US CONGRESS APPROVES ACT COMBATING ISLAMOPHOBIA   

The US House of Representatives approved with 219-212 votes Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky’s Combating International Islamophobia Act, thereby warning Islamophobes all over the world that they are under its watch. The draft for the bill, authored by Representative Ilhan Omar and her colleague was presented in Congress on 21 October 2021 and would now create a special envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia and include state-sponsored anti-Muslim violence in the department’s annual human rights reports. “We are in the midst of a staggering rise of anti-Muslim violence and discrimination around the world,” Omar said on the House floor. “Islamophobia is global in scope and we must lead the global effort to address it.” The initiative was supported by Democrats  while Republican members of the Congress except one opposed it.

MOSQUE IN LEIPZIG, GERMANY, VANDALISED BY FAR-LEFT PROTESTERS

A mosque in the eastern German city of Leipzig has been vandalised by left-wing extremists. During a rally of far-left groups in the east Leipzig, some of the protesters attacked the Eyup Sultan Mosque and smashed its windows, according to a police statement. Small groups of violent demonstrators also threw fireworks and rocks at police officers, burned garbage cans, and tried to torch parked cards in the district, according to local media reports. Police said they arrested 11 suspects after the demonstrators turned violent. Germany’s largest Turkish-Muslim group DITIB, which runs Leipzig’s Eyup Sultan Mosque, has condemned the attack and called for stronger protection for the places of worship.

MUSLIMS HOLD FRIDAY PRAYERS IN SHADOW OF DEADLY VOLCANO

Indonesian Muslims gathered for Friday prayers in an evacuation centre on the slopes of Mount Semeru, where thousands of people remained in limbo after a series of eruptions in the past week by the volcano left thousands homeless. The 3,676-metre (12,060 foot) volcano erupted spectacularly, sending a towering cloud of ash into the sky and dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages below. In the Penanggal evacuation centre, Abdul Ghofar joined several hundred others displaced by the disaster for Friday prayers in a makeshift mosque set up using a tent in a field. He said his cousin, who worked as a sand miner near the volcano, was still missing and he was now waiting to be relocated.

UAE TO SHIFT WEEKEND TO SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

The United Arab Emirates will be the first Gulf nation to change the weekend from current Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday to become more attractive as an international business hub. The government announced that its offices will shift to the new weekend from the start of next year. The government said the shift will enable the domestic economy to be better integrated with international markets and enhance competitiveness, urging the private sector to follow suit. Work on Friday will end at noon so people can attend Muslim prayers. UAE is the first country in the world to introduce a work week shorter than five days.

REVERTED JAPANESE MUSLIM ACADEMIC TEACHES ISLAM IN TURKEY

Naoki Yamamoto reverted to Islam 12 years ago. He  is on a mission to disseminate the messages of his new religion to his fellow Japanese compatriots. Instead of going back home, Yamamoto invites Muslim converts in Japan to Turkey, where he teaches them about Islam, in the same place where he also grasped the pillars of Islam. Yamamoto was recently in the central province of Konya where he attended an international congress on conversion to Islam and recounted his experience and work in Turkey. He says Islam’s moral and social teachings fascinated him and he decided to convert. Currently, he has five students who are learning about the religion as well as other Islamicate languages from him. Yamamoto also organises online classes to reach out to other converts back in his homeland. “I train people here, so they will return to Japan to teach more people about Islam,” he says.

MALAYSIAN EX-PM LOSES CORRUPTION APPEAL

Former Malaysian leader Najib Razak lost his appeal against a corruption conviction and 12-year jail term, with the judge branding his actions a “national embarrassment” but allowing him to remain free. The 68-year-old was found guilty on all counts last year in the first of several trials he is facing related to the looting of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund. Najib and his cronies were accused of stealing billions of dollars from the investment vehicle. However, the Judge Karim, while rejecting Najib’s defence, agreed to the request for Najib to stay out of prison on bail while he lodges a final appeal with Malaysia’s top court. “I did not know, nor did I ask nor did I order the transfer of 42 million ringgit to my account,” Najib told reporters.

YOUNG KAZAKH TENNIS PLAYER RANKS FIRST IN TENNIS EUROPE

Thirteen-year-old Zangar Nurlanuly topped the list of Tennis Europe Junior Masters, by the end of the tennis season, with 255 points among players under 14 years of age. Nurlanuly recently won the World Tennis Europe tournament in Oslo in the juniors category in singles. Junior Masters is a major sporting event, featuring the young European tennis elite (players under 14 and 16 years old) and consisting of the eight best young men and women. Among the former champions are such world-known players as Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Alexander Zverev, and Belinda Bencic among others. Nurlanuly has a good chance of joining next year’s Junior Masters in the autumn of 2022. He will participate in the tournament in Istanbul until the end of the year, and after a week’s rest will start preparing for the new season.

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