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Islamic World News ( 2 Nov 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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'Jihadi’ Attack Lie Exposed, Woman Entrepreneur, Thushara Ajith Kallayil, Booked For Spreading Communal Hatred

New Age Islam News Bureau

02 November 2021


The police also arrested two of her accomplices on Sunday — Abin Bensus Antony, 22 and Vishnu Shivadas, 26.


• Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Pledge to Support Freedom of Expression Based On Islamic Values

• US Congressman Expresses Concern over Hindu-Muslim Violence in Tripura and Bangladesh

• Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan Didn't Demand French Envoy's Expulsion, Closure of Embassy: Mufti Muneeb

• Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court Bans Use of Mosques for Political Purposes


• Muslim Community Is ‘Not Adamant’ Members Are ‘Ready To Accommodate and Change for Peace and Harmony’, Say Gurgaon Muslim Groups

• ‘Jihadi’ Attack Lie Exposed, Woman Entrepreneur, Thushara Ajith Kallayil, Booked For Spreading Communal Hatred

• Kerala Bishop, Mar Joseph Kallarangatt Booked For Love and Narcotic Jihad Remark Promoting Feelings of Religious Hatred

• Will Donate Rs 5,100 for Puja At Namaz Site: Muslim Ekta Manch Chairman

• FIR against J&K BJP leader over hate speech against Muslims


South Asia

• ISIS-K Unable To Recruit People in Afghanistan: Taliban Reacted To Wall Street Journal Report

• Open to receiving Indian diplomats, humanitarian aid: Taliban

• Bangladesh violence shows body counts go on increasing, but scenarios stay the same

• Amrullah Saleh asks Ashraf Ghani to release tapes with Khalilzad, foreign diplomats

• Blast, gunfire heard in Afghan capital Kabul


North America

• US blasts Iran-backed Houthis after latest missile strike kills civilians

• Biden suggests US desperately trying to ‘encourage’ Iran to resume negotiations

• US hostility toward Iran since Islamic Revolution remains hard-wired: Analyst



• PPP Leaders Term Govt-TLP Agreement ‘Surrender By The State’

• PM wants PTI leaders to back Azam Swati, Fawad Chaudhry in row with ECP

• Another policeman injured in TLP attack dies

• Government ‘mulls’ release of Saad Rizvi


Arab World

• Daesh Terrorists Arrested In Iraq's Anbar, Nineveh, As Army Pledges To ‘Shake the Earth’ Under Their Feet

• Saudi Arabia Executes Young Shia Man Accused of Alleged Terror Activities

• First Of 200 Imams from Indonesia Arrive To Serve In UAE Mosques

• Lebanon’s PM looks to resolve Gulf crisis in meetings with Qatar’s Emir, Kuwait’s PM

• Iraqi man sentenced to death for murder of two journalists

• US senators urge Biden to hit Lebanon’s politicians, Hezbollah with more sanctions

• Saudi Arabia hands down long prison sentence to Yemeni journalist



• Israel Demolishes Muslim Cemetery near Al Aqsa Mosque to Build Park

• Israelis storm Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as military detain Palestinians in Bethlehem

• Iran: Israel's Impudence Result of Human Rights Advocates' Silence

• Iran: Senator Cruz Admits "Rogue" Nature of US Regimes

• Israel to seize more land in al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood despite intl. outcry against evictions

• Supreme council for Hamas captives holds Israel responsible for lives of hunger strikers

• Many killed and wounded in Houthi missile strike on religious school in Marib

• Israeli forces detain Palestinian university professor in overnight raids in West Bank

• Palestinians rights group says Israel implements apartheid regime of discriminatory laws, policies


Southeast Asia

• Timah Whisky Issue Shows Need To Respect Each Other, Says Amanah MP

• No ban yet on ‘sensitive’ brand names, says minister

• Named in Pandora Papers, deputy finance minister says company linked to him now dormant



• International Mediation Underway To End Sudan Crisis: UN Envoy

• Sudan leaders' whereabouts unknown after coup: Lawyer

• 10 civilians killed in armed attack in northern Burkina Faso

• Suspected militants kill around 10 civilians in Burkina Faso

• Ethiopia tried to limit rare UN report on Tigray war abuses



• Bulgaria sends soldiers to tackle migrant influx from Turkey

• Germany had turned blind eye to neo-Nazi terror: Interior minister

• UK to sell naval ships to Egypt for first time in 30 years

• France shuts down Allonnes mosque, plans to close 7 more: Darmanin

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



‘Jihadi’ Attack Lie Exposed, Woman Entrepreneur, Thushara Ajith Kallayil, Booked For Spreading Communal Hatred


The police also arrested two of her accomplices on Sunday — Abin Bensus Antony, 22 and Vishnu Shivadas, 26.


K.M. Rakesh  


A woman entrepreneur who alleged “jihadis” had attacked her because she planned to open a non-halal restaurant has been booked for spreading communal hatred with false accusations, Kerala police have said.

Thushara Ajith Kallayil, 40, and her husband Ajith Kumar also face attempt-to-murder charges over a brawl with two men one of whom needed surgery for serious injuries, officers said.

It’s this October 24 brawl with two non-Muslims — possibly over personal motives, the police said — that Thushara allegedly portrayed on social media as a jihadi attack.

The couple are in hiding but the police on Sunday arrested two alleged accomplices — Abin Bensus Antony, 22, and Vishnu Shivadas, 26 — saying they had participated in the brawl.

The two young men are believed to be employees of another no-halal restaurant that Thushara runs in her hometown of Ernakulam.

Thushara had become the toast of pro-Rightwing media outlets and Sangh parivar leaders in January by opening Kerala’s first no-halal restaurant.

Her complaint of a jihadi attack received a lot of traction in the local and national media, with Kerala BJP president K. Surendran among those who expressed outrage.

“Strongly condemn the attacks against Smt. Thushara Ajith. A group of Muslim fanatics brutally attacked the woman entrepreneur due to non-compliance of Halal in her hotel. What happened in Kakkanad is nothing less than Talibanism. I urge the people of Kerala to reject #HalalInvasion,” Surendran tweeted on October 25.

A barrage of social media posts followed from pro-parivar netizens. But Rightwing activist Rahul Easwar, a regular on TV debates, apologised after the police statement.

“Apologies for the earlier tweet. I am sorry that I fell for the wrong information which many of our friends also unknowingly fell for in national media. Hope we all correct. Will take more care in the future. Facts are Gods,” Easwar tweeted on Friday.

Thushara had rented space in a commercial building in Ernakulam city’s tech district of Kakkanad, planning to open her second no-halal restaurant. But she could not because the building was a subject of litigation between several promoters.

The police say that on October 24 night, the couple and the two alleged accomplices vandalised the chaat counter of the Dine Restaurant, located near Thushara’s proposed no-halal eatery. Officers said the act had been captured on CCTV.

When the owners of Dine Restaurant, Nakul S. Babu and Binoj George, confronted the four, a fight broke out.

Source: Telegraph India

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Muslim Community Is ‘Not Adamant’, Members Are ‘Ready To Accommodate and Change for Peace and Harmony’, Say Gurgaon Muslim Groups

Nov 2, 2021

Gurgaon: Facing protests for weeks over Namaz being offered in public places, members of the Muslim community on Monday submitted a memorandum to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, saying they were ready to stop Friday prayers in open areas that are part of government land.

Joined by members of the Haryana Waqf Board, they also sought removal of encroachments from mosques and Waqf properties to make space for the prayer congregations for the sake of peace and harmony. The memorandum was sent through the Gurgaon deputy commissioner.

The city currently has 37 designated Namaz sites that were earmarked after protests erupted in 2018 over Friday prayers in open spaces. The past few weeks have seen similar protests, with two memorandums being submitted by various local outfits seeking a ban. One of the organisations, Sanyukt Hindu Sangarsh Samiti, had declared on Sunday it would perform Govardhan Puja at the designated Sector 12 namaz site next Friday.

Haryana Waqf Board member Khurshid Rajaka, who is also chairman of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, said prayers cannot be conducted regularly under police protection. “Prayers that are held against the wishes of the people are not in tune with Islam and national unity,” he said. Rajaka added that the issue was being used “to pitch one community against the other”. He said the Muslim community is “not adamant” and its members are “ready to accommodate and change for peace and harmony”.

The Waqf Board has 19 land parcels in Gurgaon, out of which six are vacant and the rest encroached. Rajaka said they have submitted the list of the sites to the administration, requesting it to free the land so they can be used for Namaz. “We have requested mosques to conduct multiple rounds of prayers on Friday to accommodate as many people as possible,” he added.

Some private individuals have also volunteered their land for Namaz, Rajaka said. In the memorandum, the community has also demanded land in new sectors for construction of mosques, he added.

Shahzad Khan of Muslim Ekta Manch said the issue has led to tension being created in the city every now and then. “We want to stop this tension forever, even if it means giving up some of the (Namaz) sites,” said Khan. He added that the community is ready to offer Namaz only at places identified by the authorities in consultation with all stakeholders.

Deputy commissioner Yash Garg said a high-powered committee comprising officials from the administration, police and members of both the communities has been formed to resolve the issue. “It will discuss at length the sites, objections from the groups and possible solutions. Our priority is to maintain law and order and ensure peace and harmony,” he added.

Source: Times of India

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Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Pledge to Support Freedom of Expression Based On Islamic Values

2 November 2021


(Representation Photo)


Taliban on Monday pledged to support the freedom of expression under the Islamic regulations, local media reported citing officials.

Talking at a ceremony held to increase coordination between the media and related institutions, the spokesman for the Interior Minister Sayed Khosti said that the Islamic Emirate would not allow anyone to silence the freedom of expression, Tolo News reported.

"The Islamic Emirate supports the freedom of expression based on Islamic values and the country's interest, and is committed to not allow anyone to make obstacles for the media," he added.

According to the publication, the journalists and media watchdogs called on the officials of the Islamic Emirate to form a clear scheme for freedom of speech and media policy.

"An amendment should be formed for the media. So, based on the scheme of the Islamic Emirate the media should run their activities," said Abdul Moyed Hashimi, head of Afghanistan's journalists safety committee.

