Muslims Protesting Against Free Speech

Tens of thousands of Muslims across the world protest Macron’s stance on French cartoons

By Associated Press

4:27am Oct 31, 2020

Tens of thousands of Muslims, from Pakistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian territories, poured out of prayer services to join anti-France protests on Friday, as the French president’s vow to protect the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad continues to roil the Muslim world.

Hardline Islamic groups across the region have seized on the the French government’s staunch secularist stance as an affront to Islam, rallying their supporters and stirring up rage.

Demonstrations in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad turned violent as some 2,000 people who tried to march toward the French Embassy were pushed back by police firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons. Crowds of Islamist activists hanged an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron from a highway overpass after pounding it furiously with their shoes. Several demonstrators were wounded in clashes with police as authorities pushed to evict activists from the area surrounding the embassy.

Supporters of religious group burn a representation of a French flag during a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 (AP)

Protesters try to climb on a shipping container at a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 (AP)

More protests against Macron outside the temple walls

Israel Embassy in France decries ‘anti-French acts’ of Palestinians in Gaza

The Israeli Embassy in France condemned Monday the “anti-French acts” and protesters who burned photos of French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday night in Gaza.

“We wholeheartedly condemn the anti-French acts and the burning of photos of President Emmanuel Macron by Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip. Especially when this occurs with the tacit encouragement of Hamas,” the embassy tweeted.

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In the city Khan Younes in the Gaza Strip, a handful of demonstrators burned photos of Emmanuel Macron and called for the defense of the prophet and of Islam, according to witnesses.

Iran Slams Macron for the Truth

Tehran slams France’s Macron over Islamophobic remarks

TEHRAN – Iran has strongly criticized French President Emanuel Macron over his anti-Islam stance after Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide.

“#Macron’s irrational behavior in public #AntiIslamism shows his crudeness in politics, otherwise he would not have dared to embrace Islam in his quest for leadership in #Europe,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), wrote in a tweet on Monday.

“I suggest that he read more history and not rejoice in the support of a declining America & #Zionism,” Shamkhani added.

Earlier this month, Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

“In extremism the bodies of people are targeted and in insult their souls,” Velayati says.

His comments, along with his backing of satirical outlets publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), has led to a social media campaign calling for the boycott of French products from supermarkets in Arab countries and Turkey.

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #NeverTheProphet trended across countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“Muslims and monotheists of the world condemn in the strongest form the blatant enmity of the foolish and stubborn leaders of France toward the prophet of mercy (PBUH) unanimously,” Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf tweeted on Monday.

Ghalibaf added that such wickedness shows the French leaders’ enmity toward all the heavenly religions.

On Friday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it said was France’s continued attack against Muslims by insulting religious symbols.

The secretariat of the Jeddah-based organization said in a statement it is surprised at the official political rhetoric issued by some French officials that offend French-Islamic relations and fuels feelings of hatred for political party gains.

Velayati calls extremism and offending the prophet two sides of the same coin

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top foreign policy adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said extremism and offending the prophet are two sides of the same coin which the international Zionism and the global arrogance have adopted against Islam.

“In extremism the bodies of people are targeted and in insult their souls,” Velayati said, criticizing the French government’s pretext of freedom of expression to foment hatred between people.

The veteran politician also called on all Muslims across the world to be vigilant in the face of such conspiracies against Islam.

France has for long tried to impose its own secular culture on its Muslim population, but this has disastrously backfired.

With this regard, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that the West’s imposition of its culture on others is a form of “silent violence”, saying that terrorist groups such as Daesh are the result of such cultural invasion.

“I do not deny the importance and value of cultural interaction,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote in an open letter to the youth in Western countries after the November 2015 attacks in France.

“Whenever these interactions are conducted in natural circumstances and with respect for the receiving culture, they result in growth, development and richness. On the contrary, inharmonious interactions have been unsuccessful and harmful impositions,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

“Vile groups such as Daesh are the spawn of such ill-fated pairings with imported cultures,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei maintained that if the issue of terrorism was simply theological, “we would have had to witness such phenomena before the colonialist era, yet history shows the contrary.”

“Historical records clearly show how colonialist confluence of extremist and rejected thoughts in the heart of a Bedouin tribe, planted the seed of extremism in this region,” he said.

