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Sombre mood across the Islamic world as Muslims think of Gaza at the start of Ramadan

Sombre mood across the Islamic world as Muslims think of Gaza at the start of Ramadan

Muslims round the world today marked the first day of fasting at the start of the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan in a sombre mood, as communities reflected on the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza. In Gaza the population is on the verge of starvation, and in other Palestinian territories the shadow of war is not far away either, with tensions high in East Jerusalem. Thousands of Israeli police have been deployed around the narrow streets of the Old City in Jerusalem, where tens of thousands of worshippers are expected every day at the Al Aqsa mosque compound, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Israel's relentless campaign in Gaza has caused increasing alarm across the world as the growing risk of famine threatens to add to a death toll that has already passed 31,000. In the ruins of Gaza itself, where half the 2.3 million population is squeezed into the southern city of Rafah, many living under plastic tents and facing a severe shortage of food, the mood was correspondingly sombre. "We made no preparations to welcome Ramadan because we have been fasting for five months now," said Maha, a mother of five, who would normally have filled her home with decorations and stocked her refrigerator with supplies for the evening Iftar celebrations when people break their fast. "There is no food, we only have some canned food and rice, most of the food items are being sold for imaginary high prices," she said via chat app from Rafah, where she is sheltering with her family.

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Millions of Muslims around the world celebrate Eid

Millions of Muslims around the world celebrate Eid

Millions of Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid - the feast that follows the fasting month of Ramadan. Thousands of Muslims gathered in Makkah and Madinah to perform the Eid Al-Fitr prayers in the early hours of Monday morning, the Saudi Press Agency reported. In Makkah’s Grand Mosque, Imam Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid led the prayer. The editorial team of commonspace.eu wishes Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim readers across the world.
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Clashes in Montenegro over the inauguration of new Serbian Orthodox Patriarch

Clashes in Montenegro over the inauguration of new Serbian Orthodox Patriarch

The Balkan country of Montenegro seceded from neighbouring Serbia in 2006 after a referendum. However, around 30 per cent of the country's 620,000 inhabitants still consider themselves Serb. The main Montenegrin church also remained attached to the Serbian Orthodox tradition. The Serbian Orthodox Church is still the dominant religious institution in the Balkan country, with 70 per cent of Christians affiliated with it. This connection with Serbia regularly leads to tensions within the country.
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The Taliban settle in

The Taliban settle in

Whilst Taliban fighters made themselves at home at the presidential office in Kabul, and in other government offices across the capital, the leadership of the Taliban appears to be still concentrated in the city of Kandahar, in the South of the country, the power base of this mainly Pashtun movement. It was to there that the Taliban’s co-founder and political leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, flew to from Doha on Tuesday as the militants pledged peaceful relations with other countries and respect for the rights of women.
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Commentary: Action with appeasement needs to be France’s strategy to ensure the survival of its unique secular model

Commentary: Action with appeasement needs to be France’s strategy to ensure the survival of its unique secular model

Over the last years, France has faced criticism for its perceived stance against Islam. In this commentary for commonspace.eu, Camille Victor suggests that this stems from a misunderstanding of France's unique interpretation of secularism, arguing that the preservation of the French secular model requires finding ways to appease rising tensions whilst simultaneously acting against very real threats to the country's core republican values.
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Georgian Church irritates Kiev by hosting pro Moscow faction of Ukrainian Church

Georgian Church irritates Kiev by hosting pro Moscow faction of Ukrainian Church

In a move that is likely to cause considerable irritation in Kiev, the Georgian Orthodox Church on Monday (7 June) hosted a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate. Ilia II, the Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch, and his locum tenens, Metropolitan Shio met the delegation led by Bishop Antony on Monday (7 June).