Suicide bomber kills six civilians in east Afghanistan

Suicide bomber kills six civilians in east Afghanistan

JALALABAD: 

A suicide bomber on Monday detonated his explosives in agathering of tribal elders in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least six people in the latest direct assault on civilians.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province which is a hotbed of Islamic State (IS)militants.

The blast occurred as tribal elders gathered at the residence of theformer district governor to seek aid for war-displaced families, as Afghan forces step up anti-IS operations in the province.

“Six civilians were killed and six others were wounded in the suicide attack on a gathering of elders in Jalalabad,” provincial spokespersonAtaullah Khogyani told AFP.

Airstrike in Afghanistan causes civilian casualties in Afghanistan

A police spokesperson confirmed the toll, adding the wounded had beentaken to hospital.

Taliban insurgents are active in Nangarhar, but the province also faces an emerging threat from loyalists of the Syria-headquartered Islamic State group, which is making gradual inroads in Afghanistan — challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

Last week, militants linked to IS abducted and killed around 30 civilians, including children, in the central province of Ghor, raising concerns about the group’s expanding presence beyond its eastern stronghold.

‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ likely to be freed on Tuesday

‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ likely to be freed on Tuesday

ISLAMABAD: 

Afghan diplomats, who met the ‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ in a Peshawar prison on Monday, assured that she would be freed on Tuesday, Afghan envoy Omar Zakhilwal said.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had arrested Sharbat Gula, now in her mid-40s, in Peshawar last week. The court is scheduled to hear her case on Tuesday.

The famous green-eyed, then 12-year-old, was first photographed in 1984 by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp situated on the edge of Peshawar where she was living with her sisters and grandmother.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said he has urged the FIA to facilitate the release of the Afghan woman on humanitarian grounds.

The Afghan ambassador in Islamabad said that a team of Afghan diplomats, Nasim Kakar and Abdul Hameed Jalili, met Gula in Peshawar prison and assured that she would be “acquitted”.

Sharbat Gula – The face of Afghan plight

The most recognised and famous photograph once again attracted the world media attention after her arrest over fraud charges.

Afghans are the view that Gula belonged to Pachir Aw Agam, district in eastern Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan. She had lost her father and mother when she was just six in a bombing by the erstwhile Soviet fighter jets during the Afghan occupation.

She had migrated to Pakistan along with her brother and three sisters and grandmother. She married to Rehmat Gul, a baker near Peshawar in 1990. Now she has three daughters Rubina, Zahida and Aalia.

It is not only Gula, who is accused of holding fake Pakistani ID card, but the Afghan ambassador insists there are an estimated over 500,000 Afghan refugees to whom the National Database Regulatory Authority (Nadra) has issued Pakistani identity cards “as per its process of which the Ministry of Interior is very well aware”.

Imran Khan says mass protest no danger to Pakistan democracy

Imran Khan says mass protest no danger to Pakistan democracy

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan on Sunday dismissed accusations his planned shutdown of the nation’s capital could lead to a military coup, saying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “can’t hide behind ‘democracy in danger’” to quash protests.

Islamabad protest will be held at any cost: Imran Khan

Khan, a former national cricket hero, has vowed to bring a million people into Islamabad on Wednesday to paralyse the government and force Sharif either to resign or allow an inquiry into the “Panama Papers” revelations about his family’s offshore wealth.

Sharif’s ruling PML-N party has accused Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of endangering democracy by attempting to draw Pakistan’s powerful military into a political dispute – a sensitive issue in a nation where the army has a history of staging coups.

Reuters interviewed Khan at his plush home in the hills above Islamabad, where he says the police have him under virtual house arrest after the city banned public gatherings ahead of Wednesday’s planned protest and arrested scores of PTI workers.

He dismissed claims he wants the army to topple Sharif, as it did when Sharif was in power in the 1990s, and said the protests aim to hold the prime minister to account for alleged corruption. “How can a democrat want the military to come in?,” Khan said. “He has to answer. He can’t hide behind ‘democracy in danger’.”