“How then is it possible that such garbage as Daesh comes out of one of the most ethical and humane religious schools which as part of its inner core, includes the notion that taking the life of one human being is equivalent to killing the whole of humanity?” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

Thank you Macron for standing for the truth

The Islamist movement Hamas, the governing authority of the Gaza Strip, also denounced Macron’s words, as did Islamic Jihad.

Hundreds of Jaffa residents gathered Saturday night to protest in front of the residence of French Ambassador to Israel Eric Danon, setting trash cans on fire, Ynet reported, adding that a stone was also thrown at a bus.

The fires reportedly occurred following dispersal of the protesters, though no one was hurt, according to Ynet.The protests were sparked by French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments where he refused to condemn cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad after the beheading of a French school teacher.

Protesters, holding up banners written in Arabic, called for the defense of the Prophet Muhammad at the rally which began after evening prayers in Jaffa.

The prophet “is the most sacred thing in Islam, and he who attains his honor, reaches a whole people,” said Amin Bukhari, a protester accusing the French president of playing the “far-right wing” game, reported the French newspaper Le Figaro.

“Moses must be respected among the Jews, Jesus Christ must be respected as well – he is also our prophet – and we must respect the prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him,” added Bukhari.

The Islamist movement Hamas, the governing authority of the Gaza Strip, also denounced Macron’s words, as did Islamic Jihad.

“Insulting religions and prophets is not a matter of freedom of speech but rather promotes a culture of hatred,” Hamas said in a statement, adding that it wants “to prevent consequences” that these statements could have.

For its part, the Islamic Jihad – Gaza’s second largest armed group, after Hamas – argued that “offending” Islam, and its Prophet Muhammad, was a “redline” that “could not be tolerated.”

In Khan Yunnis in the Gaza Strip, demonstrators burned photos of Macron and called for the defense of both the prophet and Islam, according to Le Figaro.

Macron spoke Thursday during a tribute to Prof. Samuel Paty, beheaded by an Islamist assailant after showing his students drawings of Muhammad to teach them what is freedom of speech.

Since then, calls for a boycott of French products have increased in several countries in the Middle East, after the stir aroused by the words of the French president, who promised not to “renounce to the cartoons” of the Prophet Muhammad.

Representation of prophets is strictly prohibited by Sunni Islam; ridiculing or insulting the Prophet Muhammad is punishable by death in some Muslim countries.Aaron Reich contributed to this report.

The Iranian Horn Warns India

Stop massacre of Muslims, Iran’s Khamenei tells India

An injured boy is being treated at a hospital in New Mustafabad, following the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) clashes in Delhi, India on 26 February 2020 [Javed Sultan/Anadolu Agency]

March 5, 2020 at 10:30 pm

Condemning the recent communal violence in Delhi, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday urged India to “stop the massacre of Muslims”, Anadolu Agency reports.

Riots in northeast Delhi after clashes between protesters for and against a controversial citizenship law turned violent, killing at least 47 people. The violence mainly centered around Muslim-majority neighborhoods with hundreds of shops and homes being burnt.

“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” Khamenei said on Twitter.

He called upon New Delhi to “confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam.”

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also expressed concern about the plight of Muslims in the South Asian nation, and urged the Indian government to prevent sectarian violence in the country.

Larijani said that the new law was a contravention of Muslim rights.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urged India to “ensure the well-being of all Indians and not let senseless thuggery prevail.”

The Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA, passed by the Indian parliament in December last year has sparked protests and riots across the country. It grants citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from three neighboring countries.

The legislation has been criticized by international bodies, and the UNHCR has filed an unprecedented plea with India’s Supreme Court, asking to be made a party in the case against the act.

Despite the demonstrations and mounting criticism, the Hindu nationalist government of premier Narendra Modi has rejected calls to repeal it.

The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

FILE PHOTO © Global Look Press/ face to face /Christian Ohde

Nuclear weapon material worth $72mn seized in a car in Turkey

Published time: 6 Jul, 2019 22:50

Turkish police have taken five people into custody over the smuggling of a highly-radioactive substance used to build nuclear weapons and power nuclear reactors. The 18.1-gram haul was found in a car.

