Muslim scholars condemn Boko Haram's 'heinous' acts

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Updated 10 May 2014

Muslim scholars condemn Boko Haram's 'heinous' acts

Religious scholars working under the world’s largest bloc of Islamic countries on Thursday denounced the mass kidnappings of Nigerian girls by an extremist group claiming to be fighting for Islam.
The group called Boko Haram seized more than 200 pupils from a secondary school in Chibok, in northern Nigeria’s Borno state on April 14. Boko Haram fighters also seized another eight girls after that.
On Tuesday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened in a video to sell the girls into slavery, ignoring protests and pleas by people from all faiths in Nigeria to release them unharmed.
In a statement on Thursday, the Jeddah-based International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) condemned the abductions as a “heinous act” and demanded that the victims be immediately released without any condition.
“Crime and other crimes committed by the likes of these extremist organizations contradicts all humanitarian principles and moral values and violates the provisions of the Qur’an and Sunnah,” said the academy, which is dedicated to the advanced study of Islam.
The IIFA is part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is composed of some 57 Muslim majority member-nations.
Also on Thursday, the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission said Boko Haram is misguided to claim that the abduction of the girls and the threat to sell them off as slaves is in conformity with the injunctions of Islam. The rights body described the abduction of the schoolgirls as a “barbaric act.”
“Right to education is a fundamental human right, and is in consonance with the basic tenets of Islam,” the rights body said.
Muslims around the world have also spoken out against the kidnappings.

(Additional report from the Associated Press)


Key hospitals in Indian Kashmir treat more than 150 tear gas, pellet injuries

Updated 7 min 39 sec ago

Key hospitals in Indian Kashmir treat more than 150 tear gas, pellet injuries

  • People gathered in groups despite the ban on public gatherings
  • The government has not provided any number of injuries

SRINAGAR, India: At least 152 people have suffered injuries from tear gas and pellets in disputed Kashmir since Indian security forces this month launched a sweeping crackdown, data from the Himalayan region’s two main hospitals shows.
Indian authorities have deployed additional paramilitary police, banned public gatherings and cut cellular and Internet links to prevent large scale protests after withdrawing the revolt-torn territory’s special status on Aug 5.
Still, people especially youth, have come out in the lanes of the region’s key city of Srinagar, on occasions such as Friday prayers or Eid this month, throwing stones, prompting retaliatory action by security forces.
Data obtained by Reuters showed 152 people reported to Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences and Shri Maharaj Hari Singh with injuries from pellet shots and tear gas fire between Aug 5 and Aug 21.
The government, which has not yet provided any figures of the injured in the sporadic protests, has said there have been no deaths in this month’s demonstrations in a region where more than 50,000 have died since an armed revolt broke out in 1989.
India hopes that withdrawal of special privileges for Kashmir, such as exclusive rights to land, government jobs and college places and opening them up to people from the rest of the country will help to integrate the territory.
Pakistan lays claim to Muslim-majority Kashmir and has condemned the decision to change its status.
A local government official in Jammu and Kashmir, however, said the number of injured was probably higher than the figures from the two hospitals.
Many of those who were discharged within hours do not feature in their list, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, while others, with wounds treated at smaller hospitals, remain unaccounted for.