Meanwhile, Police radio, which had halted operations for nearly three months, resumed broadcasting on Monday, Tolo News reported.

However, due to the shutdown of many media organizations which made dozens of media workers jobless, some Afghan journalists have been forced to take hazardous jobs.

Mustafa Jafari, a cameraman, who has worked in Afghan media for around eight years, is currently working as a vendor.

"I was jobless for four months. I felt that I was going to have mental problems because I was home night and days," Tolo News quoted Jafari as saying.

Earlier a journalist union said that more than 30 acts of violence towards journalists have been recorded in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power.

"Afghanistan's National Journalists' Union conducted a general assessment over the journalists' status for Afghanistan across the country and it shows that over 30 cases of violence against journalists happened," Masroor Lufti, the head of the union, said.

Source: Catch News

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US Congressman Expresses Concern over Hindu-Muslim Violence in Tripura And Bangladesh

02 Nov 2021


A paramilitary soldier patrols past a shop that was set on fire in Rowa village, about 220 kilometers from Agartala, in the northeastern Indian state of Tripura, Wednesday, October 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP


US Congressman Andy Levin has expressed concern over the communal clashes in Bangladesh and Indian state Tripura.

"I'm deeply concerned by news of continued violence between Hindus and Muslims in the Tripura state of India and in Bangladesh,” Congressman Andy Levin said in a tweet.

Hindu temples and homes were targeted in mob attacks in Bangladesh in mid-October during the Durga puja festivities over an alleged blasphemous post on social media.

Hindu outfits in neighbouring Tripura called for protests demanding justice for minority members in Bangladesh, leading to sporadic clashes in the state. Congressman further alleged the role of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the complacency of Tripura State Police,

“Provocative and brutal incitement by state and non-state actors against religious minorities must be condemned in the strongest terms,” Levin said as he re-tweeted a story from The Washington Post in this regard.

Source: Outlook India


Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan Didn't Demand French Envoy's Expulsion, Closure of Embassy: Mufti Muneeb


In this file photo, Mufti Muneebur Rehman addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV


November 1, 2021

Mufti Muneebur Rehman dispelled on Monday the impression that the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador and the closure of the embassy.

"Lies were spoken on television about the talks [with the TLP], that they had demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador, the closure of the embassy and to break ties with the European Union. This was a blatant lie," the cleric said during a press conference in Karachi.

"So how can trust be established when government officials speak lies publicly?" he questioned, adding that those who participated in the negotiations did not have personal agendas and were patriots, calling the whole process a "marathon intellectual exercise".

Mufti Muneeb was among the clerics who facilitated talks between the government and the proscribed group, helping both sides reach an agreement after an impasse of three weeks.

'Liberals more incensed than enemies'

He further said the country's "liberals" were more incensed than Pakistan's external enemies over the government's recent agreement with the TLP.

He was responding to a question from a reporter about Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry's statement that there was "at least some good news" after India lost to New Zealand during the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Asked whether ministers that the negotiating team had objected to were included in the negotiations, the cleric shook his head. "When we went, you should understand [the implication]."

He also stated that the "liberals" who were instigating the government, would be the first ones to jump ship when faced with choppy waters. "We've seen them before in one ship, then another and now in this ship."

The cleric said that liberals were crying about the writ of the state, similar to what had happened during the Lal Masjid operation in 2007.

"Till 12 at night they talked about the writ of the state, but when the unfortunate operation took place they opposed it," he said, branding such people as the enemies of the government.

Talks with TLP

The cleric's comments come a day after members of the negotiating team from the government side claimed that they had reached an agreement with the proscribed group in order to end the nearly three-week-long impasse, but refused to divulge its details.

Mufti Muneeb, who along with some other clerics facilitated the talks, said the agreement had the backing of jailed TLP chief Saad Rizvi.

Refusing to share contents of the deal, the cleric said its details would be made public at an "appropriate time". He, however, said its "positive result" would be visible to the nation next week or during the next 10 days. He then used an English proverb “action speaks louder than words” to justify the move to keep details of the deal secret.

Prior to this, a team of 19 senior clerics had met Prime Minister Imran Khan at his Banigala residence on Saturday. The delegation was led by Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri.

However, the senior clerics, all of whom were Barelvis, had objected to the presence of Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi in the meeting, after which he left. The information minister, who was on his way to Banigala, was also told not to come as the delegation had objected to his presence as well. The minister’s announced press talk was also cancelled.

Both Tahir Ashrafi and Fawad Chaudhry were not visible in the official footage released by the PM secretariat after the meeting.

When contacted, Fawad Chaudhry said he was not even invited to the meeting. He said the announcement made by the PID regarding his news conference was mistakenly released as the presser was in fact scheduled by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, but was later done by the religious affairs minister.

On the other hand, Tahir Ashrafi responded to media queries through a tweet, claiming that he and Fawad Chaudhry were not there because they had to go to some other meeting.

Source: Dawn

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Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court Bans Use of Mosques for Political Purposes

25 Sep 2021


File Photo: the administrative Court in Egypt s State Council in Giza. Al-Ahram


Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court issued on Saturday a final verdict banning the use of mosques for political purposes and upholding the state's right to supervising them.

The ruling upheld a previous decision by the minister of Awqaf to place 42 mosques in Beheira governorate under the ministry's supervision, stating that the government should control the mosques by all legal means.

This comes as part of the country’s efforts to control the religious discourse and teaching methods within worship houses.

Source: Ahram Online

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Kerala Bishop, Mar Joseph Kallarangatt Booked For Love and Narcotic Jihad Remark Promoting Feelings of Religious Hatred

Vivek Rajagopal

November 2, 2021

The Kuravilangad police in Kerala have registered a case against Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt over his controversial 'narcotic jihad' remark on the basis of a complaint which said the priest committed the offence of promoting feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion.

A magistrate court directed the police to register a case against the bishop. A petition by the All India Imam Council was filed against the bishop's remark.

The petition seeking to register a case against the Bishop was filed by Abdul Aziz Maulavi, the Kottayam district president of the council.

He moved the court after the police refused to register the case against the bishop on the basis of his complaint.

The bishop, at a function held in a church in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district on September 9, had stated that Christian girls were falling prey to "love and narcotic jihad" in Kerala and wherever arms cannot be used, extremists were using such methods to destroy the state's youth.

Source: India Today

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Will donate Rs 5,100 for puja at namaz site: Muslim Ekta Manch chairman

November 2, 2021

Members of the Muslim Ekta Manch met the Gurgaon deputy commissioner Monday, demanding that the administration let them use the 19 Waqf board properties and mosques in Gurgaon, which have been allegedly encroached upon or are disputed, so they don’t have to offer namaz in public places.

This comes a day after members of right-wing organisations, under the umbrella of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, said they would conduct Govardhan Puja this Friday at the Sector 12 site where namaz is offered.

Shehzad Khan, chairman of the Muslim Ekta Manch, said, “We met the DC and shared our concerns. We have requested the administration to either allot us land so we can build mosques or let us use the current ones so we can offer namaz there. If the 19 mosques in Gurgaon are restored to us, then we will not pray in the open. For the past few months, some anti-social elements have disrupted prayers and tried to promote enmity. We want harmony to exist among communities.”

Source: Indian Express

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FIR against J&K BJP leader over hate speech against Muslims

Sunil Bhat Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu

November 2, 2021

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has registered an FIR against senior BJP leader and former MLC Vikram Randhawa for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Kashmiri Muslims. The case was registered at Bahu Fort Police Station on the basis of a written complaint by advocate Muzaffar Ali Shah.

The FIR was filed after a video of Vikram Randhawa purportedly making derogatory remarks against Muslims went viral on social media.

Vikram Randhawa allegedly made the comments over incidents of celebration in several parts of Kashmir following the Pakistan team’s win against India in the T20 World Cup match.

The case has been registered under IPC sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings) and 505 (intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community), and other relevant sections.

BJP serves show cause notice to Vikram Randhawa

The J&K unit of BJP served a show-cause notice to Randhawa, with party chief Ravinder Raina saying his remarks were against the basic principles of the party, which believes in respecting all faiths.

"The video came to the notice of the party and a show-cause notice was immediately served to him by the disciplinary committee as such a language cannot be tolerated," Raina said.

Source: India Today

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South Asia


ISIS-K Unable To Recruit People In Afghanistan: Taliban Reacted To Wall Street Journal Report

02 Nov 2021

A spokesperson of the Taliban has reacted to the report of Wall Street Journal and said that the ISIS-K is completely unable to recruit people in Afghanistan.

Bilal Karimi has said that ISIS-K is just a phenomenon and does not exist at all in Afghanistan leave alone recruiting people in the country.

Wall Street Journal in its latest report had claimed that former US-trained Afghan spies are joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan in particular in northern Afghanistan to survive and fight the Taliban.

Spokesperson of the Taliban said that their intelligence has strictly been following the group and they are being suppressed wherever they pose a potential threat.

Source: Khaama Press

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Open to receiving Indian diplomats, humanitarian aid: Taliban

Sachin Parashar

Nov 2, 2021

Amid renewed efforts by the government in Kabul to seek international recognition, the Taliban have said they are open to receiving Indian diplomats and providing security to them.

And as winter fast approaches, threatening to worsen further the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesperson and ambassador-designate to UN Suhail Shaheen also told ToI Taliban will welcome aid at this critical juncture.

"We are open to receiving all diplomats and committed to providing security for their routine diplomatic functions," said Shaheen, responding to a query by ToI on whether or not Indian diplomats can return to Afghanistan.

"Similarly, we welcome humanitarian aids in this critical time as the winter is around the corner," he added, when asked about India's aid offer to Afghanistan on the margins of the recent Moscow Format talks.

Unlike their silence on the first official engagement with India in Doha in August this year, Taliban were quick to confirm the meeting with an Indian delegation in Moscow last month. They also said that India had offered humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in the Moscow meeting and that both sides felt it was necessary to take into account each other's concerns and improve "diplomatic and economic relations".

