Indian Muslims systematically targeted by fascist forces

Indian Muslims systematically targeted by fascist forces
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Indian Muslims systematically targeted by fascist forces
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Updated 08 April 2013

Indian Muslims systematically targeted by fascist forces

Indian Muslims systematically targeted by fascist forces

The Israeli intelligence service Mossad and their counterpart in the US, the CIA, have deliberately attempted to create a division among Muslims in India and those in other parts of the world, to keep them away from the mainstream and link them with terrorism, said T. Arif Ali, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) in Kerala, who was in the Kingdom recently to perform Umrah.
In an interview with Arab News, Arif Ali highlighted Jamaat’s efforts to unify the vote bank of Muslims and other minorities by establishing the Welfare Party that promotes value-based politics in India.
The following is the full text of the interview:

Arab News: What have been the major achievements of JIH since its establishment in 1948?
Arif Ali: The main objective of JIH is to spread the message of Islam as a complete way of life and a solution to the problems of mankind. We have been successful in realizing this goal to a great extent through our various programs and publications. Jamaat gave the Muslim community the courage to stand firm in the torrent of Western cultural onslaught and face modern challenges. It also played a leadership role in addressing various issues, like the anti-Shariah campaign. Its educational system, providing both material and religious knowledge, enhanced the confidence of Muslim youths in Islam. Jamaat has been involved in several social and humanitarian activities to alleviate the suffering of victims of natural and man-made calamities. It introduced interest-free financial assistance and micro-finance programs all over the country. It has published the translations of the Holy Qur’an in all major languages of India, which helped Muslims and non-Muslims to learn more about Islam.

AN: Jamaat has initiated the formation of the Welfare Party. What is the relevance of such a political party in India today?
Arif Ali: Corruption and moral decadence have become the hallmarks of Indian politics. Our politicians have been using the taxpayers’ money to fill their pockets as well as their corporate allies’ instead of using it for public welfare. Most political leaders are accused of corruption and favoritism. So people in India are looking for a corruption-free political party. The main objective of Welfare Party is to promote value-based politics. Secondly, there was the need for an all-India political party that takes Muslims as a social base while bringing together other sidelined communities. These would be the Aborigines and Daliths, along with a large majority of citizens who are interested in value-based politics. As part of Islamophobia some international intelligence agencies have tried to keep the Muslim community away from the mainstream. The Welfare Party wants to change that situation and bring Muslims back to the mainstream, fostering harmonious relations between Hindus, Muslims and other faith-based communities in the country.

AN: Can you explain the move by international intelligence agencies to divide Muslims and keep them away from the mainstream?
Arif Ali: It is not a secret that Mossad with the help of CIA has been trying to create division among Muslims, fueling conflicts between Sunnis and Shiites. Wherever Muslims live in peace and harmony with other communities, they try to trigger communal conflicts to keep them out of the mainstream. This is a planned operation. They have been doing this in India and other parts of the world. India has signed agreements with these foreign agencies to train its police force. In olden times, intelligence work was limited to reporting what was going on in a country. Today their work involves planning what they want to see in a country. They want to get the Muslims out of the Indian mainframe and they make plans to achieve that goal. The bomb explosions in different parts of the country, including the Makkah Masjid and Samjoda Express blasts, the attack on the Indian Parliament and the fake, armed confrontations between police and young Muslims expose this plan. The government has now got information that these incidents were plotted by Hindu extremist groups with the support of police. Authorities unfairly blamed Muslims for those explosions and arrested a large number of Muslim youths. We cannot deny that these forces might have used some Muslim individuals as tools to realize their goals. The Mossad and the CIA wanted to create an impression that terrorism equals Muslims. They want Muslims to engage in extremist activities in order to target them. Wikileaks reports have revealed these facts.

Arab News: The communalization of politics, bureaucracy and judiciary has caused a lot of problems for Muslims in India. Do you think a united move by all Muslim organizations was necessary to address this issue?

