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Volume 11 Issue 298 Muharam 6, 1433 AH / December 2, 2011 - $1

Bi-Weekly & Bilingual

LSE slammed over Gaddafi ties An independent inquiry has condemned the London School of Economics (LSE) for its dealings with Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, concluding that the university should have exercised more caution before becoming involved with the slain leader’s regime. Harry Woolf, the inquiry’s chair, said on Wednesday that “before a global company embarks upon a relationship with a foreign partner, a due diligence assessment should be conducted”. The independent inquiry was tasked with establishing “the full facts” of the school’s links to Libya and one of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, and whether errors had been made in LSE’s ties to the North African nation’s increasingly violent regime. At issue in the inquiry was the university’s decision to foster a relationship with Libya - a “cornerstone” of which was Saif al-Islam’s admittance to the school - and whether LSE was right to accept a large donation from a Gaddafi-backed charity. Though Saif al-Islam earned his doctorate from LSE in 2008, his academic career was “dogged by disquiet over the amount of outside assistance he was given”, Woolf noted. Woolf said he was told Saif al-Islam needed extra help because “he wasn’t a particularly good philosopher” and hated the required, pure Philosophy courses, but “it should have been appreciated that there was a risk that Saif would, to protect himself from the loss of face in not obtaining his PhD, be tempted to use his resources to obtain help with his work”. Despite numerous red flags,

Continued on pg 6

NATO Attack in Pakistan kills 26 soldiers NATO claims attacks not deliberate: Pakistan-US ties were at an all time low as NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military border posts in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, November 26. 24 soliders, including an army major and captain, died in this attack and 16 were injured. Thousands protested the attacks in the streets of Pakistan and the Pakistani government has warned that it will not compromise the sovereignty of the nation while NATO maintains its stance that the attacks were not deliberate.


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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011


p a k i s t a n

Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Pakistan cable operators threaten Western TV news ban

The All Pakistan Cable Operators Association declared Tuesday that they will shut down all foreign news channels airing “anti-Pakistan” content from tomorrow. The decision to shut the channels comes after a media uproar both locally and abroad following a Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border. During a media conference in Lahore, the operators named BBC News as one of the channels to be closed down, citing their documentary “Secret Pakistan” as one of the reasons for the decision. The two part documentary series which aired in Pakistan explored accusations by CIA officials and western diplomats

that Pakistan was failing to live up to its alliances in the war on terror. President of the All Pakistan Cable Operators Association Khalid Arain also demanded that Pemra revoke the landing rights of any foreign news channel that was running “anti-Pakistan propaganda”.“We want to send them a strong message to stop this. If they don’t stop this, then it is our right to stop them,” Arain said. The cable operators declared that no foreign anti-Pakistan channel will “ever” be broadcast in the country. They called on local media to tackle the ongoing negative propaganda by foreign news channels by presenting Pakistan’s viewpoint.

US fanning terror, flouting international laws: China China’s top state newspaper on Tuesday accused the United States of flouting international law and fanning terrorism after a NATO attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and it warned that the Islamabad’s grip on security could be dangerously weakened. The condemnation in the People’s Daily, the main newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, kept up Beijing’s angry words in support of its partner, Pakistan, as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that “business as usual” with the United States has been over after the attack on Saturday. NATO called the killings a “tragic, unintended incident”, and the US officials said NATO and American investigations would determine what happened in the attack in northwest Pakistan. But the People’s Daily said the attack already laid bare deeper problems in the US approach to militant threats. “Above all, we must be clear that the United States and NATO have trampled on international laws and rules,” said a commentary in the newspaper. “The United States and NATO have violated international law


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i n t e r n a t i o n a l

Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Iranian protesters storm UK embassy

Dozens of young Iranian men have entered buildings inside the British embassy as well as a diplomatic compound in Tehran, throwing rocks, petrol bombs and burning documents looted from the offices. The semi-official Fars news agency said that earlier in the day, security forces were trying to eject the protesters, who were a minority from a larger group staging an anti-UK demonstration outside the embassy. The agency referred to the protesters as students who were chanting “Death to America”, “Death to England” and “Death to Israel” among other slogans. Live TV pictures showed several of the people on top of the entry gate to the embassy, waving Islamic flags. One protester was seen waving a framed picture of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, apparently found inside the British offices. The British foreign ministry issued a statement saying it was “outraged” by the situation. “It is utterly unaccepta-

ble and we condemn it,” it said. In an appearance on state television on Sunday, Sardar Mohamad Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij, said that the unit was “counting the moments” until it could put an end to the “Zionist agenda.” The Fars news agency also reported that six British embassy workers were freed by Iranian security forces and turned over to UK government representatives. It later removed the story from its website. Iran’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it regretted the attack against the embassy, and that Tehran is committed to the safety of diplomats. Hague rejected the statement, saying that the UK held Iran responsible for “its failure to take adequate measures to protect our embassy, as it is required to do”. The incident followed Britain’s imposition of new sanctions on the Islamic state last week over its nuclear programme. London banned all UK financial institu-

tions from doing business with their Iranian counterparts, including the Iran’s central bank, as part of a new wave of sanctions by Western countries. Hague spoke of a “robust” response to Iran’s move in reducing diplomatic ties with the UK when news of the protest outside the embassy in Tehran broke. Iran’s Guardian Council approved a bill on Monday to downgrade Iran’s ties with the UK, one day after the Iranian parliament approved the measure, compelling the government to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for the sanctions. In parliament in Tehran on Sunday, a politician had warned that Iranians angered by the sanctions could storm the British embassy as they did to the US mission in 1979. A statement, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said that the US condemned “in the strongest terms” the attack on the UK’s embassy. “Iran has a responsibility to protect the diplomatic missions present in its country and the personnel stationed at them,” said the statement. Source: Al-Jazeera

Turkey ready for ‘any scenario’ in Syria The Turkish foreign minister has said that Ankara is ready for any scenario if Syria continues its crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad, but that his country is opposed to a military option against its neighbour. Ahmet Davutoglu, in an interview with television broadcaster Kanal 24 on Tuesday, said: “We hope that a military intervention will never be necessary. “However, the Syrian regime has to find a way of making peace with its own people to eliminate this option. If the oppression continues, Turkey is ready for any scenario.” Davutoglu also said the international community may decide a buffer zone is needed in Syria if increasing numbers of people try to flee the violence there. Moreover, he said that Turkish sanctions against Syria were ready and would be announced after he meets with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He did not specify a time frame. Ankara has stepped up its criticism of the government’s crackdown on Syria’s uprising after Turkish diplomatic missions came under attack by pro-government demonstrators in several cities earlier this month. Davutoglu’s comments came as activists reported that at least 12 people were killed across Syria on Tuesday, including two children. The Local Co-ordination Committee said that five people were killed in the Damascus suburb of Rankous, three in the central province of Homs, two in Qalamoun, one in the central province of Hama and one in Saraqib in the northwestern province of Idlib. Meanwhile, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister dismissed calls for an arms embargo on Syria and warned against imposing ultimatums on Assad’s government. Speaking in Moscow on Tuesday after a meeting with the Icelandic foreign minister, Lavrov said that calls for an arms embargo on Syria were “unfair”, adding that armed groups opposing the government had been supplied from the outside. He drew parallels to the fighting in Libya, where he said the West armed the opposition forces despite a UN arms embargo. Lavrov said Syria’s problems could not be solved by ultimatums and reaffirmed Moscow’s call for a political settlement. A Russian defence ministry official on Tuesday told the ITARTASS news agency that his country’s only aircraft carrier and its most modern anti-submarine destroyer will lead a powerful flotilla on a rare port call to Syria before the end of the year. The flotilla will reach the little-used Russian

base in the port of Tartus by New Year’s Eve on a mission that was planned in advance and has no direct relation to Syria’s intensifying standoff with the West, the official said. In a separate development, Saudi Arabia urged its citizens to leave Syria after similar calls by the governments of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Also on Tuesday, Western diplomats said the UN’s top human rights body will hold an urgent meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in Syria. It will be the third special session of the Genevabased Human Rights Council since the start of the uprising began. Diplomats told the AP news agency that more than 20 of the council’s 47 members have signed the call to hold the meeting. An expert panel appointed by the council released a report on Monday accusing senior Syrian government officials and leaders of the country’s military and security forces of ordering mass atrocities in efforts to crush anti-government protests. The Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that government forces committed crimes against humanity, including the killing and torturing of children, and held state officials responsible for murder, rape and torture. The panel interviewed 223 victims and witnesses, including defectors from Assad’s security forces, who told of shoot-to-kill orders against demonstrators and cases of children being tortured to death. At least 256 children had been killed by government forces as of early November, with some boys sexually tortured, the panel said in its report to the UN Human Rights Council. It also quoted one former soldier who said he decided to defect after witnessing an officer shoot a twoyear-old girl in the city of Latakia, then claim he killed her so she would not grow up to be a demonstrator. Following the latest UN report, the US and Germany led Western calls on Monday for the UN Security Council to finally take “decisive action” against Syria’s atrocities. The 15-member council was split last month by a Europeandrafted resolution condemning Assad’s crackdown. Russia and China vetoed the resolution, while Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon abstained. Because of the internal divisions, the Security Council has so far only agreed to a statement, with less moral weight, against the violence in Syria. The 193 member UN General Assembly passed a resolution last week deploring the violence. Source: Al-Jazeera

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Egyptian elections mark break with the past Egyptians have gone to the polls for the second day in a parliamentary election that voters hope will bring about a civilian government, even though the army generals who took over from President Hosni Mubarak have yet to step aside. Voters in Cairo, Alexandria and seven other governorates flocked to the polls on Tuesday to select members of the country’s lower house of parliament, with long lines forming around polling stations for a second day. The election, the first since a revolt ousted Mubarak on Febuary 11, unfolded without the mayhem many had feared after last week’s riots against army rule in which 42 people were killed. Initial reactions after the polls closed at 7pm (local time) suggested that the voting had been relatively free and fair, successfully breaking with decades of severely compromised elections. “For the first time, and in these elections, we have not seen a general will from the government to forge and rig the election, meaning if there are any violations or mistakes made that we have observed, it is not at the level of mass forgery through political orders by the government,” Dr Magdy Abdel Hamid, head of the Egyptian Association for Community Development, said. While there had been some violations, he said, they were not widespread enough to have a serious impact on the results. However, as election officials prepared to count the votes late on Tuesday, some activists cast doubt on the validity of the election. Ahmed Aggour, an Egyptian blogger, said he did not vote because he believes citizens have more critical issues to address than elections. “Basically, that is SCAF [Supreme Council of Armed Forces] stepping down from power and handing it over to civilian authority,” he said. The demonstrators marched in front of the heavily guarded parliament building beating drums and chanting against the SCAF, the country’s ruling

military government. A few streets away, thousands of protesters continued to fill central Cairo’s Tahrir Square - the focal point of more than a week of demonstrations against the military and its head, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Though numbers were lower than they have been over the past several days, protesters remained camped out in tents scattered across the square - where many have been demonstrating since November 18. Scattered clashes broke out in some areas of Tahrir late on Tuesday, as groups of men began forcibly removing vendors who had set up booths selling food and merchandise throughout the square. In the ensuing fight, witnesses reported petrol bombs, rocks and sticks being thrown, as the sound of ambulance sirens rang out in the distance. Turnout in the election was reported to be high, with many Egyptians voting for the first time in their lives. The SCAF had extended voting in the first of the three stage process for a second day to absorb the vast number of voter turnout. Mohamed Kamel Amr, Egypt’s foreign minister, told Al Jazeera that the preliminary voting results of Egyptians voting abroad show that turnout was approximately 60 to 70 per cent across more than 100 embassies. Independent election monitors up until Tuesday afternoon said there had been a high turnout and one official, representing a number of monitoring groups, said that it could easily rise above 50 per cent. UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday praised the “generally calm and orderly” election and hailed the country’s role in the Arab Spring uprisings, his spokesperson said. Ban “commends the population and authorities of Egypt for the enthusiastic participation in this first stage of the electoral process and for the generally calm and orderly manner in which voting took place,” said Martin Nesirky. Source: Al-Jazeera


i n t e r n a t i o n a l

Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Youths take wealthy Kuwait into Arab Spring

