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25 Ramadan 1439 A.H.- June 10 2018 Issue # 23, Newsletter #1762

Hadith of the Week

Unlimited Forgiveness

Abu Huraira, r.a reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "A servant committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin! Allah the Exalted said: My servant has committed a sin and he knows he has a Lord who forgives sins and holds him accountable. Then the servant returned to his sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin! Allah said: My servant has committed a sin and he knows he has a Lord who forgives sins and holds him accountable. Then the servant returned to his sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin! Allah said: My servant has committed a sin and he knows he has a Lord who forgives sins and holds him accountable, so do what you will for I have forgiven you."

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 7068, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2758

Political Prisoners :

Civil Discord Show

 3 blue flax

Entrapment and Witch Hunt

The case against Tariq Ramadan

The disintegration of justice and the damage to #MeToo

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) is deeply concerned for the welfare of Tariq Ramadan as he endures a disintegration of due process in the case brought against him by two alleged victims of sexual abuse.

Having voluntarily returned to France to cooperate with the investigation into the accusations levelled against him only to be locked up in solitary confinement at a high security facility and prevented from seeing his family as well as from taking his prescribed medication for multiple sclerosis. In a recent statement, his family describe his health as having seriously deteriorated since he was arrested on the 5th of February.

MAB, while firmly believing that any allegations of sexual abuse must be taken seriously and should be thoroughly and fully investigated, is shocked to see that even the most basic rules of justice are being flagrantly ignored by the French authorities; that one is innocent until proven guilty. Such contempt for due process sadly undermines the important #MeToo movement and is a betrayal of victims.

President of MAB, Anas Altikriti stated last night: "The fact that the case against Tariq Ramadan is littered with inconsistencies and apparent falsehoods, including the accusation that he carries an Egyptian passport hence deemed a flight risk. Further, the mysterious loss of crucial evidence proving his whereabouts at the time he is accused of committing the crime, simply adds to the frustration and anger of those who have come to know, follow and learn from Tariq Ramadan over a number of decades.

"Also, the coinciding case of the Minister of Action and Public Accounts Gérald Darmanin, who faces two accusations of rape, yet left free not only to walk the streets but to continue serving as a minister enjoying the government's full support, belies the application of double standards which can only be inferred to be racist in basis."

MAB is unwavering in its support for due judicial process and for a full and thorough investigation into the allegations to take place. What is currently happening in France however, is anything but. Should this be allowed to continue, the victim won't be only Tariq Ramadan, but all genuine victims of sexual abuse and France's judicial system and the country's standing among the free and democratic world.

Muslim Association of Britain


Raqqa was reduced to rubble by US Air Force.
Amnesty found out 7 months after New Trend

Summary of Amnesty Report.
Take Action for Human Rights
Demand Accountability for the Destruction in Raqqa

Last year, the US-led Coalition killed entire families in Raqqa, a city in the North East of Syria.

In June 2017, the Coalition - including the US, France and UK - launched a military operation to oust the armed group calling itself the Islamic State from its so called "capital".

But instead of just targeting Daesh, they caused the deaths of hundreds and injury of thousands of civilians, and destroyed much of the city.

Our researchers visited Raqqa, and reported a level of destruction beyond anything they have seen in decades of covering the impact of wars. Homes, private and public buildings and infrastructure were reduced to rubble, or damaged beyond repair.

So although the Coalition claims that it conducted a precision air campaign intended to bomb the Islamic State out of Raqqa while causing very few civilian casualties, this claim is simply not true.

Hundreds of civilians were killed in Raqqa. Families just like ours. You can demand truth and justice for them and their loved ones, and make sure their lives are not forgotten.

Demand the U.S-led Coalition recognize the scale of civilian lives lost in Raqqa, properly investigate airstrikes that killed civilians, publish all their findings, and provide reparation for the victims.

By serving justice for those who were unlawfully killed in Raqqa, we can help make sure that similar crimes do not happen again in the future.


Big Rally at Israeli Consulate.
Boycott List Distributed.

by Br. Abu Talib
Jamaat al-Muslimeen.

There was a big rally against Israeli occupation of Jerusalem in New York city on June 8 which was held in Manhattan on 42second and 8th Avenue Times Square by several organizations who sponsored it.

There were about five hundred people at the rally and then we marched to the Israel Consulate.

