Arab League to meet on Gaza violence

Arab League to meet on Gaza violence
Israel has killed some 60 Palestinians protesting against the transfer the same day of the US embassy to Jerusalem. (AP)
Updated 16 May 2018

Arab League to meet on Gaza violence

Arab League to meet on Gaza violence
  • Arab foreign ministers will meet on Thursday
  • More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in seven weeks of protests, mainly from Israeli sniper fire

CAIRO: Arab foreign ministers are to hold an “extraordinary” meeting Thursday in Cairo to discuss the deadly violence on the Gaza-Israel border, the organization said.
Israel has come under international pressure after its border forces on Monday killed some 60 Palestinians protesting against the transfer the same day of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in seven weeks of protests, mainly from Israeli sniper fire.
Permanent delegates to the Cairo-based Arab League met on Wednesday to prepare for the ministerial session called by Saudi Arabia on “the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.”
“A draft resolution will be presented” Thursday to foreign ministers, Hossam Zaki, the League’s deputy secretary general, told reporters in the Egyptian capital.
He said it would contain “the strongest political positions... in support of the Palestinian resistance and against the American decision” to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
 


Sudan schoolbook picture sparks angry reform debate

Sudan schoolbook picture sparks angry reform debate
Bookseller Yaqoub Mohamed Yaqoub, 45, sits by his roadside stall where he has been working for 15 years, in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, on January 14, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2021

Sudan schoolbook picture sparks angry reform debate

Sudan schoolbook picture sparks angry reform debate
  • Unrest ricocheted beyond North African country, triggering uprisings, crackdowns, civil wars

KHARTOUM: As Sudan’s transitional government shifts the nation from the Islamist rule of ousted strongman Omar Bashir, a new schoolbook has sparked controversy for reproducing Michelangelo’s iconic “Creation of Adam.”
Khartoum’s government has embarked on deeply controversial reforms in a bid to boost its international standing and rescue its ailing economy — but bringing it into a confrontation with those who see changes as anti-Islamic.
The offending picture, in a history textbook for teenagers, has become a flashpoint in the argument. “It is an ugly offense,” said Sudan’s Academy of Islamic Fiqh, the body ruling on Islamic law, which issued an edict banning teaching from the book.
Michelangelo’s fresco, depicting the Biblical story of God reaching out with his hand to give life to Adam, is a flagship piece of 16th century Renaissance art that forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling in Rome.
“The book glorifies Western culture in a way that makes it the culture of science and civilization — in contrast to its presentation of Islamic civilization,” the Fiqh academy added.

BACKGROUND

In a viral video, a preacher broke down as he waved the book during Friday prayers, accusing it of promoting ‘apostasy’ and ‘heresy.’

Furious Muslim clerics have railed against the book and other changes to the school curriculum.
In one video widely shared on social media, a preacher broke down as he waved the book during Friday prayers, accusing it of promoting “apostasy” and “heresy.”
Another urged followers to “burn the book.”
But others defended the changes, saying they were part of necessary education reforms.
“The picture is not in a religious book,” teacher Qamarya Omar said.
“It is in a history book for the sixth-grade under a section called European Renaissance, which makes it placed in context.”