World Bulletin / News Desk
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world's largest Islamic body on Saturday to "treat carefully" the issue of the Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar because it could affect the "reform" process underway in the country, also known as Burma.
Over the past year, Myanmar has introduced the most sweeping reforms in the former British colony since a 1962 military coup. A semi-civilian government, stacked with former generals, has allowed elections, eased rules on protests and freed dissidents.
But an outbreak of violence in June between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and the Rohingyas killed 80 people and displaced thousands. At least 800,000 Rohingyas are not recognized as one of the country's many ethnic and religious groups.
Rights groups accused Myanmar security forces of killing, raping and arresting Rohingyas after the riots. Myanmar has said it exercised "maximum restraint" in quelling the riots.
Ban discussed the issue in separate meeting with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Myanmar President Thein Sein on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders.
During his meeting with Ihsanoglu, Ban "indicated the importance of the situation in Rakhine being treated carefully because of the potential wider implications of the Rakhine issue on the overall reform process in Myanmar," his spokesman said.
An OIC committee set up to deal with the Rohingya issue met for the first time in New York this week and called for them to be given rights as citizens in Myanmar. Ihsanoglu said he wanted to visit Myanmar when the government was ready to "to remedy the fundamental rights issues of the Rohingya Muslims."
Thein Sein said in June the government was only responsible for third-generation Rohingyas whose families had arrived before independence in 1948 and that it was impossible to accept those who had "illegally entered" Myanmar.
Ban and Thein Sein "discussed the recent outbreak of violence in Rakhine state and the immediate and long-term perspectives to promote inter-communal harmony and address the root causes of the tension there, including developmental efforts," Ban's spokesman said in a statement.
"The President confirmed the country would address the long-term ramifications of this question," the spokesman said.
Last week Aung Min, a minister in President Thein Sein's office and the government's top negotiator in peace talks with at least 10 ethnic minority rebel groups, said the government had set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the violence between the Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingyas.
The commission would look at how further violence could be prevented, which includes examining the status of the ethnic minorities, he said. It is due to report on due Nov. 16.
Official figures suggest Muslims make up 12 percent of Malawi's 14 million while Muslim groups put the percentage at 36.
Three were hospitalized after a fire broke out in scaffolding.
The Indian Parliament was adjourned as lawmakers called for a debate on an incident in which right-wing Hindu politicians alleged forced a Muslim worker to break fast in Ramadan
A 214-page report found the FBI often targeted vulnerable individuals in sting operations, and subjected convicts to restrictive confinement..
Intellectuals jointly berate Israel's military operations on the besieged territory, which has left almost 600 Palestinians dead since July 7
Sanjay Mitra, 71, has been celebrating Ramadan since 1993, as a sign of solidarity, following the destruction by Hindu militants of the Babri mosque in northern India.
Twahir Kamisi, the 42-year-old the imam of Masjid Sharaf in Mbiko was killed on Saturday.
Mehmet Gormez said Muslims need to put in a joint effort to revive the quintessential values of the Islamic civilization.
The market gets crowded as the fast-breaking time approaches and chefs cook out in the open.
The project, named Al-Quran Al-Akbar (The Biggest Qur'an) features 15 chapters of the Qur'an carved on both sides of 315 revolving timber panels measuring 177cm x 140 cm.
The mosque in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, the Martyr Isa Omer Mosque, is the center where Hungarian Muslims come together and share the fast-breaking iftar dinner.
Nicolo Degiorgis's book Hidden Islam received an award at the Rencontres d'Arles photography festival for highlighting the problem Italian Muslims face in finding a suitable place for worship.
Britain First's "Kent battalion activists" stormed into the mosque's prayer hall with their shoes on, refusing requests from an elderly man to show respect to the place of worship.
The mosque was closed in 1926 during the Soviet era amid a crackdown on all public displays of religion.
Hafizs, people who memorized the Qur'an and recite it without needing any help therefore become much busier in Ramadan.
Stores are now shuttered and people stay indoors, listening out for the shriek of rockets and thud of bombs.