Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that freedom of expression should stop if it offend more than 1.5 billion people, following the display of images in France of the Prophet Mohammad that Muslims see as blasphemous.
Al-Sisi said this during an address to commemorate the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday on Wednesday in Cairo.
Al-Sisi also said he firmly rejects any form of violence or terrorism from anyone in the name of defending religion, religious symbols or icons.
“We also have rights. We have the right for our feelings not to be hurt and for our values not to be hurt,” he said.
“And if some have the freedom to express what is in their thoughts I imagine that this stops when it comes to offending the feelings of more than 1.5 billion people,” he added.
The Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar university, one of the world’s most eminent seats of Muslim learning, also called on the international community to criminalise “anti-Muslim” actions.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who sits at the head of the thousand-year-old institution, also said that al-Azhar strongly rejects the use of anti-Muslim sentiment to rally votes in elections.
Turkey’s leader Tayyip Erdogan has called for a boycott of French goods and Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris.
Sudan’s Former PM, Sadiq al-Mahdi, Dies from COVID-19
Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died at the age of 84.
The octogenarian died from a coronavirus infection weeks after being hospitalized in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday.
Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power. Mahdi’s Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir.
Last month, his family said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalization in Sudan.
According to a statement by his party, Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.
No successor has been named by the party but al-Mahdi’s daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, who is the party’s deputy leader has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.
Leading Sudanese opposition figure Sadiq al Mahdi talks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 25, 2019.
South Sudan Appoints Awut Deng Acuil as First Woman to Chair University Governing Council
South Sudan has appointed Awut Deng Acuil to chair the governing council of the University of Bahr El-Ghazal.
Acuil, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from August 2019 until March 2020 and the current Minister of General Education and Instructions, became the first woman to be appointed to chair the governing body of a university.
Her appointment was announced in a presidential decree read on the national broadcaster, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.
The university was established in 1991, when South Sudan was still part of Sudan. The country gained its independence in 2011
Acuil was also the first woman to serve as South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
She relinquished the post following the appointment of a unity government in February to end the conflict between rival groups in South Sudan.
Italy Secretly Repatriating Undocumented Tunisians – Official
Italy has continued the repatriation of undocumented Tunisians by secret flights that land at Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport, 100 kms south of Tunis, a security source in the Tunisian capital said on Saturday.
The Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport received flights on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with between 20 and 40 young Tunisians expelled by the Italian authorities, the source said.
Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said recently that Italy has recorded an increase in the flow of migrants since the beginning of the year, reaching 32,000 people of whom 12,000, representing 38.7 percent, were of Tunisian nationality.
The minister had discussed with Tunisian President Kais Saeid the issue of illegal migration and forced repatriation of illegal migrants arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean.
On 10 August, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, warned that “Tunisians arriving in Italy by boat will be repatriated at the rate of 80 weekly flights”.
Many civil society organisations in Tunisia have demanded the publication of the results of the negotiations between the Tunisian authorities and their Italian counterparts on the repatriation of Tunisians and the revision of the bilateral agreements on clandestine migration signed by the two governments.
The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights, the Euro-Mediterranean Commission and the European Union have called for the humane treatment of migrants by providing them with protection instead of forced repatriation.
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