Arif Ali: Jamaat initiated the formation of Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, a consultative body of different organizations in the country, and its affiliate All-India Muslim Personal Law Board to strengthen Muslim unity and protect their rights. The personal law board, representing the largest number of Muslim organizations, has been playing an important role in taking up major issues like the Babari Masjid and the arrest of Muslim youths. There are several advocates and other professionals under this board. Jamaat intends to carry out a three-prong program to improve the condition of Muslims in India. First, to provide legal support to innocent Muslims who are being victimized and jailed. We believe the judiciary is still the most dependable body in the country. Second, we want to confront communalism through political participation. We have to convince political parties that they cannot win in elections if they take a stand against the Muslims and minorities. For that we have to develop a strong and united vote bank. This was one of the objectives behind the formation of Welfare Party. Whenever Congress took a stand against the Muslim community, it was defeated in the elections. Third, by expressing our concerns and views through the media and dialogue forums.

Arab News: There are thousands of innocent Muslim youths still in Indian jails. What must be done to free them?

Arif Ali: This is a very serious as well as a surprising issue. From the president of India to the lower grade police officer agree that there are a lot of innocent Muslim youths in jails across the country. They keep on saying it over and over again. One reason for making them repeats it is the awareness we have given to the public regarding the issue. At the same time, the very same police officers and government agencies repeat the injustice by arresting more innocent Muslim youths. This indicates that there are other forces at work here, who do not come under the control of the president or the prime minister or other officials. Recently, Home Minister Shinde gave a statement about growing Hindu terrorism in the country. He was right, but he had to retract his statement because of political pressure. Following the recent Hyderabad blasts, Muslim youths were again victimized before conducting any investigation.

AN: We often hear about some Muslim terrorist organizations like Hizbul Mujahedeen and Lashkare Taiba claiming responsibility for such bomb attacks? Do you think these organizations really exit?

Arif Ali: Indian Mujahideen and Lashkare Taiba are introduced by intelligence agencies. No questions have been asked or investigations conducted on the whereabouts these organizations. They just give some Muslim names as instigators or perpetrators. After a while, we come to know that the people behind these explosions were some Hindu priests or police officers. By that time, hundreds of innocent Muslim youths would be arrested and tortured in jails. These arrests take place under the UAPA or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Any police officer can misuse the law to arrest anybody. They need the government’s approval for the arrest but can easily obtain it. When a person is arrested under UAPA, he can be kept behind bars for any length of time without trial. They are denied all human rights and cannot get release on bail. According to Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, a former Supreme Court judge, bail is the law, but when it comes to UAPA there is no place for bail. Another issue is that while a convict’s trial is going on, new accusations can be added to his charge sheet. So UAPA is the main villain. The Act was amended in December 2012, making it more dangerous. If a person gives money to another for any reason, and the person who receives the money is suspected of using the money for extremism, then both persons could be arrested under this law. While admitting that innocent Muslims are jailed, the government continues to pass such dangerous laws that could be used to target Muslims.


Pakistan mountain region observes Ramadan in darkness after power cuts

Pakistan mountain region observes Ramadan in darkness after power cuts
Updated 07 May 2021

Pakistan mountain region observes Ramadan in darkness after power cuts

Pakistan mountain region observes Ramadan in darkness after power cuts
  • Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to set up hydroelectric power plants
  • Several other hydropower projects are also being built in the area

KHAPLU, GHANCHE: In the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan, daily power cuts of up to 20 hours or more in some districts have pushed locals to protest over having to observe Ramadan in darkness.

Gilgit-Baltistan, an impoverished part of the larger Kashmir region, is the gateway of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with high potential to generate energy from hydropower, but its residents have so far reaped few rewards of the $65 billion infrastructure project.

When the province went to local assembly polls in November last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to set up hydroelectric power plants.

Last month, the region’s chief minister, Khalid Khurshid, gave the provincial secretary powers to ensure no power cuts during suhoor and iftar meals in Ramadan.

Last week, Khan announced a 370 billion rupee ($2.4 billion) development package for the region, part of which is intended to address the electricity crisis. In a meeting this week, between the finance minister of Pakistan and Khurshid, the federal government promised to “undertake several projects for hydropower generation.”

The construction of “the biggest dam in Pakistan’s history,” the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, meanwhile, was inaugurated by the prime minister in July last year.

