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13 Jul, 2015

New York to host first Muslim comedy festival

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 13 July 2015 (26 Ramadan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ ISLAMIC TRAVEL NEWSWIRE EXECUTIVE EDITOR IMTIAZ MUQBIL AND ASSISTANT EDITOR SANA MUQBIL SHAMSI WISH ALL […]

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12 Jul, 2015

Claiming to preserve Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists wreck Palestinian heritage | The Electronic Intifada

In an administrative building buried deep in the spaciously built suburbs of West Jerusalem, the latest phase of a long-standing struggle over a corner of land in the heart of the city concluded last week. Israel’s National Planning Committee has overseen an appeal by several bodies who oppose the further expansion of the powerful settler […]

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11 Jul, 2015

Saudis more law-abiding abroad | Arab News

JEDDAH: A local survey found that almost half of Saudis abide by rules and laws in public places outside the Kingdom more than they do inside the country. More than one-third of the respondent sample said they violate road traffic signs and directions. The survey, conducted by Tagreed Al-Jadaani, professor of home economics at King […]

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11 Jul, 2015

Female foeticide, India’s ‘ticking bomb’ – Al Jazeera English

Bibipur, India – The jubilant young man’s arrival brought an abrupt halt to the card game contested by the turbaned group sitting under the tree. He thought he had good news for them: “I’ve been blessed with a baby girl!” he announced proudly. The response was not what he expected – the group’s shock quickly […]

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11 Jul, 2015

Israeli women launch fast for peace on Gaza war anniversary – DAWN.COM

JERUSALEM: Israeli Jews and Arabs launched a collective fast on Wednesday – the anniversary of last year’s Gaza war – to back their demands for peace with the Palestinians. Members of the “Women Wage Peace” group set up a protest tent outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official Jerusalem residence and plan to take it in […]

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11 Jul, 2015

Chinese tourism to Japan expected to be hit by stock market woes – Japan Times

TOKYO – The plunge in China’s stock market and concerns about its economic growth are having effects well beyond the nation’s borders — with shares of Japanese companies that benefit from Chinese tourists also declining. Tourism has boomed in Japan as the yen has weakened, with visitors from mainland China more than doubling in the […]

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8 Jul, 2015

Muslim girl named best-dressed student at US school – DAWN.COM

NEW YORK: A hijab-wearing Muslim of Palestinian descent has been named the best-dressed girl at a school in New Jersey state, according to a website. Abrar Shahin, a student of Clifton High School, sports a black skirt and skinny jeans, ankle-high boots and a cropped white blazer in her yearbook photo. Her make-up is just […]

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8 Jul, 2015

In high-tech, high-stress Asia, “Peace of Mind” products/services will be best-sellers – GfK research

Bangkok – As the people of Asia become more urbanised, more enamoured of technology and spend more time at work, the resulting high-stress societies will create big opportunities for products and services which promote convenience, pleasure and peace of mind. That trend, already well under way, explains why travel & tourism, arguably the only economic […]

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8 Jul, 2015

Israel’s Army Of Spin-Doctors Is Doomed To Defeat – Jonathan Cook, Countercurrents

Nazareth: The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must quickly “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status. Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin-doctors in a campaign termed “hasbara” […]

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8 Jul, 2015

Welcome to Modistan | Arab News

Can one imagine David Cameron or Barack Obama or Angela Merkel or Francois Hollande making trips abroad, while their respective countries reel from blood-soaked trails of the most sinister scam? Can one imagine the leaders not succumbing to calls for resignation, when that scam leaves behind 48 unexplained deaths? Logic says they should step aside […]

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8 Jul, 2015

The blood-soaked trail of India’s massive Vyapam scam – Quartz

While shady deals aren’t exactly unusual in Asia’s third largest economy, the Vyapam scam—or the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board scam—is getting murkier and scarier by the day. Since 2007, thousands of applicants in Madhya Pradesh have allegedly paid bribes to manipulate examination results for government jobs and medical colleges, according to police. A number […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Riyadh’s Ramadan tents are a big draw | Arab News

RIYADH: Hotels in the capital have made special arrangements by setting up Ramadan tents, where diners can visit to begin and break their fast with special suhoor and iftar meals during the ongoing fasting month. As the Ramadan tent is a popular phenomenon in the Kingdom and other Arab countries, Arab News explored the special […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Ku Klux Klan plans July 18 rally as black churches burn – Sydney Morning Herald

