Thursday May 23, 2019
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Shiv Sena Dissociates Itself From The ‘Burqa’ Ban Demand

It accused that many Muslims have not understood the true meaning of their religion (Islam) and they have confused it with traditions and customs like burqa, polygamy, triple talaq and resistance to family planning, the edit added.

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All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owais attacked the Sena for its ignorance by seeking a ban on burqa and sought Election Commission's action in the matter.Pixabay

Hours after its party mouthpieces called for a ban on the use of ‘burqas’ like what Sri Lanka is considering, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday evening officially dissociated itself from the demand, following a massive furore on the issue just five days before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins.

Referring to the strong editorial in Saamana and Dopahar Ka Saamana calling for the ban like the measure being mulled by the Sri Lankan government in the wake of the Easter terror strikes which claimed over 250 lives, party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe stressed that every policy decision is discussed in a meeting of top leaders or announced by party President Uddhav Thackeray.

“Today’s editorial has neither been discussed nor been announced by Uddhavji and thus it may be a personal opinion of the editor on the current affairs in Sri Lanka, but is not endorsed by the party President or the party,” Gorhe said in a categorical statement, signalling a dramatic turnaround on the issue.

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“Not all women who wear burqa are terrorists, it is their custom and their right, too. There should not be such a ban on burqa in India,” its President and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said. Pixabay

State political circles indicated the sudden decision to backtrack may have been prompted by the massive potential political fallout of the Sena’s demand on the Bharatiya Janata Party and allies which are facing the upcoming three phases of elections in this month, barely on the eve of the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

With the demand, addressed directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, political circles are abuzz with speculation whether BJP leadership and other allies have conveyed their “displeasure” to the Sena, but Gorhe declined to comment on this when asked by IANS.

Another ally, the Republican Party of India-A strongly came out against the Sena on the issue

“Not all women who wear burqa are terrorists, it is their custom and their right, too. There should not be such a ban on burqa in India,” its President and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owais attacked the Sena for its ignorance by seeking a ban on burqa and sought Election Commission’s action in the matter.

“The Supreme Court judgement on privacy clearly lays down that choice is now a Fundamental Right. Besides, it is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, aimed at creating polarization before the elections,” he said.

The editorial said that the ban – something similar which the party has proposed in the past — “has already come in Ravana’s (Sri) Lanka, when will it be implemented in Ram’s Ayodhya — this is our question to (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi.”

“This restriction has been recommended as an emergency measure to ensure the security forces do not encounter difficulties in identifying anybody. People wearing face-masks or burqas could pose a threat to national security,” it said.

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“The Supreme Court judgement on privacy clearly lays down that choice is now a Fundamental Right. Besides, it is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, aimed at creating polarization before the elections,” he said. Pixabay

“If such religious practices or traditions interfere with national security, then it must be ended immediately, and “Modi will have to do it now”.

“This work will require as much daring as a ‘surgical strike.’ The Sri Lankan President had done it by overnight banning burqa or veils or face-covers of any types in all public places. This is a work of great courage and restraint exhibited by (Sri Lanka) President Maithripala Sirisena,” it lauded.

Also Read: Quitting Smoking Reduces Risk of Bladder Cancer in Women: Study

It accused that many Muslims have not understood the true meaning of their religion (Islam) and they have confused it with traditions and customs like burqa, polygamy, triple talaq and resistance to family planning, the edit added.

“When any voice is raised against these practices, immediately there are cries of ‘Islam is in danger’, and it seems religion takes precedence over nationalism among Muslims. Muslim women have been sporting burqas/veils under the wrong impression that it is a Quranic tenet,” the editorial said. (IANS)

Next Story

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Tries To Resolve Dispute on Holding Barr in Contempt

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it is time for lawmakers to move on from the Russia investigation.

