When a Masjid welcomes non-Muslims to bridge gap between communities

coastaldigest.com news network
March 22, 2021

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A historic mosque located at Kalbadevi, an old neighbourhood in Mumbai, for the first time opened its doors for “non-Muslim brothers” on March 21, 2021, as part of its efforts to bridge the gap between communities.

Dozens of people from different faiths were taken around the 18th-century structure of Juma Masjid, showcasing everything from the pond located in the downstairs main courtyard, to the large minarets that flanked either side of the mosque. 
  
The visitors were guided into the main prayer room and shown the minbar: a white, hollow pillar-like structure, once used by the imam to give the call for azaan. Those assembled were also given a demonstration of how the namaz is offered. 

One of the people conducting the tour explained the different postures that the namaz incorporates and their respective meanings. “A unique thing about namaz is that while praying, a king and a pauper can be standing next to each other without any discrimination. Equality is one of the highest virtues of Islam.”

According to Shoaib Khatib, chairman of the Jumma Masjid Bombay Trust, “The main idea behind starting this tour is to bridge the gap between different communities. These are tough times in today’s political environment…where some people have made a gap between Hindus and Muslims for their own political advantage. Ours is an effort to bridge this gap—and what better ground to do so than at our masjid, where our non-muslim brothers can be brought and shown what exactly is Islam and what does it teach.”

“Our country is beautiful—it has given each and every citizen the right to practice and preach whichever religion they choose. But there are some people present in all religions, whose actions give the entire faith a bad name. It must be remembered that the actions of the individual are different and from the actions of the entire faith,” he added.

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News Network
January 30,2023

Mangaluru, Jan 30: A 16-year-old girl from a school in Gerukatte in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the washroom of a house, police said on Sunday.

The girl has been identified as Afifa, daughter of Abdul Razak, a resident of Kaje Mane in Kaniyur village of Belthangady taluk.

The exact cause of the death is yet to be ascertained though it is suspected to be cardiac arrest.

In a complaint, her father Abdul Razak Usman said that as usual, his daughter left home on Saturday for school. Around 10am, he received a call that his daughter was not well and was asked to come to the school immediately.

On reaching the school, he realised that she had been shifted to the government hospital in Belthangady. His daughter had visited a house near the school to use the washroom, according to the school's principal.

Since Afifa did not return for a long time and there was no response, the members of the house, where the girl had been using the toilet, informed gram panchayat member Abdul Karim and the principal of the school. 

They rushed to the house and found her lying down in the washroom. The case is under investigation at Belthangady police station.

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News Network
February 1,2023

FM.jpg

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday began her much anticipated Budget speech, highlighting India's economic prospects amid a slowing global economy.

"The world has recognised India as a bright star. Our growth for the current year is estimated at 7 per cent...the highest among all major economies, in spite of massive global slowdown caused by pandemic and war," Sitharaman said, kicking off her speech.

She added that the Indian economy was on the right track, and heading towards a bright future.

While presenting the first Budget for 'Amrit Kaal', FM Nirmala Sitharaman said the government, in a bid to increase digital infrastructure in the rural areas and boost rural startups, will set up an accelerator fund for agri startups.

She said the Budget for 2023-24 hopes to build on the foundation of the previous budget and blue print for [email protected]

This is the last full Budget of the second term of the BJP-led NDA government ahead of the general elections in 2024.

Sitharaman is presenting her fifth full Budget after she took over as Finance Minister in July 2019.

Details to follow

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News Network
January 30,2023

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Dubai/Washington, Jan 30: Israel appears to have been behind an overnight drone attack on a military factory in Iran, a US official said on Sunday.

Iran claimed to have intercepted drones that struck a military industry target near the central city of Isfahan, and said there were no casualties or serious damage.

The extent of damage could not be independently ascertained. Iranian state media released footage showing a flash in the sky and emergency vehicles at the scene.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military declined to comment. Arch-foe Israel has long said it is willing to strike Iranian targets if diplomacy fails to curb Tehran’s nuclear or missile programs, but it has a policy of withholding comment on specific incidents.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said no US military forces were involved in strikes in Iran, but declined to comment further.

That US officials were pointing to an Israeli role in the attack was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing several unidentified sources. One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters it did appear that Israel was involved. Several other US officials declined to comment, beyond saying that Washington played no role.

Tehran did not formally ascribe blame for what Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian called a “cowardly” attack aimed at creating “insecurity” in Iran. But state TV broadcast comments by a lawmaker, Hossein Mirzaie, saying there was “strong speculation” Israel was behind it.

The attack came amid tension between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear activity and its supply of arms — including long-range “suicide drones” — for Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as months of anti-government demonstrations at home.

The extent of the damage could not be independently confirmed. Iran’s Defense Ministry said the explosion caused only minor damage and no casualties.

“Such actions will not impact our experts’ determination to progress in our peaceful nuclear work,” Amirabdollahian told reporters in televised remarks.

An Israeli strike on Iran would be the first under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he returned to office last month at the helm of the most right-wing government in Israeli history.

In Ukraine, which accuses Iran of supplying hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in Ukrainian cities far from the front, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky linked the incident directly to the war there.

“Explosive night in Iran,” Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted. “Did warn you.”

Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia but says they were sent before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Moscow denies its forces use Iranian drones in Ukraine, although many have been shot down and recovered there.

“Minor damage”

“Around 23:30 (2000 GMT) on Saturday night, an unsuccessful attack was carried out using micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) on one of the ministry’s workshop sites,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by state TV.

It said one drone was shot down “and the other two were caught in defense traps and blew up. It caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building. There were no casualties.”

A military official in the region said given the location of the strike in central Iran and the size of the drones, it was likely that the attack was staged from within Iran’s borders.

Separately, IRNA reported early on Sunday a massive fire at a motor oil factory in an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz. It later said oil leakage caused that blaze, citing a local official.

Iran has accused Israel in the past of planning attacks using agents inside Iranian territory. In July, Tehran said it had arrested a sabotage team made up of Kurdish militants working for Israel who planned to blow up a “sensitive” defense industry center in Isfahan.

Several Iranian nuclear sites are located in Isfahan province, including Natanz, centerpiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which Iran accuses Israel of sabotaging in 2021. There have been a number of explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial sites in recent years.

Talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have stalled since September. Under the pact, abandoned by Washington in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, Tehran agreed to limit nuclear work in return for easing of sanctions.

Iran’s clerical rulers have also faced internal turmoil in recent months, with a crackdown on widespread anti-establishment demonstrations spurred by the death in custody of a woman held for allegedly violating its strict Islamic dress code.

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