests against the genocide of Hazaras started on Saturday, October 8th, and are still going on Sunday, October 9th, in more than 100 cities around the world, including Melbourne and cities in Portugal.

The terrorist attack on the Kaaj education center in the Hazara neighborhood of west Kabul on September 30 sparked these widespread protests, the number of which is unprecedented.

The protesters demand an immediate end to the “genocide” being committed against the Hazara minority, citing the attack on Kaaj as a flagrant example of atrocities committed against the Hazara community.

The White House pledged to establish a team of significant government agencies to actively monitor the genocide of Hazaras on a long-term basis.

Source: Khaama Press

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Afghans still worried over drone strikes after US puts limits on drone use

09 October 2022

Abdullah Amirzada

Press TV, Kabul

US president Joe Biden has signed a new classified policy that limits the country’s drone operations and tightens the rules of engagement.

This policy will limit drone operations in several countries where the US has carried out many strikes in recent years, including Afghanistan. US drones, however, are still flying in the skies of Afghanistan, and people are worried that deadly strikes could still happen at any moment.

Back in 2017, the Trump administration replaced old guidelines with a looser set of rules for drone engagement that led to a 330 percent rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Research by an independent media organization shows that from 2015 to 2020 alone, between 300 to 900 civilians lost their lives to US drone operations. Experts say that even with the new policy adopted, US drones in Afghanistan are still dangerous.

The aforementioned policy requires “near certainty” that a target is a member of a designated terrorist group and “near certainty” that no civilians will be killed or injured before pulling the trigger. But it still remains unclear what this “near certainty” standard means in practice.

Source: Press TV

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Unidentified Gunmen Kill Man in Northern Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

10 Oct 2022

Local Taliban officials in Faryab province in northern Afghanistan said that unknown gunmen killed a man in the Pashtun Kot district of the province.

The Taliban security officials involved in the investigation of the case stated that the incident took place on Saturday night, October 8 in the Takali village of the Pashtun Kot district.

According to Shamsullah Mohammadi, the Director of Information and Culture of the Taliban for Faryab province, the man was shot to death with a rifle.

However, other than to say that they are investigating the case to identify the perpetrators and ascertain the cause and motive, the Taliban officials made no mention of the murder’s cause or motive.

Previously last week, a gardener was reported to have been killed by unidentified assailants who killed him in the Qaisar district of Faryab province.

The Taliban officials had arrested two people in connection with the case and stated that the investigations were underway.

Meanwhile, a Taliban official, the head of economy for Faryab province was also assassinated by unknown assailants as the Taliban official was on his way home.

People are concerned due to security instability in many Afghan provinces, particularly Faryab province, as crime rates have raised in Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban Meets Members of Afghan Sikh and Hindu Community

By Saqalain Eqbal

09 Oct 2022

The Taliban administration’s Kabul mayor, Mawlawi Abdul Rashid, met with some Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members. The Hindu and Sikh participants at this meeting demanded that usurpers be driven off their land.

The Kabul Municipality said in a statement that Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have requested assistance in reclaiming their lands.

According to the statement, the Kabul mayor has assured that the problems of the complainants will be resolved.

The Taliban official has also stated that the Afghan Hindu and Sikh are as much as valuable as other Afghans.

The Afghan Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan now make up a small minority, and many of them left the country after the Taliban took over.

Prior to the Taliban’s rule, there were thousands of Hindu and Sikh families, each with their own businesses and representatives in the parliament. Currently, reports claim that there are fewer than 20 families left in the country.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban Delegation Meets Top US Officials in Doha

By Saqalain Eqbal

09 Oct 2022

For the first time since US forces killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone operation in July, senior US officials met with the Taliban delegation in Doha, international media reported.

The delegation from the Taliban, which included the group’s head of intelligence, Abdul Haq Wasiq, met with the top US officials in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, including the US deputy director of the CIA and the top State Department official in charge of Afghanistan.

According to a CNN report, the two sides met in the Qatari capital on Saturday, October 8.