The Indian government is likely to focus on humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people in a conference of national security advisers it has proposed to organise next month. India has also been in exploring the possibility of delivering humanitarian aid to Afghans via the Wagah-Attari land border. Significantly, the government sought to know last month from Pakistan, which prevents India from exporting to Afghanistan through the aforementioned route, if it would allow India to transport a large consignment of wheat (around 50,000 MT) and medical aid to Afghanistan.

While it will be interesting to see in the coming days whether or not Pakistan facilitates this initiative, India first has to ensure there is an assurance of non-discriminatory distribution of food and medical aid once it reaches Afghanistan. India believes such an exercise must be monitored by the UN.

Source: Times of India

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Bangladesh violence shows body counts go on increasing, but scenarios stay the same

Shiv Visvanathan

November 01, 2021

There is something about death and violence today that is horribly repetitive. The body counts increase but the scenarios remain the same. There is no time to pause and mourn. There is little space for prayer. A man dies and we play idiot detectives wondering who he was. As long as he belongs to a sociological category, it suffices. People don’t die, it is categories that are snuffed out.

The recent violence in Bangladesh is an example. All it required in this information age was rumour and suspicion. Both found wings in social media whose genocidal count must be assessed one day. The story is stark, something concocted by an idiot Dostoevsky. There are no greys, no doubts in a mannequin world of white and dark, Hindu and Muslim.

The story goes that a rumour went viral. Someone photographed a picture of a Quran placed at Durga’s feet. The alleged blasphemy went viral. Violence followed to avenge what was seen as an act of blasphemy. The police later discovered that the men who placed the Quran and the man who made the incident viral were both Muslims. They have been arrested.

Three things are obvious from the story so far. There is a stark dualism in the society which is sustained by a semiotics of suspicion. Each side immediately suspects the other. As a result, instead of blasphemy we have a gross brutality, an obscenity of violence. Second, oral rumour needs the sanctity of social media to give it an epidemic power. Three, there is little attempt at reconciliation. The lives of confrontation remain stark. It is as if these acts of violence are rituals to sustain the bleakness of this impoverished opposition.

The additional irony comes from the fact that many of these events get charged by electoral democracy. Electoral politics with its demographic imperatives is tweaked into dynamism with acts of violence which reveal both power of the majority and the uncertainty of minorities. Stereotypes come into play.

The entire scenario is kneejerk, black, and stark. A mere economy of stereotypes is enough to create the scenario of violence. One realises violence does not need complex scripts. It works with behaviouristic signals which would shame even Pavlov’s dogs. In fact, one is forced to ask what happens to culture and memory of these moments. India’s role in the making of Bangladesh is forgotten. In fact, one must understand that electorally 30 per cent of the electorate were pro-Pakistani. Out of this emerges many of the fundamentalist elements at play today.

There is also an ambivalence about secularism. Bangladesh under Mujib was inaugurated as a secular State but Bangladesh under the generals was fundamentalist. Sheikh Hasina’s determined attempt to revive the vision of her father has met with mixed results. Fundamentalism is a readily exploitable vote-bank while secularism is a painful exercise in constitutional politics. Added to it is the stark incentive of appropriating Hindu property.

Real estate makes many of the inner wheels of violence creating an effective mix of greed and ideology. The knee jerk myth of fundamentalism also claims to feed on reports of violence on Muslims in India. It is as if attacking the Hindu in Bangladesh restores justice. The sheer demographic fact that the Hindu population is less than 10 percent shows the cultural impoverishment of Bangladesh as a multicultural society.

Yet in fairness, one must acknowledge Hasina’s sense of the secular imagination. She reinjected the secular imagination of Mujib into the constitution. It takes courage to handle an unholy combination of military and mullah. She realises also that the Jamaat punished for war crimes is still pining for retribution and revenge. Revenge-like ideology adds to the simplicity and starkness of violence and muddies politics in a society desperately seeking democracy.

Source: First Post

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Amrullah Saleh asks Ashraf Ghani to release tapes with Khalilzad, foreign diplomats

02 Nov 2021

First Vice President of the previous Afghan government Amrullah Saleh has asked Ashraf Ghani to release the tapes of his cover stations on the peace process with Zalmay Khalilzad and other relevant foreign diplomats in particular of the past July and August.

Amrullah Saleh in a Twitter post said that Ashraf Ghani must do it to counter the growing propaganda that accuses the Afghan side of the collapse of Afghanistan.

“I know these tapes exist and you have them. This is the time to release.” Reads Saleh’s tweet.

This comes after US former special envoy to Afghanistan’s reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and US secretary of state Antonio Blenkin accused Ashraf Ghani to have been behind the collapse of the previous Afghan government.

Source: Khaama Press

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Blast, gunfire heard in Afghan capital Kabul

November 02, 2021

KABUL: A powerful explosion followed by the sound of gunfire was heard close to the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, a witness said.

Source: Arab News

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North America


US blasts Iran-backed Houthis after latest missile strike kills civilians

02 November ,2021

The US blasted the Iran-backed Houthis for their latest attack on civilian targets inside Yemen as they continue to refuse a ceasefire to end the yearslong war.

“I deplore the latest Houthi attacks on Marib, which killed and injured dozens, including women and children,” Charge d’Affaires Cathy Westley said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Westley called on the Houthis to “break this endless cycle of senseless violence” and agree to a comprehensive ceasefire.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Biden suggests US desperately trying to ‘encourage’ Iran to resume negotiations

31 October 2021

US President Joe Biden, whose country left the internationally backed nuclear agreement with Iran, has suggested that diplomacy with Tehran is “the best way” in dealing with the country.

He made the comments amid skepticism in Tehran about real action by Washington in repeated claims of a serious will to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which former President Donald Trump scrapped.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in Rome, Italy, Biden further suggested that the idea had the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Together with Prime Minister Johnson and Merkel and President Macron, we came together to reiterate our shared belief,” he said, repeating the baseless claims that Tehran is seeking atomic bombs through its nuclear program.

Biden also suggested that Iran should “resume serious, good faith negotiations. He made the comments despite the fact that his administration has been pursuing the same anti-Iran policies promoted by former President Trump, who quit the JCPOA outright and imposed new sanctions on the country.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s top diplomat asserted that such the US will to return to nuclear talks only exists in the rhetoric and “in their actions,” adding that “a simpler way” to deal with the situation is for Washington to resume talks “at the point where Trump left off.”

“I personally believe that if there were serious will in America to return to the JCPOA, there would be no need to all these talks,” noted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in an interview.

The claims of a serious will to return to the nuclear deal was also promoted by the US secretary of state, who also suggested that the United States was “absolutely in lockstep together” with Germany, France, and the United Kingdom over the matter.

“We continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to deal with the challenges, the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program,” Antony Blinken claimed in an interview with CNN. “There’s still a window through which Iran can come back to the talks, and we can come back to mutual compliance with the agreement, and that would be the best result. But it really depends on whether Iran is serious about doing that.”

The US to diplomat also appeared on CBS News to claim that the US and the European signatories of the JCPOA were “on the same page.”

Source: Press TV

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US hostility toward Iran since Islamic Revolution remains hard-wired: Analyst

31 October 2021

US hostility toward Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution remains hard-wired because Tehran refuses to subordinate its sovereign rights to Washington, according to American writer and political analyst Stephen Lendman.

Lendman said in a commentary to Press TV on Sunday that the landmark nuclear agreement is virtually dead “because of legitimate Iranian demands Biden regime hardliners refuse to accept.”

“Iran justifiably wants all illegally imposed US sanctions removed. It wants guarantees against re-imposing them. It wants Biden regime assurance that Washington won’t pull out of the deal again if returns to compliance,” he commented.

“It wants assurance of binding US compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231 provisions — unanimously agreed to on July 14, 2015, adopted on October 18, 2015, implemented on January 16, 2016,” he added.

“Biden regime hardliners agreed to lift some sanctions, leaving others in place. It maintains the right to illegally impose new ones at its discretion. It unacceptably wants curbs imposed on Iran’s legitimate ballistic missile program. Along with other Iranian weapons, they’re solely for defense, not offense the way hegemon USA, NATO and Israel operate,” the analyst said.

“The Biden regime also wants the JCPOA used as a platform for ‘building a stronger and longer deal working with (US) partners,’” he explained.

“Their scheme is all about weakening Iran’s ability to defend itself against US or Israeli aggression if launched,” he noted.

“It wants legitimate Iranian support for Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis halted or sharply curtailed. All its demands are in return for hollow US promises to be breached at its discretion. Its demands assure rejection, not acceptance,” he stressed.

The analyst said these are the reasons “why multiple rounds of talks failed, further ones virtually sure to fare no better.”

“No matter how long they continue, both right wings of the US war party remain militantly hostile toward Iranian freedom from their control,” he reiterated.

Lendman opined that “Biden regime promises to return to JCPOA compliance were hollow when made. Iran knows what it’s up against.”

“US hostility toward Iran since its liberating 1979 revolution remains hard-wired with no prospect of softening as long as the Islamic Republic refuses to subordinate its sovereign rights to a higher power in Washington,” he stated.

Concluding his remarks, Lendman said, “On Friday, unbending Biden regime hostility and duplicity toward Iran was on display for everyone paying attention to see.”

“It’s Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed new illegal sanctions on two senior Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members and two Iranian firms allegedly linked to the IRGC.”

Source: Press TV

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PPP leaders term govt-TLP agreement ‘surrender by the state’

Amir Wasim

November 2, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Terming the agreement between the government and the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) a “surrender by the state”, the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday asked the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to make the deal public and present it before parliament.

The demand for making the government-TLP deal public came from three different PPP senators through their separate statements a day after the members of the negotiating team from the government side announced that they had reached an ‘agreement’ with the TLP in order to end the nearly two-week-long impasse, but refused to divulge its details.

The PPP leaders questioned the logic behind keeping the deal secret and stated that the people of Pakistan and their elected representatives had every right to know the details and the contents of the agreement that had been signed in the darkness of night.

Call for presenting the details of deal before parliament

The announcement regarding the signing of the deal had been made by Mufti Munibur Rehman during a press conference with the members of the government team comprising Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan on Sunday.

Refusing to share the contents of the deal, Mufti Munib had said that its details would be made public at an ‘appropriate time’ and added that its ‘positive results’ would be visible to the nation during the next 10 days.

