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I stand with France vs Boycott French Goods: India Stands With France Amid Outrage in Muslim World

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India Stands With France Amid Outrage in Muslim World

Terrorism mounts France as an elderly woman was beheaded and two people stabbed to death with the shouts of “Allah Hu Akbar” – “God is Greater” by the terrorist at the Notre Dame Cathedral in the French city of Nice on October 29th.

Mayor of Nice called the attack as “terrorism.” Meanwhile, a Saudi Arabian man is arrested for attacking and injuring a guard in French Embassy at Jeddah.

World stands in solidarity with France for the horrific attack with India’s PM Narendra Modi, Pope Francis and British PM Boris Johnson condemning the terror. France, presently has raised its security threat level to emergency alert.

Hashtags like #BoycottFrance in Islamic nations and #IstandwithFrance in India are trending on social media due to recent comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron in response to a murder of a French School teacher which has heightened the issue.

Background:

On October 16th, Samuel Paty, a French middle school teacher was killed and beheaded in Paris by a radical Muslim student for showing Charlie Hebdo cartoons (French satirical magazine) portraying the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, including one cartoon which depicted Muhammad naked.

The class was conducted to discuss freedom of speech and expression via caricatures. The identified culprit was an 18-years-old Muslim, Abdullakh Anzorov, Chechen refugee student who was shot dead by police a few minutes later of the crime. He shouted “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is Greatest” before beheading the teacher.

Since 2011, Charlie Hedo Magazine has been the target of three terrorist attacks till now, wherein, in 2015, Islamist shooters killed 12 cartoonists.

It should also be noted that the magazine has depicted much severe satirical cartoons of Jesus Christ, Jewish gods, Hindu deities, Buddha and idols over a period of time.

Before Samuel murder, two people of Charlie Hedo’s Magazine were stabbed at the company’s headquarters in Paris by Muslim men in September 2020.

Western Secularism:

The French national values dictate on liberty, equality, fraternity, which are also the core of their education system. Western Secularism differs from Indian Secularism. In Western countries, there is a clear separation between state and religion, whereas, in India, religion is more than a belief and is understood as a way of life. In this situation, it is not easy to clearly separate religion and state; thus, we have equal treatment and progress of every religion. Government gives financial aid to minorities for their spiritual development and protection.

Emmanuel Macron Comments:

On October 2nd, in a speech to fight radicalisation, French President Emmanuel Macron said “Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country,” and talked about his plan to strengthen the laws for a secular France.

All the attacks on Charlie Hedo is called as “Islamic Terrorism” by the French Government. Macron said “Right to speech includes right to blaspheme,” and further said, “The problem is an ideology (Islamic) which claims its own laws should be superior to those of the Republic.”

Outward displays of religious affiliation are already banned in various sector of France. As a result, Hijab is prohibited in French schools, and for public servants at their place of work.

On the murder of Samuel Paty, Emmanuel visited the school and called the act as “a typical terrorist attack” and said “our compatriot was killed for teaching children freedom of speech. Samuel Paty was killed because Islamists want our future and because they know that with quiet heroes like him, they will never have it.”

French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said “attack on the French nation as a whole.” A national tribute was paid to Paty on October 21st.

Charlie Hebdo condiment the horrifying act and its director Laurent Riss Sourisseau wrote in the latest publication “We will never lie down. We will never give up.”

The government reacted with solidarity of Charlie Hebdo.

International reaction:

The event and French authorities’ reaction have started polarising in two views on social media. One is boycotting France over its “Anti-Islamic” leader and other in solidarity with France to take apt actions against growing terrorism.

Turkey: The first country to call France and its leader “Islamophobic openly.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul said “What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level.”

Fahrettin Altun, head of media and communications of Turkey, in a series of tweet criticised the magazine, leader and ideas of France regarding Muslims.

French Palace issued a statement calling Turkey’s comment unacceptable and demanded that Erdogan should change his policy, which is dangerous in all aspects. On the contrary, Mr Erdogan on Monday called out Boycott French-labelled goods in Turkey.

Germany, Italy, Netherland and the European Union came into support of France.

Italian Prime Minister in a tweet said: “Personal insults do not help the positive agenda that the EU wants to pursue with Turkey.”

Pakistan: Imran Khan took his Twitter to condemn France over its treatment to minorities. He also wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remove Islamophobic content.

As different Islamic nations started calling their envoys back from France, Pakistan National Assembly also passed the resolution. However, it came into notice that Pakistan has no ambassador currently posted in Paris.

Other Islamic nations:

French goods have been removed from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan. Saudi Arabia also condemned the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Protests have been seen in Libya, Syria, Gaza, Iraq and Bangladesh.

