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Found 78 results

  1. NEW DELHI: Indian police said Thursday they were still hunting for two men suspected of murdering a Muslim folk singer because his performance angered a Hindu priest, sparking communal tensions. Adam Khan was murdered in late September in western Rajasthan state after the priest complained the singer's rendition of a particular tune failed to invoke the spirit of a temple goddess. A group of men set upon the 45-year-old singer in Jaisalmer, breaking his instruments before beating him to death, police said. Khan's relatives reported the murder to police despite warnings from the powerful Hindu community. Nearly two dozen Muslim families have since fled the area, fearing retribution, in what police say is a dispute within India´s complex caste system. One of the accused, Ramesh Suthar, was arrested in early October but two other suspected attackers remain on the run, police said. "Several teams of police are working to arrest the accused. We will nab them soon," Gaurav Yadav, Jaisalmer police chief, told AFP. Khan belonged to Manganyar caste, a largely Muslim community of folk singers from Rajasthan and neighbouring Pakistan. The Manganyar traditionally sing at Hindu temples and are popular with tourists in the far western Thar desert region. Yadav said the death has sown divisions between Hindus and Muslims, adding police were trying to persuade Muslim families that fled to return, assuring their protection, he added. But the incident is the latest in a string of vigilante attacks by Hindu hardliners on the Muslim minority in western Rajasthan state ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party. In April, a Hindu mob killed a Muslim cattle trader in Alwar district after he was accused of smuggling cows for slaughter. Cows are considered sacred by many Hindus and beef consumption is a flashpoint issue in Hindu-majority India. Vigilantes raided a hotel in Rajasthan´s capital Jaipur in May after the owners were accused of serving beef. Critics of Modi´s ruling BJP say Hindu radicals have been emboldened since the party swept to power in 2014, with dozens of Muslims lynched by mobs across India.
  2. Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh (C) nominated candidate of political party Milli Muslim League (MML), waves to his supporters during an election campaign for the National Assembly NA-120 constituency in Lahore, Pakistan September 9, 2017. Photo: Reuters 1 ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday reserved its decision in the case pertaining to the registration of Milli Muslim League (MML), the political front of the Jamaat-ud-Daa'wa (JuD), as a political party. The ECP told MML counsel Advocate Raja Abdur Rehman that the letter written by the Interior Ministry objecting the registration says the party is associated with a proscribed outfit. To this, Rehman replied that no party member has any association with any proscribed outfit and that the party has fulfilled all legal requirements for registration. The ECP wondered why the party is not approaching the ministry regarding the issue, to which the MML asked under what law should the party approach the Interior Ministry. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/150d8c77fd984eaa0ebf26678bd7c837.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTAvMTEvMjAxNyA3OjM3OjU2IEFNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9MW5WVVFOUHMrWFZOSldOUE1na2JYUT09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center] The Ministry of Interior in September wrote to the ECP conveying its objection to the candidature of MML nominee Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh in the NA-120 by-election. Sheikh is affiliated with Jamaat-ud-Daa'wa (JuD) and his party has been registered under a new name to contest the election, the letter read. The JuD is under scrutiny after the Interior Ministry listed in the Second Schedule of the ATA 1997 in January this year. Sheikh independently contested the NA-120 by-election in Lahore last month on the electoral symbol of an 'energy saver', bagging 5,822 votes ? securing the number four position. Though he lost to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Kulsoom Nawaz, the gaining of almost 6,000 votes by a first-time candidate surprised analysts. Pakistan receives negative feedback over MML?s active participation in politics MoFA asks interior ministry to keep an eye on banned outfits; interior ministry recommends ECP not to register MML ?Recent political activities of the group [Milli Muslim League] have also been officially objected at diplomatic level ? Ministry of Foreign Affairs has highlighted our international obligations and commitment to National Action Plan and recommended that Ministry of Interior take up the matter of registration and activities of MML and its association with proscribed organisations with the Election Commission of Pakistan to avoid any negative consequences for Pakistan and therefore recommended that MML application for registration should not be supported for registration,? read the content of the letter the Interior Ministry wrote the ECP. ?The Ministry of Interior has taken up the issue with security agencies. The reply of one agency is awaited; while the other agency has intimated that indulgence of proscribed/under observation organisation in the political process with an aim to win legitimacy is a serious issue, thereby neutralising the gains of the National Action Plan. Given the clamour, philosophy, outreach and modus operandi to operate, it is difficult to believe that the MML will tread its own path, completely at variance with its mother organisation. In view of the above, the registration of MML is not supported,? read the letter exclusively made available with The News.
  3. GENEVA/YANGON: The United Nations braced on Friday for a possible ?further exodus? of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh six weeks after the world?s fastest-developing refugee emergency began, UN humanitarian aid chief said. Some 515,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar?s western state of Rakhine in an unrelenting movement of people that began after Myanmar security forces responded to Rohingya militant attacks with a brutal crackdown. The United Nations has denounced the Myanmar military offensive as ethnic cleansing but Myanmar insists its forces are fighting ?terrorists? who have killed civilians and burnt villages. Rights groups say more than half of more than 400 Rohingya villages in the north of Rakhine state have been torched in a campaign by the security forces and Buddhist vigilantes to drive out Muslims. Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, reiterated an appeal for access to the population in northern Rakhine, saying the situation was ?unacceptable?. Buddhist-majority Myanmar has blocked most access to the area, although some agencies have offices open in towns there and the International Committee of the Red Cross is helping the Myanmar Red Cross to deliver aid. ?This flow of people of Myanmar hasn?t stopped yet. Obviously there?s into the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya still in Myanmar, and we want to be ready in case there is a further exodus,? Lowcock told a news briefing in Geneva. Lowcock said a senior UN official was expected to visit Myanmar in the next few days. An estimated 2,000 Rohingya are arriving in Bangladesh every day, Joel Millman of the International Organisation for Migration, told a separate briefing. Myanmar officials have said they attempted to reassure groups trying to flee to Bangladesh but could not stop people who were not citizens from leaving. The official Myanmar News Agency said on Friday ?large numbers? of Muslims were preparing to cross the border. It cited their reasons as ?livelihood difficulties?, health problems, a ?belief? of insecurity and fear of becoming a minority. Rain-drenched camps Aid agencies have warned of a malnutrition crisis with about 281,000 people in Bangladesh in urgent need of food, including 145,000 children under five and more than 50,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women. Cholera is a risk, amid fears of disease spreading in the rain-drenched camps where aid workers are trying to install sanitation systems, a spokesman for the World Health Organization said. About 900,000 doses of cholera vaccine are due to arrive this weekend and a vaccination campaign should start on Tuesday. UN-led aid bodies have appealed for $434 million over six months to help up to 1.2 million people - including 300,000 Rohingya already in Bangladesh before the latest crisis and 300,000 Bangladeshi villagers in so-called host communities. The Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar and most are stateless. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has faced criticism for not doing more to stop the violence, although a military-drafted constitution gives her no power over the security forces. She has condemned rights abuses and said Myanmar was ready to start a process agreed with Bangladesh in 1993 by which anyone verified as a refugee would be accepted back. Lowcock said talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh on a repatriation plan were a useful first step. ?But there is clearly a long way to go,? he said. Both the United States and Britain have warned Myanmar the crisis is putting at risk the progress it has made since the military began to loosen its grip on power. China, which built close ties with Myanmar while it was under military rule and Western sanctions, has been supportive. In Washington, US officials said sanctions and the withholding of aid were among the options available to press Myanmar to halt the violence but they had to be careful to avoid worsening the crisis. ?We don?t want to take actions that exacerbate their suffering. There is that risk in this complicated environment,? Patrick Murphy, a deputy assistant secretary of state, told a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Murphy said efforts were under way to identify those responsible for rights violations.