Demonstrators chanted "Palestine will be free, from the River to the Sea."

I gave out the boycott list of companies that support Israel.

There were lots of young People from Palestine who were leading the March and walking with a coffin which was symbol of those young people who were killed in Palestine.

The Muslims must make a stand for the oppressed and for Palestine.

The struggle here and in Palestine is one. Malcolm X made that connection with the people of Palestine.

 Breaking News

Israel is Number One in this Activity.


Ripped men in white underwear, pink bunny ears and black bow ties gyrated through the streets of Israel's Tel Aviv on Friday along with drag queens and others to loud trance music for the annual Gay Pride Parade — the biggest event of its kind in the region.

The Tel Aviv Municipality said over 250,000 people celebrated at the city's 20th Gay Pride Parade, an event that draws people from around the world to party.

Cordelia Lange, from Germany, said Tel Aviv is "a very vibrant city, it's a city that embraces everything connected to gays, lesbians and LGBT and I think it's a combination of city at the beach and good vibes."

Did You Think Homo Sex was Harmless?
Excerpted from BBC June 5

The impact of STIs remains greatest in young people aged between 15 and 24 years, with gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men among those most at risk, says Public Health England in its report.

Black and minority ethnic populations are also disproportionately affected by STIs.

Chlamydia remains the most prevalent of the diseases, accounting for more than 200,000 cases last year - nearly half (48%) of all new STI diagnoses in 2017.

Testing in contraceptive clinics has fallen by 61% since 2015, which experts say may indicate a squeeze on resources. However, it may also reflect a rise in the use of home testing kits - and the availability of testing in other settings.

Latest Khutba

 Dr Kaukab Siddique

Why do Muslims Ignore Ayesha's, r.a., Anniversary in Ramadan+
Prophets Faced Difficulties+ Why is Maudoodi being Ignored by America's Muslims?+ Sufiism & Sectarianism is not the way

On June 8, Br. Kaukab Siddique gave the juma' khutba at Masjid Jamaat al-Muslimeen in Baltimore.

Here is an outline of his khutba for distribution on line:

Texts : " .....Allah's messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the Divine Verses of tayammum. So they all performed tayammum. Usaid bin Hudair said, "O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours." Then the camel on which I was riding was caused to move from its place and the necklace was found beneath it. (Excerpted from hadith narrated by Ayesha, r.a, in Sahih Bukhari, Book #7, Hadith #330)
"......and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For Allah doth blot out sins and forgive again and again." [The Qur'an 4:43]

  1. All the prophets faced serious difficulties. There is no easy way in Islam. We have to strive and struggle to achieve al-Jannah,

  2. Nuh [Noah] preached for hundreds of years but was not accepted. Abraham's father was an idol maker and threatened to have him stoned to death. Musa's [Moses} followers would not go into the Promised Land and had to wander in the desert with him for 40 years. Isa' [Jesus] was given the greatest miracles but he got only 12 disciples. His community opted for his crucifixion [but Allah saved him]. Prophet Muhammad and his companions were tormented and tortured so much, they had to leave all they had and to migrate.

    [Please say "peace be on him" after each name].

  3. So, we should not complain about the long summer fasts. This is preparing us for awareness of reality and the hardship of our path.

  4. Women, about half of our population, are ignored by us in our Islamic work. Evidence of this attitude is that we do not remember the anniversary of Ayesha, r.a. which comes every year in Ramadan. Isn't it strange that we ignore the wife of the Prophet, pbuh, who is highly praised in the Qur'an as ahlul bayt. Only one sahabi, Zayd, r.a., is mentioned in the Qur'an and that is a mention, not high praise.

  5. The Qur'an condemns people who would try to disparage Ayesha, r.a. See chapter 24. Severe punishment is prescribed for those who would slander and talk about her. That ruling is applied to all good women who are targeted without evidence.

  6. Great miracles are connected with Ayesha, r.a. Here are a few:

    1. Tayammum, the revelation about ablution for prayer, which affects our daily prayers when water is not easily available.

    2. She is the greatest narrator of hadith.

    3. The Prophet, pbuh, wanted to be with her when the time came for him to leave this world. He died in her lap.

    4. The Qur'an in insists that she and all the wives of the Prophet, pbuh, rise to the highest level of conduct.

    5. She was given the choice to leave the prophet, pbuh, and live comfortably or to accept his austere life style. She accepted her austere life style.