Details of this meeting are unknown, but the US cut off its ties with the Taliban after the assassination of the Al-Qaeda leader in downtown Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

The Doha Agreement, to which the US and the Taliban are parties, stated that the Taliban would not harbor terrorists after the US military withdraws from Afghanistan and that the US accuses the Taliban of breaching it in a “clear and blatant” manner.

Source: Khaama Press

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Arab World


Saudi Ports Authority signs $170 mln contracts to develop Jeddah Islamic Port

09 October, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s ports authority has inked two contracts worth more than $170 million (640 million riyals) to deepen existing wharfs and establish new ones at Jeddah Islamic Port, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Lebanon expecting final draft from US mediator over maritime demarcation within hours

09 October, 2022

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said on Sunday that he will be sent a final draft of a proposal to demarcate Lebanon’s maritime border with long-time foe Israel within hours.

US mediator Amos Hochstein has drawn up the final text.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iraqi Kurdistan lawmakers delay polls and extend term

09 October, 2022

Parliament in Iraq’s autonomous northern Kurdistan region voted Sunday to extend its term by a year, postponing polls against a backdrop of a wider national political paralysis.

Legislative elections in Kurdistan had been due this month, four years after the last vote.

Amid disagreements between its two major parties, lawmakers will now stay until a new parliament is elected in late 2023.

Eighty out of 111 representatives voted for the measure, the regional parliament said in a statement, with members of the opposition abstaining.

The delay is the result of disputes between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) over the delineation of electoral constituencies.

But it also is part of a broader power struggle between the parliament’s two biggest parties, said Shivan Fazil, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

KDP, which controls the regional government, has challenged PUK’s claim for the presidency of Iraq, which by convention is held by a member of Iraq’s Kurdish minority. The PUK has held the largely symbolic post since 2005.

“Lack of cooperation and consensus between the two parties at the federal level... has increasingly led to a lack of cooperation and consensus” in Kurdistan too, Fazil said.

The parliament has extended its term several times in recent decades over political disagreements, and in the 1990s due to fighting between two rival clans, the KDP-affiliated Barzanis and the PUK-affiliated Talabanis.

The UN envoy to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, warned this week that “the political fallout” of not conducting timely elections and “neglecting basic democratic principles will bear a high cost.”

“Monopolizing power breeds instability,” she told the Security Council on Tuesday. “That goes for both Iraq as a whole and for the Kurdistan region.”

Kurdish officials have painted the region as a haven of stability in conflict-ridden Iraq. It is home to several international charities, and has developed its infrastructure and projects at a faster pace than the rest of the country.

But activists and opposition figures have decried corruption, arbitrary arrests and intimidation of protesters.

The region has also been caught in the crosshairs of geopolitical conflict among neighboring countries, having recently been the target of strikes by both Iran and Turkey.

Source: Al Arabiya

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British warship intercepts dhow carrying $16.6 mln worth of meth in Arabian Sea

09 October, 2022

A British warship intercepted a dhow carrying $16.6 million worth of methamphetamine in the Arabian Sea on Saturday, according to the UK’s National Crime Agency.

HMS Montrose, which has been deployed in the Middle East since 2019, carried out a six-hour operation to confiscate more than 870 kilograms of the drug.

The ship has now made five drugs seizures worth a total of $52 million this year, and two firearms seizures.

It is part of the Saudi-led Combined Task Force 150, which consists of forces from 38 nations that work together to provide security for the Red and Arabian seas.

“HMS Montrose pounced, after her Wildcat helicopter located and tracked the suspect dhow until the frigate was in range to launch her boarding teams in her boats,” a Royal Navy spokesperson said.

“Royal Marines from 42 Commando, the UK military’s specialists in these operations, seized control of the vessel in choppy conditions, before sailors moved in to search the craft for any illegal cargo, while overhead the Wildcat observed proceedings and provided cover for those scouring the dhow for her illicit cargo.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi leaders send condolences to Thai king over mass shootings

October 09, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn over the victims of a nursery massacre in northeastern Thailand on Thursday.

