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

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Salman Rushdie On Ventilator, Likely To Lose An Eye, Liver Stabbed And Damaged: Report

New Age Islam News Bureau

13 August 2022

 

Author Salman Rushdie/Photo: The Economic Times

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• ‘No One Will Any Longer Dare Offend Islam’: The 1989 Fatwa Against Salman Rushdie

• Militant Hindutva Leader Narsinghanand; Hindus Should Boycott 'Har Ghar Tiranga' Campaign, Should Have A Saffron-Coloured Flag On Their House

• China Tells Pelosi: Repent From US Sins In Afghanistan, Iraq If You Truly Care About Human Rights

• Penang Mufti: Woman Performing Umrah In Men’s Ihram Clothing A ‘Senseless’ Act To Mock Islam

 

North America

• Salman Rushdie stabbing: Assailant identified as Hadi Matar, an Islamist with pro-Iran views

• Salman Rushdie stabbing sends literary world into shock

• New York State police identify suspect who attacked Salman Rushdie

• Salman Rushdie had multiple stab wounds and there was pool of blood under his body, says doctor who helped him

• Attack on author Salman Rushdie was appalling: White House adviser

• Taliban still ‘dangerous,’ says former US general Petraeus

• UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appalled to learn of attack on Salman Rushdie

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Europe

• Events following Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie

• Sweden's Left Party leader chides MPs for posing with PKK terror group's symbol

• Greek state built on anti-Türkiye rhetoric: Turkish officials

• Germany suspends military mission in Mali amid diplomatic tensions

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India

• Islamic Centre Holds ‘Trianga Yatra’ Led By Its Chairman Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali To Mark 75th I-Day Celebrations

• Clerics Across Uttar Pradesh Mosques Urge Faithful To Hoist Tricolour On August 15

• Exiled Bangladeshi Author Taslima Nasreen 'Worried' After Salman Rushdie Stabbed

• Bangladeshi Muslims Make Flags For Har Ghar Tiranga, Boycott Them: Yati

• India At 75: Upper Caste Muslims Have Kept Casteism In Islam Hidden For Personal Benefit: Faiyaz

• J&K Govt Sacks 4 Employees Including Son Of Hizbul Chief Salahuddin

• Sulli Deals app: SC to hear plea seeking clubbing of FIRs

• 41-yr-old accused of active role in Kanhaiya Lal murder arrested by NIA

• Jaish Terrorist Linked To Pak-Based Taliban Arrested By UP ATS, Was Tasked To Kill Nupur Sharma

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South Asia

• Taliban Fighters Swap Arms For Books As Hundreds Return To School

• Afghanistan’s media in doom as country loses nearly 60 pc journalists under Taliban rule

• Afghan migrants continue to face abuse from Iranian border guards, traffickers

• Taliban torn over reforms one year after seizing power

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Southeast Asia

• Operators Predicts Thousands Of 'Mamak' Outlets Nationwide To Fold By Year-End From Worker Shortage

• Turun protesters to ‘celebrate’ Ismail’s first year as PM

• 5 local churches that are architectural masterpieces

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Mideast

• Salman Rushdie Attack: Suspect Showed Sympathy To Causes Of Iran's Revolutionary Guards

• Iran Conservative Media Praise Salman Rushdie Attacker

• Israeli decision to raze West Bank school is 'war' on Palestinian identity, says premier

• Leader: Palestinian Resistance Movement Can Badly Defeat Zionist Enemy

• Spokesman: US Unable to Whitewash General Soleimani's Assassination by False Stories

• President Rayeesi: Martyr Soleimani Source of Pride for Iran, Muslim World

• Iranian diplomat says EU proposal to revive nuclear deal could be ‘acceptable’

• Iran plans to commission three more space satellites

• US ambassador supports Israeli air raids on Gaza Strip, terms resistance fighters as ‘bad guys’

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Pakistan

• Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Hires US Lobbying Firm To Establish 'Good Relations' With Washington

• Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal Underlines Need To Spread True Image Of Islam Via Good Governance

• Decision to not arrest ex-BJP spokesperson shows India’s hatred towards Islam: Bilawal Bhutto

• Protests intensify in PoK against Pakistan government’s plans to amend Constitution

• COAS Bajwa hails deep-rooted ties between Pakistan, UK

• Arshad Nadeem extends golden run to Islamic Solidarity Games

• Militants present in Swat, but situation under control: police

• Religious affairs minister threatens polio vaccine boycott in ex-Fata areas

• US announces $1mln grant for Pakistan to address natural disasters

• Pak navy rescues 9 Indian crew members after vessel capsizes in Arabian Sea

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Arab World

• More Than 600 Linked To ISIS Transferred From Syria To Iraq

• Wanted Fugitive Blows Himself Up In Saudi Arabia Injuring Four People

• Iraq’s Sadr Supporters Perform Friday Prayers Outside Parliament As Political Crisis Lingers

• Pro-Iran Coordination Framework Begin Rival Baghdad Sit-In

• Rivals rally in Iraq amid political standoff

• Suicide bomber injures 4 people in Saudi Arabia

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Africa

• Tunisia’s Military Clashes With ‘Terrorists’, Two Soldiers Injured: Statement

• Sudanese-Libyan patrol finds 20 bodies, rescues 8 surviving irregular immigrants

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/rushdie-hadi-matar-author-new-york-/d/127706

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Salman Rushdie On Ventilator, Likely To Lose An Eye, Liver Stabbed And Damaged: Report

 

Author Salman Rushdie/Photo: The Economic Times

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Yoshita Singh   |   New York

13.08.22

Author Salman Rushdie was on a ventilator, will likely lose one eye and his liver was "stabbed and damaged" following an attack on him on Friday, his agent said, noting that the "news is not good".

The New York Times (NYT) reported that according to Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie, the Mumbai-born controversial author was on a ventilator and could not speak.

"The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was stabbed and damaged," Wylie said in a statement to NYT.

Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing The Satanic Verses, was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident at an event in western New York State.

Hadi Matar (24) from Fairview, New Jersey has been identified as the suspect who stabbed Rushdie, Major Eugene Staniszewski of the New York State Police told a press conference on Friday evening.

Rushdie (75) was stabbed in the neck as he was on the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, a not-for-profit community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 people are in residence on any day during a nine-week season.

Staniszewski said Rushdie was provided medical treatment by a doctor who was in the audience until emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene. "The doctor immediately began first aid" on Rushdie. The author was then airlifted to a local trauma centre and was "undergoing surgery" at about 5 pm local time, several hours after the attack that occurred at approximately 10:47 am.

Replying to a question about Matar's nationality, Staniszewski said, "I don't know yet."

Asked how would he describe Rushdie's condition, Staniszewski said, "We are trying to get an update and it is something that we are watching closely."

He said authorities are in the "process of obtaining search warrants for various items. There was a backpack located at the scene. There was also electronic devices". He added that at the moment, it is assumed that the suspect was "working alone".

Staniszewski said the authorities do not have any indication of a motive "at this time. But we are working with the FBI, the Sheriff's Office and we will determine what the cause of this was and what the motive for this attack was".

Rushdie was about to speak at the special Chautauqua Lecture Series event exploring the theme of "More than Shelter" for a "discussion on the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression".

He was joined by Henry Reese, co-founder of the Pittsburgh nonprofit City of Asylum, the largest residency programme in the world for writers living in exile under the threat of persecution.

Staniszewski said at approximately 10:47 am local time, Rushdie and Reese (73) had just arrived on stage at the Chautauqua Institution for the event. "Shortly thereafter, the suspect jumped onto the stage and attacked Rushdie, stabbing him at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen."

Staniszewski said several members of the staff at the institution and audience members rushed the suspect and took him to the ground. A trooper with the New York State Police, who was at the institution, took the suspect into custody with the assistance of a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy.

Reese was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, treated for facial injuries and subsequently released, authorities said.

The State Police are being assisted by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and the FBI in the investigation. Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt will determine "appropriate charges as the investigation continues", authorities said.

Chautauqua Institution president Michael Hill said the organisation is holding Rushdie and Reese as well as their families "close in prayer at this hour".

"What we experienced at Chautauqua today is an incident unlike anything in our nearly 150-year history. We were founded to bring people together in community, to learn and in doing so, create solutions through action, to develop empathy and to take on intractable problems. Today, we are called to take on fear and the worst of all human traits. Hate," Hill said.

Counter Extremism Project (CEP) CEO Ambassador Mark Wallace said his thoughts and prayers go out to Rushdie and his family after he suffered the "senseless" attack on his life.

"Rushdie is a champion of free speech who has lived under the threat of assassination since the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against him in 1989. Despite the continuous calls for his execution by the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, Rushdie has refused to be intimidated. His bravery and commitment to his values should be celebrated in this difficult moment."

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/salman-rushdie-on-ventilator-likely-to-lose-an-eye-liver-stabbed-and-damaged-report/cid/1879896

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‘No One Will Any Longer Dare Offend Islam’: The 1989 Fatwa Against Salman Rushdie

 

Salman Rushdie, the controversial writer

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12 August 2022

PARIS (AFP) — Friday’s knife attack on Salman Rushdie at an event in New York comes more than 33 years after the fatwa against him by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in which he sentenced him to death.

The Fatwa

On February 14, 1989 Khomeini called for him to be killed for writing “The Satanic Verses,” which the cleric said insulted Islam.

In a fatwa, or religious decree, Khomeini urged “Muslims of the world rapidly to execute the author and the publishers of the book” so that “no one will any longer dare to offend the sacred values of Islam.”

Khomeini, who was 89 and had just four months to live, added that anyone who was killed trying to carry out the death sentence should be considered a “martyr” who would go to paradise.

A $2.8-million bounty was put on the writer’s head.

The British government immediately granted police protection to Rushdie, an atheist born in India to non-practicing Muslims.

 For almost 13 years he moved between safe houses under the pseudonym of Joseph Anton, changing base 56 times in the first six months. His solitude was worsened by the split with his wife American novelist Marianne Wiggins, to whom “The Satanic Verses” are dedicated.

“I am gagged and imprisoned,” he recalled writing in his diary in his 2012 memoir, “Joseph Anton.”

“I can’t even speak. I want to kick a football in a park with my son. Ordinary, banal life: my impossible dream.”

‘Blasphemous’

Viking Penguin published “The Satanic Verses” in September 1988 to critical acclaim.

The book is set by turns in the London of Conservative British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and ancient Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.

It centers on the adventures of two Indian actors, Gibreel and Saladin, whose hijacked plane explodes over the English Channel.

They re-emerge on an English beach and mix with immigrants in London, the story unfolding in surreal sequences reflecting Rushdie’s magic realism style.

The book was deemed blasphemous and sacrilegious by many Muslims including over references to verses alleged by some scholars to have been an early version of the Quran and later removed.

These verses allow for prayers to be made to three pagan goddesses, contrary to Islam’s strict belief that there is only one God.

Controversially, Rushdie writes of the involvement of a prophet resembling the founder of Islam, Muhammad.

This prophet is tricked into striking a deal with Satan in which he exchanges some of his monotheistic dogmatism in favor of the three goddesses. He then realizes his error.

Khomeini and others insist he had depicted the prophet irreverently.

‘Hang Rushdie’

In October 1988, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi banned the import of the book, hoping to win Muslim support ahead of elections. Some 20 countries went on to outlaw it.

In January 1989, Muslims in Britain’s northern city of Bradford burned copies in public.

A month later, thousands of Pakistanis attacked the US Information Center in Islamabad, shouting “American dogs” and “hang Salman Rushdie.” Police opened fire, killing five.

Khomeini’s fatwa provoked horror around the Western world.

There were protests in Europe, and London and Tehran broke off diplomatic relations for nearly two years.

In the United States, authors like Susan Sontag and Tom Wolfe organized public lectures to support Rushdie.

The author tried to explain himself in 1990 in an essay titled “In Good Faith” but many Muslims were not placated.

Attacks

Rushdie gradually emerged from his underground life in 1991, but his Japanese translator was killed in July that year.

His Italian translator was stabbed a few days later and a Norwegian publisher shot two years later, although it was never clear the attacks were in response to Khomeini’s call.

In 1993, Islamist protesters torched a hotel in Sivas in central Turkey, some of whom were angered by the presence of writer Aziz Nesin, who sought to translate the novel into Turkish. He escaped but 37 people were killed.

In 1998, the government of Iran’s reformist president Mohammad Khatami assured Britain that Iran would not implement the fatwa.

But Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in 2005 he still believed Rushdie was an apostate whose killing would be authorized by Islam.

‘Islamophobia’

Many Muslims were furious when Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 for his services to literature.

Iran accused Britain of “Islamophobia,” saying its fatwa still stood, and there were widespread Muslim protests, notably in Pakistan.

Rushdie was by then living relatively openly in New York where he moved in the late 1990s, and where his recent novels are set.

After many years living in the shadows, he became something of a socialite and is seen by many in the West as a free speech hero.

Until Friday’s knife attack, he had very much resumed a normal life.

Source: Times Of Israel

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

https://www.timesofisrael.com/no-one-will-any-longer-dare-offend-islam-the-1989-fatwa-against-salman-rushdie/

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Militant Hindutva Leader Narsinghanand; Hindus Should Boycott 'Har Ghar Tiranga' Campaign, Should Have A Saffron-Coloured Flag On Their House

 

Yati Narsinghanand. Photo: Twitter

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Aug 13, 2022

New Delhi: Militant Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand Giri has urged Hindus to have a saffron-coloured flag on their house and boycott the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign.

According to Scroll, Narsinghanand – who is an accused in two hate speech cases – asked Hindus to boycott the “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign and not purchase flags as he claimed that the biggest order of procuring flags for this campaign has been given to a Muslim.

“The biggest order [of procuring flags] for this campaign has been given to a company in West Bengal owned by one Salauddin,” he claimed in a video that went viral on Friday, August 12.

“This is one big conspiracy against Hindus. If you [Hindus] want to stay alive, then stop giving your money to Muslims in the name of this campaign.” He added, “If you want to hoist a tricolour, find an old one. But don’t give money to Salauddin.”

He further said that Hindu politicians campaign for the economic boycott of Muslims, however, they give government contracts to them once in power.

“Teach a lesson to these politicians…They cannot use your [Hindus] money to make Muslims rich and subsequently make arrangements for them to kill your children. Don’t fall into the trap of these people,” he says in the video, according to an English translation provided by Scroll.

“Every Hindu should have a saffron-coloured flag on his house,” he said.

While The Wire was unable to verify the Hindutva leader’s claim, the Times of India has reported about Salauddin Mondal, whose Kolkata-based company is one of the nine flag suppliers enlisted by the West Bengal government under the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ programme.

Mondal said he expected to send three or four crore tricolours to the state governments of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Several educational institutes and organisations in Bengal under the Union government have also placed orders with him.

“There is no doubt that my business will get an impetus, but that is nothing compared to the pride that comes with being associated with the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence in such a crucial way,” Mondal said, according to TOI. “I am fortunate that the responsibility of ensuring every house has a Tricolour has been given to me,” he added.

Narsinghanand is out on bail

In January, Narsinghanand was arrested in two separate cases: one on derogatory comments against women and the other on hate speeches against Muslims at Haridwar’s Dharma Sansad. He is on bail in both cases.

However, the Hindu seer has made several inflammatory comments against Muslims for which no action has been taken until now.

In April, he had asked Hindus to give birth to more children to prevent India from becoming an Islamic country. The Himachal Pradesh had warned him to not use such instigating language.

He was summoned by the Ghaziabad Police in June for making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad.
Source: The Wire

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

https://thewire.in/communalism/narsinghanand-boycott-har-ghar-tirangan-campaign

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China Tells Pelosi: Repent From US Sins In Afghanistan, Iraq If You Truly Care About Human Rights

 

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin

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12 August 2022

China has called on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to express remorse and apologize for the atrocities committed by the Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya if she cared so much about human rights.

Speaking at a regular briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized Pelosi’s visit to Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) under the pretext of defending democratic values as a "major political provocation" and said the visit, which only escalated tensions in the region, had nothing to do with democracy.

"Her visit had nothing to do with democracy, that was a political trick that ran counter to the will of 1.4. billion Chinese people, including our compatriots in Taiwan. The visit also challenged the one-China principle which is widely recognized by the international community," he remarked.

"If Pelosi cares so much about democracy and human rights, she’d better visit Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya where she could express repentance for the killings of hundreds of thousands of civilians by the US military. She could also promise those countries that similar ferocities that resulted from a US violation of the UN Charter and international law norms will never ever be repeated," the Chinese diplomat said.

Pelosi’s visit to Taipei on August 2 and 3 prompted China to launch its largest-ever military drills around Taiwan on August 4.

As a result of the civil war in China in the late 1940s and the interference of external forces, the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have fallen into a state of protracted political confrontation.

Since 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek's defeated Kuomintang nationalists fled to the island, Chinese Taipei has been run by a local administration.

But Beijing never agreed with the sovereignty of the Island and considers it as an inseparable territory of China that has never been divided and will never be divided.

At its 26th session in October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which undertook "to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it". This resolution settled once and for all the political, legal and procedural issues of China's representation in the UN, and it covered the whole country, including Taiwan. It also spelled out that China has one single seat in the UN, so there is no such thing as "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan".

In this regard, Sun Weidong, China's ambassador to India, said that Beijing's stand on Pelosi's Taipei visit as a "major political provocation" has got the backing of people from over 160 countries. "On Pelosi’s visit to China's Taiwan region, people from over 160 countries have voiced their support for China’s efforts to uphold its sovereignty & territorial integrity," he wrote in a Twitter post.