Police discovered a vial of the material after they pulled over a car in the northwestern Bolu province. The substance, believed to be californium, was found stashed under the gear stick wrapped in a bag. Officers had to cut the upholstery to get to the parcel, which is estimated to be worth US$72 million.

Five suspects were detained in the raid, and the mixture was taken to the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) for a detailed analysis.

Californium is named after the place where it was synthesized back in 1950 – a laboratory at the University of California. Apart from being used to manufacture nukes and nuclear-powered reactors, the element also has a range of rather innocuous civilian applications. It can be used as part of metal detectors and is used in cancer treatment as well as oil, silver, and gold mining operations. Still, the substance is highly dangerous and its production, distribution, and transportation is restricted. Currently, only the US and Russia synthesize the isotope.

Also on ‘Imposing quantity’ of uranium seized in raid on smugglers in Moldova (VIDEO)

It is not the first time Turkish police have reported a major bust involving californium.

In a scare in March of last year, police in Ankara said they had seized a whopping 1.4kg of the same substance in a car following a tip-off. It turned out to be false alarm, as the haul was later found to have no trace of nuclear or radioactive material, and was, in fact, organic matter.

The Nuclear Jihad (Revelation 16)

Cleric: Muslims ‘Have a Duty’ to Obtain Nuclear Weapons

Getty Images


A leading Muslim cleric said that adherents to the faith across the globe have a religious duty to build nuclear weapons to combat Israelis and Jews, according to a translation of his recent remarks broadcast on a television station controlled by the terrorist group Hamas.

Muhammad Al-Hassan Ould Al-Dadou Al-Shanqit, a Mauritanian cleric, was interviewed on the Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV about efforts by Islamic countries to obtain nuclear weapons. While extremist regimes such as the Islamic Republic in Iran have claimed there are religious bans on the building of nuclear weapons, Al-Shanqit maintained it is “a duty” of Arabs to build these weapons of mass destruction.

“Since this kind of weapon has been used in the past, and since there is now a threat that it will be used against the Muslims, they have a duty to strive to obtain this weapon,” Al-Shanqit was quoted as saying in a translation of his remarks performed by the media watchdog site Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

“Possession of nuclear weapons is the only way to deter the enemies. Look at Pakistan,” he said. “When it obtained the nuclear bomb, a lot of the harassment by its neighbors stopped. These neighbors used to harass [Pakistan] because they had the nuclear bomb. The rush to normalize relations with the Zionists, which we are witnessing today, and many of the defeats that Arabs have suffered were caused by … Well, obviously it is caused by the lack of faith in Allah, but in large part, it is because the Zionists possess a weapon that the Arabs do not.”

“The Muslims must strive to obtain this deterring weapon, but they must not use it unless it is used against them,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials have announced in recent days that they have again started to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, to amounts prohibited by the landmark nuclear deal. Iran has said that it will no longer abide by these restrictions due to President Donald Trump’s efforts to sanction the regime.

Iran Prepares for the Holy War (Daniel 8)

Image result for khameneiLeader’s statement on Second Phase of Islamic Revolution calls for awakening, vigilance

News Code : 933644

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s statement on The Second Phase of Islamic Revolution has called for awakening and vigilance of the Muslims, said Hoj. Seyyed Mohammad Reza Al-e Ayyub, the manager of research affairs of the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s statement on The Second Phase of Islamic Revolution has called for awakening and vigilance of the Muslims, said Hoj. Seyyed Mohammad Reza Al-e Ayyub, the manager of research affairs of the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly.

Speaking at the first scientific panel of “The Second Phase of Islamic Revolution, Requisites and Strategies in International Arena” in Mashhad, Al-e Ayyub referred to the Leader’s statement as a roadmap that calls for awakening of the society and promoting awareness of humanity. “It is a reflection of the lessons clarified by the Ahl al-Bayt (AS) that have been expressed in modern-day language by the Leader.”

Being critical of the fact that today, Muslims have neglected the lessons of Ahl al-Bayt (AS) or the Infallible Household of the Prophet (pbuh), Al-e Ayyub noted that clarification of the fundamentals of the Islamic Revolution in the contexts put forward by the Leader is one strategy for compensating that neglect.

“According to the Leader, clarification of Ahl al-Bayt (AS) viewpoints is one major religious duty of the seminary schools,” he said.