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House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gavels in a hearing on the Mueller report without witness Attorney General William Barr who refused to appear, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 2, 2019. VOA

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is proceeding Wednesday with its consideration of whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over the Justice Department’s refusal to provide an unredacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation of Russian election interference.

Committee leaders and Justice Department officials met Tuesday to try to resolve the
dispute, but the two sides each issued statements late in the day indicating they remained far apart.

In short, the Justice Department threatened to request that President Donald Trump invoke executive privilege over the materials the committee asked for in its subpoena, if it goes ahead with the contempt vote Wednesday.

Nadler responded by saying the Justice Department’s legal arguments lack credibility or legal basis, and further accused it of conducting “dangerous” obstruction.

FILE - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., right, speaks with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., center, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, at the Capitol in Washington.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., right, speaks with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., center, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, at the Capitol in Washington. VOA

​The Justice Department’s positions came in the form of a letter to Nadler from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd who accused Nadler’s committee of making “unreasonable demands” and provoking “an unnecessary conflict between our respective branches of government.”

Boyd said the Justice Department had acted within the law and regulations by offering a copy of the Mueller report “with as few redactions as possible,” but said committee leaders escalated the dispute by demanding all committee members be allowed to review that version, something he said would “risk violating court orders” in some ongoing cases.

Boyd asked Nadler to put the Mueller report subpoena on hold for now and to delay Wednesday’s contempt vote.

Nadler in his statement said the White House had long ago waived its executive privilege over the materials requested in the subpoena, which include not only the full Mueller report but also the underlying documents from the investigation of Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, and whether the president obstructed justice.

“The Department’s decision reflects President Trump’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated duties,” Nadler said. “I expect that Congress will have no choice but to confront the behavior of this lawless administration. The Committee will also take a hard look at the officials who are enabling this cover up.”

If the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee approves the contempt citation for the attorney general, it would be taken up by the full House of Representatives. In theory, someone held in contempt could eventually be tried and, if convicted, face up to a year in prison. The Justice Department rarely pursues such referrals from Congress.

Nadler’s committee is also considering whether to hold Donald McGahn, the former White House counsel, in contempt of Congress if he refuses to testify before the committee later this month about the Mueller probe.

McGahn on Tuesday refused to comply with a subpoena for documents related to the investigation. The White House had demanded he ignore the subpoena, and his lawyer said the documents were property of the White House and as such McGahn had no right to them.

Nadler rejected that argument, saying the White House had also not invoked executive privilege over those materials.

House Democrats are pushing for Mueller to testify about his handling of the investigation.

Barr has said he had no objection to letting Mueller testify before Congress about his investigation. But Trump on Sunday changed his mind, saying, “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” No agreement has been reached for Mueller’s testimony.

Barr last month released a redacted copy of the Mueller report, with the prosecutor concluding neither Trump nor his campaign colluded with Russia, but reached no conclusion whether Trump, as president, obstructed justice during the 22-month investigation. Barr decided the findings did not warrant obstruction charges against the president.

Donald Trump
In short, the Justice Department threatened to request that President Donald Trump invoke executive privilege over the materials the committee asked for in its subpoena, if it goes ahead with the contempt vote Wednesday. VOA

In an online statement under the name DOJ Alumni, more than 700 former federal prosecutors, so far, who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations said evidence Mueller uncovered would have resulted in obstruction charges against Trump, were it not for the long-standing Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be charged with a criminal offense.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it is time for lawmakers to move on from the Russia investigation.

Also Read: New York Times Report Claims, Donald Trump’s Businesses Lost More Than $1 Billion During Early 90’s

“Case closed,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. McConnell derided what he said was the “outrage industrial complex” of Democrats and television news show pundits over special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that Trump did not collude with Russians to help him win.

“The investigation went on for two years,” he said. “It’s finally over.”

Top Democratic leaders immediately disputed McConnell. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer called McConnell’s remarks “an astounding bit of whitewashing,” while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “That’s just not a fact. The case is not closed.” (VOA)