Pakistan’s military has repeatedly refused to comment on Wednesday’s planned protests. Relations between the PML-N party and the military soured earlier this month after a newspaper report about a top-level national security meeting angered the army, prompting the removal of one of Sharif’s cabinet ministers blamed for the leak.

The tense relations, as well as the rowing between Sharif and Khan, have stirred unease and prompted newspaper editorial warnings that a descent into street chaos could trigger military intervention. On Sunday, one of Sharif’s closest allies, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, wrote in the English-language The News newspaper that Khan was “willing to derail democracy for personal gains”.

No one will be allowed to shut down Islamabad on Nov 2, IHC tells authorities

The attack adds to long-held suspicions by PML-N supporters that Khan is being used by the military in a power struggle with the civilian government, which has ceded control of key policy areas such as relations with India and Afghanistan to the military. “I don’t need the army,” Khan said. “I’m doing what the opposition is supposed to do. Expose corruption, expose breaking the laws of the land … It doesn’t mean I’m asking the army to come in.”

SHARIF “MESSED IT UP”

Khan said it is corruption, not protests, that threatens democracy. “When you have people coming to power and looting the country, they actually weaken the democratic system because people lose faith in democracy, and when the army comes in they welcome them with sweets.”

Khan blamed Sharif for the latest tensions between the government and the military, saying Sharif’s allies leaked details of the security meeting to the Dawn newspaper. “They messed it up,” said Khan. “They have humiliated the army, they’ve exposed the army, they’ve ridiculed the army because of the (Dawn leak) – what have we got to do with it?”

The October 6 Dawn article said top PML-N politicians confronted high-ranking military officials and called for the military not to interfere if civilian authorities tried to arrest members of anti-India militant groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

On Friday, Khan’s supporters fought running battles with police in the city of Rawalpindi, close to Islamabad. Scores of PTI party workers have been arrested. Khan has accused the police of brutality, and urged his supporters to lay low until Wednesday to avoid arrest.

FEARS OF INSTABILITY

Khan’s latest challenge to Sharif’s government is based on leaked documents from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm that appear to show the prime minister’s daughter and two sons owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and used them to buy properties in London.

Holding offshore companies is not illegal in Pakistan, but Khan insists the Sharif family money was gained by corruption. Khan, 64, said in May he used an offshore company himself to legally avoid paying British tax on a London property sale.

The ruling party has said it would take part in an investigation, but has rejected the opposition’s formula focused on Sharif’s family rather than making it broad based. Sharif’s own name did not appear in the Panama Papers.

Shaken but undeterred PTI rethinks strategy

In 2014, Khan led a months-long occupation that paralysed Islamabad’s government quarter after rejecting Sharif’s decisive election win a year earlier. The prospect of similar protests has hit the local stock market, stoking fears of political instability just as the sputtering economy was starting to rebound.

Khan said that unless Sharif agreed to his demands over the Panama Papers investigation, there was little the government could do to make him call off Wednesday’s protests. However, he sought to downplay his party’s calls to “lock down” the city roads and paralyse the capital, something that prompted the authorities to ban all public gatherings.

Khan said his previous rallying cries for supporters to stop the government functioning were not a direct threat, but rather a prediction. “When you see a million people in Islamabad, trust me, the city will shut down,” said Khan.

Pakistan dominate but India end up Nikkin it

Pakistan dominate but India end up Nikkin it

KARACHI: 

Pakistan came close to pulling off a superb comeback against India in a nerve-wracking final of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Malaysia yesterday but ultimately lost 3-2 to the pre-tournament favourites courtesy of a late Nikkin Thimmaiah winner.

The Greenshirts had defied expectations to reach the final, showing some superb attacking verve in the process, and gave their fans a lot to cheer about as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 going into the final quarter with all the momentum behind them. But in the end it was India who struck the decisive goal against the run of play to claim the win.