  4. WASHINGTON: In the first two months after a June Supreme Court ruling allowed partial implementation of President Donald Trump?s travel ban, visas issued on average each month to citizens of six countries targeted by the order were 18 percent lower compared to the month prior to the ban, a Reuters analysis of government data shows. The 3,268 visas issued in July and 3,884 visas issued in August to citizens of the six majority-Muslim countries were down from 4,351 issued in June. The July figure was lower than the monthly average at any point since 2007, when an average of 3,080 visas per month were issued to those countries. The lower July and August numbers were especially noteworthy, immigration attorneys say, because a larger number of visas are typically issued in the summer months, as foreign students prepare to arrive in the United States for the fall semester. ?We are processing visa applications for nationals of the six affected countries as directed by the Executive Order and to the extent permitted by court decisions,? a State Department official said on condition of anonymity when asked about the lower numbers. The decline comes on top of already plummeting figures for U.S. visas issued to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen after Trump issued an executive order in late January halting entry of travelers from those countries for 90 days. That order, and a more limited form of the ban issued in March, were hamstrung by months of legal challenges until the Supreme Court approved a limited version in June. But in the interim, the State Department issued far fewer visas to travelers from those six countries compared to the number issued in 2016 under the administration of President Barack Obama. On Sunday, Trump issued a third version of the ban, which indefinitely restricts travelers from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. Certain government officials from Venezuela will also be barred. From March through June, a period when Trump?s order was mostly blocked by the courts, citizens of the six countries were issued an average of 3,929 visas monthly, 42 percent fewer than the 2016 monthly average of 6,799, according to State Department data. After the Supreme Court ruling, that monthly average was 47 percent lower than in 2016. Trump?s initial travel ban, which barred citizens of the six countries as well as Iraq, sparked chaos and protests at airports around the United States. Issued with little forewarning, the order?s scope was unclear and sowed confusion among travelers as well as authorities responsible for implementing it. Courts quickly enjoined the main parts of the order. Trump eventually issued a new order that excluded Iraq and delayed its enactment to allow the administration and travelers time to prepare. But that order, too, was soon blocked by courts. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which allowed a limited version of the ban affecting only those citizens of the six countries lacking ?bona fide? ties to the United States. After Trump issued the revised ban on Sunday, the Supreme Court canceled oral arguments scheduled for Oct. 10 to decide whether or not the earlier version of the ban was discriminatory. Even as sharply fewer visas were being issued, the president often complained on social media and in speeches about limits imposed by U.S. courts on the two executive orders establishing the travel ban. ?The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!? Trump tweeted on Sept. 15. ?CHILLING EFFECT? Because the State Department only releases data on how many visas are issued and not total application numbers, it is unclear if the drop is due to fewer people applying, or because the administration is denying more applications. In addition, a month-by-month comparison with prior years is not possible because the State Department released only annual numbers ? not monthly data - until March of this year. Stephen Pattison, a former U.S. consular official and now an immigration attorney, said he suspects that the huge drop in visas issued is due to fewer people applying rather than higher rejection rates. ?Quantifying the chilling effect of the Trump administration?s policies on the international public is hard to do, but I think that?s the biggest impact of what this administration has done,? Pattison said. ?This atmosphere is causing bona fide, legitimate travelers to think twice about coming to the United States.? Michael Boos, general counsel for the conservative nonprofit Citizens United, which filed a brief to the Supreme Court in support of the Trump administration in the travel ban case, said the figures show the ban is having its intended effect. ?Clearly the purpose of the temporary ban was to reduce the number of visas that would be issued to persons from the affected countries, so it?s not surprising that...when the court reinstated the ban, the number of visas would have dramatically diminished,? Boos said. ?If people are deterred from seeking admission to the United States because they?re going to go through a vetting process that?s real and substantial, then maybe they shouldn?t be coming here in the first place.?