Several other hydropower projects are also being built in the area, including the Kohala and Neelum Jhelum projects, with the former still under construction and the latter completed in 2019.

But despite this flurry of activity and promises, for now, local businesses, not to mention and Ramadan and upcoming Eid Al-Fitr celebrations, have been upended by power outages.

“There is no electricity in our village,” Ghulam Nabi Sanai, from Ghanche district, told Arab News on Wednesday. “We registered complaints about the absence of electricity, but no power department officials heard us. That’s why we had to stage a sit-in.”

For the past few days, Sanai said, residents of his hometown had been preparing and eating their iftar and suhoor meals in darkness.

Large-scale construction of new power plants — mainly coal-fired ones funded by China — has dramatically boosted Pakistan’s energy capacity in the last couple of years. But even as supply surges, electric power is still not reaching up to 50 million people in Pakistan who need it, according to a 2018 World Bank report, though expansion of transmission lines is planned.

Power outages also remain common.

Sher Ali Rana, a tailor in Ghanche, said he normally sewed some 400 outfits for Eid. This year, however, he would hardly be able to make 150 dresses due to electricity shortages.

“Our tailor community has to face power outages every year, but this year we are facing the worst kind of load shedding ... there is no electricity for 24 hours,” Rana said.

Locals in many other districts, including Skardu and Gilgit, also complain worsening power cuts have paralyzed their daily lives.

Riaz Ali, an executive engineer at Gilgit-Baltistan’s power department, said a major problem of power supply in the region was that its electricity system was not fully connected to the national grid. Low production capacity of existing power stations was another problem, he said.

Generation capacity in winter was 92 megawatts, while the demand was 452 megawatts, Ali said. In summer, generation capacity was 122 megawatts against a demand of 132.

But the engineer said he was hopeful new projects promised under CPEC would solve the region’s power crisis for good.

“If big projects are launched,” he said, “Gilgit-Baltistan has the potential to generate more than thousands of megawatts of electricity.”

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MI5 failed to share London terrorist’s heightened threat level: Probation officer

MI5 failed to share London terrorist’s heightened threat level: Probation officer
Updated 06 May 2021

MI5 failed to share London terrorist’s heightened threat level: Probation officer

MI5 failed to share London terrorist’s heightened threat level: Probation officer
  • Kenneth Skelton decided Usman Khan presented a low threat level, but was not privy to intelligence to the contrary
  • Khan killed 2 people in a knife attack in central London in 2019

LONDON: British intelligence upgraded a terrorist’s threat level due to evidence that he was planning an attack, but failed to inform the probation officer charged with monitoring his activity, an inquest has heard.

Usman Khan killed two people in a knife attack in central London in 2019, less than a year after he was released early from jail where he was serving time for terror offenses.

Now an inquest into the murder of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones at a prisoner rehabilitation event near London Bridge has heard that British intelligence services had evidence that Khan was planning an attack, but did not inform his probation officer.

While in jail for planning to bomb the London Stock Exchange, the court heard, Khan had associated with other terrorists and engaged in violence.

In the month of his release, MI5 upgraded his priority level after obtaining evidence that he was planning a post-release attack, but his probation officer said he was not informed about the heightened threat.

Kenneth Skelton said if he had known, “the whole management process would have been altered.”

Changes made could have included a re-evaluation of Khan’s permission to attend the event at which he carried out the attack — and was subsequently killed by police.

The inquest heard that Skelton was “disappointed” that information on the heightened threat level was not shared with him, particularly as he had attended nearly 30 meetings in which police and probation officers discussed the kind of permissions Khan should be entitled to.

Shortly before the attack, Skelton wrote an official assessment that concluded: “Khan’s likelihood of reoffending and risk of extremist offending is low.”

He added: “Since his release on 24 December 2018 … there has been no demonstration of attitudes supporting or justifying offending of any nature.”

Skelton said he was not made aware of a psychological report from May that year that suggested Khan’s engagement with prisoner rehabilitation programs was “superficial,” and he could not remember being shown a police document that described Khan as “calculating in his behaviour.”

