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LONDON, June 20, 2017: The seconds after the rented van sped through bus lanes, jumped the sidewalk and plowed through a group of Muslim worshippers marked a crucial moment in Britain’s bid to come to terms with its rapidly growing Muslim minority.
One person died in the incident, and at least 10 were injured.
A video shot by a witness shows a chaotic scene in which scores of people angrily shove and push toward the suspect, some trying to beat him as he fought back.
“We grabbed him,” said Abdikadir Warfa, who was a few meters away when the van slammed into people, pinning at least one victim underneath. Warfa said the suspect, now identified as 47-year-old Darren Osborne, was pulled from the van. “We tried to hold him down. He’s a very strong man. He hit people and was trying to escape,” Warfa told VOA.
It was then that an imam came to the scene and, by many accounts, kept the crowd from seriously harming Osborne.
Warfa, like others at the scene, expressed relief that matters did not escalate, but he worries that continued attacks by Islamist extremists, and a potential rise in retaliatory strikes on British Muslims, could drive a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims.
“It looks like it will start a division, except if the government does something. The government needs to do something,” Warfa said.
Within hours of the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared the incident a potential act of terrorism and visited the scene, as did London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who appealed for calm and announced extra police officers would be deployed to secure mosques during the remainder of Ramadan.
The scene of Muslim residents grabbing and beating the white suspect demonstrated how close Britain could come to an explosion of ethnic tensions, observers said. The anger on the streets surrounding the Finsbury Park Mosque were palpable in the afternoon hours of Monday, as warm temperatures hit an unusual 32 degrees Celsius.
Some residents, including British born Muslims, described the frustration and unease they’ve experienced following the series of terrorist attacks.
Farhia Ali, an IT student walking past the area cordoned off by police Monday, said she should not be held responsible for the actions of those who commit violence in the name of Islam.
“I’ve been scared to be a Muslim walking the streets in a hijab for a very long time, but instances like this make me even more fearful of representing what (I) believe in, and that shouldn’t be the case for anybody or any community in the United Kingdom,” said Ali.
The prime minister’s decision to declare the incident a potential act of terrorism, and assertions by police that Darren Osborne may face charges of committing, preparing or instigating an act of terrorism soothed Muslim community leaders, who have been voicing concerns about retaliation against innocent Muslims after the recent spate of deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State group at Westminster, Manchester Arena, and London Bridge.
“After the London Bridge attacks, the social media was [in] overdrive with hate against mosques,” said Shaukat Warraich, head of Faith Associates, a Muslim non-profit group in London that recently issued a report to mosques recommending enhanced security measures in the wake of Islamist attacks.
Warraich told VOA that although Monday’s attack is the first of its kind and an isolated incident, he sees it as an indicator of rising tensions that need to be quelled between Britain’s Muslims and non-Muslims.
“I’m so happy that the prime minister clearly stated that this was a terrorist attack,” he said. “ISIL and the far right are two faces of the same coin. ISIL is trying to radicalize Muslims but the far right is trying to radicalize white people against Muslims.”
“We will not allow this to divide the Muslim community and divide us against other non-Muslims,” he said. “London will not fold because of this. We will fight against this.” (VOA)
Many stray animals are trying to survive as the temperature in the capital continues to drop. Many strays lose this battle trying to find food and warmth under a scrap of clothing or caged up in the corner of streets. The Perroayuda Welfare Foundation (PWF), a Delhi-based animal welfare organisation, recently held a Mega Stray Feeding Drive in Lajpat Nagar with the goal of feeding all of the area's stray animals. These wonderful Samaritans come from all around Delhi-NCR with one goal in mind: to rescue, feed, and adopt all animals in need.
Many stray animals are trying to survive as the temperature in the capital continues to drop. | Af.Mil
PWF has previously staged feeding drives in Netaji Subhash Place, Connaught Place, North Campus, Delhi University, and other locations throughout the city. A group of 70 volunteers fed over 100 stray dogs in the vicinity and provided water in earthen bowls. To raise awareness about the issue of stray animals, volunteers talked with businesses, local authorities, customers, and hawkers. The actions of this group of young animal advocates were recognised and supported.
"Donations come in from all around the world." To save strays and pay for their treatment, we rely completely on donations. "Every day, our organisation feeds roughly 1000 stray dogs," says Arpit Mathur, the organisation's founder. "Throughout the day, we receive SOS calls. We can only accomplish so much with our limited staff and resources. We hope that more young people, like us, would join us in this cause." In Rohini, the NGO also maintains a recovery centre. Currently, the recovery centre accommodates roughly 40 animals, including cats, dogs, monkeys, and a few unusual birds.