    6. Notice the verses on Ramadan. We must be intimate with and kind to our spouses once the fast ends.

  7. Part 2.

  8. One strange thing about Muslims in America is that they ignore all the great scholars of Islam and instead focus on the minor American scholars they have. These scholars have one thing in common: They support the West against those Muslims who are opposing the West, specially imperialism and Zionism, in the Muslim world.

  9. That is why I have taken it on my myself to introduce the great scholars. Last time I talked about Ibn Taymiyyah.
    Today I am reflecting on Maulana Maudoodi.

  10. His greatest contribution was to remind Muslims that Islam is a COMPLETE way of life. This idea essentially means that authentic Islam cannot be broken into spiritual and political. The Sufis and sectarians neglected the revolutionary aspects of Islam and as a result, the Muslim world was colonized and Israel was planted in our heartland.

  11. Maudoodi taught Muslims that we need Islamic Law, Islamic Constitution, Islamic economics and foremost, the obligation of Jihad to defend the Muslim world. Separation from the unbelievers in their constituent ideas is essential. Hence Pakistan came into being.

  12. The way of Ibn Taymiyyah and Maudoodi is to have direct access to the Qur'an and the authentic hadith.

    Not knowing Arabic is no longer an excuse. Translations are available in every major language.

  13. Go to Arabic scholars when something involves Arabic linguistic understanding.

    Dua': May Allah help us to study the Qur'an and hadith on a daily basis. May Allah unite us on Qur'an and hadith.

    Nationalism cannot liberate Palestinel, nor can it save the Black communities of America.

    May Allah give us spouses and children who will stand with us for Islam.


From NT's Pakistan Observer
Khadija Siddiqui, law student, Stabbed 23 times.
Upper class criminal acquitted!

 Khadija Siddiqui

Shah Hussain is the son of a prominent lawyer [judge?]. He wanted to have an affair with an attractive law student, Khadija Siddiqui. She wears hijab and is modest and ignored him. He tried social media blackmailing with photo shopped images. She still ignored him. So one day, in broad daylight, he attacked her and stabbed her 23 times. He also injured her sister. She survivded after being treated in the hospital for 3 weeks.

Shah Hussain was arrested and sentenced to 7 years in prison. Being well placed \, he appealed and the sentence was reduced to 5 years. A ridiculous sentence for such a blatant crime against a Muslim woman.

Shah Hussain appealed again and this time, to everyone's surprise, he was acquitted of all charges. Shock waves rippled through Pakistani upper class society. Khadija couldn't believe that an open and shut case could result in acquittal. She appealed to the Supreme court. Now [June 7] the Supreme court has decided to take up the case.

[Source: News International, Pakistan]

Pakistani Army Admits that it is working unitedly with USA and the regime in Kabul.

In a wide ranging press conference on June 4 Pakistani general Asif Ghafoor published this statement about the Pakistani army's relations with the US and the regime it has installed in Kabul:

"Nobody is more desirous of US success in Afghanistan than we are," "We want them to return successful and wish Afghanistan forms a government that reflects the will of the Afghan people."

"We will give them whatever support they need," he promised.

Addressing accusations of harbouring the Haqqani network on the Pakistan side, Maj Gen Ghafoor conceded that some residual strength may still remain but no 'stable' network existed.

"Prior to [Operation] Zarb-i-Azb it used to be a question of capacity, not resolve," he explained, saying that the operation had achieved tangible gains and eradicated most terrorist networks on this side of the border.

The army spokesperson also reiterated that the military desires respectable repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, "after which the army can target all remaining terrorist networks".

"The Americans and the Afghan officials have acknowledged our successes in Zarb-i-Azb," he also said.

[This was published in the pro-government Pakistani newspaper DAWN. Zarb e Azab was the Pakistan military operation carried out in Northern Waziristan which the US had been insisting on for years. The entire population was expelled and many of them are still sitting in the sun.]

War News

 War News


In a gunfight with al-Shabab mujahideen, north of Kismayo, an American soldier was killed and 4 wounded. A regime soldier with them was also wouded.

Most of Somalia is under control of al-Shabab. [BBC]

In the lower Dir area, "militants" killed a senior police officer and his police driver. {June 8]

In Wana, South Waziristan, a secular group based on Pashtun ethnic loyalty, clashed with Maulvi Nazir's militants. 4 of the seculars were killed and more than a dozen wounded. Army has imposed curfew on the area.