Charleston: The Ku Klux Klan plans to rally in South Carolina, even as black churches have been warned to take “necessary precautions” as authorities in southern states investigate several church fires over the last week. The Loyal White Knights chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Pelham, North Carolina, said it will rally at […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s tips for success in business | Asia Times

Want to be a successful entrepreneur in these hard times? Jack Ma, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s billionaire founder, has some useful tips for you. He jotted them after being inspired by some people he met during his travels. Jack Ma says entrepreneurs should be grateful to their customers Never think of becoming rich overnight. Running a […]

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7 Jul, 2015

New Muslims describe their Ramadan experience | GulfNews.com

Dubai: For most Muslims, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar, is a time to practise self-discipline and spiritual reflection. Along with abstaining from food and drink from dusk to dawn for 30 consecutive days, Muslims should refrain from sinful behaviour and speech, and redirect their focus from life’s distractions to worship and […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Social media blamed for huge rise in China divorce cases

By CAO YIN and LUO WANGSHU

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-07-06 – The growing use of social media is a major factor behind a dramatic increase in the divorce rate, according to a lawyer. Couples who spend too long chatting online instead of talking and devoting time to each other risk growing apart, said Liu Lin of Beijing Shuangli Law Firm. Nine […]

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7 Jul, 2015

7/7 anniversary: Islamophobia and the London bombings, one decade on — RT UK

Blair’s speech, which branded Islamic extremism an “evil ideology” with “devilish logic,” was not the beginning of Islamophobia in Britain. As Merali notes, it is tempting to see such events as a starting point when in fact they are part of a “trajectory” of popular sentiment. But by saying the acts were “founded in belief,” […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Waqf Minister: Jewish extremists committed 184 violations against Islamic Holy Sites in two months

RAMALLAH, July 5, 2015 (WAFA) – At least 184 violations by Israeli authorities against the holy sites in East Jerusalem and Hebron were reported in the recent two months, Sunday reported Yousef Id’ies, Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs. While violations in Jerusalem mainly involved provocative visits by extremist Jewish settlers, those in Hebron included […]

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7 Jul, 2015

European taxpayers fork out €18.1M for Palestinian salaries, pensions for June

RAMALLAH, July 6, 2015 (WAFA) – The European Union and the Netherlands Monday announced a contribution of around €18.1 million ($20 million) to the Palestinian Authority’s payment of June salaries and pensions. This contribution, which is channelled through the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and subsequent […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Firm faith: The company bosses who pray – BBC News

Saying prayers with colleagues would feel a bit uncomfortable, too intimate an activity in the workplace for many people. Yet at Chinese real estate giant Tentimes Group, that is exactly what they do in the boardroom before making important decisions. Three-quarters of the firm’s eight-strong senior management team are Christians and founder and chairman Wang […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Indonesians going abroad must report online: Ministry | The Jakarta Post

The case of an Indonesian believed to have gone missing in Syria has prompted the Foreign Ministry to issue a regulation requiring any Indonesian traveling outside the country to report online before departure. The regulation, which is aimed at helping the ministry to monitor Indonesian citizens abroad, will be issued in August. Foreign Ministry spokesman […]

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7 Jul, 2015

Sikh pilgrims bring memories of a past life to Hassanabdal, Pakistan – DAWN.COM

After waiting for 70 years, Karanveer Singh, a pilgrim from Hoshiarpur in India, is finally allowed to visit Pakistan. Mixed feelings of nostalgia and reverence overtake him as he pays homage to Maharaja Ranjit Singh on his 176th death anniversary. In the midst of rituals and preparations, he yearns to meet someone from Toba Tek […]

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7 Jul, 2015

American White Supremacists Extend Their Reach Through Websites – New York Times

As investigators comb through the data streams of Mr. Roof’s electronic equipment, a four-page manifesto apparently written by him before the killings offers a virtual road map to modern-day white supremacy. It contains bitter complaints about black crime and immigration, espousing the virtues of segregation and debating the viability of an all-white enclave in the […]

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6 Jul, 2015

First Brunei Islamic Fashion Exhibition aims to unite local designers

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 06 July 2015 (19 Ramadaan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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5 Jul, 2015

More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse: Poll

More people in Britain believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse than those who believe it makes the country better, according to a new survey. The survey by YouGov, commissioned by the Huffington Post, demonstrates a large decrease in the proportion of the population who believe that multiculturalism benefits the country. The latest figures, polled […]