Winds of change that swept the Arab world are finally blowing on oil-rich Kuwait as a concerted youth-led campaign has forced the government to resign amid further calls for wider reforms. Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the Al-Sabah ruling family, on Monday tendered his government’s resignation, the seventh in just over five years, over allegations of corruption. “The resignation of the government is the first fruit of a campaign against corruption launched under the leadership of youths,” opposition Islamist MP Faisal al-Muslim said on Tuesday on his Twitter account. Kuwaiti opposition figures have been careful not to link the political unrest in the OPEC member state to the Arab Spring revolutions that have so far unseated four Arab leaders, noting that their campaign is not directed against the emir or the ruling family. A record number of some 90,000 protesters took to the streets of the Kuwaiti capital on Monday demanding political reforms and an end to corruption. Kuwait, which sits on about 10 per cent of global oil reserves, provides a cradle-to-grave welfare system with public sector jobs almost guaranteed for citizens, services offered at highly-subsidised rates and no taxation. The emirate has amassed over $300 billion in reserves following 12 consecutive years of surpluses thanks to high oil prices. Much of the surplus was used to raise salaries for citizens, a fact that leaves outside observers wondering why Kuwaitis are protesting. Kuwait embarked on democratic reforms long before its Arab Gulf neighbours by introducing a parliament and a more liberal constitution as early as 1962. But many believe the need for even more democratic change is necessary. The Kuwaiti system, often described as a “half democracy,” offers an elected parliament with powers to unseat the prime minister and cabinet ministers. But the unelected 16-member cabinet holds equal powers to elected MPs and can reject legislation passed by the parliament. Kuwait’s emir has the ultimate power to appoint prime ministers, all of whom have so far been picked from the Al-Sabah family which has ruled the country for over 250 years. Speakers at Monday

night’s rally insisted their campaign is not directed against Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah or the ruling family. The youth group “September 16” has called, however, for a constitutional monarchy, a premier from outside the ruling family and a reformed electoral system. The Islamic Ummah Party on Monday called on the government to legalise political parties, an elected government and an independent election commission. The Progressive Movement, a liberal group, demanded a “full parliamentary system” to end the Al-Sabah monopoly over the premiership and the ministries of defence, interior and foreign affairs. The opposition, a loose alliance of Islamists, liberals and nationalists with often conflicting political views, are united against the premier and the fight against corruption. The opposition also has been pressing for economic reforms to end the country’s heavy reliance on oil which provides 94 per cent of public revenues. According to prominent Kuwaiti economist Jassem al-Saadun spending has grown from $14.5 billion in 2000 to $70.5 billion this year while the bill for subsidies and wages rose almost six fold to $47 billion during the same period. About 500,000 young Kuwaitis are expected to enter the job market in the next 15 years, most of them seeking government jobs, putting further strain on a budget that currently pays 286,000 employee salaries, he said. Source: AFP

Norway massacre: Breivik declared insane Psychiatrists assessing self-confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik have concluded that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. They believe he was in a psychotic state both during and after the twin attacks on 22 July that led to the deaths of 77 people and injured 151. Their report must still be reviewed by a panel of forensic psychiatrists. Breivik will still be tried in April but it seems likely he will be placed in psychiatric care rather than prison. Breivik admits carrying out the attacks but has pleaded not guilty to charges, arguing that that the attacks were atrocious but necessary for his campaign to defend Europe against a Muslim invasion. The two psychiatrists who interviewed him on 13 occasions concluded that he lived in his “own delusional universe where all his thoughts and acts are guided by his delusions”, prosecutors told reporters. The 243-page report will be reviewed by a panel from the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine. Breivik, 32, is due to stand trial on 16 April for a hearing scheduled to last around 10 weeks.”If the final conclusion is that Breivik is insane, we will request that the court in the upcoming legal proceedings pass sentence by which Breivik is subjected to compulsory mental health care,” prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh told reporters in Oslo. She later told the BBC that the trial would be unaffected by the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia: the only difference was that the prosecution could not ask the judge for a jail sentence. “It will go as a normal trial as if he had been sane. We will ask him questions and the defence will ask him questions and the judge will ask him questions

and he will have his time to talk,” she said. Breivik’s defence lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said he was not surprised by the psychiatrists’ findings, adding that his client was unlikely to be surprised either. But the deputy leader of the opposition Progress Party, Per Sandberg, thought the conclusion that Breivik was criminally insane was “completely incomprehensible”. “How can someone who has planned this for such a long time... be considered insane,” he told Norwegian TV. Before the report was made public, a lawyer for the victims said it did not matter what the conclusion was as long as Breivik was not allowed to go free. “What will happen in the case, no matter what the conclusion, is that he [Breivik] will of course be incarcerated,” John Christian Elden said. “And if the outcome is criminally sane or insane, that is, first and foremost a psychiatric question. The most important thing in our clients’ opinion is that he will not be able to walk the streets.” On 22 July, Breivik disguised himself as a police officer to plant a car bomb that exploded close to government offices in the capital Oslo, killing eight people. Still in uniform, he then drove to the island of Utoeya, where a summer youth camp of Norway’s governing Labour Party was being held. In a shooting spree that lasted more than an hour, he killed 69 people - mostly teenagers. In a manifesto he published online, Breivik said he was fighting to defend Europe from a Muslim invasion, which was being enabled by what he called “cultural Marxists” in Norway’s Labour Party, and the EU. Source: BBC News

Border info-sharing plan triggers privacy concerns

Under a new joint Canada-U.S. border security plan both countries will be able to track the movement of cross-border travellers to crack down on citizenship fraud, illegal immigrants and war criminals living in North America. But the new 32-point border plan, which will be signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama next week, is also raising privacy concerns over the amount of information that will be shared. The system will also help Ottawa track the roughly 40,000 illegal immigrants currently believed to be living in Canada, as well as potential terrorists and war criminals. However, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is concerned about the amount of information that will be shared -- particularly since she hasn’t been consulted on the project, Fife said. Because thousands of people cross the Canada-U.S. border each day, vast volumes of information will potentially be sent back and forth between the two countries every day. Fife said Stoddard has indicated she would want strict limits placed on the type of information that can be shared with U.S. customs and immigration officials. Under the current proposal border officials would be able to send additional information about the subject if security concerns were raised. “They’ll be able to pass that additional info on to the U.S. and vice-versa and this is the grey area where the privacy commissioner wants to make sure there are strict controls over how this information is shared,” Fife said. Currently each country’s border keeps a record of those who enter or leave, but that information isn’t automatically shared. In past public comments, Stoddart has made it clear that Canadian sovereignty and privacy rights must be protected. “Rather than jumping into a newly defined relationship with both feet, we should only do so with both eyes wide open,” Stoddart wrote on her blog recently. The federal government insists there is little to worry about. “When I go to the United States today, you have to provide your home, your birth date, your passport information, your travel information,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “Whenever we look at security, we keep in mind privacy concerns are tremendously important to Canadians, and that’s something we feel very strongly about.” In exchange for more information about travelers crossing the border from Canada, Washington has responded to a chief Canadian gripe about cross-border traffic: gridlock. Along with security, parts of the new border plan will focus on trade, including prescreening stations set up on Canadian territory, meaning less congestion at the actual border crossing. Under the terms of the new deal, the U.S. will move to cut down on traffic at border crossings and allow pre-screenings on certain low-risk cargo trucks. In an effort to speed the process, U.S. officials will only flag suspicious vehicles at the border rather than doing full inspections that hold up other passengers and cargo. The 32-point plan also features more than just new border-crossing protocols. In fact, both nations plan to streamline and harmonize regulations in the automotive and food sectors. In particular, Ottawa has already quietly prepared regulations to adopt U.S. crash-testing standards for seat belts and built-in child booster seats. Source: CTV News

Syria : Continued from pg 1 Woolf said a detailed investigation was only launched into Saif al-Islam’s academic career after media latched on to the story in 2011 - prompting Howard Davies, LSE’s director, to resign. The report said that numerous examples of “questionable” help then came to light, including Saif al-Islam’s use of a dictation aide who communicated with professors on his behalf and emailed him thesis drafts. Woolf said that an examination of Saif al-Islam’s LSE emails show he concealed the amount of assistance he was receiving. In one example, the dictation aide wrote that he “would like to work on” Saif al-Islam’s thesis for “another couple of weeks”. Saif al-Islam had signed an agreement for a $2.4m gift from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation on the same day of the ceremony where he was formally awarded his doctorate degree. According to Woolf, that action “can only foster suspicions - already widespread in the Middle East and in related circles in London - that he, in effect, purchased his degree”. Woolf chastised LSE for not questioning the source of the charitable donation, deemed controversial from the start. He said the board of directors never identified the true source of the money and should have questioned if or why the gift was being funded by private companies to curry favour with Saif al-Islam. Coupled with already existing rumours about the authenticity of Saif al-Islam’s work and buzz that admissions rules had been bent for the dictator’s son, accepting the donation was damning evidence of the school’s naivete about “the ease with which institutional reputations are damaged”. Noting that Saif al-Islam was “far from an ordinary student”, Woolf said that he benefited from a culture of “idealism” in which certain university departments allowed the admission of students who might “do some good for the world” but fall short of the typical admissions criteria. Among Woolf’s 15 recommendations for LSE was the creation of an ethics committee. Woolf suggested such a committee could have identified “the dangers and risks of the scale of the connection that was developing” with Libya. LSE said it will implement all of Woolf’s recommendations and that it has already ushered in many of the changes advised. Judith Rees, the school’s director, said the report’s publication “will help LSE move on from this unhappy chapter in its otherwise celebrated history”. Source: Al-Jazeera


e d i t o r i a l

Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011


Frustrated by the economic downturn, people of Middle East began the street protests last year aggressively targeting the autocratic leadership for a change. Yet again, the chronic dissatisfaction has flared up in Egypt as the “post Hosni Mubarak era set up” never actually touched the logical ending of previous stale system. Hence, the protesters are back to Tahrir Square asking for nothing less than the parliamentary form of government. It has gotten very ugly again, so the current military generals have promised a national election in 2012 to extinguish the riots in the making. The same wave is going through other Arab nations including Syria all for the love of political change. Among other global factors is America’s heavy debt load, the looming Eurozone crisis, problematic rescue packages for relieving the defaulting European countries etc. Certainly, there is a flaw somewhere which went unnoticed for so long, because the messy turmoil all over the world did not happen overnight. Yet, years of contributory negligence through “Borrow now and pay later” and borrow more to loan to the dependants for business purposes or otherwise, have proven to be faulty policy of course. Astonishingly enough, today the countries with good economic reputation are struggling to stay afloat financially. Resultantly, the dependent countries have no more economic assistance from the defaulting economies - resulting in multiplied complications for the poor nations already. The fact of ‘over-borrowed money’ spent by the sound economies of the world without proper mechanism in place is thought provoking. Obviously, the resulted global economic

recession has almost impacted the whole world. Furthermore, there is so much of rhetoric going around; however it becomes meaningless ab initio unless backed by an appropriate action based on sincerity of purpose. I mean--, with irritating scenario of the ongoing deterioration of economic environment, there arises a responsibility “for everyone helping everyone” to reach a level of comfortable prosperity. Nevertheless, it’s so ironical to see our hands tightened, because the worldwide economic misery makes the helpless people suffer more, while a few at the top live in a state of luxury. Isn’t that a mockery of fairness? Thanks to the independent “Media with no Bias” for making people politically aware despite the overall negative impact of conspiracy theories floating around all over the world amid the Euro zone crisis, heavy indebtedness and the last year’s credit rating embarrassment of the super power – for sure, the issues are far too serious to be ignored. Where does Pakistan stand in all this then? Vulnerable Pakistan has been suffering from the dysfunctional system which is now ripe enough to accommodate corrupt/ poor governance. Furthermore, Administrative Paralysis is not unusual anymore. On top of that the foreign nations are reluctant to invest in Pakistan for security reasons. Clearly, War on terror has shattered the economy of Pakistan beyond easy repair. Shamelessly, the current regime is just steps away from hammering the final nail in the coffin. On the other hand, the ‘heightened political rhetoric’ in search of political mileage is


