Iran denies being involved in attack on Salman Rushdie

Iran denies being involved in attack on Salman Rushdie
Rushdie, whose controversial writings made him the target of an Iran fatwa that forced him into hiding, was stabbed in the neck by an attacker in New York state. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 August 2022

Iran denies being involved in attack on Salman Rushdie

Iran denies being involved in attack on Salman Rushdie

TEHRAN, Iran: An Iranian government official denied on Monday that Tehran was involved in the assault on author Salman Rushdie, in remarks that were the country’s first public comments on the attack.
The comments by Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, come over two days after the attack on Rushdie in New York.
However, Iran has denied carrying out other operations abroad targeting dissidents in the years since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, despite prosecutors and Western governments attributing such attacks back to Tehran.
“We, in the incident of the attack on Salman Rushdie in the US, do not consider that anyone deserves blame and accusations except him and his supporters,” Kanaani said. “Nobody has right to accuse Iran in this regard.”
Rushdie, 75, was stabbed Friday while attending an event in western New York. He suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, his agent said. He was likely to lose the injured eye.
His assailant, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the attack through his lawyer.
The award-winning author for more than 30 years has faced death threats for “The Satanic Verses.” Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, demanding his death. An Iranian foundation had put up a bounty of over $3 million for the author.
Kanaani added that Iran did not “have any other information more than what the American media has reported.”

Freedom of speech does not justify Rushdie's insults upon religion in his writing, Kanaani said.
The West “condemning the actions of the attacker and in return glorifying the actions of the insulter to Islamic beliefs is a contradictory attitude,” Kanaani said.


Jordan, Oman deepen ties as ministers agree education, science, tourism programs

Jordan, Oman deepen ties as ministers agree education, science, tourism programs
Updated 8 sec ago

Jordan, Oman deepen ties as ministers agree education, science, tourism programs

Jordan, Oman deepen ties as ministers agree education, science, tourism programs
  • Ministers signed executive programs for higher education, scientific research, and innovation between next year and 2025, and another on tourism cooperation up to 2026.

MUSCAT: Jordan and Oman’s foreign ministers have signed agreements to deepen ties in education, science, and tourism.

Jordan’s Ayman Safadi on Wednesday met his Omani counterpart Badr Albusaidi in Muscat to follow up on recent talks between King Abdullah II and Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, the Jordan News Agency reported.

The ministers signed executive programs for higher education, scientific research, and innovation between next year and 2025, and another on tourism cooperation up to 2026.

Safadi and Albusaidi also discussed preparations for Jordanian-Omani Joint Higher Committee meetings in Amman next year, as well as a business forum to be held on the sidelines.

King Abdullah, accompanied by Queen Rania and Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, visited the National Museum of Oman and the House of Musical Arts at the Royal Opera House in Muscat.

The royals were given an overview of the museum’s collections and artifacts and also attended a performance by the Royal Guard of Oman band.

 


How Egypt’s army saved injured girl abandoned by her terrorist father

How Egypt’s army saved injured girl abandoned by her terrorist father
Updated 05 October 2022

How Egypt’s army saved injured girl abandoned by her terrorist father

How Egypt’s army saved injured girl abandoned by her terrorist father
  • Film of Yaqeen’s ordeal shown at military celebrations in Cairo
  • Child used as human shield, left to die in North Sinai, says rights official

CAIRO: The Egyptian Armed Forces screened a special documentary Tuesday about a young girl who was saved by soldiers after being left to die by her terrorist father in the North Sinai region.

The documentary titled “Yaqeen” was shown at the 49th anniversary of the Oct. 6 Arab-Israeli War victory, in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The film tells the story of how Yaqeen was used by her “takfiri” father as a human shield during recent army raids in the North Sinai region.

Takfiri is an Arabic term denoting a Muslim who accuses a fellow believer of being an apostate, often accompanied by calls for the accused person to be killed.

The documentary presented an overview of the Egyptian army’s efforts to save the girl.

“My name is Yaqeen. I went to the nursery. I love to draw and color. I want to become a doctor and I love pizza.

“In the past, we didn’t have much to eat. We used to eat cacti only. I am happy in the place where I am based now and I feel safe,” Yaqeen said in the documentary.

The army had acted on a military intelligence report that a Bedouin had seen a group of terrorists seeking to escape detection with a wounded girl and then leaving her behind.

When the soldiers arrived at the coordinates, they found Yaqeen in a poor state. Medical staff initially assisted Yaqeen, transferred her to El-Arish Military Hospital, and then later to a nursery.

The documentary showed actress Amina Khalil visiting the girl in the hospital.

Moushira Khattab, head of the National Council for Human Rights, praised the army for the role it had played in saving Yaqeen, and its commitment to protect the nation.

She said Yaqeen was not “the property of her terrorist father, who used her as a human shield,” and that she would no longer be living in an atmosphere of violence and hatred.

For years, the Egyptian army and police have been engaged in large-scale operations in the Sinai to combat terrorists, including Daesh elements.

Last August, the Egyptian military, in cooperation with the federation of Sinai tribes, killed a Daesh leader in the village of Gelbana in North Sinai.

Hamza Adel Al-Zamili, a Palestinian, was considered one of the most prominent leaders of Daesh’s Sinai branch.


