Taliban bans hookahs in Afghanistan
The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan recently issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, to ban hookahs, which had become a common sight in the war-ton country in recent years, the media reported.
The militant Islamist group considers hookahs, also known as shisha, as an intoxicant, which is banned under Islam, RFE/RL reported.
The ban on hookahs was announced in the western province of Herat earlier this month.
It is unclear if the fatwa extends to the entire country.
The move has had a severe impact on businesses in Herat, where scores of shisha cafes have been forced to close. Restaurants that offer shisha, meanwhile, have been forced to lay off staff as the number of customers fall.
The ban on hookahs is the latest attempt by the Taliban to impose its extremist interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in Afghanistan, where the militant group forcibly seized power in August 2021.
The Cafe Owners Association in Herat said that around 2,500 people had lost their jobs following the ban, aggravating an already dire economic situation for many residents, RFE/RL reported.
The Taliban takeover triggered an economic collapse and worsened a major humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where hunger and poverty are widespread.
Azizul Rahman Mohajer, the provincial head of the Taliban’s feared Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, said hookahs are “against Sharia”.
The Taliban, however, has not imposed any restrictions on naswar, a mild narcotic made from tobacco.
It is popular among Afghan men, particularly in rural areas, including among Taliban fighters, RFE/RL reported.
In April, the Taliban declared a blanket ban on illicit narcotics, although Afghan farmers say they continue to plant crops, including opium.
Atif Aslam, wife Sara welcome baby girl in holy month of Ramzan
Pakistani playback singer Atif Aslam, who is known for chartbusters such as ‘Aadat’, ‘Bakhuda’, ‘Jeena Jeena’, ‘Jaane De’ and several others, has become a proud faher as he and his wife Sara Bharwana welcome a baby girl.
The ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ hitmaker took to his Instagram on Thursday to share the news of his baby’s arrival with his fans. He posted a picture of his daughter wrapped up in pink colour baby sleepwear.
The baby is named Halima.
He wrote in the caption: “Finally the wait is over. The new queen of my heart has arrived.”
“Both baby and Sarah are fine Alhamdulilah. Please do remember us in your prayers. Ramadan Mubarak from Halima Atif Aslam 23/03/2023.”
He also added #Ramadan in the caption.
Atif has sung many songs in Bollywood films including ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ from ‘Rustom’, ‘Tu Jaane Na’ and ‘Tera Hone Laga Hoon’ from ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ and ‘Tere Bin’ from ‘Bas Ek Pal’.
FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
JERUSALEM: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Mohammad Hussein, declared that Thursday, March 23, will be the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
RIYADH: The crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday evening in Saudi Arabia and Thursday, March 23, will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Kingdom’s Supreme Court has said.
The court called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday evening that corresponds to Shaban 29, 1444.
The Ministry of Justice announced it has launched an electronic system for crescent sighting “with the aim of automating and governing the moon sighting processes, and unifying work procedures between the courts of first instance and the Supreme Court.”
The service aims to unify the data source of the observatory through a robust electronic system that provides speed and integration with the relevant authorities, raising the quality of the observatory operations, and speeding up the issuance of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding new moon sightings.
More than 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will mark the holy month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.
Indian flag pulled down by pro-Khalistani protesters at London mission; MEA summons UK diplomat
The tricolour flying atop the Indian High Commission in London was pulled down by a group of protesters waving Khalistani flags and chanting pro-Khalistani slogans on Sunday evening.
Scotland Yard, headquarters of Metropolitan Police, said it was “aware” of an incident in the area but is yet to issue an official statement.
India has, meanwhile, registered its strong protest with the British government over the safety of its diplomatic mission and questioned the lack of sufficient security at the premises.
Images of shattered windows and men climbing the India House building were circulating on social media and videos from the scene show an Indian official grabbing the flag from a protester through the first-floor window of the mission, while the protester is seen waving a Khalistan flag hanging off its ledge.
MEA summons UK diplomat
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening on Sunday to convey India’s “strong protest” at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London.
“An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises. She was reminded in this regard of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention,” the MEA said in a statement.
“India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK. It is expected that the UK Government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” it said.
The banned terrorist organisation, Sikhs For Justice, is conducting a so-called “Referendum 2020” amid a crackdown on pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh in Punjab.
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