Higher Education By: Aftab Alam, Vancouver In 1970 I went to Winnipeg (a city in Province of Manitoba Canada). This was in connection with promotion of a boxing match between Mohammad Ali and a Canadian fighter George Cheval which I was promoting. In order to make sure that my contact was in town when I reach there I phoned the gentleman and asked him if he would be available on such and such date. He replied in affirmative and I reached Winnipeg on agreed date. My host was Jewish. We talked about the business. He asked me if I would like to see the arrangements for the show. I said yes so we went to the arena where fight was going to be shown on closed circuit television. I was satisfied and we came back to the office. There my host asked me if I could join him and his wife for lunch. I gladly agreed and we went to the restaurant. Over there I asked my host ‘Why Jews are so rich’. His answer was ’Some Jews are rich but most Jews are just like ordinary people. They drive taxis; they do construction work and all other kinds of chores which ordinary people do. At this juncture my host’s wife who was Christian spoke. She said that whenever her mother-in-law visits them. Her advice to my children was always the same that whatever they do in life

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they must get the highest degree in that field. If they do that then the World will need them lot more than they would need the World and that will be because their knowledge. I agree with that advice and hope that a maximum number of our children get highest degrees in whatever field they choose in life. President Pervez Musharraf (past) appointed Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman as chairman of higher education. He also gave Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman full excess to as much money as he needed to complete his vision. Access to money was as important as the appointment of Dr. Rehman. One of the first actions which he took was to send five thousand Pakistani students abroad to get Phd. Degrees. These degrees were going to be in different fields which ranged from sciences to social issues and many other fields. General perception is that students were selected on merit. Students were sent to internationally well- known Universities and also another condition was attached that thesis of these students must be published in one of the well-known magazines of the relevant field. These students are due back in Pakistan in 2013 or earlier. At that time we will have real PHD’s in Pakistan. We already have some but not too many. I feel even after the arrival of the five Thousand PHD’s we will not have enough PHD’S in every field. In my opinion another one or two badges of qualified stu-

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now underway by all concerned. Beyond a doubt, such muscling up would generate economic prosperity of the suppressed nation on a faster track. Nevertheless, “a just in time” public awareness is good for nothing unless an effective action is taken soon to save the country from a free fall. Furthermore, let’s take it as a forewarning that if the current flawed system in Pakistan is allowed to linger on any further, the corrupt elite would be laughingly looting more than usual. Unsurprisingly, the corrupt elements motivated by greed have the only priority which is to grab as much as is possible, yet their lust for the loot remains insufficient forever. Therefore, the menace of multi level corruption mafia needs to be fixed with a strong democratic iron fist under the changed system. In order to get out of ‘Quagmire of CrookFriendly Atmosphere,’ it’s absolutely essential to deny the corrupt power mafia any free hand for corruption. Tired of corrupt regimes, the people are desperately looking for a positive change. Ridding the country of the stinky system through newly elected regime and educated people is in the best interest of Pakistan. But lack of educational facilities in rural areas is never addressed; rather it’s been used as an effective tool to exploit the naive villagers at will. Again the feudal mindset of the ruling elite has various vested interests in keeping their public without education. Ridiculously, the powerful feudal community controls the country through high position of authority including their becoming parliamentarians, ministers or high officers without merit. Definitely, silence is an accomplice of all

the nonsense. Napoleon rightly said, “The world suffers a lot, Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the SILENCE of the good people!” Elimination of the strong repressive feudal system and the resulted massive illiteracy need immediate attention to give a respectable lifestyle to all Pakistanis equally on merit without discrimination. In fact, a major cleansing in all institutions is only possible with the collective will of the people, and the youth can flourish if the conditions and opportunities are created for them. Moreover, the un-declared high value assets of politicians, army generals, judges, civil bureaucrats, landlords and businessmen are very disturbing in a country where a majority lives far below the poverty line. Thus, all assets home and abroad must be made public, so the people know with clarity about those who have been looting the national exchequer. An independent commission comprising honest persons with integrity and credibility should be formed for assessing the assets transparently. This procedure is needed to nail down the tax evaders and thieves who stole public money. Now is the golden chance for the people to turn the page, as Pakistan is all set for a revolutionary change in its political structure to bring a brand new system. Surely, the genuine government will deliver selflessly.

Waan laysa lil insani illa ma’ sa’aa That man can have nothing but what he strives for.

O P I N I O N S dents will have to be sent abroad to get PHD degrees. Only then considerable difference will be made and our own PHD’s will be able to guide and prepare new candidates for such degree. In conclusion I would say that our focus must remain on the fact that we got stop begging and live within our means. We can’t be beggars and sovereign at the same time.

Dangerous Intersection in Surrey By: Quratulain Bajwa, Surrey I want to bring it to your attention that the Intersection of 72 Ave at 124 Street is becoming dangerous for the children and their parents. This is a busy Intersection that is closer to Surrey Muslim School, Sowing Seeds preschool, and Khalsa School. In the morning when parents walk their children to school, the car drivers make left and right turns, while the pedestrians are crossing the road, without giving them enough time to peacefully cross the road. This situation becomes worse in poor weather conditions. There have been an accident involving a

child in the past and we do not want to let it happen again. article/ 1. There should be a left turn signal for all four directions of the Intersection. 2. There is a need for a flag person to man the Intersection in the Morning, noon(preschool) and the afternoon school traffic. Please take a kind action to resolve this issue and update the cross-walks with flashy signals and speed bumps to deter the hasty drivers on 124 Street starting from 68 Ave up to 78 Ave. I urge the School Administrations to share their concerns and follow-up as well and if there are any parents who want to share their personal experiences please do so, so that we are able to present the urgent need for some action from the City. IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not publish anonymous letters or the letters of the people who do not disclose their identity to ‘The Miracle.’ A writer can use a pen name or request ‘The Miracle’ to withhold his / her identity. Please include your daytime telephone number for the confirmation of your letter. We regret the inconvenience.

Editorial Board : Mr.Shums Jillani, Mr Aslam Hayat, Azhar Syed, Mr. Shams Siddiqui, M.A.L. Naumani, Mr Tariq Main Graphic Design: Design Teams Copyright ® 2001 Miracle Media Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Printed in Canada

Attention: The opinions expressed herein contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of ‘The Miracle’. These are offered as a means for ‘The Miracle’ to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of ‘Bringing Harmony To All The Communities.’

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Contents Editorial & Letters Int. News Local Articles Faith Politics Health Sports Urdu

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011 L E T T E R S


is certain to lose her job. I cannot support her family through my modest earnings. How do I reconcile these requirements? The verse you mention has nothing to do with women’s dress in public. It is a short verse that says: “Thus God makes plain His revelations; and God is all-knowing, wise.” It is Verse 31 of this Surah [24] that deals with how women should appear in pubBy:Rebecca Peters lic. The only part of this verse that relates Laura Ballance Media Group to dress says:[b] “Let them, i.e. women Light Rail, increased efficiency on public believers, draw their head-covering over transit infrastructure and innovative fundtheir bosoms.”[/i] This means that a woman ing sources for transit are needed if Surrey should use her scarf or any similar headis to keep up with the current pace of dress to cover the upper part of her body, growth, says a new report commissioned by which means the neck, shoulders and chest. the Surrey Downtown Business ImproveIt says nothing about covering her face. In ment Association. fact, there is no statement anywhere in the The report titled “Levelling the Playing Qur’an that makes such a requirement. In Field: Improving Public Transportation Inthe Hadith, it is made absolutely clear that frastructure in Surrey, BC” outlines serious a woman should cover her head and her underfunding by Translink, while examinbody, revealing nothing other than her face ing opportunities within Surrey’s current and hands. transportation infrastructure. It is indeed the standard view in all four “Surrey has experienced so much growth schools of Fiqh that a woman is not reover such a short period of time that it’s quired to cover her face or hands. However, necessary to examine what we are doing some scholars, particularly in our modern as a community to ensure transportation times, insist that women must cover their doesn’t become an impediment to growth,” faces. When we look at the evidence they said Elizabeth Model, Executive Director, provide in support of this view, we find that Downtown Surrey Business Improvement the other view is weightier. These scholars Association. “This report tells us that the start with a certain premise and try to prove path Mayor Dianne Watts is following is it by overstressing particular aspects. a good one, and it lays a roadmap to make Having said that, I appreciate the dilemma improvements in the area transportation.” you will put yourself and your fiancée The report points out that Surrey received in if you were to ask her to quit her job. 76% fewer service hours than Vancouver, Since the only reason for which you want Richmond, Burnaby and New Westminster to do that is what you read about women’s in 2005. Service levels have increased apappearance, I advise you to stick to the proximately 70% since that time; however, standard view which I have explained. This service levels in Surrey remain considermakes it clear that a woman is not required ably lower than other municipalities in the to cover her face or hands. Indeed, she must BC Lower Mainland. not do so when she is offering two of the Pointing to current regional population and major types of Islamic worship, namely employment growth trends, the report states prayer and the pilgrimage. that demand for enhanced transit service will only increase in the coming years. Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit connections are listed as important components of any strategy moving forward, creating an important link between the various parts of (Judean, Christian, the City and connecting Surrey to neighSunni Muslim perspective). bouring communities. By Gulshan Aalani “Based on lifecycle costs, trip lengths and The month of Muharram (Nov. 2011) one GHG reductions, light rail represents the of the special sacred months known as the most appropriate investment opportunity month of Allah-Creator, the first month of for communities to support overall vehicle Islamic Calendar marks the New Year for trip reductions,” the report states. Muslims. The month of great significance for a numWhile city residents continue to identify ber of reasons that is marked by fasting and transit service as the top transportation issue, the report notes that improvements will regular Payers, which are require innovative funding sources. It sug- the symbols of devotion to GOD. gests that Surrey should advocate for the provincial carbon tax to be used to support ‘Muharram’ is the beginning of the Muslim era, the public transit rather than remain revenue month of Hijraah-migration neutral. As well, it outlines a need for inMuharam of Prophet Muhammad novative and diverse partnerships to ensure (SAS) from Mecca to Ma6 secured funding for future investments.