  5. source: Reuters MARSHALLSITTWE: Buddhist protesters in Myanmar threw petrol bombs to try and block an aid shipment to Muslims in Rakhine State, where the United Nations has accused the country's military of ethnic cleansing. The incident on Wednesday, ended when police fired in the air to disperse the protesters, reflected rising communal animosity and came during an official visit by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy. Murphy said later, after talks with government leaders, that Washington was alarmed by reports of rights abuses and called on authorities to stop the violence, which raised concern about Myanmar's transition from military rule to democracy. Myanmar's army chief on Thursday called for internally displaced non-Muslims to go home. In a speech on his plans for Rakhine State while on his first visit there since strife erupted, he made no mention of the estimated 422,000 Rohingya Muslims who have crossed the border into Bangladesh. They have fled Myanmar to escape a sweeping counter-insurgency operation by his army in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on August 25. Hundreds of protesters were involved in the attempt to stop Red Cross workers loading a boat with relief supplies bound for the north of Rakhine State, where the insurgent attacks last month triggered the military backlash. The boat being was loaded with aid at a dock in the state capital of Sittwe, a government information office said. "People thought the aid was only for the Bengalis," the secretary of the state government, Tin Maung Swe, told Reuters, using a term that Rohingya find offensive. Protesters threw petrol bombs and about 200 police eventually dispersed them by shooting into the air, a witness and the government information office said. The witness said he saw some injured people. Eight people were detained, the office said. No aid workers were hurt, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Plight The tension between majority Buddhists and Rohingya, most of whom are denied citizenship, has simmered for decades in Rakhine, but it has exploded at times over the past few years, as old enmities surfaced with the end of decades of harsh military rule. The latest bout of bloodshed began with August´s insurgent attacks on about 30 police posts and an army camp, in which about a dozen people were killed. The government says more than 400 people, most of them insurgents, have been killed since then. Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say the army and Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign to drive out the Muslim population and torch their villages. Myanmar rejects that, saying its forces are tackling insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who it has accused of setting the fires and attacking civilians. The crisis has drawn international condemnation and US President Donald Trump called on Wednesday for a quick end to the violence. The plight of the Rohingya has raised questions about the commitment of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi to human rights. Nobel peace prize laureate Suu Kyi addressed the nation on Tuesday and condemned abuses and said all violators would be punished. However, she did not address the UN accusations of ethnic cleansing by the military, which is in charge of security. 'Disproportionate' Murphy, the most senior foreign official to visit Myanmar since the violence erupted, met government officials and representatives of different communities in Sittwe. "It's become quite clear to many that the Burmese security forces have had a response that is disproportionate and failed to protect all local populations," he later told reporters. The situation could have an impact on Myanmar´s transition and risked creating "a more significant terrorism problem". "We continue to call on the Burmese authorities to respect the rule of law, stop the violence - including that perpetrated by local vigilantes," he said, adding that he had raised concern about two remote Muslim villages cut off by hostile Buddhists that Reuters reported about this week. Military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said his forces had handled the situation as best they could and he urged the internally displaced, most of them Buddhist, to go home. "For the national races who fled their homes, first of all they must go back ... that is their rightful place," he said in a speech in Sittwe. "National races" refers to officially recognised indigenous ethnic groups. The Rohingya are not recognised as a "national race" and Min Aung Hlaing did not refer to their return. The Bangladesh government and aid groups are struggling with shortages of food, water, shelter and medical supplies for the refugees, who keep coming, though at a slower pace than over the past couple of weeks, officials say. The group Medecins Sans Frontieres said a "massive scale-up of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh is needed to avoid a massive public health disaster".
  6. Members of Milli Muslim League (MML) holding their party flag with others during a news conference in Islamabad. ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Ministry of Interior has objected to the candidature of Milli Muslim League nominee Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh in NA-120, Lahore-III by-election, sources told Geo News Wednesday. The ministry conveyed its objection to the Election Commission of Pakistan through a letter, according to sources. JuD chief Hafiz Saeed placed under house arrest JuD, Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation put under Watch List as per UNSC 1267 Sanctions, added to ATA Second Schedule Sheikh is basically affiliated with Jamaat-ud-Daa'wa (JuD) and his party got itself registered under a new name to contest the election, the letter read. It is pertinent to mention here that Sheikh's party, the JuD, is under scrutiny after the Interior Ministry listed in the Second Schedule of the ATA 1997 in January, this year. Sheikh is contesting the NA-120 by-election on electoral symbol 'energy saver'. Sources further informed that Sheikh's party has not been formally registered with the election commission. The MML has already shown its presence in NA-120, and decided to oppose Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Kulsoom Nawaz. LHC dismisses petition against Kulsoom Nawaz's candidature for NA-120 Senator Asif Kirmani says petitioners failed to provide any evidence of 'discrepancies' in Kulsoom's nomination papers Interestingly, sources in the JuD say the MML opposition to Kulsoom is not because she is a woman but because they are against the PML-N politics and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. "We have a lot of respect for Mrs. Nawaz and we are not opposing her but the PML-N," a party source said. The party held its first corner meeting in the constituency in August.
  7. ASTANA: Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain said on Sunday that the Muslim world is lagging behind and failed over the years to pay adequate attention to education. He was addressing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's conference on science and technology in Astana, Kazakhstan. He said that from the determination expressed by the attendants of the conference it was apparent it would be a success. It is pertinent that the Muslim world gains independence in socio-economic issues, said Hussain,adding that the focus should be on science and technology studies. He said under the new projects, work in space sciences, astrology and marine life sciences would be the focus. President Mamnoon, while thanking the organisation and Islamic development bank for cooperation, said that Pakistan will take all the necessary measures on its part. According to a Foreign Office statement, President Mamnoon also held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart along the sidelines of the conference. The two leaders expressed satisfaction over longstanding Pak-Turkey relations. The OIC First Science and Technology Summit is a one-day conference, having a view to ?identifying priorities, goals and targets for the advancement and promotion of science, technology and innovation in the OIC Member States?, according to its official website. The summit which will be the first-ever heads of state and government meeting to develop prospects regarding Science and Technology will set priorities for the members countries to achieve goals over the next decade.
  8. Months after having suffered a horrible acid attack in London, aspiring Muslim model Resham Khan has posted her latest pictures on social media showing her sans injuries and confident-looking. Resham Khan and his cousin Jameel Mukhtar faced acid attack two months ago, on the model?s 21st birthday, disfiguring both of them, and leaving Jameel Mukhtar paralysed for life. Acid was thrown at them through a car window in London. Well wishers praised her for her bravery and perseverance in dealing with the hard times. The model had also started a blog, and has written updates on her recovery; however, this is the first time after the attack she has posted her pictures. She has talked about her trauma and how was mentally "up and down" after the attack wearing specially-made clothes to "prevent scars". UK acid attack victim says police treated him differently because he?s Pakistani ?I would have been treated differently if I was not a Pakistani. Police could have turned the country upside down if it was the other way round, Resham has also started campaigning for awareness about the issue and has been asking the UK government to discuss acid attacks in parliament, the BBC reported.
