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Islamic World News (06 Jun 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Mumbai Attack Mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed Was Not Allowed by

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Pakistan

Mumbai Attack Mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed Was Not Allowed by Pakistan to Lead Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers at His Favourite Venue Qaddafi Stadium

10 killed in Pakistan during armed clash on Eid

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Arab World

Houthis Kill Imam, 9 Worshippers for Following Saudi Eid Al-Fitr Moon Sighting

Syrian Army Wins Control over 23 Regions in 40 Days of Operations in Hama

Saudi Arabia urges new Sudan talks after protest crackdown

Ammar Hakim: Iraq Not to Keep Mum on Anti-Iran Sanctions by US

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India

Eminent Muslim Citizens Hail PM Modi’s Outreach to Minorities

‘Even If We Ignore Terrorism, There Are Other Issues’: S Jaishankar Hints At Pakistan

No Modi-Imran Khan meet planned at SCO meet: MEA

J&K: Militants kill woman, injure man in Pulwama

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Mideast

Rouhani Reiterates Pro-Peace Stance, Warns of Any Foolish Act against Iran

With cows, chickens and greenhouses, Qatar takes on regional boycott

Over 200,000 people benefited from Emirati Ramadan project in Lebanon

Zoroastrian Cleric Lauds Imam Khomeini’s Role in Uniting Iranian Nation

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives Telephone Call from Turkish President

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SouthEast Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi and Viktor Orban Agree ‘Continuously Growing Muslim Populations’ Is One of Greatest Challenges

Many Muslim countries ‘silent’ on Uyghur persecution

Wrecked mosques, police watch: A tense Ramzan in Xinjiang

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Europe

Muslim Community Invited Dundee Folk of All Faiths to Celebrate Eid Al-Fitr at Camperdown

TV cameraman attacked while filming outside mosque in northern France

Athens mosque to open on Friday, but no prayer services yet

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South Asia

Afghan forces rescue 83 people from a Taliban prison in Faryab province

Taliban’s Guerrilla warfare commander arrested in Farah province

Taliban militants suffer casualties in Kandahar, Uruzgan operations

NATO allies, partners reaffirm steadfast support to financial sustainment of Afghan forces

Afghanistan remains NATO’s highest operational priority: Stoltenberg

Following Easter terror attacks, Sri Lanka proposes new law on fake news

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Africa

Attack on Eid day kills 8 Egypt police in Sinai

Uganda: Islamic Banking Already in Uganda, Says Kasaija

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North America

An American family detained in Syria is sent back to the US

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/mumbai-attack-mastermind-and-jammat-ud-dawa-chief-hafiz-saeed-was-not-allowed-by/d/118809

 

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Mumbai Attack Mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed Was Not Allowed by Pakistan to Lead Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers at His Favourite Venue Qaddafi Stadium

June 6, 2019

For the first time in years, Mumbai attack mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was not allowed by the government on Wednesday to lead Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at his favourite venue Qaddafi Stadium here, an official said.

Instead, Saeed, chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation JuD, offered prayers at a local mosque adjacent to his Jauhar Town residence here.

“JuD chief Saeed wanted to lead the Eid prayers at the Qaddafi Stadium but he was conveyed by an official of the Punjab government a day before (Tuesday) that he could not do so. In case he goes ahead with his plan (to lead the Eid prayers) the government may arrest him,” the official privy to the development told PTI.

He said Saeed having no other option “followed the government direction” and dropped the idea of leading the prayers at the Qaddafi Stadium.

Saeed had been leading the prayers on both Eid-ulFitr and Eid-ulAzha at the Qaddafi Stadium for last many years without any hindrance. Rather the government used to provide him foolproof security.

In the past Saeed not only led the prayers but also propagated his views especially on Kashmir before a large gathering of people assembled on such religious festivals.

Saeed, who was banned on December 10, 2008 by the UN Security Council after the horrific Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed, is keeping a low profile since the Imran Khan government launched a crackdown on proscribed organisations some three months ago to fulfil its obligations regarding international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

In February, Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF decided to continue the ‘Grey’ listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the JuD.

In March, Saeed was barred by the government from delivering weekly Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid Qadsia, the JuD headquarters in Lahore.

Saeed was never stopped from delivering Friday sermons even during the years when Masjid Qadsia’s control was under the Punjab government.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attacks. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings him to justice.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/hafiz-saeed-not-allowed-to-lead-eid-prayers-at-his-favourite-venue-in-lahore-5767862/

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Houthis kill imam, 9 worshippers for following Saudi Eid al-Fitr moon sighting

Thursday, 6 June 2019

An imam and nine worshippers were killed following Houthi militia attacks on a number of mosques for celebrating Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia announced the sighting of the Shawwal crescent, Yemen’s information minister Moammar al-Eryani and local media reported.

According to al-Eryani, the militias stormed mosques during Eid prayer in Houthi-controlled areas, including Sanaa and Dhamar.

“The Houthi militia prevented the majority of honorable citizens in their areas of control from celebrating Eid al-Fitr and stormed a number of mosques and arrested citizens in Sanaa, Dhamar, Hajjah, and Ibb who refused to comply with its decision to postpone the celebration,” al-Eryani tweeted on Tuesday night.

Local media reports stated that the imam and worshippers were shot dead at a mosque in the Qiva district in al-Bayda, after they refused to stop their Eid prayers on Tuesday when ordered to do so by Houthi militiamen.

Sanaa residents also reported that the Houthi-controlled Religious Endowments and Guidance offices instructed religious guides and militiamen to monitor other “violating” mosques.

Yemenis on Monday were deeply divided over when the first day of Eid would be, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

In the southern port city of Aden, the legitimate Yemeni government declared that Tuesday would be the first day of Eid, while the Houthi militias, who control the capital Sanaa and other northern Yemeni provinces, declared that Wednesday, June 5 would be the first day of Eid.

This is the first time the country was divided over the moon sighting marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, despite years of deadly conflict between Yemen’s government and the Houthis.

Local activists said the Houthis wanted to challenge the Yemeni government, supported by Saudi Arabia, by announcing that Eid would commence one day later.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/06/06/Houthis-kill-imam-9-worshippers-for-following-Saudi-Eid-al-Fitr-moon-sighting.html

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Eminent Muslim citizens hail PM Modi’s outreach to minorities

AmbikaPandit | TNN | Updated: Jun 4, 2019

A group of eminent citizens from the Muslim community have welcomed PM Modi’s recent remarks on the need to address the welfare of minorities, and offered to engage with him on issues of educational backwardness, skill development and confidence building measures under the law

Referring to Modi’s speech on May 26 to NDA MPs at Parliament’s Central Hall, the citizens said in a letter that they were happy to note the PM had “unequivocally” committed himself to work for and serve all sections of society

NEW DELHI: A group of eminent citizens from the Muslim community have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent remarks on the need to address the welfare of minorities, and offered to engage with him on issues of educational backwardness, skill development and confidence building measures.

Referring to Modi’s speech  on May 26 to NDA MPs at Parliament’s Central Hall, the citizens said in a letter that they were happy to note the PM had “unequivocally” committed himself to work for and serve all sections of society and that bringing the marginalised into the mainstream was essential to realise the dream of turning India into the world’s third largest economy.

The letter said the community would welcome confidence-building measures that assure minorities equal protection under the Constitution and the law.

The letter took note of Modi’s comments where he said, “The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been in focus. Minorities have been made to live in fear by those who believed in vote-bank politics. I expect from you in 2019 that you would be able to make a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust.”

PM Modi delivers victory speech: Highlights

The letter said, “You have very pertinently pinpointed the problem of minorities, in particular of education and healthcare. Indeed, these two sectors are crucial to bring the minorities into the mainstream and to make them fully productive in order to realise your dream of turning India into the third largest economy of the world.”

Signatories included Faizan Mustafa, vice-chancellor of National Law College, Hyderabad; Fakhruddin Mohammad, chairman, Mesco Group; Mahmood Madani and NiazFarooqui from JamiatUlama-i-Hind; renowned educationist P AInamdar; QaiserShamim, former chairman of Central Haj Committee; and Kamal Faruqui, former chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

The list also included Justice Sohail A Siddiqui; Justice S SParkar; Shabi Ahmed, president of World Education and Development Organisation; S Zafar Mahmood, former member secretary of Sachar Committee; and Zafarul Islam, chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission.

The signatories said, “We share the belief that unless the poor and marginalised are brought into the mainstream and their full capacities realised, this great dream of yours and of every Indian patriot will not be redeemed.”

They said they appreciated that the PM mentioned “the common endeavour of all communities in struggle of our freedom struggle of 1857. They dreamt of a free and strong India and gave their lives for this precious dream”.

“Your (PM) call to replicate today the same spirit of 1857 is reassuring,” the letter said.

Identifying themselves as a group of concerned citizens who had spent a lifetime in educational development of the community, they went on to assure the PM of “utmost cooperation” to take the community into confidence on measures he may propose to deliver on the development agenda.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/eminent-muslim-citizens-want-pm-modi-to-focus-on-education-skills-and-confidence-building-for-minorities/articleshow/69639047.cms

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‘Even if we ignore terrorism, there are other issues’: S Jaishankar hints at Pakistan

Jun 06, 2019

In his first public engagement after taking over as the external affairs minister, Jaishankar also touched on the US-China trade dispute arguing that that every clash presented an opportunity.

Jaishankar said swifter execution of projects in foreign countries would be a top priority for him as India “had come up short” in a number of areas.(PTI File Photo)

SAARC has its problems while BIMSTEC has energy and possibility, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, indicating that the grouping of the Bay of Bengal countries holds more promise for cooperation in South Asia.

“SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) has certain problems and we all know what they are. Even if you were to put terrorism aside…there are connectivity and trade issues. BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) leaders were invited for the Prime Minister’s swearing-in because we see energy, mindset and possibility in that grouping,” Jaishankar said at The Growth Net summit. He was speaking during a session titled Changing World, Changing India.

The members of the Bay of Bengal camp are India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. The BIMSTEC region is home to more than 1.5 billion people or around 22% of the world’s population. Jaishankar said as the largest economy in South Asia, it was paramount for India to work harder to “incentivize cooperation” in the neigbourhood and it did not have to be “reciprocal” all the time.

In his first public engagement after taking over as the external affairs minister, Jaishankar also touched on the United States-China trade dispute arguing that that every clash presented an opportunity.