Besides Mufti Munib, head of the Saylani Welfare Trust Bashir Farooq Qadri, leading businessmen Aqeel Karim Dhedi and Haji Rafique Pardesi had reportedly been named as “guarantors” in the agreement.

In a statement, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said it was a matter of concern that the government or the state required individuals to act as guarantors of such an agreement. “When an individual acts as a guarantor between the government and citizens, it depicts that the government has lost the moral high grounds and the confidence of the people,” said Mr Rabbani.

Source: Dawn

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PM wants PTI leaders to back Azam Swati, Fawad Chaudhry in row with ECP

Syed Irfan Raza

November 2, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday expressed displeasure over ‘grilling’ of two federal ministers by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and directed other leaders of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to stand by them on the matter.

The prime minister, however, barred PTI leaders from commenting on government’s latest deal with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) as a source claimed that PM Khan wanted to keep the TLP chief behind bars.

Besides, Mr Khan claimed that the government would soon announce a comprehensive relief package for inflation-hit people.

He expressed these views while presiding over PTI’s core committee meeting, which was held a day after the government signed a secret deal with the TLP to keep protesters from marching on the federal capital.

Directs party leaders not to divulge details of deal with TLP

Separately, Aqeel Karim Dhedhi called on the prime minister and appreciated government measures for economic reforms. Mr Dhedhi, who was also one of the guarantors of the deal with the TLP, was leading a delegation of businessmen.

Talking to Dawn, federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry quoted the prime minister as telling the core committee that both the ministers — Fawad Chaudhry and Azam Swati — had not spoken for electoral reforms in their own interests but on behalf of the whole government and it was quite unfortunate that no other PTI leader was standing by the two ministers on the issue.

Earlier on Oct 27, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) gave 15 more days to the two ministers to submit their replies to the show-cause notice issued to them for their “caustic” remarks and serious allegations against the ECP and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. The two ministers had been summoned by the ECP last week to explain their “slanderous” remarks a month after being issued the notices.

In September, the ECP as well as opposition parties had raised a number of objections to the government’s unilateral decision for introduction of e-voting machines. Just a couple of days after the objections were raised, Mr Swati accused the ECP of taking “bribes and always rigging” polls and said such institutions should be “set on fire”. A few hours after Mr Swati’s statement, Mr Chaudhry addressing a presser called the CEC “a mouthpiece of the opposition” and alleged that the commission had turned into the “opposition’s headquarters”.

Economic situation

While chairing a meeting to review economy, PM Khan directed the authorities concerned to take measures to bring down prices of essential commodities after he was apprised of inflationary trend in the international commodity market and petroleum prices.

Mr Khan said: “Like our exemplary response to Covid-19 pandemic, we are working hard to mitigate negative impacts of international inflation, especially in petroleum products and food items.”

He said stabilising macroeconomic indicators in the country was government’s top priority to spur economic growth.

Earlier, the prime minister was briefed about overall economic situation at the meeting. Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, Industries Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin, Special Assistant to PM Dr Shehbaz Gill and State Bank Governor Dr Reza Baqir attended the meeting.

Source: Dawn

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Another policeman injured in TLP attack dies

Asif Chaudhry

November 2, 2021

LAHORE: Another police official who was critically injured during the violent protest by proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan at Sadhoke succumbed to his wounds in hospital here on Monday, raising the death toll of the TLP march to five.

Identified as assistant sub inspector (ASI) Mohammad Abubakar, the deceased hailed from Jhang district and was under treatment at the critical care unit of the Lahore General Hospital for critical head and chest injuries.

According to police, Abubakar was serving as personal staff officer (PSO) to the Iqbal Town (Lahore) SP and came under attack at Sadhoke, the most troubled point where hundreds of police officials were injured in clashes with the TLP activists during its march on Islamabad.

An official said the police faced most violent attacks from the TLP workers at Sadhoke near Gujranwala, where the latter were reorganised after leaving Lahore on Oct 23 and attacked the policemen and the paramilitary personnel in groups, firing teargas shells and some of them even shooting straight on the police.

Death toll rises to five

Sharing official figures, he said total 520 policemen were injured by the violent TLP workers in Lahore and two other security points on the GT Road on their way to Gujranwala.

Of the injured policemen, 17 got critical head and chest injuries after they were allegedly taken hostage by the marchers and subjected to brutal torture at Kala Shah Kaku, Muridke and Sadhoke, he said, adding that later two of them succumbed to their wounds in local hospitals. He said that two police official had already lost their lives in a violent attack by the TLP activists reported near Chauburji in Lahore.

The record of various public hospitals confirmed that four of the 17 critically injured policemen suffered bullet wounds, he said.

He said that official inquiries confirmed that the TLP men fired bullets straight on police using sub-machine guns (SMGs) and injured five of them. One of these five personnel embraced martyrdom, he added. “The TLP workers clashed with police on multiple occasions since Oct 22, when the latter announced their march on Islamabad,” he said.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal and Inspector General of Police Rao Sardar Ali Khan visited the Mayo Hospital and Lahore General Hospital and inquired after the injured policemen.

A police spokesperson said the IGP also visited the families of martyred Constable Ghulam Rasol and ASI Muhammad Akbar at Kasur and Chunian, respectively, where he offered Fateha for them.

He also lauded the patriotic spirit of the injured policemen and said the department as well as the whole nation was proud of those who stood firm to protect lives and properties of the citizens.

“The sacrifices of martyred police personnel reflect the fact that supremacy of law & order and writ of the state were the top priority for the police force,” the IGP said.

In Lahore, the funeral prayers for ASI Muhammad Abubakar were offered at the District Police Lines, Qila Gujjar Singh.

Source: Dawn

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Government ‘mulls’ release of Saad Rizvi

Mansoor Malik

November 2, 2021

LAHORE: As the federal government’s steering committee held its second consecutive meeting here on Monday evening, it is learnt the government is considering releasing Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Saad Rizvi.

“The government is seriously considering to cool down the situation in a manner that its efforts do not go waste and a long-term solution is reached in wake of government-TLP agreement,” a source in the meeting told Dawn. The committee led by state minister Ali Muhammad Khan comprises Punjab law minister Basharat Raja, interior secretary and the Punjab home secretary. The committee reviewed measures how the government could go ahead to implement the agreement with the TLP, contents of which are being kept secret.

The state minister tweeted that the second meeting of the steering committee for the implementation of the agreement with TLP concluded in Lahore. “Major decisions have been taken and implementation mechanism devised. Results will be visible from tonight,” Mr Khan tweeted.

Source: Dawn

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Arab World


Daesh terrorists arrested in Iraq's Anbar, Nineveh, as army pledges to ‘shake the earth’ under their feet

02 November 2021

Iraqi forces have detained more than 20 Daesh (ISIS) elements in the provinces of al-Anbar and Nineveh bordering Syria, after the army warned that the security of Iraq and Iraqis is a red line that cannot be compromised.

In a statement issued on Monday, Nineveh police said they had captured a terrorist, named Abu al-Baraa, after receiving intelligence and conducting an extensive investigation.

Baraa was arrested in Mosul’s al-Sukar neighborhood, the statement read, adding that 13 other Daesh militants were also taken into Iraqi police custody.

An Iraqi security source said that another key terrorist, identified as Hazal al-Jahishi, had been arrested in Nineveh’s Zummar subdistrict.

Separately on Monday, Major General Yahya Rasoul, spokesman for the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces, announced that a six-member Daesh cell had been identified and detained in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah in al-Anbar Province.

He also noted that another terrorist was arrested in Abu Ghraib district in Baghdad Province.

The fresh round of operations against Daesh come days after the Iraqi Army pledged to “shake the earth under the feet of the wicked [Daesh] cowards,” following an attack by the terrorist group in Diyala Province that left more than 30 people dead or injured.

“Terrorists will soon face a fair retribution and they will not be able to endanger the security of Diyala,” the statement read. “The security of Iraq and Iraqis is a red line that cannot be joked about.”

Hashd al-Sha’abi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which has been playing a key role in fighting terrorists in Iraq, has stated that Daesh elements have been equipped with advanced weapons in recent months.

Source: Press TV

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Saudi Arabia executes young Shia man accused of alleged terror activities

01 November 2021

Saudi authorities have executed a citizen from the Qatif region of the kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province over alleged involvement in terrorist activities and weapons possession.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), citing the Ministry of Interior, reported that the death sentence was carried out against Makki bin Kazem Al Obaid in the city of Dammam on Monday.

The Saudi man who was executed “took part in two shooting operations against security forces with intent to kill” and “in dealing and possessing weapons,” the ministry alleged in a statement.

He was “linked to people wanted for terrorism-related activities,” the statement further claimed.

On October 5, Saudi authorities executed a citizen from the Qatif region after accusing him of alleged links to a "terrorist cell."

The kingdom’s Ministry of Interior alleged at the time that the Saudi national, identified as Muslim bin Muhammad al-Muhsin, participated in the murder of a citizen, possessed and made a Molotov cocktail bomb in order to attack security personnel.

The SPA added that the terrorist cell had sought to destabilize the country’s internal security.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners, in particular in Eastern Province.

The province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.

Source: Press TV

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First of 200 imams from Indonesia arrive to serve in UAE mosques

Nov 1, 2021

More than a dozen imams from Indonesia have arrived in the UAE to serve in mosques across the country.

The 15 religious leaders are the first of 28 selected in March by the UAE General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) to travel to the Emirates. Eight more are expected to arrive in mid-November.

The imams will serve in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Dhafra, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, among other locations.

The 'Imams from Indonesia' programme was agreed by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Joko Widodo, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, when he visited Abu Dhabi in January last year.

In total, the scheme will send more than 200 religious leaders to serve in the UAE by the end of next year.

Husin Bagis, the Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE, said he was pleased the first imams had arrived in Abu Dhabi.

"The co-operation in sending Imams is another proof of the close relationship of the two countries, which is not only focused on economic co-operation," said Mr Bagis.

Understanding moderate Islam

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Indonesian President Joko Widodo walk during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia, July 24, 2019. Dita Alangkara/Pool via Reuters

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Joko Widodo, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, at a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia. Reuters

Organisers hope the programme will encourage mutual learning for both countries, and promote a moderate understanding of Islam.

