Today, Monday, 25 Kuwait NGOs issued a statement calling for the nation's awakening to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque against the Jewish settlers' incursions during their holiday season.

The Kuwaiti institutions said, in a statement, of which Al-Mujtama magazine obtained a copy, that the offensive incursions into Al-Aqsa, the revival of the Hebrew holidays in it, and the practice of their rituals in it, come within the occupation’s vision to consolidate the reality of its control, and represent an unprecedented development in the attacks on the mosque.

The Kuwaiti institutions also called on those steadfast in the city of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Palestinian within the Green Line to travel to it and intensify their presence in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque for the coming period and to remain steadfast, as they always are.  

The statement added that the stationed there are the nation's dam and protective shield to defend Al-Aqsa.

Kuwaiti institutions also called on the member states of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to convene an emergency summit to issue a position rejecting these continuous intrusions and to activate diplomatic action at all regional and international levels in order to prevent these intrusions.

A total of 31 Rohingya and five boatmen were arrested as they neared a beach at Nwei Nyo Chaung village in Ayeyarwady region’s Pathein township, locals told RFA.

A resident, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, told RFA 19 Rohingya men and 12 women were arrested by junta forces on Sunday, along with a child under the age of 18 and the boat’s crew.

“They came from Rakhine State,” said the local. “They came by boat and the boat drivers were paid to carry them. Many people who get into Ayeyarwady region are often arrested.”

The resident said the Rohingya were sent to Pathein Prison on Monday morning. He added that they may have been living in Maungdaw town in Rakhine State and left because of an increase in fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and military council forces in the area.

RFA has been unable to confirm where the Rohingya came from.

Ayeyarwady region lies directly south of Rakhine State and continues to attract Rohingya fleeing unemployment, hunger and discrimination as well as fighting between junta troops and the AA.

On Sept. 7 and 9 a total of 58 Rohingya were sentenced to two years in prison each at Bogale township court. They had been arrested on Aug. 29 near Ga Yat Gyi (Kat Tar) island in Ayeyarwady’s Pyapon township.

On July 23, this year, 22 Rohingya men and 24 women were arrested by the junta’s navy, also near Pathein township's Shwe Thaung Yan beach.

The arrests have not been confined to Ayeyarwady. On Sept. 4, a total of 28 Rohingya were arrested in Letpadan township in the western part of Bago, according to locals. Bago is on the eastern border of Rakhine State.

From December 2021 to September 6, 2022, nearly 800 Rohingya who tried to leave Rakhine State by land or water were arrested in various parts of Myanmar, according to data compiled by RFA based on the statements of residents and local news media.

A military crackdown on the Rohingya, which started five years ago, led to more than 740,000 Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

Of the more than 600,000 Rohingya who stayed in Myanmar an estimated 125,000 have been confined to camps in Rakhine State.

Radio Free Asia (RFA)

The United Nations will be judged by how it addresses China’s persecution of ethnic minorities, diplomats and human rights advocates charged Monday on the sidelines of the body’s General Assembly, calling for forceful action after a report raised the specter of “crimes against humanity.”