On Pelosi’s visit to China's Taiwan region, people from over 160 countries have voiced their support for China’s efforts to uphold its sovereignty & territorial integrity. pic.twitter.com/xRKzDmIbeu

— Sun Weidong (@China_Amb_India) August 6, 2022

In the meantime, the United States claims it cannot overlook China's intrusions into the Taiwan Strait.

According to Pelosi, Beijing is trying to create a "new normal" and the US cannot let that happen.

"What we saw with China is that they were trying to establish sort of a new normal. And we just can't let that happen," she said.

Pelosi's Democratic Party mate, US President Joe Biden, warned Americans that China was planning "to eat our lunch".

If we don't get moving, they are going to eat our lunch, Biden warned.

He said China was investing very heavily to deal with a whole range of issues including transportation and the environment.

"It is the United States that infringed upon China's sovereignty, not China violating the sovereignty of the United States. It is the United States who connived at and supported 'Taiwan independence' separatist activities, not China conniving at and supporting separatist activities in the United States," Wang added.

'Gangster logic'

On Wednesday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the United States was going down the path of obscuring, hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle, while accusing China of changing the status quo.

"The United States carries out over a hundred military drills in China's adjacent waters every year, but accuses China of overacting," Wang insisted. "Neither China nor the international community will accept such a gangster logic."

If the United States truly hopes to abide by international law and uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries as it claims to, it should return to the one-China principle, Wang noted.

Wang urged the United States to refrain from reckless moves and stop attempting to use Taiwan to contain China and do right things and take concrete steps to facilitate the sound development of China-US ties and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The Chinese government blames the escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait and across the Asia Pacific region on US policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that America's foreign policy towards China in recent years caused Beijing "serious difficulties" in their mutual relations, with clashes on issues like trade, pandemics, and regional interference.

Xi said that despite all difficulties created by the US, Beijing  will not allow a foreign force to bully and oppress it, warning that anyone who tries to do so will “be badly battered by the Chinese nation’s perseverance.”

Xi said the “era of China being bullied is gone forever,” as he stood at the Gate of Heavenly Peace above a portrait of Mao Zedong, adding that, “No one should underestimate the Chinese nation’s will and power to fight against foreign power.”

“We will not accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us,” he said. “We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will.”

“By the same token, we will never allow anyone to bully, oppress, or subjugate [China]. Anyone who tries will find them on a collision course with a steel wall forged by 1.4 billion people.”

Xi further hailed the ruling party’s successes since its founding in 1921, saying it had lifted China out of poverty and restored national pride.

“We eliminated the exploitative feudal system that had persisted in China for thousands of years and established socialism,” he said.

“Only socialism could save China and only socialism with Chinese characteristics could develop China,” he added.

China’s Xi urges ruling party members to advance toward 2nd centenary goal

China’s President Xi Jinping calls on the Chinese Communist Party members to advance toward the second centenary goal of the country as the nation prepares to commemorate the ruling party’s 100th founding anniversary.

Xi further said the party had brought about “national rejuvenation” by lifting tens of millions from poverty and “altered the landscape of world development.”

The “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical course,” he said, and pledged to continue to build a “world-class” military to defend national interests.

The Chinese president also warned that any attempt to separate the ruling party and the people was “bound to fail,” and said the party had achieved its goal of building a “moderately prosperous society in all respects.”

Reunification of Chinese Taipei 'unshakeable commitment'

Elsewhere in his remarks, Xi reiterated longstanding pledges to “restore” Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), stressing that the reunification of the self-ruled island with the mainland remained an “unshakeable commitment.”

“No one should underestimate the resolve, the will and ability of the Chinese people to define their national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

China has pursued reunification with Chinese Taipei ever since the island broke away from the mainland during the civil war.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/12/687249/China--Foreign-Ministry-Spokesperson-Wang-Wenbin-Pelosi-Taiwan-Afghanistan

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Penang Mufti: Woman Performing Umrah In Men’s Ihram Clothing A ‘Senseless’ Act To Mock Islam

 

Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor

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13 Aug 2022

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 13 ― Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor described the action of the woman who performed umrah clad in ihram clothing for men as “senseless” and a deliberate act to mock Islam.

“A Muslim is required to respect and glorify Islam...Intentionally doing an act that is contrary to Islamic law means making fun or mocking at Islam, whereby making the doer a kafir (infidel),” he said in a statement today.

The statement was issued in response to a 17-second video which went viralled since yesterday on a woman said to be a Malaysian, who was dressed in male ihram clothing in the holy land.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad, in a Facebook post, said stern action would be taken against the woman and that he had contacted the Home Ministry for investigation to be carried out once the said person is back in Malaysia. ― Bernama

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/08/13/penang-mufti-woman-performing-umrah-in-mens-ihram-clothing-a-senseless-act-to-mock-islam/22614

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 North America

 Salman Rushdie stabbing: Assailant identified as Hadi Matar, an Islamist with pro-Iran views

Aug 13, 2022

WASHINGTON: Law enforcement authorities in New York on Friday identified author Salman Rushdie's assailant as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey, believed, on the basis of his social media posts, to be a supporter of fundamentalist forces in Iran which initiated a fatwa on the writer in 1988.

After stabbing, Rushdie was flown to UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Erie, Pennsylvania and underwent surgery. Andrew Wylie, Rushdie's agent, said the writer was on a ventilator with a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose.

Matar reportedly drove from his home in Fairview, New Jersey to Chautauqua, in Upstate New York, where Rushdie, 75, was a guest speaker at a local literary festival. He was being interviewed by Henry Reese, 73, when Matar, said to be of Lebanese origin, rushed on to the stage to attack him.

He was pinned down by audience members who jumped on stage to protect the panelists, and doctor among them helped administer CPR to Rushdie before he was airlifted to hospital.

The attack, given Matar's purported Iranian sympathies, immediately took on geo-political implications, coming as it did just days after the Biden administration's Justice Department charged a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of trying to orchestrate the assassination of former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/salman-rushdie-stabbing-assailant-identified-as-hadi-matar-an-islamist-with-pro-iran-views/articleshow/93532115.cms

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Salman Rushdie stabbing sends literary world into shock

Aug 13, 2022

Literary figures and public officials said that they were shocked by the news that the author Salman Rushdie had been stabbed in the neck on Friday morning while onstage to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institute in western New York.

“We cannot immediately think of any comparable incident of a public violent attack on a writer during a literary event here in the US,” said Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of the nonprofit literary organisation PEN America, who noted that the motivations for the attack and Rushdie’s current condition were unknown as of Friday late morning.

Rushdie is a former president of PEN America, which advocates for writers’ freedom of expression around the world. She said in a statement that the organisation’s members were “reeling from shock and horror”. Nossel said Rushdie had emailed her hours before the attack to ask about helping Ukrainian writers in need of safe refuge.

“Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades, but has never flinched nor faltered,” she said. “He has devoted tireless energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced.”

“I hope Salman Rushdie is okay,” tweeted Stephen King.

“I am really shocked. I never thought it would happen. He has been living in the West, and he has been protected since 1989. If he is attacked, anyone who is critical of Islam can be attacked. I am worried” tweeted Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.

“Horrified to learn that Salman Rushdie has been attacked at a speaking event in upstate New York. Wish him a speedy recovery,” said writer Amitav Ghosh.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said, “I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic. I hope that NY police and the court will take the strongest action possible against the attacker.”

The Wylie Agency, which represents Rushdie, did not respond to a request for comment. Iran’s mission to the UN in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

US Senator Chuck Schumer of New York called it “an attack on freedom of speech and thought”.

The author Neil Gaiman wrote on Twitter that he was “shocked and distressed” about the attack. “He’s a good man and a brilliant one and I hope he’s okay,” he said.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York said she had directed state police to assist with the investigation into Rushdie’s attack. A man was immediately taken into custody, according to a statement from the state police. Photos on social media of the alleged assailant being led away by police showed a young man with close cropped hair.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/salman-rushdie-stabbing-sends-literary-world-into-shock/articleshow/93530251.cms

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New York State police identify suspect who attacked Salman Rushdie

Aug 13, 2022

WASHINGTON: The New York State Police have identified the suspect, who attacked Salman Rushdie, as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey while the motive behind the act is still unknown.

"The suspect has been identified as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey. Earlier today, approx. at 10:47 am, the speaker Rushdie,75 and Henry Reese,73 had just arrived at the stage of the institution and shortly thereafter the suspect jumped out of the stage and attacked at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen," State Police Troop Commander Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said in a news conference.

The police further said that several members of the institution and the audience quickly responded to the incident and took the suspect to the ground.

A doctor in the audience "immediately began first aid for Rushdie" after the stabbing, Major Staniszewski said. The authorities didn't reveal much information about the suspect.

Earlier, Salman Rushdie, who faced death threats over his book 'The Satanic Verses', was "stabbed" on stage in Western New York state.

Earlier, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the author is alive and has been transported to a local hospital.

"He is alive and has been transported, airlifted, to safety... The event moderator was attacked as well; he's getting the care he needs at a local hospital," she said.

The New York State Police said in a statement that a male suspect ran up onto the stage prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua and attacked Rushdie.

It said the author suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. A suspect has been taken into custody.

The interviewer with Rushdie was also attacked during the incident and he suffered a minor head injury, the police said.

"State Police are investigating the attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY," the statement said.

The seventy-five-year-old author, who caught the limelight for his novel 'Midnight's Children' in 1981, had received a fatwa for his 1988 book. The Satanic Verses book led to a fatwa, a religious decree, by the then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The threat forced him into hiding for several years.

Reacting to the incident, veteran Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar condemned the barbaric attack. "I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic. I hope that NY police and the court will take the strongest action possible against the attacker," Javed Akhtar tweeted.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, "Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay."

And Home Secretary of UK Priti Patel said, "Shocked and appalled to hear of the unprovoked and senseless attack on Sir Salman Rushdie. Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine it must not be tolerated. My thoughts are with Sir Salman and his family."

"State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY," the statement said. American author Stephen King said, "I hope Salman Rushdie is okay."

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/new-york-state-police-identify-suspect-who-attacked-salman-rushdie/articleshow/93530819.cms

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Salman Rushdie had multiple stab wounds and there was pool of blood under his body, says doctor who helped him

Aug 13, 2022

NEW YORK: Salman Rushdie suffered multiple stab wounds, including one to the right side of his neck, and was lying in a pool of blood under his body after he was attacked at an event here on Friday, according to a doctor who helped the Mumbai-born controversial author following the brutal assault.

Rushdie was attacked and stabbed in the neck on Friday while onstage in Chautauqua in Western New York, New York Police said.

"Rita Landman, an endocrinologist who was in the audience, walked on stage to offer assistance after the talk. She said that Mr. Rushdie had multiple stab wounds, including one to the right side of his neck, and that there was a pool of blood under his body. But she said he appeared to be alive and was not receiving CPR,” The New York Times reported.

"People were saying, ‘He has a pulse, he has a pulse he has a pulse,'” the report quoted Landman as saying.

Rushdie, who won the Booker Prize for his novel ‘Midnight's Children', was seen on the stage with blood on his hands. The audience tackled the attacker and Rushdie was then treated onstage following the assault.

“State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. On August 12, 2022, at about 11 a.m., a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer,” New York Police said in a statement.

David Graves, 78, who was sitting in the middle section of the amphitheater, said Rushdie was still seated when the attacker reached the stage and launched at him. "Things unfolded within seconds," he told the New York Times. Roger Warner of Cleveland, Ohio, was sitting on the front row at the amphitheater with his wife when Rushdie was attacked.

Warner said he saw a tall, slender man leap onto the stage from the left side and begin attacking Salman Rushdie. He thought the man had punched Rushdie three or four times in the face. Then he saw the blood.

“He was covered with blood and there was blood running down onto the floor. I just saw blood all around his eyes and running down his cheek,” Warner wasquoted as saying in the report.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country's largest Muslim civil rights group, said he was concerned people might rush to blame Muslims or Islam for the stabbing before the attacker's identity or motive were publicly known. “American Muslims, like all Americans, condemn any violence targeting anyone in our society,” he said.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/salman-rushdie-had-multiple-stab-wounds-and-there-was-pool-of-blood-under-his-body-says-doctor-who-helped-him/articleshow/93529773.cms

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Attack on author Salman Rushdie was appalling: White House adviser

13 August, 2022

The attack on Salman Rushdie, the novelist who was stabbed in the neck and torso onstage at a lecture in New York on Friday, was appalling, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.

“We’re all praying for his speedy recovery. And we’re thankful to good citizens and first responders for helping him so swiftly,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday.

After hours of surgery, Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak on Friday evening after an attack condemned by writers and politicians around the world as an assault on the freedom of expression.

“The news is not good,” Andrew Wylie, his book agent, wrote in an email. “Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”

Rushdie, 75, was being introduced to give a talk to an audience of hundreds on artistic freedom at western New York's Chautauqua Institution when a man rushed to the stage and lunged at the novelist, who has lived with a bounty on his head since the late 1980s.

Stunned attendees helped wrest the man from Rushdie, who had fallen to the floor. A New York State Police trooper providing security at the event arrested the attacker. Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, who bought a pass to the event.

“A man jumped up on the stage from I don't know where and started what looked like beating him on the chest, repeated fist strokes into his chest and neck,” said Bradley Fisher, who was in the audience. “People were screaming and crying out and gasping.”

A doctor in the audience helped tend to Rushdie while emergency services arrived, police said. Henry Reese, the event's moderator, suffered a minor head injury. Police said they were working with federal investigators to determine a motive. They did not describe the weapon used.

Rushdie, who was born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, now Mumbai, before moving to the United Kingdom, has long faced death threats for his fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses.”

Some Muslims said the book contained blasphemous passages. It was banned in many countries with large Muslim populations upon its 1988 publication.

A few months later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran's supreme leader, pronounced a fatwa, or religious edict, calling upon Muslims to kill the novelist and anyone involved in the book's publication for blasphemy.

Rushdie, who called his novel “pretty mild,” went into hiding for nearly a decade. Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of the novel, was murdered in 1991. The Iranian government said in 1998 it would no longer back the fatwa, and Rushdie has lived relatively openly in recent years.

Iranian organizations, some affiliated with the government, have raised a bounty worth millions of dollars for Rushdie's murder. And Khomeini's successor as supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said as recently as 2019 that the fatwa was “irrevocable.”

Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency and other news outlets donated money in 2016 to increase the bounty by $600,000. Fars called Rushdie an apostate who “insulted the prophet” in its report on Friday's attack.

‘Not a usual writer’

Rushdie published a memoir in 2012 about his cloistered, secretive life under the fatwa called “Joseph Anton,” the pseudonym he used while in British police protection. His second novel, “Midnight's Children,” won the Booker Prize. His new novel “Victory City” is due to be published in February.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was appalled that Rushdie was “stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend.”

Rushdie was at the institution in western New York for a discussion about the United States giving asylum to artists in exile and “as a home for freedom of creative expression,” according to the institution's website.

There were no obvious security checks at the Chautauqua Institution, a landmark founded in the 19th century in the small lakeside town of the same name; staff simply checked people's passes for admission, attendees said.

“I felt like we needed to have more protection there because Salman Rushdie is not a usual writer,” said Anour Rahmani, an Algerian writer and human rights activist who was in the audience. “He's a writer with a fatwa against him.”

Michael Hill, the institution's president, said at a news conference they had a practice of working with state and local police to provide event security. He vowed the summer's program would soon continue.

“Our whole purpose is to help people bridge what has been too divisive of a world,” Hill said. “The worst thing Chautauqua could do is back away from its mission in light of this tragedy, and I don't think Mr. Rushdie would want that either.”

Rushdie became a US citizen in 2016 and lives in New York City.

A self-described lapsed Muslim and “hard-line atheist,” he has been a fierce critic of religion across the spectrum and outspoken about oppression in his native India, including under the Hindu-nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PEN America, an advocacy group for freedom of expression of which Rushdie is a former president, said it was “reeling from shock and horror” at what it called an unprecedented attack on a writer in the United States.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/13/Attack-on-author-Salman-Rushdie-was-appalling-White-House-adviser-

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Taliban still ‘dangerous,’ says former US general Petraeus

August 13, 2022

LONDON: A former US military commander warned that the Taliban has allowed Al-Qaeda to return and Daesh to become “very dangerous” amid the disastrous situation in Afghanistan in the 12 months since US troops withdrew.

“Gen. David Petraeus said that in the year since Western forces left, the country had returned to the 8th or 9th century, with the new regime imposing an ‘ultra-conservative’ vision of Islam,” according to a report by The Guardian newspaper, which cited an interview he gave to Times Radio.

The report added that the West “left behind hundreds of thousands of people whose security was jeopardized because of their service in the Afghan government or work alongside Western troops.”

“I think it is still a tragic, heartbreaking and, frankly, disastrous situation. Clearly the Taliban have allowed Al-Qaeda to return. The Islamic State appears very dangerous,” Petraeus said, using an alternative name for the terrorist organization Daesh.

“The economy has collapsed, many of the people are literally starving and the Taliban regime has imposed an ultra-conservative vision of Islam that takes the country back to the 8th or 9th century … and in which women have very little opportunity to contribute to the economy, the business world, even to society.”

He added: “The vast majority of the coalition forces who were carrying out training and assistance in the country until last summer had wanted to stay.”

The Guardian said that intelligence chiefs “previously warned that withdrawing from the country could weaken the ability of the UK and US to gain an accurate picture of terrorist activity on the ground.”

Since the departure of US-led Western troops on Aug. 31 last year and the resultant Taliban takeover, warnings and threats from the West to the group about its actions have been ignored, The Guardian said, and British security agencies have major concerns that it will continue to allow a resurgence of extremist groups, in particular Al-Qaeda “who could exploit a security vacuum.”