“The imams from Indonesia can learn how Islam is carried out in the UAE with full tolerance and [how to] contribute to the creation of peace in society, without causing any friction," said Mr Bagis.

"When they return to Indonesia, they can implement and promote the same thing."

Another set of interviews for new imams took place in October in Jakarta, with representatives from Awqaf collaborating with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs to handpick candidates.

Source: The National News

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Lebanon’s PM looks to resolve Gulf crisis in meetings with Qatar’s Emir, Kuwait’s PM

01 November ,2021

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati discussed his country’s diplomatic row with the Gulf during meetings with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah on the sidelines of the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Monday.

Sheikh Tamim said he will send Qatar’s foreign minister to Beirut soon to “search for ways to support Lebanon and discuss how to deal with the Lebanon-Gulf crisis,” the Lebanese Prime Minister’s office said.

Mikati also met with Kuwait’s PM Sheikh Sabah and Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad al-Sabah.

“During the meeting, Mikati stressed Lebanon’s keenness to maintain a close relationship with Gulf Cooperation Council countries and to work on addressing any gaps in the spirit of brotherhood and cooperation.”

The Lebanese PM’s office said Sheikh Sabah stressed Kuwait’s keenness to support Lebanon in all aspects while maintaining the unity of GCC countries. He also said: “Lebanon is capable, with its wisdom, to address any problem or loophole, and it will find all the required support from Kuwait and other Arab countries.”

Lebanon is currently mired in a diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries over comments made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi about Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war.

Kordahi said the Iran-backed Houthis were “defending themselves… against foreign aggression [by the Arab Coalition]” during an interview aired on August 5.

Saudi Arabia expelled Lebanon’s envoy from the country and banned all Lebanese imports. Bahrain and Kuwait followed suit, and the UAE withdrew its diplomats from Beirut and banned its citizens from traveling to Lebanon.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iraqi man sentenced to death for murder of two journalists

01 November ,2021

Iraq’s supreme court on Monday sentenced a man to death by hanging for the murder of two journalists covering anti-government protests in the southern city of Basra last year.

Ahmad Abdessamad, a 37-year-old correspondent for al-Dijla television station, and his cameraman Safaa Ghali, 26, were driving in their hometown of Basra in January 2020 when another vehicle pulled up, and gunmen opened fire, spraying the car with bullets.

The condemned man, identified only by the initials “H.K.”, had “confessed to all the crimes”, the court in Basra said in a statement.

The court said he had killed the two journalists “with the aim of destabilizing security and stability and intimidating people for terrorist purposes.”

It did not provide further details about any group he belonged to.

He was arrested in early 2021 with four other members of a “network of 16 people responsible for assassinations”, a security official said at the time.

The decree authorizing his hanging must still be signed by Iraqi President Barham Saleh, and he has 30 days to appeal.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US senators urge Biden to hit Lebanon’s politicians, Hezbollah with more sanctions

01 November ,2021

The top-ranking lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called on the Biden administration to develop a sanctions framework to “help Lebanon reform.”

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Senators Bob Menendez and Jim Risch urged the US to follow Europe’s lead after they approved a sanctions regime meant to push Lebanese officials to change their tactics.

Last week, the US slapped sanctions on a Lebanese MP and two businessmen for corruption. The two businessmen are allegedly backed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and former Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

Menendez and Risch hailed the latest sanctions but called for more to be done.

“The United States has publicly supported international efforts to help Lebanon reform and rebuild its economy in a way that is transparent and supports the Lebanese people; not just entrenched leaders. However, that support requires Lebanon’s political leaders to commit to meaningful structural reforms,” the letter read.

They also slammed Iran-backed Hezbollah for blocking government action and reforms from being enacted.

“The United States must make it clear that it continues to stand ready to help the people of Lebanon, not only through the provision on desperately needed assistance but also by ensuring that Lebanese leaders work on behalf of all Lebanese and that they will face accountability if they do not,” the US lawmakers wrote.

They reiterated their support for sanctions against Hezbollah and its allies, but they called for a “concerted internationalized effort” to counter the Iranian proxy.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia hands down long prison sentence to Yemeni journalist

01 November 2021

A court in Saudi Arabia has reportedly handed down a lengthy jail term against a Yemeni journalist, as the Riyadh regime forges ahead with its brutal crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against political opponents and opposition figures.

Yemen Press Agency (YPA) reported that Najran Criminal Court has sentenced Ali Abu Lahoum to 15 years in jail after charges of “apostasy” and “insulting Islamic sanctities” were leveled against him.

An informed source, requesting not to be named, said Abu Lahoum was arrested and put on trial after he was embroiled in a bitter argument with a group of Saudi businessmen.

Abu Lahoum, who has been residing in Saudi Arabia since 2015, was reportedly working in a commercial media organization in the country’s southwestern region of Najran.

He had earlier worked as an executive director for the Saudi Arabic-language al-Wadi television station.

Saudi Arabia shows little tolerance towards journalists, including independent ones, and freedom of speech.

In its 2020 Press Freedom Index, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said the kingdom ranked 170 out of 180 countries, where No. 1 is the most free.

Last September, a human rights organization also expressed serious concern about the deliberate medical negligence against political dissidents being kept in detention centers across Saudi Arabia.

Sanad human rights organization, which defends political and civil rights in Saudi Arabia and monitors human rights violations and exposes them to public opinion as well as international organizations, said that Saudi prison authorities deliberately deprive inmates of medical treatment as part of their policy of abusing and killing them silently.

While all governments are obliged under the international law to protect human beings against rights violations and ensure their freedom and dignity, the repressive policy of Saudi officials against jailed activists has significantly undermined such principles, Sanad noted.

Separately, the opposition National Assembly party condemned the deliberate medical negligence of prisoners inside Saudi prisons.

Source: Press TV

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Israel demolishes Muslim cemetery near Al Aqsa Mosque to build park

Ahmad Melhem

November 2, 2021

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Israeli police have tightened the siege on the Yusufiya cemetery near Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, while the municipality and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority have been demolishing parts of the cemetery and tombstones since Oct. 25.

On Oct. 28, the Israeli authorities fenced the walls surrounding the cemetery and installed surveillance cameras, and on Oct. 29, Israeli police fired tear gas to prevent dozens of Jerusalemites from visiting their dead.

The Jerusalem municipality has been working overtime to demolish more parts of the cemetery since Oct. 17, when the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rejected a request submitted by the Committee for the Care of Islamic Cemeteries in Jerusalem to suspend bulldozing the cemetery and exhuming graves.

The Israeli authorities are seeking to turn this part of the cemetery, which includes the Martyrs’ Monument where Palestinians and Jordanians who fought in the 1967 war are buried, into a public biblical park, around the walls of the Old City.

The Yusufiya cemetery was established at the beginning of the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, but it was restored and expanded during the reign of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi and was named after him — Youssef bin Ayoub bin Shadi. It is an extension of the Bab al-Rahma cemetery. After the city was occupied in 1967, the Jerusalem municipality took possession of the part that includes the graves of the martyrs.

The total area of the Yusufiya cemetery is 25 dunums (about 6 acres), four dunums (1 acre) of which Israel aims to build the park over. It is one of the four Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem and is located near the Jerusalem wall and the Lions Gate, which is the most important entrance to the Old City.

Najeh Bakirat, the deputy director-general of the Jerusalem Waqf, told Al-Monitor that the bulldozing is part of a bigger Israeli project, which is building a temple in the place of Al-Aqsa Mosque, so it is working to establish biblical parks surrounding the Old City and the walls of Al-Aqsa, to overwhelm Jerusalem’s public scene with Judaization.

That work is proceeding on three levels, Bakirat said. The first is to erase the Arab-Islamic scene, such as Islamic cemeteries and homes, and to replace them with Israeli parks that include signs in Hebrew.

It is also trying to displace Muslim Jerusalemites, so that many began burying their dead outside the city. On the other hand, Israel is increasing the number of Hebrew settlers and attracting them to the city, he explained.

The third approach, Bakirat said, is replacing Arabic names with Hebrew ones, as well as altering the general geographical scene. He expects that Israel will not stop at targeting four dunums of the Yusufiya cemetery, but will continue to nibble at the remaining areas until it takes control completely.

Bakirat pointed out that Israel did the same in the Ma'man Allah cemetery, on which Israel built the Museum of Tolerance, in addition to tourist facilities. Israel took control of the site in 1948. The municipality built two streets in the western part of it, and then the Independence Park, a huge parking lot, the Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem Hotel, and several cafes. In the eastern part of the cemetery, it began building the Museum of Tolerance.

The Palestinian Authority warned against bulldozing the Yusufiya cemetery, as President Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor for religious and Islamic affairs, Mahmoud al-Habbash, spoke on Oct. 27 about “the ongoing crime committed by the occupation’s bulldozers against the Yusufiya cemetery in occupied Jerusalem. …This could lead to violent confrontations with the occupation forces in a way that no one expects.”

Source: Al Monitor

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Israelis storm Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as military detain Palestinians in Bethlehem

01 November, 2021

Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday, the holiest Muslim site in the Palestinian territories, under the protection of Israeli police.

Dozens of settlers stormed Al-Aqsa from the Magharba Gate and performed Talmudic rituals in its courtyards, locals told The New Arab.

Groups of extremist settlers periodically storm the Muslim holy place under the pretext of performing prayers there, with the incursions often leading to confrontations with Palestinian youths.

Old Jerusalem has witnessed increased tensions after Israeli forces enacted new strict security measures with worshippers visiting Al-Aqsa being searched by soldiers.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army detained 10 Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian security sources.

Source: The New Arab

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Iran: Israel's Impudence Result of Human Rights Advocates' Silence


Qaribabadi made the remarks on his twitter page on Monday, referring to the recent behavior shown by Israeli regime's UN ambassador by tearing up a copy of the UNHRC's annual report while delivering a speech to the world body's General Assembly.

“Silence of so-called human rights protectors against gross violations by Israel, has given this regime the audacity to ridicule the HRC by tearing up its President' report to the UNGA,” Iran’s human rights official said.

