Mariamma Varkey, founder of Dubai's first private school, passes away at 90

News Network
March 31, 2021

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Dubai, Mar 31: One of the pioneer private sector educators of the UAE, Mariamma Varkey, passed away at her son's Dubai residence on Wednesday morning. She was 90.

The matriarch of the Varkey family, along with her late husband KS Varkey, founded Dubai's first private school, Our Own English High School, in 1968.

She was bed-ridden for several years.

She is survived by her son Sunny Varkey, Chairman of the GEMS group — the world's largest school operator — and daughter Susan Mathews.

The Dubai Mar Thoma Parish has offered "heartfelt condolences" to the bereaved family members. Mariamma Varkey was one of "our senior most members", the parish said.

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News Network
September 28,2022

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Hyderabad, Sept 28: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday slammed the Centre for banning Popular Front of India (PFI) saying the "draconian" ban is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. 

"While I have always opposed PFI's approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported. Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned. SC has also held that mere association with an organisation is not enough to convict someone," Owaisi said in a tweet.

He added that the way India's "electoral autarky" is approaching "fascism", every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under the UAPA. 

"Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA and will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the Constitution," said Owaisi. 

After years of investigations and demands from BJP-ruled states, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday banned PFI and its eight affiliates for five years, charging them with being involved in "several criminal and terror cases" and having links with the terror outfits like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

The ban, which was notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the gazette at 5:43 am, came following multi-agency raids in around 15 states, including Karnataka and Kerala, led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that led to the arrest or detention of over 350 PFI leaders and activists on September 22 and 27. The MHA said in the notification that the ban was recommended by BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat governments.

Along with the PFI, its affiliates Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab India, Kerala were banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. 

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News Network
September 23,2022

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 23: A Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus was vandalised as sporadic incidents of violence were reported in various parts of Kerala as the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) was underway in the southern state on Friday.

In Thiruvananthapuram, one auto-rickshaw and a car were damaged allegedly by people supporting the state-wise bandh.

The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the NIA and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country, a charge rubbished by the outfit as a blatant lie. 

Local media reported that a petrol bomb was hurled at a vehicle which was carrying newspapers for distribution at Narayanpara in Kannur in the morning. In Alappuzha, KSRTC buses, a tanker lorry and some other vehicles got damaged in the stone pelting allegedly by those supporting the hartal call.

A 15-year-old girl and an auto-rickshaw driver suffered minor injuries in the stone pelting allegedly by PFI activists in Kozhikode and Kannur respectively. Meanwhile, Kerala police beefed up security in the state and issued directions to the district police chiefs to ensure law and order after the PFI called for a day-long state-wide hartal.

A statement issued by the police said stern action will be taken against those who violate the law. "All the policemen in the state will be deployed for the maintenance of law and order," the statement said. The PFI on Thursday had said a hartal will be observed in the state today "against the RSS-controlled fascist government's attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies".

The hartal would be held from 6 am to 6 pm, A Abdul Sathar, state general secretary, PFI, had said in the statement.

On Thursday, PFI workers had taken out marches to the places where raids were carried out and raised slogans against the Centre and its investigating agencies. However, central forces were already deployed in all such places as part of strengthening security. Multi-agency teams spearheaded by the NIA had arrested 106 functionaries of the PFI on Thursday in near-simultaneous raids at 93 locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Kerala, where PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests, officials said. PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national chairman O M A Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, former chairman E Abubacker and others were among those arrested. 

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News Network
September 26,2022

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Doha: Islamic scholar and Founding President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi passed away at the age of 96 today, September 26, 2022. 

The official account of the scholar announced the news on Twitter, followed by the same announcement on IUMS Twitter. "The Islamic nation has lost one of its most sincere and virtuous scholars,” the IUMS added.
Al Qaradawi was born in the Egyptian province of Gharbia in 1926. He was barely 10 years old when he was able to memorize and recite the Holy Quran.

Then he joined the institutes of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, then the Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion at Al-Azhar University, from which he obtained the international degree in the year 52 - 1953. 

Then he obtained the international degree with a teaching license from the Faculty of Arabic Language in 1954, and then in the year 1960, he obtained the higher preparatory study equivalent to the Master’s in the Science Division The Qur’an and Sunnah from the Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion, and in 1973 he obtained a PhD with distinction, with first class honors, from the same faculty, on “Zakat and its impact on addressing social problems”

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