To rescue, feed, and adopt all animals in need is the goal of these people. | Photo by Camilo Fierro on Unsplash
PWF seeks to discover and feed all stray animals in need, as well as provide them with food, care, affection, and medical treatment, and organise Mega Stray Feeding Drives to raise awareness and adoption. "We discover stray animals, pet them, and feed them - no one deserves to be hungry," Mathur adds. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: adopt, feed, rescue, goal, Delhi-NCR, Perroayuda Welfare Foundation, Winter, stray animals, Help, Initiative, volunteer)
Indonesian lawmakers passed a law on the relocation of the nation's capital to the island of Kalimantan, which shares borders with Malaysia and Brunei, from the most populated island of Java. The move is a step forward in one of the most ambitious projects initiated by the country's President Joko Widodo, Xinhua news agency reported. Some former presidents had floated ideas of relocating the capital city in the past. The president, widely known as Jokowi, three years ago vowed to relocate the capital city to the province of East Kalimantan due to a number of issues like high population density and land subsidence in Jakarta which is home to more than 10 million people.
Indonesian lawmakers passed a law on the relocation of the nation's capital. Aditya Joshi / Unsplash
Nusantara, which the new capital is called, will be built in two districts in East Kalimantan -- Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara. It is set to occupy about 256,000 hectares of land. The name of Nusantara, which can be translated as an archipelago in English, was chosen by President Jokowi, Minister for National Development Planning Suharso Monoarfa has said. Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, is home to some 270 million people, consisting of about 17,000 islands. "The national capital has a central function and serves as a symbol of a country to show the identity of the nation and state," Minister Monoarfa explained during a meeting with lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Also Read : Hinduism in Indonesia
The ground-breaking of the construction project that is slated to cost $32 billion was initially expected to be conducted in August 2020, but the Covid pandemic has forced the government to put it on hold. Some of the projects on the construction of the new capital will be carried out by public-private partnerships, and the early stage of the relocation will begin this year and is expected to end in 2024. At this stage, the government will build a presidential palace, parliament buildings, and a housing complex in the primary zone. The move of civil servants at the early stage must be completed before August 16, 2024.
The construction project is slated to cost $32 billion.Sulthan Auliya / Unsplash
Nusantara will serve as the centre of government, while Jakarta would remain the business and economic centre of Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy. A day before the lawmakers passed the bill, President Jokowi stressed that that new capital is not only about physically relocating the offices of government institutions, but also "building a new smart city." It has been reported that Nusantara will be headed by an authority chief appointed by the president and its level of position is equal to a minister. Several former government officials which will likely become the chief include Jakarta's former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and former minister for research and technology Bambang Brodjonegoro. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Indonesia, Parliament, law, relocate, capital, Nusantara, Jakarta, government, Kalimantan, President, country, people, meeting, construction, palace, buildings, housing, officials.)
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By Olivia Sarkar
Everyone has a special affinity with their pets. Furry friends are there for you in good times and bad, and they know how to cheer you up. After a hard day's work there's nothing like coming home to your own bundle of joy. Here's a round up of some celebrities who can't do without their pets:
Shraddha Kapoor's pet, Shyloh, is her best buddy. Kapoor is frequently spotted spending peaceful time with her all-time bestie.
Shraddha is frequently spotted spending peaceful time with her all-time bestie. | IANS
Pulkit Samrat's devotion to his dog Drogo has resulted in an Instagram account especially for the adorable canine. We can't get enough of how adorable these two are.
Pulkit Samrat's devotion to his dog Drogo has resulted in an Instagram account especially for the adorable canine. | IANS.
Disha Patani is an animal lover and she has not one, not two but four pets. Besides her dance routines, Patani frequently posts images of Bella, Jasmine, Goku, and Keety on social media. The actress also has an Instagram account dedicated to pictures of her pets.
Disha Patani is an animal lover and she has not one, not two but four pets. | IANS
Dude is very close to Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma's heart. The actress has uploaded numerous photos of herself spending quality time with him.
Dude is very close to Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma's heart | IANS.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra has a series on social media titled 'Diaries of Diana'. After she tied the knot, she and Nick have adopted Gino and Panda, to complete the family.
After she tied the knot, she and Nick have adopted Gino and Panda, to complete the family. | IANS
Alia Bhatt adores cats. The actress continues to express her affection for her cats by posting photographs of them on Instagram. She has a cat named Edward, who is her all time favourite companion.
She has a cat named Edward, who is her all time favourite companion. | IANS
Actress Kriti Sanon has Disco and Phoebe. The actress keeps sharing videos and images of her furry friends often cuddling or playing with her.
The actress keeps sharing videos and images of her furry friends often cuddling or playing with her. | IANS
Genelia Deshmukh and Riteish Deshmukh
Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh are a power couple, but its only a party when their pooch is in their Instagram-worthy frame.
Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh are a power couple, but its only a party when their pooch is in their Instagram-worthy frame. | IANS
(Keywords: Genelia Deshmukh, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Sanon, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anushka Sharma, Disha Patani, Pulkit Samrat)