Pakistani troops repelled an attempt by "militants" who have taken refuge in Taliban held areas of Afghanistan and were trying to come back to Pakistan.

There was another exchange of artillery fire between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir line of control.

More Indian army atrocities are reported from Indian occupied Kashmir. People are protesting the murder of 4 "militants" by the Indian army.

Lightning Attacks by Taliban.
Three day cease fire will begin on Eid.

June 9. In Shah Walikot district of Kandahar province, a large scale attack by Taliban fighters killed 25 regime troops and wounded 10. Another 8 were captured. The Taliban say they suffered only 5 killed and 2 wounded.

June 10. In an intense Taliban attack in the Zawal district of Herat, 12 regime troops were killed and 1 wounded.

In another big attack in the Qala e Zar area of Kunduz, Taliban killed 14 police officers. They suffered some losses but these were not revealed.

In the Ghazni area US air force is bombing Taliban. Losses are not known.

In Nangarhar province, near Pakistan, regime artillery is pounding Islamic State fighters but results are not known.

Australia is investigating reports that its troops murdered several villagers whom they suspected of knowing the whereabouts of a mujahid who killed 3 Australian troops and escaped.

Taliban have announced a three day cease fire starting on Eid.


Iran and Hizb will stay in Syria or Assad may not survive Despite Russian bombing.
Fighting flares across Syria. IS re-Takes Bokamal & Parts of Suwaida region.

Reports indicate that Iran and Lebanese Hizb will stay in Syria. Assad is claiming that Russia is not running the show and Iran will follow his directions. Russia has been saying in support of Israel that Iran will evacuate particularly from areas near Israel.

Russian-Regime bombing massacre of Civilians in Zardara.

On June 7, Russia and regime air forces bombed the population of Zardara in Idlib province killing 51 civilians [including 11 women and 9 children]. The town has been smashed.

On June 10, the bombing was renewed killing 18 more civilians.

On June 7 Islamic State [IS] fighters advanced into Suwaida region which leads to Damascus from the south. The regime has sent a large force to take it back. On June 10 the two sides made contact and fighting is continuing.

From June 8 to June 10, Islamic State fighters took back a vast area from Bokamal [Abu Kamal] to Mayadein.

Here the IS forces used 10 human bombers to attack the Iranian-led forces which had occupied the area. SOHR is documenting that 31 pro-regime forces were killed. Of these 16 were Assad's men. Among them was their commander .. The commander of the Lebanese Hizb too was killed. 5 of those killed were Iraqi regime forces and 9 were Iranian troops. The regime forces fled. IS lost 21 [including the 10 human bombers used against regime tanks.]

As this is a strategically important area, Iran is bringing reinforcements to counterattack.

On June 7, an Islamic group fired on regime troops in western Aleppo city. The regime fired back.

American backed SDF Kurdish forces advanced against IS in southern Hasakeh province. Their advance is slow despite American air support.

[Northwest Aleppo province: June 7-010] In retaliation for the regime/Russian bombing of Zardara, opposition Islamic factions supported by mujahideen from Uzbekistan and Turkestan attacked the heavily armed Shiite enclaves of Fuah and Safriah. The Shias are being supplied from the air by Russia but the mujahideen are tightening their grip,

On June 4 al-Nusra attacked refugees from Iraq in Idlib province. al-Nusra considers them ISIS and there is bitter hate between them. In the al-Nusra attack 22 of the refugees were killed. The refugees fought back killing 5 of al-Nusra. [The hate comes from the time when al-Nusra refused to accept the IS caliphate.]

Russian bombing raids on towns in northeast Hama province held by the opposition continued on a daily basis as well as on IS areas east of Homs province.

Minor but disruptive attacks in many parts of Iraq.

We are ignoring the many minor attacks.
The major event is the Turkish event reported by Shafaq News:

Turkish forces are stationed 30km inside northern Iraq and could advance further to target Kurdish fighters in their Qandil Mountains stronghold, Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said.

Stepping up Turkish warnings about expanding its military presence in Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq, Yildirim said on Friday that Ankara would not hesitate to escalate an offensive against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters across its southern border.

News Within the U.S.