  9. Muslim pilgrims sit on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat in the early morning during the annual Haj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Files LONDON: Some 2 million people are travelling across the globe to eat, sleep, and pray in unison as the annual Islamic pilgrimage of Haj gets underway in Mecca. For billions of Muslims who are physically and financially able, Haj is a mandatory act of worship. But the religious celebration also has a substantial impact on the environment. Environmentally aware worshippers say that that should be reduced, inspiring Muslims to adopt a greener lifestyle. "Haj is all about living lightly and centring yourself around God," 28-year-old pilgrim Shanza Ali ? the chair of the UK-based group Muslim Climate Action ? told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Mecca in Saudi Arabia. "We make many journeys in our life, and we go to many places, but this is the only journey that's physical, mental and spiritual," she added. Ali has found many similarities between Haj's message of simplicity and being environmentally conscious and has tried to minimise her own carbon footprint and waste during the pilgrimage, which lasts for at least six days and takes worshippers to a series of holy sites in Saudi Arabia. Haj ? which predates Islam and is traced to Abraham ? is now the world's largest annual gathering of Muslims. Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on its guardianship of the faith's holiest sites. For The Green Guide for Hajj author Husna Ahmad, Muslims are doctrinally required to be stewards of the Earth. Tackling climate change is no longer about preserving the planet for future generations as its effects are evident now, she said. The majority of Muslims live outside Saudi Arabia and could collectively influence the greening of the sacred rituals, Ahmad added. "Consumer power is something that people need to think about in terms of flights, what they take, what they wear, the rubbish they throw, plastic bottles, and all those sorts of things. We have to be conscious of that," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Muslims need to move away from a fast, disposable society, she added, with Haj being the potential start of that journey. Green city audit In recent years, Saudi Arabia has taken steps to green the Haj, such as setting quotas for pilgrim numbers and developing the Mecca metro system to limit pollution. The Saudi Green Building Forum ? a Riyadh-based non-governmental group recognised by the United Nations ? has recently been tasked with auditing green efforts in Medina, the country's second holy city where the Prophet Mohammad is buried and a site visited by millions of pilgrims. The Forum's secretary-general Faisal Alfadl said his team will measure the green credentials of the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and others against international guidelines on energy use, waste, water, transport, and human well-being. People now realise it is politically and culturally incorrect not to respect the environment, said Alfadl. "We have moved forward," he said, noting a shift in the public mood from desert Bedouins to city dwellers on the importance of protecting the environment, with the focus now on action rather than simply raising awareness. Reviving traditional practices could help ? for example, sharing water among pilgrims from a communal source, which was common before plastic bottles became ubiquitous. And the white marble stones surrounding the central cube-shaped Kaaba building in Mecca naturally prevent the heat-island effect found in other urban areas, Alfadl said. Recycling may not be at the top of pilgrims' minds, but Muslims have a duty to recognise the creator of the environment and reflect on Islamic teachings not to harm animals, waste water or cut down trees unnecessarily, said Fatima Ragie of Green Deen South Africa ? a Muslim environmental network. Ragie ? who completed Haj in 2009 ? urged greater efforts once the pilgrimage ends. For instance, to ensure food is not wasted when millions of animals are slaughtered, marking Abraham's near sacrifice of his son and the start of the Eid holiday. More mosques and Muslim leaders should also speak up about climate change and the environment, she said. Taking the message home From Bangladesh to North Africa, climate change is a reality for many Muslims, as floods and droughts fuel instability and conflict, said Nana Firman ? who participated in the UN climate talks in Morocco last year for the Global Muslim Climate Network. "A lot of people feel like they don't know what to do, so it's really important that we engage (them)," she said. Indonesia ? which has the world's largest Muslim population, according to the Pew Research Center ? has launched initiatives, from a phone app showing pilgrims how to enjoy a green Haj, to offsetting carbon emissions from flights by planting trees, and limiting the number of times each person can undertake the pilgrimage, said Firman. She urged Haj pilgrims to "reflect and make a change in their lives when they go back, and care more for the environment". As Ali prepares herself to undertake the challenging pilgrimage in the Gulf heat with her husband and mother, the natural environment offers a way for her to draw closer to God. "I think just reflecting on the fact you're with humanity, you see people from every corner of the world? That really makes you appreciate the idea that we're all sharing the Earth together," she said. ?via Thomson Reuters Foundation
  10. Maria said that she accepted Islam out of her own will and has not been forcibly converted ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Saturday allowed a Muslim convert to continue living with his Muslim husband, after the woman?s family members had filed a case against the man and his family. In a written order, the IHC said that it had directed a meeting be held between Maria and her parents. The meeting, held for 40 minutes, ended without any agreement. The order said that Maria had prayed to the court to allow her to live with her husband, Bilawal Bhutto, who also gave his word to live with her. In the last hearing, Maria while talking to Geo News had said that she is 21 and has accepted Islam out of her own will and has not been forcibly converted. She said that she had changed her religion on August 21 in a seminary and then contracted marriage with Bilawal. The woman?s family members had earlier filed a case against Bilawal and his family, after which 15 of his family members were detained illegally. The IHC had directed in the hearing to release the members from illegal detention. The court in its decision has directed Islamabad police to ensure the security of both and has asked the deputy interior secretary to send a copy of the court decision to the IG Sindh to take the necessary action.
  11. KARACHI: Pakistan Mulsim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said on Wednesday that he is on a mission to unite the Muslim League factions in the greater interest of the country. Hussain, a former prime minister, arrived in Karachi today. Addressing the media at the airport, Hussain said those crying conspiracy should now disclose who is conspiring against them. He informed that he has not scheduled a meeting with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. In reply to a question, Hussain said as of now has made no contact with former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Answering another question regarding allying with Pakistan Peoples Party supremo Asif Ali Zardari in the previous elections, he said alliances are formed and broken [at will].