Petraeus also said a number of resources had been employed to carry out strikes against individuals who pose a threat, including Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri who was killed by a US drone strike on his hideout in the Afghan capital, Kabul, this month.

Meanwhile, almost 60 percent of journalists in Afghanistan have lost their jobs or fled the country since the Taliban takeover, according to a survey published on Friday by Reporters Without Borders.

The France-based nongovernmental organization said 219 of the nation’s 547 media organizations have shut down in the past year and women are the worst affected, with 76 percent of them losing their jobs. The survey found that only 656 female journalists in the country are still working, the vast majority of them in Kabul, compared with 2,756 a year ago.

“Journalism has been decimated during the past year in Afghanistan,” said Christophe Deloire, the secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders. “The authorities must undertake to end the violence and harassment inflicted on media workers, and must allow them to do their job unmolested.”

Accusations of immorality are frequently used to remove women working in the media from their posts.

“The living and working conditions of women journalists in Afghanistan have always been difficult, but today we are experiencing an unprecedented situation,” Meena Habib, a journalist in Kabul, told Reporters Without Borders. “They work in conditions that are physically and mentally violent and tiring, without any protection.”

Some media outlets were forced to shut by Taliban rules banning the broadcast of music and other content, while others have been unable to continue without international funding.

In addition, a decree issued last month by Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada warned against “defaming and criticizing government officials without proof.” It was the latest in a series of measures aimed at curbing press freedoms.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2141676/world

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appalled to learn of attack on Salman Rushdie

Yoshita Singh   |   New York  

13.08.22

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is "appalled" to learn about the attack on author Salman Rushdie, saying that in no case is violence a response to words spoken or written by others in their exercise of the freedoms of opinion and expression.

"The Secretary-General was appalled to learn of the attack on renowned novelist Salman Rushdie," a statement issued on Friday by his spokesperson said.

"In no case is violence a response to words spoken or written by others in their exercise of the freedoms of opinion and expression," Guterres said, conveying his wishes for Rushdie's early recovery.

The New York Times (NYT) reported that according to Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie, the Mumbai-born controversial author was on a ventilator and could not speak.

"The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was stabbed and damaged," Wylie said in a statement to NYT.

Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing The Satanic Verses, was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident at an event in western New York State.

Hadi Matar (24) from Fairview, New Jersey has been identified as the suspect who stabbed Rushdie, Major Eugene Staniszewski of the New York State Police told a press conference on Friday evening.

Rushdie (75) was stabbed in the neck as he was on the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, a not-for-profit community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 people are in residence on any day during a nine-week season.

Staniszewski said Rushdie was provided medical treatment by a doctor who was in the audience until emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene. "The doctor immediately began first aid" on Rushdie. The author was then airlifted to a local trauma centre and was "undergoing surgery" at about 5 pm local time, several hours after the attack that occurred at approximately 10:47 am.

Replying to a question on Matar's nationality, Staniszewski said, "I don't know yet."

Asked how would he describe Rushdie's condition, Staniszewski said, "We are trying to get an update and it is something that we are watching closely."

He said authorities are in the "process of obtaining search warrants for various items. There was a backpack located at the scene. There was also electronic devices" and added that at the moment, it is assumed that the suspect was "working alone".

He said the authorities do not have any indication of a motive "at this time. But we are working with the FBI, the Sheriff's Office and we will determine what the cause of this was and what the motive for this attack was".

Rushdie was about to speak at the special Chautauqua Lecture Series event exploring the theme of "More than Shelter" for a "discussion on the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression".

He was joined by Henry Reese, co-founder of the Pittsburgh nonprofit City of Asylum, the largest residency programme in the world for writers living in exile under the threat of persecution.

Staniszewski said approximately at 10:47 am local time, Rushdie and Reese (73) had just arrived on the stage at the Chautauqua Institution for the event. "Shortly thereafter, the suspect jumped onto the stage and attacked Rushdie, stabbing him at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen."

Staniszewski said several members of the staff at the institution and audience members rushed the suspect and took him to the ground. A trooper with the New York State Police, who was at the institution, took the suspect into custody with the assistance of a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy.

Reese was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, treated for facial injuries and subsequently released, authorities said.

The State Police are being assisted by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and the FBI in the investigation. Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt will determine "appropriate charges as the investigation continues", authorities said.

Chautauqua Institution president Michael Hill said the organisation is holding Rushdie and Reese as well as their families "close in prayer at this hour".

"What we experienced at Chautauqua today is an incident unlike anything in our nearly 150-year history. We were founded to bring people together in community, to learn and in doing so, create solutions through action, to develop empathy and to take on intractable problems. Today, we are called to take on fear and the worst of all human traits. Hate," Hill said.

Counter Extremism Project (CEP) CEO Ambassador Mark Wallace said his thoughts and prayers go out to Rushdie and his family after he suffered the "senseless" attack on his life.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/un-secretary-general-antonio-guterres-appalled-to-learn-of-attack-on-salman-rushdie/cid/1879897

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Europe

 

Events following Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie

12 August, 2022

Indian-born novelist Salman Rushdie, who was attacked on a New York state lecture stage on Friday, spent years in hiding after he was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing.

Following are some key events that followed that death edict - or fatwa - issued by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after the publication of Rushdie’s 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses,” which Khomeini deemed blasphemous to Islam.

- Feb 12, 1989: At least six people are killed in the Pakistani city of Islamabad in shooting between police and gunmen in a crowd protesting against the sale of the novel in the United States.

- Feb 14, 1989: The fatwa. Khomeini calls on all Muslims to kill Rushdie.

- Feb 24, 1989: Twelve people are killed in Mumbai when police open fire to prevent a crowd of 10,000 protesters marching on the British High Commission.

- May 27, 1989: Pro-Iranian and pro-Iraqi factions clash when some 30,000 Muslim demonstrators mass outside the British parliament.

- Sept 14, 1989: Four bombs are planted outside bookshops in Britain owned by Penguin, publisher of “The Satanic Verses.”

- July 3, 1991: Ettore Capriolo, Italian translator of The Satanic Verses, is beaten and attacked with a knife in his Milan flat by a man who says he is Iranian.

- July 12, 1991: Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi is stabbed to death in Tokyo by an attacker who flees.

- Sept 7, 1995: After six years under police protection and living in safe houses, Rushdie appears in London in his first pre-announced public appearance since the fatwa was issued.

- Feb 12, 1997: Eight years after it first offered a reward, the Iranian revolutionary 15th Khordad Foundation increases the bounty on Rushdie’s head to $2.5 million.

- Sept 22, 1998: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami says the Rushdie affair is “completely finished.”

- Sept 24, 1998: Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi tells British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook at the United Nations in New York that Iran will take no action to threaten Rushdie’s life, nor encourage anybody else to do so.

- Sept 28, 1998: Iranian media say three Iranian clerics have called on Islamic followers to kill Rushdie under the fatwa.

- Oct 4, 1998: Some 160 members of the Iranian parliament say the death decree against Rushdie remains valid.

- Oct 10, 1998: A hardline Iranian student group sets a one billion rial (then $333,000) bounty on the head of Rushdie.

- Oct 12, 1998: State-linked Iranian religious foundation raises its $2.5 million bounty by $300,000.

- Feb 3, 1999: Mumbai-born Rushdie is granted a visa by the Indian government to visit his country of birth, triggering protests by Muslims.

- June 15, 2007: Rushdie is awarded a knighthood by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth for services to literature, prompted diplomatic protests from Pakistan and Iran and demonstrations in Pakistan and Malaysia.

- Jan 20, 2012: Rushdie cancels plans to attend a major literature festival in Jaipur, India, after protests from some Indian Muslim groups.

- Sept 16, 2012: Iranian religious foundation raises its bounty for killing Rushdie to $3.3 million.

- June 20, 2014: Rushdie wins annual PEN/Pinter Prize for his support for freedom of speech and what judges call his generous help to other writers.

- Oct 13, 2015: Rushdie warns of new dangers to freedom of speech in the West amid tight security at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Iranian Ministry of Culture cancelled its national stand at the fair because of Rushdie’s appearance.

- Feb 22, 2016: Iranian state-run media outlets add $600,000 to a bounty for the killing of Rushdie.

- June 1, 2022: Rushdie is made a Companion of Honor in the British Queen’s annual birthday honors.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/12/Events-following-Iran-s-fatwa-against-author-Salman-Rushdie

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Sweden's Left Party leader chides MPs for posing with PKK terror group's symbol

Atila Altuntas 

12.08.2022

STOCKHOLM

The leader of Sweden’s Left Party on Friday criticized a group of parliamentarians from the same party for posing with rags, which symbolizes the PKK terror group.

Nooshi Dadgostar told the Swedish daily Aftonbladet that she does not approve of the Left Party lawmakers' recent actions.

The statement came after lawmakers Daniel Riazat, Momodou Malcolm Jallow and Lorena Delgado Varas in July posed with rags, which represent the PKK/YPG terror outfit, and shared the images on social media.

Last month, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson also decried the left-wing parliamentarians for posing with rags symbolizing the terror group.

"[This] is extremely inappropriate," Andersson told the country's TT news agency, noting that the PKK is a designated terror organization not just in Sweden, but throughout the EU.

Earlier, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde also called the promotion of the terror group "completely unacceptable."

"The PKK was branded a terrorist organization as early as 1984 by Olof Palme’s government. And with good reason. The PKK has many innocent human lives on its conscience," she stated on Twitter, tagging Justice Minister Morgan Johansson.

Linde called on the Left Party to immediately stop supporting the PKK terror group.

Johansson issued a similar warning to the Left Party on Twitter.

The move by left-wing parliamentarians came despite assurances in an agreement signed between Türkiye, Finland and Sweden to fully cooperate with Ankara in fighting terrorism.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine.

However, Türkiye, a NATO member for more than 70 years, opposed the two countries' membership aspirations due to their tolerance and even backing for terrorist groups.

A trilateral agreement signed among the countries in June stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD, the PKK's Syrian offshoot, nor to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye -- and said Ankara extends full support to Finland and Sweden against threats to their national security.

Following the agreement, the leaders of NATO's 30 members signed the countries' ascension protocols, a key step ahead of their formal entry into the alliance. The legislatures of all standing members, including Türkiye's parliament, must now ratify the bids before the process can conclude.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Monday that Ankara will not take a positive attitude toward the membership bids unless Stockholm and Helsinki meet their promises to fight terrorism.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/swedens-left-party-leader-chides-mps-for-posing-with-pkk-terror-groups-symbol/2660053

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Greek state built on anti-Türkiye rhetoric: Turkish officials

Merve Aydogan  

12.08.2022

Despite having at least 200 years of state history and a deeply-rooted Hellenic culture, the Greek governance structure is built on an anti-Türkiye rhetoric, according to Turkish Foreign Ministry officials.

Underscoring Greece's contribution to the Western civilization via its language, technology, medicine, theatre and Olympics, an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said such contribution gave Greece a "sense of entitlement."

Saying that such mentality is seen in almost all of Athens' moves, the official said the West has granted Greece "its never-ending" trust.

Listing the issues between Türkiye and Greece, the official said longstanding matters such as the Aegean, Cyprus, Greek support to terrorism, and discrimination against the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, are manageable, but new issues surfaced such as migration, energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as changing the status of Hagia Sophia.

The diplomat argued that Turkish decision to open Hagia Sophia for Muslims worship "really" disturbed the Greeks and caused a "deep trauma."

Meanwhile, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members fleeing to Greece is another bone of contention between Ankara and Athens.

After the July 15, 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye, neighboring Greece became a top destination for FETO terrorists fleeing justice.

"Athens is in a toxic, safe-haven state with the presence of terrorists from the DHKP-C, PKK and FETO. All of their locations are known," the official said, in response to a question on the refugee camp of Lavrion (Laurium) near the Greek capital.

Stressing that an EU country, in this day and age, is nurturing terrorists who have nothing to do with freedom, the official reminded that the PKK is an entity designated as terrorist organization not only by the EU but by the US as well.

"There is no explanation for this, these are the groups that the Greek mentality feeds on with the logic that 'it will help me one day against Türkiye'," the senior official said, adding that it is no longer a transit country but a destination country for terrorists.

According to the Greek press estimates, since July 15, 2016, nearly 20,000 Turkish citizens, mostly FETO members, crossed into Greece via the Aegean islands or the Meric (Evros) River. While some of them went on to other European countries, about 9,000 of them sought political asylum in Greece itself.

Despite FETO's good relations with Greece, the officials argued there is no guarantee that the terror group would not target it one day.

Arms race

Greece recently signed multiple big-ticket arm deals, including a deal for Israeli drones, Rafale jets from France, and upgrades to its F-16 fleet from the US. Athens has also approached Washington for the potential purchase of at least 20 F-35 stealth aircraft.

Another diplomatic official, who also requested not to be named, defined Greek moves illogical, saying Türkiye is almost entirely self-sufficient in defense, but Greek is dependent on foreign sources, and also expressed concern over its "sleep-walking into a conflict."

Türkiye in recent months has stepped up criticism of Greece stationing troops on islands in the eastern Aegean, near the Turkish coast and in many cases visible from shore.

These islands were required to be demilitarized under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, so any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly forbidden.

Citing Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar's recent remarks about arming the islands, the official said "if the arms placed on the islands is for your protection, then we ask why? Will the Italians attack? Or is it against me? Then it is not enough."

The official also called the moves "nonsense," saying: "We all have difficulty in understanding the moves of Greece, including the Greek people."

On a question regarding the reason for Greece's frequent propaganda of "a possible attack from Türkiye," the official said Athens is exaggerating the situation and if its goal is "deterrence, then it is not a successful one because it is triggering the move that it is trying to avoid."

"They (Greece) are in a spiral and cannot get out. But a country, a nation, which is restless at the social level, is making themselves uneasy."

Türkiye has rejected the militarization of the islands by Greece since the beginning, and has issued protests through diplomatic channels and requested the violations to stop. The issue came to the UN and NATO agenda in the 1970s.

The latest Turkish diplomatic move was to send a letter of complaint to the UN in July 2021, saying the militarization of the islands posed a serious threat to Türkiye's security.

Türkiye began to make more frequent warnings to Greece in the recent years both because "militarization of the islands have increased and the chips are down," according to the official.

The officials noted that Türkiye will not allow arming of the islands at Aegean Sea, has enough and sufficient legal basis and thus taking the matter to the UN is a correct move

Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement

On the US military bases in Greece, the senior official said that there is a great "theatrical play" going on.

"Americans clearly felt that Türkiye is now pursuing an independent foreign policy and cannot get what it wants, as it did during the cold war," the second official said, adding that Greece's "biggest trick since the 1800s is to gather the nations around and have them take a picture together saying: 'Look, I have friends too'."

The US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement recently ratified by the Greek parliament allows the US military to gain access to three more bases in Greece, besides one it currently operates.

Through the agreement that was inked in October 2021 in Washington DC, the two countries aim to deepen and expand their defense cooperation.

It will permit the US military to use Georgula Barracks in Greece's central province of Volos, Litochoro Training Ground, and army barracks in the northeastern port city of Alexandroupoli apart from the naval base in Souda Bay in Crete, which the US has operated since 1969.

Airspace 'violations'

On alleged Greek airspace violations by Türkiye, the second official said: "It is a complete lie," adding: "Yes, our jets did approached 2.5 miles from Alexandroupoli. But first Greek jets flew on the Enez coast of Edirne, they spin over (southwestern province of) Dalaman."

Noting that Türkiye responded to the harassment of Greece, the official said the Greeks "invented the theatres, and they are still continuing their theatrical skills."

The officials called the bill approved in the US House of Representatives last month stipulating that the US' sale of F-16s to Türkiye are not be used in 'violation of Greek airspace' as "absurd".

On the international law regarding Greek claims of airspace being accepted as 10 nautical miles, the official stressed that Türkiye's statements come in accordance to international law.

"There are different maritime jurisdictions. For instance, you have an island and you have territorial waters around it. There is a place where those territorial waters end. Thus, your airspace and your territorial waters end on top of each other. You cannot claim airspace beyond territorial waters. There is no such thing in the world," the official said.

Regarding a story in Greek and European press that Türkiye is preparing to land on the Greek islands during the Efes 2022 military drill, the senior official said: "It (military exercise) is quite normal. It is done every two years, different scenarios are applied."

Responding to a question on the allegations that Greek ships were carrying Russian oil under sanctions, despite the problems between Greece and Russia, the official said: "The world's largest tanker trading market is in the hands of Greek Cypriots and Greeks, it's like the facts of life."

Peace not war

Expressing that Greece is disturbed by the fact Türkiye is a "normative country that sets rules," the official said Türkiye wants the Ukraine-Russia war to end.

"We say that the war must end; Why? Because Türkiye is a country that does trade. It is not a war trade, it is a country that does normal, proper trade. A country that makes money from tourism. Regional instability is not good for Türkiye. That's why we are trying to end it."

The senior diplomat reminded of Türkiye's position on annexation of Crimea by Russia and said: "We have been telling Russia that it is not true, we don't approve. But there is no reason to insult Moscow, we have relations with Russia."

Noting that Türkiye is ready to solve its problems with Greece on many platforms such as facilitating negotiations, arbitration, and international courts, the second official said: "International courts do not work like national courts. First of all, you would have to agree on the disputes and write them down ... Then you will also mention by which legal instruments you want these international disputes to be resolved. We (Türkiye) want to go to court in all matters, however, Greece just wants the continental shelf dispute. Athens does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice."