New Report Details a Roadmap to Improved Transportation in Surrey


“Muslim can wear Niqab on plane’ not land” By:Inamullah Khan,Surrey Fiancée’s Job & Covering Face At Job I am engaged to a girl who is working in order to support her family. She is better qualified than her two brothers are, and she is the highest wage earner. I spoke to her about quitting her job after I read in a book that Verse 18 in Surah 24 requires Muslim women to cover their faces. Although she expressed her agreement to leave her job if I ask her to do so, I realize that this will put her family in great difficulty. If she covers her face at work, she

dinah/Yathrib, accompanied by his faithful followers the newly converted Muslims consisting of some Jewish, Christians, Quraish, Arabs, Assyrians, some of the 12 tribes of Bani IsraelChildren of Prophet Israel/ Jacob (AS) etc; the reason of migration was to escape the extreme ill treatment, torture and cruelty by the authority, simply for their declaration of accepting the true Creator-GOD, HIS Messenger and the last closing Revelation of ‘final warning and guidance’. Muharram is one of the four sacred months (Rajab, Dhul Qaddah, Dhul Hijjah) in which the wars and fights

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O P I N I O N S are prohibited except in self-defense and if one is provoked and forced, yet it is advisable to avoid it altogether and hold peace; as these 4 months are of the great opportunity to avoid wars and go for ‘peace treaty’ as the well known tradition of Prophet Muhammad (SAS). Another special-happy occasion in this month is the day of ‘Ashura’ (means ten) the day of salvation/freedom/exodus, which falls on the 10th of Muharram that was initially celebrated by our Jewish brethren. Evidently, on this day Allah-Creator granted victory to Prophet-Messenger Moses (AS) over the King Pharaoh. God delivered Prophet Moses (AS) and his people Bani Israel/Jacob (AS), their salvation from the oppressor evil King Pharaoh and his gang (supporters) who earned GOD’S wrath for their cruelty, unjust system and the major sin of ignoring the Prophet Moses (AS) and for worshiping Idols, and so were drowned. Miraculously with the dividing of the Sea into the crossing path, Prophet Moses (AS) and his followers were saved, by none other than the Super Power-Supreme-Being-Allah-CreatorGOD. Quran 20:80-”O ye children of Israel! WE delivered you from your enemy, and WE made a covenant with you on the right side of Mount Sinai...”And remember WE delivered you from the people of Pharaoh they set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women folk live: there in was a tremendous trial from your Lord: and remember WE divided the Sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight”. Q. 2:49, 50: “And remember WE delivered you from the people of Pharaoh…”

Consequently, in pre-Islamic period it was celebrated as an Eid day, and so to continue that tradition Prophet Muhammad (SAS) recommended to Muslims to thank Allah/God in gratitude for the deliverance of the Bani Israel/Jacob (AS) and said: “we are more closer to Prophet Moses (AS) and so honor this day of his victory”, and recommended to observe the 2 days fasting, either on the 9th and 10th or 10th and 11th. Of Muharram, voluntarily as it is not obligatory, but it is the best fast of the month of AllahCreator-GOD after the fast of Ramadaan. However, by the above and many other recommendations he built a very strong bridge between the Jews, Christians and Muslims on the basis of truth, Justice, equality and respect of all the Prophets from Adam (AS), to Noah AS, Israel-Jacob AS, Jonah AS, Lot AS, Abraham AS, Ismael AS, Moses AS, Jesus AS etc., which means to respect and safeguard the communities that belongs to these Prophets, which also means the people of all 4 corners of (Kaba) this world-E.W.N.S. (East, West, North, South). The 3rd reason is a sad one that happened in this month decades after Prophet Muhammad’s (SAS) departure from this world, the murder of his grandson H. Hussain (RA) in clash with his enemies, and before him the murder of 2nd Caliph Umar ibn Khattab, both believed to be the Martyrs and so cannot be described as dead but alive in Heaven/Paradise. May Allah bless their souls. Q. 3-169: “Think not of those who are slain in GOD’S way as dead, No! They live finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord”.

BULLAY SHAH ACADEMY OF CANADA Pir Afzal Ahmed Naqashbandi S.R. Pirzada Syed Wali Hussain Shah Astana-e-Alia Shahenshah-e-Weelayt Hazrat Qiblah-Sheik-ul-Hadith Gujrat-Pakistan We invite brothers & sisters every last Saturday of the month for the Holy Darse Quran @ 6:00pm

Visit Us at:- Club House of Mandley Village Unit 33, 12110 75A Ave. Surrey. Tel/Fax: 604-592-9416 , Cell: 604-760-0096

From Dec 2-16, 2011 (Muharram 6 - 20, 1433H) Isha Dec Day Fajar Sunrise Zawa1 Dhuhr Asr Maghrib Fri 5:57 7:46 12:02 12:09 2:32 6:01 2 4:21 Sat 5:58 7:47 12:02 12:09 2:32 6:00 3 4:20 7:48 12:03 12:10 2:31 6:00 4 Sun 5:59 4:20 7:49 12:03 12:10 2:31 6:00 5 Mon 6:00 4:19 Tue 6:01 7:50 12:03 12:10 2:31 6:00 6 4:19 7:52 12:04 12:11 2:31 6:00 7 Wed 6:02 4:19 7:53 12:04 12:11 2:30 6:00 8 Thu 6:03 4:19 Fri 6:03 7:54 12:05 12:12 2:30 6:00 9 4:19 Sat 6:04 7:55 12:05 12:12 2:30 6:00 10 4:18 7:56 12:06 12:13 2:30 6:00 11 Sun 6:05 4:18 7:57 12:06 12:13 2:30 6:00 12 Mon 6:06 4:18 Tue 6:07 7:58 12:07 12:14 2:30 6:00 13 4:18 7:58 12:07 12:14 2:30 6:00 14 Wed 6:08 4:19 7:59 12:08 12:15 2:31 6:01 15 Thu 6:08 4:19 Fri 6:09 8:00 12:08 12:15 2:31 6:01 16 4:19 Source: Masjid al-Noor

AQEEM USS SALAAT (Establish Prayer)


f a i t h

Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

There Will Come Light

By: Nour Habib In a recent khutbah, I heard Allah’s divine name, Al-Afoo, The Pardoner, and a very touching qudsi hadeeth that exemplified it: A servant [of Allah’s] committed a sin and said: “O Allah! Forgive me my sin “And Allah said: “My servant has committed a sin and acknowledged he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes them.” Then the man sinned again and said: “O Lord! Forgive me my sin.’ And Allah said: “My servant has committed a sin and acknowledged he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes them.” Then the man sinned again and said: “O Lord! Forgive me my sin.” And Allah said: “My servant has committed a sin and acknowledged he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes them. [My slave!] Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you!” (Bukhari and Muslim) This is no free ticket to sin as you please. But it did make me realize we should always have hope that Allah will forgive our sins and guide us to become better Muslims. How many times have we sat down to count our mistakes and recognized we’ve sinned so much we can’t even keep track anymore? We think that there’s no way Allah can forgive us now. To our minds, we don’t even deserve forgiveness. This shows only the extent of Allah’s mercy, which no human mind can even imagine. “And do not despair of Allah’s mercy. For, most surely, none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the disbelieving people.” [Quran 12:87] Take note. Hope is no luxury to make our lives better. It is a Muslim obligation, part and parcel of faith. At All Points, Hope Having established that we cannot despair of Allah’s mercy, we need also to under-

stand that despair, in any form, is not acceptable in a Muslim’s life. When life is at its worst, a sinister feeling in the pit of the stomach, growing and spreading and inching its way toward your heart, may threaten to take over. Financial burdens, work woes, and relationship troubles look like the pinnacle of all problems. How will we recover from excessive debt, a layoff, or divorce? The future stares back, bereft of hope, and looks pretty ugly. The temptation to give up grows strong, and bed seems a nice place to lie down for a long time (covers overhead!) thinking about nothing at all. Despair has set in. And its downhill from there--unless something’s done quickly to free us from it. So here are some stories to keep that despair at bay. Chronicles of Hope Among the very best hope narratives is the Quran’s account of Prophet Moses. What could be more distressing than an enemy army hot on your heels with nothing but sea in front of you? “Then when the two multitudes saw each other, Moses’ companions said: ‘Indeed, we are most surely overtaken.’ (Moses) said: ‘No, indeed! Most surely, my Lord is with me! He will guide me!’” [Quran 26:61-62] In the same dramatic straits, most of us would succumb to feelings of utter helplessness. Our hearts would see no purpose in even “the hope” for a way out. Yet all along it was there, with Allah. He told Prophet Moses: Strike the sea with your staff! Thus it split, so that each divide became as a great mountain [Quran 26:63]. Who could have imagined such an escape? We may not always see the exodus from a problem. But Allah does, for He is the One who creates it. Consider also the story of Prophet Yunus (Jonah). Trapped in the belly of the whale

in the midst of the sea, he still did not lose hope in Allah’s mercy. He prayed With unfailing constancy. And from him we learn one of the greatest duaa: “There is no God but You! Highly exalted are You! Indeed, I was of the wrongdoers!” [Quran 21:87]. It is because of his hope, and the deep sincerity of his prayer, that Allah saved him. “Yet were it not that he was one who highly exalted [God alone], he would have remained in its belly until the Day all are raised up.” [Quran 37:143-144] What of our own beloved Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam? He walked to the mountain city of at-Taif to bestow them with divine guidance. But its people belied him and ran him out with stones. Allah sent an angel with a question to the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam. Did he desire to bring at-Taif’s twin mountains down upon it? The Prophet refused. He had hope that one day they or their children would enter into Islam. The prophetic narratives of the Quran tell us something vital. In their bleakest hours, the hope of the prophets held unshakable, for they issued directly from mighty faith. Despair is not a Muslim option. Our own woes will never gather the weight of the prophets’. Nor shall our troubles mount to such heights. In that, let us take due comfort. Think of the nature of night and day. The darkest hour comes just before dawn. So when life looms gloomy, and you feel as though you’re groping in total darkness, know that new light lingers just over the near horizon. Article provided by Al Jumuah Magazine, a monthly Muslim lifestyle publication, which addresses the religious concerns of Muslim families across the world. To subscribe please visit https://www.alju-

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 810: Narrated Anas:

A funeral procession passed in front of the Prophet and the people praised the deceased. The Prophet said, “It has been affirmed (Paradise).” Then another funeral procession passed by and the people talked badly of the deceased. The Prophet said, “It has been affirmed (Hell).” Allah’s Apostle was asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! You said it has been affirmed for both?” The Prophet said, “The testimony of the people (is accepted), (for) the believer are Allah’s witnesses on the earth.”

