Saudi Arabia suspends entry for pilgrims over coronavirus | AFP

Worshippers pray in Mecca as Saudi Arabia suspends visas for visits to Islam’s holiest sites for the “Umrah” pilgrimage, an unprecedented move triggered by coronavirus fears that raises questions over the annual hajj.

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The five pillars of Islam | AFP Animé

Videographic on the five pillars of Islam. Saudi Arabia on Thursday suspended visas for visits to Islam’s holiest sites for the “umrah” pilgrimage, an unprecedented move triggered by coronavirus fears that raises questions over the annual hajj. VIDEOGRAPHIC

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Islamic leaders gather for summit shunned by Saudi Arabia | AFP

Leaders of Muslim nations, including Saudi rivals Iran, Turkey and Qatar, attend a summit in Kuala Lumpur, which analysts say is aimed at rivalling the OIC, a 57-member pan-Islamic body headquartered in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday mounted a veiled attack on the summit, saying such gatherings would weaken Islam. IMAGES

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March against Islamophobia held in Paris | AFP

In Paris, the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF)organised a march to call a halt to discrimination and aggression against Muslims across the country. It comes just a couple of weeks after two people were seriously wounded during a shooting at a mosque by an alleged far-right extremist. The attack further unsettled France, already engulfed in a sometimes bitter debate about the observance of Islam in the secular country.

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March against Islamophobia held in Paris | AFP

In Paris, the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF)is holding a march to call a halt to discrimination and aggression against Muslims across the country. It comes just a couple of weeks after two people were seriously wounded during a shooting at a mosque by an alleged far-right extremist. The attack further unsettled France, already engulfed in a sometimes bitter debate about the observance of Islam in the secular country. IMAGES

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New doc examines lifting Saudi ban on female drivers

Shahad Alhomaizy drives an Uber. That’s not odd, except that she works for the ridesharing service in Saudi Arabia, a nation that recently changed its longstanding ban on female drivers. Female drivers in the cradle of Islam are the subject of a new HBO documentary. (Oct. 29)

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Far-right surge expected in east German state elections | AFP

Polling stations open in Germany for regional elections in Brandenburg and Saxony where the far-right AfD party could become the leading political force ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right party. Aside from rallying against Islam and asylum-seekers, the AfD has capitalised on resentment about a lingering east-west wealth gap since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Room with a view: Mecca hotels offer VIP Hajj experience | AFP

Five-star hotels with views of Islam’s holiest site and luxury Hajj pilgrimage packages are attracting a super-wealthy clientele and establishing Mecca as the capital of premium religious tourism.

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Benin offers voodoo prayers for Cup of Nations success | AFP

Benin is known as the birthplace of voodoo in Africa and the religion is still widely practiced in the country alongside Christianity and Islam. Some believe the spirit world is lending a helping hand to the national side as it sets a course for victory in the African Cup of Nations tournament. On Sunday, Dah Gbediga, president of the indigenous religions of Benin, was joined by several other vodunsi practitioners for a “special ceremony to support the Squirrels,” as the national squad are nicknamed.

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Benin offers voodoo prayers for Cup of Nations success | AFP

Benin is known as the birthplace of voodoo in Africa and the religion is still widely practiced in the country alongside Christianity and Islam. Some believe the spirit world is lending a helping hand to the national side as it sets a course for victory in the African Cup of Nations tournament. On Sunday, Dah Gbediga, president of the indigenous religions of Benin, was joined by several other vodunsi practitioners for a “special ceremony to support the Squirrels,” as the national squad are nicknamed.

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Malaysian children in practice run for Muslim hajj | AFP

Thousands of Malaysian children take part in a practice run of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage, marching around a model of the holy Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred site.

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Today in History for June 8th

Highlights of this day in history: Islam’s Prophet Mohammed dies; James Earl Ray caught, wanted for killing civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; Architect Frank Lloyd Wright born; The N.Y. Yankees retire Mickey Mantle’s number. (June 8)

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Arrest warrant issued for Myanmar firebrand monk Wirathu

Myanmar police issued an arrest warrant Tuesday evening for an ultra-nationalist monk known as the “Buddhist Bin Laden” for his vitriol against Islam and particularly the Rohingya Muslim community. Wirathu has long been the face of the country’s Buddhist nationalist movement, notorious for espousing hate against the Rohingya minority.

Farrakhan says he doesn’t hate Jewish people

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan said Thursday despite assertions by Facebook when it banned him from its platform, he is not a hater of Jewish people, is not a misogynist, nor a homophobe. He spoke in a Chicago church on Thursday. (May 10)

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Muslims in Colombo attend mosque for Friday prayers

Muslims wait in line to be frisked by police officers before entering a Sufi mosque in Colombo for Friday prayers, amid tight security over fears of more attacks following the Easter Sunday bombings that killed 257 people. Some Muslims admit to feeling “uncomfortable” over “discrimination” against Islam following the attacks.