The US State Secretary Rex Tillerson is in a visit to five African nations that commenced in Ethiopia on Wednesday 7 March 2018. Today he is in Kenya and expected to visit Chad Nigeria and Djibouti. This visit is to highlight the strategies to counter terrorism and improve security, bilateral trade and investments.
The Associated Press, Tunis
Tunisia’s foreign minister says that diplomatic relations with Syria will be restored at a consular level, following a long hiatus that began during the Arab Spring.
Taieb Baccouche told journalists Thursday that Syria had responded positively to the suggestion to restore relations, which were cut in February 2012.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI inaugurated last Friday a huge education center for foreign Imams in the capital city, Rabat. This $20 million facility is primarily intended to Muslim scholars and imams from all over the world, including Mali, France , the UK, and China.
However, for some, its aim goes way beyond religious objectives. It also has geostrategic goals. Indeed, one can only wonder why a middle-income country like Morocco – with approximately $110 billion of annual GDP- is ready to spend that much money on such a center?
In fairness, the initiative taken by Morocco to train foreign imams is not new. Since the early 60’s, the Kingdom has been providing training to foreign scholars and imams in order to disseminate its “Islam of the middle path doctrine,” a vision of religion based on tolerance, intercultural dialogue and respect of other faiths.
Yet, this is the first time that the North African Country is scaling up this initiative.Why now?
By Joe Brock | Johannesburg, Reuters
Google and Facebook are at the forefront of a scramble to win over new African Internet users, offering freebies they say give a leg-up to the poor but which critics argue is a plan to lock in customers on a continent of 1 billion people.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا جَاءَكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ مُهَاجِرَاتٍ فَامْتَحِنُوهُنَّ ۖ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِهِنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ عَلِمْتُمُوهُنَّ مُؤْمِنَاتٍ فَلَا تَرْجِعُوهُنَّ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ ۖ لَا هُنَّ حِلٌّ لَهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحِلُّونَ لَهُنَّ
“You who have iman! when women who have iman come to you as muhajirun, submit them to a test. Allah has best knowledge of their iman. If you know they are believers do not return them to the kuffar. They are not halal (wives) for the kuffar nor are the kuffar halal (husbands) for them.”
وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُمْ بِالْكِتَابِ لِتَحْسَبُوهُ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَمَا هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
“Among them is a group who distort the Book with their tongues so that you think it is from the Book when it is not from the Book. They say, ‘It is from Allah,’ but it is not from Allah. They tell a lie against Allah and they know it.”
By Lora Moftah
A South Africa mosque has sparked controversy with its decision to officiate an interfaith marriage between a Muslim woman and a Christian man. A mosque is pictured here in a Cape Town suburb. Reuters
A controversial South African mosque has performed its first interfaith marriage between a Muslim woman and a Christian man, in a ceremony denounced by local Islamic leaders. The imam of the Cape Town mosque, which bills itself as pluralistic and gender-equal, is challenging the idea that Islam bans such marriages, in defiance of traditional teachings on the issue.
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ مَنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ وَسَعَىٰ فِي خَرَابِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ مَا كَانَ لَهُمْ أَنْ يَدْخُلُوهَا إِلَّا خَائِفِينَ ۚ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
“Who could do greater wrong than someone who bars access to the mosques of Allah, preventing His name from being remembered in them, and goes about destroying them? Such people will never be able to enter them – except in fear. They will have disgrace in the dunya and in the akhira they will have a terrible punishment.”
By Cara Anna | Associated Press, United Nations
Almost all of the 436 mosques in the Central African Republic have been destroyed by months of vicious fighting between Christians and Muslims, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday, calling the devastation “kind of crazy, chilling.”
NAIROBI, March 9 (Reuters) – The United States has withdrawn a $3 million bounty linked to the capture of a high-level member of Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group who had since defected, a U.S. official said on Monday.
The Somali government welcomed the move and thanked Washington for supporting its efforts to persuade senior figures to quit the al Qaeda-linked organisation, which has launched attacks across east Africa.
By Michelle Nichols | Reuters, United Nations
Libya has sought permission from the United Nations to import 150 tanks, two dozen fighter jets, seven attack helicopters, tens of thousands of assault rifles and grenade launchers and millions of rounds of ammunition from Ukraine, Serbia and Czech Republic.
In the written request to the U.N. Security Council committee overseeing an arms embargo imposed upon the North African state, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, Libya said it needs the massive shipment of weapons and military equipment to take on Islamic State militants and other extremists and to control its borders
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
“Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate.”
Morocco’s control of the ‘last colony in Africa’ is at the centre of campaigners’ legal challenge to the labelling of Saharan produce and the tax breaks it receives
Ian Black Middle East editor
Accurate labelling of consumer produce is a familiar part of the struggle for Palestinian rights under Israeli occupation and a striking example of global citizen empowerment. Now campaigners for the freedom of Western Sahara are making similar demands to try to undermine Morocco’s control of the territory.