1433 AH Estimated Important Islamic Religious Dates in North America Muharram 1, 1433 = November 26, 2011 (Sat) Safar 1, 1433 = December 26, 2011 (Mon) Rabi-al-Awwal 1, 1433 = January 24, 2012 (Tue) Rabi-al-Thani 1, 1433 = February 23, 2012 (Thu) Jumada-al-’Ula 1, 1433 = March 24, 2012 (Sat) Jumada-al-Ukhra 1, 1433 = April 22, 2012 (Sun) Rajab 1, 1433 = May 22, 2012 (Tue) Sha’ban 1, 1433 = June 21, 2012 (Thu) Ramadan 1, 1433 = July 20, 2012 (Fri) Shawwal 1, 1433 = August 19, 2012 (Sun) Dhul-Qi’dah 1, 1433 = September 17, 2012 (Mon) Dhul-Hijjah 1, 1433 = October 17, 2012 (Wed) Source:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Muharram Procession COMMEMORATING the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali (A) (The Grandson of the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh)) The Holy Quran says, “That is of which Allah gives the good news to His servants, (to) those who believe and do good deeds. Say (O Muhammad) I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives;” [Chapter 42, verse 23]

Aza-e-Hussain Association of BC is organizing its 8th Annual Muharram Procession with the cooperation of AIMMA in commemoration of the Great sacrifice of Imam Hussain ibn Ali (a). It is a one of a kind event for all of us to participate in Tableegh and share the message of Imam Hussain (A) with the greater community – a message of God consciousness, freedom, dignity and justice. Features include: March, Special speeches by Guest speakers, Islamic Information Booth, and Sabeel-e-Hussein (A)

Saturday 3rd December, 2011 in Downtown Vancouver From 1:45 to 4:00 pm START - Vancouver Public Library (W Georgia @ Homer St) END – Vancouver Art Gallery (W Georgia @ Howe St) (Nearest SkyTrain station – Granville St)

ALL ARE WELCOME Participants are requested to observe modest dressing to symbolize this sad event For Bus sign-up and further information, please contact Br. Mohsen Rizvi (604) 347-8439 or Br. Masood (604) 512-5936 Imran Jasani 778 865 8786 Shahab Naqvi 778-7891476 Aza-e-Hussain Association of BC ~ Info#: (604) 204-1202 or



Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

IQRA Islamic School – Growth and Growing Needs!

Courtesy of report: AlAmeen Staff November 26, marked the celebrations of years of hard work, and fundraising efforts. IQRA Islamic School admin istration and board proudly presented to the community the finalization of classroom expansion, totaling now at nineteen. To accommodate growing number of students there is a greater need to expand the Gymnasium to facilitate their physical education needs. It is for this reason a fundraiser was being held. The justification for the fundraiser were eloquently captured by the guest speaker, Sh. Ahmed Shahab as he encouraged the community members to reach into their pockets to support the expansion of the gymnasium: “Building Islamic schools are more important than building Masajids – we can pray on the street, we cannot leave our children on the streets.” Sh. Faisal Ali, School’s principle in his opening remarks to the guests and community members outlined the achievement, goals and visions of the school. He informed the community that in short time IQRA Islamic School has become the leading educational institute. This was reconfirmed by another Guest, considered as “Friend of IQRA School Community,” MLA, Surrey Whalley, Mr. Bruce Ralston, who recognized the fact that IQRA Islamic School is “Very effective Institution” as a government official he and others were “impressed with the growth of the school, its administration, and with the community” and acknowledged that within the government circle rated “very well academically.” Sh. Faisal Ali, highlighted for the community members the goals and vision of IQRA Islamic School: The School administration strives to give students knowledge that would assist them in this Dunya as well as the hereafter. The school strives to facilitate balance educa-

tion, where they can maintain Islamic Identity, which enhances and fosters their Canadian identity, and that the two ideas – Islamic Identity within Canadian Multiculturalism can live and prosper together in harmony. He added, progress, based on programs and courses offered at the school over the last twelve years is testimonial to the fact that it has produced students who can lead successful careers and lives within the Canadian Multicultural Society. Sh. Faisal informed the gathering that he is confident that with the highest level of support offered to its administration and board by the community it will continue to succeed in achieving its targeted goals and vision. He thanked the gathering for their continued and uncompromising support. Parents Advisory Committee Chair, Sr. Zaiboon informed the community about the progress being made to purchase 28 computers for the Computer lab. She outlined the target of $20K requiring, achieving their goal and encouraged the community members to support them in their good cause. She also welcomed the parents to come and attend the PAC meetings, which is held every first Monday of the month at 7 PM. Raj Hundal, NDP’s nominated candidate for the next Provincial Election for the area also attended the Fundraising Dinner, and encouraged the community members to support the school financially. Br, Ali Mihirig, on behalf of the Board also thanked the community for their continued support. He informed the gathering that the school has now “Reached its Teen-age Years.” He confirmed that the expansion undertaken few years ago have reached its culmination, as the school now undertakes greater challenge. He reminded the community that that

just little over a decade ago the school was established with merely $200K. The school currently is now appraised at $6 Million. That’s a 3000% increase in little over a decade. He stressed the point that this would not have been possible without the assistance of the community, without the care of both mothers and fathers who consistently provide support for the children and the school. He informed the crowd about the financial – Cash flow – difficulties the school faces in administrating such growth, at times borrowing money from operational budget to pay for capital projects, and the importance of raising funds to support such capital projects. Sh. Ahmed Shahab encouraged the crowd to support capital project or the expansion of the Gymnasium. The set target was $100K. Although, the evening’s fundraising efforts did not meet the set target however the administration is confident that the community members, as they have in past will come forward to raise the remaining balance. If you are interested in donating money towards this noble project which is essential for the growth of the school, our community and the Muslim children please contact the school at info@iqraschool. com. Report and Pictures courtesy of Al-Ameen Post

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Young Hafiz in Training mesmerize crowd at Miracle Quran Memorization Competition

As the new Islamic year 1433 H dawned upon the Muslim Ummah, Miracle Media Group organized a special evening with two goals – welcome the Hajis (pilgrims) who had returned from Hajj this year and to continue its tradition to encourage the youth to participate in all activities. Amongst the youth, this year’s focus was the young hafiz currently memorizing the Holy Quran under the guidance of different imams and scholars throughout the Lower Mainland. The event was held

on November 26 at Afghan Chopan Restaurant and Banquet Hall in Surrey. Families of the young competitors came to support them as many sat in the hall, revising their lessons while waiting for their turn in the competition. The first session of the event started after Maghrib prayer. Maulana A. Lateef Naumani who recently returned from leading a Hajj group delivered the opening speech and described the purpose of both ses-

sions of the evening. He then invited Maulana Ghulam Baji for recitation of Quran followed by Haji A. Hafeez Qadri for Hamd. He also expressed his admiration for the Miracle in its efforts to promote the study of Quran particularly amongst youth by holding Qirat (recitation) and memorization competitions. He then called upon Mohammad Naseer Pirzada to take over the hosting duties for the rest of the program. Mr. Pirzada welcomed the Hajis and

Continued on pg 12

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011


the announcement of this program till the day before the event. It showed that our youth is very talented and confident no matter what field it is. It is just a matter of providing them an opportunity to showcase this talent. The interest and eagerness of parents also showed that our community wants to raise children who have both religious and worldly knowledge, which is the key to a balanced personality. All the participants were informed that they should reach in time and majority of them were in the hall prior to start of the program, with everyone confident in their knowledge. Distinguished scholars of the community were chosen as judges and included Qari Abdul Rehman, Qari Zoheir Tahar, Maulana Abdul L. Naumani while Qari Sarfraz Ahmed graciously served the tough duty of timekeeper for the competition. The competition was divided in four categories (A-D) according to number of Juz of Quran memorized by contestants. The competition was started by the beautiful voices of Qari Abdul Haleem Khan and Qari Maulana Zafar Abid. 12 participants took part in the Memorization of Quran competition. The pin drop silence in the hall was the proof that audiences were deeply captivated by the beautiful voices of the participants as they recited the words of Allah (SWT). One by one, each competitor came to the

Miracle : Continued from pg 11 stressed upon the importance of building a strong relationship with Allah (SWT) through meditation during our youth. He then asked people who had performed Hajj or Ummrah in recent years to share their feelings and experiences during and after the holy journey to Makkah. He shared some of his own personal experiences and the changes in his life, particularly after performing Hajj. Mr. Azhar Syed, Haji Suleman S., Qari Sarfraz Ahmed ,Mr. Mati ur Rehaman Malik, Mr. Hashmat Khan, Mr. Fawad Kalsi (operational manager of Falcon Travel), and many other respected members of the community shared anecdotes from their Hajj and Umrah experiences. Their words reignited the desire to go for Umrah and Hajj in the hearts of many who have been planning to go or revisit the holy cities. Following this session, Mr. Pirzada invited Ch. Ijaz Chattha who ran in Surrey civic elections last month as an education trustee. Mr. Chattha thanked everyone for their support and mentioned that Winning or losing was not as important as the participation in the democratic process by the voters. He vowed to keep participating in the future years. After Isha prayer and serving of refreshments, Mr. Pirzada continued the program with the planned competition. He mentioned the overwhelming response from both youth and their parents right from

stage and answered the questions from the judges. While judges complied the results, the gifts were distributed to all guests who had recently performed Hajj or Ummrah. Mr. Pirzada then requested Qari Abdul Rehman to announce the results and also invited Maulana Naumani, Maulana Zafar Abid, Qari Abdul Haleem, Qari Zoheir Tahar, Qari Sarfraz Ahmed, Haji Sueman, Maulana Ghulam Baji, to share their thoughts about the program and the Miracle Media. The most exciting part of the program was the announcement of results for the competition. Each section of the contest was awarded separately. Qari A. Rehman announced the names of the winners, as the hearts of participants, parents, and their supporters beat fast. The awards were distributed by all scholars. Appreciation awards were also distributed to sponsors who supported in organizing this spiritual gathering. The major sponsor of this program was Mr. Daud A. Qayum of Afghan Chopan and his family who provided the venue and the sumptuous dinner to all attendees. Mr. Pirzada thanked all sponsors for their continued support for all our events. These included Aisha Islamic center, Falcon Travel, Gaba Travel, Galaxy Travel and Taqwa Halal Meat. Diamond Carpets, Pak Can Motors and Pak Punjab Samosa also gave cash prizes directly to the contestants of Memorization of Quran competition and admired all the youth involve-

ment in religious programs. We are also thankful to Mr. Jafar Bhamji from Al-Ameen Post, Mr. Mohshin Abbas from Diversity Reporter for attending and covering the event and our volunteers who helped us in organizing this event and carry it smoothly. Beaming faces of young winners were truly the highlight of the evening and we hope to provide such opportunities to our youth whenever possible with support from our community Inshallah. Congratulations to: A- category (1-30 Juz) Hafiz Usama Raja - First B- category (1-10 Juz) Hafiz Hamza Usmani -First ( Madrasa Abdul As-Salam Surrey) Hafiz Ibrahim Cisse - Second (Mussalah Bilal Ibn Rabbaah-Fraser St, Vancouver) Hafiz Soryba Cisse -Third (Mussalah Bilal Ibn Rabbaah) C- category (1-5 Juz) Hafiz Khalid Kamran -First Hafiz Mohammad Chambas - Second (Mussalah Bilal Ibn Rabbaah) Hafiz Abuls Sami Hafeez -Third (Mussalah Bilal Ibn Rabbaah) D- category (1-3 Juz) Hafiz Affan Bhandakya -First (Madrasa Abdul As-Salam) Hafiz Ahmed Kamran - Second Hafiz Anis Abbas-Third Other participants were: Hafiz Huzaifa Ahmed, and Hafiz Umer Ahmed

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Imam Delic helps in raising $116K for Masjid Al-Salaam

On Nov 26, the BCMA Burnaby Branch/New Westminster/Tri-Cities branch raised 116,000 dollars for Masjid Al-Salaam & Education Centre at Canada Way, Burnaby.Br. Aspha J. Dada (former Legal Advisor, BCMA) was the master of ceremony, and conducted it very well. The program started with the recitation of Holy Quran. BCMA President Br. Musa Ismail, Brs Imad, Bob Ibrahim, and Daud Ismail also addressed the crowd and motivated guests to dig their pockets to pay Capital Debt of this Branch. Guests learnt about the history of BCMA projects through an exciting visual presentation. The Mosque Land was purchased in 1998. The Burnaby Masjid Al-Salaam opened its doors while it was still under construction. Burnaby has been the leader in establishing a new role for Mosques in Muslims lives. Not only does the Burnaby branch hold regular prayers in the Mosque, but Arabic lessons for children, adult education, public seminars for non-Muslims on Islam, lectures on health, movie screenings

on Islam and related matters, a library and laptop computers are available at this modern Masjid. As well, plans are underway to add fitness equipment. Dr. Zijad Delic, Imam of South Nepean Muslim Community Ontario, was the keynote speaker and led the fundraising efforts. After joining the Canadian Islamic Congress in Ottawa as an executive director in 2006, Imam Delic continues to be a part of BC’s Muslim community through his frequent visits to the province. He encouraged the audience to show their maximum support in order to pay off this Masjid Al-Salaam & Education centre for their future generation. The event was attended by more than 300 people. Imam Delic started with the target of $100K and by the end of the event, about $116K dollars had been raised in this program. Appreciation plaque was given to the Br. Dawood Ismail, chairman of Burnaby chapter. A delicious dinner was served at the end.

