Iranian bid to infiltrate Iraqi pilgrim group thwarted

Iranian bid to infiltrate Iraqi pilgrim group thwarted
Updated 08 September 2016

Iranian bid to infiltrate Iraqi pilgrim group thwarted

Iranian bid to infiltrate Iraqi pilgrim group thwarted

JEDDAH: A high-ranking Iraqi official said his country stopped some Iranians from traveling to Saudi Arabia who had secretly infiltrated an Iraqi group of pilgrims and were holding fake passports.
Speaking to a local publication, the Iraqi official said: “We had received specific information about the presence of members of Hezbollah, Iraqi Saraya Al-Khorassani militias and Iranian-led Al-Abbas militias in a group of Iraqi pilgrims; they had fake passports and names, and we prevented them from leaving Iraq.”
Upon interrogation, they admitted to have been assigned by Iran to create problems and unrest during Haj in order to harm Iraq’s relations with Saudi Arabia, said the official.
Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that Iran’s interference in Iraq’s internal affairs has led to the spread of sectarian violence and the infiltration of Daesh in the country.
“As long as Iran continues to influence Iraq’s sectarian policies, which have generated violence through the presence of Iranian militias on Iraqi territories, threats against Iraqi Sunnis and diplomats will persist,” Al-Jubeir said.
“The sectarian crisis in Iraq cannot be resolved without the implementation of the reforms adopted in 2014,” he added.


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 19 min 26 sec ago

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.”