  12. Rehana Khursheed Hashmi, 75, migrated from India with her family in 1960 and whose relatives live in India, goes through a family photo album at her residence in Karachi KARACHI/NEW DELHI: As Pakistan and India prepare to celebrate 70 years of independence from Britain next week, thousands of families in the nuclear-armed neighbours remain divided by a border that strained diplomatic ties make harder to cross. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since 1947, and relations remain tense, particularly when it comes to Indian occupied Kashmir. "The people who have migrated are not able to come to India, nor can we go there freely," said Asif Fehmi, a resident of a New Delhi neighbourhood where thousands of Muslim families divided by Partition have blood ties over the border. "We can't meet them freely, and there was a time when we couldn't talk to them freely." Rehana Khursheed Hashmi, 75 (2nd L) prepares pan (beetle leaf) while sitting with her grandsons and daughter in-law at her residence in Karachi Fehmi's family was among the millions of people whose lives were disrupted in 1947, after departing British colonial administrators ordered the creation of two countries - one mostly Muslim and one majority Hindu. A mass migration followed, marred by violence and bloodshed, as about 15 million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, fearing discrimination, swapped countries in a political upheaval that cost more than a million lives. Many survivors of the bloodshed found themselves separated from family on the other side of a hastily drawn-up border. "I was unable to understand what Partition was, because I was not old enough," said Rehana Hashmi, 75, whose family migrated from India to Pakistan's southern city of Karachi in 1960. "My brother told me that India and Pakistan had emerged." The move to Pakistan, when Hashmi's father retired from a career in India's railways, left behind many close relatives, but they kept in touch. Rehana Khursheed Hashmi stands at the entrance of her house as her five year-old grandson Faraz Hashmi plays in Karachi When Hashmi's husband, Khurshid, died in 1990, bringing to a close a 26-year-long marriage, his first cousin, Asif Fehmi, sought a Pakistani visa to attend the funeral. "I knew some people in the Pakistan embassy," said Fehmi. "I finally got the visa, but when I reached there, it was already over. So, at a time when we should have been there, we weren't." For the Hashmis and the Fehmis, as for thousands of other families, the quarreling has meant fewer visits across the border.
  13. Israeli security forces stand by as Palestinian worshippers gather to pray in the old city of Jerusalem on July 26, 2017. Photo: AFP JERUSALEM: A top Muslim official said Thursday worshippers should maintain a boycott of a sensitive Jerusalem holy site until an inspection has been completed after Israel removed more new security installations overnight. Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of the Al-Aqsa mosque, joined Palestinian celebrations outside the compound in the early hours of Thursday after Israel removed the installations. He was lifted onto the shoulders of joyous Palestinians and given a microphone, then said: "Don´t rush my brothers to enter. "Do not enter until after there is confirmation from the technical committee," he said, referring to a committee of Muslim officials inspecting the mosque compound, which is also holy to Jews. A meeting was expected to be held on Thursday morning and a decision may be announced afterwards. A tense standoff has been underway between Israel and Muslim worshippers at the holy site despite the removal of metal detectors on Tuesday, with concerns of major unrest later this week if no resolution is found. Newly installed railings and scaffolding where cameras were previously mounted had also been removed early on Thursday from at least one main entrance to the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, an AFP journalist reported. The compound encompasses the revered Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The crowds grew larger overnight, with some holding up a large Palestinian flag outside Jerusalem´s Old City. Israel installed the new security measures after an attack nearby that killed two policemen on July 14. Muslims have refused to enter the site and have prayed in the streets outside for more than a week after Israel installed the new security measures. Palestinians view the move as Israel asserting further control over the site. Israeli authorities said the metal detectors were needed because the July 14 attackers smuggled guns into the site and emerged from it to attack the officers. Deadly unrest has erupted since the new measures were introduced, with clashes breaking out around the compound and in the occupied West Bank, leaving five Palestinians dead. A Palestinian also broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank last week and stabbed four Israelis, killing three of them.
  14. A woman poses in a Nike hijab being developed for Muslim women athletes, in an undated photo released by the company March 8, 2017. Vivienne Balla/Nike/Handout via REUTERS BEIRUT: The hijab ? one of the most visible signs of Islamic culture ? is going mainstream with advertisers, media giants, and fashion firms promoting images of the traditional headscarf in ever more ways. Last week, Apple previewed 12 new emoji characters to be launched later this year, one of a woman wearing a hijab. Hijab emoji ? one of the several new ones that Apple debuted last week. Image courtesy: Huffington Post via Apple Major fashion brands from American Eagle to Nike are creating hijabs, while hijab-wearing models have started gracing Western catwalks and the covers of top fashion magazines. Many Muslim women cover their heads in public with the hijab as a sign of modesty, although some critics see it as a sign of female oppression. But there is one thing most can agree on: when it comes to the hijab, there is money to be made. Muslim girls in hijabs walk past a man, as he shouts and gives a 'thumbs down' at activists (not pictured) protesting outside Trump Tower against the US Supreme Court decision to revive parts of a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries in Manhattan, New York, US, June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky "In terms of the bottom line ? absolutely they're (young Muslims) good for business? it's a huge market and they are incredibly brand savvy, so they want to spend their money," said Shelina Janmohamed, vice-president of Ogilvy Noor, a consultancy offering advice on how to build brands that appeal to Muslim audiences. Nike announced it is using its prowess in the sports and leisure market to launch a breathable mesh hijab in spring 2018, becoming the first major sports apparel maker to offer a traditional Islamic head scarf designed for competition. Widi Rahmawati (L) and Firdda Kurnia, members of the metal Hijab band Voice of Baceprot, perform during a school's farewell event in Garut, Indonesia, May 15, 2017. Picture taken May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yuddy Cahyataken May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Yuddy Cahya2 In June, Vogue Arabia featured on its cover the first hijabi model to walk the international runway, Somali-American Halima Aden, who gained international attention last year when she wore a hijab and burkini during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. "Every little girl deserves to see a role model that's dressed like her, resembles her, or even has the same characteristics as her," Aden said in a video on her Instagram account. A woman wears a union jack hijab in St Ann's Square in Manchester, Britain, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls1 Western advertising Hijabs have also become more visible in Western advertising campaigns for popular retailers like H&M and Gap. "Brands especially are in a very strategic and potent position to propel that social good, to change the attitudes of society, and really push us forward and take us to that next step," Amani al-Khatahtbeh, founder of online publication MuslimGirl.com, said by phone from New York. People look at a market stall selling the hijab in east London, Britain January 20, 2011. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo In Nigeria, a medical student has become an Instagram sensation for posting images of a hijab-wearing Barbie, describing hers as a "modest doll" ? unlike the traditional version. And mothers in Pittsburgh have started making and selling hijabs for Barbies in a bid to make play more inclusive. However, al-Khatahtbeh warned of the potential for the young Muslim market to be exploited just for profit without any effort to promote acceptance and integration. Women wearing US flag hijabs are pictured during an 'I am Muslim Too' rally in Times Square, Manhattan, New York, US, February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri "It can easily become exploitative by profiting off of communities that are being targeted right now, or it could be a moment that we turn into a very, very empowering one," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Emojis and fashion Frustrated she could not find an image to represent her and her friends on her iPhone keypad, Saudi teenager, Rayouf Alhumedhi, started an online campaign, the Hijab Emoji Project. An audience member wears an American flag hijab during US President Donald Trump's address to the Joint Session of Congress in Washington, US, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst She proposed the idea of the emoji last year to coding consortium Unicode that manages the development of new emojis, Alhumedhi said on her campaign's website, helping to prompt Apple to create its hijab-wearing emoji. "It's only really in the last 18 to 24 months ? perhaps three years ? that bigger mainstream brands have started to realise that young Muslim consumers are really an exciting opportunity," said Janmohamed of Ogilvy Noor. Halima Eden. Image courtesy: Cosmopolitan A global Islamic economy report conducted by Thomson Reuters showed that in 2015, revenues from "modest fashion" bought by Muslim women was were estimated at $44 billion, with designers Dolce & Gabbana, Uniqlo and Burberry entering the industry. Janmohamed, author of the memoir Love in a Headscarf, sees young hijabi representation in the digital communications and fashion space a step forward for tolerance. A Muslim woman in hijab is seen amid activists as they make their way to the Women's March in opposition to the agenda and rhetoric of President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, US, on January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif "It feels particularly empowering for young people to see themselves represented. So today, I think it is the least that consumers expect and anyone that doesn't do it is actually falling behind." ?via Thomson Reuters Foundation
  15. On one hand where some people are fighting against each other in the name of religion and fueling the Hindu-Muslim conflict, Alam Ara is setting an example that the whole nation needs to learn from and at the same time feel ashamed of as well. For the past 17 years, this woman from Varanasi has been carving Shiv Lingams for a living and believes that there are no Hindus or Muslims in the country, everyone is a Hindustani. She believes that this divide is a waste of time and we don't think anyone could have said it as easily as her. “Making Shiv Lingams is a god-gifted art and we make it with love,” Ara told ANI. UP: Varanasi's Alam Ara making Shiva Lingam for the last 17 years to earn a living, says "this is god-gifted art, we make it with love" pic.twitter.com/bIJZvvWGoe — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) 22 July 2017 Ara further said that this is her source of income; when it comes to art there are no Hindus or Muslims. We only hope that more people realize that art knows no religious boundaries and religion should never come in the way of work or love for something. Ye humari rozi hai...Hindu-Muslim se kuch nahi hota hai. Hum Hindustani hain: Varanasi's Alam Ara on making Shiva Lingam for 17 years pic.twitter.com/aASkM4nkW3 — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) 22 July 2017 “Hindu-Muslim se kuch nahi hota hai. Hum Hindustani hain,” she told ANI and we couldn't agree any less with her. While the feeling of solidarity is losing its sheen with each passing day, it's people like Alam Ara who help us restore our faith in unity.
  16. Cosplayers prepare for a cosplay event at a mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin JAKARTA: After donning a blue Cinderella dress, Sind Yanti carefully arranges her pale yellow "hijab", or traditional headscarf, into folds that resemble hair. "Wearing a hijab should not be a barrier for anything. We are free to be creative," said the 24-year-old Indonesian designer after posting selfies of her latest "cosplay" outfit. She is among a growing number of young Muslim women in Southeast Asia who are taking part in "hijab" costume play, finding creative ways to incorporate the head covering into colourful fantasy costumes. Yanti's fashions are inspired by Disney and Japanese anime characters, with artful hijab designs that resemble wigs or hoods. She can express herself while preserving the Islamic requirement of modest dress for women, Yanti said. Her made-to-order designs cost between 250,000 rupiah ($18.79) and 500,000 rupiah each. The fashion play is also popular in neighbouring Muslim-majority Malaysia, where young people dressed as superheroes, warriors, and princesses flocked to a cosplay show in Kuala Lumpur, the capital. Among them was 20-year-old film student Nursyamimi Minhalia, who wore a black hijab cut to form a fringe with two buns on either side. She did not include the hijab when she began cosplaying in 2012 but was later inspired by others wearing the headscarf. "It's quite challenging. Usually, I pick a character that covers most of my body, so it's easier for me to wear it in the 'Muslimah' style," Minhalia said, employing the Arabic term for Muslim women. Costumed roleplay, which can feature revealing outfits and elaborate hair styles, has long been part of the fan culture linked to anime and comics. Hijab cosplay is a new phenomenon that appears to be growing in appeal among the wider Muslim community. Sharifah Maznah Syed Mohd, 48, whose son is an avid cosplayer, said the role-playing hobby was acceptable as long as participants stuck within religious boundaries. Yanti says hijab cosplay has helped her stay true to her faith even while enjoying the cosplay experience. "If I took off my hijab just because of cosplay, I'd feel sorry for myself," she added. "It would feel like there is a conflict inside my heart."