GM Motor Rally held in different cities Reported By: Janelle WHO: The event was organized by Chevrolet Canada. This was the second year the Chevrolet City Challenge was held in Canada. Last year instead of the Sonic, the challenge featured the Chevy Cruze. They are planning on hosting another challenge again next year. WHEN: The Chevrolet City Challenge was held in participating Canadian cities on the following dates: • Montreal – October 20-23 • Toronto – October 27-30 • Vancouver – November 3-6 NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: The Chevrolet City Challenge presented an opportunity to engage with different members of the community in a fun event that got people behind the wheel of an all-new Chevrolet Sonic. Below is a breakdown of the teams who participated in the event: • 53 consumer teams • 30 bloggers • 2 radio stations

(mentioned on one radio station) • 3 community groups • 2 dealer teams NUMBER OF CARS: There were six Sonic vehicles available during each wave of the challenge, and there were two challenges per day – one in the morning, and another in the evening. The same cars were used in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. CHALLENGE WINNERS: The Chevrolet City Challenge wouldn’t be as fun without some friendly competition. Teams from each city competed to enter a draw for either a weekend trip for two to Vancouver, Montreal or

Toronto, or $2500 towards their favourite charity. The winner of the prize draw was Five For Hole Food, who played for the $2500 towards their charity.

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

City of Surrey Election 2011 Results

By: Muhammad Afzal Malik On November 19, 2011 voters in BC went to the polls to elect their local councils. Voters in BC’s 160 municipalities voted for Mayor and Councils. The school board trustees for the respected school board were also elected. The sitting Mayor of the city of Surrey Ms. Dianne Watts won another landslide victory with 80 per cent of the vote, and brings eight Surrey First Councilors to city hall with her. Now she has the absolute majority without any opposition in the city hall. The incumbent School Board Trustee Mr. Ijaz

Chatha unfortunately lost his seat in this election. Mr. Chatha was first elected as a Surrey School Board Trustee in 2008 by 18,309 votes. The highest votes got by a School Trustee in 2008 elections were 27313. Mr. Chatha got 12212 votes in 2011elections whereas the highest votes got by a School Trustee are 42818. The 6th elected School Trustee got 19390 votes. A strange phenomenon has been noted while doing the analysis that all the Mayoral and Councilors candidates including Mayor Dianna Watts didn’t get a single vote from Barnston Island polling station out of the 12

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR ALL READERS The Miracle Media Group has been serving the community for almost 11 years. The management has kept and maintained newspaper boxes at the entrances of the Mosques entrances for the facility of Miracle’s readers to avoid violation of any regulations by the mosques. It also keeps the newspapers to be scattered around the place by wind and other elements and inadvertently, creating a problem on Mosque premises. We also avoid forcefully distributing the copies in your hands and leave it on your discretion to pick up the copy at your convenience without disrespecting Islamic literature and pictures. Therefore, we request all of you to continue using the newspaper boxes to obtain a copy of your favorite newspaper. - Miracle Management

votes casted. Analysis of individual polling stations was done for the interest of the readers in particular for the Pakistani and Muslim community living in the city of Surrey. Highest vote from Strawberry Hill Elementary School: Total: 1533 Votes Casted for Mr. Chattha received 669 -44% Grand Total of Voters: 70,232-12,212-17%


Respected community members: Municipal elections have just wrapped up; everyone who went to the polling stations deserves to be proud of being a part of a democratic system. Although I was amongst those who could not get elected, I have absolutely no doubt that we ran a wonderful campaign, our approach was commendable, and we have no regrets in regards to our sincere efforts. Being humans, this is all that we could do and Allah knows the best and we are to accept his decisions; however, our historic achievement in the previous election and my contributions to the board of Education during my three year tenure will always be there. I encourage my voters and supporters to keep your heads high with pride! There is always


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next time and we will identify the places in need of improvement and will continue to move forth towards achieving our goals. I am very thankful to everyone for the immense support I received from day one of the campaign, right until the end. Your encouragement has made me strong enough to continue on with this journey and yes, we will succeed in the next election! InshAllah. Once again a BIG thank you for all of your considerable support! Ijaz Ahmed Chatha

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Muslim Food Bank Society hosts Volunteers Appreciation Dinner

Alhamdulillah, the Muslim Food Bank Society hosted their second Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, on November 25, at the Guildford Recreation Centre. The event was funded by businesses and the volunteers themselves (Mash’Allah). Everyone enjoyed the different varieties of delicious home cooked food and the informal setting of the function. The evening began with Quran recitation and was followed by short impromptu speeches outlining the progress and current needs of the Muslim Food Bank Society. The master of ceremony and organizer of the event, Farook Majeed chaired the event. Azim Dahya welcomed everyone and Ejaz Dean talked about the progress of the organization from May 2010 when the vision and goals were formulated to today, after one and a half years, in some areas we have surpassed our goals. Today we are providing food to more than 200 families from all over the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. We are now in our second phase where we would like to help the clients become selfsufficient through utilizing the resources of other organizations. We are trying to work together with PICS, Success, Quest, Muslim Business Council, BC Muslim Association and other organizations to provide resources to our clients to be able to develop the skills and knowledgebase to become self-sufficient and productive contributing to the strengthening and growth of our Communities. Volunteers representing the different segments of the communities were asked to talk about their experiences. Iqra Azhar and Yousra Syeda (past student) from the Muslim Student Association of the University of British Columbia, Irfan Sheikh and Qamrul Mohammed expressed their humble experiences volunteering helping the less fortunate of our community. It felt like they looked forward to the events to make a difference in the community. The dedication, humility, commitment and service to the community for the sake of Allah (SWT) was expressed by our volunteers. We were all encouraged and motivated to contribute by volunteering at the Muslim Food Bank events. Feroz Dean from the Muslim Business Council spoke about not only his organization but also all the Muslim organizations in British Columbia supporting the Muslim Food Bank to serve the needy people. Ejaz Dean updated us on the current needs of the organization. Our immediate need is to find a suitable location for a bigger warehouse to store and ideally

distribute the food from. If you have suggestions, contacts or would like to donate towards the rental cost for the warehouse please contact the Muslim Food Bank. The other area requiring attention is volunteering to prepare and distribute hampers to clients, food pick-up from sites, food drop-off at warehouse, and bin distribution to new sites. Other needs include: website content writer/marketing enthusiast, graphics designer, quality assurance, clerical and administrative functions, strategy and planning, event coordinators and resource management. The Hamper distribution takes place first and third Saturdays of every month. The Hamper preparation takes place on the Saturday before the distribution. If you can plan for the next 12 months when you can come, please let us know. The following are events in December 2011: 1) Hamper Distribution event at Masjidal Huda Sat, Dec 3, from 8.30am-12.30pm.& on Sat, Dec 17, from 8.30am -12.30pm. 2) Hamper Preparation event at the warehouse on Saturday, Dec10, from 11.00am-1.00pm. If anyone would like to contribute in any way at all, please contact the Muslim Food Bank Society at: (778) 297-4252: There are bins located at the locations specified below for donating the following food items: • Oil, Rice, Flour and Pasta • Canned Meat (Halal), Fish, Vegetables, Soups, Fruits, Juices and Sauces • Cereals • Sugar, Salt and Tea Bags • Shelf Stable Milk (UHT) Bin Locations: Surrey: Masjid al-Huda, Masjid-ur-Rahmah, Iqra Islamic School, Fiji Islamic Centre, Guildford Musalla, Gulberg Market, Pakeezah Learning Centre Vancouver: Jami’a Masjid (West 8th), Masjid Omar al-Farooq, Islamic Information Centre, Fraser Street Musalla New Westminster: Queensborough /New Westminster Islamic Centre, Chilliwack: Chilliwack Musalla, Richmond: Azim Dahya & Company, CGA JazakAllahuKheiran, Information sent by: Naisa Kathrada, Farook Majeed, Azim Dahya and Ejaz Dean



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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Humanity First raises 35K in its 3rd annual fundraising dinner

By: Rizwan Peerzada On Nov 20th The Humanity First this year’s theme was ‘Dine and Let Humanity Shine’ which was held at Grand Taj Banquet Hall in Surrey. The program master of ceremony was Mr. Soleman Hashmi, who conducted all in very well. After moment of Silence then he requested the chief speaker to say about this organization. Dr. Syed Aslam Daud, Chairman of “Humanity First” gave twenty minutes beautiful presentation. In which he explained all the past, current and future projects of Humanity First in all over the world. He said that The Humanity First Canada is firmly committed in making a positive difference to people whose lives have been torn apart by poverty and natural calamities. Our mission is to serve all mankind and restore communities such they become self- sufficient and have sustainable future. This organization has been actively involved in various types of social activities which include providing shelter

and drilling water wells along with providing a variety of disaster relief services. This event was illustrated global mission of particularly in Africa, Haiti and now in Pakistan donated more than $ One million dollar value of goods and medicine.Dr. Aslam Daud informed supporter that Humanity First administrative cost is no more than 7% and some areas much less. It has been Humanity First endeavor to bridge the gap between people who need help and people who are willing to help. This has been made possible only with the continued support of magnanimous individuals and organizations who have offered us help both in cash and kind. After Dr. Daud Aslam briefing, MLA, Harry Bains did welcome all the guests and appreciated this great noble cause of Humanity First. At this event ex member of Parliment Sukh Dhaliwal gave beautiful remarks about The Ahmediyya Community support for Humanity First and these type of organization humanitar-

ian efforts, particularly what they are doing for needy people in many parts of world.Mr. Mohammad Aslam Shad, Regional President of BC and Mr. Bruce Kehler, Country Lumber executive Director also gave his view about this charitable work. From Media Mr. Hashmi recognized Miracle Media Managing Editor Mr. Naseer Pirzada contribution and Radio Red FM and Radio India and local newspaper contribution. The program special feature was magic show by magician Christopher James and vote of thanks by Mr. Rizwan Peerzada Regional Coordinator of Humanity First BC Branch. Before the dinner Sponsors were given display space. The recipients were Mr. Bruce Kehler, Mr. Ch. M. Aslam Shad, Dr. Waseem Bashir and CEO from Overseas Auto body, Yellow Cab. A large number of men and women from South Asian Community and other local community were attended this Humanity First event and raised plus fifty six thousand dollars in shape

of bought Tickets and given big donations. The delicious dinner was served at the end of the program. for further visit Web:, Email: or contact at 604-767-1965

