Hindu Zealots Razed a Mosque. Now Modi Wants A Temple in its Place.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundations of the Ram Mandir, on the ruins of a mosque razed by Hindu zealots in 1992.

We explain why this temple is a victory for Hindu nationalists, and why Pakistan is warning of a Muslim genocide in India.

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Turkey’s Hagia Sophia holds first Eid al-Adha prayer after reconverted to mosque | AFP

Thousands pray outside Hagia Sophia on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha — the first time it has taken place since the iconic building was reconverted to a mosque earlier this month.

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Muslim pilgrims circle Mecca’s Kaaba | AFP

Aerial shots of Muslim pilgrims performing Tawaf, which sees them circling the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine on the third day of hajj. The attendance has been dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.

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Afghans visit mosques as Eid al-Adha ceasefire begins | AFP

Afghans visit mosques on the first day of Muslim festival Eid al-Adha as the Taliban and Afghan security forces began a three-day ceasefire Friday — a rare respite that many hope will lead to peace talks and an eventual end to almost two decades of grinding conflict.

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Displaced Syrians prepare for Eid al-Adha in Idlib camp | AFP

Syrians in a camp for the internally displaced prepare for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha amid the coronavirus pandemic in the town of Sarmada, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

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At the cow wash: Pakistanis scrub Eid animals at car cleaners | AFP

In the run-up to the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, car wash owner Sheikh Sagheer switches cars for cows sees as locals bring him their sacrificial cows, bullocks, sheep and goats for a thorough scrub down.

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AP Top Stories July 29 A

Here’s the latest for Wednesday July 29th: Congress working on coronavirus relief deal; White House and Oregon Governor negotiate over protests & federal agents; Fauci says pandemic is worst in over a century; Muslim pilgrims arrive for Hajj.

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Mecca: Muslims begin arriving for a downsized hajj pilgrimage | AFP

The first groups of Muslim pilgrims arrive to Mecca’s Kaaba as they begin the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.

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Virus fears force animal sellers online for Muslim festival | AFP

Major markets selling animals for slaughter during Eid al-Adha in Pakistan have been heavily restricted due to the coronavirus, and entrepreneurs are now picking up the slack by promoting goats for sale via new online apps.

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Celebrations as Turkey announces iconic Hagia Sophia will be reopened as mosque | AFP

People celebrate outside Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that it would be reopened for Muslim worship, sparking fury in the Christian community and neighbouring Greece. IMAGES

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China forces birth control to suppress minorities

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children. (June 29)

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Saudi Arabia reopens mosques in the holy city of Mecca | AFP

Muslim worshippers pray while respecting social distancing restrictions after Saudi authorities reopened mosques in the holiest city in Islam. Mosques had been closed for three months closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Beijing threatens consequences over ‘malicious’ US Uighur law | AFP

Beijing has slammed a US bill that would sanction Chinese officials over the mass incarceration of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, saying it “maliciously attacks” China’s policy in the Xinjiang region.

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Saudi reopens mosques in Riyadh after easing lockdown restrictions | AFP

Muslim worshippers pray while respecting the social distancing restrictions at the Al-Rajhi Mosque in the capital Riyadh after Saudi authorities reopened mosques, more than two months after they were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia has officially recorded 83,384 COVID-19 cases and 480 deaths from the virus. IMAGES

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Eid and the virus: Muslim world marks end to Ramadan | AFP

From the holy city of Mecca to Dakar in Senegal Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, though with muted festivities amid the fast-spreading coronavirus.

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Senegal: worshippers gather for Eid prayers in Dakar | AFP

Worshippers gather for Eid al-Fitr prayers in Dakar, Senegal. Muslims around the world are marking a more sombre Eid al-Fitr, many under coronavirus lockdown. The festival, one of the most important in the Muslim calendar marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and shopping for new clothes, gifts and sweet treats. IMAGES

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Lebanon nurse reunites with family after months on virus frontline | AFP

A registered nurse at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Ali Awerke has spent nearly two months away from his wife and two children since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Lebanon, keeping a safe distance while working long hours at the coronavirus Emergency Room. But after weeks apart, the 34-year-old takes the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as a chance to reunite with his family — but not before testing himself for the disease first.

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Lebanon nurse reunites with family after months on virus frontline | AFP

A registered nurse at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Ali Awerke has spent nearly two months away from his wife and two children since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Lebanon, keeping a safe distance while working long hours at the coronavirus Emergency Room. But after weeks apart, the 34-year-old takes the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as a chance to reunite with his family — but not before testing himself for the disease first.

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This Is What It’s Like Celebrating Ramadan in Animal Crossing

Some Muslim gamers are celebrating Ramadan inside Animal Crossing

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Ramadan call to prayer resumes at London mosque | AFP

In order to discourage large gatherings during Britain’s coronavirus lockdown the country’s mosques have generally stopped broadcasting the traditional call to prayer. But with the holy season of Ramadan drawing to a close, one of Britain’s largest Muslim places of worship, the Baitul Futuh Mosque in south London, has been granted permission to resume their evening call to prayer.

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Empty mosques, new rituals: Ramadan in Iraq during the pandemic | AFP

During Ramadan, life in Iraq swells with prayers at the mosques and crowded iftar dinners, but due to coronavirus during this year’s Muslim holy month, mosques are empty and worshippers are praying at home as they adopt new rituals to keep ancient traditions alive.

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Judges to pick homes best decorated for Ramadan

Three community organizations are teaming up to host a Ramadan Lights challenge in Dearborn, Michigan, calling attention to the house-decorating practices that make the city and area’s Muslim community so visible during the season (May 13)

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