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Toronto Muslims want mosque attacks investigated as hate related | News

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Toronto, Canada – The mosque in downtown Toronto that Hassam Munir, 25, visits weekly has been attacked by vandals numerous times in the past three months, most recently on Sunday, when its windows were found smashed again.

Although arrests have been made over the repeated attacks at the Masjid Toronto, which is part of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), Munir says he is still deeply concerned.

“It seems to be that someone is trying to intimidate the Muslim community. This is unacceptable,” Munir told Al Jazeera.

“I am worried, not only for those that work and pray here but also for what these kind of attacks tell us about the ignorance and hate that exists in our society.

“No Canadian should feel unsafe in their place of worship,” said Munir, who also works for the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, which aims to break down Islamophobic narratives.

This week, the Masjid Toronto found its window broken for the third time in three weeks, making the incident – along with vandalism to another MAC mosque also located downtown – the sixth time local mosques have been attacked in three months.

In addition to the broken windows, there have been attempts to break into the mosques, and racist graffiti has been scrawled on the walls and windows, according to MAC.

Six dead in Quebec City mosque attack

“These incidents are now occurring at a frightening rate and we cannot accept to wait any longer for police action,” MAC said in a statement published on Sunday.

It added that local authorities should step up and offer the needed protection, noting that the attacks are meant to intimidate the Muslim community.

‘Mischief’ or hate?

In an emailed statement to Al Jazeera, Toronto Police said they are “aware of several reports of mischief and damage since June 1” at the two mosques.

“Currently there are six investigations and two arrests have been made so far,” the statement said.

“Our Hate Crime Unit has been made aware of the incidents and continue[s] to support the investigations as needed,” the police said, adding they will continue to work with members of the mosque.

But while arrests have been made in the last two instances, Mariam Manaa, MAC public relations manager, told Al Jazeera that MAC would like the case to be considered not as mischief, but as possibly hate related.

“[The case] was under mischief, not under vandalism or intention to hurt or hate,” Manaa told Al Jazeera, noting that the first four attacks have still not been solved to date.

“The issue with that is that within three to four days, they’ll be released again if they were apprehended and they can come back and again vandalise the mosque.

“We want further investigations and want police to take further action. We don’t want this to reoccur,” Manaa said.

Quebec mosque shooting puts Islamophobia in focus

‘No clear plan’

Mustafa Farooq, CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), told Al Jazeera that the response by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) has so far been “insufficient” as there has been “no clear plan as to how these attacks will be prevented”.

“TPS has already ruled out hate as a motivation just days after the first arrest, and the attacks are continuing,” Farooq said.

“To us, six attacks in such a short period of time suggests a systematic pattern which is concerning and deserves further investigation.

“We’re urging TPS to fully investigate this as a potentially hate-motivated string of attacks and secondarily, to provide a clear plan so that no more attacks happen in downtown Toronto’s lot.”

According to MAC, the Masjid Toronto is one of the most-visited mosques in the greater Toronto area. Manaa said MAC is concerned for the safety of both congregates and pedestrians as well.

“It’s a very busy street,” Manaa said. “So I imagine throwing a brick into glass on a prominent street … other folks could be hurt.”

‘Eradication of Muslims’

While there has been no conclusion about who or what is behind what has happened at Masjid Toronto, instances of Islamophobia have occured elsewhere in Canada.

In April during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a man drove to Al Rashid Mosque, the largest mosque in Edmonton, Alberta, surveilled worshippers and threatened to start a “Ramadan Bombathon” in a video while staking out the premises.

More than two weeks after his videos were posted to social media, the NCCM noted that the Edmonton Police Service had not charged him.

Last month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) charged a Quebec man with advocating genocide – a first in the province’s history – after he allegedly published “disturbing online posts”.

Investigators found around 100 hate posts or threats inciting violence.

“The accused called for the death of [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau and encouraged the eradication of Muslims,” the RCMP said in a statement.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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