“There are risks too. My job is to minimise the risks and maximize the opportunities. I think when we survey the landscape we need to see where our interests lie.” He said the scenario had become more complicated and required India “to raise its game.” Jaishankar said the global picture was more complex than five years ago and navigating the world was a complex exercise for any foreign minister.

Jaishankar said swifter execution of projects in foreign countries would be a top priority for him as India “had come up short” in a number of areas. He said projects should be awarded on the basis of “capability and experience” rather than following only the L1 bidding process.

“A better sense of project and finance management in the MEA and a sense of strategy in the finance ministry…that cross-fertilisation will help,” Jaishankar said, revealing that he spent more time last week in the finance and commerce ministries than his own MEA.

On the National Democratic Alliance’s thumping victory in the Lok Sabha elections, the minister said it was very clear that the raft of programmes and efforts to bring change and give hope to the lowest strata of society made a “profound impact.”

“My big takeaway from the elections is that the five years of government created, kept alive and strengthened the expectation of change in the country…It was also a vote of confidence in the government’s ability to manage national security and foreign policy is integral to that,” he said.

Crediting his predecessor Sushma Swaraj, he said the ministry’s image had undergone a significant change globally during the last five years and the MEA would continue to give “enormous importance” to Indians facing any trouble around the world.

“Today there are expectations that the government will help. In earlier days, things worked only for ‘connected Indians’,” he said. He said he was entering the global arena with some very strong cards in his hands.

Jaishankar revealed that before getting the cabinet berth, he was in the The Growth Net’s executive committee and associated with organizing their 7th annual summit. On a lighter note, he added that they were then trying to figure out which minister to invite to the summit.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/even-if-we-ignore-terrorism-there-are-other-issues-s-jaishankar-hints-at-pakistan/story-FF0Mbxt1PXTnlGCWNkOnZK.html

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Rouhani Reiterates Pro-Peace Stance, Warns of Any Foolish Act against Iran

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a Wednesday telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, re-voiced Tehran's strong support for regional security, but meantime warned that his nation would never hesitate to deliver a firm response to any hostile move.

President Rouhani, in the phone conversation with Qatari king, said that Iran wants to strengthen regional security and is not willing to engage in conflicts with other states.

Rouhani went on to say that Iran will give a “firm” response in case any “foolish” anti-Iranian act starts in the region.

“Regional problems don’t have a military solution and we believe that threat, pressure, blockade, and economic sanction are wrong approaches in relations between governments,” he added.

He welcomed Qatar’s stance in recent meetings in Mecca, noting that Doha’s position was aimed at easing regional tensions.

“Certainly, any meeting will be ineffective, unproductive and even harmful, if it doesn’t draw regional countries to each other,” highlighted Rouhani.

He also congratulated Eid al-Fitr to Qatari Emir and nation.

Qatari Emir, for his part, said that Tehran and Doha stances are close to each other in many areas.

Qatar believes that dialogue is the only way to ease tensions, he said, also appreciating Kuwaiti Emir initiative to reduce regional tensions.

He went on to say that Qatar wants to expand ties with Iran in all areas while appreciating Tehran for supporting the Persian Gulf country during the blockade.

Two weeks ago, Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid TakhtRavanchi, in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, cautioned against US’ provocative behavior in the Middle East, reminding that his country will vigorously exercise its inherent right to self-defense in case a war is imposed.

TakhtRavanchi warned Guterres about “the recent alarming security situation in the broader Persian Gulf region”, alarming that, “There are indications that certain circles from outside of this region--through fabrications, disinformation, fake intelligence and fake news, relying on the support of their allies in the Middle East as well as dispatching naval forces to the region--are pursuing their illegitimate interests by sowing further division and creating more mistrust between regional countries in the Persian Gulf, as well as fomenting insecurity and escalating the already high tension in this volatile region.” 

“If unchecked, the current situation might--sooner or later--go beyond the perimeter of control and thereby lead to another unnecessary regional crisis,” added the Iranian diplomat.

TakhtRavanchi reminded that Tehran “has repeatedly warned about the mischievous intentions of such circles, and the wide-ranging regional and international ramifications of their objectives”.

“Iran has always rejected and continues to reject conflict and war,” he underlined, adding “Iran will never choose war as an option or strategy in pursuing its foreign policy.”

“It should, however, be obvious that if war is imposed on us, Iran will vigorously exercise its inherent right to self-defense in order to defend its nation and to secure its interests,” he asserted.

The diplomat urged the UN and the international community not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing situation “when the region is in turmoil with no bright prospect in sight”, saying that “the international community in general, and the United Nations in particular, cannot and must not remain indifferent with regard to addressing the root causes of the current state of affairs”.

“If the issues are not thoroughly addressed, the eruption of any possible conflict will soon cross over from the regional level and will definitely have serious and extensive implications on international peace and security,” he underlined.

He went on warning, “Inaction--a lose-lose approach--is not an option and can lead to a disaster that must be avoided.”

Tehran has always been criticizing Washington for adopting destructive policies in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

Back in early February, Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif commemorated the 40th anniversary of the fall of Iran’s former dictator, reminding that the US has always been siding with tyrants and monarchs of the region.

“Iranians,” Zarif tweeted on February 06, “are commemorating 40 years of progress despite US pressure, just as Donald Trump again makes accusations against us”.

“US hostility has led it to support dictators, butchers & extremists, who've only brought ruin to our region,” he added.

In a very recent series of moves with negative impact on the region, the White House is increasing tension in the region with intensifying negative propaganda and media hype against Tehran and sending more military forces to the region. 

The US had on Wednesday evacuated its non-essential government employees from Baghdad and Erbil, following Washington's repeated expressions of concern about so-called threats in the Arab country posed by "Iran-backed forces".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to Iraq last Tuesday, pressing Iraqi leaders about what he alleged were the increased dangers to Americans there.

Military analysts believe that the US is paving the ground for escalating tensions against Iran to weaken the country in the region, specially Iraq, and find a pretext to prolong its deployment in the Arab country.

Washington shut down its consulate in the Southern Iraqi city of Basra last year after an attack, Pompeo blamed Iranian militants for "indirect fire" on the building without any evidence.

The analysts said that egged on by the ultra-hawkish duo of John Bolton, the national security adviser, and Pompeo, President Donald Trump has brought US-Iranian relations to the brink of war. Like the war against Iraq in 2003, launched on the pretext of spurious charges about nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and links between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, the crisis with Iran is a manufactured one.

Bolton has reportedly demanded that the Pentagon provide him with an option to dispatch 120,000 troops to the region. Those unprovoked actions followed draconian new economic sanctions that, Pompeo said, would bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, and an announcement that Washington was ending waivers that allow countries such as India, Turkey, and Japan to buy Iranian oil. The new sanctions also target Iran’s exports of steel and other metals.

Joining Bolton on what is called the “B Team” are Bibi, bin Salman, and bin Zayed (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the effective ruler of the United Arab Emirates). Together, they represent Trump’s Coalition of the Killing.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif had last Tuesday warned of plots by a number of radical officials in the US administration to launch false-flag operations in the region, apparently alluding to the recent ship attacks in the UAE that Washington and its Persian Gulf allies are attempting to blame on Tehran.

"We discussed the regional issues and dangers that the policies of extremist individuals in the US administration are trying to impose on the region as well as concerns about the suspicious and sabotage acts that happen in our region, and we had earlier predicted that they will adopt such measures to provoke tensions," Zarif told reporters in New Delhi after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

Meantime, US columnist Stephen Lendman described the Trump administration as the most extremist in US history, reiterating that his top military brass stand strongly opposed to any kind of war against Iran.

 “As irrationally hostile as Trump is toward the Islamic Republic, I believe he’s reluctant to go this far. Pentagon commanders oppose war on Iran and Venezuela,” Lendman told FNA in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

"US war plans were drawn on Iran and updated at least since the Bush/Cheney era, never implemented, likely earlier. The Trump regime is the most extremist in US history. I rule nothing out with the likes of Pompeo and Bolton in charge of DJT’s geopolitical agenda," he added.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980315000415

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Aung San Suu Kyi and Viktor Orban agree ‘continuously growing Muslim populations’ is one of greatest challenges

Myanmar leader condemns illegal immigration in discussion with Hungary PM on rare trip to Europe

 

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, met Hungary’s far-right nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban as part of a rare trip to Europe

As part of a rare trip to Europe, Ms Suu Kyi, who has been condemned for her handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis, met the Hungarian leader in Budapest on Wednesday.

“The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – south-east Asia and Europe – is migration,” the Hungarian government said in a statement after the meeting.

“They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of co-existence with continuously growing Muslim populations.”

Mr Orban said Hungary was in favour of trade cooperation between Myanmar and the EU, but rejects “attempts at the export of democracy”.

He said the bureaucrats in Brussels and the West “seek to conflate unrelated issues such as economic cooperation and internal political questions”, according to the statement.

The far-right leader has repeatedly clashed with the EU over the issue of immigration after his government declared “a crisis situation due to mass immigration” in 2015.

Mr Orban has called for immigration be controlled by national governments, not EU bureaucrats, and says he will resist any EU-wide attempt to strip Hungary of its right to protect its borders.

His government was accused of using anti-migrant rhetoric that fuels “xenophobic attitudes, fear and hatred” in a report by the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights.

After his meeting with Myanmar’s leader, Mr Orban said he had “great respect for Aung San Suu Kyi and all she has done for her country’s freedom and democratic transformation”.

Ms Suu Kyi was once lauded as a champion of democracy after being elected as civilian leader in 2015 following 15 years of house arrest for opposing Myanmar’s military dictatorship. But she has since fallen from grace on the world stage after failing to condemn the military’s violent crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority in 2017.

The massacre, which saw thousands of Rohingya raped and killed, was described by the UN as an act of genocide. Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has since failed to take the steps necessary to guarantee the safe return of the million Rohingya now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Miss Suu Kyi has undertaken the trip to central Europe with the aim of strengthening Myanmar’s economic ties in the region. Prior to Hungary, she visited the Czech Republic where she met with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/aung-san-suu-kyi-viktor-orban-muslim-population-immigration-meeting-budapest-a8946686.html

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Pakistan

Mumbai Attack Mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed Was Not Allowed by Pakistan to Lead Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers at His Favourite Venue Qaddafi Stadium

June 6, 2019

For the first time in years, Mumbai attack mastermind and Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was not allowed by the government on Wednesday to lead Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at his favourite venue Qaddafi Stadium here, an official said.

Instead, Saeed, chief of UN-designated terrorist organisation JuD, offered prayers at a local mosque adjacent to his Jauhar Town residence here.

