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Secularism under siege in Erdogan’s Turkey

When President Tayyip Erdogan opened a new court complex this month, Turkey’s senior cleric sealed the ceremony with a Muslim prayer, triggering protests from critics who said his actions contravened the secular constitution. “Make this wonderful work beneficial and blessed for our nation, my God,” Ali Erbas said in his …

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Moroccan boxer from Italy beats Nazi opponent

An Italian boxer born in Morocco has claimed victory over a fighter whose body is tattooed with Nazi symbols. Hassan Nourdine, 34, beat Michele Broili, 28, on points to win the Italian super-featherweight title in the northeastern city of Trieste. Nourdine, who moved to the Italian town of Asti with …

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2022 Film and Comic Cons slotted for Dubai

The organizers behind the Middle East Film & Comic Con have announced that the popular event is set to take place Abu Dhabi for the first time in March 2022. The festival, which is dedicated toward film, comic book and video game fans, will run from March 3-5 at the …

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The spoon, latest Palestinian resistance symbol

The humble spoon has taken its place alongside traditional flags and banners as a Palestinian resistance symbol, after prisoners were said to have carried out one of Israel’s most spectacular jail breaks with the utensil. When the six Palestinian militants escaped through a tunnel on Sept. 6 from the high …

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Free speech upheld in UK with Piers Morgan reappintment

Britain’s media regulator on Wednesday cleared TV personality and journalist Piers Morgan of any violations for making comments about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. That drew more than 50,000 viewer complaints, the largest number ever received by the watchdog agency. The Office of Communications, known as Ofcom, said Morgan did …

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‘Walk for Peace’ by British Muslim pilgrim

A British Muslim of Iraqi-Kurdish origin is walking from the UK to Saudi Arabia to arrive in time for next year’s Hajj pilgrimage. Adam Mohamed, 52, set off from Wolverhampton, where he lives, on Aug. 1 and aims to reach Makkah before the pilgrimage starts in July. He has already …

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Pope wants peace, dialogue in Afghanistan

Pope Francis called on Sunday for dialogue to end the conflict in Afghanistan so that its people can live in peace, security and reciprocal respect. Francis made the appeal in his noon address as Taliban insurgents entered the capital Kabul and the United States evacuated diplomats from its embassy by …

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Qatar shura elections spur controversy says BBC

Candidacy requirements to take part in Qatar’s Shoura Council elections have sparked widespread controversy on social media in the emirate, the BBC has reported.  The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, recently ratified an electoral law for the first legislative elections in the country, due to be held in …

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Lebanese divided over Beirut blast sculpture

A sculpture of a giant angular figure made from the wreckage of last summer’s Beirut port blast was unveiled at the site on Monday, drawing support from some but also stoking anger among other Lebanese who believe justice should come before memorials. The artwork dubbed “The Gesture” is the creation …

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Islamophobia affects even Scotland health minister

Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has alleged that a local nursery denied his daughter, 2, a place “because of her Muslim name.” He is taking his case to the care authorities for review after finding out that the Little Scholars Nursery in Dundee, Scotland, was willing to offer a place …

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Breaking news from Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan receives 3 million doses of Moderna vaccine Uzbekistan has received 3 million 60 doses of the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine was delivered to Tashkent on the morning of July 30 from the US state of Alabama as part of the COVAX program. Moderna is one of the three vaccines …

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Qatar lays groundwork for first planned election

Qatar’s emir approved laws on Thursday for the Gulf Arab state’s first legislative election in October, when Qataris will elect two-thirds of the advisory Shura Council, his office said. The election, plans for which were first approved in a 2003 constitutional referendum, is being held before the capital Doha hosting …

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Strong Arab presence at Venice Film Festival

The Venice International Film Festival unveiled a starry lineup of world premieres for September, including three films from the Arab world. “Amira” by Mohamed Diab is set to play in the Horizons section and is a coming-of-age drama shot in Jordan, but set in Palestine. “Costa Brava” is Lebanese director …

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Iran launches marriage app to get young couples to have kids again

Iran, facing a fall in fertility rates, has launched a state-approved matchmaking app to promote marriages in the Islamic country which restricts contact between unrelated men and women. Hamdam (Companion), developed by a state-affiliated Islamic cultural body, requires users to verify their identity and carries out psychological compatibility tests and …

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US public outraged at so-called lego gun

A US gun company is facing a backlash after it produced a real pistol designed to resemble a gun made of Lego bricks, with many describing the action as dangerous and irresponsible.  Culper Precision, a company that manufactures Glock19 pistols, has used plastic toy bricks similar to those produced by the …

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