Pakistan, ranked 13th in the world, seemed nervous to begin with but settled in nicely and carved out two presentable opportunities in the first quarter. However, they were unable to score from either of them and their profligacy came back to haunt them when Indian skipper Rupinder Pal scored from a penalty corner in the 18th minute.

Indian midfielder Sardar Singh then found Ramandeep Singh in the 21st minute and the striker promptly crossed for Affan Yousuf to deflect home and make it 2-0.

India beat Pakistan 3-2 in 2016 Asian Champions Trophy

Many would have been fearing a one-sided affair at that point but Pakistan were back in it just three minutes later as Aleem Bilal Ghumman made no mistake from a penalty corner, flicking the ball low into the bottom corner to give Indian goalkeeper Akash Chikte no chance.

Pakistan knew they had to come out and attack in the second half and that is precisely what they did, putting the Indians under pressure straight away.

Eight minutes into the half they were rewarded when Ali Shaan flicked the ball into the net to level the scoring and send the ample Pakistan support into raptures.

India were reeling at that point and Pakistan seemed the likelier side to score the winner but it was the Men in Blue who struck when Jasjit’s aerial ball found Ramandeep, who claimed his second assist of the night when he found Thimmaiah inside the box to make it 3-2.

Amjad the hero as Pakistan set up final with India

Pakistan had a chance to level the scoring in the 53rd minute from a penalty corner but drag-flicker Tasawar Abbas failed to convert.

India managed to see out their slender advantage and claim their second Asian Champions Trophy to tie with Pakistan as the tournament’s most successful team.

Pakistan head coach Khawaja Junaid praised the energy on show by both sides. “Both teams showed excellent skill on the ball and were much more composed than their last outing. It was a high-energy game and that was really impressive,” he said.

“Our players have started to improve with the experience they have gained from the tournament and will build on this in future tournaments,” he added.

Pakistan book final against India in Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Ali Shan, who scored the second goal for Pakistan, rued missed chances but was happy with the team’s performance. “We did our best; we missed some early chances but I’m happy with the way we played under pressure,” he told The Express Tribune.

Meanwhile, former Olympian Waseem Feroz hailed the team’s effort against a better-ranked and more experienced side. “Pakistan have not played international matches for a long time and India have players who have played more than 100 matches, so keeping than in perspective, Pakistan performed really well,” he said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2016.

Conte plays it cool over Chelsea title bid

Conte plays it cool over Chelsea title bid

SOUTHAMPTON: 

Antonio Conte insists it is too soon to label Chelsea as Premier League title contenders after his side maintained their impressive run with a 2-0 victory at Southampton.

Conte’s team have reeled off four successive league wins for the first time in 18 months and they sit just one point behind leaders Manchester City following their no-nonsense display at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Eden Hazard opened the scoring with a clinical strike in the sixth minute and Diego Costa’s sublime curler in the second half wrapped up the points for the Blues.

Chelsea boss Conte defends touchline ‘passion’

Chelsea have double the number of points they had at the same stage of a miserable campaign last season and the confident nature of their performance against in-form Southampton suggests Conte is beginning to make his presence felt.

The Chelsea boss wouldn’t be drawn into declaring his side potential champions, although he did admit he is feeling increasingly confident that his rebuilding job is taking shape.

“If you ask me a prediction about the championship, it is very difficult. It is important to pass the first part of the season, then after Christmas you see if you can fight for the title,” the Italian said. “If you ask me if I’m confident? Yeah, because we are working a lot and I’m seeing a lot of positive things.

Some respite for Conte as Chelsea sink champions Leicester

“In this moment, it is not important to look at the table. We are in a good position, but the most important thing is to work very hard. Sometimes you can win but you don’t see the right way, but now, game by game, I’m seeing a lot of positive things. I have confidence, but we can improve a lot.”