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5 Jul, 2015

Mass killings may be contagious: US study

MIAMI: Mass killings in the United States may be contagious, according to a study Thursday which found that each deadly tragedy can increase the likelihood of another incident soon to follow. Scientists examined data from 1998 to 2013 on school shootings and other mass killings in the United States, according to the findings in the […]

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5 Jul, 2015

Tunisian campaign uses terrorism images in the West to bring back tourists – The Independent

A provocative advertising campaign featuring images of terror attacks in Western capitals urges tourists not to abandon Tunisia in the wake of its own terror attack. The campaign, launched by a Tunisian communications firm, asks “would you stop visiting” alongside images of London during the 7/7 bombings, New York during the 9/11 attack on the […]

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5 Jul, 2015

Indonesian alcohol prohibition bill could soon become law: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s alcohol prohibition bill is one step closer to becoming law with the House of Representatives agreeing on Friday to further discussion of the bill. All party factions handed over written approvals on the deliberation of the bill during the House’s plenary meeting on Friday. Deputy chair of the House’s legislative body, Firman Soebagyo, said […]

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5 Jul, 2015

As scams and scandals rage in India, Prime Minister keeps mum | Arab News

The Modi government is in a free fall ever since it completed one year in office on May 26. Brickbats are raining over the government from all sides and the rain of brickbats is sure to turn into torrential rain when Monsoon session of the Parliament begins on July 21. Few governments have had such […]

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3 Jul, 2015

Rights Groups Ask Oprah Winfrey to Renounce Jewish Diamond Mogul over Rights Abuses

NEW YORK, July 2, 2015 (WAFA) – Nine organizations and 34 individuals from the United States, Palestine, Israel and South Africa called on Wednesday on the US celebrity Oprah Winfrey to publicly distance herself from the companies of Israel billionaire Lev Leviev. Winfrey have recently worn Leviev diamonds on the cover of the May 2015, […]

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3 Jul, 2015

4th of July Message to the U.S.: No Empire Lasts Forever

Commentary by Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire

The travel & tourism industry is one of the first and worst to be affected by all kinds of crises, be they environmental, economic or geopolitical. In an era of predominantly man-made global crises, the global leadership cannot shirk accountability. The United States claims to be the global leader, but there is no democratic way […]

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2 Jul, 2015

Why Washington failed to stop the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

by Ding Gang

Beijing, (People’s Daily Online)  July 01, 2015 – Representatives of 57 prospective founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) gathered in Beijing on Monday for the signing ceremony, with 50 of them endorsing the AIIB agreement. The bank is regarded as a bold attempt for China to expand its international influence and challenge […]

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2 Jul, 2015

Japanese population posts largest annual decline on record | The Japan Times

Kyodo Jul 1, 2015 – Japan’s population excluding resident foreigners totaled 126,163,576 as of Jan. 1, down 271,058 from a year earlier, the biggest decline since the current population survey started in 1968, the government said Wednesday. That was the sixth straight annual decline, with the data showing the drop is accelerating as the number […]

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2 Jul, 2015

WikiLeaks exposes U.S. eavesdropping on top German ministers, officials, with U.K. help

Julian Assange, Sarah Harrison and Kristinn Hrafnsson

WikiLeaks Press Release, 1 July 2015 — The United States National Security Agency has been massively targeting phone numbers of top German ministers and public officials responsible for commerce, finances, economics and agriculture – including even Angela Merkel’s personal assistant. WikiLeaks publishes today, 1 July 2015, a list of 69 German government telephone numbers from […]

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2 Jul, 2015

The coming death of democracy: The rising threat to investigative journalism

It used to be possible to promise confidentiality to sources – guaranteeing protection of their identities, even on pain of jail – in countries where legal source protection frameworks were robust. But, internationally, ethical commitments to, and legal protections for, journalistic sources are being undercut by surveillance (both mass surveillance and targeted surveillance), and mandatory […]

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30 Jun, 2015

Australian Greek community prepares exodus, sends money home — Sydney Morning Herald

Australian Greek communities are preparing for an influx of migrating relatives as Greece’s economy crumbles and its banks bolt their doors. Global sharemarkets suffered from panic selling on Monday in the wake of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pulling out of negotiations late last week for emergency funding in order to put the options to […]