This has led to social media protest of #BoycottFrenchProducts and #MacronApologizeToMuslims.

The French foreign ministry acknowledged the move and called the boycotts baseless and also issued safety measures for its foreign citizens in Muslim countries.

India

Along with EU, Indians via Twitter are supporting France steps to fight against radical terrorism with the hashtags top trending #IStandWithFrance and #WeStandWithFrance. PM Modi yesterday took to Twitter and condemned the terrorist attacks in France.

It is criticised that India presently being under a rule of Right-Wing government of Bharat Janata party have increment Anti-Muslim sentiments which enables to back France.

However, the above criticism may have substance; it is to be seen that India have time and again condemned every terrorist activity of the world without attacking the religions due to its secular nature.

On October 28th, the Indian Foreign Ministry released a press statement which not only condemned the terrorist attack but also called personal comments on the French president to be unacceptable. It said, “There is no justification for terrorism for any reason or under any circumstances.”

Emmanuel Macron took his Twitter and said no matter what, France would never give in.

World

Escalation Of COVID-19 Cases Across The Globe

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COVID Case Spike 2021 | News Aur Chai

The United States, India, and Brazil have the most confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. There are very few locations that have remained undisturbed.

Since the middle of last year, confirmed cases have been increasing. Although the actual scope of the first outbreaks in 2020 is unknown because testing was not generally available at the time. The 100 million COVID-19 cases were discovered at the end of January, over a year after it was first diagnosed. As of 6:30 p.m. CEST on July 30, 2021, WHO has received reports of 196,553,009 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,200,412 fatalities. A total of 3,839,816,037 vaccination doses has been delivered as of July 28, 2021.

After reaching a record high of over 0.9 million cases on April 28, 2021, new daily instances of the coronavirus continued to decline, reaching a low point on June 21, when over 0.3 million cases were reported. Since then yet, there has been a global increase in cases. On July 15, 0.53 million daily cases were reported, and over three million new cases were reported in the second week of the month. As of July 15, 188.9 million patients have been recorded worldwide. The transmissive Delta form accounting for most infections in 111 countries. Most instances were recorded in Brazil, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Colombia in the last week. With the steepest increases in Zimbabwe (72%), Indonesia (44%), the United States (38%), Bangladesh (35%), and the United Kingdom (30%). Many Asian nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, have reported many daily cases. However, the spread was under control.

The number of new cases in Indonesia has been on the rise, with each day seeing a significant increase over the previous day. Indonesia is now the new Asian epicentre, with 56,757 cases recorded on July 15; India reported 39,000 patients on the same day. COVID-19 fatalities are high, according to WHO. After decreasing for nine weeks, with the highest increases in Africa and Southeast Asia. COVID-19 fatalities worldwide surpassed four million on July 7. The last million deaths occurred in under 90 days, the lowest time interval for every one million deaths ever recorded.

High vaccination coverage has been shown in the United States and much of Europe to lower fatalities and even hospitalizations. For example, United Kingdom rises in incidence. There has been fewer hospitalizations and deaths over 87% of the adult population, as they are vaccinated with one dose and over 67% with two doses. In the United States, the increase in cases is concentrated in states with low vaccination coverage, with unvaccinated people accounting for most deaths. Over 55% of Americans have received one dosage, and 48% are completely immunized. It shifts the focus back to improving vaccination coverage and achieving global vaccine equality to avoid fatalities and the spread of dangerous strains. Some nations debate a booster dosage. Even though many African countries’ healthcare professionals have not been completely vaccinated, booster injections have begun to be given to patients with weakened immune systems in Israel.

In comparison, booster shots have been ruled out in the United States for the time being. With vaccine shortages reported in many Indian states. Even among the vaccinated, rigorous adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour is the only option to postpone and mitigate the consequences of a third wave.

This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. But the global numbers continue to grow. The Delta variety leads them to well-vaccinated regions such as Western Europe and the United States, low but rising infections. This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. Vaccine doses have been given to over 4 billion individuals globally (52 for every 100 people), yet the discrepancy is striking. More than 80% of the population had at least one shot in some wealthy nations. In contrast, the proportion is as low as 1% in many of the poorest.

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Why Taliban Could Not Control Panjshir Valley In Afghanistan Yet?

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Taliban Panjshir | News Aur Chai

Taliban took over Afghanistan last week, and Panjshir valley in the north is the last hope for the people of Afghanistan to fight against the Taliban.

As it was 25 years ago, there is still a part of Afghanistan that tries to oppose the Taliban; it is the Panjshir valley. The villages that rebelled against the Soviets and Taliban’s, it is now that they’re fighting against the spread of the Islamic Emirate.