Describing Greece's desire to take the continental shelf dispute to international court as "cunning attitude", the official said: "There are at least over 1,000 Greek islands in the Aegean. We (Türkiye) have fewer islands. The gap in the middle at 6 miles is half of the Aegean. When it is extended to 12 miles, 70% of the Aegean will be on the Greek side. From Istanbul to Izmir, you would only be able to go from the shore. You can't solve problems until all dimensions are discussed. But they (Athens) say, 'Let's just take the continental shelf to international court'."

Wiretapping scandal

Asked about the recent wiretapping scandal, the official described it as the "Greek Watergate."

"The Greeks always go around as such apostles of democracy. But it turned out that they were doing a lot of meaningless work. Their intelligence service was listening (to Greek opposition officials) very legally. How is it legal? It's pretty messed up."

Greek intelligence chief Panagiotis Kontoleon and Prime Minister’s Secretary General Grigoris Dimitriades resigned after details of targeting the head of an opposition party and a journalist with spyware emerged.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis has acknowledged “legal” wiretapping of Nikos Androulakis, leader of the socialist PASOK party, for three months, but denies he knew about the surveillance.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/greek-state-built-on-anti-turkiye-rhetoric-turkish-officials/2659984

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Germany suspends military mission in Mali amid diplomatic tensions

12.08.2022

BERLIN

Germany has suspended its military mission in Mali after diplomatic tensions with the West African country, the government confirmed on Friday.

Defense Ministry spokesman Arne Collatz told a news conference in Berlin that Malian authorities on Friday denied clearance to a German transport plane, and once again hindered troop rotation plans.

“Therefore, we must take measures, and we’re suspending operations of our reconnaissance forces and CH-53 transport flights until further notice," he said.

Collatz said German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht had called her Malian counterpart on Thursday, and received assurances that there will be no obstacles to the planned troop rotation.

“But now, the Malian government once again denied a German transport plane fly over its territory,” he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/germany-suspends-military-mission-in-mali-amid-diplomatic-tensions/2659925

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India

 

Islamic Centre Holds ‘Trianga Yatra’ Led By Its Chairman Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali To Mark 75th I-Day Celebrations

Aug 13, 2022

Islamic Centre of India here organised ‘Trianga Yatra’ led by its chairman Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali on Friday as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to mark the 75th Independence Day of the country. The Islamic Centre asked the Muslims to participate in the celebrations as several clerics and leaders from the community also laid down their lives for the freedom of the country. Several Muslim youths participated in the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ led by Mahali.

“We are proud of our achievements during the last 75 years, and it’s a matter of great happiness and pride that we all are celebrating our triumphs. This day is our national festival as people cutting across caste and community lines fought for the freedom of the country. The youth must be told about the importance of the freedom struggle (Jang-e-Azadi) and the sacrifices of the Ulema. After a lot of sacrifices and efforts, the country managed to uproot the British Empire. We should respect freedom,” said Mahali, who is also Imam Aishbagh Eidgah. He appealed to the people to celebrate the 75th year of independence with great pomp and joy.

He said, “Many Muslim scholars, youths, clerics fought for the freedom of India and that’s the reason to celebrate this day and take an oath to serve the country with respect. We should also work to keep our country safe, protect freedom and honour our country.”

Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahli said that our national flag teaches us our duties towards our country. “It reminds us that we are one. It reminds us of our national unity and integrity. The three colours of the flag represent different values. It defines our culture, heritage and unity,” he added.

He said we all should love our national flag and decorate our homes, shops, offices, establishments, and markets with the tricolour.

Lectures, events at AMU to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

AGRA Lectures, competitions, camps, slogan writing and patriotic song competitions are being held in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to celebrate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ being observed to mark 75 years of Independence.

Prof Mohammad Sajjad, faculty member of the department of History, AMU, spoke about how India broke the shackles of British rule by uniting over 350 million people. He was putting the historic events in the hearts and minds of the audience in a lecture on “The Indian National Movement and its Legacy”.

Delivering the lecture Sajjad said: “The story of the Indian National Movement is basically a story of social change through democratic means as a prolonged process. This was the world’s biggest mass struggle for socio-economic emancipation and an exercise in preventing the degeneration of politics into a counter-revolution and authoritarianism.”

Deploring the rise of communal forces in the late 1930s and 1940s, he said, “We entered into the decisive 1940s with communal forces getting open and secret support from the colonial state. In this period, Subhash Chandra Bose was quite clear about the communal threats.”

He added “Mohammad Ali Jinnah converted the minority rights discourse into separatism. Having converted a minority into a nation, Jinnah and his colonial benefactors inflicted most fatal injuries to the noble cause of minority rights, in our subcontinent,” Sajjad added.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/lucknow-news/islamic-centre-holds-trianga-yatra-to-mark-75th-i-day-celebrations-101660324204592.html

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Clerics Across Uttar Pradesh Mosques Urge Faithful To Hoist Tricolour On August 15

Aug 13, 2022

MUZAFFARNAGAR: Ahead of the 75th Independence Day celebrations, several clerics in mosques across Uttar Pradesh have urged people to hoist the tricolour at their homes and "celebrate August 15 as a national festival".

During the Friday prayers, the clerics also reminded the faithful that "Muslims must follow the Sharia laws which very clearly states that we must be loyal and love the country of our birth."

The "patriotic" sermons by clerics could be heard from mosques across Muzaffarnagar and Meerut districts and also other parts of the state on Friday afternoon. One such cleric, Abid Mohammad Mehrban of a mosque in Muzaffarnagar's South Khalapar area, said, "We belong to India. This is our land. And we must love our land and nation and, if needed, be ready to sacrifice our lives." He further said, "Our ancestors had sacrificed a lot for our country's freedom from the hands of the British... Hundreds of ulemas were hanged and many were jailed during their rule. How can we forget that?"

Sheher Qazi (Meerut) Zainus Sajidin said, "Both Hindus and Muslims fought together to gain independence. Hence, during Friday sermons, I appealed to all to hoist the tricolour not just at homes, but in madrasas and other community places as well."

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/up-clerics-urge-faithful-from-mosques-to-hoist-tricolour-on-august-15/articleshow/93532234.cms

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Exiled Bangladeshi Author Taslima Nasreen 'Worried' After Salman Rushdie Stabbed

August 13, 2022

New Delhi: After author Salman Rushdie was stabbed on Friday, exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen made a strong statement saying that critics of Islam will continue to be killed until the religion is reformed. “Critics of Islam were first killed in the 7th century. They still get killed in the 21st century. They will continue to be killed until Islam is reformed, free speech is allowed, violence is denounced, the breeding ground for extremism is demolished, no book is considered holy”, tweeted the exiled Bangladeshi author.

In another tweet, she asserted that the Facebook account of Hadi Matar, the man who stabbed the Booker prize winner, featured images of Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. For the unversed, Khomeini in 1989 had issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie following his controversial novel The Satanic Verses. Numerous killings and bombings resulted in a response to the novel.

Source: India.Com

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https://www.india.com/news/taslima-nasreen-on-salman-rushdie-attack-critics-of-islam-will-be-killed-until-salman-rushdie-stabbed-us-iran-new-york-hadi-matar-the-satanic-verses-controversy-5569589/

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Bangladeshi Muslims make flags for Har Ghar Tiranga, boycott them: Yati

12th August 2022

After making multiple disparaging statements against Muslims, Hindutva seer Yati Narsinghanand urged Hindus not to purchase flags as he claimed that the main manufacturer for the same is a Muslim company from Bangladesh. He further asked Hindus to boycott the Prime Minister’s campaign for Independence Day “Har Ghar Tiranga.”

Yati urged Hindus not to purchase new flags for PM Modi’s “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign and alleged that Salauddin, a Muslim, is the company owner, supplying the flags for this campaign.

Yati also asked Hindus to boycott the campaign as the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have started this campaign to support Muslims. “If you want a flag find your old one don’t buy a new one from Salahuddin. Don’t give him a single rupee,” he added.

He also alleged that any Hindus buying anything from Muslims is ‘jihad’ as the money will be used for killing Hindus.

On July 16, the UP police booked a case against Dasna Devi temple priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati for derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi.

What is Har Ghar Tiranga Campaign?

‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India’s independence.

Source: Siasat Daily

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https://www.siasat.com/bangladeshi-muslims-make-flags-for-har-ghar-tiranga-boycott-them-yati-2388536/

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India at 75: Upper caste Muslims have kept casteism in Islam hidden for personal benefit: Faiyaz

Aug 12 2022

By Rahul Kumar

New Delhi, Aug 12: Social activist and Unani doctor, Faiyaz Ahmad Fyzie, has ruffled many feathers among India's Muslim community. He has become a marked man with his mother getting threatening phone calls about the safety of her outspoken son.

Hailing from a family of freedom fighters, who were closely aligned to the Congress, Fyzie has been often found supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is also the man who is putting the hitherto hidden problem of casteism among Muslims on the frontline of debate and discussions in India.

On the occasion of India's 75th independence anniversary, India Narrative speaks with Fyzie about raging topics like Hindu-Muslim relations, social harmony, the Modi government's relations with the minority community and why the Muslims do not discuss caste discrimination within the community as fervently as the Hindus discuss their own relationship with caste. Fyzie says that almost all Muslim bodies are undemocratic and represent the views of the miniscule upper caste Muslims.

Excerpts from the interview:

IN: We complete 75 years of independence. Where has Indian society reached in these decades?

Fyzie: Socially India has progressed. We have completed a satisfactory journey till now. I will say we have done better than average.

I say this because the political dispensation and the administration have tried to deliver social justice in the country. Efforts at eliminating social inequity were more pronounced among the Hindus than among the Muslims because even the Brahmins agreed that the upper castes have wronged the low castes. But the leaders among the Muslim community do not allow the low caste Muslims to break out of the social barriers because they deny caste and discrimination among Muslims.

I will say that people professing the ideologies of the Left, liberal and Muslim right wing did not allow the Muslims at the lowest socio-economic ladder to come up in the social hierarchy because of personal selfish gains.

I, as an Indian, as a Muslim and as an individual from a low socio-economic class would say that the country is on the right track in terms of uplifting the society. This is because government schemes have benefited low caste Muslims while schemes targeted at minorities have only benefited the upper caste Muslims because they garnered the gains from such schemes.

IN: You speak about caste-based fissures among Muslims. Can you elaborate about casteism in the community?

Fyzie: We look at this from the context of caste among the Hindus-which is largely-occupation based discrimination.

Among the Muslims the highest caste of people are the Ashraafs-which comprise the ruling classes in India who came from abroad. Here we also have the Rajputs who had converted as they too were the ruling class in India.

Next come the Ajlaaf-most of the working class of people comprising weavers, ironsmiths and artisans.

The lowest in the Muslim castes are Arjaals-sweepers, scavengers and those who work with leather.

Among these three castes in the Muslims, we have clubbed the Ajlaafs and the Arjaals together as the 'Pasmanda' Muslims. I call them 'desaj samaj' or indigenous Muslims. These are the Hindus from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), the SCs and STs who converted to Islam.

The Ashraafs-the upper caste Muslims say that casteism in the community seeped in from the Hindus. This is a widely-accepted view among the Left, the Hindus and everyone else. But I do not agree with this argument-I ask them that after having lived with the Hindus for centuries you only absorbed the vice of caste from the Hindus. Why did Muslims not absorb the positives-liberal values, secularism and harmony, from Hinduism? It is because the Muslims had their own discriminatory practices based on classes, races and sects as it spread from the Arab world.

IN: Do the Muslims in the other countries of the sub-continent also practice casteism, for example, in Pakistan and Bangladesh?

Fyzie: Both Pakistan and Bangladesh are basically India. Therefore, the caste issues that we see in India are to be found there also. However, in India, the constitution and government schemes have improved our social condition. In Pakistan, the Pasmanda Muslims are in a bad shape because the rulers treat them like slaves.

Pakistan is a heaven for the ruling Ashraaf Muslims while it is a hell for the Pasmanda Muslims.

We have to go back to the Arab world and the pre-Islamic tribes to understand casteism and discrimination among the Muslims. Though Prophet Mohammed tried to control racism related issues, he could only succeed partly.

We have to understand that the Saudis, the Turks, the Iranians, and now the Afghans, have practiced discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity. What I am trying to say is that discrimination exists in Islam from ancient times. It is not entirely a Hindu import.

IN: Why is it that casteism among Muslims is not discussed by the community as it has been discussed and debated within the Hindus?

Fyzie: The Muslims do not want to discuss casteism in Islam. The Ashraafs-the Muslim upper castes, want to protect their turf. They feel that social justice in India will take the power out of their hands. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) does not hold elections because its luminaries fear that they will lose control. In fact, no Muslim organisation has democracy.

Even if the Muslims are a minority in India, the benefits go to a small section of upper caste Muslims. A low caste Muslim finds it easy to get admission to the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) but not in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) because the Muslim leaders have cornered the benefits for themselves.

That is why the low caste Muslims-the Pasmandas, do not want minority status. We do not want benefits based on our religious identity. We can only uplift ourselves through government schemes that provide us socio-economic benefits.

IN: You say that Indian society has made progress. We also have many Muslim activists and NGOs, so how is it possible that Muslims from the lowest classes and castes have not progressed?

Fyzie: No social reforms exist among the Muslims. There is no concept of social justice in the community because it is led by the upper caste Muslims. There is no discussion or acceptance of criticism in the community.

The NGOs are all run by the Ashraafs. They run such organisations under the garb of ideologies-Left, minority and some are run by Maulanas. Yeh sab log aapna varchasv banaye rakhna chahtein hain (They all want to maintain their hegemony).

When I contrast the situation with the Hindus, I find they realise the need for social reforms. That is why they accept the evil of casteism and debate its elimination. Indians have always been diverse for 5,000 years. They do not bother about the differences and have accepted diversity.

We feel that we are still being led by Mughal rulers. Would you believe that the low caste Muslims were not allowed to go to madrasas by the Mughal rulers. Similar examples of discrimination and racism against the low caste Muslims abound in times of Islamic rule.

IN: Is India becoming communal?

Fyzie: If the Hindus are becoming communal, they talk about it and then take steps to eliminate it. But then we also see that communalism among the Muslims is not discussed. The fact is that communalism among the Muslims is very strong.

For example, the Muslim League was formed much earlier than the Hindu Mahasabha.

My take is that if you want to finish off communalism from India, then you have to eliminate Muslim communalism first. The communal thinking among the Hindus will reduce on its own.

IN: Do you think India is becoming Islamophobic?

Fyzie: Regarding Islamophobia in India, the Ashraafs use Islamophobia as a tool. The moment you talk about social reforms and social justice among the Muslims, the upper caste Muslims begin alleging Islamophobia. If you ruffle the Muslim society by talking about reforms, the Muslim right wing immediately labels you Islamophobic.

These concepts are harming the Indian social fabric. The secular, Left and liberal establishments accept whatever is said by the upper caste Muslims.

There are Hindus who are communal but they are very less in number.

IN: The BJP government has been criticised over a number of policy decisions it has taken related to the Muslim community. What is your take on these?

Fyzie: I think the Modi government has taken steps to bring about reforms in the community.

Banning triple talaq has benefited the Pasmanda Muslims, particularly women. Divorce among the lower levels in the community brings shame not just to the woman but her family also. Divorce and remarriage are acceptable among the upper classes, but not among the people at the bottom of the hierarchy.

The elimination of Article 370 will benefit the Pasmanda Muslims. Certain castes or sections of Muslims like the Bakkerwals, the Gaddis and the Van Gujjars will be benefited. Till now all the political power in Kashmir was with the Ashraafs. The low caste Muslims did not enjoy the benefits of government schemes in Kashmir.

IN: Can there be truth and reconciliation among the Muslims and Hindus? How can we see religious harmony among the communities?

Fyzie: Jab aap Pasmanda samaj ko aage karanege tab aasani se Hinduon aur Mussalmano mein samjhota hoga (If you uplift the Pasmanda Muslims, harmony will happen automatically between the Hindus and Muslims).

We have to remember that the low caste Muslims have always identified themselves with Hindu customs and traditions because they have co-existed with the Hindus for ages. The Pasmanda Muslims will wear sarees, use sindur, and gift shringar during weddings-all of which are Hindu customs. But the high caste Muslims call these Hinduana (Hindu beliefs), therefore, gair-Islamic (non-Islamic).

This cultural discrimination has remained within the Islamic society because of Ashraafs.

Truth and reconciliation will happen if the Ashraafs are controlled. They still act as if they are the rulers, therefore, they look at us with the same mentality. When they go abroad, they give hate speeches against India and portray the Hindus in a negative light.

Source: Daiji World

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

https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=988896

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J&K Govt Sacks 4 Employees Including Son Of Hizbul Chief Salahuddin

Aug 13, 2022

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration Saturday sacked its four employees including son of Syed Salahuddin, the chief of banned Hizbul Mujahideen, and the wife of terror-funding accused Bitta Karate, officials said.

All the four employees were dismissed from service under Article 311 of the Constitution which enables the government to sack its employees without an inquiry.

Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate is currently in judicial custody in terror-funding cases, officials said. His wife Assabah-ul-Arjamand Khan, a Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services officer, was posted in the Directorate of Rural Development.

Syed Abdul Mueed, manager, information and technology at Department of industries and Commerce, is son of Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based chief of banned terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jk-govt-sacks-4-employees-including-son-of-hizbul-chief-salahuddin/articleshow/93535962.cms

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Sulli Deals app: SC to hear plea seeking clubbing of FIRs

Aug 13, 2022

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a petition by the alleged creator of Sulli Deals app, Aumkareshwar Thakur, for clubbing multiple first information reports (FIRs) against him and hand over the probe to a single agency.

The app uploaded photos of several Muslim women, without their consent, for a virtual ‘auction’.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh issued notices to states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi where the FIRs against Thakur are currently pending under charges of online harassment and hate speech.