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30 Jun, 2015

They are neither a ‘state’ nor ‘Islamic’: Why we shouldn’t call them Isis, Isil or IS – The Independent

By Rehman Chishti The shocking attack last week at a peaceful Tunisian tourist resort has shown us once again that terror continues to be a threat. There is no question that the group behind this attack, which refers to itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or as “Islamic State” is an […]

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29 Jun, 2015

Hindu Man Writes First Biography of Prophet Muhammad in Marwari

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of stories of interesting events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 29 June 2015 (12 Ramadaan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 The […]

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29 Jun, 2015

Biblical conference to set right “misguided theologies” of travel to the Holy Land

The Society of Biblical Studies, a US-based organisation that promotes responsible travel in the Holy Land, is to hold its 2015 National Conference between 18-19 September 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the theme of “Christians and the Holy Land: What does the Lord Require?” The conference is designed to better acquaint the estimated 1.6 million […]

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29 Jun, 2015

Let’s cut the useless anti-terrorism condemnations and pose some hard questions

Commentary by Imtiaz Muqbil

Bangkok — Last week, both the UN World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel & Tourism Council, the two apex bodies of the global travel industry, issued perfunctory condemnations after the spate of attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France. That put them on the record as having done their duty to do something. However, the […]

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28 Jun, 2015

Will US churches help bring down Israel’s prison walls? | The Electronic Intifada

Three churches will debate resolutions this month to divest from companies supporting the Israeli occupation. The Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ and Mennonite Church USA will each discuss Palestine during their conventions. The discussions are taking place amid strenuous efforts by the Zionist lobby to counter the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) […]

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28 Jun, 2015

The idea of Europe: Why five axioms that defined a scintillating culture are under threat – Dileep Padgaonkar

The spectre haunting Europe today is the sceptre of a terminal, and possibly irreversible, decline of its economic, political and, above all, cultural influence in the world. How serious is its existential angst? George Steiner, a much-acclaimed novelist, critic, cultural philosopher and academic, seeks to answer this question with unmatched eloquence, erudition and sensitivity. Earlier […]

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28 Jun, 2015

India in danger of a return to authoritarianism – Indian Express

Can a 1975 Emergency-like situation recur again, is a question that is wrongly posed. What needs to be considered is whether authoritarianism can once again emerge to threaten the democratic system. All the basic causes for the Emergency four decades ago — a crisis of the political system, problems of stability and economic discontent — […]

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27 Jun, 2015

Vatican signs historic accord with Palestine – The Times of India

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican on Friday signed a historic first accord with Palestine, two years after officially recognizing it as a state. The accord, a treaty covering the activities of he Church in the parts of the holy land under Palestinian control, was the first since the Vatican recognized Palestine as a state in February […]

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25 Jun, 2015

Indian media “falling in line with govt” – Kuldip Nayar, The Indian Express

One current development is ominous. Soft Hindutva is overtaking the print and electronic media. They go out of their way to blackout the minority point of view. One glaring example is a recent statement by a Muslim woman from Mumbai. She said that, as a Muslim, she could not get a house in any posh […]

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25 Jun, 2015

Study: Female business owners need to set boundaries to achieve better work-life balance

You say you care about work-life balance, but do you, really? A new survey found that while women small business owners claim to value work-life balance more than men, women are less likely than men to actually take steps to achieve that elusive goal. Capital One’s latest Spark Business Barometer polled small business owners about […]

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24 Jun, 2015

White Americans, not Muslims, are biggest terror threat in U.S. – New America Foundation study

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror” attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists. Almost twice […]

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24 Jun, 2015

Thai tourism entrepreneurs invited to apply for global Creative Business Cup competition 2015

Bangkok, 23 June 2015 – Creative Thai entrepreneurs with good business ideas are being invited to apply for a contest that could take them to a global creativity championship in Copenhagen between Nov 17-18, 2015. It is a great opportunity for young Thai tourism professionals to take the concept of “Thainess” to a new level, […]

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24 Jun, 2015

Norwegian doctor authors book recording mercilessness of Israeli war machine: The Guardian

The book contains dozens of harrowing photographs, many of badly injured children, taken by Gilbert during his stay in Gaza last summer, although the most graphic were excluded. He describes his camera as “my Kalashnikov”, saying that this kind of medical documentation of war is a powerful weapon – and one that is feared by […]

