Pope Francis to meet with UK imams in bid to promote moderate Islam
Pope Francis is scheduled to meet Wednesday with four British imams two weeks after the London extremist attack, part of his effort to encourage Muslim leaders who renounce using religion to justify violence.
The audience was scheduled long before the March 22 attack, in which a man mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three, before fatally stabbing a policeman on the grounds of Parliament.
The head of the British Muslim Forum, Muhammad Shahid Raza, said in an interview on Tuesday that the pope’s support and message of solidarity after the attack “strengthened our position that we, like other communities, condemn all terrorist activities.”
Francis will try to further the cause later this month when he visits Al Azhar university in Cairo, Sunni Islam’s main center of learning.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Westminster, is accompanying the imams to the Vatican. He said the aim of the visit was to help promote Muslim leaders who denounce violence carried out in God’s name.
The Muslim community slowly is gaining the confidence to speak out and condemn Islamic extremism, Nichols said.
“That is the voice that has to be heard to counter the rather more undifferentiating, unappreciative and even hostile voices that view Islamic people in Britain as somehow alien and unwelcome,” he said.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will embark on a visit to China next week - from May 23 to May 28. As part of the visit, Bachelet's is scheduled to visit Guangzhou, Kashgar and the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi from where multiple reports of abuses of Uighur Muslims continue to surface.
Ahead of President Joe Biden's official launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Tokyo next week, the United States on Friday said that a “wide-ranging and comprehensive” set of countries are set to join the initiative and it will represent a significant milestone in US engagement in the region. India has not made an official decision on joining the pact, but New Delhi is examining the framework “positively”.
China on Friday hit out at Canada for banning Chinese telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE from Canadian 5G networks, warning of retribution and signalling a fresh bout of diplomatic tension between Beijing and Ottawa. Citing national security issues, Canada on Thursday said it plans to ban the use of China's Huawei Technologies' and ZTE Corp' 5G gear, joining the rest of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network comprising the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
British finance minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy have been included in the 'Rich List' of the 250 wealthiest British residents, Reuters reported. The couple's reported wealth is of 730 million pounds ($911.19 million). Sunak's inclusion in the The Sunday Times UK Rich List at the 222nd slot is a result of his wife Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy and philanthropist mother Sudha Murthy.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees chief Filippo Grandi on Friday warned countries focussing on helping Ukraine to “not ignore the crises elsewhere”. The UNHCR said the global displacement crisis is also likely to worsen due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. The Group of Seven (G&) countries are providing $19.8 billion in aid to bolster Ukraine's public finances. Several other countries, including Japan and Germany, are providing help to Ukraine.