Bahrain Cleric’s Trial Postponed

SHAFAQNA – A Bahraini court on Tuesday delayed the trial of Shia cleric Sheikh Muhammad Salih Qashami.

According to al-Lulu news network, the court postponed the trial session of Sheikh Qashami, his son and daughter, and three Shia women to January 31.

The cleric and his family members have been charged with supporting terrorist groups.

He was arrested in February when he referred to a police station to complain about security forces’ raid on his house.

Bahrain has been the scene of anti-regime protests ever since a popular uprising roared into life in the country in 2011.

The Al Khalifa regime has gone to great lengths to silence dissent. In March 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or been arrested since then.


Anti-Islam Group Sing ‘Islamophobic’ Christmas Carols in Perth, Australia

SHAFAQNA – Shoppers at an up-market Perth mall were left “shocked and appalled” after a group of right-wing protesters from the Australian Liberty Alliance took over a Santa display to sing “Islamophobic” Christmas carols.

Three women wearing black niqabs and a man dressed as Santa Claus marched through the Floreat Forum just before 10am on Tuesday morning singing “Jihad Bells” before being escorted out by security, WA Today reported.

The “Taliban Tarts”, who have recently pulled similar stunts in Melbourne and Perth, also handed out flyers at the center entrance containing the lyrics to the carol, which began with the words “Jihad bells”.

The song’s verses single out individual countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Somalia.

A witness told WA Today it was inappropriate given the number of children around. “I was in the chemist adjacent to where they have the Father Christmas set-up,” she said.

“All of a sudden there was this outlandish singing to the tune of jingle bells. One of the ladies in the shop heard the word ‘jihad’, and repeated it. We didn’t know what was going on. I thought it was terrible. They just took over the Father Christmas area and did this all of their own accord.”

The ALA did not respond to requests for comment.

The group’s manifesto argues the major parties are “not prepared to discuss … [the] impact of Islam on Australia” and the “divisiveness of multiculturalism and the deconstruction of Western civilization”.

The ALA won just 0.19 per cent of the national vote for the House of Representatives at the last federal election with 25,337 ballots, and 0.74 per cent of the Senate vote with 102,982.

Earlier this year, former ALA candidate and anti-Islam campaigner Kirralie Smith defected to former Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives party.

ALA director Tony Robinson is standing for this Saturday’s Bennelong by-election, with incumbent Liberal MP John Alexander preferencing him last, behind Labor and The Greens.


Turkey Criticizes Arab Countries’ Muted Response to Trump’s Quds Move

SHAFAQNA –  Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lashed out at some Arab countries over their “weak” reaction to US recognition of al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the Zionist regime of Israel’s capital.

“Some Arab countries have shown very weak responses (on Jerusalem),” Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, noting, “It seems some countries are very timid of the United States.”

“We will make a call for countries that have so far not recognized Palestine to do so now,” he said. “…We want the United States to turn back from its mistake.”

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in the occupied lands from Tel Aviv to Quds.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s Quds policy drew fierce criticism from the international community, including the US Western allies, and triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other countries across the world.

Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss Washington’s move. Ankara had warned before Trump made his declaration that any change in the status quo of Quds would lead to a new catastrophe in the Middle East.

Cavusoglu stressed that the OIC meeting must stand up to what he described as Washington’s “I am a super power, I can do anything” mentality, Press TV reported.


Ayt. Hashemi Shahroudi: World should not follow US in leaving JCPOA

“The countries of the world should not be afraid of US,” said Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council.

The cleric made the remarks while meeting with Austrian Ambassador to Iran Stefan Scholz in Tehran on Tuesday.

They exchanged views on the bilateral ties between the two countries and the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in regards to regional and international developments.

“We expect to see good cooperation between Iran and Austria to solve the issues of the world of today and the problems of the region including terrorism because today terror and terrorism have seriously troubled the world,” said the Iranian official after describing the positions undertaken by Austria in dealing with international issues as wise and prudent.

“In the case of the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic of Iran proved it is committed to its obligations stipulated in the agreement but the other side has breached the agreement in regards to some things like monetary and banking issues,” said the Grand Ayatollah, after describing the US as an irresponsible signatory of the Iran nuclear agreement.

Representatives of Iran, US, UK, Russia, China, France, Germany, and the EU signed a treaty on July 14, 2015, in Vienna of Austria which was titled as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), AKA the Iran nuclear deal.

“Today it has been proved to all the world that US is following the Zionists in doing such acts of unwise and unjust nature and we are witnessing that everybody is protesting against this unthoughtful and ignorant decision,” said Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi touching upon the recent measure of trump announcing al-Quds as the capital of the “Israeli regime.”

“Thank God, all countries of the world has denounced this US measure in a way and we expect them not to be afraid of US,” said the Iranian official.

“Also we expect to see the same thing about the JCPOA and the countries of the world not to follow US and let relations grow to expand common interests,” reassured the Iranian official.

The Austrian envoy to Tehran, for his part, referred to 500 year old relations between Iran and Austria and voiced hope for expansion of ties.

“Austria, in the course of history, has always remained as an accompanying country with the Iranian nation and we hope to have more cooperation in diverse areas, as Austrian companies are willing to have a more active presence in Iranian industry and trade,” he said.


Iraqi Shia scholar urges Muslim minorities worldwide to hold religious ceremonies

In a meeting with some Muslim minority groups from Senegal and Lebanon in the city of Najaf on Tuesday, Senior Iraqi cleric Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Saeed Hakim asked Muslim minorities in other countries to adhere to Islamic values derived from holy Quran, the life of Prophet Muhammad as well as Ahlubayt’s teachings(as).

He asserted that values such as forgiveness, kindness, friendship, brotherly relations among Muslims and avoiding violence and hatred are among the greatest Islamic teachings.

The Shia scholar went on, “Immigrant Muslim minorities must pay special attention to holding religious ceremonies on different occasions since taking part in such gatherings promote kindness and brotherhood among Muslims worldwide.”

“Important values such as kindness, good behavior and avoiding hatred can be promoted through interaction with other people.” Grand Ayatollah concluded.

Islamic News