22 August 2017
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  • 22/08/2017 - INDONESIA

    She taught her followers that the Qurʾān does not require Muslims to pray. She also rejected the ahadith (words, actions, and habits attributed to the prophet) as religious guidelines. The court found her guilty of violating Article 156 of the Criminal Code. The prosecutor had demanded three years in prison.

    22/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Sister Ruth Pfau’s example in Pakistani textbooks

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The German-born nun spent her life helping Pakistan’s lepers. Her state funeral was held on Saturday in Karachi. Students should learn about her to stay away from terrorism.

    22/08/2017 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Daesh's expulsion from Jurud Mountains marks the beginning of the end of the Syria war

    by Pierre Balanian

    The Lebanese army - on the other side of the border, the Syrian army and Hezbollah - have destroyed the Islamic State bases by cutting off communication and supply routes in Syria. The Lebanese army as a liberator of the population. Hezbollah respect for prisoners, jihadists almost by chance.

    22/08/2017 - IRAQ

    Iraqi offensive against Isis at Tal Afar, fears for the fate of thousands of civilians

    Government soldiers have already taken control of some villages in the area. The city rises along the road connecting Mosul to the Syrian border and is strategically important for the passage of men and goods. Inside there would be up to 50,000 people trapped. Pentagon chief on surprise visit to Iraq, meetings with the premier and Kurdish president scheduled.

    21/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, playing cricket to build harmony between religions

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Yesterday the Pakistan Peace League final was held. The tournament was won by the team of St. Francis Church in Lahore, headed by a Muslim student. The agonistic passion "creates team spirit, which strengthens ties". Fighting religious discrimination in sport.

    18/08/2017 - INDIA

    Kolkata, Muslim students promote respect for human dignity

    The Students Islamic Organisation of India is behind the initiative. Over two weeks, young people will promote respect for life throughout the country. This comes after a series of violent actions against Dalit and Muslims. Symposia, seminars and public lectures are on the agenda. The campaign is meant to glorify “the very tenets of humankind”.

    18/08/2017 - VATICAN – SPAIN – ASIA

    Pope prays for Barcelona victims. Asian nations express their condolences

    Papal telegram is sent to the archbishop of Barcelona. Victims come from 20 countries, including some in Asia: China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Putin and Xi Jinping call for greater unity and coordination to fight terrorism. Arab countries express their closeness.

    18/08/2017 - SPAIN - ISLAM

    Islamic terrorism in Spain: 13 people die in Barcelona, attack foiled in Cambrils

    Isis has claimed the attack on Barcelona. The author of the terrorist attack is at large. The Catalan police arrest two people. A white Fiat van crashed into people on the Rambla pedestrian boulevard. The confirmed dead are 13, hundreds injured. In Cambrils (Tarragona), five terrorists shot dead by the police.

    18/08/2017 - YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA - UN

    UN: Over half of the children killed in Yemen conflict killed by Saudi bombs

    A United Nations draft report document’s an indictment against Riyadh. The attacks of the Arab coalition in 2016 killed 683 children on a total of 1340. Damage to schools and hospitals caused by Saudi raids (38 out of 52). Cholera emergency continues: cases exceed half a million.

    18/08/2017 - IRAN

    Mehdi Kharroubi halts hunger strike

    The authorities have agreed to remove guards from the house where he has been detained under house arrest since 2011. Kharroubi called for a public trial. His son: "Officials have promised they will take action on it."

    17/08/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Suicide bomber kills Hamas militant in Rafah

    He was stopped a few hundred metres from the border with Egypt. The blast killed one and wounded four, one seriously. According to the Interior Ministry in Gaza, an Islamic State militant is responsible. Salafi threats rise in the Strip.

    17/08/2017 - IRAN

    Kharroubi hospitalized: on hunger strike to demand public trial

    He would accept the verdict even if he would not expect a "fair trial". His health conditions, worsening since July, deteriorated after a day of fasting from food and water. The Reformist leader has been under house arrest and 24 hour surveillance since 2011 without any formal charges.

    17/08/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA - QATAR

    Riyadh opens the border with Qatar to let pilgrims in

    King Salman orders the reopening of the Salwa border area. A gesture of courtesy towards the Muslim population and Muslims, but the deep divisions between the two countries remain. Bahrain accuses Qatar of fomenting the anti-government revolts of the past. It points to contacts between the former Doha premier and the former leader of the internal opposition.

    16/08/2017 - TURKEY – IRAN

    Kurds and Islamic State at the centre of the historic visit by Iranian General Bagheri to Turkey

    For Iran’s official news agency, the visit is "unprecedented". Turkish media consider it a "milestone" in relations between Tehran and Ankara. Iran’s top Revolutionary Guards official will meet Turkey’s president and defence minister. For analysts and experts, despite its defeats the Islamic state is still a threat to the future of Syria and Iraq.

    16/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Christian prisoner who refused to reject his faith dies in custody in Lahore

    Indaryas Ghulam died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. He had burns and cuts on his body. He was one the 42 people arrested for lynching two Muslims after the Youhanabad church attacks. The prisoner could have saved his life had he denied Christ.