Iona Pacific Centre Presents Professor of Arabic & Islamic Thought from Spain Emilio González Ferrín, professor of Arabic and Islamic Thought at the University of Seville (Spain) visited British Columbia from November 7 – 10. He presented a series of lectures and workshops for the university and local communities in Kelowna, Burnaby, and Vancouver on the history of Islam and Muslim cultures. His visit as a 2011 Iona Pacific Visiting Scholar was part of Vancouver School of Theology’s “Critical Conversations about Religion” series. The events were sponsored by Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre at Vancouver School of Theology, along with co-sponsors: the Department of Critical Studies, FCCS, UBC (Okanagan), Green College, UBC, and the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, SFU. Prof. González Ferrín, who holds the Al-Andalus Chair and is president of the Gordion Foundation, is the author of nine major books, including Islamic Ethics and Politics (Seville, 2001), A General History of Al-Andalus (Cordoba, 2006), and Qur’an: The Inflected Word (Oviedo, 2002), which won the Jovellanos International Prize. His research investigates the origins of medieval Spain; the history of the religious culture and politics of medieval Spain; “Euro-Arab” cultural cooperation; early Islam and comparative religious cultures; Al-Andalus as a paradigm for

examining the notion of “continuity” in history, and aspects of western Europe’s cultural sources preserved in Arabic and Hebrew traditions from the Middle East. The lecture series was conceived by Iona Pacific Centre Director Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum and UBC Prof. Francisco Peña, who sought to introduce a more nuanced understanding of the early history of Islam in Europe, in the hope of correcting the common misconception that Islam arrived in medieval Spain exclusively by means of an invasion. The two professors believe that complicating how we understand the past can help to complicate constructively how we understand the present. Prof. González Ferrín’s research demonstrates that Islam developed gradually in Spain from a variety of complex conditions, and thus, that Islam from its very beginnings was not an alien invader of Europe. The importance of this idea is that if Islam was not in fact an alien invader in early medieval Europe, but rather was an early presence in medieval Spain, then the supposed “Reconquest” of Spain, which eventually led to the mass expulsions of Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula under Ferdinand and Isabella, was actually a “Conquest” of the Peninsula by the Kingdom of Castile. In order to disguise this conquest as a “reconquest,” the idea of an outside invasion

centuries earlier by an alien “other” was required. In Spain Prof. González Ferrín has been an advocate supporting efforts by the local Muslim community of Seville to build a new mosque. In Kelowna Prof. González Ferrín began with a workshop entitled “711 CE – 2011 CE: A Moorish Invasion of Europe? Myth and History,” which was held at UBC’s Okanagan campus. The session centered around the idea that history reveals important links between the Greco-Roman literary tradition and European narratives of the development of Islam. At SFU in Burnaby Dr. Ferrín delivered a lecture entitled “Islam as an Explanation,” in which he argued that rather than seeking explanations for Islam, historians should begin with the fact of Islam itself as the explanation, the culmination of its development. Dr. González Ferrín also was invited to speak at UBC’s Green College in the Principal’s Series: “Thinking at the Edge of Reason.” There he delivered a talk to a standing room only audience entitled: “Between Early Hellenic Islam and a Semitic European Renaissance: A Historiology of Arab Middle Ages.” This lecture discussed the idea that Medieval Arabic and Hebrew sources provide evidence of Mediterranean ‘continuities’ between an early Hellenic Islam and a Semitic European renaissance.

His final lecture at Vancouver School of Theology’s Chapel of the Epiphany was entitled “Religious History Outside the Box: The Holy Qur’an as Cultural Source.” This lecture proposed that a cultural reading of the Holy Qur’an offers an unexpected source of Islamic ‘normalization’ after centuries of obscurantist alienation fostered by the fact that many of the critical texts providing information about the early history of Islam are available only to scholars who can read Arabic and Syriac. The final event of the week ended in a workshop held at Vancouver School of Theology, which was entitled “Development vs. Transmission in Religious Systems: the Case of Islam.” In this session participants considered the value of replacing the concept of “transmission” with the concept of “development” in reconstructing the history of religious systems. The workshop journeyed from the history of early Islam to the contemporary period. For information about lectures and other programs at Iona Pacific Centre on the UBC Campus, contact


Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011


Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011


Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

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Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011



Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Working Towards the End of Violence against Women

By: Rubab Abid (Toronto) Worldwide, the day of November 25th is recognized as the International Day for the End of Violence against Women. This internationally recognized campaign, drafted by the United Nations, aims to raise public awareness against the epidemic of violence and the prevention of abuse against women around the world. It is a sad and shameful fact that even in this day and age, millions of women around the world still suffer from acts of physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse by the hands of their partners, male relatives, and family members. According to the United Nations Women’s Agency, nearly 70% of women experience some sort of violence in their lifetime. Violence against women takes many formsfrom rape, murder, and domestic abuse, to female infanticide, human trafficking, and female mutilation. The United Nations reports the startling fact that for women between the ages of 15 and 44, acts of violence cause more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined! While the epidemic of violence against women is certainly an international issue, the cases of violence against women within the South Asian community are especially unique and equally alarming. Along with commonly known forms of abuse, South Asian women also fall victim to culturally-

based forms of violence such as honor killings, female infanticide, acid attacks, and dowry-related murders. The issue of “honour killings” is a growing epidemic in South Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. Women suspected of adultery, pre-marital sex, or rape are murdered by their husbands or family members in order to protect the dignity and honour of the family. According to official reports, nearly 10,000 Pakistani women were killed as a result of honour killings in 2005. In the province of Sindh alone, there were a total of 53 reported cases of female honour killings. Many times, these cases of violence are not reported by families or are misreported as incidences of suicide or accidents. While the Pakistani government claims that more and more cases of honour killings are being reported to the police, human rights organizations claim that the government’s lack of proper legal prosecution and biased Zina laws have put women in a disadvantaged position to fight such abuse. Another alarming case of violence against South Asian women is the occurrence of dowry murders. The victims of such a crime are women who are murdered by their husbands or in-laws for failing to meet dowry payments. According to a recent UN report, 8,172 women in India were killed as a result of dowry disputes in 2008 - a 14% increase from 10 years ago. Many

dowry deaths stem from women who have been either murdered or committed suicide as a result of the constant torture, fear and harassment they faced at the hands of their husbands or in-laws demanding proper dowry payments. While India did pass the Dowry Prohibition Law in 1961 which banned the request or payment of a dowry as a marriage condition, the prevalence of dowry-related violence seems to be growing through the past few years. The matter of female infanticide is another issue of particular concern within South Asian countries. The premeditated killing of female children, whether before or after their birth, is a growing crisis in both Pakistan and India. The practice is seen as a predominantly cultural phenomenon, but is also attributed to economic and financial concerns in more rural areas and villages. Some parents view girls as an unwanted financial burdens, this coupled with overly-excessive dowry and wedding costs, lead many parents to kill their daughters at birth. According to the Pakistan’s Edhi Foundation, more than 1,200 female babies and infants were found dead in Pakistan in 2010. Furthermore, Relief Project India reports that over the past 20 years, an estimated 10 million girls have been killed in India either before or immediately after they were born. While the issue of violence against women in South Asian countries certainly demands greater attention and concern, it is important to note that South Asian women living in Canada also experience serious and critical forms of abuse. A growing

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by:Raj Hundal Surrey-Tynehead NDP Candidate November 25, marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. On this date we must remember that violence against women and girls takes many forms and is rampant throughout the world. It is a

time to remember all women who have suffered violence. It is a time to take action to support those women who live with violence to take steps to protect themselves and their children. We must recognize the tragedy of violence against women and the need to work together to stop violence before it starts. It is our collective responsibility to

LIVING IN REGRET By Shabnam Khan - Family Counsellor It is surprising to see how much energy and time is wasted feeling guilty or remorse about the past. Some of what we regret can be changed, and some cannot. Some regrets about the career choices they made years ago. Some regret that they haven’t experienced more adventure in their lives, done more traveling, made more friends, changed jobs, taken more risks, been more cha-ritable and on it goes. Every time we think and rethink about something we regret, the emotional impact of our thoughts continues to grow. The more attention we pay to something, the harder it is to stop thinking about it. That is the reason why so many of us struggle with regrets. We get stuck in a cycle, and the regrets become increasingly difficult to dispose of. It is in our interest, however to take a step forward and eliminate all the outstanding regret in our lives. Regret always has it’s orientation in the past. It’s something you wish were different or something you wish you handled differently. You may well want to make decisions in your

life to remedy past mistakes if you can, but remember “ crying over spilled milk” does not help. The best way to eliminate regret is to commit to a new mind-set, one of forward motion. As thoughts that contain regret comes up, the trick is to be aware of them and then let these thoughts go. You have to reinforce the change you’ve just made. Follow up with a positive, life-affirming thought. To reiterate, the change to make regarding regrets is to first understand that regrets come from the past and that you can’t go back in time. Secondly, you must realize that you have the power to rid yourself of regret. You created it and now you must get rid of it. All you need to do is to notice your thoughts of regret and catch them if you can. Drop these thoughts, knowing that they are self-destructive and useless. Remember always reinforce your change emphasizing that from this point forth, you will live in the present and look forward towards the future. “I promise, you won’t regret making this change”

number of Canadian South Asian women have become the silent victims of physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse. Incidents of spousal abuse, inlaw abuse, female infanticide are all found among Canadian South Asian communities, along with increasing cases of honour killings among young South Asian women. Recent victims of violence such as Surrey’s Maple Batalia, spousal abuse victims such as Navneet Kaur, Gurjeet Kaur Ghuman, and Mukhtiar Panghali, and honour killing victims such as Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu all point to a growing need for awareness and prevention of violence against South Asian women living in Canada. Hence, while November 25th and the International Day for the End of Violence against Women may have already passed, its aim and purpose must remain within us at all times. The aim of such a day is to raise awareness and prevent violence against women on a daily basis. The South Asian community must continually work to recognize the value and importance of this message. It is a starting point from which we can begin to have a frank and honest discussion regarding the issue of violence against women and offer assistance and support to victims of abuse. More importantly, it is an opportunity to make certain that the shameful acts of violence against women are forever removed from not only our society, but from all corners of the globe. References Consulted: html?id=8bcec08b-b0c0-493e-a02d-fed529ae6172 & others

work toward a better world. Through my involvement in the community, I have worked with community organizations, business, media and women’s groups to bring the impact of violence and the identification of violence into the fore. During this time we must also reflect on some of the progress that has been made in our fight to stop the violence. Funding to support transition houses, second stage houses and Children Who Witness Abuse programs, to name a few, go a long way to ending this pandemic of violence. It is our collective effort that will help us to have a society that eliminates violence against women in all its shapes and forms.