“JuD chief Saeed wanted to lead the Eid prayers at the Qaddafi Stadium but he was conveyed by an official of the Punjab government a day before (Tuesday) that he could not do so. In case he goes ahead with his plan (to lead the Eid prayers) the government may arrest him,” the official privy to the development told PTI.

He said Saeed having no other option “followed the government direction” and dropped the idea of leading the prayers at the Qaddafi Stadium.

Saeed had been leading the prayers on both Eid-ulFitr and Eid-ulAzha at the Qaddafi Stadium for last many years without any hindrance. Rather the government used to provide him foolproof security.

In the past Saeed not only led the prayers but also propagated his views especially on Kashmir before a large gathering of people assembled on such religious festivals.

Saeed, who was banned on December 10, 2008 by the UN Security Council after the horrific Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed, is keeping a low profile since the Imran Khan government launched a crackdown on proscribed organisations some three months ago to fulfil its obligations regarding international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

In February, Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF decided to continue the ‘Grey’ listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the JuD.

In March, Saeed was barred by the government from delivering weekly Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid Qadsia, the JuD headquarters in Lahore.

Saeed was never stopped from delivering Friday sermons even during the years when Masjid Qadsia’s control was under the Punjab government.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attacks. It had been declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings him to justice.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/hafiz-saeed-not-allowed-to-lead-eid-prayers-at-his-favourite-venue-in-lahore-5767862/

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10 killed in Pakistan during armed clash on Eid

The incident took place on Wednesday in JalalpurPirwala Tehsil of Multan district.The two groups resorted to indiscriminate firing after a dispute.

Published: June 6, 2019

Eid Mubarak: Mohammad Shami to Paul Pogba, sport stars extend their greetings on Eid-ul-Fitr

Pakistan, Pakistan clash, Eid clash, terror outfits, ,pakistan news, indian express

The incident took place on Wednesday in JalalpurPirwala Tehsil of Multan district.The two groups resorted to indiscriminate firing after a dispute, Geo News reported.

According to sources, the members of one group were returning to their homes after offering Eid prayers when assailants from another group attacked them.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar sought a detailed report from the regional police officer (RPO) of Multan on the incident.He directed the RPO to arrest the culprits without delay.

https://indianexpress.com/article/pakistan/pakistan-punjab-multan-eid-clash-5768312/

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Arab World

Houthis kill imam, 9 worshippers for following Saudi Eid al-Fitr moon sighting

Thursday, 6 June 2019

An imam and nine worshippers were killed following Houthi militia attacks on a number of mosques for celebrating Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia announced the sighting of the Shawwal crescent, Yemen’s information minister Moammar al-Eryani and local media reported.

According to al-Eryani, the militias stormed mosques during Eid prayer in Houthi-controlled areas, including Sanaa and Dhamar.

“The Houthi militia prevented the majority of honorable citizens in their areas of control from celebrating Eid al-Fitr and stormed a number of mosques and arrested citizens in Sanaa, Dhamar, Hajjah, and Ibb who refused to comply with its decision to postpone the celebration,” al-Eryani tweeted on Tuesday night.

Local media reports stated that the imam and worshippers were shot dead at a mosque in the Qiva district in al-Bayda, after they refused to stop their Eid prayers on Tuesday when ordered to do so by Houthi militiamen.

Sanaa residents also reported that the Houthi-controlled Religious Endowments and Guidance offices instructed religious guides and militiamen to monitor other “violating” mosques.

Yemenis on Monday were deeply divided over when the first day of Eid would be, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

In the southern port city of Aden, the legitimate Yemeni government declared that Tuesday would be the first day of Eid, while the Houthi militias, who control the capital Sanaa and other northern Yemeni provinces, declared that Wednesday, June 5 would be the first day of Eid.

This is the first time the country was divided over the moon sighting marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, despite years of deadly conflict between Yemen’s government and the Houthis.

Local activists said the Houthis wanted to challenge the Yemeni government, supported by Saudi Arabia, by announcing that Eid would commence one day later.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/06/06/Houthis-kill-imam-9-worshippers-for-following-Saudi-Eid-al-Fitr-moon-sighting.html

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Syrian Army Wins Control over 23 Regions in 40 Days of Operations in Hama

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army has seized full control of 23 villages and towns from the terrorists since the beginning of its military operations in Hama province.

The Syrian Army's massive military operations started in Hama and Idlib provinces after the terrorists violated the Sochi Agreement on April 26 and the government forces have now spread their rule to Southern Idlib.

A sum of 18 towns and villages have been liberated in Northern and Western parts Hama province and the Syrian Army has also imposed full control over five other regions in Southern Idlib, the pro-militant AnabBaladi news website reported.

In Northern and Western Idlib, the Syrian Army has earned control of Janabareh, Tal Osman, Jaberieh, Tal Hawash, Toyieh, Sheikh Idris, KafarNaboudeh, Qala al-Maziq, al-Tavineh, al-Sharia, Bab Taqa, al-Hamreh, al-Hawiz, al-Mohajerin, al-Karkat, al-Mostariheh, al-Khaledi and al-Hardan.

In Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army started its military operations on Monday and it has already regained control of al-Qasabiyeh, al-Hardaneh, al-Hamirat, al-Qaroutiyeh and Qaraseh.

Meantime, the Syrian State television reported that the Syrian Army has kicked off new military operations in Tarmala, al-Nafir and the surrounding areas of Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib.

The Arabic-language SANA news agency also reported that the Syrian Army's artillery units has been heavily pounding the al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Izzeh terrorists' military positions in al-Zaqoum, Qalididan and al-Zuka regions in Northwestern Hama Province in the last few days.

Late last month, the Syrian army in a major operation against Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) regained control of KafarNaboudeh town after killing tens of terrorists.

The Syrian Army won control over KafarNaboudeh only a few days after it made strategic withdrawal from the key town.

The Damascus army's artillery and missile units launched heavy attacks on Tahrir al-Sham's military positions and movements in KafarNaboudeh in Northwestern Hama and took control of the town.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980315000404

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Saudi Arabia urges new Sudan talks after protest crackdown

AFP | Updated: Jun 5, 2019

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday called for a resumption of dialogue between Sudan's various political forces, expressing concern after a bloody crackdown on protesters.

"The government of Saudi Arabia has followed with great concern the developments in the brotherly Republic of Sudan, which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries," said the statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

"The kingdom affirms the importance of resuming the dialogue between the various parties in Sudan to fulfil the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people."

The statement comes after at least 60 people were killed as Sudan's security forces launched a deadly raid on Monday on a weeks-long sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.

Western governments have been strongly supportive of the protesters but Arab governments, led by Saudi Arabia, have backed the military rulers, who are facing calls from protesters to cede power to a civilian transitional government.

Sudan plays a key role in the regional interests of Saudi Arabia and its allies, siding with Riyadh against Shiite Iran and providing troops in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen's war.

Last month, Saudi Arabia announced it deposited $250 million in Sudan's central bank as part of a support package in an apparent lifeline for the military rulers.

In April, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced three billion dollars (2.7 billion euros) in financial aid for Sudan.

Sudan has been convulsed by turmoil after its military ousted veteran president Omar al-Bashir in April following months of protests against his authoritarian rule.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-urges-new-sudan-talks-after-protest-crackdown/articleshow/69664653.cms

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Ammar Hakim: Iraq Not to Keep Mum on Anti-Iran Sanctions by US

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the National Wisdom Movement of Iraq Ammar Hakim condemned the US sanctions imposed against Iran, and said that his country will not remain silent in the face of Washington's economic war against the Islamic Republic.

Hakim said that the Iraqi government is closely monitoring the US' anti-Iran movements, adding that Washington's policies against Tehran are doomed to failure.

"Iraq will surely not remain silent vis-à-vis the sanctions imposed by the US against the Iran," he added.

Hakim condemned the US' unilateral sanctions imposed against the Iranian nation, and reiterated that Iraq would not adopt an impartial stance towards the US pressures on Iran.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif blasted the US for applying "economic terrorism" against his country, warning that ordinary people and patients in Iran are suffering from it.

Zarif posted a video on his official Twitter page, showing a "little boy whose heartbroken mother can't get him prosthetic legs as he grows", and emphasized that innocent civilians are being targeted by sanctions and economic terrorism applied to Iran by Washington.

"This is @realDonaldTrump's 'economic war'. And war and talks—with or without preconditions—don't go together," he underlined.

Zarif's remarks came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is keen to hold negotiations with Iran "with no preconditions" amid the intensification of tensions between the two countries.

Addressing a news conference in Switzerland earlier in the day, Pompeo said, "We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them."

In reaction to Pompeo's statements, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said a game of words by the United States is not important to Iran, but the Islamic Republic expects a change in Washington’s general approach to the Iranian nation.

"For the Islamic Republic of Iran, a game of words and expressing covert goals under the guise of new words is not a criterion for action, but a change in the United States’ general approach and practical stance toward the Iranian nation is the criterion,” he said.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980315000432

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India

Eminent Muslim citizens hail PM Modi’s outreach to minorities

AmbikaPandit | TNN | Updated: Jun 4, 2019

A group of eminent citizens from the Muslim community have welcomed PM Modi’s recent remarks on the need to address the welfare of minorities, and offered to engage with him on issues of educational backwardness, skill development and confidence building measures under the law

Referring to Modi’s speech on May 26 to NDA MPs at Parliament’s Central Hall, the citizens said in a letter that they were happy to note the PM had “unequivocally” committed himself to work for and serve all sections of society

NEW DELHI: A group of eminent citizens from the Muslim community have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent remarks on the need to address the welfare of minorities, and offered to engage with him on issues of educational backwardness, skill development and confidence building measures.

Referring to Modi’s speech  on May 26 to NDA MPs at Parliament’s Central Hall, the citizens said in a letter that they were happy to note the PM had “unequivocally” committed himself to work for and serve all sections of society and that bringing the marginalised into the mainstream was essential to realise the dream of turning India into the world’s third largest economy.

The letter said the community would welcome confidence-building measures that assure minorities equal protection under the Constitution and the law.

The letter took note of Modi’s comments where he said, “The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been in focus. Minorities have been made to live in fear by those who believed in vote-bank politics. I expect from you in 2019 that you would be able to make a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust.”

PM Modi delivers victory speech: Highlights

The letter said, “You have very pertinently pinpointed the problem of minorities, in particular of education and healthcare. Indeed, these two sectors are crucial to bring the minorities into the mainstream and to make them fully productive in order to realise your dream of turning India into the third largest economy of the world.”