The court, however, refused to consider Thakur’s plea to stay the investigations at this juncture, saying it will only seek replies from the states for the time being to ascertain whether the FIRs can at all be clubbed when the complainants before the investigators could be more than one.

While advocate Rajeev Sharma, representing Thakur, argued that the subject matter of all FIRs is the same, the court pointed out that the cases relate to two different websites – Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai, which is similar to Sulli Deals and engaged in defaming and trolling Muslim women online.

“That cannot be the same offence. There are two websites. One is Sulli Deals and the other is Bulli Bai. Can that be said to be conjoint? There are multiple uploads. Each person would have filed independently,” said the bench.

It added: “It may not be the part of the same transaction. You have uploaded photographs of several persons. Each one of them can be a complainant. Can you say they must prosecute a joint FIR? Can you say whatever you do on your websites, there can only be one FIR?”

As the bench agreed to seek replies from the states on Thakur’s plea, his lawyer requested a stay of the investigation in the meantime. But the bench retorted: “Only notice...we have our doubts.”

In his petition filed through advocate Sahil Bhalaik, Thakur pleaded with the top court to shift all the criminal cases against him to one place and to one agency, as was done by the court in several other cases. The plea maintained that the accusations against him in the FIRs pertain to developing the two websites and therefore, they could be investigated by a single agency.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sulli-deals-app-sc-to-hear-plea-seeking-clubbing-of-firs-101660329118732.html

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41-yr-old accused of active role in Kanhaiya Lal murder arrested by NIA

Aug 12, 2022

NEW DELHI: A 41-year-old accused of playing an “active role” in the conspiracy to murder tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli in Rajasthan’s Udaipur in June has been arrested, the ninth person to be caught in the case by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the agency said on Friday.

NIA identified the man as Muslim Khan, 41, a resident of Pratapgarh in Rajasthan. A statement by NIA said he was arrested on August 10.

Two men, Riyaz Attari and Gaus Mohammad, hacked Kanhaiya Lal Teli to death on June 28 for supporting former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s contentious remarks on Prophet Mohammed. The accused captured the killing on their phones and also issued a threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they posed with the knives used in the murder. The two were caught hours later. NIA took over the case later on orders of the Union home ministry in view of the threat made to PM Modi.

Investigations have revealed so far that all the accused persons were self-radicalised.

Besides the Udaipur killing, NIA is also probing the murder of a chemist in Maharashtra’s Amravati district on June 21. The chemist, Umesh Kolhe (54), was also allegedly murdered for his social media posts supporting Sharma.

No organised gang or terror outfit has so far claimed responsibility for both the Udaipur and Amravati killings. Investigators are also trying to ascertain if there is a link between the two cases.

Sharma’s comments on Prophet Mohammed during a TV debate on May 26 triggered an international outcry and domestic protests.

Among the eight men arrested by NIA is Mohammad Javed, 19, the eighth man to be caught, who is alleged to have “played an important role in the conspiracy to kill Kanhaiya Lal by conducting reconnaissance and passing on information about Lal’s presence at his shop to the main killer, Riyaz Attari, prior to the gruesome attack”.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/41yrold-accused-of-active-role-in-kanhaiya-lal-murder-arrested-by-nia-101660309498169.html

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Jaish terrorist linked to Pak-based Taliban arrested by UP ATS, was tasked to kill Nupur Sharma

August 13, 2022

Nupur Sharma news: The Anti-Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police (UP ATS) arrested a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist on Friday, who was tasked to kill suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma. Sources said that the terrorist was arrested from Saharanpur, and was associated to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The arrested terrorist has been identified as Muhammad Nadeem (25), a resident of Kunda Kala village of Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur. JeM (Jaish-e-Muhammad) and TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban) were in direct contact with the terrorist Muhammad Nadeem, informed UP ATS.

The terror conspiracy was busted under the leadership of ADG ATS Naveen Arora. The UP ATS received information that a man in Saharanpur, influenced by JeM and TTP ideology, was preparing for 'Fidayeen' attack.

Following this, Muhammad Nadeem was identified and interrogated. During primary investigation, a mobile phone was recovered from him, in which a PDF document titled "Explosive Course Fidae Force" was found, informed the ATS.

Besides this, the police have found Muhammad Nadeem's phone chat including voice messages with Jaish-e-Muhammad and TTP terrorists of Pakistan and Afghanistan. During interrogation, Nadeem said that he has been in touch with various terrorists of Jaish-e-Muhammad and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan since 2018 via WhatsApp, Telegram, IMO, Facebook Messenger, Club House etc.

The terrorist is trained in creating virtual phone numbers from terror organisations. A Pakistani named Saifullah was training him to carry out a 'Fidayeen' attack on government buildings or police forces. Nadeem was asked to travel to Pakistan for special training.

Source: India TV News

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

https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/nupur-sharma-news-jaish-terrorist-linked-to-pakistan-taliban-arrested-by-up-ats-muhammad-nadeem-2022-08-13-799613

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South Asia

 

Taliban Fighters Swap Arms For Books As Hundreds Return To School

Aug 13, 2022

Gul Agha Jalali used to spend his nights planting bombs -- hoping to target an Afghan government soldier or, better still, a foreign serviceman. These days, the 23-year-old Taliban member is studying English and has enrolled in a computer science course in the capital, Kabul.

"When our country was occupied by infidels, we needed bombs, mortars and guns," says Jalali, an employee at the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.

Now there is a greater need for education, he told AFP.

Since the Taliban swept back to power in August last year, hundreds of fighters have returned to school -- either on their own or pushed by their commanders.

The word "Taliban" actually means "students" in Arabic, and the hardline Islamist movement's name stems from the religious schools in southern Afghanistan it emerged from in the 1990s.

Most Taliban fighters were educated in these madrassas, where studies are largely limited to the Koran and other Islamic themes.

Many conservative Afghan clerics -- particularly among the Taliban -- are sceptical of more modern education, apart from subjects than can be applied practically, such as engineering or medicine.

"The world is evolving, we need technology and development," said Jalali, who planted bombs for five years but is now among a dozen Taliban studying computers at the transport ministry.

- 'Motivated mujahideen' -

The desire of fighters like Jalali to go back to school shows Afghans yearned for education, government spokesman Bilal Karimi said.

"Many motivated mujahideen who had not completed their studies reached out to educational institutions and are now studying their favourite courses," he told AFP.

But education is a hugely problematic issue in the country, with secondary school girls barred from classes since the Taliban returned to power -- and no sign of them being allowed back despite promises from some in the leadership.

While the earlier curriculum largely remains the same, studies on music and sculpture have been scrapped at schools and universities, which are suffering a paucity of teachers and lecturers following an exodus of Afghanistan's educated elite.

But some Taliban students, like Jalali, have big plans.

Kabul's Muslim Institute has a student body of around 3,000 -- half of them women -- and includes some 300 Taliban fighters, many distinctive with their bushy beards and turbans.

On a recent tour, AFP saw one Taliban fighter retrieve a pistol from a locker room at the end of his lessons -- an incongruous sight in a pastel-coloured room adorned with posters of smiling co-ed students.

"When they arrive, they hand over their weapons. They don't use force or take advantage of their position," said an institute official who asked not to be named.

- Desire to study -

Amanullah Mubariz was 18 when he joined the Taliban but never gave up his desire to study.

"I applied to a university in India, but I failed my English test," said Mubariz, now 25, declining to reveal his current position in the Taliban.

"That's why I enrolled here," he said, referring to the Muslim Institute.

Mohammad Sabir, in contrast, is happy to admit he works for the Taliban's intelligence agency despite also being a student at the private Dawat University.

"I resumed my studies this year after the victory of the Islamic Emirate," he says, his long hair and eyes lined with traditional kohl eyeliner peeking out from beneath a white turban.

Like Jalali, he paused his education to join the Taliban and also planted bombs and carried out ambushes with his brother in Wardak province.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/taliban-fighters-swap-arms-for-books-as-hundreds-return-to-school-101660356627961.html

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Afghanistan’s media in doom as country loses nearly 60 pc journalists under Taliban rule

12 August, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 12 (ANI): Expressing concerns over the situation of journalists in Afghanistan, Reporters Without Borders in its report said that country has lost 39.59 per cent of its media outlets and almost 60 per cent of its journalists since the Taliban took over the South Asian nation on August 15.

Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information.

In its latest report, RSF report reads, “According to a Reporters Without Borders (RSF) survey, in the year since the Taliban took power on 15 August 2021, Afghanistan has lost 39.59 pc of its media outlets and 59.86 pc of its journalists, especially women journalists, three quarters of whom are now unemployed and no longer exist in 11 provinces. All this has happened amid a deep economic crisis and crackdown on press freedom.”

The report brought to light that journalism in Afghanistan has been drastically curbed and reduced in terms of number of journalists and media outlets, reported Tolo News.

RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said, “Journalism has been decimated during the past year in Afghanistan.”

“Media and journalists are being subjected to iniquitous regulations that restrict media freedom and open the way to repression and persecution. The authorities must undertake to end the violence and harassment inflicted on media workers, and must allow them to do their job unmolested.”

Comparatively, the situation has deteriorated to a great deal and this is confirmed by the numbers prior to 15 August 2021. According to RSF’s report, Afghanistan had 547 media outlets prior to 15 August 2021 while one year later in 2022, 219 ceased their activities.

“RSF’s survey leaves little doubt about the massive impact that the fall of Kabul and the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have had on the media. Afghanistan had 547 media outlets prior to 15 August 2021. One year later, 219 ceased their activities. And of the 11,857 journalists tallied prior to 15 August 2021, there are only 4,759 now. Women journalists have been impacted most – 76.19% of them have lost their jobs,” according to the RSF report.

One of such journalists who is now concerned and ambiguous about his future in the media industry is Samiullah Taniz. He works in Kabul and is one of the hundreds of reporters in the country whose future is doomed.

Meena Habib, another journalist, said, “I have worked in the media for nine years of my life and I have not found time to learn another career.”

Hojatullah Mujadidi, chairman of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association, said, “The Islamic Emirate should work with the media and journalists to set up a committee to deal with media violations and access to information.”

After the US troops left the Afghan soil amid fears of the Taliban regime, thousands of journalists fled the country. Some of them are currently living in Pakistan and other countries with no clear future plans, as per the media portal.

Taliban have been accused of blocking the way of a journalist with guns from coverage and reportedly whipping the media person.

A local Afghan news outlet has released a video circulating on social media giving insight into the violent treatment going on in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in mid-August last year, it rolled back women’s rights advances and media freedom revoking the efforts on gender equality and freedom of speech in the country.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) had expressed concern at the incident in which the female host of Dost Radio in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, Selagi Ehsaas was recently attacked by unidentified gunmen.

AFJC condemned violence against the media and journalists after the beating of Selagi Ehsaas, who was returning from work on July 20, when she was stopped by unidentified gunmen and pistol-whipped in Moi Mubarak village of Surkh Rod district in Nangarhar province, reported Khaama Press.

The locals brought Selagi to the hospital after she fell unconscious due to the attack, the locals said, adding that she is still in shock and fear.

She said she does not “feel safe”, Khaama Press reported, quoting locals.

It is alleged that the female broadcaster was beaten by the Taliban and was also said to work as a midwife in one of the private hospitals; however, the Information and Culture Department of the Taliban in Nangarhar province has denied the claims.

Previously, on June 6, the manager of Dost Radio, Sahar Sirat Safi, was detained by Taliban intelligence in Kabul and released after 28 days.

According to UNAMA, there have been significant changes in the country’s media landscape, including the closure of more than half of the free media, the evacuation of hundreds of journalists, and rising work restrictions, violence, and threats against journalists.

Earlier in May, while reporting a women’s demonstration, journalist Roman Karimi and his driver were detained and tortured by the Taliban.

Over 45 per cent of journalists have quit since the Taliban assumed power. The ever-increasing restrictions against media in Afghanistan have also drawn widespread criticism globally with the United Nations (UN) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decrying the arrests, demanding the Taliban stop harassing local journalists and stifling freedom of speech through continued detentions and threats.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/afghanistans-media-in-doom-as-country-loses-nearly-60-pc-journalists-under-taliban-rule/1080025/

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Afghan migrants continue to face abuse from Iranian border guards, traffickers

MODASER ISLAMI

August 13, 2022

KABUL: When Mohammad Parwiz was trying to cross from Iran to Turkey in search of a better life, he was caught by Iranian police guards and subjected to forced labor before being deported back to Afghanistan.

Parwiz is just one among hundreds of Afghans trying to cross the Iranian border every day to find employment abroad. He is also one of an increasing number to face abuse in the process.

Iran has for decades hosted millions of Afghans fleeing armed conflict in their war-torn country. The number jumped to 5 million from nearly 4 million last year, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry data, as economic restrictions imposed on Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August 2021 triggered unprecedented levels of poverty.

“As embassies closed in August last year, I had no other way but to go to Iran illegally,” Parwiz, a 22-year-old from the northern Baghlan province, told Arab News.

“I stayed in Iran for three months working at my relative’s bakery. My friends and I were caught by a border police patrol close to Turkey’s border.

“We were kept in jail for 12 days where we were forced to do hard labor and if we didn’t, they would hit us. We wouldn’t get proper food during that time. They constantly threatened us that if we come to Iran again, we may get killed. After 12 days of forced labor, humiliation, abuse and torture by Iran’s police, we were sent back to Afghanistan.”

Allegations of mistreatment of Afghans in Iran have been on the rise since last year. Reports include abuse not only by the Iranian police, but also human traffickers.

Ahmad Jalil, a 19-year-old from Laghman province, tried to leave Afghanistan and go via Iran to Turkey, from where he wanted to reach Europe with a group of 15 other teenagers.

“We paid a lot of money to the trafficker here but when we entered Iran through the border in Nimroz province during the night, we were received by another person after walking in the desert for hours,” he said.

The second smuggler asked them for more money.

“The trafficker would abuse us and would beat some of us,” Jalil said. “He even threatened us with death.”

Eventually, Jalil was abandoned and managed to return to Afghanistan on his own.

“We have cases of Afghan migrants being abused, beaten up and even killed,” Sayed Hazratullah Zaeem, a commissioner at Islam Qala, a border town in Herat province, near the Afghanistan–Iran border, told the Afghan media on Thursday.

Abdullah Qayoum, an official of the Department of Refugees and Repatriation in Herat, confirmed the reports of abuse.

“Afghans who want to go there (Iran), some of them are sent back after being tortured,” he said.

In April, videos circulated on social media showing civilians being manhandled by men dressed like Iranian security forces sparked a wave of demonstrations targeting Iranian diplomatic missions in Kabul and Herat, and a diplomatic protest by Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities.

“The border police in Iran are so brutal. For them we are not even humans,” said Mohammad Karim, a recent graduate from Kabul, who tried to cross from Iran to Turkey earlier this year.
Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2141656/world

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Taliban torn over reforms one year after seizing power

August 13, 2022

KANDAHAR: One year on from the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, some cracks are opening within their ranks over the crucial question of just how much reform their leaders can tolerate.

Infamous during their first reign for their brutal crackdowns on rights and freedoms, the Islamists vowed to rule differently this time.

On a superficial level at least, they appear to have changed in some respects.

Officials in Kabul have embraced technology, while cricket matches are cheered in full stadiums.

Televisions were banned under the Taliban government’s first incarnation, while Afghans now have access to the Internet and social media.

Girls are allowed to attend primary school and women journalists are interviewing government officials — unthinkable during the Taliban’s first stint in power in the 1990s.

The group’s hard-line core, composed of battle-hardened veteran fighters, is against any significant ideological change that could be viewed as a sign of capitulation to their enemies in the West.

“You have one (Taliban) camp, which is pushing ahead with what they’re seeing as reforms, and another camp that seems to think even these meagre reforms are too much,” said Ibraheem Bahiss, an Afghanistan analyst with International Crisis Group.

The United States and its allies — which had bankrolled Afghanistan for 20 years — have locked the country out of the global banking system and billions in frozen assets abroad, as they hold out for reforms from the Taliban.

Without significant progress, it is the Afghan people who suffer as the country reels under a massive economic crisis that has seen some families choose between selling their organs or their infant daughters.

On whether the Taliban are even capable of reform, analysts are wary that recent policy changes amount to little more than “tokenism.”

“There are some cases where we could point to an evolution in policy, but let’s be very clear... We’re still looking at an organization that has refused to move beyond very retrograde, dogmatic views,” said Michael Kugelman, an Afghanistan specialist with the Washington-based Wilson Center think tank.

Most secondary schools for girls remain closed. Many women have been forced out of government work, while many fear venturing out and being chastised by the Taliban.

Simple joys such as music, shisha and card games are strictly controlled in the most conservative areas, while protests have been crushed and journalists regularly threatened or detained.

Demands from the West for an inclusive government were ignored, and the assassination of Al-Qaeda’s leader in Kabul last week underlined the Taliban’s ongoing ties with jihadist groups.

It is from the Taliban’s power base of southern Kandahar that the secretive supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada gathers his powerful inner circle of veteran fighters and religious clerics to impose a harsh interpretation of sharia.

And for them, ideological concerns outweigh any political or economic drivers to effect change.

“The needs of the Afghans remain the same as 20 years ago,” Mohammad Omar Khitabi, a member of a council of clerics who advise Akhundzada in Kandahar, told AFP.

His thoughts are echoed by Kandahar’s Vice and Virtue Director Abdul Rahman Tayabi, another close aide of the supreme leader.

“Our people do not have too many demands, like people in other countries might have,” he told AFP.

Afghan families were left stunned in March when Akhundzada overturned the education ministry’s decision to reopen secondary schools for girls.