For years, rights watchdogs and journalists have exposed brutal treatment of Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in the far western region of Xinjiang, where China is accused of a ruthless campaign of torture, sexual assault and ethnic cleansing. Those accusations have been widely accepted in the West, but were given a new imprimatur with the landmark report released last month by the UN human rights office.
“Inaction is no longer possible,” Fernand de Varennes, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on minority rights said at a forum sponsored by the Atlantic Council and Human Rights Watch as world leaders descend on New York. “If we allow this to go unpunished, what kind of message is being propagated?”
Jeffrey Prescott, a deputy US ambassador to the United Nations, suggested the integrity of the institution was at stake in its response to China.
“How these atrocities are addressed goes ultimately to the credibility of that system, to the credibility of our international system itself,” he said. “It’s deeply disheartening to see a country that has been so central to the creation of the modern UN system, and enjoys its status as a permanent member of the Security Council, so profoundly violating its commitments.”
The UN report on China’s alleged abuses was released in the final minutes of the last day in office of Michele Bachelet, now the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Its release was believed to have been long delayed. Bachelet never explained the timing.
China responded to its release with fury, calling it “a patchwork of false information” and portraying it as a fabrication cooked up by Western nations. It issued a lengthy rebuttal and vowed to stop cooperating with the UN’s human rights office, and Chinese diplomats are now lobbying others to thwart the possibility of further scrutiny of its campaign in Xinjiang.
Rob Roe, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, called China’s reaction unsurprising and said new action was merited.
“We need to deal with this question. We need to deal with the question of what further sanctions will be required. We need to deal with the question of what further steps could be taken to respond to the extent of this crisis,” he said.
The UN’s report was drawn, in part, from interviews from more than two dozen former detainees and others familiar with conditions at eight detention centers who described being beaten, prevented from praying and forced to perform sex acts on guards. It said the evidence could constitute “crimes against humanity” but made no mention of genocide, which the United States and other countries have accused China of committing.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the immediate predecessor to Bachelet as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said his successor deserved credit for publishing the report, but said it was a “shortcoming” not to refer to the abuses as genocide. Likewise, he criticized it for not calling for the establishment of a formal UN commission of inquiry.
“To be silent is to be an accomplice,” he said.
Rayhan Asat, a Uyghur lawyer who works for the Atlantic Council and whose brother is imprisoned in Xinjiang, urged the world to insist that action be taken, not just against China, but companies who profit off its abuses.
“We should not let the Chinese government off the hook by normalizing what the state did,” she said, “because at the end of the day, this is state violence.”


Indian American supermodel and author Padma Lakshmi recently took to Twitter to assert that there is "no threat to Hinduism in India" and protest "violence against Muslims in the country".

She posted the tweets in context of the recent communal clashes during and following Ram Navami.

"Sickening to see the violence against Muslims celebrated in India. The widespread anti-Muslim rhetoric preys on fear and poisons people," she tweeted.

She also shared news articles from international publications like The Guardian and Los Angeles Times about Delhi's Jahangirpuri clash and the violence in Khargone city of Madhya Pradesh earlier this month.

"This propaganda is dangerous and nefarious because when you consider someone less than it's much easier to participate in their oppression," she wrote.

Urging fellow Hindus not to participate in this, she wrote:
"Fellow Hindus, don't succumb to this fear-mongering. There is no threat to Hinduism in India or anywhere else."

She also asserted that "True spirituality doesn't include any room for sowing hatred of any kind."

"People of all faiths should be able to live peacefully together in this ancient, vast land," she also wrote.

Source: The Daily Star

Why not celebrations at Junagadh in Gujarat, asks Revanth

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and Lok Sabha member A. Revanth Reddy has alleged that the BJP at the Centre has been trying to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims in Telangana and thereby benefit politically. He wondered why the BJP had not organised liberation celebrations there in Junagadh of Gujarat, home State of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and why only in Telangana. He alleged that the BJP’s intentions are to divert investment from Telangana to Gujarat by creating religious clashes here.

“This freedom in Telangana is the result of heroic struggle of many activists. Congress means Telangana and Telangana means Congress. Some people are misguiding the people about history and trying to get political benefits out of it. Some others are trying to project it has Hindu-Muslim fight. With the direction of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel worked for the integration of Telangana,” said Mr. Revanth Reddy while addressing a gathering and later addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan here on Saturday after the commemoration of Integration Day. He said that BJP did not even exist at the time of Telangana integration with India and said that the nation got independence because of the Congress party.

Party senior leaders J. Geeta Reddy, Anjan Kumar Yadav, D. Sridhar Babu and others were present.

The TPCC president questioned why the TRS was silent for the past eight years in celebrating Telangana Integration Day and opined that this was nothing but a political gimmick one year before Assembly elections. “Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao directed to organise the Integration Day only for this time. Not every year from now and orders were not issued in that direction. Why not a resolution in Assembly to observe the day every year if his intentions are clear?” asked Mr. Revanth Reddy.

The TPCC president said that after coming to power in 2023, Congress will convert the song written by Ande Sri as the State Anthem and new form of Telangana Talli will be unveiled across the State. “TS will be changed into TG. We will design new Telangana flag after taking suggestions from all sections of people,” he said.

Source: The Hindu

Muslims first came to India within the life time of the Holy Prophet. The first mosque built in India was at Kerala about 632 AD. And it still stands there. The Prophet is reported to have remarked that ‘He feels fragrant winds coming from India.’