Signatories included Faizan Mustafa, vice-chancellor of National Law College, Hyderabad; Fakhruddin Mohammad, chairman, Mesco Group; Mahmood Madani and NiazFarooqui from JamiatUlama-i-Hind; renowned educationist P AInamdar; QaiserShamim, former chairman of Central Haj Committee; and Kamal Faruqui, former chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

The list also included Justice Sohail A Siddiqui; Justice S SParkar; Shabi Ahmed, president of World Education and Development Organisation; S Zafar Mahmood, former member secretary of Sachar Committee; and Zafarul Islam, chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission.

The signatories said, “We share the belief that unless the poor and marginalised are brought into the mainstream and their full capacities realised, this great dream of yours and of every Indian patriot will not be redeemed.”

They said they appreciated that the PM mentioned “the common endeavour of all communities in struggle of our freedom struggle of 1857. They dreamt of a free and strong India and gave their lives for this precious dream”.

“Your (PM) call to replicate today the same spirit of 1857 is reassuring,” the letter said.

Identifying themselves as a group of concerned citizens who had spent a lifetime in educational development of the community, they went on to assure the PM of “utmost cooperation” to take the community into confidence on measures he may propose to deliver on the development agenda.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/eminent-muslim-citizens-want-pm-modi-to-focus-on-education-skills-and-confidence-building-for-minorities/articleshow/69639047.cms

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‘Even if we ignore terrorism, there are other issues’: S Jaishankar hints at Pakistan

Jun 06, 2019

In his first public engagement after taking over as the external affairs minister, Jaishankar also touched on the US-China trade dispute arguing that that every clash presented an opportunity.

Jaishankar said swifter execution of projects in foreign countries would be a top priority for him as India “had come up short” in a number of areas.(PTI File Photo)

SAARC has its problems while BIMSTEC has energy and possibility, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, indicating that the grouping of the Bay of Bengal countries holds more promise for cooperation in South Asia.

“SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) has certain problems and we all know what they are. Even if you were to put terrorism aside…there are connectivity and trade issues. BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) leaders were invited for the Prime Minister’s swearing-in because we see energy, mindset and possibility in that grouping,” Jaishankar said at The Growth Net summit. He was speaking during a session titled Changing World, Changing India.

The members of the Bay of Bengal camp are India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. The BIMSTEC region is home to more than 1.5 billion people or around 22% of the world’s population. Jaishankar said as the largest economy in South Asia, it was paramount for India to work harder to “incentivize cooperation” in the neigbourhood and it did not have to be “reciprocal” all the time.

In his first public engagement after taking over as the external affairs minister, Jaishankar also touched on the United States-China trade dispute arguing that that every clash presented an opportunity.

“There are risks too. My job is to minimise the risks and maximize the opportunities. I think when we survey the landscape we need to see where our interests lie.” He said the scenario had become more complicated and required India “to raise its game.” Jaishankar said the global picture was more complex than five years ago and navigating the world was a complex exercise for any foreign minister.

Jaishankar said swifter execution of projects in foreign countries would be a top priority for him as India “had come up short” in a number of areas. He said projects should be awarded on the basis of “capability and experience” rather than following only the L1 bidding process.

“A better sense of project and finance management in the MEA and a sense of strategy in the finance ministry…that cross-fertilisation will help,” Jaishankar said, revealing that he spent more time last week in the finance and commerce ministries than his own MEA.

On the National Democratic Alliance’s thumping victory in the Lok Sabha elections, the minister said it was very clear that the raft of programmes and efforts to bring change and give hope to the lowest strata of society made a “profound impact.”

“My big takeaway from the elections is that the five years of government created, kept alive and strengthened the expectation of change in the country…It was also a vote of confidence in the government’s ability to manage national security and foreign policy is integral to that,” he said.

Crediting his predecessor Sushma Swaraj, he said the ministry’s image had undergone a significant change globally during the last five years and the MEA would continue to give “enormous importance” to Indians facing any trouble around the world.

“Today there are expectations that the government will help. In earlier days, things worked only for ‘connected Indians’,” he said. He said he was entering the global arena with some very strong cards in his hands.

Jaishankar revealed that before getting the cabinet berth, he was in the The Growth Net’s executive committee and associated with organizing their 7th annual summit. On a lighter note, he added that they were then trying to figure out which minister to invite to the summit.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/even-if-we-ignore-terrorism-there-are-other-issues-s-jaishankar-hints-at-pakistan/story-FF0Mbxt1PXTnlGCWNkOnZK.html

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No Modi-Imran Khan meet planned at SCO meet: MEA

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Jun 6, 2019

NEW DELHI: Prime Minster Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan are not likely to meet on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek next week.

"To the best of my knowledge, no meeting has been planned between PM Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the SCO Summit in Bishkek," Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, told reporters at a press meet on Thursday.

Both Modi and Khan are scheduled to attend the annual SCO summit on June 13-14.

Tensions between the two countries worsened after the Pulwama terror attack in February this year. Both the countries were almost on the brink of a war after India's military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26. In response, Pakistan carried out a counter-offensive the next day.

Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Khan on May 26 spoke to Modi on phone and expressed his desire to work together for peace and prosperity in the region.

Modi on his part called for creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/no-modi-imran-khan-meet-planned-at-sco-meet-mea/articleshow/69675770.cms

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J&K: Militants kill woman, injure man in Pulwama

byAdilAkhzer

June 6, 2019

A woman was killed and a man injured in firing by suspected militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday morning. The injured civilian is being treated at a hospital in Srinagar.

A Jammu & Kashmir Police spokesperson said militants fired on two civilians, including a woman identified as NigeenaBano, and Jalal-ud-din Bafanda in SingooNarbal village of Pulwama district. “In this incident, both the civilians received critical gunshot wounds,” the spokesperson said.

According to local residents, Nigeena and Jalal-ud-din were talking outside a mosque when they were fired at. After the incident, both of them were rushed to a nearby hospital, but Nigeena succumbed to injuries.

A senior doctor at a government health facility at Kakapora, where the two were admitted, said the woman was declared brought dead. Jalal-ud-din was referred to Srinagar-based Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital.

Family members of Nigeena said she had not received any threats. “We are totally shocked. As far I know, she didn’t receive any warning from anyone. We have no idea why she was killed,” Nigeena’s brother Mohammad Shafi Khan said.

“A case was registered under relevant sections. Officers from the local police station are investigating the circumstances of this terror crime,” a J&K police spokesperson said.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jk-woman-shot-dead-by-suspected-militants-in-pulwama-5765977/

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Mideast

Rouhani Reiterates Pro-Peace Stance, Warns of Any Foolish Act against Iran

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a Wednesday telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, re-voiced Tehran's strong support for regional security, but meantime warned that his nation would never hesitate to deliver a firm response to any hostile move.

President Rouhani, in the phone conversation with Qatari king, said that Iran wants to strengthen regional security and is not willing to engage in conflicts with other states.

Rouhani went on to say that Iran will give a “firm” response in case any “foolish” anti-Iranian act starts in the region.

“Regional problems don’t have a military solution and we believe that threat, pressure, blockade, and economic sanction are wrong approaches in relations between governments,” he added.

He welcomed Qatar’s stance in recent meetings in Mecca, noting that Doha’s position was aimed at easing regional tensions.

“Certainly, any meeting will be ineffective, unproductive and even harmful, if it doesn’t draw regional countries to each other,” highlighted Rouhani.

He also congratulated Eid al-Fitr to Qatari Emir and nation.

Qatari Emir, for his part, said that Tehran and Doha stances are close to each other in many areas.

Qatar believes that dialogue is the only way to ease tensions, he said, also appreciating Kuwaiti Emir initiative to reduce regional tensions.

He went on to say that Qatar wants to expand ties with Iran in all areas while appreciating Tehran for supporting the Persian Gulf country during the blockade.

Two weeks ago, Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid TakhtRavanchi, in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, cautioned against US’ provocative behavior in the Middle East, reminding that his country will vigorously exercise its inherent right to self-defense in case a war is imposed.

TakhtRavanchi warned Guterres about “the recent alarming security situation in the broader Persian Gulf region”, alarming that, “There are indications that certain circles from outside of this region--through fabrications, disinformation, fake intelligence and fake news, relying on the support of their allies in the Middle East as well as dispatching naval forces to the region--are pursuing their illegitimate interests by sowing further division and creating more mistrust between regional countries in the Persian Gulf, as well as fomenting insecurity and escalating the already high tension in this volatile region.” 

“If unchecked, the current situation might--sooner or later--go beyond the perimeter of control and thereby lead to another unnecessary regional crisis,” added the Iranian diplomat.

TakhtRavanchi reminded that Tehran “has repeatedly warned about the mischievous intentions of such circles, and the wide-ranging regional and international ramifications of their objectives”.

“Iran has always rejected and continues to reject conflict and war,” he underlined, adding “Iran will never choose war as an option or strategy in pursuing its foreign policy.”

“It should, however, be obvious that if war is imposed on us, Iran will vigorously exercise its inherent right to self-defense in order to defend its nation and to secure its interests,” he asserted.

The diplomat urged the UN and the international community not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing situation “when the region is in turmoil with no bright prospect in sight”, saying that “the international community in general, and the United Nations in particular, cannot and must not remain indifferent with regard to addressing the root causes of the current state of affairs”.

“If the issues are not thoroughly addressed, the eruption of any possible conflict will soon cross over from the regional level and will definitely have serious and extensive implications on international peace and security,” he underlined.

He went on warning, “Inaction--a lose-lose approach--is not an option and can lead to a disaster that must be avoided.”

Tehran has always been criticizing Washington for adopting destructive policies in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

Back in early February, Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif commemorated the 40th anniversary of the fall of Iran’s former dictator, reminding that the US has always been siding with tyrants and monarchs of the region.

“Iranians,” Zarif tweeted on February 06, “are commemorating 40 years of progress despite US pressure, just as Donald Trump again makes accusations against us”.

“US hostility has led it to support dictators, butchers & extremists, who've only brought ruin to our region,” he added.

In a very recent series of moves with negative impact on the region, the White House is increasing tension in the region with intensifying negative propaganda and media hype against Tehran and sending more military forces to the region. 

The US had on Wednesday evacuated its non-essential government employees from Baghdad and Erbil, following Washington's repeated expressions of concern about so-called threats in the Arab country posed by "Iran-backed forces".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to Iraq last Tuesday, pressing Iraqi leaders about what he alleged were the increased dangers to Americans there.