“We have learned of the news of the shooting incident that took place in Nong Bua Lam Phu province, and the resulting deaths and injuries, and while we strongly condemn this heinous criminal act, we express to Your Majesty, the families of the deceased and the friendly people of the Kingdom of Thailand our deepest and sincere condolences,” the king said in a statement issued by Saudi Press Agency.

An ex-policeman murdered 24 children and 12 adults on a three-hour gun and knife rampage in a rural day care center at naptime.

King Salman also offered his sympathy for those afflicted, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Source: Arab News

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Saudi foreign minister discusses relations with counterparts from Malta, El Salvador

October 09, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Sunday received his Maltese counterpart Ian Borg in the capital, Riyadh, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations and ways to enhance and develop them in all areas of cooperation, in addition to discussing aspects of joint work and coordination in many regional and international issues.

Source: Arab News

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2023 poll: Plot against APC Muslim-Muslim ticket thickens as Dogara, Lawal, Aliero move to adopt consensus candidate

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja

09 October 2022

The ongoing plot against the Muslim -Muslim ticket of the ruling All progressive congress (APC) thickened yesterday after the Northern Christian leaders concluded arrangements to adopt any of the leading presidential candidates of the opposition political parties as their consensus candidate in the 2023 poll.

The group led by the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir David Lawal disclosed that they have resolved to work with their Muslim counterparts in the north to adopt one of the Presidential Candidates in a bid to defeat the same faith ticket (Muslim-Muslim) ticket of the APC.

Sources say the aggrieved politicians are considering Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who are the presidential candidates of the opposition peoples democratic party (PDP), the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPC) have the Muslim -Christians joint tickets as their consensus candidate.

The resolution was contained in a communique jointly signed by a former Deputy Governor of Sokoto State and minister of Water Resources during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo Hon. Mukhari Shagari and Hon Yakubu Dogara.

The communique was the outcome of their consultative meeting and dialogue between Northern APC Christian Leaders and Northern Muslim Political Leaders held on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at NAF Conference Centre, Kado Abuja.

The APC Northern Christian leaders claimed that the resolution had the full backing of their members across the 19 northern states and the FCT.

It reads thus: “That we have agreed to work together with a view to fostering unity, peace and national cohesion.

“To work together and jointly adopt a pan-Nigerian political platform that will engender unity, inclusiveness and a sense of belonging among the Nigerian citizenry.

” Conscious of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural configuration of Nigeria we believe that a same faith ticket and voting along religious lines may trigger dangerous dimensions of negative consequences among our disparate peoples in ways that will hamper nation building.

” Consequently, we have agreed to channel our energies on matters that unite us more as a people instead of encouraging attacks on sensitive issues bothering religion in the name of politics.

“In view of the above, we have agreed to set up a committee with the mandate to fashion out strategies for advancing the objectives set forth in this resolution.”

The dialogue and consultative meeting had in attendance the following persons: Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, Boni Haruna, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Yakubu Dogara, Babachir David Lawal, Damishi Sango, Senator Idris Ahmed Umar, Yomi Awoniyi, Simon Achuba, Ummara Kumalia, Baba Shehu Agaie.

They include Air Marshall Monday Morgan (Rtd), General Ishaya Bauka (rtd), Mohammed Sani Sidi, John B. Bawa, Iliya Stephen Msheliza, Sarah Allabeh-nanpon, Shina Ibiyemi, Dr Auwalu Anwar

Others are Dr. Yakubu Tor-Agbidye, Hon Hassan Jonga, Hon Dauda Bundot, Alhaji Abdul Abubakar, Alhaji Musa Bello, Ishaku Pennap

Hon Leah Solomon, Mohammed Alhaji Yakubu, Professor Salamatu Machunga, Barrister Mela Nanghe SAN

The attendees include Reverend Joseph Hayab, Dr Mrs Ruth Magaji, Rev Innocent Solomon, Rev Habila Tengya, Hon Haruna Mohammed and Hon Gwamna Dimas

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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Eid el-Maulud: Sani, Bello congratulate Muslims, urge prayer for sustained security improvement

10 October 2022

The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, has called for prayers to sustain improvement in security witnessed in recent times, as Muslims mark Eid el-Maulud across Nigeria.