Al-e Ayyub pointed to resistance as another religious duty for the seminary students across the globe, saying: “The ongoing situation in the society has burdened clerics with heavier responsibilities and you should introduce this roadmap to the world.

“Identifying enemies is another key point in this statement that must be paid serious attention to. This is because the enemies of Islam have made utmost preparations to bring down the flag of Islam and to understate Islamic movements, but they have failed so far.”

According to Al-e Ayyub, the scientific panel was held to analyze and design efficient models for realization of the targets stipulated at the Leader’s statement through civilizational and transnational approaches, and translating into action the endless potentials and capacities of the youth.

The scientific panel of “The Second Phase of Islamic Revolution, Requisites and Strategies in International Arena was held at the amphitheater of al-Mustafa International University in the shrine city of Mashhad with a number of academicians, students of seminary schools, Iranian and foreign students of al-Mustafa International University in attendance.

Iran Seeks Help from Smaller Horn (Daniel 8)

Iran’s President Rouhani seeks Iraqi help to mitigate US sanctions


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) was welcomed by his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Saleh

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has begun his first official visit to Iraq since taking office five years ago.

After meeting his Iraqi counterpart, Mr Rouhani said he wanted deeper political and economic ties between their states, which fought a bloody war in the 1980s.

He noted that Iran had come to Iraq’s aid in recent years when it was threatened by the Islamic State group.

Iranian officials see Iraq as a way to mitigate the US sanctions reinstated by President Donald Trump last year.

Mr Trump’s decision, made after he abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal, has led to a sharp downturn in Iran’s economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate, and driving away foreign investors.

Europe creates pay system for Iran trade

US sanctions on Iran come into force

Iranians describe impact of US sanctions

What has Iran’s president said?

Mr Rouhani began his three-day visit to Iraq with a visit to the shrine of Shia Muslim Imam Moussa al-Kadhim in northern Baghdad. He was then greeted by his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Saleh, at the presidential palace.

At a joint news conference, Mr Rouhani said: “We want to forge very close relations with Iraq. We do not seek to be allied against others, but rather seek to invite other regional states to our alliance as well.”


Mr Rouhani visited the shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim in Baghdad

He pointed out that Iran had stood by Iraq in “difficult” times – a reference to its training and arming of thousands of Iraqi Shia paramilitary fighters who have helped drive Islamic State (IS) militants out of the large parts of Iraq they seized in 2014.

Mr Saleh said he agreed with the “necessity of enhancing trade” and “setting up related economic infrastructure between our countries and peoples”.

Iran’s president later held talks with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, whose governing coalition includes Shia parties with deep links to Tehran.

Before leaving Tehran, Mr Rouhani said Iraq’s ties with Iran could not be compared to its links with an “occupying country” like the US that was “hated in the region”.

The US, which invaded Iraq in 2003 to overthrow President Saddam Hussein, has sent thousands of troops to the country to advise and assist security personnel battling IS. But it and Iran back opposing sides of the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

How much trade already takes place?

A senior Iranian official accompanying the president told Reuters news agency that Iraq was “another channel for Iran to bypass America’s unjust sanctions” and that his trip to Baghdad would “provide opportunities for Iran’s economy”.

Economic ties between the neighbours are already extensive.


Household appliances and air conditioners are major Iranian exports to Iraq

In the 12 months up to March 2018, Iraq imported about $6bn (£4.6bn) of goods from Iran, including food, agricultural products, household appliances, air conditioners and car parts. Iraq paid another $6bn to Iran for natural gas, petroleum products and electricity.

Mr Rouhani has said he wants to increase bilateral trade from $12bn to $20bn annually. However, Iraq has faced pressure from the US to stop doing business with Iran.

Iraq discontinued crude oil swaps with Iran in October and did not receive an exemption when a new wave of sanctions came into effect the following month. It was, though, reportedly granted a limited waiver to give it time to find alternative supplies of electricity.

Have Iran-Iraq ties always been good?

No. Under Saddam – who was a Sunni – Iraqi forces invaded Iran in 1980, sparking an eight-year war that left a million people dead and devastated both countries.

Bilateral relations only began to improve after Saddam was toppled and an Iraqi government led by Shia parties – many of them backed by Iran – came to power.