Skelton told the inquest that he was “astounded” when he was told of Khan’s attack, adding: “From nowhere did I get any information that would suggest him returning to any of his (terrorist) behaviors.”

Representatives from MI5 will be called to give evidence at a later stage in the inquiry.


Philippine president lauds Saudi efforts on welfare, labor rights of Filipino workers

During a phone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Duterte expressed thanks for the Kingdom’s inclusion of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its COVID-19 vaccination drive. (Reuters/File Photo)
During a phone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Duterte expressed thanks for the Kingdom’s inclusion of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its COVID-19 vaccination drive. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 06 May 2021

Philippine president lauds Saudi efforts on welfare, labor rights of Filipino workers

During a phone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Duterte expressed thanks for the Kingdom’s inclusion of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its COVID-19 vaccination drive. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • The Philippines and Saudi Arabia recently organized a virtual forum on labor mobility and human rights

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has thanked Saudi Arabia for looking after the welfare and labor rights of Filipinos living in the Kingdom.

During a phone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Duterte also expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s inclusion of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination drive, the Philippine leader’s office said on Thursday.

In a statement, the presidential palace, Malacanang, added: “President Duterte recognized Saudi Arabia’s efforts to ensure that the rights, welfare, and well-being of Filipinos in the Kingdom are protected and upheld, including recent efforts aimed at labor reform.”

It said that during Wednesday’s phone call, the crown prince assured Duterte that all Filipinos in the Kingdom would be inoculated, and they also agreed to ramp up joint efforts to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

“President Duterte has, in several public pronouncements, underscored the need for universal access to vaccines to effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing that nations must work together toward equitable access to life-saving vaccines, particularly for developing and least-developed nations,” the presidential office added.

“King Salman also called on the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies (the G20) to work toward affordable and equitable access to vaccines,” the Malacanang statement said.

During a virtual press conference, Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said the president and Crown Prince Mohammed also used their phone chat to discuss ways “to further improve the protection of Filipino workers in the Kingdom.”

He added that Saudi Arabia was among a number of countries supporting calls for changes to the kafala sponsorship system (for the monitoring of migrant laborers).

New measures under the Kingdom’s labor law reforms, effective since March, ensure that migrant workers in Saudi Arabia’s private sector have improved job mobility and can switch jobs or leave the country without employer consent. The rules also allow foreign workers to apply directly for government services, with all employment contracts documented online.

Duterte had previously described the old kafala system as “unjust” and “exploitative,” claiming it made OFWs in the Middle East, particularly household workers, vulnerable to abuse.

The Philippines and Saudi Arabia recently organized a virtual forum on labor mobility and human rights to discuss the sponsorship system and what Middle Eastern countries were doing to reform it. During the meeting, Duterte called for the abolition of the kafala system.


At a Toronto hospital staff exhausted, angry

At a Toronto hospital staff exhausted, angry
Updated 06 May 2021

At a Toronto hospital staff exhausted, angry

At a Toronto hospital staff exhausted, angry
  • Ontario is now the epicenter of the outbreak in Canada, led by more virulent variants
  • At the week's end more than 2,200 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in the province of 14 million