The lawmaker urged the people to devote Eid el-Maulud festivities to praying for the sustenance of successes, which security agencies have been recording against terrorism, even though the country is still grappling with the menace.

Sani, in his Eid-el-Maulud message, prayed to Almighty Allah to give the nation’s leaders and security agencies the wisdom, strength and courage to prosecute the terrorism battle to its end, so that peace and security may return to the country.

The governorship flag bearer also noted that as the 2023 governorship elections draw closer, he has continued to receive endorsements from critical stakeholders across the state, adding that APC is sure of victory to take Kaduna State to greater heights.

He said: “I wish my Muslim brothers and sisters, in Nigeria and across the globe, joyous and spiritually uplifting Eid el-Maulud celebrations. We thank Almighty Allah for making us see this glorious day set aside to celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him).

“As we mark this day, let us remember, cherish and imbibe virtues Prophet Muhammad exemplified. He exemplified virtues of patience, love, tolerance and perseverance. He devoted his life to building understanding among people while pursuing his faith. He had respect for other people’s faiths. His approach and disposition enhanced the search for peace and security.

“Our dear country is still grappling with insecurity. Enemies of the state and other criminal elements have been carrying out acts of destabilisation and sabotage against our country and its people,” Sani added.

ALSO, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has congratulated the Muslim Ummah on the celebration of Eid el-Maulud, urging them to use the occasion of the prophet’s birth to reflect on essential lessons of his life and times.

The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Berje, noted that the Prophet Muhammad had lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation by all adherents of the religion.

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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Greece and Egypt call Turkish-Libyan gas deal ‘illegal’

09 October, 2022

Egypt and Greece on Sunday said a deal allowing Turkish hydrocarbon exploration in Libya’s Mediterranean waters was “illegal” as Athens said it would oppose it by all “legal means.”

On Monday, Turkey said it had signed a memorandum of understanding on exploration for hydrocarbons in Libya’s seas with the authorities in Tripoli.

“This agreement threatens stability and security in the Mediterranean,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in Cairo, where he met his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

The deal follows an agreement Turkey signed three years ago with Tripoli that demarcated the countries’ shared maritime borders.

Greece, Egypt and Cyprus believe the 2019 agreement violates their economic rights in an area suspected to contain vast natural gas reserves.

“We will use all legal means to defend our rights,” Dendias added.

He said Tripoli “does not have the necessary sovereignty over this area,” and that the agreement is therefore “illegal and inadmissible.”

Shoukry charged that the mandate of the authorities in Tripoli has “expired” and that “the government of Tripoli does not have the legitimacy to sign agreements.”

A rival Libyan administration in the war-torn country’s east – which since March has been attempting to take office in Tripoli and also argues the government’s mandate has expired – has rejected the accord.

Monday’s deal builds on an agreement signed between Ankara and a previous Tripoli-based administration in 2019, at the height of a battle for the capital after eastern-based military chief Khalifa Haftar attempted to seize it by force.

The delivery of Turkish drones to Tripoli-based forces shortly afterwards was seen as crucial in the victory over Haftar, who was backed at the time by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

The question of rights to Libya’s vast hydrocarbon resources has become more urgent this year as global energy prices have soared.

Source: Al Arabiya

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76 dead after boat capsizes in southeastern Nigeria

Olanrewaju Kola



The death toll in a boat accident in southeastern Nigeria has risen to 76, officials said Sunday.

A vessel with 85 people capsized due to heavy flooding in Ogbaru, an area in the state of Anambra, on Friday.

Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Nigeria’s president, said authorities have confirmed the death toll after nearly two days of rescue efforts.

He said searches are still underway for any missing passengers.

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered emergency services and relevant agencies to ensure strict safety checks to prevent future accidents, the spokesman added.

According to local media reports, the boat’s engine had stalled and it capsized due to powerful waves.

Officials, though, are yet to confirm the cause of the accident.

According to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, heavy rainfall and flooding since May has impacted more than 500,000 people in almost 30 of the country’s 36 states.

It has warned that dams are overflowing and will likely cause more damage in several areas.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Algeria, France sign 11 agreements to boost cooperation

Esat Firat 



Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced Sunday that his country has signed 11 cooperation agreements with France in various fields.

Speaking at a press conference following the 5th session of the Algerian-French High Level Intergovernmental Committee in the capital Algiers, Tebboune said the agreements cover several sectors including industry and technology, startups and innovation, agriculture, higher education and scientific research, labor and employment, and tourism and crafts.

The agreements were signed within the framework of the directives of the two states' presidents, he added.

Aiming to improve ties between the two nations, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne accompanied by a delegation of 16 ministers arrived to attend the session of the Intergovernmental Committee.

The joint high-level committee meeting between the two countries had been suspended since its 4th session in 2017 due to tense relations stemming from the colonial period and immigration-related issues.

The two countries signed six cooperation agreements in various sectors and a declaration for a "renewed partnership" at the end of French President Emmanuel Macron's three-day visit to the North African nation in late August.

The two leaders also signed five other agreements to boost bilateral relations in various fields.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UN condemns ‘heinous killing’ of migrants in Libya

October 10, 2022

TRIPOLI: The UN mission in Libya has condemned the “heinous killing” of 15 migrants near the Mediterranean coastal city of Sabratha, accusing smugglers and demanding justice.

The bodies were found on a beach on Friday morning, most of them burned inside a charred boat, according to the UN and the Libyan Red Crescent.

“While the exact circumstances remain to be determined, the killings reportedly resulted from clashes between rival traffickers,” the UN mission UNSMIL said in a statement.

It urged authorities in Libya “to ensure a swift, independent and transparent investigation to bring all perpetrators to justice.”

Libya was a key route for clandestine migration even before the 2011 uprising that overthrew Muammar Qaddafi.

The lawlessness that ensued bolstered its position on the world’s deadliest migration route across the Mediterranean to Europe.

People smugglers from the western city of Sabratha — just 300 km from the Italian island of Lampedusa —continue to play a key role.

Migrants often face horrific treatment at the hands of smuggling gangs.

Rights groups have repeatedly accused authorities and armed groups operating under state auspices of torture and other abuses.

The latest killings are “a stark reminder of the lack of protection migrants and asylum seekers face in Libya, and the widespread human rights violations undertaken by powerful trafficking and criminal networks who need to be swiftly stopped and prosecuted,” UNSMIL said.

Libyan media reported that the killings resulted from a “dispute between people smugglers” that led to them opening fire on the migrants, mostly from African countries further south.

One of the groups involved set fire to the boat, according to the reports.

Since the start of the year, more than 14,000 migrants have been intercepted and returned to Libya, the International Organization for Migration said Monday.

At least 216 people have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea and 724 are missing and presumed dead.

Pope Francis made an impassioned defense of migrants, calling their exclusion “scandalous, disgusting and sinful,” putting him on a collision course with Italy’s upcoming right-wing government.

The Pope made his comments as he canonized a 19th century bishop known as the “father of migrants” and a 20th century man who ministered to the sick in Argentina.

Pope Francis, who has made support of migrants a major theme of his pontificate, presided over the ceremony before 50,000 people in St. Peter’s Square.

“The exclusion of migrants is scandalous. Indeed, the exclusion of migrants is criminal. It makes them die in front of us,” he said.

“And so today the Mediterranean is the world’s largest cemetery,” he said, referring to thousands who have drowned trying to reach Europe.

Source: Arab News

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