Military analysts believe that the US is paving the ground for escalating tensions against Iran to weaken the country in the region, specially Iraq, and find a pretext to prolong its deployment in the Arab country.

Washington shut down its consulate in the Southern Iraqi city of Basra last year after an attack, Pompeo blamed Iranian militants for "indirect fire" on the building without any evidence.

The analysts said that egged on by the ultra-hawkish duo of John Bolton, the national security adviser, and Pompeo, President Donald Trump has brought US-Iranian relations to the brink of war. Like the war against Iraq in 2003, launched on the pretext of spurious charges about nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and links between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, the crisis with Iran is a manufactured one.

Bolton has reportedly demanded that the Pentagon provide him with an option to dispatch 120,000 troops to the region. Those unprovoked actions followed draconian new economic sanctions that, Pompeo said, would bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, and an announcement that Washington was ending waivers that allow countries such as India, Turkey, and Japan to buy Iranian oil. The new sanctions also target Iran’s exports of steel and other metals.

Joining Bolton on what is called the “B Team” are Bibi, bin Salman, and bin Zayed (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the effective ruler of the United Arab Emirates). Together, they represent Trump’s Coalition of the Killing.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif had last Tuesday warned of plots by a number of radical officials in the US administration to launch false-flag operations in the region, apparently alluding to the recent ship attacks in the UAE that Washington and its Persian Gulf allies are attempting to blame on Tehran.

"We discussed the regional issues and dangers that the policies of extremist individuals in the US administration are trying to impose on the region as well as concerns about the suspicious and sabotage acts that happen in our region, and we had earlier predicted that they will adopt such measures to provoke tensions," Zarif told reporters in New Delhi after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

Meantime, US columnist Stephen Lendman described the Trump administration as the most extremist in US history, reiterating that his top military brass stand strongly opposed to any kind of war against Iran.

 “As irrationally hostile as Trump is toward the Islamic Republic, I believe he’s reluctant to go this far. Pentagon commanders oppose war on Iran and Venezuela,” Lendman told FNA in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

"US war plans were drawn on Iran and updated at least since the Bush/Cheney era, never implemented, likely earlier. The Trump regime is the most extremist in US history. I rule nothing out with the likes of Pompeo and Bolton in charge of DJT’s geopolitical agenda," he added.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980315000415

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With cows, chickens and greenhouses, Qatar takes on regional boycott

Reuters | Updated: Jun 6, 2019

DOHA: Two years after flying in thousands of dairy cows to beat a trade embargo, Qatari milk producer Baladna has made its first exports.

Qatar is the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter but a net importer of nearly everything else. The small but wealthy country has been under a trade and transport boycott by Saudi Arabia and its allies since June 2017 that has forced it to retool an economy once heavily reliant on fellow Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of supporting Islamist terrorist groups. Doha denies this and says the boycott, which closed its only land border and disrupted shipping routes, is an attempt to infringe on its sovereignty.

Baladna received its first cows a month after the boycott and set up a huge diary farm. It says it now supplies more than half of Qatar's fresh milk and is exporting to Afghanistan, Yemen and Oman, and soon to Libya.

Soon after the boycott was imposed, Doha developed new trade routes to replace its former Gulf partners. In late 2017 it opened a $7.4 billion port designed to become a regional transport hub.

Government officials say Baladna's rapid expansion shows the embargo has made Qatar's economy stronger. Their goal is to encourage local producers.

In April, Baladna rolled out a line of fruit juices. In Qatar's supermarkets, brands like Mazzraty, which opened the country's largest poultry plant in January, sit beside "Qatar Farms" displays of local fruit and vegetables.

Vegetable output is up about 20% since mid-2017 to around 66,000 tonnes per year and is expected to increase by 20,000-40,000 tonnes next year as new farms come online, said Sheikh Faleh Bin Naser Al Thani, an agriculture official at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

Qatar is now self-sufficient in dairy and fresh poultry. Before 2017 it produced only about 20% and 10% percent of its needs in those sectors, respectively.

"Qatar after June 5, 2017 is not like Qatar before," said Baladna communications director Saba al-Fadala, referring to the start of the boycott. "We now don't want or need anyone."

Schoolchildren tour the milking parlours of Baladna's farm, where 20,000 cows live in vast air-conditioned sheds. The visitors learn how flying in cows restored milk supplies that had been trucked in before Saudi Arabia closed the border.

Taking a hit

But other sectors of Qatar's economy have suffered, with real estate and retail taking a hit. Shopping malls and hotels once filled with Saudi and UAE tourists at times appear nearly abandoned. Property prices fell sharply amid a supply glut in the run-up to Qatar hosting the World Cup 2022.

In March, Qatar Airways reported its second straight annual loss. Barred from the airspace of countries imposing the boycott, the state-owned carrier has had to re-route many flights, increasing their duration and cost.

At the same time, the boycott has forced Qatar to mount a public relations drive in the United States and Europe to counter claims by rivals that it finances terrorism.

It has also adopted a lower profile in the region after losing many of the bets it placed during the 2011 Arab Spring in Syria, Libya, and Egypt, where Qatar backed Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

But with a national population of just over 320,000 and a $320 billion sovereign fund, Qatar is well-placed to weather the embargo, diplomats and analysts say.

"If you are going to be subject to a blockade, then you better have a lot of money," one banker told Reuters.

In the early months of the crisis, Qatar liquidated nearly $3 billion in US treasury investments and drew down over $40 billion in foreign reserves to support its currency and banks.

The economy has since stabilised, growing 2.2% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018. Qatar's banks have been replenished by foreign deposits replacing much of the Saudi and Emirati money that left, and its stock market was the top performer in the Middle East last year.

Qatar's goal of greater food self sufficiency has required launching agriculture on a commercial scale in one of the world's harshest desert climates.

Nasser al-Khalaf, the managing director of Agrico, a produce grower and greenhouse manufacturer, says his business has boomed since he designed a system to keep fruit and vegetables cool enough to grow year-round.

In a polycarbon greenhouse, rows of ripening hydroponic tomatoes are cooled below 28 degrees Celsius as the temperature outside tops 40. Khalaf said the system allowed him to more than triple fruit and vegetable production to over 15 tonnes per day

Khalaf said his greenhouses are attracting investors looking at farming for the first time, drawn partly by increased subsidies for power, fertiliser and seeds since 2018.

"We never before saw businessmen investing in farms. They liked to invest in buildings and industry, anything but farms," said Sheikh Faleh, the Qatari official.

Rabban Agriculture is one of the new entrants.

Owner Al Rabban Holding - with investments in property, transport and bottled water - is tapping initiatives like a 1 million riyal ($275,000) collateral-free loan from Qatar's Development Bank to build a greenhouse farm, said deputy chairman Khalifa al-Rabban.

Reforms and outreach

Qatari officials and diplomats said there was no sign of a let-up in the Gulf dispute, which has bolstered domestic support for 38-year-old ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

This has allowed him to accelerate reforms requested by Western allies that would have previously have faced local opposition, such as wider labour rights and a liberalised investment code for foreign ownership.

The reforms are intended to position Qatar as "like-minded with the Euro-US community", said a Western diplomat.

Doha pledged nearly $2 billion to expand Al-Udeid, the largest US air base in the region. Qatar Petroleum aims to invest $20 billion in the United States, while the Qatar Investment Authority wants to expand its US portfolio to $45 billion from $30 billion.

Nader Kabbani, director of research at Brookings Doha, said Qatar's tone had changed from initially wanting to resolve the dispute to asserting it can go it alone.

Qatar can do that, said a Western diplomat, thanks to its gas wealth, World Cup exposure and international outreach efforts.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/with-cows-chickens-and-greenhouses-qatar-takes-on-regional-boycott/articleshow/69670759.cms

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Over 200,000 people benefited from Emirati Ramadan project in Lebanon

 

UAE Embassy in Beirut concluded BEIRUT, 6th June, 2019 (WAM) -- Over 200,000 Lebanese, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees benefited from an Emirati Ramadan iftar project in Lebanon.

Coinciding with the Year of Tolerance, the project was launched during Ramadan 1440 by several Emirati charity organisations.

The Ramadan project, which was supervised by the UAE Embassy’s Humanitarian and Development Affairs Attache, was supported by the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, Sharjah Charity International, Human Appeal International and the Dar Al Ber Society.

It also involved supporting orphans and the distribution of food and dates, Zakat Al Fitr and Eid al-Fitr clothes, as well as the organising of daily mass iftars, in cooperation with many Lebanese authorities.

Hamad Saeed Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, stated that the initiative aims to support orphans, widows, people of determination, poor families and elderly people while noting that the project covered most Lebanese cities and villages.

The UAE’s related projects reflect the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which has become a domestic, regional and international model, he added while thanking Emirati organisations, volunteers and strategic partners who ensured the project’s success.

The project’s beneficiaries thanked the UAE for launching humanitarian projects in Lebanon during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

http://wam.ae/en/details/1395302766602

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Zoroastrian Cleric Lauds Imam Khomeini’s Role in Uniting Iranian Nation

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian Zoroastrian priest hailed the constructive role of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, in uniting all religious communities of the country at a sensitive era to topple a US-backed dictator and set up a democracy in the country.

Rashid Khorshidian, Head of the Council of Iranian Mobeds (Zoroastrian priests), on Tuesday at a ceremony on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s demise, said that the late Imam always reiterated that Iran is the country of all Iranians and all Iranians are members of a single nation, adding that the remarks prompted further solidarity among all Iranian ethnic groups.

"Muslims, Zoroastrians, Jews and all Iranians of any ethnic, religious or cultural background are rooted in the country's soil and make efforts for their country's prosperity and progress," the Zoroastrian priest said at a ceremony of commemoration of Imam Khomeini.

The event was attended by the representative of the Zoroastrian community in Iran's parliament EsfandiarEkhtiari, and other officials of the community.

Millions of Iranians commemorated the 30th anniversary of the departure of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, on Tuesday.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei delivered a speech at a ceremony held in Imam Khomeini Mausoleum in Southern outskirt of Tehran on Tuesday afternoon.

Some 50 foreign correspondents and 300 Iranian reporters covered the event.

Imam Khomeini spent many years in exile in Iraq, Turkey and France, from where he led a movement which ultimately put an end to monarchical rule in Iran.