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24 Jun, 2015

Exposed: Lawyers filmed explaining how to steer corrupt cash into Australia – Sydney Morning Herald

Australia has been exposed as a safe haven for corrupt funds from overseas after a pair of top lawyers were caught on video explaining how regional leaders steal money from their own people and park it in bank accounts here. Covertly-filmed footage using operatives posing as Australian businessmen opens an unprecedented window into how Australian […]

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24 Jun, 2015

Indian govt cancels licences of 4,400 NGOs, top universities affected

New Delhi – The Home Ministry on Tuesday cancelled registration to receive foreign funds of over 4,400 non-governmental organisations including Delhi University, Supreme Court Bar Association and Kabir, an NGO started by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. All associations were given proper notice by the Foreigners Division of the home ministry with adequate time to […]

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23 Jun, 2015

African leaders want indictments of Bush, Blair and Netanyahu — National Public Radio

June 15 – As you surely heard, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was able to visit South Africa and then fly out today ahead of calls for his arrest for charges pending against him in the International Criminal Court stemming from the genocide in Darfur. He was able to get away because some in South Africa […]

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23 Jun, 2015

Australian Senator’s anti-halal crusade unleashes torrent of anti-Muslim hate

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi’s inquiry into halal food has attracted a flood of hateful and sometimes downright bizarre submissions. A month after Senator Bernardi successfully set up a Senate committee inquiry into the “third party certification of food”, the probe has already attracted 220 written submissions from the Australian public. While the inquiry is supposed […]

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23 Jun, 2015

U.K. warms to idea of Japanese-style office naps | The Japan Times

Kyodo Jun 18, 2015, LONDON – Taking a quick nap at your desk or even in a meeting is not an uncommon sight in Japanese offices, but it’s something you’re unlikely to find in Britain, where workers are expected to remain alert at all times. In Japan, the practice is known as inemuri — taking […]

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22 Jun, 2015

Christians Observe Ramadan For Lent

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 22 June 2015 (05 Ramadan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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21 Jun, 2015

What if the Charleston killing was carried out by a Muslim – The Nation, Thailand

Last week, a 21-year-old white male walked into a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot dead nine people attending an evening Bible study. The young man, Dylann Storm Roof, was caught not long after the incident. He confessed to the killings of the nine African-American in an act that the local police […]

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21 Jun, 2015

How Android mobile apps are mining your personal data – Sydney Morning Herald

One in four apps on an Android mobile phone is loaded with an excessive number of un-related “trackers” that are funnelling valuable personal information to third parties. Popular games apps My Talking Tom and Swamp Attack in the Google Play store are among the worst apps, each loaded with more than 20 “connected trackers”, a […]

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20 Jun, 2015

Five-day ‘fasting’ diet that could lower your chances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes – The Independent

A simple five-day diet that mimics fasting can bring a host of health benefits, including cutting the risk of heart disease and cancer and boosting the immune system, American scientists believe. A team at the University of Southern California has developed the diet, which they call the ‘Fasting Mimicking Diet’ (FMD), which only needs to […]

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20 Jun, 2015

The picture that exposes America’s racist double standards?

A day after the massacre, suspected gunman Dylann Roof was in custody, arrested in neighbouring North Carolina. But even the manner of his arrest says a lot about race relations in the US, particularly with regards to the police. Roof, suspected of murdering nine people in cold blood, was escorted from a building with police […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’? – The Washington Post

Police are investigating the shooting of nine African Americans at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston as a hate crime committed by a white man. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique event in American history. Black churches have long been a target of white supremacists who burned and bombed them in an effort to terrorize the black […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Why don’t Americans call mass shootings ‘terrorism’? – The Guardian

The excuses to call a white, male mass-killer anything but “a terrorist” are familiar – they’re part of a refrain repeated over and over again when a horrific crime intended to terrify a group of people is committed by a white man. It’s a refrain of denial. (The same denial happened when Elliot Rodger penned […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Why is the Media So Reluctant to Call Dylann Roof a Terrorist? – Alternet

By Terrell Jermaine Starr Who gets labeled a terrorist is usually a product of race, theirs and white-dominated newsrooms. So far, we know that Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white man, is in custody in connection with the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, S.C., where nine people were killed. Images of Roof […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Pew Research: Growth from Asia drives surge in U.S. foreign students