Some analysts believe he felt uneasy over what could be seen by hard-liners as an act of surrender to the West on girls’ rights.

Hopes of restoring international money flows were shattered — to the dismay of many Taliban officials in Kabul, some of whom spoke out against the decision.

Relations with Western diplomats — who meet regularly with Taliban ministers but have no access to Akhundzada — suffered a major setback.

A slew of directives that harked back to the first reign of the Taliban quickly followed.

“The decisions that (Akhundzada) has made so far are all based on the opinions of religious scholars,” said Abdul Hadi Hammad, the head of a madrassa and member of the supreme leader’s advisory council.

Akhundzada has stressed the need for unity in the movement as he carefully seeks to balance several factions — including competing groups that claim the credit for the 2021 victory over US-led forces.

While advisers to Akhundzada claim the Taliban can survive without foreign income, unlocking billions of dollars in frozen assets abroad would be a crucial lifeline.

“We know the Taliban can be transactional, but they cannot appear to be transactional,” a Western diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Within the movement, no one dares openly challenge Akhundzada’s power, but discontent is quietly growing among the lower ranks.

“Taliban guards are getting their salaries late, and their salaries are low too. They are unhappy,” said one mid-level Taliban official based in northwestern Pakistan, who asked not to be named.

Many have returned to their villages or traveled to Pakistan to take up different work, another Taliban member added.

Attempts by the movement to shore up revenue through lucrative coal mining have sparked infighting in the north, exacerbated by ethnic divisions and religious sectarianism.

With winter only a few months away, food security and freezing temperatures will put even more pressure on the leaders of one of the world’s poorest countries.

These mounting stresses have the potential to worsen divisions, Kugelman said, though likely not enough to force any dramatic shift in policy.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2141746/world

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Southeast Asia

 

Operators predicts thousands of 'mamak' outlets nationwide to fold by year-end from worker shortage

By Ben Tan

13 Aug 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 00 Some 1,500 Indian-Muslim restaurants, popularly called "mamak" restaurants, are expected to close nationwide following the lack of foreign workers and also finding local workers, said the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma).

The Malaysian Reserve quoted Presma president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan saying that the lack of foreign workers has caused 3,000 restaurant operators out of 12,000 registered association members to be closed since the Covid-19 pandemic started more than two years ago.

"The lack of workers has a major impact on the survival of the food service and restaurant industry since the ban on the entry of foreign workers was enforced.

"Since the pandemic, in my chain of restaurants alone, more than 250 restaurant workers have returned to India and have not been able to re-enter the country while the mamak restaurant industry needs at least 30,000 more workers to fill vacancies across the country,” Jawahar Ali was quoted saying.

The acute manpower shortage which hit the food services and restaurant sector since the Covid-19 pandemic began had forced thousands of mamak restaurants nationwide to close their businesses since 2020.

Most of the foreign workers hired had returned home due to expired working permits, while some were stranded in their country of origin during the pandemic after returning there for a holiday. There have been difficulties in obtaining local workers to fill the vacancies.

Meanwhile, the report also reached out to the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) head activist Datuk Nadzim Johan who said that the government needs to act immediately to save the industry and thousands of affected workers.

Jawahar Ali said that his association, PPIM and the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Employers Association, as well as Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association, urged the government to extend the period of hiring foreign workers to October 2022.

He requested the government to refine each proposal of non-governmental organisations (NGO) representing various affected industries before other policy amendments are introduced to help their members get foreign workers.

"The announcement by the government will have a big impact because the labour shortage in all sectors is still ongoing and has not been resolved where the situation of traders requires the services of foreign workers, especially in the endemic phase.

"Currently, only 30 per cent of the association members received foreign worker approval while 70 per cent of the applications are still in the system,” he said.

On August 5, the Human Resources Ministry announced that the application for hiring foreign workers has been temporarily halted from August 15 to 31 to allow a review of foreign worker application procedures to be made.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/08/13/operators-predicts-thousands-of-mamak-outlets-nationwide-to-fold-by-year-end-from-worker-shortage/22593

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Turun protesters to ‘celebrate’ Ismail’s first year as PM

August 12, 2022

PETALING JAYA: A protest rally is being planned to “celebrate” Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s first year as prime minister next Saturday, highlighting failures in resolving major issues plaguing the country.

The government’s failings were said to include the rising prices of goods, food security, and the scandal involving the procurement of naval warships.

The rally organisers, the “Turun Committee”, said the Himpunan Kerajaan Gagal would be held outside the Sogo shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. Last month, the group had organised the “Turun” rally in protest against rising prices.

The committee said in a statement: “It is clear that the policies, actions and behaviour of the Ismail-led government and Umno have failed in all aspects, as they are there only for power and are bereft of ideas to develop the country.

“We need to get down and celebrate Ismail’s first anniversary as prime minister and demand pay cuts among the members of his Cabinet and the return of a year’s worth of pay by the prime minister and his ministers.”

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/08/12/turun-protesters-to-celebrate-ismails-first-year-as-pm/

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5 local churches that are architectural masterpieces

August 13, 2022

PETALING JAYA: There are many houses of worship in Malaysia that leave people in awe of their exquisite architecture. More than just places where the faithful gather to pray, these sites also often have a compelling and rich history.

Two of those places include the famous Christ Church in Melaka and the St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur – whose buildings are a lovely reminiscence of time past.

FMT takes a look at five other beautiful churches in the country.

St Peter’s Church, Melaka

St Peter’s Church is said to be the oldest operational Roman Catholic church in Malaysia. Located in Melaka, it is beautifully preserved and has a gorgeous white facade.

Here’s a fun fact: although the church was constructed in 1710, it has an even older bell! It was made in Goa, India back in 1608 and was brought over from another church that was burnt by the Dutch.

When the foreign power first took over Malacca from the Portuguese in 1641, they persecuted the Catholics in the state – and this included destroying their churches.

It wasn’t until a later date that the Portuguese Catholics in Malacca had an easier time. It is even believed that the land on which the church is built was donated by a Dutch gentleman.

St George’s Church, Penang

Against the backdrop of a blue sky, St George’s church in Penang’s George Town is undeniably a charming sight. With its sturdy Grecian columns, one can’t help but draw comparisons between the Anglican church to buildings in ancient Greece.

Constructed in the 19th century, the plans for the church building are generally attributed to Governor William Petrie and Robert N Smith of Madras Engineers.

However, it was the hands of Indian convicts who built the building with brick and lime mortar on a solid plastered stone base. There is also a memorial for Francis Light – the founder of the British colony in the state – on its lawn.

However, the church was nearly destroyed during the Japanese occupation, when it suffered serious damage in an air raid. Much of its contents were also subsequently stolen.

It wasn’t until 1948 – when repair work was completed – that services for parishioners resumed. In 2007, the church was declared a Malaysian National Treasure.

Church of the Holy Rosary, Kuala Lumpur

Although there are many skyscrapers in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the Church of the Holy Rosary is able to hold its own among them – despite being more than a century old.

In 1903, one Father Terrien was tasked to care for the Chinese Catholic community in Kuala Lumpur and he decided to build a church. He subsequently identified and bought a piece of land in Brickfields.

Construction then followed and the church was completed 18 months later. However, it had no steeple and wings at first. These were only added to the structure in later years.

St Michael’s and All Angels Church, Sabah

The St Michael’s and All Angels church in Sandakan, Sabah is a quaint-looking stone building that dates back to the 19th century.

Designed by a New Zealand architect BW Mountfort, it is said that the church was modelled after ChristChurch Cathedral in his country.

There are also stained-glass windows in this Anglican church – an initiative by relatives of some Australian Prisoners of War. Apart from being a memorial to the brave soldiers, they also wanted to extend a gesture of appreciation to the locals who risked their lives to help these soldiers during the Japanese occupation.

The church is also part of the Sandakan Heritage Trails – a walk that connects important historical sites in the town.

Church of our Lady of Lourdes, Selangor

Almost a century old, the Church of our Lady of Lourdes is located at Jalan Tengku Kelana in Klang, also known as “Little India”.

The pristine white church, built in 1928, also stands proudly beside Convent Klang, another popular landmark in the royal town.

Before the construction of the church, mass services were conducted in a humble wooden chapel.

However, in 1923, when Reverend Father John Baptist Souhait was tasked to look after the Catholics in Klang and its neighbouring districts, he realised the need for a church building where the congregation could gather.

The construction work subsequently started in 1925 and was completed three years later.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/property/2022/08/13/5-local-churches-that-are-architectural-masterpieces/

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Mideast

 

Salman Rushdie attack: Suspect showed sympathy to causes of Iran's Revolutionary Guards

13.08.22

The 24-year-old man detained in connection with the stabbing of Mumbai-born controversial author Salman Rushdie was sympathetic to "Shia extremism" and the causes of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to a media report.

Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed on stage on Friday while he was being introduced at the event of the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York.

The New York State Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar from Fairview, New Jersey while the motive behind the act is still unknown.

The suspect ran up onto the stage prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua and attacked 75-year-old Rushdie.

According to the law enforcement authorities, the author was stabbed "at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen.

Rushdie was rushed to a nearby local hospital where he underwent surgery, while the attacker was taken into the New York State Police custody. The interviewer with Rushdie was also attacked during the incident and he suffered a minor head injury, the police said.

Authorities were still looking into Matar's nationality and his criminal records, if any.

A preliminary review of Matar's social media accounts by law enforcement showed him to be sympathetic to Shia extremism and the causes of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a law enforcement person with direct knowledge of the investigation told NBC News.

Though there are no direct links between Matar and the IRGC, law enforcement officers reportedly found images of slain commander Qassem Solemani and an Iraqi extremist sympathetic to the Iranian regime in a cell phone messaging app belonging to Matar, according to NBC News.

Soleimani was a senior Iranian military officer who served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. From 1998 until his assassination in 2020.

Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it offensive to Islam.

The author spent about 10 years under police protection in the United Kingdom, living in hiding after Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's execution.

A bounty of over USD 3 million has been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie, who has been a prominent spokesman for free expression and liberal causes.

Since 2000, Rushdie has lived in the United States.

Rushdie was being introduced at about 10:45 am when the assault happened, CNN quoted a witness as saying

The witness said he heard shouting from the audience.

He said a man in a black shirt appeared to be "punching" the author. The witness, who was 75 feet from the stage, did not hear the attacker say anything or see a weapon.

Some people in the audience ran to render aid while others went after the attacker, the witness said. State police said a doctor who was in the audience during the event rendered aid to Rushdie until emergency responders arrived.

New York Gov Kathy Hochul told reporters Friday a state trooper "stood up and saved (Rushdie's) life and protected him as well as the moderator who was attacked as well."

One witness of the attack told CNN there were no security searches or metal detectors at the event.

The suspect in Friday's attack had a "pass to access the grounds," Dr Michael E Hill, president of the Chautauqua Institution, said in the news conference. Guests can purchase passes to attend programs, Hill said.

Hill defended the institution's measures, saying, "We assess for every event what we think the appropriate security level is, and this one was certainly one that we thought was important which is why we had a State Trooper and Sheriff presence there," he said.

Staniszewski said there was no indication of any threat to the event and the state trooper was there because the event was a mass gathering and because of a request by the institution.

Joyce Lussier, 83, who was in the second row of the amphitheater during the attack, said Rushdie had taken a seat on the right-hand side of the stage when suddenly, a man who appeared to be in all black "lurched across the stage and got right to Rushdie."

"They caught him right away, he did not get off the stage at all," Lussier said of the suspect. "Shortly after, the crowd was asked to evacuate, " she added.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/salman-rushdie-attack-suspect-showed-sympathy-to-causes-of-irans-revolutionary-guards/cid/1879920

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Iran conservative media praise Salman Rushdie attacker

13 August, 2022

Iranian ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan on Saturday hailed the man who stabbed British author Salman Rushdie - the target of a 1989 Iranian fatwa calling for his death.

Rushdie was on a ventilator after the attack during a literary event in New York state on Friday, more than 30 years after he went into hiding following late supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini’s fatwa.

“Bravo to this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York,” wrote the paper, whose chief is appointed by current supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

 “Let us kiss the hands of the one who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife,” the daily added.

With the exception of reformist publication Etemad, Iranian media followed a similar line, describing Rushdie as an “apostate.”

State-owned paper Iran said that the “neck of the devil” had been “cut by a razor.”

Iranian authorities have yet to make any official comment on the stabbing attack against Rushdie.

But Mohammad Marandi, an adviser to the negotiating team for Iran’s nuclear talks in Vienna, wrote on Twitter: “I won’t be shedding tears for a writer who spouts endless hatred and contempt for Muslims and Islam.”

“But, isn’t it odd that as we near a potential nuclear deal, the US makes claims about a hit on Bolton... and then this happens?” he questioned.

The attack came after Iran hinted earlier on Friday that it may accept a final compromise to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. This followed the European Union’s submission of a “final text” in Vienna.

The US Justice Department said Wednesday that it had indicted a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards over allegations he had offered to pay an individual in the United States $300,000 to kill former White House national security adviser John Bolton.

Iran dismissed the allegations as “fiction.”

Rushdie, 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India, where he was born.

But his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” transformed his life when Khomeini issued a religious decree ordering his killing.

In 1998, the government of Iran’s reformist president Mohammad Khatami assured Britain that Iran would not implement the fatwa.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/13/Iran-conservative-media-praise-Salman-Rushdie-attacker

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Israeli decision to raze West Bank school is 'war' on Palestinian identity, says premier

Awad Rajoub  

12.08.2022

RAMALLAH, Palestine

A recent decision by Israeli authorities to demolish a school in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah amounts to "war on Palestinian identity," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Thursday.

"We reject the (Israeli) occupation's decision to demolish the Ein Samia school, which is a form of war on Palestinian identity," Shtayyeh said at a ceremony for high school students in Ramallah.

The decision was "a frantic attempt to annihilate family education," and "a flagrant violation of the right of Palestinian students to education," he added.

On Wednesday, the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem issued a decision to "immediately demolish" the Ein Samia school, northeast of Ramallah, according to the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights.

The human rights center said the school serves students of the Ein Samia al-Badawi community, totaling about 300 people. It is located in Area C, which is used to classify parts of the West Bank that are under Israel control.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-decision-to-raze-west-bank-school-is-war-on-palestinian-identity-says-premier/2659545

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Leader: Palestinian Resistance Movement Can Badly Defeat Zionist Enemy

2022-August-12

The Supreme Leader made the remaks in a Thursday letter addressed to Secretary General of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad movement Ziyad al-Nakhalah.

He lauded the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement for its spirited steadfastness and resilience during the recent three-day-long Israeli military onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that the group proved that any segment of the Resistance front can rub the Tel Aviv regime’s nose to the ground.

The text of the letter of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution is as follows:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

To my brother who is struggling on the path of God, Mr. Ziyad al-Nakhala (May your achievements continue) Salam Alaykum,

I received your honorable, promising letter with its good news. May God reward you and hurry the ultimate victory of the admirable and oppressed Palestinian nation. The recent event has added to the honors of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement and elevated the status of Islamic Jihad in the magnificent Resistance movement of the Palestinian nation. With your courageous Resistance, you have nullified the policy of deception of the usurping regime.

You have proven that each section of the Resistance is able to crush the enemy. By connecting the fight in Gaza with the West Bank and other forces of the Resistance with their support for the Jihad movement, you have been able to demonstrate the solidarity of the Palestinian nation’s jihad to the malicious, deceptive enemy. All of the efforts of the Palestinian groups in all of the Palestinian lands should be directed at protecting this solidarity.

The usurping enemy is becoming weaker, while Palestinian Resistance is becoming stronger. There is no power or strength except from God. We continue to stand with you. May God’s greetings be upon you, and our agreements are still in place…

Seyyed Ali Khamenei

August 11, 2022

In his letter, Ziyad al-Nakhalah confirmed the widespread presence of Palestinian Resistance fighters, particularly from the Islamic Jihad Movement and the military branch of Saraya al-Quds, in all of Palestine and especially in Gaza and the West Bank.

"Due to the presence of the troops of Jihad Resistance, not a single day passes without clashes taking place with the Zionist regime in the West Bank," he added.

In describing the situation that exists in Gaza, the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad Movement spoke of the strong Resistance in this region that is confronting the occupying regime.

Furthermore, with regards to the three days of clashes, he said, “We have called these clashes Wahdat al-Sahat (Unity of the Fields) to emphasize the unity that exists in our nation when they are confronting the enemy, which is working with all its strength and which schemes to try to abolish this unity.”

While stressing the fact that during this war all of the occupied Palestinian territory was within range of Islamic Jihad Movement’s missiles, Ziyad al-Nakhala said, “This battle frustrated the Zionist regime's estimates to such a large extent that after just three days they were forced to ask for a ceasefire and to accept the terms set by the Resistance.”

The Secretary General of Islamic Jihad said that the enemy's plan is to create a division in the Resistance forces.

"They announced their goal was only Islamic Jihad in this war. However, Islamic Jihad aroused the amazement and support of all the Resistance forces in the region and the world with its powerful, courageous struggle. The Palestinian nation and all of the Resistance organizations, including Hamas at the head, have approved of it and supported it," he added.

The Secretary General of Islamic Jihad said that this achievement of the Resistance is a start to even larger victories of the Palestinian nation to come in the future.

He appreciated the role played by the Hezbollah movement, which is under the leadership of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, as well as Iran's support and approval in all its various aspects, which is under the leadership and guidance of the Supreme  Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010521000185/Leader-Palesinian-Resisance-Mvemen-Can-Badly-Defea-Zinis-Enemy
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Spokesman: US Unable to Whitewash General Soleimani's Assassination by False Stories

2022-August-12

"Fabricating stories re a politically bankrupt element, a known terrorist & a coup plotter against independent states, is a US deceptive bid to scape from int'l responsibilities," the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman tweeted on Friday.