 News within the US

Baltimore, Maryland
Police Officers Sentenced.
Few Criminals can match what they were doing.
[Excerpted from the Baltimore Sun.]

June 7.
Former Baltimore Police Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, a key figure in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption case, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in federal prison for his role in a stunning range of crimes.

The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake was five years less than the maximum possible term under Jenkins' plea agreement. Prosecutors had asked that Jenkins, 37, of Middle River, receive the maximum sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said the harm inflicted by Jenkins was "immeasurable," walking through how he stole drugs on a "near-daily basis" for years and encouraged and helped his squad carry out robberies while bilking taxpayers for unworked overtime pay.

Jenkins sobbed during an apology that stretched for several minutes, his voice cracking throughout.

"I made so many mistakes, your honor," Jenkins said. "I know it's my fault. I deserve to be punished and I deserve to go to jail."

Jenkins was one of two officers sentenced Thursday. Former Det. Marcus Taylor, 30, who fought his charges at trial and maintains his innocence, received 18 years in prison.

"I'm going away for all these years for something I didn't do," protested Taylor, saying the word of dishonest officers was being used against him.

Former detectives Evodio Hendrix and Maurice Ward, who pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government, will be sentenced Friday. In all, eight members of the gun task force were convicted.

Wise told Blake that Jenkins had operated his two plainclothes drug squads "like a criminal gang."

Jenkins' plea agreement includes admissions that he stole looted drugs during the April 2015 riots and spearheaded robberies that netted the officers up to tens of thousands of dollars at a time. He was recorded on a wiretap telling officers in one of those robberies to pretend he was a federal prosecutor while interrogating a man who they believed had drugs and money they could steal.

In addition to the sweeping racketeering charge, Jenkins faced charges of civil rights violations for a 2010 incident in which he and two other officers drove up suddenly on two men, who said they believed they were being robbed and fled. While driving away, the men got into an accident that killed 86-year-old Elbert Davis, and police planted drugs in their car. Both men went to federal prison.

Jenkins apologized to Davis' family, who appeared in court, and to Umar Burley, who was freed from prison last year after the charges were revealed.

"From the bottom of my heart, I wish I could take that day back," Jenkins said.

He maintained that he did not plant the drugs, but said he knew and helped cover it up. "I wish I had come clean when I found out the drugs were planted," he said.

But Davis' family said afterward that they were unmoved by the apology.

"Today was the first day we heard him say he was sorry," one relative told reporters.

Jenkins was described as a "golden boy" viewed as "untouchable" within the department, and the department has yet to explain publicly how his conduct went unchecked so long. State lawmakers passed a bill creating a task force to investigate the corrupt task force, and are working to assemble a panel that will have subpoena power and hold public hearings.

Canada Says No!

Canada officials want to make it clear for would-be immigrants looking to cross the US-Canada border that they should do so legally.

According to Newsweek, Randy Boissonnault, an adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to spread the message amid a surge of immigrants in the U.S crossing illegally into Canada, mostly via the Quebec province.

Boissonnault told USA Today, quote, "People seem to think that if they cross the border there's this land of milk and honey on the other side."

In one month alone, Royal Canadian police caught more than 5,000 mostly Haitian immigrants trying to cross into the country.


As Salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah .


8 Basic Mistakes Muslims make when Paying 'Zakaat Al-Fitr'.

Courtesy ~ Sis Yasmin.

Ibn 'Umar (R.A) reported that...

Prophet (Sal Allahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam),
made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory on every slave,
freeman, male, female, young and old among the Muslims;
one Saa' (a measurement) of dried dates or one Saa'
of barley.
[ Source: Sahih Bukhari - Arabic/English, vol. 2, p. 339, H # 579]

Mistake # 1~ Paying at Eid Salah.

Some people go to Eid Prayers and drop money into the donation box thinking that they have paid their
Zakat ul-Fitr.
No... ! Zakat al-Fitr, which is food,
must be in the hands of the needy family
BEFORE Eid Prayer...!
If someone goes to Eid Prayer and pays then it
is GUARANTEED that the money will NOT
arrive on time !

Mistake # 2~ Snail Mailing the money overseas

[basic principle as before]

The Zakat al-Fitr, food, MUST be in the hands of the needy BEFORE Eid prayer.
One cannot mail the money
overseas and have it arrive in the hands of the needy after Eid Prayer is over ...!