This can only be explained in terms of trade links between the Arabian Peninsula and Kerala. The Prophet, prior to the first Quranic revelation in 611, was a successful trader and a highly intelligent man. He was aware of India. Years later this bonding of the Holy Prophet with India, came out in a most tragic manner. At Karbala, around 681, Imam Hussain the beloved grandson of the Prophet made a final appeal to his oppressors, to allow him to leave the Arabian Peninsula and settle down in India. The appeal was turned down, and the Imam and his male members were brutally killed. But the very fact that the Imam desired to settle down in India, at a critical time in his life is an issue that binds The Prophet’s family to India.

No wonder the western coast of the subcontinent, stretching from Sind to Saurashtra, down to Konkan and Malabar, is dotted with ancient mosques. The first footsteps of Islam in India were through trade. But more relevantly it was bound to the great tragedy of Karbala, which left a permanent dividing line on Islamic history.

Succeeding centuries saw migration from the North-West. The fertile lands of Punjab were a great attraction for nomadic people. Yet the greatest pull towards Islam was due to Sufi saints, such as Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer, Khawaza Bande Nawaz of Gulbarga and Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia of Delhi.

For the first time the lowest strata of Indian society, found a spiritual call. They responded by the millions from across the Gangetic plain right down to Bengal. It literally changed the face of the subcontinent. The story of Muslims in India was not so much that of Sultans and kings, as it was of these sufi babas reaching out to the lowest strata of Indian society.

Almost a thousand years later, this vast teeming land, was home to hundreds and millions of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. One of the paradoxes of history was this huge mass was held together by the might of a British army. But two world wars and a determined nonviolent movement of Gandhiji, made it impossible for the British to rule. To our tragedy British India could not stay one as a United India. The consequences have been most tragic for hundreds of millions of people. What was a Hindu Muslim issue, soon became an India-Pakistan clash at the world level. Stones gave way to missiles and ultimately nuclear weapons. In a literal sense, we live at the edge of disaster. Passions soon led to political parties espousing extremists’ agenda. This pleased their own members, but it wreaked havoc on those outside their charmed circles.

The last four years have witnessed a frightening rise of aggressive majoritarianism. The beautiful Kashmir valley lies ruined. Gujarat, the land of Gandhi, is today substantially under saffron. In the North-East, there are over 4 million people awaiting a cruel axe, but not knowing where they will go.

Have we paused to ask why Dalits and poor Muslims eat beef? In most cases this is the only source of cheap nutrition available to the poor family. In its absence, they will not be able to do the hard-physical work, that provides the family income. Rather my hunch is the RSS has built up the cow to a divine status, knowing very well that it would end up killing Muslims and Dalits through hunger.

There is hope. The arc of history invariably bends towards justice. As mentioned above, hundreds of millions of very poor Dalits, responded to the spiritual call of the Sufis. The neo Muslims were so huge, that by current population, Muslims constitute close to half the total population of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined.

There was a downside to the issue. The Sultans of those days did nothing to improve the socio-economic conditions of these Dalit Muslims. Rajput- Muslim alliances were encouraged to counter the impact of Dalit Muslims. At least three of the Mughal emperors had Rajput mothers. This gave essential stability to the Mughal empire.

But nothing was done to raise the earning power of these Dalits Muslims by the last Census, Muslims are about 14 % of the population. But note that Dalit and OBC Muslims constitute about 75 % of the total. So far, they have not gained, either in education or in earnings. It is these Muslims who invariably become cannon fodder during communal riots.

This suggest that the Muslim community must focus heavily on providing good education to these poor Muslims. Fortunately, Islam has an inbuilt mechanism for the same. Almost all Muslims will set aside an amount for zakat for poorer people. Normally these funds are given as handouts. But the new trend is to use these in an organised way to provide scholarships to bright, but economically poor students. In Gujarat we have a number of such bodies. In Vadodara, we run Zidni Ilma Charitable Trust that collect every year about 60 lacs for the above purpose. It supports the education of about 450 bright doctors, para medics, and engineers. In twelve years, we have changed the educational standards of the community.

In the final part, I would like to reflect on the interaction of Muslims with the Jan Sangh / BJP, together with the interaction of Muslims with the Congress, and finally the need for Muslims to seek the inner light.