Imam Khomeini passed away aged 86 at the night of June 3, 1989. The late Imam led popular protests against Iran's former Pahlavi regime which was a key ally of the United States.

The late Imam's demise anniversary is one day ahead of another landmark anniversary on June 5, 1963, that marks Imam Khomeini’s first revolt against the monarchy that witnessed demonstrations in Tehran and Qom.

Prior to the Revolution, Imam Khomeini was arrested in 1963 after he made a historic speech in the holy city of Qom, where he lambasted the “capitulation law” granting immunity to Americans on Iranian soil.

Later that year, people took to the streets to protest the political leader’s arrest. Taken by surprise by the massive public demonstrations of support, the Pahlavi regime’s forces launched a bloody crackdown on people to quell the protests.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980315000437

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives Telephone Call from Turkish President

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received a telephone call today from President RecepTayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey, who congratulated the monarch on the advent of Eid Al-Fitr.

For his part, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques thanked the President for his noble feelings, appealing to Allah Almighty to bestow good omen on the Arab and Islmaic nations.

http://alriyadhdaily.com/article/a96a74ba521940528e7792911d9e35e7

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SouthEast Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi and Viktor Orban agree ‘continuously growing Muslim populations’ is one of greatest challenges

Myanmar leader condemns illegal immigration in discussion with Hungary PM on rare trip to Europe

 

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, met Hungary’s far-right nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban as part of a rare trip to Europe

As part of a rare trip to Europe, Ms Suu Kyi, who has been condemned for her handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis, met the Hungarian leader in Budapest on Wednesday.

“The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – south-east Asia and Europe – is migration,” the Hungarian government said in a statement after the meeting.

“They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of co-existence with continuously growing Muslim populations.”

Mr Orban said Hungary was in favour of trade cooperation between Myanmar and the EU, but rejects “attempts at the export of democracy”.

He said the bureaucrats in Brussels and the West “seek to conflate unrelated issues such as economic cooperation and internal political questions”, according to the statement.

The far-right leader has repeatedly clashed with the EU over the issue of immigration after his government declared “a crisis situation due to mass immigration” in 2015.

Mr Orban has called for immigration be controlled by national governments, not EU bureaucrats, and says he will resist any EU-wide attempt to strip Hungary of its right to protect its borders.

His government was accused of using anti-migrant rhetoric that fuels “xenophobic attitudes, fear and hatred” in a report by the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights.

After his meeting with Myanmar’s leader, Mr Orban said he had “great respect for Aung San Suu Kyi and all she has done for her country’s freedom and democratic transformation”.

Ms Suu Kyi was once lauded as a champion of democracy after being elected as civilian leader in 2015 following 15 years of house arrest for opposing Myanmar’s military dictatorship. But she has since fallen from grace on the world stage after failing to condemn the military’s violent crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority in 2017.

The massacre, which saw thousands of Rohingya raped and killed, was described by the UN as an act of genocide. Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has since failed to take the steps necessary to guarantee the safe return of the million Rohingya now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Miss Suu Kyi has undertaken the trip to central Europe with the aim of strengthening Myanmar’s economic ties in the region. Prior to Hungary, she visited the Czech Republic where she met with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/aung-san-suu-kyi-viktor-orban-muslim-population-immigration-meeting-budapest-a8946686.html

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Many Muslim countries ‘silent’ on Uyghur persecution

 

China holds more than a million people of Turkic ethnicity in concentration camps. Western countries and Turkey have reported the violation of religious freedom. The appeal of Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Many Muslim countries continue to remain silent" about the persecution of the Uyghurs, indeed they "support the repression.

"It is a shame because we are Muslims and suffer religious persecution,” says Dolkun Isa (see photo), president of the World Uyghur Congress, receiving the National Endowment for Democracy award, founded by the US Congress for the promotion of democracy in the world.

The award, a statuette that recalls the goddess of democracy - the statue erected by students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 - was conferred two days ago, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the massacre of students and workers in the central square of Beijing.

The Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group living in Xinjiang, have been demanding greater political and economic autonomy for decades, but Beijing accuses them of separatism and terrorism, justifying a harsh policy of military control.

In recent months, the UN has also accused Beijing of establishing concentration camps to eradicate the radicalism of over a million Uyghurs by brainwashing them. Beijing defends itself by saying that such camps are instead a place of professional training for the confined population.

So far this practice - which recalls the Nazi style - has been condemned by Western countries and Turkey, but other Islamic countries have remained silent. For Isa, China is violating the freedom of religion of the Uyghur population, forcing them to eat pork, drink alcohol and not fast during Ramadan. "If they refuse - he explains - they are accused of being radicalized".

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Many-Muslim-countries-%26lsquo%3Bsilent%26rsquo%3B-on-Uyghur-persecution-47211.html

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Wrecked mosques, police watch: A tense Ramzan in Xinjiang

AFP | Updated: Jun 5, 2019

HOTAN, China: The corner where Heyitkah Mosque in China's restive Xinjiang region once hummed with life is now a concrete parking lot where all traces of the tall, domed building have been erased.

While Muslims around the world celebrated the end of Ramzan with prayers and festivities this week, the recent destruction of dozens of mosques in Xinjiang highlights the increasing pressure Uighurs and other ethnic minorities face in the heavily policed region.

Behind the lot in the city of Hotan, the slogan "Educate the people for the party" is emblazoned in red on the wall of a primary school where students must scan their faces upon entering the razor-wired gates.

The mosque "was beautiful," recalled a vendor at a nearby bazaar. "There were a lot of people there."

Satellite images reviewed by AFP and visual analysis non-profit Earthrise Alliance show that 36 mosques and religious sites have been torn down or had their domes and corner spires removed since 2017.

In the mosques that are open, worshippers go through metal detectors while surveillance cameras monitor them inside.

"The situation here is very strict, it takes a toll on my heart," said one Uighur, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

"I don't go any more," he added, referring to mosques. "I'm scared."

In the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, no longer does the sunrise prayer call echo throughout the city — a ritual the manager of the city's central mosque once proudly shared with tourists.

On Wednesday, locals celebrating Eid al-Fitr quietly filed into the entrance of state-approved Idkah Mosque — one of the largest in China — as police and officials fenced off the wide square surrounding the building and plainclothes men monitored every person's actions.

It was another low-key Ramzan for Muslims in Xinjiang, with restaurants busy serving food to customers throughout the day, when practising Muslims fast.

In Hotan on Friday -- a holy day for believers -- the only mosque in the city was empty after sundown, an important prayer session when Muslim families typically break their daily fast.

Earlier in the day, at least 100 people attended a midday session but the vast majority were elderly men.

The ruling Communist Party "sees religion as this existential threat," said James Leibold, an expert on ethnic relations and policy in China at La Trobe University.

Over the long term, the Chinese government wants to achieve "the secularisation of Chinese society," he told AFP.

The Xinjiang government told AFP that it "protects religious freedoms" and citizens can celebrate Ramzan "within the scope permitted by law", without elaborating.

The authorities have thrown a high-tech security net across the region, installing cameras, mobile police stations and checkpoints in seemingly every street in response to a spate of deadly attacks blamed on Islamic extremists and separatists in recent years.

An estimated one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking ethnic groups are held in a vast network of internment camps.

After initially denying their existence, Chinese authorities last year acknowledged that they run "vocational education centres" aimed at steering people clear of religious extremism by teaching them Mandarin and China's laws.

In those centres, it was a different Ramzan.

The Xinjiang government told AFP that people in the centres are not allowed to hold religious activities because Chinese law forbids it within education facilities, but they are free to do so "when they return home on weekends".

In recent years, Chinese authorities have ramped up controls on public displays of religion and Islamic traditions in Xinjiang.

AFP reporters did not see any veiled women and few men sporting long beards during a week-long visit to the region. Former internment camp inmates have said they were incarcerated for these outward signs of their religion.

Places of worship too have become targets of Beijing's draconian security measures.

In the satellite images analysed by AFP and Earthrise Alliance, 30 religious sites were completely demolished while six were desecrated, with domes and minarets removed.

AFP reporters visited about half a dozen sites, and found that some mosques had been repurposed into public spaces.

Police officers blocked journalists from entering Artux, just north of Kashgar, where the town's grand mosque and dozens of other community mosques were destroyed.

The area is some 22 kilometres (14 miles) away from an enormous complex believed to be a re-education centre. Visible from a nearby village, the facility has razor-wired walls, watchtowers and imposing block buildings.

In Kashgar, two cameras perched on the columns of a former mosque point at its entrance. There is no minaret or dome -- instead, a shop selling dresses lies to its right alongside dwellings.

A demolished mosque in Hotan has been converted into a garden, paved with concrete walkways and sparsely planted trees.

On the outskirts of town, situated between a cemetery and sand dunes, two white flags and a pile of burned refuse and debris was all that was left of an old shrine named Imam Asim.

Uighurs consider these mosques and shrines "their ancestral heritage," said Omer Kanat, director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

"The Chinese government just wants to erase everything... that is different from Han Chinese, everything which belongs to Uighur culture or Islamic culture in the region," he said.

JumaMaimaiti, the official imam of Idkah Mosque, told AFP in an interview arranged by the propaganda department that the demolition of mosques "has never happened here."

"But our government has proceeded to protect some key mosques," he added, and said that the city of Kashgar has over 150 mosques.

Though Beijing's restrictions on religious piety, such as fasting, are not new, observers say conditions have deteriorated to the point where celebrations for the holy month in Xinjiang are reduced or largely invisible.

Islamic greetings and openly fasting in public are no longer permitted, said Darren Byler, a lecturer at the University of Washington who focuses on Uighur culture.

While there are Uighurs who continue to practise their faith, they are "internalising it at this moment — they're not expressing it openly," he said.

At state-backed mosques, religious activity is controlled as Beijing pursues a five-year plan to "Sinicise" Islam as the "only way for a healthy development of Islam" in the country, said Yang Faming, president of the state-backed Islamic Association of China, in January.

Propaganda signs with slogans such as "love the Party, love the country" hang at many mosques.

In Yengisarcounty, south of Kashgar, one mosque hung a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping inside its premises, where most posters were dedicated to warning against religious extremism and promoting ethnic harmony.

"Unity and stability is a blessing," read a red banner draped across the wall. "Division and turmoil is a disaster."

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/wrecked-mosques-police-watch-a-tense-ramzan-in-xinjiang/articleshow/69661847.cms

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Europe

Muslim Community Invited Dundee Folk of All Faiths to Celebrate Eid Al-Fitr at Camperdown

By Sheanne Mulholland and Lindsey Hamilton

June 6, 2019

The Muslim community is inviting Dundee locals of all faiths to join them to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with an annual festival at Camperdown Park.

