Jordan to reopen mosques and churches for prayer

A rainbow is seen over a closed mosque during the first day of Eid al-Fitr after the government imposed a full lockdown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan May 24, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 May 2020

Jordan to reopen mosques and churches for prayer

  • Mosques would reopen on June 5 for worshippers to perform Friday prayers
  • Churches will open on Sunday June 7

CAIRO: Jordan will begin lifting a ban on prayers in mosques and churches from next week as the government eases restrictions introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19. 
The Kingdom’s Islamic Affairs Minister Mohammed Al-Khalayla said mosques would reopen on June 5 for worshippers to perform Friday prayers, which have been banned since April. 
The minister said mosques would open for Friday prayers as a start, which Muslims are obliged to perform in congregation. 
However, regarding other daily prayers, the mosques would only be allowed to recite the prayer call and worshippers would be asked to pray at home. 
Similarly, President of the Jordan Churches Council Archbishop Christophorus Attallah announced the reopening of churches on Sunday June 7.
Archbishop Attallah said the return to churches requires worshippers to abide by safety measures. 
The elderly or anyone showing symptoms of illness must avoid praying at mosques and churches, the religious figures said.


Doha faces diplomatic row after women strip-searched at airport

Updated 2 min 43 sec ago

Doha faces diplomatic row after women strip-searched at airport

LONDON: Australia’s government has registered “serious concerns” with Qatar following a strip-searching scandal at Doha airport.
A flight to Sydney from Hamad International Airport was due to leave on Oct. 2, but was delayed by more than four hours after authorities allegedly discovered a deceased new-born infant in the airport. 
All the female passengers on board the aircraft were ordered to disembark. A doctor on the flight told Guardian Australia that the women returned some time later and that “most of them were very upset.”
Dr. Wolfgang Babeck added: “At least one of them was crying, they were discussing what had happened and saying it was unacceptable and disgusting.” 
The flight took off after the women returned. Babeck said he spoke with some of the passengers, who told him they were taken to a private area of the airport and subject to intrusive examinations.
“They were taken by security personnel into the cellar, not knowing what was going on. And then they were presented to a female doctor and they were basically strip-searched and had to take everything … off, all their clothes, even their underwear,” he added.
“And then the doctor would try to feel in the uterus and stomach area or lower abdomen to see whether they may have given birth recently. Someone had been told that a baby had been found in the toilet and they were trying to find out who the mother was.”
Other reports say the inspections took place in an ambulance on the runway, and 13 Australian women were strip-searched.
A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told Guardian Australia that it was “aware of concerning reports regarding the treatment, in Qatar, of passengers on a Qatar Airways flight to Sydney. DFAT is seeking further information from the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways.”
On Sunday, DFAT issued an updated statement saying Australia’s government had “formally registered our serious concerns regarding the incident with Qatari authorities and have been assured that detailed and transparent information on the event will be provided soon.”