With Conte’s decision to switch to a three-man defence rewarded by four consecutive clean sheets in the league and Hazard and Costa both back to their best, there is a new-found swagger surging through Chelsea’s squad.

Conte was quick to salute the efforts of Hazard and Costa, but it was their ferocious work ethic that impressed him as much as their creative contributions.

“When you see Eden and Diego working so hard, you are happy. They are strikers and usually it’s a bit difficult to work hard for the team,” he said.

After disappointing defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool raised pointed questions about Conte just weeks into his reign, Chelsea’s revival has brought welcome encouragement to the former Italy coach.

“We played against a strong team who are in a good moment. To come here and win wasn’t easy,” he said. “I pleased with the work rate, with the ball and without the ball. This is the right way to reach great satisfaction in this championship, and the target is to stay close to first place which gives us great confidence.”

Southampton’s first defeat in six league games stalled their impressive run and boss Claude Puel admitted Hazard, who played under the Frenchman at Lille, had been too hot to handle.

“Chelsea were able to play strong at the back and they could have space to counter-attack. With Eden and Costa it is hard to resist,” he said. “We tried to find a solution, but after the second goal it was difficult to come back. I spoke with Eden after the game. He came back, perhaps after last season was difficult for him, but now he is at a very good level.”

Scrutinised Aguero still following Messi’s lead

Scrutinised Aguero still following Messi’s lead

MANCHESTER: 

There is nothing between Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi off the pitch, but in the Champions League, the Manchester City striker continues to walk in the Barcelona superstar’s shadow.

Aguero was dropped for City’s game at Barcelona on October 19 and by the time he came on, as a 79th-minute substitute, Messi had set his side en route to a 4-0 win with his 37th career hat-trick.

Aguero is expected to start when Barcelona visit the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, having scored twice in Saturday’s 4-0 win at West Bromwich Albion, but manager Pep Guardiola believes he can help the striker to become even better.

Neymar success is down to Messi, says father

“He is part of the history of this club and will be forever, but I would like to help him,” said Guardiola, who enjoyed stunning success with Messi at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012. “He can still write the most brilliant pages in his career in this club. He’s one of the best, absolutely. But I want to help him be much, much better.”

While Guardiola is thought to harbour reservations about Aguero’s work-rate and overall contribution, he believes that “in the box” at least, he is on the same level as Messi.

Aguero and Messi have been close friends since they met while playing for Argentina at the 2005 Under-20 World Cup in the Netherlands.

Griezmann beats Messi and Ronaldo to La Liga award

Aguero, then playing for Independiente in his homeland, astonished his team-mates by asking Messi who he was, having not recognised the burgeoning star of the Barcelona youth team.

But they ended up rooming together and have been international room-mates ever since, Messi penning the foreword to Aguero’s 2014 autobiography.

Aguero is a year Messi’s junior, but in football terms, he was more precocious, making his Independiente debut aged just 15.

The pair began to cross swords regularly after Aguero joined Atletico Madrid in 2006 and might even have ended up playing in the same team.

Former Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta revealed earlier this year that prior to signing Luis Suarez from Liverpool in 2014, the club’s number-one target had been Aguero.

Aguero joined City in 2011 and entered club folklore in his first season by scoring the 94th-minute goal against Queens Park Rangers on the season’s final day that gave Roberto Mancini’s men the title.

He has won four major honours at the Etihad and his brace at West Brom took him to 149 goals in the club’s colours, lifting him past City great Francis Lee.

Though frequently injured, Aguero has the best minutes-to-goals ratio in the Premier League era and former England striker Alan Shearer believes he is “the one genuine world-class player” in the division.

But although Aguero is City’s leading scorer in European competition, unlike Messi he has yet to leave an indelible mark on Europe’s elite tournament.

Just two of his 23 Champions League goals have been scored in the knockout phase and he has never gone further than the semi-finals.

Aguero has hinted that he was sceptical about the hype surrounding Guardiola, telling Argentine radio that he asked Messi if the Catalan would show him “how to kick the ball better”.