Qaribabadi added that the torn report reflected the results obtained by the HRC’s Investigation Commission, a large part of which condemned and criticized Israel.

“This is the second time after the regime's ambassador did the same in 1975 after the UN announced Zionism as a form of racism,” the Iranian judicial official noted.

He emphasized that “this behavior proves that the work of the Commission should continue”.

Gilad Erdan took the move on Friday after issuing a tirade, in which he accused the UNHRC of “obsessive anti-Israel bias” and called the report "anti-Semitic", "distorted" and "one-sided”.

The report’s only place was “in the dustbin of anti-Semitism”, he said, before ripping up the copy and leaving the podium.]

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran: Senator Cruz Admits "Rogue" Nature of US Regimes


Cruz had wrote on his twitter page that any future Republican president would again "tear up" the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

"The world is acutely aware of what Mr. Cruz confesses: that regimes in Washington are rogue," Khatibzadeh tweeted on Monday.

He added, despite the clear likelihood that any future Republican president could again suspend Washington's commitment to the JCPOA, that "onus is on POTUS (president of the United States) to convince international community, including all JCPOA participants, that his signature means something".

"For that, objective guarantees [are] needed. No one would accept anything less," Khatibzadeh said.

Iran said on Monday that the so-called nuclear crisis stated in the recent statement of the US and the European states of Britain, France and Germany is the result of the four countries' irresponsible behavior and defiance of the nuclear deal.

Khatibzadeh made the remarks in reaction to the statement issued by the four countries on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

He referred to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei's fatwa (verdict) which prohibits production of nuclear weapons, saying that nuclear weapons have no place in the Islamic Republic's defense doctrine.

The spokesman went on to say that as a responsible member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has been cooperating with the technical body within the framework of the Safeguards Agreements.

Iran has proved its goodwill through full faithfulness to its commitments even a year after the US May 2018 unilateral withdrawal from the international nuclear deal, aka Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Further, Khatibzadeh said Tehran welcomes the other sides' determination to fully return to their commitments, adding, "Our criterion is the other side's action [practical measure]."

He added that Iran pursues peaceful goals by enrichment, as it has already been declared, noting that uranium enrichment in Iran is for medical and non-military use.

The spokesman stated that such a stance which is against realities will not have positive outcomes, adding what mentioned in the statement as a nuclear crisis is false and just a propaganda campaign.

Ayatollah Khamenei has on many occasions said the Islamic Republic considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons "a grave sin" from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint. On April 17, 2010 Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa declaring that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are all haram (religiously banned).

Source: Fars News Agency

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Israel to seize more land in al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood despite intl. outcry against evictions

01 November 2021

Israeli authorities have given the green light to seizure of thousands square meters of Palestinian-owned land in the East al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, as the Tel Aviv regime continues with its land grab policies in the occupied territories despite international outcry against its land eviction policies.

Saleh Diab, a Palestinian activist, told Palestine’s official Wafa news agency on Monday that Israel’s High Court of Justice issued an order on Sunday for the seizure of over 4,700 square meters of land belonging to four Palestinian families from the neighborhood with the aim of turning it into a public park.

He further noted that the Israeli municipality first presented the plan of establishing a park in the area in 2016, but failed to seize the land at the time.

Kamal Obeidat, one of the landowners, said in a phone interview with WAFA that the decision to seize the land located near a hotel aims at increasing its area for construction from 18,000 to 36,000 square meters in favor of the Israeli municipality.

He went on to say that the issue has been deliberated in the courts for more than 20 years, explaining that the land was used as a parking lot for buses and other vehicles and it was supposed to be turned it into a project for the benefit of Palestinians in East al-Quds.

However, he said, now the municipality will use it for the construction of illegal settlements.

The latest development came after Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected the appeal submitted by Palestinian residents against the appropriation of their land on Sunday.

The Palestinian Information Center, citing a local committee in Sheikh Jarrah, reported that the court also ordered the Palestinian families to pay a financial penalty of 18,000 shekels.

Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by Israeli police on Palestinians protesting against the threatened expulsion of dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in favor of hardline Israeli settler groups.

Since Israel seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Israeli settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to evict Palestinians from the area.

The threatened Sheikh Jarrah expulsions have also drawn international attention and sparked global outrage.

The land grab and evictions carried out by the Israeli authorities are seen as part of efforts to forcibly displace the Palestinians and change the demographic character of the occupied territories.

Israel demolishes Palestinians' water reservoir in West Bank

Separately on Monday, Wafa reported that Israeli forces demolished a water reservoir in the town of Khader, located south of Bethlehem.

The news agency, citing local activist Ahmad Salah, said Israeli troops escorted a bulldozer into the Wadi al-Shami area of the town, where the heavy machinery tore down the water reservoir purportedly for being built without a permit.

The destruction of the water reservoir comes as Palestinians in the occupied territories suffer from a water shortage and Israeli authorities damage any projects that aim to solve the problem.

With the scarcity of water available for Palestinians since Israel controls all water resources in the occupied West Bank, residents build reservoirs to collect rainwater for various irrigation purposes.

Source: Press TV

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Supreme council for Hamas captives holds Israel responsible for lives of hunger strikers

01 November 2021

The supreme command council for the captives of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has voiced concern over the heath of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have gone on hunger strike, declaring the start of “a struggle program” in support of the hunger strikers.

In a statement issued on Monday, the council announced that it has launched “a struggle program” to support the administrative detainees who are on a hunger strike starting from Monday.

According to the statement, the program begins by closing the prisons’ sections for two hours starting from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

The council stated that Tuesday’s meal would also be rejected, noting that greater measures would be declared in the upcoming days.

“The [Israeli] occupation bears full responsibility for the lives of captives on hunger strike,” the council said, describing the health condition of the hunger strikers as “serious” and “can’t be tolerated”.

At least seven Palestinian inmates have remained on an open-ended hunger strike to protest the Israeli so-called administrative detention, which allows prisoners to be held without charge or trial.

According to a report by the Detainees Affairs Commission, the oldest hunger-striker, Kayed Fasfous, who stopped eating food almost 110 days ago, and Muqdad Qawasmeh, who began his hunger strike 102 days ago, are among the Palestinian prisoners who insist on continuing their hunger strike despite their seriously deteriorating condition.

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails. Hundreds have been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention.

Some Palestinian prisoners have even been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

Last month, hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons went on a hunger strike in protest against an intensified Israeli crackdown on Palestinian detainees that took place following the escape of six inmates from a maximum-security Israeli jail on September 6.

The hunger strike, which began on October 13, was suspended nine days later after the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement declared “victory” over the Israel Prison Service.

Source: Press TV

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Many killed and wounded in Houthi missile strike on religious school in Marib

November 01, 2021

AL-MUKALLA: Two ballistic missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthis struck a religious school and a mosque, killing and wounding 29 people, including women and children, in Yemen’s central province of Marib, Yemen’s Information Minister, Muammar Al-Eryani said.

The missiles exploded inside Dar Al-Hadith School, which includes a mosque and an adjoining accommodation for students, on Sunday night in Al-Amud in Juba district, south of Marib. Residents said that the casualties included children and women and the missiles also destroyed some houses in the same area.

The school is managed by Yahiya Al- Hagouri, a Salafi leader, and is attended by hundreds of students.

The Salafis decamped to Juba in 2014 after the Houthis stormed their schools in Dammaj, in Saada governate, and ordered them to leave the province.

Sunday’s attack on Al-Amud brings the total number of civilians killed in Houthi missile attacks in Juba to nearly three dozen in less than a week.

Last week, a ballistic missile hit the house of Abdul Latif Al-Qibli Namran, a tribal leader who had incited his tribe to fight off the Houthi attacks on Marib. The attack killed 13 civilians, including two of Namran’s children, and wounded many more.

Al-Eryani accused the Houthis of deliberately targeting densely populated neighborhoods and religious sites, calling upon the world to shame and name the Houthis for their crimes.

On Sunday, Al-Masdar Online, a Yemeni news site, reported that a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis from a rural area in Sanaa province failed to reach its target in Marib province and came down on a village in Khawlan district.

Residents said that the large explosion that caused panic in the village, but there was no information about human casualties.

On Oct. 23, dozens of civilians were reportedly killed or wounded in the northern province of Dhamar when a Houthi ballistic missile failed to reach its target and ripped through a residential area.

Also in Marib, fighting between government troops and the Houthis intensified on Monday and Sunday as the militia pressed for new gains in the province.

The fighting raged in Juba district as government forces repelled several Houthi attacks and killed and wounded dozens of rebel fighters, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said.

The intensive fighting in Juba has forced hundreds of families to flee toward the city of Marib.

The government’s Executive Unit for IDP Camps, said that 54,502 people have been displaced from homes in Juba, Rahabah and Hareb, Jabal Murad, Serwah and Al-Abedia since earlier last month when the Houthis escalated their ground attacks and missile and drone strikes on government-controlled areas south of Marib.

The unit said that thousands of families are trapped in areas near the battlefields as the Houthis blocked roads and barred people from leaving homes.

Source: Arab News

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Israeli forces detain Palestinian university professor in overnight raids in West Bank

01 November 2021

Israeli forces have detained 17 Palestinians, including a university lecturer, in a series of overnight raids across the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian official news agency Wafa reported on Monday that the regime forces abducted Huthayfa Jabari, a professor at al-Khalil University, in southern West Bank.

Additionally, a large number of Israeli troops rounded up five Palestinian residents, including two former prisoners, after storming their houses in the town of Ni'lin, which is located west of Ramallah. To the north of Ramallah, undercover Israeli agents infiltrated into the Jalazone refugee camp and kidnapped four others, including a father and his two sons. Two others were detained during separate raids in Doha town and the Dheisheh refugee camp, west and south of Bethlehem, respectively.

In another incident, soldiers along with military vehicles forced their way into the Balata refugee camp, east of the city of Nablus, where they detained two more Palestinians. Separately, Israeli troops forcibly took away two residents after storming East al-Quds’ Ras al-Amoud and Isawiyya neighborhoods. They also stormed al-Tur neighborhood in west al- Quds, where they took another Palestinian into custody.