Muslims and the BJP: The relationship as been adversarial from the days of Dr Hegdewar. Rather, the very existence of the RSS was premised on saving India from the Muslims. But by the latest count, Muslims constitute 200 million in population. They are spread over almost all the districts and talukas of India. While 75% are poor and illiterate, the remaining 25% are mostly well educated and belong to the middle to rich class in India. The religious bonding between these well-off Muslims and the poor Muslims is very close. How will the RSS get rid of such a large number? Would it not be better if the RSS re-examined its precepts? They may not treat Muslims like they treated Dr Kalam, who was for all purposes identified very much with the RSS. Can we not learn to just accept each other, and avoid touching issues that may damage Muslim-Hindu relations? Here I would urge Muslims to take a more liberal line on Babri Masjid. Tens of thousands died on the issue of Babri 25 years ago. Enough of bad blood and sorrow. Let us go beyond it. Live and let live attitude should not lead to other demands on the Muslim community. India is large enough for both of us. Let no more blood be spilt due to it.

Muslims and the Congress: Oddly, the only two top figures who understood Muslims were Gandhji and Nehru. Gandhi, with his intense spiritual background, could make a dent in the Muslim mind. In a way, Gandhi was the perfect Muslim who knew the Quranic Ayats, and their meanings far better than most Muslims. Yet he made no impact on Jinnah. That is easy to understand today, for Jinnah was for all practical purposes a non-practising Muslim. But he had a huge impact on many Muslims, which affected the future of our country. Nehru was the secular hero. Muslims loved him. His presence at a critical stage in 1947 made transition a little more bearable. After Nehru, there was no leader who could reach out to the Muslim mass. Muslim leaders could rarely influence policy on issues vital to the community. Oddly, RSS/BJP leaders were successful in projecting Muslim leaders as pampered by the Congress, at a heavy cost to the country.

Issues like Babri Masjid, cows and innumerable clashes between Muslim and Hindu kings centuries ago, could only widen the communal divide. The frequent loss of lives and property created panic within the community. Low education and poverty made the situation worse.

Yet we did not lose hope. All over India movements began to educate our boys and girls. The situation today is much better than it was after 1969 and the 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Finally, at my age I have the right to advise my own community. Muslim world is in turbulence almost everywhere. Lives have been lost in internecine clashes between Muslims and Muslims all over the world. The sight of children in Yemen dying of hunger, so close to the rich Saudi Arabia, is a shame on the entire Muslim world.

Allah will not pardon us our silence or our callousness. In the name of our beloved Prophet, let us stop this horrifying killings, and turn toward education and science. Allah will show us the way.

By: JS Bandukwala

Source: National Herald India

* All Opinions and views are the writer’s own views and opinions

The human rights commissioner of a Canadian province was told to step down on Thursday for alleged anti-Islam comments, with Justice Minister Tyler Shandro issuing an order for the official's resignation.

Shandro’s department did not formally announce it had removed Collin May as head of the commission. Instead, it emailed the media without comment a copy of the official Cabinet order rescinding May’s job as human rights chief and member of the commission.

The Cabinet order contained no reasons for the decision or comment from Shandro.

The move comes after May’s newly hired legal representation tweeted he would not be resigning. On Thursday, May refused, saying he does not hold the views expressed back in 2009. The comments were included in a book review written by May and he insists the opinion expressed was that of the author, not his own.

There now appears to be a stalemate as May has hired a lawyer to fight for his job. He was appointed to head the Alberta Human Rights Commission in May.

More than two dozen Muslim groups wrote a letter on Sept. 12 and asked Alberta Minister of Justice Tyler Shandro to fire May.

The request came after written remarks made by May in 2009 recently came to light where he said that Islam was "not a peaceful religion misused by radicals. Rather it is one of the most militaristic religions known to man."

The Muslim groups initially asked to meet with May to discuss the remarks and May said he would. But several dates were put forth by the Muslim community to meet and May declined them all, citing scheduling conflicts.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) then wrote the letter to Shandro, urging the minister to get May's resignation. The NCCM also noted that May had threatened to sue his critics.

The Minister of Justice, who hired May, agreed and because he failed to meet with the Muslim groups as promised, ordered the human rights chief to resign earlier this week.

Source: Daily Sabah

  Two Kuwaiti legal experts have confirmed that any rumor published through the social media platforms during the elections is a punishable act forbidden by the law.

