‘Are all lives not equal?’: Usman Khawaja on bizarre ICC threat amidst Gaza massacre

News Network
December 13, 2023

 

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'Australia batter Usman Khawaja became a big talking point on social media after pictures of his shoes with a pro-humanity and pro-equality slogan surfaced on social media.

Khawaja was reportedly planning to wear the shoe with the same message on Day 1 of the first Test against Pakistan in Perth, but was warned against doing so over 'ICC rules'. While Khawaja has accepted the directive, he maintains that the message written on his shoe wasn't political.

On one of Khawaja's shoes, the message read: "All lives are equal", while the other one read, "Freedom is a human right". But, had the veteran batter decided to wear the same messages in the match, he could've been suspended by ICC.

In a video that he shared on social media on the eve of the Perth Test, Khawaja stood his ground and said that he isn't taking sides in the Israel vs Hamas war but is only suggesting that all lives are equally important to him, be it that of a person Muslim, Jew or Hindu.

"What I've written on my shoes is not political," he said. "I'm not taking sides. Human life to me is equal. One Jewish life is equal to one Muslim life is equal to one Hindu life and so on. I'm just speaking up for those who don't have a voice."

Despite the word of caution from Cricket Australia, Khawaja also said that he would continue to fight for his right to express these views. "Is freedom not for everyone? Are all lives not equal?", Khawaja asked in the video.

"The ICC has told me I can't wear my shoes on the field because they feel it's a political statement under their guidelines," he said. "I don't believe it's so. It's a humanitarian appeal. I will respect their view and decision. But I will fight it and seek to gain approval," he said in the video.

"Freedom is a human right. And all lives are equal. I will never stop believing that, whether you agree with me or not," he also said.

Earlier, Australia skipper Pat Cummins had confirmed that Khawaja would not wear the statements, that he did in training, in the match against Pakistan on Thursday.

"I spoke to him just quickly and [Khawaja] said he won't be [wearing the statements]," Cummins said. "It kind of drew the attention to the ICC rules which I don't know if Uzzie was across beforehand. Uzzie doesn't want to make too big of a fuss. On his shoes, he had 'all lives are equal'. I think that's not very divisive. I don't think anyone can really have too many complaints about that.

"I think it's one of our strongest points in our team is that everyone has their own passionate views and individual thoughts and I chatted to Uzzie briefly about it today. And I don't think his intention is to make too big of a fuss, but we support him.

"I think what was on the shoes, 'all lives are equal', I support that."

Through his message, Khawaja is hoping to send a message to mankind against massacre of innocents in Palestine, even though he did not specifically mentioned about brutal Israeli aggression. 

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News Network
July 12,2024

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Microsoft has reportedly closed the email accounts of Palestinians living abroad, cutting off their access to online services used to contact relatives in Gaza amid the ongoing genocidal Israeli war.

Some Palestinians told the BBC on Thursday that their email accounts were closed without any explanation.

They added that this closure prevented them from accessing bank accounts, job offers, and the Skype application used to communicate with family members in the besieged Gaza.

“They killed my life online," said Eiad Hametto, who lives in Saudi Arabia.

"They’ve suspended my email account that I’ve had for nearly 20 years - It was connected to all my work.”

Hametto also said being cut off from Skype was a huge blow for his family.

Microsoft alleged that the affected users had violated its terms of service, but the Palestinians rejected the claim.

“We are civilians with no political background who just wanted to check on our families,” Hametto stressed. 

Salah Elsadi, who lives in the US, said that his Microsoft Hotmail account and all associated services were deactivated in April.

"I've had this Hotmail for 15 years," he said. "They banned me for no reason, saying I have violated their terms - what terms? Tell me. I've filled out about 50 forms and called them many many times."

Another Palestinian Khalid Obaied said he had paid for a package to make phone calls, but he was banned after 10 days for no reason.

"That means it's only because I’m a Palestinian calling Gaza,” he added.

Israel unleashed its brutal Gaza onslaught on October 7 after Hamas carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 38,345 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza, and injured 88,295 others.

The Israeli aggression has disrupted telecommunication services (landline, mobile, and internet) in the Gaza Strip. 

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: District minister Dinesh Gundu Rao directed the district administration of Dakshina Kannada to conduct an inquiry into the alleged substandard work in the Riverfront project, which is being undertaken by Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) in the city.

At a Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting on Friday, MLC Ivan D’Souza and Mangaluru City South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath brought the issue of the collapse of a retaining wall constructed by the side of the Nethravati River in Boloor to the minister’s attention.

The minister stated that a detailed report should be submitted within a week. Raising the issue, D’Souza mentioned that despite having access to advanced technologies, MSCL has failed to ensure the quality of work.

He added that people have been blaming the representatives for the lapses of officials. Officials of the MSCL explained that a 740-metre-long retaining wall was constructed by the side of the river, as part of the 2.1km riverfront project. Since soil could not be filled during the work, a portion of the retaining wall, about 12-metres-long, collapsed during the rain. The contractor has been asked to reconstruct the wall, the official said.

In response to a query, an MSCL official stated that two cases pertaining to the riverfront project are pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: The Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting chaired by district minister Dinesh Gundu Rao here on Friday, debated why Dakshina Kannada had not been sanctioned houses for the poor under various government schemes after the 2021-2022 period.

Puttur MLA Ashok Kumar Rai, raising the issue, said that although housing schemes had been sanctioned for all districts across the state, Dakshina Kannada had not been considered after 2021-22.

“It has been brought to my notice during a discussion with the housing minister, that the district has not submitted a demand for houses between 2021-22 and 2024-25,” Rai said.

When an official cited a technical reason, the minister stated that it was a serious lapse on the part of the officials. 

“There is a need for the initiation of disciplinary action against the concerned officials, because the district failed to sanction houses in the past four years, despite having government land. We cannot tolerate negligence in the implementation of the housing scheme for the poor,” the minister said. Officials informed that in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020, the district was sanctioned 64,123 houses. While 48,252 houses have been built, work on 4,898 is in progress, and the remaining are yet to be started.

Dakshina Kannada ZP CEO Anandh K said that as per a survey conducted in 2018, the district has a demand for 49,715 houses. However, no houses were sanctioned after 2022, he said.

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