SAUDI ARABIA EXPELS ENVOY OVER YEMEN WAR CRITICISM

Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Lebanon for consultations and asked the Lebanese ambassador to leave the kingdom within 48 hours. Saudi Arabia also banned all imports from Lebanon until further notice after Lebanese Information Minister George Kurdahi criticised the Saudi-led war in Yemen against the fighters of Ansarallah  [Houthi] movement. Bahrain followed Saudi Arabia and asked the Lebanese ambassador to leave the country within 48 hours. Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said Lebanese Ambassador Milad Hanna Nemmour was asked to leave because of the unacceptable and negative attitudes and statements by a Lebanese official. Kurdahi had made a statement against Riyadh in a televised interview said to be recorded before he took the position in the new Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

FRANCE TO CLOSE 7 MORE MOSQUES, ASSOCIATIONS, TOTAL CLOSED 92

France will close seven more mosques and associations by the end of this year suspected of promoting “radical Islamism,” the country’s interior minister announced on October 26. Gerald Darmanin welcomed the decision to close a mosque in the city of Allonnes for six months on the grounds that it defends “radical Islam.” Darmanin said that the bank accounts of the mosque’s administrators were also seized, adding that 13 associations have been closed in the country since President Emmanuel Macron took office. Noting that 92 of the 2,500 mosques in the country were closed as a result of inspections, Darmanin said that since September 2020, the residence permits of 36,000 foreigners have been cancelled on the grounds that these individuals threaten public order.

G7 TO ERADICATE FORCED LABOUR AMID TREATMENT OF UYGHURS

Trade ministers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations agreed to eliminate forced labour and shared their concern over such state-sponsored practice on minorities, in a veiled criticism of China’s treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in the far-western Xinjiang region. “We affirm that there is no place for forced labour in the rules-based multilateral trading system,” the ministers said in a joint statement following their virtual meeting hosted by Britain, expressing their concern over “state-sponsored forced labour of vulnerable groups and minorities.” The ministers referred to the state-sponsored forced labour of vulnerable groups and minorities in the agricultural, solar and garment sectors but did not single out China. China, however, denies it is systematically mistreating Uyghurs.

ISRAEL’S LATEST MOVE TO SILENCE PALESTINIANS CONDEMNED

There has been worldwide condemnation of Israeli designation of six Palestinian human rights organisations and unions as “terrorist” organisations “designed to criminalise, persecute, and silence Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders for their commitment to the struggle against Israeli occupation, entrenched settler-colonialism, and apartheid.” The organisations targeted include: Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Al Haq – Law in the Service of Man; Bisan Centre for Research and Development; Defence for Children International – Palestine; the Union of Agricultural Work Committees; and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. This move allows the Israeli Government to arrest human rights defenders, and confiscate property of the organisations in an effort to silence Palestinians in their efforts to resist the occupation.

MUSLIM GROUPS OPPOSE RENAMING JAKARTA STREET AFTER ATATURK

The government’s plan to rename a street in Menteng, Central Jakarta, after the founding father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, to reciprocate a similar gesture made by the Turkish government, has drawn criticism from Indonesian ulema and an Islam-based opposition party. The move was proposed to deepen Indonesia and Turkey’s relationship, Indonesian Ambassador to Turkey Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said, adding that the Turkish government had already approved the Indonesian government’s proposal to rename a street in front of the Indonesian embassy in Ankara after Indonesian founding father Sukarno. “In line with diplomatic etiquette, we will name a street in Jakarta after the Turkish founding father,” Lalu said.

‘LIQUOR POLICY’ NEEDED TO PROTECT MUSLIM SENSITIVITIES

An Amanah leader in Malaysia says the sensitivities of Muslims need to be looked after in all alcohol-related activities, even when it comes to choosing brand names and symbols. Following the controversy over Malaysian-made Timah whisky, Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa said a “liquor policy” was needed to ensure that issues related to alcohol would not be politicised over and over again. “The lesson from the issue of the Timah whisky is that there needs to be assertiveness by the government to preserve the good name of Islam and its position in the country,” he said in a Facebook post. He added that the prime minister and his Cabinet needed to state their stand on the matter to ensure the name of Islam in Malaysia was not tarnished, without denying the rights of non-Muslims. He added that the promotion of Timah as a Malaysian product was bad for Islam’s image as the official religion of the country.

AIMA CONDUCTS LIFESAVERS PROGRAMME NATIONWIDE

Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA) conducted Lifesavers programmes at Mosques and Islamic centres across different Australian states and territories, both physical where possible and virtual in states with Covid-19 lockdown. Lifesaving skills such as hands-on experience with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), management of choking, recovery position and use of Automated Electrical Defibrillator(AED) were taught. Between 15 to 40 community members, including men, women, and children, attended this programme at each site. The lifesavers programme was started in the UK by British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) in 2014 as the ‘BLS Mosque Project’, teaching life-saving skills in three Mosques in London.

TRANSGENDER WOMAN FLEES MALAYSIA OVER HIJAB ISSUE

Ms. Nur Sajat, a transgender entrepreneur and social media personality, announced that she had fled to Australia to escape the threat of prison in her home state, Selangor, Malaysia.  “When I received refuge in Australia, I felt protected to be my true self, to be free,” Ms. Sajat said in an interview with The New York Times. “I felt trapped in my own country, where I was born, because of the laws there that criminalise me and consider me a man.” The Islamic authorities want to imprison her for wearing female clothing at a religious event and threatened to put her in a rehabilitation camp where she could “return to the right path.” Three years earlier, on her birthday, she put on a demure hijab and attended a Muslim prayer session at a new building she was inaugurating near the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

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