Eid in the Park in 2018

Eid-In-The-Park will bring the celebrations of the religious festival Eid to a close, uniting all members of the Muslim community in the city.

Cultural activities, stalls, rides, games and lots of food stands will be set up at Camperdown Park, welcoming people of all faiths.

Qaiser Habib Qadri, secretary of Tayside Islamic Centre, Victoria Road, said: “It’s a fun party with lots of things for the kids to do, and a chance for all the family to come together.”

Eid began on Tuesday, when thousands of Muslims across the city celebrated the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

More than 1,300 people took part in prayers at Dundee’s Central Mosque to celebrate the occasion.

Morning prayers at the end of Eid at Dundee central mosque

Dundee’s Muslim leader Bashir Chohan said that about 500 people attended prayers at the mosque at 8am on Tuesday followed by another 800 at the second prayer session at 10am.

He said: “Eid is a very important celebratory day for Muslims as we mark the end of Ramadan and everything that means for us, including regular fasting during daylight hours.”

Mr Chohan said that people had travelled from all over Tayside to come to prayers.

“It was so good to see so many people come together to mark this special day,” he said.

“Following Ramadan and the prayers for Eid, families gathered together to exchange presents, enjoy a celebratory feast and just generally begin to get back to normal life.”

He added that the self-imposed confinement for extra prayer for himself and several others of the Muslim community had also now come to an end.

He said: “For myself and several others the last 10 days have been spent confined to the Mosque taking part in optional prayer and removing ourselves from all the temptations and distractions of the outside word.

“This is an important part of my faith and something I was very happy to do in my service to God.”

Celebrations were also held at Al-Maktoum Mosque, on Blackness Road, and yesterday celebrations continued at Bilal Mosque, Dura Street and Tayside Islamic Centre on Victoria Road.

Special prayers are held at these sessions followed by a greeting session and a chance to meet friends before families head home to enjoy dinner and exchange gifts.

Qaiser Habib Qadri said: “Most people take time off work over this period, it’s one of two of our big holidays.

“It brings all Muslims together, we are all happy on this day and are like a family.”

The festival of Eid traditionally takes place over a three-day period, determined by the lunar phase of the moon.

It marks the end of Ramadan, which commemorates the moment when the Holy Koran was first revealed to Prophet Mohammed.

Eid-In-The-Park is on from noon-5pm on Sunday and is free to attend at Camperdown Park.

https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/muslim-community-inviting-dundee-folk-of-all-faiths-to-celebrate-eid-al-fitr-at-camperdown/

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TV cameraman attacked while filming outside mosque in northern France

FRANCE

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the violent attack that a member of a mosque in northern France’s Normandy region carried out against a France 3 TV cameraman to prevent him from shooting background footage outside for a report about the mosque’s imam, who was on trial.

The attack took place on 3 June in Petit-Couronne, a small town near the city of Rouen. After a violent altercation in front of the mosque, the assailant dragged the cameraman inside and kept him there by force until the police rescued him. In the course of the fight, the journalist’s camera was damaged and he lost his press badge, which was picked up and photographed by another man.  

“We strongly condemn this unacceptable act of violence at a time of widespread mistrust of journalists, who are often targeted while just doing their job to report the news,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk.

“This attempt to intimidate and prevent a journalist from filming on the public highway and the fact that his press ID was photographed in order to threaten him afterwards must be condemned with the utmost firmness.”

The police took the assailant before an investigating judge, who placed him under investigation on suspicion of “theft with violence” but did not detain him. The cameraman, who filed a complaint against his assailant, has been given five days’ medical leave.

A court in Boulogne-Sur-Mer has meanwhile sentenced the mosque’s imam to two years in prison on a charge of helping migrants to cross the Channel illegally.

https://rsf.org/en/news/tv-cameraman-attacked-while-filming-outside-mosque-northern-france

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Athens mosque to open on Friday, but no prayer services yet

APOSTOLOS LAKASAS

Athens’ first mosque will officially open its doors on Friday after numerous delays, though it is not expected to start operating immediately as its administrative committee has not been appointed yet.

Education and Religious Affairs Minister Costas Gavroglou is expected to attend the opening in the Votanikos district at noon.

The mosque, which will have no minarets or loudspeakers, will accommodate just 300 men and 50 women of the city’s approximately 250,000 Muslims.

The construction of the mosque, which was first announced decades ago, has been plagued by delays and protests by far-right and religious groups.

Greek members of parliament finally voted in favour of a measure to accelerate the construction process in August 2016.

In recent months, vandals sprayed anti-Muslim slogans and pasted flyers with hateful messages on the walls of the building and attached a wooden cross on a metal door.

The opening itself has been repeatedly pushed back, with the government most recently pledging to have it ready ahead of the Ramadan.

Athens’ Muslims have so far been obliged to use about 70 unauthorized prayer rooms.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/241295/article/ekathimerini/news/athens-mosque-to-open-on-friday-but-no-prayer-services-yet

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South Asia

Afghan forces rescue 83 people from a Taliban prison in Faryab province

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Thursday, 06 Jun 2019

The Afghan security forces have rescued 83 people from a Taliban prison in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.

The 209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the Afghan forces conducted the operation in Shakh area of Qaisar district.

The statement further added that the foreign forces also supported the Afghan armed forces during the operation.

The Afghan forces transferred the freed hostages to Maimana airport, the 209th Shaheen Corps added.

Furthermore, the Afghan forces arrested ten foreign ISIS members who had defected to Taliban in Darzab district last year.

The security forces also killed three prison guards of Taliban and arrested three others during the operation.

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-rescue-83-people-from-a-taliban-prison-in-faryab-province-03550/

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Taliban’s Guerrilla warfare commander arrested in Farah province

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Wednesday, 05 Jun 2019

The Afghan security forces have arrested the Guerilla warfare commander of Taliban in western Farah province.

The Police Headquarters of Farah in a statement said the Afghan Police and Intelligence forces have arrested the Guerrilla warfare commander of Taliban Mullah Mohammad Khan in Farah city.

The statement further added that the security forces conducted the operation on Tuesday night in Chaharbagh Village.

Mullah Mohammad Khan was previously operating as the shadow district chief of Khak-e-Safa district.

He is also responsible for murdering at least 40 personnel of the Afghan Local Police forces in Khak-e-Safa, the Police Headquarters of Farah said.

Furthermore, the security forces arrested four accomplices of Mullah Mohammad Khan.

The security forces confiscated 3 Ak-47 rifles, hand grenades and other munitions during the same operation.

This comes as the security situation in some districts of Farah province has deteriorated during the recent years.

Taliban militants are active in remote and restive areas the province and often conduct terrorist related activities.

Meanwhile, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against the anti-government armed groups in Farah.

https://www.khaama.com/talibans-guerrilla-warfare-commander-arrested-in-farah-province-03549/

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Taliban militants suffer casualties in Kandahar, Uruzgan operations

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Wednesday, 05 Jun 2019

The Afghan security forces carried out separate operations in southern Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces inflicting casualties on Taliban militants.

The 205th Atal Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the 1st Brigade of 205th Army Corps carried out artillery strikes in ShahwaliKot of Kandahar.

The statement further added that the artillery strikes left two Taliban militants dead and three others wounded.

Similarly, the 4th Brigade of 205th Atal Army Corps conducted mortar strikes in Uruzgan province killing 3 Taliban militants.

The operation was conducted in KhasUruzgan district of the province, the 205th Atal Corps said.

The 205th Atal Corps also added that the mortar strikes also wounded nine Taliban fighters.

The security forces also destroyed two motorcycles and a vehicle during the same operation.

Both Kandahar and Uruzgan are among the relatively volatile provinces in the South. Taliban militants are active in remote and restive areas of the two provinces.

In the meantime, the Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations against the anti-government armed groups in the two province.

Similarly, the U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive parts of the country to suppress Taliban and other anti-government militants.

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-militants-suffer-casualties-in-kandahar-uruzgan-operations-03548/

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NATO allies, partners reaffirm steadfast support to financial sustainment of Afghan forces

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Wednesday, 05 Jun 2019

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with members of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund Board

The NATO allies and partners on Tuesday reaffirmed their steadfast support to financial sustainment of the Afghan forces.

They reaffirmed their support at the plenary meeting of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund Board.

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the donors agreed to extend their funding support through 2024 at Brussels summit last year.

He also added that the international community had earlier made similar commitments in Chicago and Warsaw Summits.

Furthermore, Mr. Stoltenberg said “It is difficult to overstate the political significance of the demonstration of long-term commitment by the international community to Afghanistan’s security.”

Mr. Stoltenberg also added that it would be difficult to overstate and how much this commitment is influencing the Taliban’s considerations to enter into a discussion on a negotiated solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

However, he said “The Afghan National Army Trust Fund plays an important part in linking this international commitment with worthwhile projects that improve the capabilities of the Afghan forces and help keeping them in the fight.”

He also highlighted that today’s meeting “is evidence of strong and continued commitment to the financial support of the Afghan security forces, improving chances for a negotiated solution to the conflict and for peace that all Afghans demand.”

As of 15 May 2019, total contributions made to the Trust Fund amount to 2.8 billion U.S. dollars. The ANA Trust Fund is open for contributions by the broader International Community, according to a NATO news release.

https://www.khaama.com/nato-allies-partners-reaffirm-steadfast-support-to-financial-sustainment-of-afghan-forces-03547/

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Afghanistan remains NATO’s highest operational priority: Stoltenberg

By Khaama Press / in Afghanistan / on Thursday, 06 Jun 2019

The Secretary of NATO has said Afghanistan remains the highest operational priority of the alliance.

Stoltenberg made the remarks during a meeting with the U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Ambassador ZalmayKhalilzad.

“We remain committed to our goal of ensuring Afghanistan never again becomes a platform to export terrorism,” said the Secretary General.

He also added “Ambassador Khalilzad has created a genuine platform for peace discussions, and this issue is now high up on the agenda of all Afghan political players and Afghan people in general.”

“It is in the interest of our Afghan friends and in the interest of us all that these peace talks succeed,” Stoltenberg said.

According to Stoltenberg “One essential condition for this success is that we are all on the same page and that we all push in the same direction to secure peace.”