    16/08/2017 - LEBANON - BURKINA FASO

    Three Lebanese among the 18 victims of the terrorist attack on Turkish restaurant in Ouagadougou

    Nabih Berri condemns the attack and expresses "condolences and sorrow" to the relatives of the victims. The attack is latest in a long streak of blood to hit West Africa. Terrorists target economic interests and activities of foreigners operating in the region.

    14/08/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Nobel Laureates write to the Saudi king asking him to halt the execution of 14 Shia activists

    The accused were arrested in 2012 during the Arab Spring. Activists and civil society groups warn that the execution is imminent. Pleaders ask Salman to show a merciful face and correct a great injustice. The ultraconservative kingdom has one of the world's highest rates of execution.

    14/08/2017 - IRAN

    Tehran strengthens military spending and allocates 500 million

    The Iranian Parliament has voted for investment growth in missile defense and foreign operations. MPs voted in favor (240 out of 244) with anti-US slogans and songs. Ali Larijani: Response to "terrorist and adventurism" in Washington and in the Middle East.

    14/08/2017 - RUSSIA

    'Extremism': the Russian state and the witch hunt against Jehovah's Witnesses

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    A woman and her son arrested in Kursk for distributing invitations to the sect. Bible translations not originating from the Hebrew and Greek sources deemed 'extreme'. The same for translations of the non-Arabic translations of Koran. A Protestant pastor who cared for drug addicts arrested . Even the faithful of a bishop considered a holy man, branded as "extremists": they risk the prison.

    12/08/2017 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Racism in Selangor school: cups for 'Muslims' and 'non-Muslims'

    The school has labelled cups next to the water dispenser for children. For Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, the practice is discriminatory and could lead to hatred of Islam. “This practice is an insult,” he said. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon noted that "national schools are for all Malaysians”.

    12/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, ethnic and religious minorities ask for an end to discrimination

    by Shafique Khokhar

    It is necessary to ensure effective political participation and representation of religious minorities. An appeal is issued on National Minorities Day. Tehreek Rwadari makes some proposals.

    12/08/2017 - LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN

    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    by Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".

    12/08/2017 - KOREA

    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”

    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


    Mgr Kikuchi: The Church in Japan praying for peace, while political leaders fuel tensions

    by Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi

    For the bishop of Niigata, tensions on the Korean peninsula go back 70 years, but new political leaders "have been fueling the existing fire." A solution involving US military aggression would only bring devastating results to everyone. Ten days of praying for peace are being held. Japanese and Korean bishops are working together.

    11/08/2017 - SYRIA - IRAQ – UNITED NATIONS

    UN report: Islamic State threat remains despite military blows

    The jihadist group continues to "motivate and enable" global attacks and funnel funds to supporters. Growing attacks in Europe and Asia confirm demonstrate that Isis is an international threat. Special care should be given to radicalized minors returning home after undergoing advanced IS training.

    10/08/2017 - IRAN

    Iran's Rouhani appoints female vice-presidents after criticism

    A fourth woman has been appointed as civil rights assistant. Iran's 12 vice-presidents run organisations linked to the presidency. Lawmakers are not expected to challenge the chosen cabinet. Key roles are filled with the approval of the Supreme Leader Khamenei.


    09/08/2017 - IRAN

    Iranian President Rouhani presents his cabinet to parliament without any woman minister

    Seventeen ministerial positions are filled out of 18. Key figures in the previous cabinet are re-confirmed, including the Foreign, Oil, Intelligence and Interior ministers. New picks go to Defence and Justice. Reformists criticise the lack of women members. Rouhani has surrendered to the pressure of the religious establishment.

    08/08/2017 - IRAQ – SYRIA

    The Islamic State earns more than 100 million a year from trafficking looted antiquities and art

    The estimate comes from a French security official but there is no consensus over the total figure, which could be tens or hundreds of millions. This trade has grown to offset losses in petroleum revenues. Meanwhile, Iraq and UNESCO have begun to restore ancient Nimrud.

    08/08/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Terrorist “charity” launches its own political party

    Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), is under house arrest for terrorism. For Saifullah Khalid, head of the new Milli Muslim League (MML) party, Saeed is “Pakistan's leader." For UN and US, he is linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, which killed more than 160 people.

    05/08/2017 - INDIA

    Break the Silence on Intolerance: Open Letter of 101 Indian Intellectuals

    Among the signatories of the letter there are many friends of AsiaNews. In three years there have been at least 600 violent attacks against churches, pastors, faithful, religious and rapes of nuns. There is also a rise in violence against Dalits and Muslims. Hate is also spread by ministers and public figures. It is necessary to act "before it is too late".

    Editor's choices

    Card. Parolin in Moscow: Ostpolitik conquers distrust

    Vladimir Rozanskij

    The theme is a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, not in Moscow, but in some holy place of the Christian East, or in Bari. An international conference on the future of Ukraine and Crimea. Commitment to Christians and Peace in the Middle East. 

    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


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