But if Aguero is to scale the same heights as his international room-mate, it is likely to be in his interests to keep Guardiola onside.

Guardiola, a two-time Champions League-winner as a coach, has not always seen eye-to-eye with big-name strikers, as Samuel Eto’o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic can testify.

In axing Joe Hart and Yaya Toure, meanwhile, he has demonstrated that he will not show undue deference to status at City.

While Aguero has scored 13 goals in 13 games this season, Guardiola has regularly exhorted him to “do more”, and there are signs that the penny may have dropped.

According to the BBC, the 28-year-old covered 10.2 kilometres (6.3 miles) against West Brom, which represented a huge leap from last season’s average of 7.8km.

Series of soft dismissals make it West Indies’ day

Series of soft dismissals make it West Indies’ day

KARACHI: 

After a series of disappointing results in all three formats on their tour of UAE, the West Indians finally had a day to remember as their bowlers troubled the Pakistani batsmen on the opening day of the third and final Test of the series being played at the Sharjah Stadium yesterday.

Misbahul Haq, captaining Pakistan for a record 49th game, won the toss for the third consecutive time in the series and decided to bat first on what looked like a typical Sharjah track full of runs.

But the hosts were in for a rude awakening as some early morning moisture made the ball jag around in the opening exchanges, and West Indian quick Shannon Gabriel set the cat among the pigeons by removing Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq inside the first four balls of the match.

Bishoo, Gabriel derail Pakistan in third Test against Windies

Sami Aslam and Younus Khan stopped the rut with a defiant 106-run partnership; Younus perished for 51, attempting an ugly across the line shot against spinner Roston Chase.

The stalwart’s dismissal to a poor shot set the tone for the rest of the day. Sami who posted the fifth half-century of his budding career fell attempting a callous reverse sweep after an assured 74.

Misbah also threw away his wicket attempting another reverse sweep to fall for 53 in the final session of the day.

Sarfraz Ahmed scored a typical pugnacious 51 before falling close to the end of the play soon after Mohammad Nawaz had perished for six; Pakistan also lost the wicket of Wahab Riaz to end the day on an underwhelming score of 255-8.

Playing good cricket more important than results, says Mickey Arthur

Seniors should have scored big: Shoaib

Former Test opener and selector Shoaib Mohammad feels that the match is evenly poised, but was not happy with the way the batsmen performed on the opening day.

“In Tests you need your batsmen to make the most of their starts and convert them into big scores. Unfortunately none of our batsmen did that [yesterday],” he said.

Shoaib, though, still believes that Pakistan are favourites to win the game considering the firepower in their bowling attack, especially after the return of the left-arm pace duo of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir.

Taking akistan’s greatest ever Test team for granted

“Our pace attack has certainly been bolstered by the return of Amir and Wahab; these two are our best fast-bowlers and I feel that they will be a handful even on this typical Sharjah pitch, which offers little to the pacers,” he added.

Shoaib, meanwhile, picked in-form leg-spinner Yasir Shah as the trump card for the team considering his impressive form in the series — having taken 17 wickets in the first two Tests.

“While the pacers will play an important role when the West Indians come out to bat tomorrow, I feel that Yasir is the one bowler who can run through the tourists on this pitch,” he said. “His confidence is high and if he bowls the way he did in the first two Tests, Pakistan will be the favourites despite their below-par first innings effort.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2016.

Perspective: ‘Get the Insurance Companies the Hell Out’ of Healthcare System | Jon Queally

Perspective: ‘Get the Insurance Companies the Hell Out’ of Healthcare System | Jon Queally

“The excuses being offered by the Obama administration are far from reassuring: give more public money to profiteering insurance corporations, or switch to a cheaper plan with much higher out-of-pocket costs and more restrictions on access to the doctors and hospitals of your choice.