By Drew DeSilver

June 18, 2015 (Pew Research Cenre) – As the last of this year’s crop of U.S. college graduates march across the stage to receive their diplomas, more of them than ever are likely to be from overseas. In fact, a new Pew Research Center analysis of degrees granted by American colleges and universities shows that foreign […]

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19 Jun, 2015

4 Muslims seek damages for time on U.S. Govt’s no-fly list – Newsday

New York: Four Muslim men who claimed in a lawsuit that they were put on the government’s no-fly list because they refused FBI efforts to recruit them as informants to spy on their mosques have been told that they are now free to fly. The news came on the eve of a federal court hearing […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Japan set to ease visa rules for foreign ski instructors amid tourism surge | The Japan Times

Tokyo: The government may ease visa requirements for foreign ski instructors by March next year to cope with a recent surge in foreign tourists visiting resorts in Japan, officials said Thursday. The move comes amid rising calls from some of the nation’s prominent ski resorts asking for a greater number of foreign instructors, said a […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Sikh barred from club over turban in New Zealand | GulfNews.com

Auckland: A 30-year-old Sikh man working in New Zealand was barred from a club because of his turban, prompting him to lodge a complaint alleging religious discrimination. Gurpreet Singh, a real estate agent was not allowed to enter the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club in Auckland for lunch with colleagues as he breached the club’s no-headwear policy. […]

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19 Jun, 2015

Indonesian President breaks fast with orphans | The Jakarta Post

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo invited 400 orphans to a fast breaking gathering at the State Palace on Thursday and he used the occasion to present bicycles to ten selected orphans. The President presented the bicycles to the orphans who correctly answered one of his ten questions. The questions asked were related to the Prophet, angles, […]

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18 Jun, 2015

“True Americans” called to join anti-Islam rally planned for Tucson – Phoenix New Times

An anti-Islam, freedom-of-speech rally will take place outside the Tucson Islamic Center on Saturday, July 18. The event is modeled after a protest at the Phoenix Islamic Cultural Center on May 29, which purportedly was a reaction to the two men who opened fire on a Muhammed cartoon drawing contest in Garland, Texas, earlier this […]

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18 Jun, 2015

A trip into the heart of Palestine | GulfNews.com

By Marwan Asmar Dust flew as I kicked the ground, little particles of dirt slowly settling around me. It was then that I realised I was standing on the land of Palestine — a land that I was away from for the past 30 years, a land that’s a distant memory.  After nearly two decades […]

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18 Jun, 2015

Hindu organizations demand ban on convent schools – The Times of India

PANAJI: ‘All India Hindu Convention’, organized by the right-wing organization Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, on Wednesday demanded a ban on convent schools, claiming that these schools do not allow Hindu students to follow religious traditions. The convention also demanded a ban on cow slaughter in the entire country. “Hindu students studying in convent schools are barred […]

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17 Jun, 2015

Thailand’s Muslim-Friendly Destination Strategy Goes Well Beyond Just Tourism

Bangkok – When one of Southeast Asia’s largest Buddhist-majority countries launches a tourism outreach to attract Muslim visitors, it clearly has a much wider significance than just a travel industry development. Although the primary goal of the tourism authorities is to boost visitor arrivals, expenditure and average length of stay, the Thai government is also […]

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15 Jun, 2015

The Evil That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Israel’s Apartheid – Truthdig

For the most part, in the mainstream U.S. press at least, the decorum that forbids use of the A-word remains in place. Yet increasingly, as Israel continues to colonize the West Bank with settlers, and its army ensures their dominion over the lands they occupy, adhering to the A-word ban requires shielding one’s eyes, or, […]

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15 Jun, 2015

Muslim Scientist becomes First Female President of Mauritius

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 15 June 2015 (28 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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14 Jun, 2015

Malaysia’s all-girl ensemble charms New York | GulfNews.com

The contrast in weather could not have been more glaring for the 69 members of the all-girls ensemble who had recently arrived from Malaysia to perform at the Carnegie Hall in New York: from the tropical heat and sunshine that are characteristics of the Southeast Asian nation to the blizzard that was pounding New York […]

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14 Jun, 2015

PressTV – Israel to dump refuse on Palestine lands

Israel has decided to seize some 202 acres of privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank to make a new dumping grounds for its illegal settlements. The lands belong to around 140 Palestinian families from Rammoun and Deir Dibwan near Ramallah, the International Middle East Media Center reported on Sunday. The targeted area contains […]