Valley Of the Five Lions, also known as Panjshir Valley, is in Northern Afghanistan, 150 kilometers north of Kabul, near the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. Due to its location in the Hindu Kush Mountain range, the Panjshir Valley is only accessible through the narrow Panjshir River; this makes it easy for forces defending. Panjshir is also famously known for emeralds. It has been the base of operations for the Taliban since the 1990s. Since it was never under their control, the area has become a key target for the US-led forces.

Around 150,000 people live in the valley, and the majority are Pashtuns. The valley’s ethnic majority is Tajik. The area’s history has made it the base of operations for the Taliban. Panjshir has never been captured by the Taliban during their earlier rule, nor by the soviets. The resistance, therefore, chose to base its operations in the area due to its history.

After the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, a civil war broke out in the country. Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was the most notable anti-Taliban fighter, led a group of militants to fight against the separatists. He was eventually killed by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2001, just two days before the 9/11 attacks.

Following the father’s footsteps, Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary Ahmad Shah Massoud, declared the start of armed resistance against the Taliban forming in the Panjshir. The Northern Alliance flag has been raised in Panjshir province, confirming the legitimacy of this movement, officially back since 2001. The National Resistance Front (NRF), based out of the Panjshir Valley, led by Ahmad Massoud and the former Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, leading an anti-Taliban Movement.

The Panjshir Valley stands tall against the Taliban under the leadership of Ahmad Masood. Resistance movements have begun with the formation of the Northern Alliance. Bernard Henri Levy, the French philosopher, spoke to Ahmad Massoud on a phone call and quoted saying, “I am the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, and surrender is not part of my vocabulary.” The Resistance has just begun; this is just the beginning.

The Washington Post published an op-ed on Wednesday in which Massoud reiterated his plea for help, asking the United States to supply his military with arms and ammunition. “The United States can still be a great arsenal of democracy” by supporting his fighters, he wrote.

Since President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan, Saleh has declared himself as the interim president. The Taliban has been massing its forces near Panjshir. The Salang highway has been closed. He further tweeted that the militants are avoiding any confrontations with the enemy forces.

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India Takes Rein Of UNSC For August

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UNSC August II News Aur Chai

As per procedure, India received the Presidency of the UN Security Council for August this year. The three major points that the Indian Presidency aims to focus on are maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism policies.

What is the UN Security Council?

The security council is a body of the United Nations responsible for international security and peacekeeping. The body settles disputes and identifies unwanted threats and aggressions against member States.

There are 15 Members as a part of the council. They are obligated to abide by the decisions made by the Security Council. Out of these, there are five permanent and ten non-permanent members, India being a part of the newly elected non-permanent contingent.

India is currently serving as President of the UNSC for August and is expected to do so again in 2022. They succeed France who previously presided in July this year. The order of Presidency succession is decided alphabetically. Each member gets a fair chance to preside over the peacekeeping body.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to chair a meeting of the UNSC.

India in UNSC

India has joined the UNSC for the eighth time as a non-permanent member, serving a term of two years. The last time India was on the council as a member was in the year 2011-12, during the Middle East Crisis.

In the August meetings this year, the primary concern is said to be that of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy and mortality. India also aims to bid for a permanent seat on the UNSC and hence a high level of involvement is expected.

India plays an important role in the UNSC as it along with other members of the G-4 (Brazil, Japan, and Germany) are insisting on an expansion in permanent membership for countries. They want the permanent seats to be offered to countries other than the current five that hold the veto power, giving India a chance to display its potential at a global level.

India has previously chaired the counter-terrorism committee at the UNSC and introduced the concept of ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism globally. They also successfully establish the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).

This time around, India aims at improving maritime security and peacekeeping while returning to the counter-terrorism policies establish worldwide.

India’s efforts as President in August 2021

India is expected to organise three high-level meetings for the three topics that they have decided to focus on (maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism). A traditional breakfast of PRs was held by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti. Along with the normal breakfast, Tirumurti put a display of Indian grains with items exquisitely prepared with those ingredients. A treat of Alphonso mangoes was also included in the breakfast. Tirumurti also presided over all meetings of the UNSC on day one.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting of the UN Council virtually, while external affairs minister, Jaishankar will chair the meetings in person.

S Jaishankar expressed opinions on the opportunity to preside over the UNSC for August via his Tweet, saying that India looks forward to taking over the Presidency of the Global Organisation for the month.

Indian PR Tirumurti also thanked their predecessor France and announced the takeover via his Tweets while expressing his elation on the occasion.

India began their eighth term on January 1 this year. This non-permanent arrangement will span for two years, giving the possibility of another Presidency in late 2022. India has been grateful for its turn in chairing the UNSC and hopes to make decisions and resolutions that will be beneficial to the Indian Foreign Policy and countries around the Globe.

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