US church offers space to Muslims after mosque arson attack

After an arsonist damaged a mosque in Bellevue, US state of Washington, the local Muslim community was in need of a new place to pray — so their Mormon neighbors offered them one.

According to KOMO-TV, an arsonist set fire to the Islamic Center of the Eastside on Jan. 14. Police arrested a suspect at the scene.

Unable to use their mosque, the Muslim community gathered to pray at a local community center, but they were in need of a more permanent space until they were able to repair the damage.

So their neighbors, the Bellevue Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stepped up to help.

The Mormon community offered a large room to their Muslim neighbors to use free of charge until they can resume worship at their mosque.

"It’s really very simple,” Gordon Wilson, the church’s director of public affairs, told KOMO. "It’s just neighbors helping neighbors. Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbor.’ They’re right next door. How can it be more obvious than that?”

In addition to the room, the Mormon community left welcoming messages for the Muslim worshipers.

"It was a surprise, and it was very heartwarming,” Islamic Center board member Shams Pirbhai told KOMO. "That means a lot to me and to our whole congregation.”

Pirbhai said the Islamic Center plans to lease a larger space in the coming months and added that they are grateful for the outpouring of support they received from their neighbors and the Bellevue community.

"They are really good neighbors and really helping us out,” Pirbhai said. "And we appreciate that.”

Imam Faizel Hassan told the Seattle Times that, in addition to their Mormon neighbors, Catholic, Church of Christ, Jewish, Lutheran and Seventh-day Adventist congregations have offered assistance as well.

Human Right awards to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

The award ceremony organized at the Enugu campus aimed at celebrating the beneficiaries whom, they said, have been speaking against the violation of human rights in Nigeria.

The organizing Chairman, Mr. Shuaib Isa Ahmad in his opening remark explained the importance of the award, saying that it is only those with uncommon bravery that are speaking up against injustice, persecutions and oppression of Nigerians in the face of a total clamp down of Nigerians under this administration.

He narrated how the military invaded the peaceful Shiite Muslims and the Biafra agitators by killing them unjustly.

He also said that Governor Fayose of Ekiti State, El-Zakzaky who is currently in detention, Nigerian Wailers, others were chosen for their bravery for speaking up against oppression of Nigerians and that they deserved the awards.

Stressing on the need to drive the campaign against human rights violations to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, Mr Shuaib said it has been organized at the University of Lagos and the campaign will be taken to other states in Nigeria.

While calling on the Federal Government to obey court rulings and set Sheikh Zakzaky free and others described as prisoners of conscience, Mr Shuaib enjoined all Nigerians to support and join the campaign.

Also speaking at the event, the National President of the Nigerian Wailers, Prince Adelaja Adeoye extolled the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheik El-Zakzaky for leading one of the most peaceful Islamic Movement in the world.

Dr. Jibril Adekunle said lack of respect for rule of law will induce doubt in the minds of Nigerian and its democracy. He urge the Government to set Sheikh Zakzaky free as well as other political prisoners.

The event was well attended by many students, members of the UNEC community and participants from other parts of Nigeria.

The prominent cleric and his wife were taken into custody on December 14, 2115, after deadly clashes between the supporters of the IMN movement and Nigerian troops.

Nearly 350 members of the Shia movement were killed in the clashes. The sheikh was brutally injured and his house was reportedly destroyed by the army in the incident.

The judge said he had given 45 days for authorities to provide new accommodation for the Zakzaky family. The accommodation is to be in the town of Zaria, Kaduna state, where the family were detained, or in other parts of the state or alternatively any other part of northern Nigeria.

Kolawole said the State Security Service would pay each of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife $78,984 in compensation for the violation of their rights by being held in unlawful custody for nearly a year.

Nearly 100 IMN supporters were killed when Nigerian forces fired live rounds and tear gas at mourners during a peaceful march ahead of the Arbaeen mourning rituals, which mark 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam. Authorities also destroyed a number of buildings belonging to the IMN.

The Nigerian government has stepped up its crackdown on the IMN since the December 2015 deadly incident.



Turkish government closes two Shia TV stations

The Turkish government has ordered the closure of 2 Shia television stations for what is said is “spreading propaganda against the government”.

The On4TV and Kanal12 were closed under a law related to restricting activities of terrorist groups, Rasthaber website reported.

The government has provided no evidence supporting its claims against the two TV stations.

According to some reports, all of the two TV channels’ belongings have also been confiscated.

The closures come at a time of growing concern for press freedom in Turkey.

Ankara introduced a state of emergency following an abortive coup in July 2016.

Turkey has put several prominent journalists under arrest following the abortive coup.

Activists have repeatedly warned that the state of emergency could be used for cracking down on groups or individuals beyond the coup suspects.

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