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14 Jun, 2015

Pankaj Mishra: Modi should learn from the Chinese their deliberate rejection of self-promotion – The Hindu

Fortunately, India is too diverse a place for any Modi to flourish. A truly authoritarian leader like Suharto won’t be able to flourish for long in India. Sixty five years of deeply flawed democratic processes have nevertheless created an India where someone like Mr. Modi can enjoy only limited successes. And he still seems to […]

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12 Jun, 2015

Personal Info, Healthcare Data Among Most Exposed Documents Within Cloud Apps – Report

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jun, 09 2015 – (ACN Newswire) – Elastica (www.elastica.net), the leader in Data Science Powered(TM) Cloud Application Security, today released its Q2 2015 Shadow Data Report, providing a data-science powered analysis of hundreds of millions of enterprise files stored and shared within leading enterprise cloud applications. Highlighted in the report are key […]

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11 Jun, 2015

Jews, Muslims Join Hands At Salaam Shalom Kitchen To Serve Nottingham’s Needy

Muslims and Jews in the United Kingdom have teamed up to work toward a common goal — eradicating hunger in their city of Nottingham. The Salaam Shalom Kitchen, or SaSh, is a project of the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and Himmah, an Islamic social justice group. Members of the two worship centers are joining forces on […]

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11 Jun, 2015

‘Quit India’: Movement to make people leave country gathers pace – Hindustan Times

The trend of asking people opposed to the politics of the NDA to leave India was probably kicked off by senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh in April last year. He had blatantly asked people “opposed to Modi” to go to Pakistan since they would have no place in India. Last month, minister of state for […]

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10 Jun, 2015

RAND Corp Report Puts Multi-Billion $ Value on Israel-Palestine Peace and Tourism

Travel & tourism would be a major beneficiary of peace between Israel and Palestine, contributing a projected $760 million increase in GDP for Palestine and $1.1 billion for Israel over a ten-year 2015-2024 period, according to a study release on June 8 by the RAND Corporation, a prominent U.S. think tank. The study says that […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Iranian firm makes reverse osmosis desalination technology breakthrough

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 08 June 2015 (21 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Jewish billionaires meet to muzzle growing US movement to boycott Israel – The Guardian

The American gambling magnate and major Republican party donor Sheldon Adelson is hosting a closed-door meeting of pro-Israel billionaires and activists at his Las Vegas casino this weekend, to combat the burgeoning movement on US university campuses to boycott the Jewish state. The gathering comes amid growing Israeli alarm at the rise of the decade-old […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Tourism accelerating degradation of Boracay coral reefs – Manila Bulletin

Filipino and Japanese experts have warned of the continuous degradation of the Boracay ecosystem with the unabated commercial development and unmonitored snorkeling and diving activities as among the tourism-related activities in the island. Takahiro Morita, senior representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Philippines, said the threat of degradation was primarily on […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Before & After: Nepal’s heritage sites on shaky ground after devastating quake

Kathmandu, UN News Centre, 5 June 2015 – Against the backdrop of Nepal’s humming capital of Kathmandu, in a centre just off Durbar Square, it would be difficult to miss the elderly woman smiling warmly in a bright red sari. She is among those offering traditional, homespun goods, the cultural heritage of the country that […]

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8 Jun, 2015

China steps up fight against food waste via carrot-and-stick approach

By Zhang Xuan / Mike Peters

Beijing (China Daily), 2015-06-02 — As China’s ongoing Clean Your Plate campaign has gained momentum since it began in 2013, many managers of restaurants-especially buffets-say they have consistently been able to meet their goals of stopping food waste. But it hasn’t always been easy. Four guests at the Xiang Wei Qing buffet restaurant in Lanzhou, […]

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4 Jun, 2015

Applications invited for Korean Culture and Language Immersion Program

The Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities is seeking applications for participants in the Korean Culture and Language Immersion Program (K-CLIP 2015) to take place from 2 to 15 August at Pusan National University, Busan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea. The main purpose of “K-CLIP 2015” is the enhancement of youth exchange and cultivation […]

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4 Jun, 2015

Animals live by Mahatma Gandhi’s words, humans don’t, Zoo Director says

Sanya, Hainan Island — Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi is famous for his far-sighted dictum, “There is enough in this world for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.” While the human race is notorious for ignoring those insightful words, the animal world has it embedded into its DNA. In a wide-ranging interview at the […]

