Author: Ainullah

Indictment of minority rights violations in India

The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), an umbrella coalition of progressive organizations across the United States, held a briefing in May on “Minority Rights Violations in India,” to mark the 3 year anniversary of BJP-led Hindu nationalist government in India. A key aspect of the briefing was the release of a comprehensive report on violation of human rights and religious freedom of minorities in India over the course of the last 3 years. “The same forces that have perpetuated caste discrimination are also spearheading India’s seemingly relentless drift away from secularism and religious pluralism, especially over the course of the last three years. In 2016, a global index of human rights and social and religious freedoms by Pew Research Center placed India among the worst 10 of the world’s 198 countries when judged for ‘social hostilities,’” says the report. “Laws curbing religious conversion, the ban on sale and possession of beef in many states and the curbs placed on NGOs represent the state’s response to forced conversions, the brutal violence of “cow protection” groups and the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders respectively. In all cases, the state has become an enabler of repression, often going to great lengths to defend and normalize the abuse,” the report further adds. “The release of this report is a plea to the international community for help in influencing the government...

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Yemenis starving during Ramadan

While Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan with special meals and tasty treats, millions of Yemenis are suffering from an acute lack of food as the country’s two-year war rages on. According to aid agencies, 17 million people do not have enough to eat, in what the UN calls the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world”. Typically, people shop throughout Ramadan, but Yemeni storekeepers have nothing to celebrate. “Sales are the lowest from years past. Every year is worse than before,” Yahya Hubar, a shopkeeper in Hodeidah, a coastal city in western Yemen, told Al Jazeera. More than two million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen, where a child under five dies every 10 minutes of preventable diseases, according a report by UNICEF published in December. Yemen was already one of the poorest countries in the region. The ongoing conflict between Houthi fighters and an Arab coalition has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people and pushed the country to a brink of famine, according to the UN. In addition, the country is facing a cholera outbreak, which so far has infected more than 29,000...

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ANIC on Ramadan and Zakat al-Fitr

The Mufti of Australia in consultation with ANIC declared Saturday 27 May as the first day of Ramadan for fasting in an unprecedented move two days in advance. In a statement ANIC declared: Following extensive consultations with nation-wide Islamic leaders in Australia and their representatives, the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed and the Australian National Imams Council wish to make the following statements regarding the Muslim community: The beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan for this year, 1438H – 2017, will begin on Saturday 27th of May 2017. The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr. Ibrahim...

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Intermittent fasting leads to new flexi diet

CSIRO has launched a new diet that includes intermittent fasting three days a week. The weight loss program is based on research carried out by CSIRO scientists which found that fasting can be an effective way to lose weight and stay healthy. Participants in the 16 week trial lost an average of 11kg and saw improvements in cholesterol, insulin, glucose and blood pressure. Intermittent fasting (and the similar style – alternate day fasting) has recently gained scientific and consumer interest. The research combined intermittent fasting with meal replacement shakes and a ‘Flexi’ day where participants had one day a week to enjoy the food or drinks they love. The CSIRO study took a novel look at using meal replacements as part of an intermittent fasting regimen to measure the effects of intermittent fasting for weight loss on nutritional status. As dieters progress through the program towards their goals, meal plans can be modified to incorporate more whole foods for a long term approach to weight maintenance. The Flexi program is available now in...

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Pope at Al-Azhar; religious leaders must ‘unmask’ violence and hatred

“Religious leaders must denounce violations of human rights and expose attempts to justify violence and hatred in the name of God.” That was Pope Francis’ message on Friday at the International Peace Conference taking place at the Al-Azhar conference centre in Cairo. The Pope’s words came at the start of his two day trip to Egypt, following a courtesy visit to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi. After listening to an opening address by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheik Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Pope spoke of Egypt’s “inestimable cultural heritage”, saying such wisdom and open-mindedness is urgently needed today to ensure peace...

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