Premium spikes for Obamacare plans are just latest example of backward for-profit system

Right-wingers like Charles Krauthammer don’t “think anybody should buy it”—and too many Democrats actually don’t want to talk about it—but that doesn’t mean advocates for a single-payer or ‘Medicare for All’ healthcare system aren’t responding to news about rising insurance premiums for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with renewed demands.

Just weeks away from national elections, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made financial and political news late Monday by announcing the average premiums for plans under the ACA (aka Obamacare) will rise significantly for many consumers in 2017.

And while Republicans predictably seized on the development as an easy opportunity to again use Obamacare as an electoral cudgel, backers of the legislation—including many Democrats who voted for it—were left trying to defend a healthcare system that has enriched (and emboldened) the private health industry since its passage in 2010. Though progressives have been able to champion specific positive impacts of the law—including Medicaid expansion, the use of pre-existing conditions to prohibit coverage, and expanding the number of insured people—there remain significant shortcomings that critics say cannot be ignored.

According to Jean Ross, co-president of the National Nurses United, which has longed organized for a single-payer system, the premium increases announced Monday are “outrageous” and just the most recent “sign of a broken, dysfunctional healthcare system.”

In its report on Monday, HHS explained that for consumers who have Obamacare mid-level plans purchased on the federal exchange, premiums will increase an average of 25 percent next year. While some states will see larger increases, others will be less than that. And while the Obama administration pointed out that many people who use these plans receive government subsidies to pay for them, the Associated Press reports how an “estimated 5 million to 7 million people are either not eligible for the income-based assistance, or they buy individual policies outside of the health law’s markets, where the subsidies are not available.”


“There is only one permanent fix—stepping up work for enactment of a humane health care system based on patient need not private profits that guarantees universal health care for all through an expanded and updated Medicare for All—the same approach that works in virtually every other country on earth.”
—Jean Ross, National Nurses United


Additionally, as some major insurers have withdrawn from the federal exchange, as well as certain state-level exchanges, AP notes that about 1 in 5 consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from during the 3-month enrollment period which begins on November 1.

Despite those numbers, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said that 72 percent of those enrolled in an Obamacare plan should be able to find a plan with a premium of less than $75 per month. “Our nation has made historic progress under the ACA,” Burwell said in a statement, “and now we want to build on that progress to further improve affordability, access, and quality.”

But while the White House and DHHS tried to alleviate consumer concerns, critics like Ross remain unconvinced that a system so fundamentally flawed can be salvaged with incremental reforms.

“The excuses being offered by the Obama administration are far from reassuring: give more public money to profiteering insurance corporations, or switch to a cheaper plan with much higher out-of-pocket costs and more restrictions on access to the doctors and hospitals of your choice. Nurses know there is only one permanent fix—stepping up work for enactment of a humane health care system based on patient need not private profits that guarantees universal health care for all through an expanded and updated Medicare for All—the same approach that works in virtually every other country on earth.”

Earlier this year, more than 2,000 doctors put forth a plan arguing the political moment was once again right to put single payer back on the table as a serious and necessary policy proposal.

“Our nation is at a crossroads,” said Dr. Adam Gaffney, a Boston-based pulmonary disease and critical care specialist who co-chaired the working group that produced the proposal. “Despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act six years ago, 30 million Americans remain uninsured, an even greater number are underinsured, financial barriers to care like co-pays and deductibles are rising, bureaucracy is growing, provider networks are narrowing, and medical costs are continuing to climb.”

And during his radio show on Wednesday, journalist and commentator Bill Press said the latest Obamacare news only proves that “Bernie [Sanders] was right” when he said “let’s just go all the with single-payer and get the insurance companies the hell out of the business.”

He continued, “This is one place where Obama really did let progressives down, because there was such a hunger for universal healthcare in this country—and this was the moment when we could do it. Democrats were in charge of the congress. President Obama had every opportunity. This was the opportunity to get the insurance companies out of the business, to free people from being basically held hostage by [them], and come up with a plan like western Europe has and like Canada has, where every American gets healthcare coverage as a birthright.”