TORONTO: Intensive care nurse Farial says the health care system in Canada’s Ontario province is nearing the breaking point as it fights a fast-moving new wave of Covid-19 infections.
The caregiver at Toronto’s Humber River Hospital is looking after two patients in their 60s who are on ventilators.
“We’re overwhelmed,” she told AFP, conveying the feelings of her peers who often say they feel powerless against a tidal wave of new cases, and angry at times — especially with the Ontario government’s arguably slow response and with Ontarians who are not following public health orders to contain the coronavirus.
“We’re stretched thin. We’re tired and exhausted. Just exhausted.”
Ontario is now the epicenter of the outbreak in Canada, led by more virulent variants. The latest surge in the number of cases was so big that authorities this week dispatched the military and the Red Cross to help care for critical patients.
“It’s the worst wave I’ve ever seen,” says head nurse Kimisha Marshall. “We have younger patients coming in, sicker and lots more patients coming in.”
“We’re short of nurses. We had some nurses that left, but also we have nurses that are getting sick, too,” she adds.
At the week’s end, there were more than 2,200 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the province of 14 million. Nearly 900 patients were listed in critical condition.
Medical staff have been redeployed from other wards to the ICU to lend a hand, and transferring patients to facilities in less affected areas has alleviated some of the pressure on this Toronto hospital.
But more than a year after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, “the team is tired,” comments Raman Rai, head of the intensive care unit where a few children’s drawings thanking caregivers hang on the walls, bringing a glimmer of cheer.
At times overcome by a deep sadness, Rai says: “You see people who have not only lost a loved one, but who have lost several members of their family. It is very hard.”
More than 60 percent of patients in Humber River Hospital’s intensive care unit on Wednesday were being treated for Covid-19. In one of the rooms, relatives and a priest gathered around a patient’s bed, praying.
Every day, several more patients must be placed on ventilators. On Wednesday, a 52-year-old man with low blood oxygen levels was intubated by a team of four caregivers fully dressed in protective gowns, gloves, masks and visors.
“He was so scared, he could barely breathe,” recounts Melody Baril, who performed the intubation.
“You try and give them a little bit of hope,” she says, “but the death rate is so high, once you get to this point.”
More than 8,000 people in Ontario have died from Covid-19, representing one-third of the nationwide pandemic death toll. The number of cases in the province has risen to over 450,000, or almost 40 percent of the total in Canada.
After peaking in mid-April, the number of new daily infections has fallen slightly over the past 10 days and a vaccine rollout is accelerating. But the number of patients in intensive care continues to rise.
Fearing the crisis will persist, some caregivers say they are angry with Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government — which has faced a storm of criticisms over its pandemic response of late — but also against a segment of the population that has stubbornly resisted following public health restrictions.
“I feel frustrated,” says nurse Sarah Banani. “I think perhaps things could have been shut down harder and faster as we saw the variants take hold within the population.”
“I think we all feel we have been let down a little bit by society,” comments physician Jamie Spiegelman, adding that many health care providers “feel powerless to change things.”
“When I go outside and see traffic, people in a shopping center not taking the necessary precautions, that’s a letdown,” he says.
“We’re sick of patients with Covid-19 dying.”


Sweden passes one million cases as virus spread tops EU

Sweden passes one million cases as virus spread tops EU
Updated 06 May 2021

Sweden passes one million cases as virus spread tops EU

Sweden passes one million cases as virus spread tops EU
  • Sweden now has among the highest number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, said health official
  • With 1,002,121 covid19 cases recorded since the pandemic, 9.85 percent of the population has contracted the virus, according to official data

STOCKHOLM: Sweden on Thursday announced it had recorded over one million cases of Covid-19, nearly a tenth of the population, as the Nordic nation struggles to rein in a third wave of the virus.
“In Sweden we now have among the highest number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of microbiology at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, told a press conference.
Tegmark Wisell noted however that there had been a downward trend in recent weeks.
With 1,002,121 cases of the novel coronavirus recorded since the start of the pandemic, 9.85 percent of the population has contracted the virus, according to official data compiled by AFP.
The Public Health Agency published a series of projections, with the most likely scenario showing the virus spread starting to subside in mid-May before reaching “very low levels” in July and August.
The Scandinavian country has famously never imposed the type of lockdown seen elsewhere in Europe, controversially relying on mostly non-coercive measures.
It has however gradually tightened restrictions since November, including a ban on alcohol sales after 8:00 p.m. and on public gatherings of more than eight people.
Since March, cafes, bars and restaurants have also been required to shut their doors by 8:30 pm.
Despite being in the midst of a third wave of cases, the rise in deaths has been much slower in recent weeks, with 156 deaths in the last seven days, which authorities say is the result of the rollout of vaccines among vulnerable groups.
The total number of deaths associated with Covid-19 since the start of pandemic reached 14,158 on Thursday, putting Sweden in the middle of the pack in Europe, although well ahead of its Nordic neighbors Finland, Norway and Denmark,
European mortality statistics however also show that Sweden had a lower than average excess mortality in 2020, compared to the rest of Europe.