However, if one is able to get the Zakah al-Fitr to the needy overseas BEFORE Eid prayer is conducted in their locality, then In Shaa Allah it's alright.

Mistake # 3~ Not Paying.

Yes, as simple as this error is, it is ...
to skip the payment of Zakat Al-Fitr.
EVERYONE must pay Zakat Al-Fitr,
for each & every member of the household.
So if you have 8 people in your house,
'Zakat Al-Fitr must be paid X 8, even if the
youngest member is just a few days old...!

Mistake # 4~ Confusing Zakat ul-Fitr with Zakat ul-Maal.

We are talking about Zakat al-Fitr here
(think "Iftar", i.e. Ramadan).
'Zakat Al-Maal' (Maal literally means wealth),
is the Zakah due on ones money, etc...
and that could be due any time
during the year depending on when it was due.

Mistake # 5~ Giving money instead of food .

Although some scholars have allowed giving
money instead of food, the spirit of Zakat Al-Fitr is to give food to the needy of the community,
NOT money.
(one can give money to the local 'Masjid'
in charge and they can give food with that money
on time as specified .

The Companion of the Prophet
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree, {Radi Allahu 'Anhu} said...

"In the Prophet's time, we used to give it
(Zakatal-Fitr) as a Saa' of food, dried dates, barley,
raisins or dried cheese".

[Source:-Bukhari - Arabic/English vol. 2, p. 340,H # 582]

Mistake # 6~ Giving one's Zakah al-Fitr to a charitable building project...

Some people mistakenly give their Zakah Al-Fitr to a charitable building project: like the building of a Masjid, or Islamic school. There is a difference of opinion on this issue... but suffice it to say that the spirit of Zakah Al-Fitr is that the needy should have plentiful food on Eid.
{"In Shaa Allah"}

All eight types of recipients of Zakah mentioned in the 'Quran' are HUMANS, not "building projects".

Mistake # 7~ Giving Zakat ul-Fitr to non-Muslims.

Charity is given to both Non-Muslims and Muslims.
However, Zakah al-Fitr charity
is something exclusive to
the MUSLIM poor and needy.
Hence, one could not give
Zakah Al-Fitr to any needy person on the street.
"Regular" charity can be given to them,
but not Zakah Al-Fitr.

Mistake # 8 ~Delaying distribution...

Sometimes Masjids might collect
Zakah Al-Fitr money
and then put it in a bank...!
It doesn't reach the needy for months and months !
The correct method is to give Zakah Al-Fitr immediately when it is due.

~ 'Salaams' to all ~

Y a s m i n.
"All that is on earth will Perish. But will abide {Forever}
the Face of thy Lord, full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour"
{'Quran'- Surah Al-Rahman-55.26-27 }



Turkish Leader Erdogan Denounces
Austrian move against Mosques.

A Turkish presidential spokesman had on Friday described the Austrian move as "a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country". EPA/TUMAY BERKIN

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday strongly criticised Austria's move to close mosques and expel Turkish-funded imams, criticising the decision as anti-Islamic and promising a response.

"These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent," Mr Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.

His comments came the day after the Austrian government announced it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families, and would shut down seven mosques as part of a clampdown on "political Islam".

The announcement triggered fury in Ankara.

Interior minister Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party, the junior partner in Austria's coalition government, said the move concerned imams with alleged links to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations organisation, a branch of Turkey's religious affairs agency Diyanet.

Mr Kickl said his government suspects them of contravening a ban on foreign funding of religious office holders.

A Turkish presidential spokesman had on Friday described the Austrian move as "a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country".

However, other European far-right leaders welcomed the announcement.

Even Austria's opposition parties were broadly supportive of Friday's announcement, with the centre-left Social Democrats calling it "the first sensible thing this government has done".

But the Green Party pointed out it could serve as a propaganda victory for the Turkish government.

Mr Erdogan, speaking on Saturday, said: "They say they're going to kick our religious men out of Austria. Do you think we will not react if you do such a thing?

"That means we're going to have to do something."

About 360,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals.

Relations between Ankara and Vienna have been strained since a failed coup in 2016 against Mr Erdogan that was followed by a wave of arrests.

His speech comes in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections on June 24 in which Mr Erdogan faces stiff opposition.

The Austrian government has banned Turkish officials from holding meetings in the country before the polls.

2018-06-10 Sun 22:13:10 ct