But that’s not what happened. “No, no, no,” Press lamented. “We didn’t go there. We went into this mess called Obamacare.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Read original post here: Perspective: ‘Get the Insurance Companies the Hell Out’ of Healthcare System | Jon Queally

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of iRabwah. iRabwah is not an organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, nor in any way associated with any of the community’s official websites.

America’s ‘invisible’ Muslims

America’s ‘invisible’ Muslims

“Some of the people fear when they see a Middle Eastern family. They tell them to go back to their country; that they’re terrorists.”

Imam Eldin Susa recounts how a family of recent immigrants from the Middle East was threatened at gunpoint while looking for housing in Affton, a leafy suburb of St Louis, Missouri.

“From their faces, it was obvious from where they came,” he says – and the firearm-wielding resident wasn’t happy about the prospect of such new neighbours.

Dzemal Bijedic, a Muslim chaplain with the St Louis police, says a Muslim woman waiting for a bus recently was set upon by five men who shouted anti-Islamic slurs and tried to tear off her hijab.

Eventually onlookers intervened.

“Some of the people fear when they see a Middle Eastern family,” Bijedic says. “They tell them to go back to their country; that they’re terrorists.”

Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic, a professor at St Louis University, says she’s been involved in conversations where she was shocked to hear casual anti-Islamic views by people who didn’t know they were talking about her own faith.

For Susa, Bijedic and Karamehic-Muratovic, Islamophobia is real.

Read original post here: America’s ‘invisible’ Muslims

USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Imam Speaks at Loma Linda University on Perinatal Mental Health

USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Imam Speaks at Loma Linda University on Perinatal Mental Health

The questions for the panel discussions were provided to the speakers prior to the event and addressed specific roles of various members of the family unit and how these roles help to alleviate mental health issues. 

Imam Zafarullah advised that both mothers and fathers are responsible for weaning the children

Imam Mohammed Zafarullah of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Chino, California delivered a lecture on the Islamic Perspectives on Perinatal Mental Health at the Loma Linda University in Loma Linda California on Thursday, October 27th 2016,

The all-day event was attended by about 200 students and guests. Students were awarded credit for this educational course. A panel discussion comprising of 7 individuals of various faith groups addressed the various perspectives of their religious following.

The questions for the panel discussions were provided to the speakers prior to the event and addressed specific roles of various members of the family unit and how these roles help to alleviate mental health issues.

Imam Zafarullah explained the beliefs and practices of Islam which serve to protect the families from the vices of society. These include the belief of one God, Angels, Prophets, Revealed Books and the Day of Judgment. He emphasized that beliefs must be in conjunction with Islamic practices which include proclaiming the name of God, 5 daily Prayers, Financial Sacrifice, Fasting during Ramadan and Hajj or Pilgrimage which should be performed at least once in the lifetime of a Muslim.

Regarding the question of what is built in Islam that support families with infants and young children, Imam Zafarullah pointed to the Islamic practices of repeating Adhan and Iqamat in the ears of a new born thus allowing them to opportunity of listening to the words of God from birth. Children must be educated in not only secular education but religious knowledge and practices including daily prayers. Parents pray for the children to be a delight of their eyes (a prayer from the Quran) and raise their children with this thought in mind that the child must be raised happily and peacefully and not be involved in sinful acts.

Imam Zafarullah advised that both mothers and fathers are responsible for weaning the children and exhibiting good examples of their own character to their children who consistently observe the behavior of their parents. He further explained that the practice of Islam is geared to prevention of issues such as mental health and other illnesses which ensue when religion is not practiced by individuals.

In conclusion, Imam Zafarullah said that to improve mental health, sincere Muslims should believe and practice the tenets of Islam as do the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who espouse peace among mankind and live up to the motto of Love for All, Hatred for none.

— USA: Ahmadiyya Muslim Imam Speaks at Loma Linda University on Perinatal Mental Health