  17. A British Muslim MP, Afzal Khan believes his election following the Manchester bombing sends a "powerful message" to those terrorists and bigots attempting to divide society. Khan won the election on a Labour ticket and praised the people of his home city for responding with solidarity, compassion and the "determination" to defeat those who threaten their way of life. Suicide bomber Salman Abedi targeted Manchester Arena after a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more. Khan recalled the events of May 22 while making his maiden speech in the Commons. He also spoke of his life before entering Parliament and about his police officer. Addressing the House of Commons, Khan said: "In May, the city I love was the victim of a terrible attack - 22 adults and children were killed and over 100 people injured attending a concert at Manchester Arena". "It was an act of pure evil. Faced with this tragedy, the people of Manchester responded in the only way they know how - with solidarity, with compassion, and with the determination that those who seek to endanger our way of life will not succeed." The MP added that the attack in the arena led to an increase in hate crimes and termed the development unfortunate. "Yet, just a few weeks later, the people of Manchester elected me, a Muslim. "I cannot think of a more powerful message to the terrorists and bigots that their attempts to divide us will never succeed." Later in his speech, Khan said his journey to Parliament was "not the typical one". Khan added that he was born in Pakistan and came to the UK when he was adopted out of poverty as a child. "Since then, Manchester has been my home for nearly 40 years. I often tell people while I was born in Pakistan, I was made in Manchester. "I left school with no qualifications and at 16 went straight to work as a labourer in a cotton mill. "Later, I became a bus driver and then a police officer," the Labour MP said.
  18. Bosnian Muslim women offers prayers near the caskets of 71 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. -AFP SREBRENICA: Thousands gathered in Srebrenica on Tuesday to mark the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, Europe´s worst atrocity since World War II, with some relatives of the victims giving their loved ones a proper burial for the first time. The remains of 71 victims of the bloodshed, which has been ruled genocide by international courts, were laid to rest in a joint funeral at a memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica. They included a 33-year-old woman and seven people who were under 18 when they were killed. Adela Efendic said she had come to "finally say goodbye" to her father Senaid, who was 35 when he was killed. "His remains were found nine years ago in a common grave, but only a few bones," the 22-year-old said, her head covered with a violet veil and tears streaming down her cheeks. "We were waiting, hoping to find more, but nothing turned up... We decided to bury him now so his bones find peace," said Efendic, who was just 20 days old when her father died. "I have only one photo of him, a small one, like for an ID card. But my mother told me a lot about him... it allows me to imagine him." Bosnian Serb forces captured the eastern Bosnian town, a UN-protected enclave at the time, on July 11, 1995, five months before the end of Bosnia´s inter-ethnic war. In the following days they summarily killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys. ´Know where their bones are´ Fata Omerovic regularly attends the commemorations at Potocari, where she already buried her two sons and husband. "We know at least where their bones are," whispered the 65-year-old woman, who has only one daughter left, while caressing the three white gravestones. "We come here, pray, look at gravestones... It´s more difficult for those who didn´t find their children and husbands." So far the remains of 6,429 Srebrenica victims have been buried at the memorial site and 233 in other cemeteries, according to Bosnia´s institute of missing people. The remains of more than 1,000 other victims have yet to be located. The victims were found in about 80 mass graves, the last of which was discovered in December 2015. Among the identified victims were 22 women and about 440 children less than 18 years old when they were killed, according to the institute. In 2016, a UN tribunal found Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of genocide over his role in the atrocity and sentenced him to 40 years in prison. Ratko Mladic, a Bosnian Serb wartime military chief, is awaiting a verdict by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in November. ´Horrible crime´ Bosnian Serbs and Belgrade refuse to acknowledge the Srebrenica massacre as an act of genocide, despite urgings from a handful of Serbian opposition leaders and prominent human rights organisations. On Tuesday, the Muslim member of Bosnia´s tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, urged "Serbian people and its... elites to accept the truth and stop denying the genocide." It will be a "step towards a genuine reconciliation and better future for all of us," he said at the commemoration. But Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who was a close ally of ultranationalist Serbian leader Vojislav Seselj during the war, has said their words "do not oblige the state". Vucic, who did not attend the ceremony, told Serbian broadcaster Happy TV on Monday that a "horrible crime was committed" in Srebrenica while also pointing to crimes committed against ethnic Serbs during Croatia´s 1990s war, as well as killings committed during World War II. During a visit by Vucic to the 2015 anniversary of the massacre, a mob of people throwing stones chased him away. In Belgrade, a banner was hoisted in front of the Serbian parliament with photos of some of 3,000 Serbian soldiers and civilians killed in the Srebrenica area by Muslim forces during the war. "The families of slaughtered Serbian victims want justice!," the banner read. Across the street, in the park facing the Serbian presidency building, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights was to hold a vigil later Tuesday to commemorate victims of the Srebrenica massacre. The 1992-1995 war between Bosnia´s Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives and left almost half of its four million inhabitants homeless. It also split the country into two semi-independent entities, the Serb-run Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Srebrenica, where Muslims were once the majority, has remained in the Serb-run half.
  19. Music director AR Rahman smiles while speaking to a reporter upon his arrival on the green carpet for an event. Photo: AFP/file LONDON: As he celebrates 25 years in the music industry, the Oscar and Grammy-winning Indian musician AR Rahman says his religious beliefs have helped define and shape his career. Rahman, who converted to Islam in his 20s, is in London with a show called "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". He told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that his interpretation of the Muslim faith meant living a life that was simple and in which humility was key. "Islam is an ocean, you know, it has different sects. More than 70. So I follow the Sufi kind of philosophy which is about love," Rahman said. "I am what I am because of the philosophy I'm following, my family is following. And of course, many things are happening, and I feel it's mostly political." The 50-year-old artist, who has won two Oscars, two Grammys and a Golden Globe, has over 160 film soundtracks to his name, including the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and Bollywood films like Lagaan and Taal. He sings, writes songs, plays instruments and composes music and has teamed up with other global artists including Mick Jagger, Sarah Brightman and the Pussycat Dolls. Rahman said his latest tour, which kicks off at Wembley SSE Arena in London on July 8, will take his fans on a journey through his music for the last quarter of a century. The softly spoken artist, who nevertheless has a powerful stage presence, said he still had more to achieve and hoped music would help bring more people together. "If you take an orchestra, you have the underprivileged and the privileged, playing together. We have different races playing together. We have different religions playing together. But one sound comes out," he said. "You work towards one harmony."
