THOUSANDS PROTEST IN MALI AGAINST BLASPHEMY

Thousands of people on November 4 demonstrated in Mali’s capital, Bamako, to protest against blasphemy of Islam after a video went viral showing a man making comments insulting the religion and stepping on a copy of the Qur’ān. At the demonstration, called by the High Islamic Council of Mali (HCIM), participants denounced “blasphemy in all its forms” in Mali and around the world, and condemned “the audacious act” of the video spread on social networks. “No to blasphemy”, “don’t touch my religion”, “the Qur’ān is untouchable” are some of the slogans shouted by the protesters, as reported by the daily Kati 24. The video that has raised controversy among the Muslim community in Mali begins with “Hotep”, a greeting for the followers of Kemetism, a religion born recently and inspired by ancient Egypt – which is also considered by some as a sect – that defends African culture against monotheistic religions such as Islam or Christianity. The protagonist of the video records himself in a small tent when he begins to insult the Qur’ān and shortly after begins to trample the book, according to RFI radio station. The Ministry of Religious Affairs of Mali has condemned the acts and assured that its author would be brought to justice.

230 UNIDENTIFIED BODIES DISCOVERED IN LIBYA: ICC

Authorities in Libya have unearthed 230 bodies, mostly unidentified, from sites in Tarhuna, a city south of the capital Tripoli, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on November 9. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan addressed the UN Security Council after his visits to Libya and updated the council in a speech uploaded on the ICC’s official social media account. The ICC, according to Khan, possesses audio and video records of the atrocities and mass graves in Tarhuna. He said armed groups affiliated with Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the country’s armed forces in the east, were involved in crimes such as extrajudicial killings, kidnapping and hostage taking in various Libyan cities. The city of Tarhuna was liberated on June 5, 2020 from militias loyal to Haftar. Since then, bodies have been recovered from mass graves discovered almost every day.

TURKEY REFUSED ISRAEL’S REQUESTS TO ACT AGAINST HAMAS

Turkey refused to comply with Israeli demands requesting the deportation of Hamas leaders living in the country during bilateral talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on November 8 at a parliamentary proceeding. Responding to a question from MPs, Cavusoglu said Ankara does not view Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement that rules the Gaza Strip, as a terror group and refused to expel them. “We didn’t satisfy any [Israeli] request on Hamas, because we don’t perceive Hamas as a terror group,” Cavusoglu said. “We are always leading efforts to unify them with Fatah,” he added, referring to Hamas’ political rival, which dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA). In late October, Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to expel Hamas leaders residing in the country.

ALGERIA OFFICIALLY APPLIES TO JOIN BRICS BLOC

Algeria has officially applied to join the BRICS economic group. The bloc of emerging economies includes Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa. Foreign Ministry official, Leyla Zarruki, said the North African country has requested membership of the economic bloc. Zarruki said Algeria has finalised all necessary measures for membership, without any further details. In July, Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboun signalled willingness to join the bloc, saying BRICS “attracts Algeria’s attention”. “Joining this group will take Algeria, the pioneer of the Non-Alignment principle, away from the attraction of the two poles,” he said. The economies of the five BRICS members, which have more than 40 per cent of the world’s population, account for about a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.

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