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3 Jun, 2015

US Congress passes surveillance reform in vindication for Edward Snowden – The Guardian

The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would end the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, the most significant surveillance reform for decades and a direct result of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations to the Guardian two years ago. Senators voted 67-32 to pass the USA Freedom Act, which overwhelmingly cleared […]

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3 Jun, 2015

California man brutally beats 82-year-old Sikh he mistook for a Muslim – The Independent

An 82-year-old Sikh grandfather was brutally beaten with a steel pipe by a man who reportedly targeted him for looking like one of “those people”. Piara Singh was attacked outside his gurdwara in Fresno California where he was preparing free meals to give to the homeless. He suffered a punctured lung and head injuries and […]

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1 Jun, 2015

Muslim Invents First Hi-Tech Prayer Mat

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 01 June 2015 (14 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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1 Jun, 2015

China pinpoints Ten Key Sectors to drive economy until 2025

Beijing, (People’s Daily Online), May 22, 2015 – China’s State Council unveiled a national plan recently, dubbed “Made in China 2025”. It is the first 10-year action plan designed to transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power. Miao Wei, Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, summarized the main […]

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31 May, 2015

U.N. Regional HQ in Bangkok opens Accessibility Centre to support Persons with Disabilities

Bangkok, 28 May 2015, UNESCAP media release – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today opened a state-of-the-art Accessibility Centre at the ESCAP Conference Centre in Bangkok to support the participation of persons with disabilities in United Nations intergovernmental processes and meetings. In a landmark move to make […]

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31 May, 2015

Pupils experience day as special needs individuals | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi: Mir Rayyan Sultan’s beloved grandfather is facing gradual loss of vision, and the 11-year-old often wonders what it might be like for him. So, when his school offered him a chance to experience a day as a special needs individual, he volunteered to go about his day blindfolded. “I thought it would be […]

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31 May, 2015

Chinese Commentary: Cuba’s removal from “terror list” raises more questions about U.S. credibility

by Xinhua writer Sun Ding

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) — In Washington, Cuba’s removal from the U.S. list of so-called “state sponsors of terrorism” was hailed as a diplomatic accomplishment. However, while most of the world is willing to see a thaw in U.S.-Cuba ties after more than five decades of enmity, the delisting also raised more questions about the […]

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28 May, 2015

China to invest $900b in Belt and Road Initiative

By He Yini

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn)  2015-05-28 – China has announced plans to boost the Belt and Road trade by creating economic corridors and investing nearly $900 billion in countries along the route. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said the country is mulling six economic corridors with countries along the Belt and Road trade route to better connect Asia and Europe […]

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27 May, 2015

Bangkok to Bethlehem: UNWTO Conference to Spotlight Biggest Block To Global Travel

An historic conference on Religious Tourism to be organised by the UN World Tourism Organisation between June 15-16 in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon Him), may facilitate the removal of one of the greatest obstacles to global travel & tourism flows and advance a settlement of one of the world’s thorniest […]

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25 May, 2015

Absolutely Nothing: A U.S. Veteran’s Savage Indictment of the Iraq War

The Wikipedia says Operation Iraqi Freedom started on the 20th of March, 2003, which is just another reason why you shouldn’t believe anything you read in the Wikipedia (don’t, just don’t). That’s not correct, the war began a day earlier. See, I was there on the night the war really started, at precisely 2200 hours, […]

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25 May, 2015

Global poor pay the price of crises caused by the uber-rich: Civil Society groups

Bangkok — The global uber-rich who control the vast majority of the world’s wealth are responsible for an equivalent proportion of global problems, while the billions of poor pay the heaviest price, according to a caucus of Asia-Pacific civil society (CSOs) that concluded here on 18 May 2015. Representatives of 125 non-governmental organisations, convening in […]

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25 May, 2015

Esfahan: The City that’s “Half the World”

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 25 May 2015 (06 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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24 May, 2015

Golf gains ground amongst Chinese professional women, housewives

By Liu Zhihua / Sun Xiaochen

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-05-23 – Shenzhen resident Chen Xing is among the lucky ones whose job is also her passion. The 40-year-old loves playing golf, and is the director of the club member affair department with Shenzhen Golf Association, an non-government organization that aims to promote golf among Shenzhen residents and beyond, and the only […]

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