"Such fanfares won't whitewash US regime's image, but makes Iranians & the world more resentful of it, he added.

US authorities claimed on Wednesday that an Iranian operative was plotting to assassinate Bolton in retaliation for the US terror operation that martyred Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

In response, Tehran dismissed Washington's charges as “ridiculous and baseless”.

"The spinning of these threadbare and baseless myths is becoming a recurring custom in the American judicial and propaganda system," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani said on Wednesday.

"This time for scenario building, politically bankrupt and worthless elements like Bolton has been used to advance this process," he added.

"Such baseless claims are made with political motives and aims and in fact amount to forward escape, creating propaganda ruse and especially escaping the responsibility of responding to numerous terrorist crimes that the American government has either directly participated in, such as the cowardly assassination of General Martyr Soleimani, or like the terrorist crimes committed by the Zionist regime and terrorist groups like Daesh they have been committed with the support of America," the official stated.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010521000482/Spkesman-US-Unable-Whiewash-General-Sleimani's-Assassinain-by-False

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President Rayeesi: Martyr Soleimani Source of Pride for Iran, Muslim World

2022-August-12

The Iranian president made the remarks during his tour of Kerman province on Thursday evening.

"Everyone must pay attention to Martyr Soleimani's school," President Rayeesi said while paying tribute to Martyr General Soleimani.

"Kerman is the cradle of sophisticated men and women, poets, writers, artists, and prominent scientific figures," he added.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010521000245/Presiden-Rayeesi-Maryr-Sleimani-Srce-f-Pride-fr-Iran-Mslim-Wrld

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Iranian diplomat says EU proposal to revive nuclear deal could be ‘acceptable’

12 August, 2022

A European Union proposal to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “can be acceptable if it provides assurances” on Tehran’s key demands, the state news agency IRNA said on Friday, quoting a senior Iranian diplomat.

The EU said on Monday it had put forward a “final” text following four days of indirect talks between the US and Iranian officials in Vienna.

A senior EU official said no more changes could be made to the text, which has been under negotiation for 15 months. He said he expected a final decision from the parties within a “very, very few weeks.”

IRNA quoted the unidentified Iranian diplomat as saying Tehran was reviewing the proposal. “Proposals by the EU can be acceptable if they provide Iran with assurance on the issues of safeguards, sanctions and guarantees,” the diplomat said.

Iran has sought to obtain guarantees that no future US president would renege on the deal if it were revived, as then-President Donald Trump did in 2018 and restored harsh US sanctions on Iran.

However, President Joe Biden cannot provide such ironclad assurances because the deal is a political understanding rather than a legally binding treaty.

Washington has said it is ready to quickly reach an agreement to revive the deal on the basis of the EU proposals.

Iranian officials said they would convey their “additional views and considerations” to the EU, which coordinates the talks, after consultations in Tehran.

The 2015 pact seemed near revival in March. But 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and the Biden administration in Vienna were thrown into disarray chiefly over Iran's insistence that Washington remove its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps from the US Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/12/Iranian-diplomat-says-EU-proposal-to-revive-nuclear-talks-could-be-acceptable-

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Iran plans to commission three more space satellites

12 August, 2022

Iran plans to commission three more versions of a satellite launched this week by Russia, Tehran's government spokesman said Friday.

The Khayyam blasted into orbit on Tuesday, prompting US accusations that it is intended for spying. Iran dismissed Washington's claim as “childish.”

“The construction of three other Khayyam satellites with the participation of Iranian scientists is on the government's agenda,” its spokesman Ali Bahadori-Jahromi said on Twitter.

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket sent the satellite into orbit from the Moscow-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Responding to the launch, Washington said Russia's growing cooperation with Iran should be viewed as a “profound threat”, but the head of Iran's Space Agency, Hassan Salarieh, dismissed the accusation.

He said the Khayyam is designed to meet Iran's needs for “crisis and urban management, natural resources, mines, agriculture and so on.”

The Khayyam was built by the Russians under Iran's supervision, Salarieh said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Ahead of the launch, The Washington Post quoted anonymous Western intelligence officials as saying that Russia “plans to use the satellite for several months or longer” to assist its war effort before allowing Iran to take control.

Iran's space agency stressed on Sunday that it would control the satellite “from day one”, in an apparent reaction to the Post's report.

Khayyam, apparently named after the 11th-century Persian polymath Omar Khayyam, will not be the first Iranian satellite that Russia has put into space.

In 2005, Iran's Sina-1 satellite was deployed from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

The new satellite launch came a day after the European Union submitted a “final text” at talks to salvage a 2015 deal aimed at reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions, and which Tehran said it was reviewing.

The United States has accused Iran of effectively supporting Russia's war against Ukraine while adopting a “veil of neutrality”.

Iran insists its space programme is for civilian and defence purposes only, and does not breach the 2015 nuclear deal, or any other international agreement.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/12/Iran-plans-to-commission-three-more-space-satellites-

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US ambassador supports Israeli air raids on Gaza Strip, terms resistance fighters as ‘bad guys’

13 August 2022

US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides says Washington fully backed the Tel Aviv regime in its last week's military onslaught against the besieged Gaza Strip, which killed 49 Palestinians, including at least 17 children, describing resistance fighters in the coastal enclave as “bad guys”.

Speaking in an interview with the Israeli Hebrew-language Channel 13 television channel, Nides said the Joe Biden administration is “aware of the situation going on in Gaza” and believes that the latest Israeli operations there were part of “an important mission.”

“These are bad guys,” the US ambassador said of members of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movements.

“We support Israel’s right to defend itself, its right to basically take the actions it needs to keep this place safe, so we’re fully supportive of Israel’s actions,” he told Channel 13.

Nides said the White House had not been informed of Israeli airstrikes against the Gaza Strip ahead of time, but said, “I don’t think we were surprised.”

“I don’t think we were told in advance but I think we were aware as the actions were taking place,” he said. “We were pretty clear that we support Israel’s security.”

Last Friday, the Israeli regime carried out massacre in Gaza, killing 49 people, including Taysir al-Jabari, a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

The Israeli airstrikes prompted the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, to respond by firing hundreds of retaliatory rockets toward the occupied territories, pushing the regime forces on the back foot.

The strong retaliation, as was pledged by the resistance group, forced Tel Aviv to demand a ceasefire in order to prevent maximum damage. The Egyptian-mediated truce took effect late on Sunday.

On Thursday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights raised the alarm over the rate by which the Israeli regime has been killing Palestinian children so far this year.

“Inflicting hurt on any child during the course of conflict is deeply disturbing, and the killing and maiming of so many children this year is unconscionable,” Michelle Bachelet said.

So far this year, 37 Palestinian children have been killed at the hands of the Israeli forces. The figure includes 17 children, who perished as a result of the Israeli regime’s recent back-to-back airstrikes against alleged positions belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

“International humanitarian law is clear,” the UN official said. “Launching an attack which may be expected to incidentally kill or injure civilians, or damage civilian objects, in disproportionate manner to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. Such attacks must stop.”

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/13/687278/US-ambassador-supports-Israeli-air-raids-on-Gaza-Strip,-terms-resistance-fighters-as-%E2%80%98bad-guys%E2%80%99

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Hires US Lobbying Firm To Establish 'Good Relations' With Washington

Aug 12, 2022

NEW DELHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has engaged a Washington-based lobbying firm to support the party's goal of developing good ties with the US and the Pakistani diaspora in the country, according to local media reports on Friday.

The development comes as the party has reportedly embarked on mending ties with the US President Joe Biden-led administration. The PTI had accused the US of overthrowing the Imran Khan-led government through a conspiracy earlier this year.

The PTI USA, which is based in New York, is the principal client of the lobbying firm Fenton/Arlook. The firm has been hired for a period of six months at the cost of $25,000 per month to manage PTI USA's public and media relations, said a report in The News.

The agreement was signed on August 1 between David Fenton of Fenton/Arlook and Salman Ravala, the attorney for PTI USA.

The agreement further states that PTI USA is not supervised, owned or controlled by any foreign political party but will "in certain instances" be "directed by the foreign political party in Pakistan".

"Fenton/Arlook shall provide public relations services, including but not limited to distributing information to and briefing journalists, placing articles and broadcasts, arranging interviews with representatives or supporters of PTI, advising on social media efforts and other such public relations services," the agreement signed between PTI and the PR firm stated.

Reportedly, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington also hired the services of the same firm.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-tehreek-e-insaf-hires-us-lobbying-firm-to-establish-good-relations-with-washington/articleshow/93527578.cms

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Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal Underlines Need To Spread True Image Of Islam Via Good Governance

Fahad Shabbir

August 12, 2022

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Aug, 2022 ) :Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has underlined the need to spread the true image of islam through good governance, protection of human rights and ensuring equality and development for all.

The Minister made these remarks while meeting with Prof Dr. Ali Erbas, President of Trkiye's Presidency of Religious in Ankara, according to a statement received here on Friday.

He also sought a closer cooperation between Pakistan and Trkiye's in experience sharing and mutual learning on administration of religious affairs.

It is noted that the federal minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives is on an official visit to Trkiye where he held meetings with several foreign officials.

During the meeting, both have agreed to partner and strengthen the capacities of religious institutions to fight exploitation of religion to destabilize the societies.

"There is a dire need of hour to work together to spread the true picture of Islam and to counter the hatred from the societies," said Professor Ahsan Ibqal.

Source: Urdu Point

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

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/ahsan-iqbal-underlines-need-to-spread-true-im-1546322.html

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Decision to not arrest ex-BJP spokesperson shows India’s hatred towards Islam: Bilawal Bhutto

13th August 2022

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday condemned India’s Supreme Court’s decision to provide former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma protection from getting arrested in the Prophet Muhammad case, the media reported.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister said that this decision of not arresting the former BJP spokesperson shows that India not only has hatred towards Pakistan but also towards Islam, Geo News reported.

He added that the BJP promotes hatred and extremism toward the Muslims living in India.

“We have minimal influence on India’s Supreme Court, however, we need to raise this issue at the international level including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness and we have raised this issue,” he added.

Bilawal said that the people are now seeing India’s real face through these actions, Geo News reported.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday transferred all the FIRs lodged against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad to Delhi Police.

The top court gave her the liberty to approach the Delhi High Court for quashing of the FIRs, and also declined to entertain a plea moved by the West Bengal government for a court-monitored SIT probe.

Source: Siasat Daily

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https://www.siasat.com/decision-to-not-arrest-ex-bjp-spokesperson-shows-indias-hatred-towards-islam-bilawal-bhutto-2389130/

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Protests intensify in PoK against Pakistan government’s plans to amend Constitution

13 August, 2022

Muzaffarabad [PoK], August 13 (ANI): Districts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) are witnessing massive protests against the Pakistan government’s plan to bring in the 15th Constitutional Amendment that will transfer the financial and administrative powers of the local government to Islamabad, local media reported.

The citizens of all 10 districts of the region are infuriated at the government’s move. These protests have taken a turn for the worse in Rawalakot, Bagh, Poonch, Muzaffarabad, and Neelum Valley among other areas of PoK.

Recently, Shabir Choudhry, an activist from the region had said that with this move to introduce the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, Pakistan is eyeing to control the region’s natural resources and urged the people to raise their voice against this “naked aggression and imperialism” where all is controlled by the Pakistani army and country’s property tycoons.

“Pakistan wants to conclude its imperialist and strategic game plan which it started in October 1947. This imperialist agenda began in name of Islam, and the captured prey shall be slaughtered with the ‘Islamic touch’,” Choudhry said.

He said that Pakistan is using Islam to camouflage its imperialist agenda. Since October 22, 1947, the activist noted that people of PoK are living in the false sense of being independent or liberated.

“Right from childhood, our children through social, educational, economic, and cultural mechanisms are brainwashed or educated on how to be a good slave of Pakistan,” he said while slamming Pakistan for manipulating the people of the PoK region. “

According to a local media report, details revealed in the proposed draft of the 15th amendment show that the terms ‘State’ will be replaced with ‘Azad Jammu Kashmir’ and the mention of United Nations’ is going to be replaced with the words ‘subject to recognition’ from the so-called 1974 interim constitution of PoJK.

Kashmir Council will be revived which will include six members from the PoJK legislative assembly and seven from Pakistan. It will include the Prime Minister, Defense and Foreign ministers of Pakistan and, will be headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Kashmir Council will have the power to collect taxes and present its own budget. Property worth Rs 80 billion in Pakistan which belongs to PoJK will be brought under the Kashmir Property Council and PoJK will have no powers over its sale or to preserve it.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan will have the right to directly appoint the Chief Justice, High and Supreme Court judges as well as the Chief Election Commissioner of PoK, and appointments made by the PM would not be allowed to be challenged in the courts.

All financial powers will be transferred from the government of PoJK to Pakistan thus practically degrading PoJK to the level of a provincial entity.

Last week, the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) rejected the same saying that instead of fighting for the interests of the ruling elite in the guise of identity and chauvinism, the real salvation of the oppressed people in the region lies in the establishment of a society free of exploitation.

The constitutional status of the region is intended to be fixed once again. Despite several changes, the constitutional status of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and the distribution of powers between the local government could not be satisfied by the different governments and the state of Pakistan.

This will be the 24th attempt of the Pakistan government to determine the constitutional status of the region, in the last 75 years.

A letter by a high-level committee headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan stated that through this amendment, the ongoing functions of the PoK government are to be aligned with the provincial governments of Pakistan. This means that PoK will be treated as federating units (ie other units of the Federation).

Harjap Singh writing for Daily Sikh said that since July 1, women and children have been sitting on roads for several days in the region shouting freedom slogans and demanding the Army return to the barracks.

Citizens have known the agony of living under the thumb of the Pakistani government before the introduction of the 13th amendment. They have been denied dignity in living.

“Many people have been arrested, but their crimes remain unknown. Is it unlawful to ask for basic facilities such as clean drinking water, social opportunities, educational institutions, and healthcare? Underdevelopment and disenfranchisement have taken people to the streets!”

He said that the area of Poonch is experiencing a curfew-like situation and a partial shutdown of internet service in some areas. Roads are closed for all types of vehicles owing to the burning of tyres and Pakistan’s mainstream media is forbidden to cover these scenes.

Protests in the Khaigala area of Poonch were quietened through the use of force and indiscriminate open firing. The injured protesters were denied medical attention while a few unfortunates died on spot. Authorities did not disclose the death toll, Harjap wrote.

The Pakistan government, in June 2018, introduced the 13th Amendment that gave PoK the right to control the financial and administrative issues including making laws and collecting tax, excluding corporate tax.

However, the power to elect the superior court judges, chief election Commissioner and emergency provisions remained in the hands of the Prime Minister of the country.

“Pakistan government used to receive Rs 500-600 crores in taxes every year from PoJK before the 13th amendment. After the amendment was implemented, these funds directly went to the PoJK government. Of course, the federal government could not resist curbing PoJK’s powers as an independent entity and missing out on the crores of rupees annually,” Harjap said adding that the 15th Amendment Bill will usurp the monetary powers from the PoJK government and subsequently turn the PoJK administration into a provincial entity. This is a breach of trust and a clear violation of the rights of the illegally occupied territory.

Not just this, the people of Pakistan have been protesting against the load shedding, increasingly cruel imposition of taxes on electricity bills, imposition of heavy cuts in the budgetary grants of PoK, as well as the locals being ignored for jobs in the area.

Harjap said that major protests have been going on since the night of July 25 when the police started baton-charging and shelling tear gas at the protesters in Poonch, Rawalkot, and Thorar. Political leaders and activists have been detained and taken to undisclosed locations. Baseless cases are registered against them on charges of blocking highways.

Even though the government has convinced the protestors that the arrested persons would be released soon, the basic issues like load shedding, inflation, and the lease of lands need to be addressed on a war footing.

As per the report of the Planning and Development Department of PoJK, fifty per cent of the total population of the region has no access to piped water; 78 per cent of the total households have no tap water connections.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam is a ticking bomb for PoJK, which can swipe all lives in the area. It is because of unlawful occupation of forest cover which has reduced to 14 per cent from 42 per cent.

The electricity produced in PoK relieves the heat in Punjab, while people of the region face load shedding for 18 to 20 hours. The river waters are diverted for hydropower projects built by Chinese companies. And these companies make all the profits which even the Pak federal government has opposed.

For three years in a row, there has been a severe shortage of wheat and a rise in inflation. Ex-servicemen have not seen a single paisa in the name of pension, and government employees have not received salaries during the year.

All those who oppose the government in PoK are labelled as traitors or agents and then put through a series of torture, humiliation, or jail, Harjap wrote.

Among these, the protests against the 15th Amendment and oppressive taxes are spreading like wildfire across the state.

This amendment is a conspiracy to dilute the identity of PoK.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/protests-intensify-in-pok-against-pakistan-governments-plans-to-amend-constitution/1080927/

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COAS Bajwa hails deep-rooted ties between Pakistan, UK

12th Aug, 2022

LONDON: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday recognized the deep-rooted ties between Pakistan and the United Kingdom and expressed hope that relations between the two countries would reach “historic heights” in the future.

Addressing the passing out parade at the renowned Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, as the first Pakistani chief guest, COAS Gen Bajwa said the primary reason for armed forces to exist today, should not be to wage wars. but ensure that they do not take place.

Gen Bajwa began his address by saying that it was a “great honour and privilege” for him to be present during the ceremony. He congratulated the cadets and their families on successfully completing their training at the prestigious academy.