Source: Press TV

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Palestinians rights group says Israel implements apartheid regime of discriminatory laws, policies

01 November 2021

A prominent Palestinian rights group, which has recently been outlawed by Israel, says Tel Aviv has been progressively implementing an apartheid regime of discriminatory laws for decades.

The Al-Haq human rights organization, which monitors and documents rights violations committed by the occupying entity, released a 15-page report on Monday.

The non-governmental Ramallah-based rights group said since the Nakba Day in 1948, Israel has evidently “implemented an apartheid regime of discriminatory laws, policies and practices aimed at institutionalizing and normalizing its systematic subjugation, domination and exploitation of the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line, as well as Palestinian refugees and exiles abroad.”

Back on May 15, 1948, Israel forcibly evicted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland and proclaimed its existence. Palestinians mark this day as the ‘Nakba Day’ – or the ‘Day of Catastrophe.’

The so-called Green Line was the demarcation line set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between the Israeli regime and the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. It served as the de facto borders of the occupying entity from 1949 until 1967, when the Six-Day War broke out.

“In order to maintain its apartheid system, Israel has pursued a policy of systematic persecution of Palestinian civil society organizations that confront its apartheid laws, policies and practices. Such acts of persecution have included various forms of intimidation and institutionalized harassment ranging from death threats, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, collective punishment, travel bans, residency revocation, deportation, and Government-led smear campaigns, in an effort to shrink Palestinian civil society space,” Al-Haq further said in its report.

The human rights organization is among the six rights and civil-society groups Israel recently outlawed after calling them "terrorist" organizations.

On October 19, Israel’s Minister of Military Affairs Benny Gantz said the ministry had designated the six civil society groups of Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees as “terrorist organizations.” The military order was only made public three days later, on October 22.

The decision will authorize the regime to effectively outlaw the activities of these civil-society organizations, close their offices, seize their assets, and also arrest and jail their staff members. Furthermore, Tel Aviv will also prohibit funding or even publicly expressing support for the groups’ activities.

Israel’s move has drawn criticism from several human rights watchdogs. The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, the Arab League, and several American legislators have already denounced the decision.

“The shrinking of the Palestinian civil-society space to altogether discredit their image, efforts and initiatives, delegitimize and criminalize their actions, and cut their sources of funding, on both regional and international stages, is nothing new, but has been accelerating at a worrying pace over the last decade,” said the report.

The Israeli regime and its “affiliated entities have continued to orchestrate smear campaigns, threats and harassment measures against Palestinian organizations who promote a critical narrative, including of their own Palestinian leadership, and are involved in issues spanning from the Israeli occupation, annexation, apartheid and colonization of Palestinian lands, business and settlement activities, environmental and natural resources, political prisoners, asylum and refugees to accountability before the International Criminal Court (ICC),” the Al-Haq report said.

In July, more than 600 scholars, artists, and intellectuals from over 45 countries across the world lambasted the Israeli practices against Palestinians, calling for an immediate end to “Israel’s apartheid regime” in the occupied territories.

Source: Press TV

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Southeast Asia


Timah Whisky Issue Shows Need To Respect Each Other, Says Amanah MP

Minderjeet Kaur

November 1, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: An Amanah MP, discussing the controversy over Timah whisky, said today that respect for one another was crucial in Malaysia.

Salahuddin Ayub (PH-Pulai) gave an example of a Muslim not sacrificing a cow in front of his Hindu neighbour, even though it was the Muslim’s right to sacrifice a cow at Aidil Adha.

“I can sacrifice it in front of my house but it would not be right to do so,” he said, making a point about respect for his neighbour’s religious beliefs.

“It’s the same with (the name) Timah. We live in a country with Malay Muslims. So, be sensitive,” he said while debating the 2022 budget at the Dewan Rakyat.

Salahuddin said there were no restrictions on non-Muslims manufacturing and drinking liquor “but Malaysian Muslims are sensitive to the name of the whisky”.

During the debate, domestic trade and consumer affairs minister Alexander Nanta Linggi interjected, saying that the name was a small issue in Sabah and Sarawak. “The fact is the name Timah is a reference to tin mining,” he said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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No ban yet on ‘sensitive’ brand names, says minister

Nora Mahpar

November 1, 2021

SEPANG: The Cabinet has only discussed a possible ban on products with brand names that may offend sensitivities of certain parties, and the matter has not been finalised, says Alexander Nanta Linggi.

The domestic trade and consumer affairs minister said any announcement would be made on the issue only after the next Cabinet meeting.

“Engagement sessions are not just for one religion but for all. Some things may be sensitive to the Dayaks, some things may be sensitive to the Chinese,” said Linggi.

“If we want to do it, let’s do it properly,” he said when commenting on the ongoing controversy over Timah, a local whisky brand.

“We have to be meticulous in the matter so the rules are fair. We are not in a hurry,” he added after launching the sale of Covid-19 self-test kits below RM10 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.

He was commenting on a recent statement by environment and water minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man that the Cabinet had agreed to bar the production of goods with brand names that can offend the sensitivities of any race or religion.

Speaking at the PAS Youth assembly last week, Tuan Ibrahim, who is PAS deputy president, had said: “I have good news to share. The Cabinet has decided that no manufacturer will be allowed to produce anything (with brand names) that can cause unrest, especially in the context of race and religion.”

Whisky makers Winepak subsequently held a meeting with several ministers and government officials last week, asking for a week’s grace to discuss a change of name and image with its board of directors and shareholders.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Named in Pandora Papers, deputy finance minister says company linked to him now dormant

02 Nov 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa today said the company linked to him in the Pandora Papers exposé is dormant and he does not receive any funds from it.

Answering a question from Hassan Abdul Karim (Pasir Gudang-PH), he said any tax involved with the British Virgin Island was also paid by him.

“I am not sure with the numbers mentioned. I would like to take the opportunity to explain the matter as I am one of those who were named in the Pandora Papers.

“The company that was mentioned is inactive or dormant and has no funds injection. All taxes are in the knowledge of [Inland Revenue Board] and had been paid,” he told Dewan Rakyat during the Question Time today.

Hassan originally asked about whether the government is considering implementing a Capital Gains Tax as well as Inheritance Tax to increase the government’s revenue. He also asked about the Pandora Papers exposé, which claimed that some 1,500 Malaysians brought about RM 1.8 trillion to offshore financial centres.

According to the Pandora Papers report, Yamani was the director of Great Ocean Consultants in the British Virgin Islands from 2013 to 2015, alongside his siblings.

Documents show that his father, former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, took over as sole director in 2015.

The company held US$310,000 (RM1.2 million) in a Deutsche Bank account before it was sold the following year to an individual named Mau Kam Wai, who was once an executive director of investment holdings company Eastland Equity, alongside a Sabah businessman reportedly close to Musa, Chu Jan Tow.

Source: Malay Mail

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International mediation underway to end Sudan crisis: UN envoy

02 November ,2021

Mediation efforts in Sudan and abroad are underway to find a possible solution for the country a week after the civilian government was ousted in a military coup, the UN envoy to Khartoum said Monday.

“Many of the interlocutors we are speaking with in Khartoum, but also internationally and regionally, are expressing a strong desire that we move forward quickly to get out of the crisis and return to the steps of normalcy,” Volker Perthes told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York, during a video conference from the Sudanese capital.

The UN envoy to Sudan met Sunday with ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is under house arrest. Perthes said on Twitter they “discussed options for mediation and the way forward for Sudan.”

Perthes on Monday urged Sudan to return “to the steps of political transition, as we viewed it before 25 October,” the date of the coup.

On Monday, Hamdok said the reinstatement of his government could pave the way to a solution in the country, according to a statement from the information ministry.

Hamdok, according to the statement, demanded that the situation in Sudan return to what it was before the coup, refusing to negotiate with the military rulers.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Sudan leaders' whereabouts unknown after coup: Lawyer

01 November ,2021

A Sudanese lawyer representing civilian leaders detained in the country's military coup last week said Monday their whereabouts is unknown and that they are in a “dangerous legal situation”.

A week ago, soldiers detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his ministers and civilian leaders who had been heading Sudan's democratic transition following the 2019 overthrow of autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

A team of lawyers has since come forward to represent them with the backing of their families.

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“We went to the criminal investigation prosecution where they were believed to have been held but we found that they were not there,” said Kamal al-Gizouli, the lead defence lawyer.

Gizouli expressed concern about the wellbeing of the detainees and called on those holding them to reveal their location.

“These detainees are in the most dangerous legal situation” since nothing was known about their case nor who was heading the investigation, he added.

A day after the October 25 coup, Sudan's top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan dissolved the cabinet as well as the ruling Sovereign Council of military and civilian figures.

Hamdok is currently under effective house arrest, but little is known about the rest of his cabinet and the members of the council that had been tasked with paving the way to full civilian rule.

Burhan had since August 2019 chaired the council, working alongside Hamdok's government under a power-sharing deal that outlined the post-Bashir transition.

The arrangement came under strain, however, as splits deepened between the civilians and the military amid factional infighting.

Source: Al Arabiya

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10 civilians killed in armed attack in northern Burkina Faso

James Tasamba  


KIGALI, Rwanda

Unidentified gunmen attacked civilians heading to a market in northern Burkina Faso early Monday, leaving 10 dead and four others missing, a source said.

The attack took place in the Markoye area of the Sahel reserve, the source from the Security Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.

There was no immediate official communication, but the area bordering Mali and Niger regularly witnesses attacks by terrorists with links to the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group.

At least five police officers were killed Sunday in a similar attack in the north of the country and around 15 “terrorists” were killed in the ensuing clash, the Security Ministry said.

The latest attack occurred as Burkina Faso marked the 61st anniversary of its army with a ceremony focused on the fight against terrorism.

At the function, President Roch Marc Kabore hinted that the national strategy to fight terrorism will be rolled out in the coming days.

Noting that the fight against terrorist will be long and difficult, he called on the population to be resilient.

"If we put ourselves in the position of those who spend their time whining, I think we will not defeat terrorism,” he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Suspected militants kill around 10 civilians in Burkina Faso

November 02, 2021

OUAGADOUGOU: Suspected militants killed around 10 civilians in northern Burkina Faso near the border with Niger, military and other officials said Tuesday.