No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients

No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients
Updated 05 October 2022

No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients

No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients
  • Patients who cannot get treatment in Gaza need a medical referral from the Ministry of Health and an Israeli permit to travel to hospitals in the West Bank or Israel
  • According to the MoH in Gaza, the travel bans and the delay in implementing treatment protocols for cancer patients led to the death of more than 3,000 people in the past five years

GAZA CITY: Ensaf Abu Jajouh’s suffering began in 2014 when she discovered that she had breast cancer.

Her treatment in Gaza was not easy, and the disease came back three times as she battled to get the medicine she needed, leading her to travel to Jordan for care in 2021.

“I was shocked when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had no knowledge of its nature or how to treat it. I didn’t know if I would survive it or if it was the way to the end,” Abu Jajouh, 45, a mother of two daughters, told Arab News.

“There was a shortage of medicine in the Gaza Strip, and after the disease emerged for the second time, I was unable to get treatment for four months, which brought the disease back again, the doctors in Jordan told me.”

Her story is similar to many others in Gaza, which suffers severe shortages of cancer medicines due to the Israeli blockade, and the political division between Hamas and Fatah.

Abu Jajouh was able to get help at the King Hussein Cancer Center in Jordan with the assistance of local institutions. But many others facing the same disease do not share her fortune.

She said: “A cancer patient suffers from physical pain, in addition to the hardships of the treatment journey, the fear of not being fully cured, and the agony in society. I separated from my husband because he did not accept my illness in the first year.

“I may be a little lucky in my latest treatment journey, but most women are not,” she added.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health recorded 363 cases of breast cancer in Gaza last year, which is 18.5 percent of the total number of cancer patients.

The disease is on the rise, with 300 cases in 2018, 309 in 2019, and 324 in 2020. The death rate has also risen, to 13 percent.

Iman Shanan, director of the Aid and Hope Foundation for Cancer Patients, told Arab News that the Gaza Strip lacked a comprehensive national program for breast cancer screening.

“Breast cancer patients in Gaza suffer from many problems, the most important of which is the lack of complete and regular treatment, and there is no radiation therapy in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the lack of plastic surgery.

“Awareness may increase among women, but there are no fixed campaigns and a clear program for all official and private institutions to educate women about early detection, not to mention the suffering of patients in obtaining treatment permits in hospitals in the West Bank or abroad,” Shanan said.

Patients who cannot get treatment in Gaza need a medical referral from the Ministry of Health and an Israeli permit to travel to hospitals in the West Bank or Israel. Less than half of those permits are granted, however, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territories.

In a statement, the UN office said: “Patients referred for medical treatment in the West Bank or Israel and their companions accounted for approximately 7 percent of departures. A total of 2,067 applications for exit permits were submitted to attend medical appointments in August, but only 42 percent were approved in time.”

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the travel bans and the delay in implementing treatment protocols for cancer patients led to the death of more than 3,000 people in the past five years, including cases that were treatable and showing recovery signs.


Swedish MEP cuts hair during speech in solidarity with Iranian women

Swedish MEP cuts hair during speech in solidarity with Iranian women
Updated 05 October 2022

Swedish MEP cuts hair during speech in solidarity with Iranian women

Swedish MEP cuts hair during speech in solidarity with Iranian women
  • "Until the women of Iran are free we are going to stand with you," Iraqi-born Abir Al-Sahlani said in the parliament in Strasbourg

BRUSSELS: A Swedish member of the European Parliament lopped off her hair during a speech in the EU assembly in solidarity with anti-government demonstrations in Iran ignited by the death in morality police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
“Until Iran is free, our fury will be bigger than the oppressors. Until the women of Iran are free we are going to stand with you,” Iraqi-born Abir Al-Sahlani said in the parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday evening.
Then, taking a pair of scissors, she said “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” — Kurdish for “Woman, Life, Freedom” — as she snipped off her ponytail.
Leading French actresses including Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert have also cut locks of hair in protest over Amini’s death after she was arrested in Tehran on Sept. 13 for “inappropriate attire.”
Iran’s clerical rulers have been grappling with the biggest nationwide unrest in years since her death and protests have spread abroad including London, Paris, Rome and Madrid in solidarity with Iranian demonstrators.


Qatar emir in Prague for state visit

Qatar emir in Prague for state visit
Updated 05 October 2022

Qatar emir in Prague for state visit

Qatar emir in Prague for state visit
  • Czech Republic holds rotating presidency of EU

RIYADH: Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has arrived in Prague for a state visit to the Czech Republic, Qatar News Agency reported.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed, the Qatari ambassador to the Czech Republic, said that relations between the two countries had developed rapidly over the last two years and he noted the opening of the Czech embassy in Doha as an example.

An announcement is expected during Sheikh Tamim’s visit that Qatar will open an embassy in Prague.

The emir will discuss with Czech President Milos Zeman and senior officials the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in political, economic, and cultural fields as well as health, tourism, and sports, the QNA said.

Sheikh Tamim was greeted with a reception ceremony at the presidential residence in Prague Castle, where the Qatari and Czech national anthems were played.

Jan Zahradil, the first vice chair of the European Parliament’s committee on international trade, ​​emphasized the significance of Sheikh Tamim’s trip.

He said: “The visit comes in times where the Czech Republic holds the rotating presidency of the European Union and also in times where the Czech Republic and European Union as a whole are facing an unprecedented energy crisis.”