KWARA STATE REAFFIRMS USE OF HIJAB IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Nigeria’s Kwara state has reaffirmed its stance of allowing Muslim girls to wear the hijab in public schools, saying it will not tolerate any form of religious bigotry at educational institutions. In a statement, the State Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu, said the government met with Muslim and Christian leaders over the headscarf issue in the state. “The policy statement of the Kwara state government allowing willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear the hijab in all public schools, including grant-aided ones, is binding,” said Modibbo-Kawu. “This conforms to the judicial pronouncements of the courts of law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” Calling on both Muslim and Christian leaders to allow peace to reign in the state, she said: “There is freedom of religion in Nigeria.”

FORMER TORY MINISTER SAYS SHE WAS SACKED FOR BEING A MUSLIM

The first and only Muslim woman to become a Tory MP has revealed that she lost her junior ministerial job almost two years ago because of her religion. Nusrat Ghani, 49, says after she was sacked as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Aviation and Maritime in a mini reshuffle in February 2020, she was told by a party whip that her “Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable.” At a meeting in Downing Street, she said her “Muslimness was raised as an issue” and claimed she had kept quiet after being warned that if she continued to raise the matter her “career and reputation would be destroyed.” Her revelation was made in an interview published by the Sunday Times. Ghani, who was first elected as an MP for Wealden, in East Sussex, in 2015, was given her ministerial post at the Department of Transport under Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May in January 2018.

TIBETAN MUSLIMS STRADDLE OF FAITH AND TRADITION

When Sakina Batt, a young Tibetan Muslim from Nepal, wrapped up a four-year job working with the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, India, she received a rare honour: an audience with the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetans. “I completely broke down when I entered the room,” she said. “The environment was such and the vibe was such that even though it was just a virtual audience, I felt so special.” “Other than that, everything is the same. We have the same culture, we have the same traditions and language, what we eat is the same, and what we wear is the same.” The origin of Tibetan Muslims dates at least to the 14th century, when Muslim merchants from Nepal, China, Kashmir and Ladakh began settling in Tibet.

RELIGIOUS ORGANISATION FORBIDS USE OF CRYPTO IN INDONESIA

The Indonesian Islamic organisation Tarjih Council and the Central Executive Tajdid of Muhammadiyah has issued a fatwa against the use of cryptocurrency in the Asian country. The fatwa, which comes a few months after another Islamic organisation discouraged the use of cryptocurrencies, explains to Muslims the illegality and harmfulness of using cryptocurrencies. “Tarjih’s fatwa stipulates that cryptocurrency is illegal both as an investment tool and as a medium of exchange,” a statement on the Islamic organisation’s website explained. The Islamic organisation points to the volatility of cryptocurrencies as one of the reasons for issuing the fatwa. The organisation argues that since cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not backed by an asset and are thought to be obscure, they are therefore not lawful for use by Indonesia’s Muslims. Further, the Tarjih Assembly’s fatwa explained why digital assets such as bitcoin did not fully satisfy the conditions needed for them to be regarded as a medium of exchange.

AN AMERICAN CITIZEN IN AFGHANISTAN REVERTS TO ISLAM

Christopher, an American citizen in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, reverted to Islam at the hands of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, a report said on January 24. According to Afghanistan’s state-run news agency, Christopher, a long-time US citizen living in Afghanistan, reverted to Islam after recognising the legitimacy of Islam’s universal message and being inspired by the Taliban’s morals. Zabihullah Mujahid, Deputy Minister of Information, introduced the American citizen into the realm of Islam by reciting the word and gave him the Islamic name Muhammad Isa. There were tears in the eyes of the American citizen when he reverted to Islam and after reciting the word he embraced the Taliban.  Earlier, a British female journalist (Yvonne Ridley) and an Australian professor (Timothy Weeks, now Jibra’il) who were released from Taliban captivity also reverted to Islam after being inspired by Islamic teachings.

INDONESIA DENIES RUMOURS OF INTERACTION WITH ISRAEL

The Indonesian government has denied reports by Israeli media that officials from the two countries had recently held meetings in Tel Aviv. Indonesia has no formal ties with Israel and has repeatedly called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and for a two-state solution based on borders before the 1967 war. Israel’s Army Radio had reported that a delegation of Indonesian officials had visited Tel Aviv to discuss strategies related to the coronavirus pandemic but gave no details about when the meeting had taken place. Addressing a virtual press conference, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, said: “What we can emphasise here is that there was no interaction between officials of the two countries, because we do not have diplomatic relations.” However, he pointed out that despite the lack of formal ties, people-to-people interactions had taken place, including Indonesian pilgrims visiting religious sites in Jerusalem.

Image with caption: Three Palestinians were injured in an attack by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank

3 PALESTINIANS, INCL CHILD, INJURED IN ATTACK BY SETTLERS

Three Palestinians were injured in an attack by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said settlers affiliated with a radical Jewish organisation threw stones at the cars of Palestinians in the village of Hawara near the city of Nablus, smashed their windows and attacked shops, causing property damage. The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) reported that a 3-year-old child was among those injured in the attacks. Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Barlev described settler attacks against Palestinians as “actions of a terror organisation.” In recent months, settlers across the occupied territories have stepped up attacks against Palestinians and their properties which were committed under the watch of Israeli forces.

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