0.5 Million Prize And National Peace Award For Swat’s Girl Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has announced National Peace Award for her brave actions during military hits in Swat. She will get this award soon. According to official statement, she will also receive Rs. 500,000 prize money. Pakistani government took this decision after Malala Yousufzai nominated for International Children’s Peace Prize 2011. She raised voice for education of girls in swat when girls were not allowed to take class. According to Malala Yousufzai, girls’ education was allowed till class 4 and she was in class 5. She also told that girls’ students of 5 and 6 classes were go school without

uniform and they study secretly. 13 years old Malala Yousufzai is student of 8th class and she want to become politician in future. On other hand, PM Gilani also directed cabinet to manage National Peace Award every year.


l o c a l

Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

MLA Jagrup Brar statement on raise the rates welfare challenge

On May 25, I received a thought-provoking letter from Raise the Rates entitled ‘MLA Welfare Challenge’. Raise the Rates, a coalition concerned about poverty, inequality and homelessness in British Columbia, invited me to spend a month living on the welfare. After much consideration and support from my family, stakeholders and colleagues, I decided to accept the Welfare Challenge to experience first hand what life is like for 180,000 B.C. families and individuals who live on welfare. I will begin to live on provincial income assistance for a month beginning January 1, 2012. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with social activists to discuss the issues tied to poverty and income assistance. I’ve received many letters from people living on welfare, sharing, their heartbreaking stories of a life of poverty. The cost of poverty, both socially and economically, is a detriment to our society and I want to get at that through this experience. The last time a member of the legislature accepted such a challenge was in 1986. Emery Barnes, then New Democrat MLA for Vancouver Centre, accepted a four week challenge from a coalition of low-income and social action groups to live on a fixed income in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Emery Barnes lived on $350 a month 25 years ago. Today, I will be challenged to find a place to live and survive on $610 a month, the income assistance amount designated for a single person who is expected to work. Over the month, I will meet with people living in poverty and on welfare, listen to their stories and share those stories with British Columbians. As a father of two young children it’s hard for me to imagine, that in a province as wealthy as ours, that we have 137, 000 children living in poverty. It is hard for me to imagine that 70,000 British Columbians use a food bank every month. Almost one-third of those using food banks are children. It is hard for me to believe that the gap between the rich and the rest of British Columbians has widened to the point that the top 10 per cent of BC families now earn considerably more than the entire bottom half of families. We have a wealthy society and we can afford to narrow the gap. I recognize that addressing poverty is not simple. But we do have choices. We have a choice to close our eyes and accept the status quo and that is not the choice of many British Columbians. We have a choice to show leadership and start addressing these issues with a pragmatic approach, that is the path I

Government Fails to Protect Canadian Citizens Abroad- MPJinny Sims Surrey – City of Surrey employees raised a record $233, 674.87 for children and seniors in need through the 2011 United Way Campaign. Councillor Marvin Hunt and the City’s United Way committee handed over the cheque today

would like pursue. I am sure that British Columbians can do better and they want to do better. I have chosen this path believing that through this challenge I can gain a stronger understanding of the underlying causes of poverty and how poverty affects the lives of the people around us and better address these issues in my community and around the province in my role as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. In the end, I would like to thanks Raise the Rates, other stakeholders and my colleagues for their support and encouragement to take this challenge. Huge thanks to Constance Barnes for sharing with us a powerful story of her father’s time on welfare. Last but not the least, thanks from the bottom of my heart to my beautiful wife Rajwant and my son Fateh for their support and for letting me do this. Special thanks to my daughter Noor for saying, “do it and make a difference.�

MSA Arranges Eid Party at UBC

during a presentation at City Hall. “Every year our employees generously donate time and money to help those in need, and I want to thank them for their ongoing commitment to the United Way. The money raised will help important initiatives that are making a real difference in the lives of children and seniors in our community,� says Mayor Dianne Watts. The City’s 2010 United Way Campaign raised a record $220,470.

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By: Arooba Haq An Eid Party was arranged by the MSA UBC at GSS Ballroom,6371 Cresent Rd. UBC on 12th November’ . The purpose was to get together and to enlighten the guests with the activities and performances. The party commenced at 6:30 pm with the recitation of verses from Holy Quran, recited by Br. Ibrahim Gadalla in a very heart tendering voice. The hall was packed with guests and students (approx.300 persons excluding children attended the event). Separate provision for the children was made in a room which provided fun activities to the

children, where they were served pizza and other foods to their liking. Apart from other students who gave poetic performances, guest speaker Dr. Salim Parker delivered a very thoughtful speech on “Inspiration� with a hint of humor, which was enjoyed and liked by the listeners. A very delicious and multi-culture dinner with multiple dishes was arranged for the guests and students. After a short break sweet dishes, coffee/tea were also offered. The president of MSA, Br. Ahmed Kafafi went through slides, impressively presented the MSA’s current and future activities/plans.








Issue 298 - Muharam 6, 1433 / December 2, 2011

Pakistan fight back to beat Bangladesh in T20

Resurgent Pakistan continued their winning form to defeat Bangladesh by 50 runs in a low-scoring Twenty20 international at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka on Tuesday. Misbah-ul-Haq’s men, buoyant after a successful series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates, where they won in all three formats of the game, proved their mettle once again. The tourists, playing their 50th Twenty20 match, fought back after being restricted to 135-7 to keep Bangladesh down to 85-9 on a slow wicket that hindered stroke-making. Mohammad Hafeez claimed 2-11 in four overs and Shoaib Malik picked up two wickets in

three balls as Pakistan recorded their fifth successive Twenty20 win over Bangladesh. The Tigers were in danger of falling below their lowest T20 total of 78 -- against New Zealand at Hamilton last year -- when they stumbled to 69-9 in the 17th over. But Nasir Hossain hit a defiant unbeaten 35 with two boundaries and a six to ensure Bangladesh batted out their stipulated 20 overs. Misbah was delighted by his team’s performance over the past month. “This is a good time for the team because we are really doing well,” the Pakistani captain said. “It’s just great the way everyone is responding with bat and ball. Everyone is

performing.” Misbah said he had hoped to defend a total of around 150 because it was a tough wicket to bat on. “As it turned out, 130-plus was a good score,” he said. A disappointed Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim conceded Pakistan were the better side. “It was a tough wicket to bat on,” he said. “On pitches like this, it is difficult to beat a side like Pakistan which has been playing such consistent cricket of late.” The hosts were left to rue a lethargic batting display in which nine batsmen failed to reach double figures, while two ran themselves out. The match was as good as over when Bangladesh lost half

their side by the ninth over with the total at 23. The batsmen undid the good work by the bowlers who kept the Pakistani batting in check after Misbah won the toss and elected to take first strike. Spinner Alok Kapali, the eighth bowler used by Rahim, picked up two for 12 and former skipper Shakib Al Hasan finished with two for 24. Hafeez top-scored for Pakistan with 25, but found little support from the other end. The rivals begin a three-match one-day series in Dhaka on Thursday, which will be followed by two Tests. Source: AFP

Rohit stars in low-scoring thriller

Rohit Sharma hit a responsible 72 under pressure as India survived a top-order collapse to post a thrilling one-wicket win over the West Indies in the opening one-dayer on Tuesday. India were reeling at 59-5 following Kemar Roach’s threewicket burst and Andre Russell’s double

strike before reaching the 212-run target with seven balls to spare in front of 45,000 spectators at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack. Sharma came to his team’s rescue with an 83-run stand for the sixth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (38) in the day-night game, which was held up for nearly five minutes during India’s innings due to disturbances in the stands. Man-of-thematch Sharma, returning to the side after recovering from a finger injury, then added 42 valuable runs with Vinay Kumar (18) to help his team to a 1-0 lead in the fivematch series. He cracked one six and three fours in his ninth half-century in one-dayers. The hosts needed nine runs to win in the last two overs before Umesh Yadav hit the winning boundary off seamer Darren Sammy as India posted their 10th successive one-day win at home. “It’s good to win another nail-biter. Whatever you tell number 10 or number 11, they always do what they want to do. I just told them to play till the end,” said India skipper Virender Sehwag. “Rohit and Jadeja batted really well in that partnership and we should

have won it easily from there, but it’s still good to end up winning. We hope to learn from our batting mistakes in coming games.” Paceman Roach removed Parthiv Patel, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli in his sharp opening spell before Russell accounted for Sehwag (20) and Suresh Raina to put pressure on India. India earlier put in a disciplined bowling performance to restrict the West Indies to a modest total despite Darren Bravo’s impressive halfcentury. Left-handed Bravo, who hit two hundreds in the recent Test series against the hosts, top-scored for the West Indies with a 74-ball 60 for his sixth half-century in one-day internationals. “Every time you lose it is quite disappointing. We just didn’t have the last spark to take us past the finish line,” said West Indies captain Sammy. “The opening bowlers did well to give us a start and we fought all the way to the end, but it wasn’t enough. We even conceded 23 extras, but I would like to commend the boys.” Bravo, who survived a difficult caught-and-bowled chance off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on 26, was bowled by part-time spinner Raina in the 35th over after hitting six fours. The West Indies were struggling at 52-3 before Bravo steadied the innings with a 75-run stand for the fourth wicket with Danza Hyatt (31). The tourists failed to build on Bravo’s effort and they added just 44 runs in the last 10 overs, with tailender Russell making a 20ball 22. Indian pacemen Yadav and Varun Aaron each bagged two wickets. The tourists raced to 52 off 10 overs after being put in to bat but lost top-three batsmen Lendl Simmons (19), Adrian Barath (17) and Marlon Samuels (10) in the process, with Vinay Kumar, Yadav and Aaron each taking a wicket. Source: AFP

LIONS DEFEAT BLUE BOMBERS TO CAPTURE 99TH GREY CUP Lions quarterback Travis Lulay, the league’s Most Oustanding Player, found Kierrie Johnson and Arland Bruce for touchdowns in the second half helping the Lions to a 3423 victory over the Blue Bombers.

Amir Khan will step up a division if Timothy Bradley snubs showdow Amir Khan has confirmed he will move up a division after his fight with Lamont Peterson in Washington next month if Timothy Bradley continues to snub a showdown offer. Light-welterweight Khan wants to take on his fellow unified champion Bradley. However 28-year-old Bradley - Khan’s only serious challenger for the position of world number one at 140lbs - has shown little interest in facing the Bolton star, despite Khan’s persistent attempts to lure him into the ring. Khan, 24, believes that if Bradley continues to refuse a big-money unification bout he will have no option but to shed his own lightwelterweight belts and move up a division in search of bigger challenges at welterweight. Khan said: “If the Bradley fight is there for me I’ll stay at 140lbs, but if not I’ll move up to 147lbs. It’s nothing to do with the making the weight, it’s for the new challenge and motivation. “I want to meet new fighters and that is what is going to drive me. We’ll see what happens after this

fight and whether Bradley is going to take the fight. If not I will move up to 147lbs.” Khan makes his debut in the US capital at the Convention Center on December 10 and is relishing the prospect of taking on home favourite Peterson in another major American city. Khan said: “I’ve got that style that people love - that speed, power and explosiveness - and I truly believe that although Peterson is the home town fighter, I will have more support than him on the night. “They have not had a big boxing match in Washington for quite some time so it is great to be going there. I’ve always wanted to fight in different state capitals, so that everyone has the chance to see me live. “I’m doing things the way they should be done. The best fighters in the world should fight the best fighters in the world. I wanted to fight Bradley and I fought Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah and beat them.” Source: Mirror

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