He stressed that the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission helps create the conditions for peace, with training and funding for the Afghan security forces.

https://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-remains-natos-highest-operational-priority-stoltenberg-03551/

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Following Easter terror attacks, Sri Lanka proposes new law on fake news

June 6, 2019

The Sri Lankan government Wednesday decided to introduce a five-year jail term for those caught spreading fake news and hate speech on social media.

In a statement, the Sri Lanka government said the offenders will also be fined one million rupees ($5,715) and that the cabinet of ministers had approved the proposal by the acting justice minister. It did not immediately release a definition of the two offences, however, it said the penal code will be amended to introduce new penalties.

The government alleged that social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have been used to spread hate in a country where ethnic divisions still linger after decades of war.

The Sri Lankan government had shut down Internet access in March last year to prevent violence when anti-Muslim mobs killed three people and destroyed hundreds of homes, shops, vehicles and mosques.

A nine-day ban was imposed on social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp following the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels by the ISIS killing 258 people and injuring over 500 others. Nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts. Sri Lanka initially imposed the emergency on April 23 to crack down on the nine suicide bombers. Thirteen arrests have been made so far.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/following-easter-terror-attacks-sri-lanka-proposes-new-law-on-fake-news-5767794/

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Africa

Attack on Eid day kills 8 Egypt police in Sinai

AFPJune 05, 2019

Militants on Wednesday killed eight Egyptian policemen in an attack on a checkpoint in the restive Sinai Peninsula, the authorities said, as the country marked the Muslim EidulFitr holiday.

The northeastern region has long been the hotbed of an insurgency linked to the militant Islamic State group and security forces have regularly been hit.

“Terrorist elements targeted a checkpoint west of El-Arish early this morning... The exchange of fire killed five terrorist elements and eight police were martyred,” an interior ministry statement said.

Some militants escaped and security forces are following “their movements”, the ministry added.

A security source said reinforcements had been dispatched to the checkpoint near El-Arish, capital of North Sinai province.

“The checkpoint is currently surrounded by the army and police,” he said.

Three members of the Central Security Force, under the control of the interior ministry, were also wounded in the attack and taken to El-Arish public hospital, a medical source told AFP.

Egyptian state television said there were fears the death toll could rise amid reports of attacks on multiple checkpoints. It broadcast still images it said were of the slain attackers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bloodshed.

'Hard for a mother'

Egyptian social media users paid tribute online to the policemen killed as people were celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

“It's very hard for a mother waiting for her son to ring her and send her Eid greetings to receive a call that he has been killed,” prominent actor Mahmoud al-Bezzawy wrote on Twitter.

The interior ministry did not release the identities of the slain officers.

Egypt has for years been battling insurgents in the North Sinai affiliated with the Islamic State group.

Hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in militant attacks which surged after the army's ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by general turned president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Police raids in May killed 16 suspected militants in North Sinai.

The interior ministry said last month it had intelligence that militants were planning attacks on “important and vital facilities”, as well as prominent figures in El-Arish.

In late 2017, North Sinai was the scene of the deadliest attack in Egypt's modern history when militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque, without any group claiming responsibility.

Sisi has presented himself as a bulwark against terrorism and a rock of political stability in a region hit by turmoil.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide offensive against the militants focused mainly on the North Sinai.

According to official figures, around 650 militants have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers.

No independent statistics are available and the region is largely cut off to journalists, making verification of casualty figures extremely difficult.

The Egyptian government has organised rare media visits closely supervised by the military.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486676/attack-on-eid-day-kills-8-egypt-police-in-sinai

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Uganda: Islamic Banking Already in Uganda, Says Kasaija

 

The Minister of Finance, Mr MatiaKasaija, has said no amount of opposition will stop the operationalisation of Islamic Banking in Uganda because it has already kicked off.

In an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Mr Kasaija revealed that in his Budget speech next week, he has prepared an explanation why the banking system was introduced in the country.

He said Islamic Banking is already operational in the country after he signed off the instruments operationalising it and said Ugandans should stop associating it with terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism.

"We already have Islamic Banking because I signed off the instruments. We should stop this thing of generalising all Muslims as terrorists. We already have money from their banks," Mr Kasaija said, noting that banks such as the Islamic Development Bank are already using the system and giving Ugandans money.

"Their concept is that they do not believe in earning interest from the loans they give. Instead when you make profits, you share the profits and when you make losses, both the borrower and the lender share the losses," he said.

During their annual general meeting last Saturday, bishops under their umbrella organisation Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), which brings together Anglicans, Catholics and Orthodox churches, resolved to lobby government to stay the implementation of Islamic Banking system, arguing that they do not understand its motive and how it works.

This drew a backlash from Muslim leaders of various Islamic denominations in the country during Idd prayers on Tuesday, who warned the bishops to refrain from mobilising against Islamic Banking and advised them to seek knowledge from Ministry of Finance or Bank of Uganda if they want to understand how it works rather than undermining it through the media.

During their annual general meeting at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Kampala on Saturday, the bishops speculated that Muslims could be using Islamic Banking to offer financial and educational services as a bait to lure Christians into Islam.

During Idd prayers at Kibuli Mosque on Tuesday, Prince KassimNakibinge, the titular head of the Muslim community in Uganda, said Bank of Uganda and the Ministry of Finance are well acquainted with how the Islamic Banking system works and it is working in other parts of the world such as England, the home of the Head of the Anglican Church.

Background

Besides spreading religion as their core mandate, faith-based institutions own strings of other businesses ranging from schools, printing and publishing houses and lately, they have ventured into banking and financial services.

The Muslims are affiliated to banks such as Tropical Bank and Cairo International Bank. The Catholic Church owns Centenary Bank.

The Orthodox and Anglican Churches recently came up with Ecumenical Church Loan Fund.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201906060303.html

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North America

An American family detained in Syria is sent back to the US

June 6, 2019

Written by Vivian Yee

Two American women and six children affiliated with the Islamic State group have been sent back to the United States from Syria at the request of U.S. authorities, U.S. officials and local forces in northeastern Syria said Wednesday.

The transfer was one of the few repatriations of ISIS-linked women or children from Syria to Western countries since the group lost the last of its territory in March.

The eight Americans were part of a Cambodian American family from the Seattle area that had traveled to Syria to join the militants, according to one of the U.S. officials, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. They had not yet arrived in the United States on Wednesday, the official said.

The group includes four sisters who were brought to Syria by their parents, according to Kimberly Polman, an American Canadian woman who was detained with the family in Syria. She said that the sisters’ parents were killed there.

The other four Americans are young children born to the two older sisters, Polman, who also traveled to Syria to join ISIS, said in an interview in February.

Her account was confirmed by a person close to the family.

The family was among the roughly 12,000 foreign women and children whom local Kurdish authorities have been holding in detention camps scattered across northeastern Syria, along with about 1,000 foreign fighters and at least 60,000 Syrians and Iraqis. All were in custody after being captured or having surrendered to U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces as the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate in Syria crumbled.

Now, amid urgent questions about what should happen to ISIS followers marooned in overcrowded camps and prisons in Syria and Iraq, authorities who run the facilities are releasing some of them to return home or to face trial in Iraq — a slow, halting process that still leaves many thousands stranded in miserable conditions without any resolution of their fate.

In the face of security concerns and public opinion that is firmly against repatriating people who are viewed as potential threats, few governments have retrieved their citizens from the camps. Most of those who have been brought back have been children, sometimes accompanied by their mothers.

About 900 Syrian female relatives and children of Islamic State fighters were freed this week under the auspices of local Arab tribal leaders, said Mostapha Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led force. Norway recently agreed to take back five orphan children whose parents were ISIS followers. Within the last month, Kazakhstan, one of the few countries repatriating substantial numbers of people from Syria, brought back 469 people, mostly women and children.

Iraq, where thousands more foreign ISIS followers are being held, has sent a little less than half of the 1,060 foreign children it was holding back to their home countries. Of those repatriated, 188 children of Turkish women who joined the Islamic State, as young as 1 and as old as 16, were returned to Turkey last week. Iraq has sentenced some of their mothers to death for their membership in the group.

The Americans repatriated from Syria this week wanted to go back and did so “without any pressure or coercion,” Abdulkarim Omar, a senior official with the Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria, said in a statement. He did not identify the Americans or provide any other details.

It was not clear whether they would face prosecution when they came back to the United States, or what would happen to them.

Polman said the Americans had originally been a family of seven — a mother, father and five daughters, who were still children when they came to Syria. The parents and eldest daughter were killed in Syria, she said, leaving four younger daughters, two of whom married ISIS fighters and had children.

The four surviving sisters and four children are now being repatriated.

The Islamic State, which once controlled territory the size of Britain across Iraq and Syria, lost its last scrap of territory in late March, after a four-year military campaign to defeat it.

As the Syrian camps overflowed last winter and the Kurdish authorities and humanitarian groups alike struggled to shelter, feed and care for thousands of ISIS followers and their families, foreign governments were forced to weigh the futures of their citizens with new urgency.

Apart from the security concerns, there are logistical, moral and legal dilemmas. Prosecuting ISIS suspects at home can be difficult because of unwieldy laws and uneven battlefield evidence. When it comes to women, whose roles in the group were fluid, and children, who were given no choice about joining but may have received training or been coerced into violence, it can be hard to pinpoint who may pose a risk and who may not.

Some countries, like Britain and Australia, have chosen to strip their ISIS-linked nationals of citizenship. A few, including Kosovo, Russia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia, have repatriated large numbers. Others are allowing Iraq to prosecute their citizens, despite well-publicized concerns about its disregard for due process rights, reliance on confessions obtained under torture and use of the death penalty.

The Trump administration has pushed other countries to take back their citizens, but it is unclear how many Americans the United States has repatriated. Only a small number of Americans went to join the Islamic State, with many more coming from European, Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

Though it has brought back and prosecuted a handful of the small number of American fighters who joined the Islamic State, the administration has sought to bar HodaMuthana, an American woman accused of spreading propaganda for ISIS, over a technical question about her citizenship.

A State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the government was working to verify the citizenship of people claiming to be American in conflict zones on a case-by-case basis.

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/an-american-family-detained-in-syria-is-sent-back-to-the-us-5767703/

 

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   1


  • "Eminent Muslim citizens hail PM Modi’s outreach to minorities".

    It is good to hear that a group of eminent citizens from the Muslim community have welcomed PM Modi’s recent remarks on the need to address the welfare of minorities, and offered to engage with him on issues of educational backwardness, skill development and confidence building measures under the law. We should wish them the best.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 6/6/2019 1:36:14 PM



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