Iran later armed Shia militants who attacked US forces in Iraq to press them to withdraw and targeted Sunnis in a brutal sectarian conflict.

In last year’s elections in Iraq, parties linked to Iran-backed paramilitary groups won the second largest number of seats in parliament. But the largest number went to a bloc led by the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who opposes US and Iranian influence.

The US is Provoking the Shi’a Horn (Daniel 7:7)

The U.S. is pushing Iran into the arms of our enemies | Opinion

The United States has levied heavy sanctions against Iran, seriously damaging its economy. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani recently said, “Today the country is facing the biggest pressure and economic sanctions in the past 40 years.”

Those same sanctions appear intended to threaten Tehran with regime change, put additional pressure on Iran’s 80 million people, drive wedges between us and our European allies and force Iran from the bargaining table. Longer term, they increase U.S. international isolation and reduce the power of the U.S. dollar and Treasury as instruments of world leadership.

Sanctions are applied to impel an adversary to seek an agreement on a problem that threatens U.S. interests. U.S.-led sanctions against Iran eight years ago combined with oil price declines and mismanagement of Iran’s economy put its nuclear bomb program under stringent limits and unparalleled monitoring. The result showed an effective use of the sanctions tool.

The Trump administration has not spoken of the objectives of its sanctions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued 13 unilateral demands to assure us that Iran will not make a nuclear weapon — a trenchant example of the perfect being the eternal enemy of the good. The president’s vague offer to talk about a “better” nuclear deal by throwing out the existing one is like buying a used car from a convicted carjacker.

These sanctions are undermining the well-being of millions of Iranians while egging on Iran to take ever-more aggressive action in Iraq and Syria and build more ballistic missiles. The sole conclusion that Iran can possibly reach is that the United States seeks regime change.

The threat of regime change, as Pompeo admitted in Warsaw in a possibly unguarded moment, seems real. Looking only at the history of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, the United States has not been very successful.

Meanwhile, Iran is launching diplomatic overtures around the world as the state that stands up to the xenophobia of “America First.” Iran’s role today recalls the high point of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, which gained broad recognition as the obstinate David against the U.S. Goliath even though few sympathized with the Cuban system.

The abject failure of a recent Pompeo-promoted conference against Iran in Warsaw is a clear indicator that the U.S. strategy of trying (and failing) to build a broad coalition against Iran is undermining U.S. world leadership.

Friendly and hostile nations are now planning many ways to work around the U.S. secondary sanctions levied against them to stop trade with Iran. Russia, China and many other nations that have ever more reluctantly used the American dollar as the world reserve currency have expressed greater interest in getting others to use the euro or their rubles or yuan instead. Bankers and government officials assure us that the dollar will remain a great source of American power long into the future. But cracks are developing.

Our European allies set up a financial facility specifically to avoid the long arm of U.S. sanctions against their trade with Iran. The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange will allow goods to be bartered between Iranian companies and others without dollars or international banks. It is unclear whether it will be effective, but it is another signal of mounting rejection of the United States and its Treasury Department.

The administration’s determination to restrict Iran’s export of oil to zero is designed to crush Iran’s access to currency and foreign goods. Pushback against these U.S. efforts from states that have traditionally depended on Iranian petroleum has forced the administration to give short-term waivers to eight countries (including China, India and Japan), thereby confusing the world market. For example, the United States has brought significant pressure on Iraq to cease importing refined petroleum products and electricity from Iran. This extra demand on Baghdad has added to the mounting disenchantment of with U.S. confrontational strategies against Iran on Iraqi territory.

The U.S. objective should be to undermine Iran’s posture as the victim of U.S. hostility, repair the isolation into which our policies have put us and put on the table a set of ideas for ending Iran’s flirtation with nuclear weapons.

There is no major conflict in the Middle East that can be solved without Iran’s involvement, most especially the nuclear question. The paradox of Iran’s mounting influence because of the sanctions is real. The way to solve it is to build a multinational, cooperative diplomatic commitment to convince Iran that constructive engagement beats aggressive estrangement any time.

Thomas R. Pickering is former U.S. ambassador to Russia, India, Israel and the U.N., and undersecretary of state.

(c) 2019 The Dallas Morning News