In separate statements to KUNA, they said that laws related to fighting cybercrimes or election code forbids any act that might negatively affect the elections, including practicing influence on voters’ will. In this regard, Lawyer Dr. Hussain Al-Abdullah said that the law criminalizes any act that can be used to affect the voter’s choices; punishment can reach five years imprisonment.

According to law No. 35 of 1962 and its amendments, punishable acts include threats, bribery, the broadcast of false news that can affect the candidates reputation, dignity and financial integrity, in addition to the modernized trends of criminal influence through latest technology and communication.

These acts can be punished according to Law 37 of 2014 regarding the Communications and Information Technology Commission, and Law 63 of 2015 regarding Information technology crimes. On her part, the Professor of constitutional law in the National Assembly Hanan Al-Dighisham said that the law guarantees the exercise of the legitimate freedom of expression and defines the punishable actions.

“With the development of media and publication that differs from the traditional paper publication, the Kuwaiti lawmaker has issued number of new laws that coincide with the latest updates in media sector”, Al-Dighisham added. Many laws have been issued in this regards including the publishing law, the audio-visual media law, the electronic media regulation law, the electronic media regulatory authority law, the information technology crimes law, and the misuse of telephone communications devices.

As for the cybercrimes related to the National Assembly elections, the Kuwaiti law stressed the importance of the integrity of the electoral process and protection of candidates and voters, she noted. She pointed out that Article 43 of Law No. 35 of 1962 on the National Assembly elections states that offenders are punished either with “a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding 100 dinars, or one of these two penalties” (KUNA)

According to a local newspaper, Kuwait plans to revise the salaries of state advisers to reduce spending and replace foreigners with Kuwaitis.

The Cabinet will ask different government agencies to explain why high bonuses are paid to advisors amid spending rationing, according to Al Qabas.

According to the sources, the Cabinet will instruct the Civil Service Commission to specify the number of advisors, particularly expatriates appointed to state institutions, who will then be replaced by citizens based on their needs and specialties.

“All plans aimed at relieving pressure on government agencies’ budgets and finding alternative sources of funding are supported by the Cabinet,” they said, including curtailing bonuses and official missions as part of rationalisation plans that will be implemented soon according to ministry schedules.

A new employment policy dubbed "Kuwaitisation" aims to redress Kuwait's demographic imbalance and replace foreign workers with its citizens.

Amid economic repercussions from COVID-19, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait for curbing foreign employment along with accusations that migrant workers are straining infrastructure.

A Nasa rover has found possible signs of ancient life on Mars from rock samples it collected from a geologically rich area.

The Perseverance rover collected two samples from an ancient river delta in the Jezero Crater, a site scientists believe was full of life billions of years ago.

Nasa hopes to bring these samples back to Earth on a return mission it plans to carry out later this decade in partnership with the European Space Agency.

The rocks may have organic matter, or building blocks of life, with a wide variety of compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

“We picked the Jezero Crater for Perseverance to explore because we thought it had the best chance of providing scientifically excellent samples ― and now we know we sent the rover to the right location,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Nasa’s associate administrator for science.

“These first two science campaigns have yielded an amazing diversity of samples to bring back to Earth by the Mars Sample Return campaign.”

The rover landed on Mars early last year and has been collecting rocks from various locations. So far, it has collected 12 samples.

It has been carrying out its science campaign at the Jezero Crater, which features a delta that formed about 3.5 billion years ago at the convergence of a Martian river and a lake.

Perseverance is currently investigating the delta’s sedimentary rocks, formed when particles of various sizes settled in the once-watery environment.

During its first science campaign, the rover explored the crater’s floor, finding igneous rock, which forms deep underground from magma or during volcanic activity at the surface.

Ken Farley, a Perseverance project scientist, said that the campaign is helping scientists study the geological history of Mars.

“The delta, with its diverse sedimentary rocks, contrasts beautifully with the igneous rocks ― formed from the crystallisation of magma ― discovered on the crater floor,” he said.

“This juxtaposition provides us with a rich understanding of the geological history after the crater formed and a diverse sample suite."

This is not the first time a Nasa rover has found evidence of organic matter on Mars.

In 2013, the Curiosity Mars rover found evidence in rock samples, and Perseverance detected organics in the Jezero Crater before.

This time, however, the rover made the discovery in an area where sediment and salts were deposited into a lake under conditions in which life could potentially have existed./agencies