“Your alma matter is, without a doubt, one of the finest military institutions in the world which have produced some of the great military leaders that this world has seen,” he said, adding that graduating from Sandhurst is a great honour and pride.

“Two Pakistani cadets will also be graduating with you today and let me say that I am as proud of you as I am of them,” he told the graduating officers and congratulated them and their families.

Gen Bajwa said that his presence at the academy today was a testimony f the relationship shared by Pakistan and UK “based on mutual respect and shared values”.

“I am sure that this relationship will stay in greater heights in times to come,” he added. “Similarly, the bond between the two armed forces is uniquely special and has been kept alive over the years through close professional contact in training and other military activities.”

While addressing the passing out cadets, the army chief highlighted that this day marks the beginning of their formal military service and there would be great responsibilities and expectations associated with them.

“The journey ahead of you is both challenging and exciting. As you grow, you the demand of professionalism will also increase,” he said, pointing out that no one was born with professional knowledge rather “it has to be acquired with constant pursue”.

“Without it, you cannot achieve professional confidence which is the hallmark of successful military leadership,” Gen Bajwa stated. “You need to have the will to take decisions and accept full responsibility. That will require confidence and competence.”

He also said that the primary responsibility of the armed forces today was not to win wars but to ensure that they don’t occur. “It is on our collective capacity to come together and take the route of peace and cooperation instead of conflict, communication instead of clash and multilateralism instead of self-preservation.

“In the interest of world peace, we must strive to preserve the vitality, relevance and internal sense of impartiality in multilateral institutions, maintain consensus on the collective defence of global commons and uphold the prestige of international law,” he stressed.

Source: Bol News

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

https://www.bolnews.com/pakistan/2022/08/coas-bajwa-hails-deep-rooted-ties-between-pakistan-uk/

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Arshad Nadeem extends golden run to Islamic Solidarity Games

August 13, 2022

KONYA: Another Games for Arshad Nadeem, another record-breaking gold for the Pakistan javelin thrower.

Six days after his victory at the Commonwealth Games, Arshad was at it again on Friday at the Islamic Solidarity Games when the 25-year-old sent the spear to 88.55 metres for the best throw ever at the multi-sport event involving elite athletes from members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Arshad though was head and shoulders above the rest in Turkey. Qatar’s Ahmed Magour, who held the previous record at the Games at 83.45 metres, was the silver medallist with a throw of 74.28 metres while Iran’s Ali Fathi Ganji took bronze with a throw of 71.24 metres.

Arshad, however, has achieved these feats despite an elbow injury that has troubled him since the Olympics in Tokyo last year where he finished fifth.

Arshad’s best attempt came in his second throw after he opened on 79.40 metres. His third throw reached a distance of 75.50m and his fourth and fifth throw were 82.40m and 83.33m respectively.

The ongoing fifth edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games were initially scheduled to be held last year but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, Arshad had stormed to gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with a record throw of 90.18 metres. In doing so, he became only the second Asian ever to cross the 90m mark in the sport.

In July, he had also finished fifth at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

With the Asian Games in China postponed to next year, Arshad will now undergo treatment on his longstanding elbow issue in London in consultation with Cambridge University’s Dr Ali Sher Bajwa.

He is expected to go under the knife next month before starting his comeback in May next year ahead of the Asian Games.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1704606/arshad-nadeem-extends-golden-run-to-islamic-solidarity-games

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Militants present in Swat, but situation under control: police

Manzoor Ali

August 13, 2022

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police on Friday acknowledged the presence of militants in some remote mountainous areas of Swat district.

A brief statement issued by the Central Police Office said the police were fully cognisant of the fact that some individuals from Swat, previously living in Afghanistan, were present in some far-flung mountainous areas of Swat.

However, police said, the situation was “totally under the control of civil administration” and all law enforcement agencies were ready to respond to any misadventure.

The statement came after the provincial government’s days-long silence on a clash between the police and the Taliban in a remote area of Matta tehsil, the hometown of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. A DSP and some security personnel were reportedly detained by suspected militants after the clash. They were later released after intervention of a jirga.

Police said they were cognisant of video clips circulating on social media showing heavy presence of militants in Swat.

They said the department was also aware of public apprehension that Swat may return to the 2008-09-like era when militants ruled the valley with their version of Sharia.

“Peaceful society of Swat has no space for terrorism in any form and manifestation,” the police said.

The statement added that law enforcement agencies were “appropriately placed to resort to all possible measures to ensure peace in Swat as per aspirations of the local populace”.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1704554/militants-present-in-swat-but-situation-under-control-police

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Religious affairs minister threatens polio vaccine boycott in ex-Fata areas

Waseem Ahmed Shah

August 13, 2022

PESHAWAR: Federal Min­ister for Religious Aff­airs Maulana Abdul Shakoor has warned that people of the erstwhile tribal areas would boycott a polio vaccination campaign if the government and security institutions failed to restore peace.

“We want to make it clear that if the government and security institutions fail to provide us with peace, the people of [formerly] Fata won’t accept the measures being taken by the government, on top of which is polio vaccination,” he said in a widely circulated video on social media.

He said the boycott might be followed by civil disobedience campaign “like the one started by (PTI chief) Imran Khan”.

He said the JUI-F did not favour such protest measures, but people were being compelled to head towards such a situation. He urged the security institutions and the government to restore peace in those areas before things got out of control.

While it could not be confirmed who had filmed the video, the JUI-F’s provincial information secretary Abdul Jalil Jan confirmed to Dawn that Maulana Shakoor was addressing a delegation of party leaders and workers from former tribal areas in Peshawar.

He said it was an internal meeting of the party where the media was not invited, but someone might have uploaded the video on social media.

In the video, the minister also spoke about the recent killing of a JUI-F leader Qari Samiuddin in North Waziristan and last year’s killing of another leader, Maulana Abdul Salam in Bajaur, and asked the participants to stage protests and highlight the killings.

He also asked them to condemn the provincial government and the security institutions “as they have completely failed in maintaining peace”.

The video footage has since drawn criticism on social media.

“Sitting federal minister Mufti Shakoor of JUI-F announces boycott of polio vaccination,” activist Gul Bukhari wrote on Twitter and wondered if such people could remain in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1704587/minister-threatens-polio-vaccine-boycott-in-ex-fata-areas

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US announces $1mln grant for Pakistan to address natural disasters

August 12, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The United States government on Friday has announced a new $1 million grant in support of Pakistan’s ability to address natural disasters, such as the ongoing flooding.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), this humanitarian assistance will build the resilience of agricultural communities and would support Pakistan’s disaster management authorities in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces to better respond to future disasters, said a news release.

The U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome said: “The people of America stand with the people of Pakistan during this challenging time. Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones in the floods across Pakistan and who are also dealing with recovery efforts.  We are proud to help build the resilience of Sindh communities so they are better able to face such disasters in the future. We remain committed to helping Pakistan recover and rebuild as quickly as possible.”

Acknowledging the continuing U.S.-Pakistan partnership, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said, “The American people have always stood with the people of Pakistan during the challenging times in the past, and now, when torrential rains have wreaked havoc in several parts of Sindh province.  The people of Sindh, and in particular the people of Pakistan, are highly grateful for the United States Government’s announcement of this $1 million grant to bolster Pakistan’s ability to address natural disasters.”

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/08/12/us-announces-1mln-grant-for-pakistan-to-address-natural-disasters/

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Pak navy rescues 9 Indian crew members after vessel capsizes in Arabian Sea

Aug 12, 2022

KARACHI: The Pakistani navy on Thursday said that it rescued and saved nine Indian crew members from drowning after their vessel capsized in the Arabian Sea.

The incident happened on August 9 near the coastal town of Gwadar in Balochistan province when the Indian sailing vessel 'Jamna Sagar' sank with 10 crew members onboard, Pakistan navy's director general of Public Relations said in a statement.

The navy received information about the vessel, responded to the distress call and the Pakistan Maritime Information Centre requested a nearby merchant ship 'MT KRUIBEKE' to provide necessary assistance to the stranded crew of the Indian vessel.

“The merchant ship eventually recovered nine crew members and continued the voyage to its next port Dubai and onward disembarked the crew,” the statement said.

Simultaneously one Pakistan navy ship, along with two helicopters, also reached the area and located the dead body of one crew member who was earlier missing at the time of the sinking of the vessel.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pak-navy-rescues-9-indian-crew-members-after-vessel-capsizes-in-arabian-sea/articleshow/93512171.cms

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Arab World

 

More than 600 linked to ISIS transferred from Syria to Iraq

12 August, 2022

Syria’s autonomous Kurdish region transferred to the Iraqi government more than 600 relatives of ISIS members who were detained at the notorious al-Hol camp, a monitor said Friday.

It is the fourth operation of its kind this year from the camp, which lies less than 10 kilometers (six miles) from the Iraqi border.

In the latest transfer, around “620 people, relatives of ISIS members, left al-Hol,” coordinated between the camp administration and the Iraqi government, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.

The men, women and children belonged to 150 families and left the camp on Thursday, an official in the Kurdish administration told AFP.

Thousands of foreign extremists joined ISIS as fighters, often bringing their wives and children to live in the “caliphate” declared by the group across swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Kurdish-led forces backed by a US-led coalition dislodged the extremists from their last scrap of territory in Syria in 2019.

Kurdish authorities have repeatedly called on countries to repatriate their citizens from crowded displaced camps, of which al-Hol is Syria’s largest.

More than 100 people, including many women, were murdered in al-Hol over an 18-month period, the United Nations said in June, calling for camp residents to be returned home.

But nations have mostly received them only sporadically, fearing security threats and a domestic political backlash.

The first repatriation of Iraqi families from al-Hol, involving around 300 people, took place in May last year.

Iraq should repatriate 500 families in total from al-Hol this year, the official Iraqi News Agency announced on Wednesday.

In addition to the returned family members, the Iraqi government also received this week about 50 Iraqi ISIS fighters and leaders who were detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces, according to the Observatory.

The SDF spearheaded the fight against ISIS in Syria with the support of the US-led coalition.

In early June, Iraq repatriated another 50 Iraqi ISIS fighters who were detained by Kurdish forces. They were among 3,500 Iraqis held in Syrian Kurdish prisons, a senior military official said at the time.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/12/More-than-600-linked-to-ISIS-transferred-from-Syria-to-Iraq

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Wanted fugitive blows himself up in Saudi Arabia injuring four people

12 August, 2022

A man wanted by Saudi Arabia’s state security detonated an explosive belt killing himself and injuring four others in Jeddah on Wednesday night, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday.

The fugitive blew himself up after security forces tracked him and attempted to arrest him in Jeddah’s neighborhood of al-Samer, a spokesperson for the Presidency of State Security said.

According to state security, those injured were a Pakistani resident and three security personnel. They were all transferred to hospital for medical treatment.

Al-Shehri has been wanted by authorities for seven years for his involvement in an attack that targeted a mosque in the southern city of Abha in August 2015.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/08/12/Wanted-fugitive-blows-himself-up-in-Saudi-Arabia-injuring-four-people

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Iraq’s Sadr supporters perform Friday prayers outside Parliament as political crisis lingers

12 August 2022

Supporters of Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr gathered outside Parliament in Baghdad’s Green Zone for Friday prayers, weeks after occupying the building amid a post-election political crisis.

The mass prayer came a few days after Sadr called on the judiciary to dissolve Parliament by the end of next week.

Sadr warned on Wednesday that the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq must heed his call. He said his supporters would continue their sit-in, warning that the protesters would “adopt a different position” if the court failed to dissolve the legislative body.

The judiciary "must dissolve parliament by the end of next week... if not, the revolutionaries will take another stance," Sadr said in a statement on his Twitter account, without elaborating.

Iraq has been grappling with a political crisis in the absence of a functional government since October 2021, when legislative elections were held.

Sadr’s political bloc emerged as the biggest parliamentary faction but fell short of an absolute majority required to form a government. That prompted the current deadlock.

In June, all the 73 legislators of the bloc quit their seats in a move seen as an attempt to pressure political rivals into expediting the formation of a government. Over the past two weeks, thousands of Sadr’s followers, camped at Parliament, have been preventing the formation of a government. The rival parliamentary faction, known as the Coordination Framework, has attempted to shape up a government led by Muhammad Shia Sudani, a figure close to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

According to reports, opposition groups are also set to hold counter-protests later on Friday.

The outgoing Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi called for a "national dialogue" last week in a bid to bring all sides together to reconcile. In a meeting with President Barham Saleh, the importance of "guaranteeing security and stability" was underscored.

The United Nations has called on various political factions in Iraq to set aside differences and look for "urgent solutions" to the protracted political crisis.

"We appeal to all actors to commit, actively engage, and agree on solutions without delay," the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement on August 3. "Leaders must prioritize [the] national interest."

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/12/687248/Sadr-supporters-perform-Friday-prayers-outside-Parliament

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Pro-Iran Coordination Framework begin rival Baghdad sit-in

12 August, 2022

Supporters of Iraq’s pro-Iran Coordination Framework began their own Baghdad sit-in Friday in riposte to a sit-in outside parliament by the rival Sadrist movement launched two weeks ago.

In a statement read out to thousands of supporters gathered on one of the main access roads to the capital’s Green Zone government and diplomatic compound, the Framework said it would hold an “indefinite sit-in” to push for the swift formation of a new government to end months of deadlock between the rival blocs.

An AFP correspondent saw protesters begin assembling large metal tent frames in readiness to camp out.

Loyalists of Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric who once led a group against US and Iraqi government forces, have been demanding fresh elections after the Coordination Framework named a candidate for the premiership, a post they believe should be theirs.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/12/Pro-Iran-Coordination-Framework-begin-rival-Baghdad-sit-in

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Rivals rally in Iraq amid political standoff

12 August, 2022

Supporters of Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gathered for Friday prayers ahead of a counter-rally by their opponents later in the day.

The opposing demonstrations are the latest turn in a political standoff which has so far remained peaceful in the war-scarred country.

Thousands of supporters of al-Sadr, who once led a militia against American and Iraqi government forces, gathered for the traditional weekly prayers near parliament inside the normally secure Green Zone.

A week earlier, al-Sadr had called out tens of thousands of his followers for prayers in the area, home to government and diplomatic buildings.

For nearly two weeks, his supporters have held a sit-in, first inside the legislature, and more recently on its grounds.

Their protest, triggered by a rival bloc’s pick for prime minister, reflects months of failed negotiations by Iran’s political forces to form a government after October elections.

Outside parliament Umm Hussein, a supporter of al-Sadr in her 50s, said she was there to protest “the regime that for 20 years has done nothing for the people, except plunder and steal public money.”

On Wednesday, al-Sadr demanded the judiciary dissolve parliament by the end of next week, as part of his call for new elections.

His rivals in the pro-Iran Coordination Framework plan to demonstrate at around 5:00 pm (14:00 GMT) on a road leading toward the normally secure Green Zone where parliament is located.

A statement from the alliance said it will demonstrate for the “formation of a new government” that would provide public services and solutions to power outages and water shortages.

The Framework had initially said they were conditionally open to new elections.

Two days after al-Sadr supporters stormed the Green Zone and entered parliament on July 30, thousands of Coordination Framework backers held a counter-protest on a road leading to the Green Zone.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/12/Rivals-rally-in-Iraq-amid-political-standoff

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Suicide bomber injures 4 people in Saudi Arabia

Mustafa M. M. Haboush  

12.08.2022

Four people were injured when a wanted man blew himself up on Wednesday as authorities attempted to arrest him in Saudi Arabia’s western city of Jeddah, security authorities said on Friday.

"One of the wanted men (Abdullah Al-Bakri) was tracked on Wednesday evening, and upon initiating the arrest procedures, he took the initiative to blow up himself with an explosive belt," the kingdom’s Presidency of State Security said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/suicide-bomber-injures-4-people-in-saudi-arabia/2659951

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Africa

 

Tunisia’s military clashes with ‘terrorists’, two soldiers injured: Statement

12 August, 2022

Two Tunisian soldiers were wounded on Friday in an exchange of fire with suspected terrorists during a military operation in a mountainous region of the south, the defense ministry said.

The shootout happened at Mount Salloum near the town of Kasserine close to the border with Algeria, where extremists operate, local media reported.

“There was an exchange of fire between soldiers and a group of terrorists in the Kasserine area,” defense ministry spokesman Mohamed Zekri told AFP.

“There were wounded among the terrorists who fled,” he said, adding that two soldiers were slightly wounded.

The most recent similar clash was in March when suspected extremists opened fire on a national guard barracks in the city of Kairouan, some 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Kasserine.

In March 2016, an assault on security positions in Ben Guerdane near the border with Libya killed 13 members of the security forces and seven civilians.

At least 55 terrorists were also killed and dozens arrested.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/08/12/Tunisia-s-military-clashes-with-terrorists-two-soldiers-injured-Statement

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Sudanese-Libyan patrol finds 20 bodies, rescues 8 surviving irregular immigrants

Adel Abdel-Rahim 

12.08.2022

KHARTOUM, Sudan

A joint Sudanese-Libyan patrol found 20 bodies and rescued eight surviving irregular immigrants in the desert between the two countries, said an official statement issued on Friday.

According to the Sudanese-Libyan Joint Forces statement, which was cited by the Sudanese official news agency, the bodies were found on the borders of the North Darfur region and Libya. The irregular migrants were traveling to Libya in two vehicles, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) added.

It did not specify the nationalities of the deceased, but it did confirm that the eight people are from Sudan and are receiving medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Col. Ali Said, commander of the Sudanese-Libyan Joint Forces, told SUNA that the joint force is securing the borders between Sudan and Libya and confronting irregular migration and smuggling on the borders.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/sudanese-libyan-patrol-finds-20-bodies-rescues-8-surviving-irregular-immigrants/2660156

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