“Around 10 civilians were executed” after armed men, likely belonging to the region’s Daesh branch, attacked residents of Dambam heading to market, a military official said.

Source: Arab News

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Ethiopia tried to limit rare UN report on Tigray war abuses

November 02, 2021

NAIROBI, Kenya: The findings of the only human rights investigation allowed in Ethiopia’s blockaded Tigray region will be released Wednesday, a year after war began there. But people with knowledge of the probe say it has been limited by authorities who recently expelled a UN staffer helping to lead it.

And yet, with groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International barred from Tigray, along with foreign media, the report may be the world’s only official source of information on atrocities in the war, which began in November 2020 after a political falling-out between the Tigray forces that long dominated the national government and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s current government. The conflict has been marked by gang rapes, mass expulsions, deliberate starvation and thousands of deaths.

The joint investigation by the UN human rights office and the government-created Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, or EHRC, is a rare collaboration that immediately raised concerns among ethnic Tigrayans, human rights groups and other observers about impartiality and government influence.

In response to questions from The Associated Press, the UN human rights office in Geneva said it wouldn’t have been able to enter Tigray without the partnership with the rights commission. Although past joint investigations occurred in Afghanistan and Uganda, the UN said, “the current one is unique in terms of magnitude and context.”

But Ethiopia’s government has given no basis for expelling UN human rights officer Sonny Onyegbula last month, the UN added, and without an explanation “we cannot accept the allegation that our staff member ... was ‘meddling in the internal affairs’ of Ethiopia.”

Because of those circumstances, and the fact that the UN left the investigation to its less experienced regional office in Ethiopia, the new report is “automatically suspect,” said David Crane, founder of the Global Accountability Network and founding chief prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international tribunal.

“What you need when you go into an atrocity zone is a clean slate so outside investigators can look into it neutrally, dispassionately,” Crane said. “You want to do these things where you don’t build doubt, distrust from the beginning,” including among people interviewed.

The investigation might be the international community’s only chance to collect facts on the ground, he said, but because of its setup, it may disappear “in the sands of time.”

People close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, asserted that the head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Daniel Bekele, underplayed some allegations that fighters from the country’s Amhara region were responsible for abuses in Tigray and pressed instead to highlight abuses by Tigray forces.

That’s even though witnesses have said the perpetrators of most abuses were soldiers from neighboring Eritrea, Ethiopian forces and Amhara regional forces.

In response to AP’s questions, Bekele asserted his commission’s independence, saying it is “primarily accountable to the people it is created to serve.” Attempts to influence the investigation, he added, can come from ”many directions” in such a polarized environment.

Bekele said he and the commission have consistently cited “serious indications that all parties involved in the conflict have committed atrocities.”

Observers say a major shortcoming of the investigation is its failure to visit the scene of many alleged massacres in Tigray, including the deadliest known one in the city of Axum, where witnesses told the AP that several hundred people were killed.

Bekele said the investigation lacked the support of the Tigray authorities now administering the region after Tigray forces retook much of the area in June, about midway through the joint team’s work.

The UN human rights office, however, said the government’s subsequent severing of flights and communications from Tigray during the planned investigation period made it difficult to access key locations, both “logistically and from a security point of view.”

Even the interim Tigray authorities hand-picked by Ethiopia’s government to run the region earlier in the war rejected the joint investigation, its former chief of staff, Gebremeskel Kassa, told the AP.

“We informed the international community we wanted an investigation into human rights but not with the EHRC because we believe this is a tool of the government,” he said.

The UN has said Ethiopia’s government had no say in the report’s publication, though it was given the chance to read the report in advance and to point out “anything it believes to be incorrect.”

Source: Arab News

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Bulgaria sends soldiers to tackle migrant influx from Turkey

01 November ,2021

Bulgaria on Monday deployed 350 soldiers to the border with Turkey to help police cope with the growing influx of migrants, the defense minister announced.

“Soldiers arrived at the Bulgarian-Turkish border since today to back up the border police,” Georgi Panayotov told the private bTV channel.

The 350 troops deployed with 40 units of equipment, he added.

This year has already seen more than 6,500 people cross illegally into Bulgaria, three times the numbers for the first nine months of 2020, according to the interior ministry.

The east European country sits on one of the main routes migrants use to enter the EU from the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Bulgaria is an external border for the European Union. A partly damaged barbed-wire fence runs the length of the 259-kilometre (161-mile) frontier with Turkey.

Parliament agreed in August on the dispatch of 400-700 soldiers on the borders with Greece and Turkey, mainly to help build fencing.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Germany had turned blind eye to neo-Nazi terror: Interior minister

Ayhan Şimşek  



Germany’s interior minister on Monday admitted that authorities made serious mistakes while investigating a killing spree that targeted eight Turkish immigrants between 2000 and 2007.

“We realized only too late that all these murders were carried out by a right-wing terror cell,” Horst Seehofer said in an interview with German news agency DPA.

“We were blind in the right eye for too long,” the conservative politician said, adding that one should acknowledge this bitter fact, “even if it hurts” today.

The far-right National Socialist Underground (NSU) terror group killed eight Turkish immigrants, one Greek citizen, and a German policewoman during a crime spree that lasted until 2011.

For many years, Germany’s police and intelligence services ruled out any neo-Nazi motive for the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects, questioning them over alleged connections with mafia groups and drug traffickers.

The German public first learned of the NSU’s existence and its role in the murders on Nov. 4, 2011, when two members of the group reportedly committed suicide after an unsuccessful bank robbery. The police found evidence in their apartment, showing that they were behind the murders.

The scandal sparked a debate in Germany about institutional racism and increased pressure on the country's security and intelligence organizations, which have long been criticized for underestimating the far-right threat.

Seehofer said German authorities drew lessons from the failures of the past, carried out administrative reforms, and strengthened the capacities of security agencies in the fight against right-wing extremism.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UK to sell naval ships to Egypt for first time in 30 years

30 October 2021

The UK government has planned to conclude an agreement with Egypt for the sale of two ex-Royal Fleet Auxiliary solid stores ships for the first time in more than 30 years, a deal criticized by human rights groups.

In a statement on Friday, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it had signed a “landmark deal” to sell two Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships (RFA) - Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie - to Egypt, a move which they said could “support UK jobs,”

The statement described the sale as the “first military vessel deal with Egypt in more than three decades” and added that negotiations were underway for a “refurbishment contract.”

Ex-RFA Fort Rosalie and ex-RFA Fort Austin, both more than 40 years old, were released from service earlier this year. Egypt has entered negotiations with ship repair group Cammell Laird for the regeneration and refit of the two ships – both laid up in Bidston docks, Birkenhead – prior to delivery.

Both Royal Navy Solid Support ships have two flight decks, which means as well as traditional replenishment at sea they are also able to use helicopters to offload supplies, according to a statement published on the Defense Equipment and Support website affiliated with UK Defense Ministry.

The sale has been criticized by activists, who have voiced concerns about the Egyptian government’s human rights record and criticized international powers turning a blind eye to a major crackdown launched by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Samuel Perlo-Freeman, a research coordinator with Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), said, “Supplying such major military equipment, treating the Egyptian military as a valued partner, provides the regime a seal of approval and legitimacy, while disheartening opposition. Once again the UK places industry interests and geopolitics over human rights.”

The Egyptian president has faced international condemnation for a crackdown on civil society groups since he took power in June 2014, one year after he led the military to oust President Mohamed Morsi in a coup. He served as the defense minister in Morsi’s government before orchestrating the coup.

Human rights groups and activists have constantly accused Sisi of violating public freedoms and suppressing opponents. According to rights groups, an estimated 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egyptian jails.

Source: Press TV

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France shuts down Allonnes mosque, plans to close 7 more: Darmanin

OCT 27, 2021

France announced on Tuesday its plans to close seven more mosques and associations across the country by the end of 2021 on the pretext of "radicalism" as part of its Islamophobic campaign against the country's Muslim population.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in a statement on Tuesday that the mosque in the city of Allonnes in northwestern France has been shut down for six months on grounds of harboring "radical Islam" leanings. He said the bank accounts of the mosque's administrators were also seized.

"The sermons propagated in this mosque cultivating hatred toward France," Darmanin wrote on Twitter, defending the closure. He added that seven associations or religious buildings will be "disbanded by the end of the year." The minister also bragged about the fact that some 13 associations have been closed since President Emmanuel Macron took office in Elysee Palace.

Underlining that 92 of the 2,500 mosques in the country were closed as a result of the inspections, Darmanin also said that since September 2020, residence permits of 36,000 foreigners have been canceled due to the "threat to the public."

In the statement made by the Sarthe Governorate on Oct. 25, it was stated that the mosque with a congregation of 300 people in Allonnes was closed for six months on the grounds that it "defended radical Islam." The decision was part of the anti-Muslim campaign that has been criticized worldwide by international human rights organizations as well as global leaders, particularly in Muslim-majority countries.

In August, France's highest constitutional authority approved a controversial law that was introduced by Macron's La Republique en Marche (LREM) party in October. The bill was passed by the National Assembly despite opposition from French lawmakers and French Muslims.

Anti-Muslim hatred has significantly risen in Europe in recent years. Far-right extremism and xenophobia have fueled Islamaphobia in Western countries, where terrorist attacks by Daesh and al-Qaida as well as a migrant crisis are used as excuses to legitimize those views. France with the largest Muslim minority in Europe, estimated at 5 million or more out of a population of 67 million, took the helm of Islamophobic efforts to silence members of the minority, who denounced Macron for trying to galvanize far-right citizens to vote for him in 2022 April presidential elections.

Macron's anti-Muslim rhetoric sparked a wave of anti-Muslim feelings among far-right groups. The number of Islamophobic incidents in France rose sharply last year. According to the National Observatory of Islamophobia, there were 235 attacks on Muslims in France in 2020, up from 154 the previous year, a 53% jump. Most of the attacks took place in the Ile-de-France (greater Paris), Rhones-Alpes and Paca regions of the country. Attacks on mosques jumped 35% in the same year. A global coalition of 25 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) asked the European Commission to investigate France for its state-sponsored support of Islamophobia.

Source: Daily Sabah

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