  20. In what seems to be another case of embarrassment for the government of India, a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh resorted to wearing a burqa to conceal his identity as he was scared of being lynched. According to a news report published in the Indian media, travelers at the Agra railway station alerted Government Railway Police (GRP) after observing suspicious movements of a burqa-clad individual. The police immediately detained him. The man identified as Nazmul Hassan, an assistant engineer in Aligarh's Kasimpur power station, told the GRP that he wanted to hide his identity as he was scared of being lynched for being a Muslim man, reported Times of India. The man told police officials that he had to frequently travel to Delhi to take care of an ailing cousin and had accidentally pushed a man while alighting at the Aligarh railway station last week. According to him, the man insulted him and his religion in full public view and threatened him openly, as others joined in, that they would not allow him to live in the city. "I had read about Junaid's killing in a train in Ballabhgarh a few days ago. I was scared for my life after the threat, but couldn't avoid traveling. So I thought of wearing a burqa," he told cops. Senior sub-inspector (GRP), who is one of the investigating officers in the case, said, "We found nothing suspicious in his statement to police. Different agencies verified that his act of wearing burqa was born out of his fear following the incident that occurred with him at the railway station last week". "When Hassan was handed over to the GRP, he was crying and shaking and kept repeating that he is a simple man who has never done anything wrong," said police. A Muslim teenager, Junaid, was stabbed to death while his brothers, Hashim and Sakir-- were injured by a mob which also allegedly hurled slurs against them onboard the Delhi-Mathura passenger train between Ballabgarh and Mathura stations.
  21. An international passenger arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport after the US Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration's emergency request to put its travel ban into effect later in the week pending further judicial review. File photo: Reuters Visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries must have a close family relationship to a US individual or formal ties to a US entity to be admitted to the United States under guidance distributed by the US State Department on Wednesday. The guidance defined a close familial relationship as being a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling, including step siblings and other step family relations, according to a copy of a cable distributed to all US diplomatic posts and seen by Reuters. Narrowed travel ban could sow confusion in US and abroad, experts say The Supreme Court agreed to decide the legality of Trump order in its next term, which begins in October The cable, first reported by the Associated Press, said close family "does not include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-laws and sisters-in-law, fiancés, and any other 'extended' family members." It also specified that any relationship with a US entity "must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading the E.O.," a reference to US President Donald Trump's March 6 executive order temporarily barring most US travel by citizens of six nations. The cable provides advice to US consular officers on how to interpret Monday's Supreme Court ruling that allowed parts of the executive order, which had been blocked by the courts, to be implemented while the highest US court considers the matter.
  22. India is a land where communal harmony disrupts the peace of the nation and other times, some beautiful examples warm our hearts and instils our faith in humanity. It's Eid today and the celebrations are not just limited to our Muslim brethren. © Twitter Atif Anwar stood at the India gate with a blindfold over his eyes with a message that garnered a lot of attention. He quoted a very simple requested to break his ‘roza' with his Hindu brothers. © Facebook The video that records this social experiment is proof that humanity and love overcomes any evil that any political or religious boundaries may portray. The video is now going viral and why not, it's a wonderful lesson in communal harmony for all of us.
  23. LONDON: At least six people were injured on Sunday after a car mounted a pavement outside a sports center in the northern English city of Newcastle, but the incident is not believed to be terrorism-related, police said on Sunday. Local media said hundreds of people were celebrating Eid, which marks the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan, at the sports center and that two children were among the casualties. "On Sunday June 25, at approximately 9:14 a.m. Northumbria Police received reports that a vehicle had collided with pedestrians outside of Westgate Sports Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne," the police said in a statement. "Police enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what happened but, at this time, it is not believed to be a terror incident." Police said a 42-year-old woman had been detained and was in custody.
  24. Photo: File Indian police Saturday said one person has been arrested after a mob stabbed a Muslim teenager to death on suspicion of carrying beef, an offence in many parts of the Hindu-majority country. Cows are revered by Hindus and slaughtering them as well as possession or consumption of beef is banned in most Indian states, with some imposing life sentences for breaking the law. Junaid Khan, 15, was travelling from New Delhi on Friday with three of his brothers when a fight erupted over seats. Between 15 and 20 men pulled out knives and set upon the brothers while making anti-Muslim comments and insisting one of the packets they were carrying contained beef. While Khan was stabbed to death, his brother Shakir sustained injuries on the throat, chest and hands, police said. "The fight started over seats. We are looking into the matter and we have arrested one of the accused who is a 35-year-old old man from (northern state of) Haryana," Ajay Kumar, a government railway police official told AFP. Khan´s brother Hassem told reporters the mob ignored their repeated pleas that they were not carrying any beef. "They were pointing at a packet which had food and saying we should not be allowed to sit since we were carrying beef," Haseem said. The incident is the latest such attack by Hindu vigilantes in India, where there have been a spate of assaults against Muslims and low-caste Dalits. In the last two years, nearly a dozen Muslim men have been killed across the country on suspicion of eating beef or smuggling cows. Critics say vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. Last year Modi criticised the cow protection vigilantes and urged a crackdown against groups using religion as a cover for committing crimes.
  25. WASHINGTON: The memorial of 17-year-old Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen, who was abducted and murdered after leaving a mosque in Virginia, was vandalised on Wednesday morning in Washington DC, reported Fox 5. According to DC Fire department, the memorial on Dupont Memorial Fountain on Connecticut Avenue was set on fire. The fire was later extinguished by fire fighters. Jonathon Soloman of South Carolina was arrested in connection with the fire, said DC police. The United States Park Police said it did not appear that Soloman was intentionally setting fire to items from Nabra's memorial as he was setting several items from the park on fire. Soloman was charged with vandalism. Nabra was attacked earlier in June after she and several of her friends walking outside a mosque got into a dispute with a motorist in the community of Sterling. The teen was reported missing by her friends who scattered during the attack and could not find her afterwards. Her body was later found dumped in a pond. During the search for the missing teen, authorities stopped a motorist "driving suspiciously in the area" and arrested the driver, later identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, 22. Police obtained a murder warrant that charges Torres for her death The number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the United States jumped 57 percent in 2016 to 2,213, up from 1,409 in 2015, the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group said in a report last month. While the group had been seeing a rise in anti-Muslim incidents prior to Donald Trump's stunning rise in last year's presidential primaries and November election victory, it said the acceleration in bias incidents was due in part to Trump's focus on militant groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric.