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BC Canada

Volume 12 Issue 305 Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 AH / March 9 2012 - $1

Bi-Weekly & Bilingual

Harper to back expanded powers for Elections boss now

Muslim Food Bank Hosts a successful fundraising dinner

On Feb 24, many dedicated and hardworking volunteers organized Muslim Food Bank fundraiser at Surrey’s Punjab Banquet Hall. MP Jinny Sims, MLAs Jagrup Brar, Sue Hammell and BC NDP candidates Raj Hundal, Amrik Mahil were among the dignitaries attending the event.

Striking B.C. teachers rally at Vancouver Art Gallery Hundreds of striking B.C. teachers gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Wednesday afternoon for a final protest rally before returning to work. The B.C. Teachers Federa-

tion says the provinces 41,000 teachers will be back in the classrooms on Thursday, but will continue their previous job action and could exercise their right to strike again next week. The teachers walked out Monday to protest the government’s back-to-work legislation, which was introduced in the legislature last week. Elsewhere in the province, teachers gathered outside schools to protest Bill 22 on Wednesday. B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert told the crowd gathered at the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery the bill would remove teachers’ collective bargaining rights

until June 2013. “I think it’s either very cynical politics or maybe they’re gaining some remarkable insight, because of course, they’re government in freefall,” she said. “The likelihood of this government surviving to June 2013 resembles that of the proverbial snowflake in hell.” Lambert has not said if the teachers will walk out again next week, but promised they will give 48 hours notice if they do. “We always give parents adequate notice of anything we do. All the time that is our commitment to parents,” said Lambert. “We understand that parents value the work we do and want to know what they need to do to support us and so we will always give parents adequate notice of what we do.” Lambert says teachers will continue their previous job action when they resume work on Thursday, which includes not filling out report cards, supervising recess and meeting with school administrators. The government has said it could be a week or more before Bill 22 is passed into law. The legislation is designed to end the teachers’ legal strike action and appoint a mediator to settle the contract dispute. Until the legislation is passed, teachers will be able to strike one day a week, according to a recent ruling by the Labour Relations Board. The teachers have been without a contract since June and began job action in September. Key issues in the contract dispute include wage increases, class sizes and support for special needs students. On Tuesday, several thousand teachers and their supporters gathered for a massive rally in front of the legislature in Victoria. Source:

Celebrating 60 years in business

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, in a sudden flip-flop, have revealed they are prepared to support giving more investigative powers to Canada’s chief electoral officer. The development occurred Wednesday, when Harper told the House of Commons his party will support an NDP motion to be debated by MPs Thursday. The motion calls for legislation within six months to provide strengthened powers to Elections Canada. Just a day earlier, the government had adopted a different position, insisting that its MPs on a parliamentary committee had blocked a move to give new audit powers to Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand because it would add expenses to the elections agency’s budget. Mayrand had sought new powers to force parties to verify their election expenses with detailed records and receipts — a responsibility the Tories said should instead rest in the hands of private-sector compliance auditors hired by the parties themselves. But as the robocalls controversy continues to dominate debate on Parliament Hill — and as Elections Canada conducts an investigation into complaints of electoral fraud in last year’s election — it has become clear that Harper wants to amend a public perception that he is obstructing the elections agency. Opposition parties have alleged that the Tories have been stonewalling when asked to provide details on the robocalls affair. Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae said Wednesday that Harper has a long “ideological” history of opposing Elections Canada, which he once described when he led the National Citizens Coalition as an agency staffed by “jackasses.” But in the Commons this week, Harper has begun to stress that the governing Tories will provide their records from the last campaign to Elections Canada. The Tories also have dropped their appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in a long-running battle with Elections Canada that dates back to the 2006 election in connection with the so-called “in-and-out scheme” on election financing. In question period Wednesday, Interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel asked the prime minister if the Tories will support her party’s motion to grant new powers to Mayrand. “We have no objection to this proposal,” replied Harper. A senior aide to the prime minister later confirmed the Tories will support the NDP motion. The motion states that within six months,

Continued on pg 7

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012


p a k i s t a n

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

Ousted deputy leader of Pakistan Taliban favors talks with govt.

A deputy leader of the Pakistan Taliban, reportedly ousted at the weekend by a militant council, still favors peace talks with the Pakistani government, he told Reuters on Tuesday as reported by Dawn. Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, who commands militants of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Pakistan Taliban, in the tribal agency of Bajaur near the Afghan border, has reportedly been in talks with the government in Islamabad over a peace deal.The TTP, allied with the Afghan Taliban movement fighting US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan, is entrenched in the unruly areas along the porous frontier. It has pledged to overthrow the Pakistani government after the military started operations against the TTP. Past peace pacts with the TTP have failed to bring stability, and merely gave the umbrella group time

and space to consolidate, launch fresh attacks and impose their austere version of Islam on segments of the population. The TTP leadership is split over new talks with the Pakistani government, with some hardliners rejecting them. Mohammad said, however, that he has never disobeyed the council.“Whenever I’ve held talks with the government of Pakistan, I’ve held them with the permission and advice of the central leadership of the Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan,” Mohammad said from an undisclosed location.“When the Taliban in Afghanistan can talk to America, then why can’t we talk to the government of Pakistan?” Pakistan last month urged leaders of the Afghan Taliban movement to enter direct peace negotiations with Kabul, a possible sign that Islamabad is stepping up support for reconciliation in neighbouring Afghanistan.A council which reportedly included TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, ousted Mohammad, but he said he had “no information on this council, its members, or where its meeting was held.” “Except for Ehsanullah Ehsan, who contacted the media, no important Taliban leader has contacted me.” Ehsanullah is the spokesman for the TTP and announced the demotion.

All options on table to end energy crisis: Khar Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said here on Monday that Pakistan would avail itself of all available opportunities, including the Iran gas pipeline project, to overcome its energy crisis.Ms Khar, who was addressing a press conference, said Pakistan would not depend on any one solution but would also pursue the Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India gas pipeline project, besides the Iran gas. Answering a question about US concerns over the PakIran pipeline project, she said “we cannot be selective in this regard and we will complete this project to overcome the energy crisis.” The minister said a new era of trust had begun in ties with India and an uninterrupted dialogue had improved the level of confidence.She said the process of dialogue had remained suspended for a long time but now both countries realised that dialogue was the only option.She said the Amroka-Bhatinda railway section between India and Pakistan would be restored if it was in the interest of Pakistan and of people of the area.Ms Khar said foreign policy of the PPP-led government was based on developing friendly ties with all neighbouring countries, including India, China, Iran and Afghanistan. Close relations with these countries will help maintain peace in the region. She said the executive had handed over to parliament the authority to devise foreign policy because the government believed that the policy should have public ownership.The

key to restoration of Nato supplies was with parliament which alone would take a decision about it, she added. The decision will be taken in national interest.Ms Khar said relations with the United States were of great importance to Pakistan and were in its national interest, but these should be based on mutual respect. She said the Nato supplies by air had never been suspended. Only the land supply route was closed in accordance with parliament’s decision.“Pakistan wants stability in the region and does not want to create hurdles for forces of 40 countries in Afghanistan.” It was also in our interest, she said. The Nato supply route was suspended in the best interest of the country because it was necessary to react to the attack on the Salala post.She said Pakistan would support the dialogue between the US and Afghan Taliban.When asked about the possibility of a US attack on Iran, she said Pakistan had a clear stand on the issue. A military intervention in the region is not acceptable. She said the recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Pakistan was result-oriented and he admitted that Pakistan had a very important role in the region. She said Pakistan had suggested to the Afghan president to initiate an intra-Afghan dialogue and extended its support in this regard because stability in the region was also in its own interest.

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

India’s ruling party loses key state election

India’s governing Congress party was badly beaten in a key state election Tuesday, a sharp rebuke that could cripple the already embattled national government over

the final two years of its term. With early returns showing Congress coming in fourth place in the Uttar Pradesh polls, party icon Rahul Gandhi admitted defeat. Gandhi, seen as his party’s likely next prime ministerial candidate, had put his reputation on the line by campaigning relentlessly across India’s most populous state. Mayawati, the bottom-caste dalit leader who is the state’s incumbent chief minister, also suffered a crushing defeat as the socialist Samajwadi Party’s victory appeared strong enough to allow it to form a government on its own. Mayawati’s party took a major hit, with the commission projecting it to win only 80

seats, while the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, was expected to secure up to 47 and Congress to take 28 -- a marginal increase from the 22 it held before the vote. Mayawati, who uses one name, drew criticism during her 5-year rule for spending a fortune on public parks complete with gigantic statues of herself and other party leaders instead of reforming the health and education systems. Ajit Kumar Singh, director of the Giri Institute of Development Studies in the state capital, Lucknow, said voters saw the Samajwadi Party as their best chance of ousting their mercurial chief minister. K.V. Prasad, a New Delhi-based political analyst with The Hindu newspaper, said the verdict showed that the Congress party was out of touch with grass-roots issues. “It’s not enough to go heli-hopping and waving your hands,” he said, a reference to Gandhi’s crisscrossing the state via helicopter. “The electorate is more aware now.” Prasad said voters knew that only the Samajwadi Party had the organization to realistically defeat Mayawati’s government. Congress didn’t fare much better in election results from four other states. While it held onto power in the tiny, insurgency-wracked state of Manipur in the northeast with 42 of the state’s 60 seats, it lost control of coastal Goa, with only nine seats to the BJP’s 21. In the state of Punjab, Congress lost to the local Sikh party Shiromani Akali Dal 56-46, with the BJP

taking 12. In the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, results were still too close to call. The results in Uttar Pradesh, where Congress leaders had hoped to triple their seat count, are a blow to Gandhi’s aspirations to be taken seriously as a national leader. Gandhi, a parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh, is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has dominated Indian politics since independence from Britain in 1947. His mother is Sonia Gandhi, the Italianborn Congress party president; his father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated in 1991. The family is not related to independence leader Mohandas Gandhi. The Congress-led national coalition has been battered by corruption scandals and weakened by growing opposition from rebellious smaller parties within the government that have blocked major new legislation. Congress had hoped a strong showing would rejuvenate the government and give it leverage to widen the coalition and pressure its wayward allies to fall in line. A poor showing will leave the government limping toward the next election in 2014, even as economic growth slows and analysts say the nation is desperately in need of a transformative reform agenda. The massive elections in the five states were spread out from late January to March 3 and saw a high voter turnout, with at least 60 per cent of the electorate voting in each state. Source: CTV News

Syrian president defies international

President Bashar al-Assad pledged to crush “foreign-backed terrorism” Tuesday as Syria’s army turned on new targets after subduing the city of Homs. The regime’s forces pounded rebel-held towns and struck a bridge used by refugees to escape to neighbouring Lebanon, killing at least six people. Soldiers also launched a major assault on Herak, a town in the southern province of Dera’a, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Londonbased group. Two international envoys are about to visit Mr Assad - Baroness

Amos, the United Nations undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, who is due in Damascus on Wednesday, and Kofi Annan, the former UN secretarygeneral, who is expected this weekend as a representative of the Arab League. None the less, the president persisted with the belligerent rhetoric that he has displayed throughout the one-year uprising that has claimed up to 7,000 lives. Insisting that his security forces were fighting outsiders and not homegrown rebels, Mr Assad said: “The Syrian people have again proven their capacity to defend the nation and to build a new Syria through their determination to pursue reforms along with the fight against foreign-backed terrorism.” For a fifth consecutive day, aid workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were kept out of Baba Amr, the formerly rebelheld area of Homs that was captured by government troops last week. This broke an earlier assurance given by the regime and placed Syria in violation of a statement agreed unanimously by the UN Security Council calling for free access for aid workers. The ICRC

has also asked for a daily two-hour ceasefire across the country to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid. Again, the regime had indicated that it was willing to accept this suggestion, but no such pauses have taken place. By keeping the ICRC out of Baba Amr, Mr Assad is risking greater diplomatic isolation and the possible disapproval of his two most powerful allies, Russia and China. At the UN, the U.S., Britain and France sought to win the agreement of Russia and China yesterday to a new draft resolution seeking unfettered access for aid agencies to the worst affected areas of Syria. President Barack Obama called the bloodshed in Syria “heartbreaking and outrageous” yesterday, adding that Mr Assad had “lost legitimacy” and his downfall was a question of “when not if”. Having previously protected Mr Assad in the Security Council, Russia and China have shown signs of a more flexible attitude, at least as far as humanitarian access is concerned. Any new resolution would have to be diluted heavily from earlier failed versions to exclude any mention of a “transition” from Mr Assad to a new government. Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said the new draft was “a slightly modified version of the last vetoed document”, adding: “It should be substantially balanced.” But Western diplomats take the view that a watereddown resolution would still send a signal to Mr Assad that his isolation was increasing. “It is hard to see how Russia and China can object to something that focuses on humanitarian access. They would find themselves in a very difficult situation if they blocked it,” said an official. David Cameron spoke to Vladimir Putin on Monday and told Parliament that he “didn’t sense any sign of a shift” in the Russian leader’s approach. But he hoped to secure agreement “that it is absolutely essential that, at the very least, there is humanitarian access”. Source: Vancouver Sun

Romney wins 6 of 10 states on Super Tuesday but Santorum, Gingrich vow to fight on Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each won Republican presidential primaries in multiple states on Tuesday night, with Romney narrowly edging his rival in the key state of Ohio. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich won the primary in his home state of Georgia, once again reviving his campaign. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas did surprisingly well in a losing effort in Virginia, indicating that the tumultuous four-way GOP race is likely to rumble on for weeks.

Email hints bin Laden’s body may be in the US Osama bin Laden’s body may not have been buried at sea after all, according to leaked emails written by a senior official at the intelligence firm Stratfor. The emails were part of a massive WikiLeaks operation that in February began publishing information from Stratfor Global Intelligence, a U.S.-based firm which describes itself as “a publisher of geopolitical analysis.” It has been likened by some to a “shadow CIA.” The data was obtained by the hacker group Anonymous. It successfully attacked one of the firm’s servers, allegedly stealing more than 5 million emails. The U.S. government’s official position is that after the Al Qaeda leader was killed in Pakistan during a raid on his compound on May 2, 2011, his body was buried at sea in a proper Muslim ceremony in an undisclosed spot. But Fred Burton, vice-president of intelligence at the Stratfor, wrote in a May 2 email sent from his BlackBerry that he believed bin Laden’s “body bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane. Than (sic) onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.”In another email Burton wrote: “If body dumped at sea, which I doubt, the touch is very Adolph Eichman (sic) like. The Tribe did the same thing with the Nazi’s ashes. We would want to photograph, DNA, fingerprint, etc. His body is a crime scene and I don’t see the FBI nor DOJ letting that happen.” Eichmann was one of the architects of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany during World War II. He was captured by Israel’s

secret service in Argentina and put on trial in Israel. He was found guilty and later executed. Stratfor’s founder and CEO George Friedman replied: “Eichmann was seen alive for many months on trial before being sentenced to death and executed. No one wanted a monument to him so they cremated him. But I don’t know anyone who claimed he wasnt eicjhman (sic). No comparison with suddenly burying him at sea without any chance to view him which I doubt happened.” Stratfor’s Friedman issued a statement when Wikileaks first began publishing the emails, calling the theft and publication of the emails a “deplorable, unfortunate – and illegal — breach of privacy.” He continued: “Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies. Some may be authentic. We will not validate either, nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questions about them.” Friedman said that he believes the release of these emails is “a direct attack on Stratfor” and “another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject. As you can see, emails sent to many people about my resignation were clearly forged. “We do not know what else has been manufactured. Stratfor will not be silenced, and we will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely on.” Source: Toronto Star


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

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

Sarkozy says ‘we have too many foreigners’ in France

President Nicolas Sarkozy declared on Tuesday that there are too many immigrants in France, as the country’s presidential election campaign became caught up in issues of religion and identity. Defending a re-election campaign promise to cut the number of new arrivals in half, Sarkozy bluntly declared that France’s attempts to integrate foreign arrivals into its culture and society had become paralysed. “Our system of integration is working more and more badly, because we have too many foreigners on our territory and we can no longer manage to find them accommodation, a job, a school,” Sarkozy said. Sarkozy has been accused of tacking to the right in the run up to the April 22 first round of the French presidential election in order to recruit voters tempted by anti-immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen’s platform. But, in a television interview, he insisted that while immigration could remain “a boon” for France in many areas, it must be controlled more tightly through tougher residency qualifications for newcomers. Sarkozy also announced new plans to limit some welfare benefit payments currently available to immigrant workers to those who have enjoyed residency for ten years and have worked for five of those. The hardening of his tone came after a week in which the issue of Muslim immigration and in particular Islamic and Jewish dietary practice has surged to the fore in the national debate, upsetting religious leaders. Jews and Muslims came together Tuesday to complain they were being used as pawns in the election, after

first Le Pen then Sarkozy and finally his prime minister Francois Fillon criticised the production of halal and kosher meat. For its part, the French Council of the Muslim Faith slammed what it said was the use of Muslims as “scapegoats” in the election campaign in which halal slaughter of animals has become a hot-button issue. The unusually strong reactions from the communities came a day after Fillon urged Muslims and Jews to consider scrapping “outdated” slaughter rules. Le Pen launched the halal debate last month when she claimed all meat from Paris region abattoirs was prepared using Islamic halal traditions and that non-Muslim consumers in the capital were being misled. Like kosher slaughter, the halal method requires the abattoir to kill the beast by slitting its throat. Stunning the beast first -- as is done in nonritual abattoirs -- to lessen its ordeal is not permitted. It later emerged that Paris region abattoirs mostly supplied local Muslim butchers and that most meat sold in Paris came from outside the region. But the issue stuck and on Saturday Sarkozy suggested meat should be labelled to tell consumers how the animal was slaughtered. France is home to western Europe’s largest Muslim minority, officially estimated at least four million, and its largest Jewish community, estimated at up to 700,000. The country has for years been debating how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam, now its second religion, and Sarkozy and Le Pen have both made the matter a central issue in their campaigns. Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate and frontrunner in opinion polls, said his rivals had now gone too far and called for “restraint”. France will vote in the first round of a presidential election on April 22, followed by a second-round run-off on May 6. All recent opinion polls forecast that Hollande will emerge victorious. Source: AFP

West agrees to restart Iran atomic talks West agrees to restart Iran atomic talks Six world powers have accepted an Iranian offer for talks on its disputed nuclear programme. Catherine Ashton, foreign policy chief for the European Union, sent on Tuesday an offer to restart diplomatic talks between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) plus Germany with Iran. “On behalf of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,” she said in a statement. Tuesday’s announcement by the EU’s top diplomat came shortly after Russian calls for a resumption of face-to-face dialogue as soon as possible. A letter on February 14 demonstrated that Iran was now ready for serious negotiations, according to Russia. Ashton said her remarks were a response to the correspondence sent by Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator. “Our overall goal remains a comprehensive negotiated, long-term solution which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” Ashton said in her reply to Jalili. A time and venue now need to be agreed, she said. The last round of negotiations between the Western powers and Iran - in January 2011 - ended in failure. William Hague, UK foreign secretary, said in a statement that the burden would “be on Iran to convince the international community that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful”. In a separate development, Iran has agreed to grant access to

the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the Parchin compound. The long-sought access to what Iran calls a military base, not a nuclear facility, came a day after the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, said his organisation had “serious concerns” that Iran may be hiding secret atomic-weapons work. He singled out the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran. The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted the Iranian statement as saying: “Given that Parchin is a military site, access to this facility is a time-consuming process, and it can’t be visited repeatedly.” It said that following repeated IAEA demands,”permission will be granted for access once more”. Israel, which says its existence could be threatened if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons, is losing confidence in Western efforts to change the Islamic Republic’s policy with sanctions and diplomatic pressure. Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, assured Barack Obama, the US president, on Monday that Israel has made no decision on attacking Iranian nuclear sites, sources close to talks in Washington said. Netanyahu, however, gave no sign of backing away from the option of military attacks. Speaking at the ongoing American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington on Tuesday, Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, said “military action is the last alternative when all else fails” in Iran.”But make no mistake, we will act if we have to,” he said. Source: Al-Jazeera

Russians fear crackdown as hundreds are arrested after anti-Putin protest Russians furious about Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency fear a wider crackdown after hundreds were arrested following a post-election protest. He criticised riot police, deployed by the thousand to the capital during and after the vote, for violently detaining hundreds of protesters on Monday. Future protests would lead to “a clear manifestation of aggression from the authorities”, he said, a testament to their “nervousness”. Putin’s spokesman defended the arrests, saying the helmet-clad riot police had acted with a “high level of professionalism, legitimacy and effectiveness”. The Russian foreign ministry took it further, writing directly to the US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, to criticise the New York police department’s handling of Occupy Wall Street protesters. “The police on Pushkin Square were many times more hu-

mane than what we saw during the breakup of Occupy Wall Street, tent camps in Europe,” the ministry wrote. Opposition activists said they feared authorities would use means both legal and extralegal to squash the anti-Putin movement that exploded after a disputed parliamentary vote in December. The prosecutor general’s office said it would investigate whether speakers at the rally on Monday had provoked “mass unrest”. Riot police detained hundreds of people who had refused to leave Moscow’s Pushkin Square following an anti-Putin protest that gathered around 20,000 people. Among those detained were the opposition leaders Alexey Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov. They were released hours later. Navalny’s court date has been set for 15 March. Police have already swooped on other activists. Six members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot were arrested at the weekend, suspected by police of “gross violation of the public order and religious hatred” following an unsanctioned performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Two remain in custody, and have launched a hunger strike. They could face up to seven years in jail if police bring charges of hooliganism. Protesters also suspected that the campaign against them had been taken to the internet. Dr Web, a Russian IT security firm, said it had flagged a new computer virus sent in emails calling on people to attend the protests. Also on Tuesday, Andrew Ryvkin, a political blogger for the Russian edition of GQ, said he was attacked by two men known for their pro-Kremlin views. The writer Sergei Minayev and Eduard Bagirov, a member of Putin’s election campaign, admitted to the attack on Twitter, but said that it involved “no politics”. Despite the pressure, protesters have vowed to continue their calls for new elections. A fresh protest has been set for 10 March, but organisers have yet to receive approval from city authorities. After the attempt to occupy Pushkin Square, organisers indicated that they may carry out unsanctioned protests in future. Putin has refused to address the protesters’ concerns, saying on Tuesday that the fraud claims were “an element of political struggle. It has no relation to the election.” Although many Russians expected Putin to seek a return to the Kremlin, popular anger grew with his announcement in September that he would run for re-election. “Putin will try to return the situation to as it was before, in the summer of 2011,” Soldatov said. “But I don’t think that’s possible.” He said sources inside the security services were becoming increasingly nervous that the opposition would seek to capitalise on a fresh expression of discontent during Putin’s planned inauguration in early May. Akunin, the novelist, said the authorities’ nervousness was palpable, prompting the show of force on Monday. “Putin’s victory in the first round is becoming more and more doubtful,” he said. Activists and election monitors continued to pore over reports of falsifications, revealing rates in the troubled Caucasus republics that rarely dipped below 97% support for Putin. “I think exactly this explains the authorities’ nervousness,” he said. Source: Guardian


e d i t o r i a l

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012


The Senate polls play an important role in setting the course of future politics. The Pakistan People Party (PPP) and its coalition partners have been aiming at winning majority of seats on the basis of their existing strength in the national assembly (PNA) and the four provincial assemblies. Though, many predictions were made in the past about the early departure of the government, yet all of them turned out to be misleading indeed. Scared of being ousted from the political scene ahead of the senate elections, the PPP managed to have the said-election on time as scheduled to further strengthen their superior position in the national Senate. With victory, the crippled PPP emerged as the largest party in the senate with the help of unethical payments of very high price in terms of cash money to buy votes. Allegedly, the money was paid for voting and as well as for not voting. During the recent Senate polls, the Pakistan People Party (PPP) won 19 of the 54 seats, making it a total of 41 seats in the 104-member Senate. The number of seats in the Senate was increased by four under the 18th amendment, with the addition of reserved seats for minorities. Officially, the PPP is now ahead of all other parties in the Senate. The 2nd largest party in the Senate is the PML-N with its eight new seats making a total of 14 seats. No matter what, the culprits can’t be caught due to flaws in the laws, lack of hard evidence, and other technicalities. Ironically, this illegal trade is very


Halal Restaurants By M Hajee


popular among the law makers. As such, merit or integrity of the candidate is immaterial, and this of course is a sad situation to the greatest disadvantage of the general public. Shamelessly, it’s quite common for the dishonest legislators to manage sitting in the parliaments by exploiting legal loopholes. Similarly, senators known to have purchased their seats in the Senate were never made accountable at all. Nevertheless, if the unethical manuvering has paved the way for the coalition regime of the PPP to capture a major share of the Senate, it’s still meaningless unless there is substantial action by the ruling coalition in the best interest of the suppressed nation through backing up their tall claims and promises. Beyond doubt, the governing alliance has now got two-thirds majority in the Senate and would be in a much stronger position to ward off any challenge to its smooth governance, which includes installing a care taker government and holding the general election this year to their best advantage. In the pursuit of lust for power, they employ pressure tactics, including stinky mentality of rigging, using baits, dealing via stock exchange of votes. These are damaging enough to jeopardise the economic well being of 180 million people of the 65 year old so-called Islamic Republic. Consequently, the unethically generated Senate with some dishonest members can’t do much for the betterment of its people except serving as a tool to give tough time to the lower house where the

O P I N I O N S Coquitlam around 3:00 PM and came home after 9:00 PM. Along the way, there were NO Halal restaurants where she could get a snack. NONE. When the Halal establishments do not open as early as the non-halal places, or are not available late into the night, we have no choice but to patronize non-halal places. We have been given NO choice in these matters. Perhaps now is the time for some Halal restautanteurs to wise up and extend their hours.

It is very frustrating that the Halal restaurants around Surrey do not open early in the mornings (such as the fast food franchises) and insist on closing early at night (nothing is open after 10:30 PM). There was a time when I had to travel to and from Kelwona, Edmonton, for business purposes. I could not travel at night as the gas stations close at 11:00 PM along Coquihala, so I had no choice but to travel in the ealry mornings. Along the road, I IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not publish anonymous letters or the letters could not find any Halal restaurants, which of the people who do not disclose their identity is understandable, as in small towns it is to ‘The Miracle.’ A writer can use a pen name or request ‘The Miracle’ to withhold his / her identity. hardly likely that there will be a Halal resPlease include your daytime telephone number taurant. But in Surrey? I wished to pick up for the confirmation of your letter. We regret the inconvenience. something fresh that I could eat along the way. NOTHING is open at that time. Harper : Continued from pg 1 My wife starts work that requires her to be out of the home by 6:00 AM. There is the government should table amendments nothing that she can buy that is halal while to the Elections Canada Act and other she waits for the bus or Skytrain, except legislation to ensure three things in future maybe coffee. She once had to start work in

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majority might be belonging to other political party. Most of all, the diminishing comfort level of Mr. Head of State (Zardari) has returned suddenly. Now he is optimistic to be benefitting heavily from the Senate for the next three years as well as his party is in a position to enjoy a considerable influence over all others within the political system for a few more years to come. As above mentioned, the PPP can use its new strength in the Senate to frustrate law-making agenda of any other winning political party until the next Senate election in 2015. Surprisingly, after the annulment of National reconciliation Ordinance, President Zardari is merely a de-facto Head of State. However, he insists on enjoying immunity from criminal prosecution during his tenure in office. New Senate is now the best cushion to protect immunity of Mr President with another tenure. As Islamic law and jurisprudence does not show any immunity to anybody including the head of state. Question arises, whether 1973 constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is Islamic-in the true sense – as per letter and spirit of the noble Qur’an and Sunnah; needs to be debated upon by the Muslim scholars. Secondly, the president has been clinging to the dual office unconstitutionally, whereas, a president is required by the constitution to be non partisan. According to media, elections on 12 Senate seats were marred by charges of horse-trading and vote-buying. It was a

scene of open vote buying and selling by the PPP. To win votes through bidding as high as Rs 650 million per bid is cruelty with the poor nation. After all, there was “no pain at the end of senate-game for gain,” as Pakistan People’s Party is expected to be laughing comfortably for next three to six years - depending upon the environment of general public mood in a few days down the road. Much comfort will now be available to the PPP in the lower house upon re-election with no problem getting a 2nd passing grade at the upper house level. Negative scenario: As there are no PTI senators in the upper house of parliament, the lower house with PTI members would face tough time with their bill-passing process in the upper house. Under the current system, the competition among the honest people is impossible, as only the dishonest rich people stand chances in the absence of “anti corruption tsunami.” There is trouble ahead, as many leaders are coming forward urging the Supreme Court and the Election Commission to take notice of the situation of the horse trading and vote buying spree. But, there is the urgent need of Senate Reforms disallowing “vote stock exchange” and all unfair practices to save the country from greedy vultures.

election campaigns: • The “investigation capabilities” of Elections Canada should be “strengthened” to include giving the chief electoral officer “the power to request all necessary documents from political parties to ensure compliance with the Elections Act.” • All telemarking companies that provide “voter contact services” during an election must register with Elections Canada. • All clients of telemarketing companies during a general election should have their identities “registered and verified.” On Tuesday, Harper sidestepped questions in the House over why his party refused previously to grant more leeway to Mayrand to probe party expenses for all elections. Opposition parties revealed that over the course of the last two years, a Commons committee has looked into how to reform the Canada Elections Act. One of the changes they said Mayrand preferred was to be given extra powers to order documents to verify party expenses — similar to the way the auditor general probes federal agencies and departments. Opposition parties say they were willing

to provide those extra powers to Mayrand, noting that he was simply seeking the powers that his provincial counterparts have for provincial elections. But they said that once the Tories won last year’s election, they used their majority power on the committee to block that change. Instead, the committee opted in a recently released report to recommend the establishment of an external auditor that parties could hire to review expense reports to ensure they comply with election spending laws. On Tuesday, the government confirmed that this had happened and defended its actions. Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski said the Tories objected to the increased costs that taxpayers would have to bear if Mayrand were given extra powers and then hired new auditors for his own office. Instead, he said, the Tories decided the best approach was to require parties to foot the bill by hiring independent private-sector compliance auditors to review their election expenses. Either way, he said, Canadians can be assured an independent audit will occur.

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

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

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f a i t h

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

Three Essential Things L E T T E R S

By: A K M Mohiuddin You need three essential things in order to be able to live by Islam in a satisfactory manner. They are: a. genuine conviction, b. sharp and acute senses, capacity for feeling, and active imagination, c. and a ready heart. Without these, you run the risk of finding Islam a burden or at least an inconvenience and of always remaining an easy prey to Iblis and his agents. Everything is difficult unless you first meet its basic prerequisites. Allah (SWT) Himself testifies to this: “Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded, who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are returning” (2:45-46).

You have to have the genuine conviction that Islam is true. There are two aspects to this. First, you have to be absolutely convinced that the Qur’an is the word of Allah (SWT) and that Muhammad ((SAWS)) is a true messenger of Allah (SWT). The Qur’an survives intact and is available to us, and whatever we need to know about Muhammad (SAWS) can be known. Without this conviction there is no way one can advance any further. This is all that needs to be said on this point. The second aspect of this conviction follows from the first: you must accept the fact that together, the Qur’an and the Sunnah provide guidance for mankind. The Qur’an in its entirety is Allah’s (SWT) guidance for you, and Muhammad (SAWS))in all his words and deeds is your only model to follow. You cannot pick and choose which parts of the Qur’an or which aspects of the Prophet’s (SAWS) life to accept. You cannot allow your personal likes and dislikes to dictate what you choose from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. There may be parts of the Qur’an that appear to you incomprehensible or unnecessary, but remember that the Qur’an has its own architecture, each part of which supports and sustains the rest. The same is true of Muhammad ((SAWS)) himself: every aspect of his life is integral to his totality as a prophet. He is the believers’ model in an organic way. Every part of his life is informed by his consciousness of Allah (SWT) and reflects his eagerness to please his Lord. So take Islam as a whole. Resist all temptation to do what Allah (SWT) has warned us against in Surah Baqarah (2:85): “Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in, and do you reject the rest?” You are required to submit. You have to let the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad (SAWS) be the judge, rather than your presuming to be their judge. You have to subdue your enormously powerful sense of self-importance in order to achieve this humility and remain perpetually on your guard against its capacity for sneaking back. Because of the presence of this danger, Allah (SWT) has taught us this prayer in Surah Ali Imran: “Our Lord! Cause not our hearts to stray after Thou hast guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Thy Presence. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Bestower” (3:8). Even the Prophet (SAWS) used to make this du’a. The best safeguard is to remember the greatness and glory of Allah (SWT) and the immeasurable superiority of Muhammad ((SAWS)) over any other human being. How superior Muhammad ((SAWS)) is, no one has the capacity to measure. Remember Allah’s (SWT) warning: “He (Allah) cannot be questioned for His acts, but they will be questioned for theirs” (21:23). It was this fundamental fact that Iblis forgot and so he began questioning Allah (SWT), and you know the result of that. Try to be among those who wholeheartedly say,” I am pleased to have Allah as my Lord, Islam as my deen, and Muhammad as my Prophet” (Tirmidhi). When the two aspects of this conviction are in harmony, the effect will be readily felt in your heart. Your heart will be willing to engage with Islam in a really meaningful way.


Secondly, you need to sharpen your senses and your faculty of feeling and your imagination. You must travel

O P I N I O N S The message of the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad ((SAWS)) have to remain fresh and alive in your heart with all their irresistible dignity, beauty, and power to move. There is an ayah in the Qur’an in which Allah (SWT) warns man against a loss of the impact of His guidance: “...they should not become like those to whom was given revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard...for many among them are rebellious transgressors” (57:16). When this happens, you lose sight of what is valuable and get distracted by all that is destructive. Truth appears false, falsehood appears true. In other words, a complete reversal of values takes place. The heart loses its proper orientation, concentration and alertness. With your sharpened senses, feelings and imagination, the everyday aspects of your life will be transformed. You will be able joyfully to discover in Nature around you the varied manifestations of Allah’s (SWT) power and glory, to see through the deceptive appearance of this worldly life, and to perceive death’s constant companionship with you. You will know what is of real value and what you really need.

Hadith Qudsi 3:

in your mind’s eye to the Akhirah. Envision On the authority of Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhaniyy yourself at that great final gathering on the (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: Day of Judgment, naked and entirely helpless, The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) led the morning lonely in a vast crowd. Try to feel the anxiety prayer for us at al-Hudaybiyah following rainof that moment. Enter Jahannam: feel its heat, fall during the night. When the Prophet (may torment and ignominy; feel the fright. Step the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) into Jannah: feel its peace, joy and honor. finished, he faced the people and said to them: You must shake off any suggestion or Do you know what your Lord has said? They said: Allah and his Messenger know best. He temptation to think of Akhirah, Jannah and said: This morning one of my servants became a Jahannam as mere symbols. Only recall what believer in Me and one a disbeliever. As for him Muhammad ((SAWS)) took them to be. Look who said: We have been given rain by virtue of at this dua with which he started his tahajjud Allah and His mercy, that one is a believer in prayer every night: “O Allah! All praise is Me, a disbeliever in the stars (2); and as for him for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens who said: We have been given rain by such-andsuch a star, that one is a disbeliever in Me, a and the Earth, and whatever is in them. All believer in the stars. praise is for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth and whatever is in them. All praise is for You; You are the Light been offered you in Islam and hope to please of the Heavens and the Earth, and all praise is Allah (SWT). Such a heart will constantly for You; You are the King of the Heavens and be supplicating to Allah (SWT) for ever the Earth, and all praise is for You; You are greater levels of sincerity and taqwa (Godthe Truth and Your Promise is true, and the consciousness) for itself and tawfiq (ability) meeting with You is true. Your Word is true. from Him (SWT) to abide by Islam. It knows And Paradise is true. And Hell is true. And that without tawfiq nothing can be attained, all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are and tawfiq comes from Allah (SWT) alone. Thirdly, your heart has to be ready. true; and Muhammad is true, and the Day of It places all its hope in Allah’s (SWT) mercy Resurrection is true. O Allah! I surrender (my As the heart is moved, it becomes eager and forgiveness. to obey, so that it can say with other true will) to You; I believe in You and depend on Islam will be a source of joy and contentment believers, “We hear and obey” (2:285). The You, and repent to You, and with Your help I and no longer appear burdensome or inconready heart is eager to please Allah (SWT). argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) venient. You will find the chambers of Islam It will seize every opportunity to please Him and I take You as a judge (to judge between opening before you one by one, where you us). Please forgive me my previous and future and rejoice when able to do so and likewise will find shelter, sustenance, clothing, rest and feel miserable at every missed opportunity. sins; and whatever I concealed or revealed, comfort, a safe base from which you will be This heart is grateful, humble and obedient. and You are the Expediter and You are the ushered into your permanent abode in eternity You are grateful to Allah (SWT) because you Deferrer. There is none to be worshipped but where you will be greeted with the greeting realize what a blessing Islam is for you. You you” (Sahih Al Bukhari, Book 21, Hadith of salam by your Lord Himself: “’Peace!’ - a are humble because you realize your own 221). word of salutation from a Lord Most Merciinsignificance beside Allah (SWT) and the Come to the Qur’an and to Muhammad ful” (36:58). smallness of your own understanding beside (SAWS) with these same sharpened senses, that of His Messenger ((SAWS)), and also feelings and imagination. While reading or A. K. M. Mohiuddin is a retired university because you know you are subject to lapses listening to the Qur’an, do not think that you professor of English literature living in and forgetfulness. You are obedient because are just reading from the pages of a book or Bangladesh. He can be reached at this adyou know that only through obedience can listening to some mechanical device. Picture dress: akmm45yahoo. com you receive and hold the treasure that has yourself beside Muhammad (SAWS), watching the Qur’an being revealed to him, and then hearing it from him. He is explaining the ayahs to you. When reading or hearing a hadith, imagine that you are with him and he himself is telling you what to do and not do, what you should be and not be. Make all these experiences direct and immediate for yourself. You will feel their impact by the grace of Allah (SWT). Can man transport himself in such a way, cross this huge gap in time and space? Of course he can. Man is imminently suitable for this. There is nothing he can do better. Most of the time we are engaged in just this kind of thing; all our plans, hopes and fears rely on this capacity of ours. It all depends on what our hearts desire. When something possesses From March 9 - 23, 2012 (R.ul Thani-2-16, 1433H) our hearts, we get automatiR.ul. II March Day Fajar SunR Zawa1 Dhuhr Asr Maghrib Isha cally transported to all kinds of worlds and situations, Rabi’II 16 Fri 5:07 12:23 12:28 4:02 7:42 9 6:37 6:12 which become more real 17 Sat 5:05 12:23 12:28 4:04 7:43 10 6:35 6:13 than anything else. We do 18 1:22 12:28 5:06 8:44 11 Sun 6:03 7:33 7:14 not know, or we do not care to know, how far we travel 19 1:22 1:27 5:07 8:46 12 Mon 6:01 7:31 7:16 into the realm of the most 20 Tue 5:59 1:22 1:27 5:08 8:48 13 7:29 7:18 ridiculous and the most 21 1:21 1:27 5:09 8:49 14 Wed 5:57 7:27 7:19 grotesque without feeling the least bit surprised. 22 1:21 1:26 5:11 8:50 15 Thu 5:55 7:25 7:20 Knowing is not enough. To 23 Fri 5:53 1:21 1:26 5:13 8:52 16 7:23 7:22 be of any benefit, it needs to 24 Sat 5:51 1:21 1:26 5:15 8:54 17 7:21 7:24 be transformed into a feeling, a felt experience. Only 25 1:20 1:26 5:16 8:56 18 Sun 5:48 7:18 7:26 then can knowledge move 26 1:20 1:25 5:18 8:57 19 Mon 5:46 7:16 7:27 you to do whatever you 27 Tue 5:44 1:20 1:25 8:59 20 7:14 5:20 7:29 need to do or to become. 28 1:19 1:25 5:21 9:01 Only then can knowledge 21 Wed 5:42 7:12 7:31 be a shaping force for you. 29 1:19 1:24 5:22 9:02 22 Thu 5:40 7:10 7:32 This can never happen 30 Fri 5:38 1:19 1:24 5:24 9:03 23 7:08 7:33 unless you can bring your Source: BCMA senses, feelings and imagination to fulfill their rightful function.


(Establish Prayer)


Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012


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h e a l t h

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

The Truth About Aspartame: The Silent Killer?

By Nada Adams The Truth About Aspartame: The Silent Killer? I’m sure you’ve heard the fallacy that Aspartame is a safe sweetener and it’s especially helpful for people who want to avoid sugar to lose weight. Unfortunately such information is criminally false and misleading. Aspartame has many marketing names: NutraSweet, Equal Spoonful, Benevia, NatraTaste and since the patent on this compound has expired get ready to see this poison to come out on the shelves under many new and different names.

What is Aspartame Really Made of Anyway? Three components: 50% phenylalanine (essential amino acid that can be toxic if levels are too high in the body), 40% aspartic acid (amino acid) and 10% methanol (wood alcohol). The body breaks down the methanol (alcohol) into formaldehyde (embalming fluid used to preserve dead bodies) and formic acid. The meaning of Methanol according to Wikipedia is – ‘also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits[...] It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to, but slightly sweeter than, ethanol (drinking alcohol).’ So brothers and sisters, Aspartame is not only toxic to your body on a cellular level that can cause many illnesses but it’s also considered Najas-Filthy religiously. The people marketing Aspartame don’t care to preserve your faith or your children’s faith. What matters most to those people is how many billions of dollars they can make from overall consumption around the world AND if they can induce illnesses that reduce the overall population in the process that’s all the better for them. Please READ YOUR LABELS! Take a look at what you’re buying at the store. Do you really know what’s in your food? If you can’t read the ingredients because the names don’t even sound like food, then DON’T BUY IT! Even if your children beg you for such polluted foods, educate them so they willingly choose to stay away from such poisons. To help you become aware, below is a list of products that are being poisoned and made filthy by the use of alcohol.

ITEMS TO AVOID: SODA’s -- Diet Coca Cola (all varieties), Coca Cola Zero (all varieties), Diet Pepsi (all varieties), Pepsi Max (all varieties), Diet Irn Bru (all varieties), Lilt Zero (all varieties), Sprite Zero (all varieties), Tango (all varieties), Tango no added sugar (all varieties), 7up Free (all varieties), Lucozade Sport (all varieties), Schweppes Slimline Drinks (all varieties), Fanta Zero (all varieties), Fanta Orange, Dr Pepper Zero, Oasis Summer Fruits Extra Light, Oasis Citrus Punch; CORDIAL -- Ribena Really Light (all varieties), Robinsons Orange Squash, Robinson’s No added sugar range, YOGURT -- Muller Light Cherry , Muller Light Blueberry, Muller Light Raspberry, Muller Light Banana and Custard, Danone Activia Cherry, Weight Watchers Fromage Frais, Weight Watchers Toffee and Vanilla, CHEWING GUM -- Wrigley’s Airwaves (all varieties), Wrigleys Orbit (all varieties), Wrigley’s Extra (all varieties), COOKING SAUCE -- Uncle Ben’s Sweet and Sour Light; CRISPS -- Walkers Sensations Sweet Thai Chilli, Walkers

Sensations Lime and Thai Spices, Walkers Prawn Cocktail, TABLETOP SWEETNERS -- Canderel, Silver Spoon Sweetness and Light, Silver Spoon Light Granulated Sugar, OTHERS -- Cadburys Highlights (all varieties), Options Hot Chocolate Drink (all varieties), Pickled Ginger (at sushi), FLAVORED WATER; CEREALS; SUGAR-FREE PRODUCTS. Just because I have not put down every brand does not mean what you have at home is alright to eat. Please read every label before you buy anything to ensure you’re not eating food that is contaminated with Najas-Filthy.

MASSIVE DECEPTION IN HISTORY: Monsanto – owner of NutraSweet Company manufactures Aspartame - paid off the FDA, the American Dietetic and Diabetic Associations, the American Medical Association, Congressmen and Senators and nearly anyone who tries to meddle regardless of country. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation caught them in the act and aired a program showing Monsanto trying to bribe Health Canada Doctors. Monsanto is the world’s largest poisons manufacturer not only for societies around the world but also the environment. In 1995, Monsanto ranked 5th among US corporations in the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, for releasing 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground. Their board members have a track record of blatant lying, falsifying and concealing records, bribing officials, the list goes on and on - truly shocking and criminal! Toronto Globe and Mail reported on the outcome of a 3-year trial saying, “The evidence of Monsanto’s executives at the trial portrayed a corporate culture where sales and profits were given a higher priority than the safety of products and its workers..... They just didn’t care about the health and safety of their workers. Instead of trying to make things safer, they relied on intimidation and threatened layoffs to keep their employees working”.

BE YOUR OWN JUDGE – See What the Experts Are Saying About Aspartame and Brain Tumors: ‘EXCITOTOXINS: THE TASTE THAT KILLS’ by Dr. Russell Blaylock (I highly recommend his book!) The author of this book is a nationally recognized board certified retired Neurosurgeon of 26 years. He is a man on a mission risking his life to educate, expose and inform the world (You can find him on YouTube). “To think that there is even a reasonable doubt that aspartame can induce brain tumors in the American population is frightening. And to think that the FDA has lulled them into a false sense of security is a monumental crime,” writes Dr. Russell L. Blaylock in Excitotoxins. “This particularly nasty substance should have never even been approved for human use. In fact, had it not been for some fancy footwork by those in power in the FDA, it never would have. Early experiments using low, medium and high doses with aspartame all found dramatic tumor increases in test animals. These included brain, pancreas, and breast tumors…” Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 196 “Despite concerns over the safety of this new sweetener, including brain tumor induction in experimental animals, seizures, precipitation of headaches, and an adverse effect on the developing brain, the FDA approved its use as an artificial sweetener. Sales began to grow immediately. The Nutrasweet® company spent over $60M on

advertising alone during its first 3 years.” Excitotoxins by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 218 “A 57-year-old executive developed severe insomnia. His physician attributed it to “jet lag” because of his frequent travels abroad. He was consuming 10 to 12 cans of an aspartame cola and 4 to 6 packets of an aspartame powdered sweetener daily. A tranquilizer (Halcion®) was prescribed— but only intensified the insomnia. He was referred to a psychiatrist for possible depression . . . then to an endocrinologist for a possible brain tumor. The psychiatrist treated him for 3 years, during which time he was “…becoming significantly more moody, nervous, and experiencing memory loss and speech difficulties (how can this not be noticeable to others?).” Low doses of the antidepressant drug Tofranil® triggered “a near panic attack.” Within 2 weeks after discontinuing aspartame products, he was noticeably improved.” Aspartame - Is It Safe by H J Roberts MD, page 120 “A 30-year-old woman consumed an average of five to six cups or glasses of aspartame beverages daily for 17 months. Ringing and pain in both ears, dizziness, and a severe headache began after 10 month. Audiometric studies revealed considerable loss of hearing in the left ear. When brain tumor was ruled out, the otology and neurology consultants diagnosed her problem as Meniere’s disease. The patient herself, (very smart!) however, finally realized the aspartame drinks caused these symptoms because she could predictably reproduce them on rechallenge.” Aspartame - Is It Safe by H J Roberts MD, page 141 “Many people believe that the real enemy among the sweeteners is aspartame —

several Web sites are devoted to attacking it (among them It’s been linked to everything from headaches, multiple sclerosis, loss of brain function, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, lymphoma, and lupus to diabetes itself. Some people may be sensitive to aspartame, which most commonly causes headaches…” Living LowCarb by Fran McCullough, page 107 In summary, please read what you buy and don’t take your physical, spiritual and emotional health and wellness for granted. Share this article with everyone you love. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email. About the author: Nada Adams is a 13-years Natural Health Researcher, Author and Master Coach with a strong interest in personal health/wellness, heart and mind connection, living in core values and authenticity and the power of herbs to help us all heal. She is a devout religious teacher and a life, success and wellness coach helping men and women live an Islamically Authentic Life. She has been an Islamic teacher since 1990 and youth teacher for over 12 years. Adams was the ‘Dear Diary’ columnist for 2 years in the GCDA Magazine, a National Canadian Magazine focused on educating Teens. She’s also the founder of “Lower Mainland Muslims Unite” meet-up group primarily to teach the authentic creed of Islam to new converts and those individuals curious to know more about Islam. She can be reached at and her weekly meet-up group can be found at


Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012


a r t s


cultu re

Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

A New Book Launched in Lahore

A new book “Pakistan Through Crises (A Sociological Perspective) by Tajammul Husain Hashmi was launched in Lahore on January 20th, 2012 at a ceremony held in the Punjab Institute of Language Arts and culture (PIAC). Ahsan Iqbal, MNA and Dr. Mehdi Hassan, Dean of Beaconhouse University, Lahore were the chief guests while Barrister Mujtaba Jamal and Mrs. Wahid, and educationist were the guest speakers. The ceremony was attended by a huge number of teachers and old colleagues and students of Mr. Hashmi. Much of the proceedings were covered by City 42 TV Channel. Mr. Hashmi, who is the author of several books on social topics, specially went to Pakistan from Canada to get his book published. The book has been divided into four parts. The first part, “Dreams, Expectations and Realities” deals with the pre-partition and post-partition politico-social events many of which caused crises in the country, such as the death of Quaid-e-Azam, assassination of Liaqat Ali Khan, the Seventeen Day War, separation of East Pakistan and its Emergence as Bangladesh, the 2005 earthquake and 2010 torrential rains and flash floods. The second part evaluates the seesaw of democracy and dic-

tatorship that resulted in political upheavals, instability, bad governance and created many problems. The third part deals with our external and internal problems, their causes and possible solutions. In the external problems our relations with Afghanistan, India and America have been discussed while in our internal problems, corruption, economic strains and inflation have been specifically highlighted including their causes and possible solutions. The fourth part suggests ways and means towards an Islamic, democratic, moderate and progressive nationhood. In this part emphasis has been laid that Pakistanis must decide once and for all whether they have to follow the same direction for the sake of which they had struggled for a separate homeland. These objectives demand that we should reaffirm them, stick to them and work for their realization to become a civilized and progressive nation. The book also includes an appendix which gives a summary of the social structure, politics, functioning of the government, infrastructure, economy, education, etc. in the western nations in order to show how nations develop and become civilized.

Country’s First Oscar Victory Gives Pakistanis Reason to Celebrate

Wearily accustomed to being the focus of bad news, Pakistanis celebrated on Monday after a filmmaker from Karachi won the country’s first Academy Award, for a documentary about the victims of gruesome acid attacks as reported by DailyTimes.. The filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and the codirector, Daniel Junge, won the Oscar in Los Angeles on Sunday night for the best short documentary for their film “Saving Face,” which follows a British plastic surgeon as he tries to repair the horrific damage done to women who have been attacked with acid, often by jealous or vindictive husbands. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani led the tributes to Ms. Obaid-Chinoy, 33, saying that she would be given a “high civil award” for her achievement. It was the second big victory for a film produced in the region. The award for best foreign-language film went to the Iranian movie “A Separation,” also a first for a country that is often at odds with the West. Speaking by telephone from Hollywood, Ms. Obaid-Chinoy said that she was “dazed” by her success. “It reinforces the fact you can be anyone, come from anywhere and as long as you do quality work it gets rewarded,” she said. She said she was congratulated backstage at the awards ceremony by Angelina Jolie, who has frequently traveled to Pakistan to highlight the plight of refugees and the poor. “Saving Face” focuses on the efforts of Dr. Mohammad Jawad, a British plastic surgeon who has traveled across Pakistan to repair the faces of women burned by acid. In one scene, a weeping patient tells him that she was attacked by a husband who threw battery acid on her, a sister-in-law who doused her with gasoline and a mother-in-law who struck the match that set her on fire. “I cannot understand this,” says Dr. Jawad, himself straining with tears. About a hundred such attacks are reported to the police every year, the filmmakers said, although many more go unreported. But Ms. Obaid-Chinoy emphasized that the film also focuses on the courageous lawyers and legislators who introduced a strict law last year that mandates a sentence of life in prison for those convicted in acid attacks. “This is a film about hope,” she said. “It shows that Pakistan has a problem, but that there are people on the ground who are tackling it.” Ms. Obaid-Chinoy, who previously won an Emmy for a documentary about young Pakistani recruits to the Taliban, began her career in 2002 with New York Times Television, where she produced an award-winning documentary about the children of Afghan refugees. She said that she hoped her Oscar would inspire other Pakistani filmmakers. “This shows that someone from their ranks can do it,” she said. Neither the Iranian nor the Pakistani film celebrated at the Academy Awards was entirely shorn of political context. In his acceptance speech, Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian writer and director of “A Separation,” referred to mounting speculation that Israel was preparing to attack Iran’s nuclear complexes. “At a time of talk of war, intimidation and aggression,” he said, Iran had spoken though a “glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of

politics.” In Pakistan, the Oscar victory coincided with concern that the

(L t0 R) ChiefGuests&Speakers: Mr Hashmi (author), Mrs Waheed, Ahsan Iqbal, Dr Mehdi Hassan and Barrister Mujtaba Jamal

The chief guests and the guest speakers lauded the book and appreciated its content. They suggested the youth, especially college and university students to read it and make efforts to solve the problems facing the country through hard work, rresolve, devotion and sincerity of purposes. The book has been published by Caravan Book House, Anarkali, Lahore and will be available at Newton, Surrey library. Here is a link to the book launch ceremony: government was planning to restrict free speech through stringent new regulation of the vibrant electronic media, including a ban on television satires of politicians. At a news conference in Islamabad, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan sought to dispel the concerns. No regulation would be imposed without first consulting the television stations, she said.


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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

oofing & enovation Solutions

Miracle’s Building Construction and Maintenance series

By Imran Tipu, B.Sc. Civil Eng In our series of articles for roofing and renovation solutions, the current article is regarding the components of residential roofing that are non-structural and are considered essentially the parts of a residential or sloping roof. - Roof vents - Roof Gutters & Downspouts 1. Roof Vents An effective roof ventilation system is essential in equalizing temperatures on both sides of a roof. It keeps your house cooler in the summer and prevents ice dams in the winter (if you live in a cold climate). If ventilation is insufficient, condensation can develop, causing insulation and wood deterioration. Determining how much ventilation is needed requires measuring your attic floor. Generally, one square foot intake and outtake ventilation is required for every 300 square feet of unheated attic floor space. There are different types of roofing vents and distinguished by their purpose, location of installation and manufacturing style. Basic Roof Vents • When you need increased outtake ventilation, roof vents are a good choice to add near the ridge line. These covered fixed vents, which prevent rain from seeping in, are easy to install. They should be placed two feet apart for the best results. Because they have no mechanical parts, you don’t have to worry about malfunction. Continuous Ridge Vents

• This screened, water-shielded ventilation opening is available in 5- 10 feet lengths and creates an even outtake airflow. It spans the entire gable roof ridge and is recommended for new construction. Unlike other vents requiring placement in several locations, a continuous ridge vent is one running piece, which makes it easier and quicker to install. It is available in colors to match the roofing, and is aesthetically pleasing because it is unnoticeable from street level. Wind Turbine Vents • Installed near the roof peak, a wind turbine works by catching the wind or by air rising through the turbine. This causes the vanes to spin and provides effective ventilation near the top of the house by drawing heat and moisture out. The problem with these vents is that high winds can cause excessive spinning and wearing of the bearings. The vanes can also stick, and therefore stop rotating. Soffit Vents • In order to achieve the most efficient roof ventilation, in addition to outtake vents it is equally important to have soffit vents, available in various sizes--3-inch round, 4X16 inch and 8X16 inch. Using a continuous length soffit vent is another option. Soffit vents are installed beneath the underside of a roof overhang. These vents permit air flow to the attic, or the space below the roof sheathing. Plumbing Roof Vents Nearly all plumbing codes require at least one vent termination to penetrate the roof into fresh air. The main purpose of venting in a plumbing system is to allow the free movement of air in the drainage pipes. Size of the plumbing roof vent

• In cold climate areas, the size of the vent needs to increase at least one size before penetrating the roof, but not be less than 3”; this is to prevent what’s called “frost closure”. • In countries like Canada, the least size of the stack needs to be 3” or larger in diameter. • If the vent should be at least one foot inside the building before it passes through the roof. • The actual size requirement for the roof vent are calculated by the number of fixture units being vented, but a 3” vent can serve all fixture units for a single family house. • The section of pipe that penetrates the roof must extend at least 6” through the roof. Location of the roof vent There are a number of standoff distances that must be observed when locating the roof vent because of the noxious gasses and odors that come from it. • A vent terminal cannot be within 1.8m of a property line. • The vent must be at least 1m above or 3.5m in any other direction from a door, window or fresh air intake. • If the roof has a sun deck or other living space, the vent must extend 2m above or 3.5m away from the sundeck or patio. Roof Gutters & Down Spouts Roofs shed water, but gutters and downspouts carry the water away. When reproofing or repairing the roof, inspect and repair gutters to be sure they’re doing their job. Most gutters and downspouts are made of galvanized steel, aluminum, wood or vinyl, Metal and wood types can be painted. Though professionally installed gutters are often prepared and assembled on site in order to be made seamless, but the hardware stores offer systems that we assemble and install ourselves, are made of preformed parts—Ushaped troughs, elbows, downspouts, connectors, and so forth. Gutters are attached to the eaves of the house

with strap, bracket, or spike-and-ferrule hangers. Bracket hangers and spike-and-ferrule hangers mount on the fascia boards. Downspouts are attached by straps to exterior walls. To work effectively, gutters and downspouts must be in good condition, must be sloped properly, and must be kept free of debris. Maintenance of gutter systems Regular maintenance is crucial. In fall and spring, clean out debris. Then check the slope of the gutters by running water through them. If drainage is slow, reposition gutters: they should be tight against fascias and sloped toward downspouts at a rate of 1 inch for every 20 linear feet. To correct low spots, adjust the hangers. Repairing Fascias, Gutters, and Downspouts If you find dry-rotted fascia boards, carve out the bad spots and fill with wood putty or replace the damaged section with a piece of well-seasoned lumber (applying a wood preservative first). Finish and paint to match existing boards. Tighten any loose hangers and replace any that are broken. Check that downspout straps are secured to the walls and that all elbow connections fit rightly. Power wash or clean thoroughly any leaky gutter system then seal any leaky joints or pin holes with any gutter sealants. If a section of your gutter system is badly damaged, replace it. The images shown within this article residential roofing vents and roof gutter system: For more information about these article series and/or all our previous articles, please visit:


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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

Qur’an burning is a political, not a theological, issue

By Haroon Siddiqui Sorry, it was a mistake, an inadvertent one — due to ignorance, not malice, really. We apologize, profusely. It won’t happen again, ever. We will punish the people responsible for it, promise.

That’s been the line from Barack Obama, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and the American commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Allen to calm the furor caused by the burning of the Qur’an near an American military base north of Kabul. The crime is not the burning per se. The first burning of the holy book was done officially during the seventh century reign of Islam’s third caliph Uthman. According to Muslim tradition, the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (570-632) by Archangel Gabriel over two decades. Not being literate, he dictated the received words to scribes who wrote it on bark, bones, stones, hides and date palm leaves. His successors saw the need to compile one correct version. That done, Uthman ordered the parchments burnt. Supervised burning remains a prescribed way of disposing of old copies or printruns with typos, the others being burying or, lately, shredding and recycling. So, why the outcry again over Qur’an burning? For several reasons. To Muslims, the Qur’an, the words of God, and the Messenger who conveyed them are not abstract matters. Such is their devotion to the holy book that they are rarely far from it, physically or in spirit. They give it pride of place in homes. Most kiss it before and after every reading. They instinctively reach for it on both happy and sad occasions, for blessings or comfort. Many commit all its 86,430 Arabic words to memory — a feat with no parallel in other religions or in the secular realm. As for the love of Muhammad, it “runs like blood in the veins of his community,” in the famous verse of the great Indian philosopher/ poet Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938). To desecrate the Scripture or to insult the Prophet is to scar the soul of a Muslim. This is especially so when done by non-Muslims whose motives are suspect and who may, in fact, be acting out of malice, like the Florida

pastor who burnt a copy of the Qur’an last year. In 2008, George W. Bush apologized after a U.S. serviceman in Iraq shot a Qur’an in target practice. In 2005, a military investigation confirmed four cases of the desecration of the Qur’an at Guantanamo Bay, as a tool of punishment against prisoners. This is what seems to have transpired in Afghanistan as well. The Qur’ans came from a detention facility, where the detainees were deemed to have been using the books to send secret messages. Even if they were, why couldn’t the books have been removed rather than consigned to trash? Gen. Allen has ordered every NATO soldier to immediately undergo a sensitivity session in “the proper handling of religious materials.” Shocking, isn’t it, that after a decade in Afghanistan, foreigners still don’t have a clue about what is or is not acceptable to the locals and, more pragmatically, what might backfire on the mission? Cultural illiteracy continues to hobble Americans. Their nighttime raids violate one of the most dearly-held Afghan traditions, that of the privacy of their homes, especially women. Equally offensive is to have dogs sniff at their possessions, especially food and clothing. There has also been the desecration of the dead, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. In 2010, some Americans posed with corpses of Afghan civilians gunned down by rogue soldiers. This year, a video emerged of Marines in combat gear urinating on three Afghan corpses. Afghans also know that some of the scandalous tactics of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were used in Afghan detention camps. There’s the desecration of Islam as part of the cultural warfare on Muslims in the post-9/11 period. The 2006 Danish cartoons were designed to defame Muhammad, as per the self-admission of their creators. That same year, Pope Benedict made demonstrably false assertions about the Qur’an and Muhammad, statements he later apologized for, in language not all that different from what we’ve heard in the last few days. His Holiness was sorry, he had not meant to utter those unholy words, had not meant to offend anyone, etc. It is not an accident that the biggest and most violent protests against perceived anti-Islamic insults occur in Afghanistan. Afghans see themselves under foreign occupation, a sentiment duly exploited by the Taliban. This would not have been the case if the NATO mission had ended when it should have, about 10 years ago, or at least not been botched as badly as it has been. Source: Toronto Star

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The paradox of wisdom: Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Bliss By: Maheen Nusrat They say knowledge is power, they also say ignorance is bliss; I say knowledge is power at the right time and the right place otherwise it is a heavy burden that can sink you in. It is at those times, ignorance is truly bliss. But the real kicker is that knowledge is also very addictive; even if attained at the wrong time, curious minds like mine can’t stop questioning and finding out more of what we probably don’t even want to know; so we suffer in the knowledge and without it; we suffer with our questions. Maybe, then the problem isn’t knowledge itself, but the inability to know when enough is enough. Sometimes knowledge comes to us without even questioning and through unlikely sources at the most inopportune times, but then we can’t stop wondering up more whys, whats, wheres and hows. I think that if I question enough, maybe I can find out the reason for human behavior, why someone did what they did? Why is there suffering in the world? Why me?…and sometimes the answer that I will simply get is that people are evil and the world is just a manifestation of the acts of the evil people. Walking away with that sort of answer can really bog you down, especially if you seek to see the good in everyone or see try to think of everything as part of a greater plan. A life coach once said: “Ask the question only if you are ready for the answer”…What I realized is that it isn’t

about being ready for the initial shock of what the answer maybe, but it is also about being ready to live with the knowledge gained from that answer. Too often, we think we are ready because we may prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario answer, yet we don’t realize the burden that knowledge would bring with it. Knowledge isn’t something that you can attain and then just turn off and lose it. Once you know the answer, you know forever. The challenge then becomes to live with that knowledge. The knowledge that we gain through unlikely sources at the most inopportune time, may not be so invaluable or a burden because there may be a lesson in it. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger sort of lesson. Questions do open doors, but it is questions that led to the opening of Pandora’s Box. Therefore, it is through Real wisdom that we know when to stop asking for more and more. Unfortunately, real wisdom comes through experience, through the knowledge of the self, and through asking questions and learning what our threshold maximum is for answers. Sometimes that means going through pain and misery, but it is all part of what we term growing pains. Such is the paradox of life and wisdom itself---hence knowledge is power yet ignorance is bliss. the-paradox-of-wisdom/



Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

ASMF celebrates Milad Un Nabi (SAW)

On March 3 and 4, Ahle Sunnah Muslim Forum of Canada organized a spiritual weekend for the Muslims of Lower Mainland. The Seerat un Nabi (Life and Times of Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him) celebration was hosted on two days. Shaykh Muhammad Yahya Ninowy, Imam and Khatib had arrived from Atlanta, USA to lead the event. On March 3, a Dhikr Program was held at Fleetwood Islamic Centre, Surrey and a Conference was organized on the next day at Diamond Banquet Hall, Burnaby. A large number of community members came to attend these events. Mr. Salim Khan, General Secretary of World Islamic Mission was the main organizer. The Fleetwood Islamic Center, Minhaj ul Quran, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, Zawaiyah Foundation, Bullay Shah Academy and World Islamic Mission were the co-sponsors of this program. The conference on March 4 was emceed by Mr. Irshad Mohammad who conducted the program very well. The program started with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Islamic Education and Research, Gateway Islamic Center and Association of Islamic Charitable Projects were the participants in the program. They presented beautiful Nasheeds and a beautiful Kids presenta-

tion which was liked by everyone. There were three prominent speakers invited from outside Canada. The first speaker was Shaykh Gilles Sadik of Montreal, and the second was Maulana Anas Noorani Siddiqui from Karachi (Pakistan). The chief guest speaker was Shaykh Al Ninowy. All speakers focused their speeches on the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in the light of Quran and Sunnah in English and Urdu languages. They spoke about how perfect the personality of our beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was and the birth of our beloved Prophet and explained that he brought the light for everyone in the dark ages. At the end of the event, Darood-o-Salam and Duaa were recited and Mr. Irshad thanked all the guest speakers.

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center

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preferred. (MA or higher preferred.) Some exceptions may be considered The Institute: The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It is a year-round school specializing in foreign languages. Offering 20+ languages to approximately 3,000+ students from the four military services. *Who May Apply: Anyone can apply. Applicants must have the ability to obtain authorization to work in the United States. Applications are accepted year-round; please see our institute website for current language openings. If possible, please bring an updated resume to the Job-fair site – see sample resume that is attached to this flyer.

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

Legislating away immigration backlog is an option: Kenney

All options are on the table for eliminating the massive backlogs in Canada’s immigration system, including the possibility of legislating away the more than one-million applications waiting to be assessed. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the startling suggestion at a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa Wednesday, saying that he hadn’t made any decisions yet but is considering following the example of New Zealand, which eliminated its backlog by

legislation in 2003. “At this point, we’re looking at all options for dealing with these backlogs and coming up with a faster, more responsive system. We owe it to newcomers to do that,” Mr. Kenney said. “I do think that we can’t continue to tell people that they’re going to wait for eight years for a decision on whether they can come to Canada. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to our economy.” Mr. Kenney said the backlogs have made Canada’s immigration system dysfunctional. If it takes seven or eight years to render a decision, that person’s skills may no longer be needed in the labour market, he said. At the moment, potential immigrants must all be assessed by Canadian immigration officers, who receive roughly two applications for every available visa. Mr. Kenney’s speech outlined some of the major changes to immigration policy he plans to enact later this year. Last week, he proposed creating a “just-in-time” immigration system, one that would grant businesses a much more important role in immigrant selection. On Wednesday, he emphasized the need to clear Canada’s backlogs, which are huge. If no new applications were accepted, there are enough people waiting in the system to fill our skilled worker targets for the

next five years. He also announced that provinces will be able to sift through the current pool of skilled worker applicants to cherry pick candidates for their provincial nominee programs. Referring to the New Zealand example in his speech Wednesday, Mr. Kenney said eliminating the backlog at a stroke made that country’s immigration system nimbler and more able to respond rapidly to changes in the labour market. He described the possibility of Canada moving to an “expression of interest” system, whereby applicants would consent to having their applications sifted by businesses and the provinces, to see who might be wanted where. Lorne Waldman, a lawyer and immigration expert, said ministers have tried everything to get rid of backlogs over the years. In 2003, he led a class-action that forced the government to back down from using a regulatory change to eliminate the backlog. He said Mr. Kenney would have to pass new legislation to eliminate applications waiting in the queue. “He can delay, he can prioritize some over others, I’m not sure whether he has the power to refuse to process [applications],” Mr. Waldman said. “He could put it into the legislation.” Guidy Mamann, an immigration law specialist, said Mr. Kenney has shown a willingness to make immigrants in the queue wait longer than those who have applied more recently. “He creates a new system and concentrates on the people who applied under the new system, completely ignoring those who’ve waited quietly and patiently in line for fair treatment,” Mr. Mamann said. “I have no doubt that he is willing to … ignore the hundreds of thousands of people who have been waiting for years.” Mr. Kenney said that at present nearly 80 per cent of skilled workers arriving in Canada are being pulled from the backlog and 20 per cent are newer applicants, chosen under more selective rules. “We’ve been trying to basically keep juggling the system, to keep drawing down on the backlog but allowing some of the better prepared people with jobs to come in and it’s still not working,” Mr. Kenney said. “We’re still frankly frustrated to be sitting on a backlog of 300,000 in that program alone.”

Immigration Sponsors Who Do Not Need to meet an income requirement! By Mumtaz Khan April is almost upon us and it is that time of the year, when people are busy preparing their taxes. Prior to filing taxes, people are calling me and asking what the minimum required income is, to sponsor family members for Permanent Residence in Canada. In this article, I wanted to clarify which sponsors need to, and which sponsors do not need to meet the minimum income tests. Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced at the beginning of November, last year that they are going to impose a 2 year moratorium on immigration sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents. Now, if you wanted to sponsor your parents, and grandparents, you did have to meet a minimum income test. The moratorium means the majority of sponsors, who needed to meet the minimum income tests, are now out of the picture. Citizenship and Immigration Canada determines if a sponsor meets the minimum necessary income (MNI) by using the Low Income Cut Off (LICO), which is issued by Statistics Canada every year. If you do not meet the LICO, then you are not generally eligible to sponsor family for permanent residence. There are, however,

some exceptions, where the sponsor does not have to meet LICO, and is nevertheless eligible to sponsor family members. These exceptions are: 1. The sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, and has no dependent children; 2. The sponsor’s dependent child; In these cases, the sponsorship application should be approved as long as the sponsor is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and the relationship between sponsor and the sponsored person is established as genuine. The fact that the sponsor does not need to meet the LICO provisions does not mean that finances will not play an important role in the application. The Sponsor, despite the above exception, cannot, be an un-discharged bankrupt or in receipt of social assistance (welfare). If the sponsor cannot show an ability to support themselves, then they may also be stopped from sponsoring as well. This means that the sponsor must show some ability to support both themselves as well as the sponsored applicant once they arrive in Canada, even if that is something less than the LICO minimum income levels. Mumtaz Khan is an immigration consultant and practices immigration law in Surrey at M. Khan & Co. He is certified by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, and is an immigration specialist. For more information, visit or email: twitter:@mkcoca

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604-433-5750 108-3825 Sunset Street, Burnaby, B.C V5G 1T4 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. In spite of repeated requests, it is being observed that different newspapers are still using Miracle boxes without prior consent. Such businesses are asked to respect business ethics and principles.

Miracle Management



Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012


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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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IONA PACIFIC INTER-RELIGIOUS CENTRE IS... Youth Leadership at Vancouver School of Theology

Karen Armstrong will be there. Will you? Hosted by Iona Pacific Inter-religious Centre at Vancouver School of Theology

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

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Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

Sprouts of Iman story, BCMA first Preschool It has been a long journey-and we have only just begun.

By Sprouts of Iman Team, You have probably all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Perhaps the saying should be, “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes an Islamic village to raise a child correctly.” It is a blessing and mercy from Allah that we have been able to provide a preschool to meet the diverse needs of the Muslim community. This preschool was something that was dreamed about for many years, but proved to be a challenge to complete. There were issues with finding a suitable space, and then renovations were needed, cost issues with setting up a quality program, the long process of getting government licensing approval, and finally-the ongoing financial issue of keeping a high quality, but community-based program running. Alhamdulillah, after all the challenges we faced with getting the program up and running, we were able to finally open the doors for the September 2011 school year. We are now ecstatic to be opening registration for our second school year, Sept 2012, insha’allah. These past several months have been full of fun learning explorations between the children and teachers, meeting new families and working out the kinks that every new program faces. There have been some tears, but mostly smiles and laughter, alhamdulillah. Our goal is to ensure a strong Islamic identity and provide a nurturing, emergent curriculum that prepares children fully for Kindergarten and beyond. The children have been presented with numerous learning opportunities, all with an Islamic twist. Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears became a lesson in Islamic manner. During the Hajj season the children engaged in art activities to make their own version of the Kabba. During group time children learned to sing “All around

the Kabba” and “The Salat song”. During a science exploration about insects, the children learned about the wonder of Allah and why we should treat his His creations with respect. Of course, during snack time dua’s were said. Islamic hygiene was taught. These are just a few, but every class activities are carefully selected for the children to explore, based on individual and group needs. The children engage in many different curriculum areas, all designed to meet our goals. There is debate these days over which curriculum type is the bestMontessori v.s. Emergent v.s. solely Play Based, and so on. One thing is for certain, no program is superior if it excludes our Deen- our way of life. Alhamdulillah, we have been able to design a program based on our Islamic identity, and take the good from other philosophies. While we are an emergent based program- following the interests and developmental needs of the children using a play based setting- we do utilize material and ideas from other philosophies that we find beneficial, such as math and fine motor activities that you would typically find in a Montessori classroom. Alhamdulillah, finally our children have a preschool where they can truly fit in. Parents no longer have to skip days due to the many holidays and un-Islamic content taught in the public preschools. There is no worry that the food around your child is haram or that the curriculum content will cause your child to question his heritage and upbringing. We now have an option to meet our children’s unique need to uphold an Islamic Identity during the preschool years. These are years Early Childhood Care and Education experts tells us are the vital year in a children’s life-especially with the child’s social-emotional development. Let’s ensure our children have the

BASIC CHOICE OF ALL Shabnam Khan - Family Counsellor It’s sad, but of all the people in our lives, perhaps the person most of us are the hardest on, pay the least attention to, and shower the least amount of love is, Ourselves. When we are kind, and take time for ourselves, we have something left over other people. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t offer much in the way of love to others. You can become kinder to yourself in two ways. First, avoid sabotaging yourself with negativity and self-loathing by indulging in self-deprecating and self-defeating statements. Thoughts such as “I can’t do it” and “I haven’t been a very good friend (partner, parent, child, etc.)” When you start paying attention on a regular basis to what you are thinking, you may be shocked at how often you think negatively about yourself. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, drop the thought from your mind and then

pat yourself on the back. All of us have innate self-esteem that kicks in as soon as we stop being hard on ourselves. Ask yourself the question, “Am I being as kind to myself as I would be to a good friend? If the answer is NO, it’s time to ask, “Why?” and change your priorities. The second way to become kinder to yourself is to reserve time in your day or week just for yourself! The specific form of the kindness isn’t as important as the kindness itself. Whether it’s time spent in quiet reflection, reading, prayer or medication, regular exer-cise, making a trip to your favorite bookstore or anything you like. It’s important that you find time to do nice things just for yourself. Acknowledge that you deserve special treatment and that you have earned the kindness that you undoubtedly try so hard to give to others. Far from being selfish, your loving-kindness towards yourself will trigger your natural instinct to want to give that love back to others. When it comes to kindness, it all starts with you. This easy change is well worth the effort! For further inquiries, please contact The Miracle or

best start possible, by giving them school readiness skills, but more importantly strong social-emotion development- including strong Islamic identities and manners. The feedback we have received about our program from other Early Childhood professionals has been wonderful. The Licensing Officers, Health Nurse, Speech Therapist, Supported Child Development Consultant and Doctors have visited our centre to observe specific children or the program. Their Comments were both encouraging and validating. When we hear that they wish more programs were like ours-meeting the specific needs of the children in a healthy and pleasing environment- it encourages us to work harder. Most of all, it has been the feedback and support from the Muslim community that has meant the most to us- this is priceless. We can’t please everyone- we are human- only Allah is perfect, but we will do the best we can to provide a quality inclusive program for our precious

next generation. We look forward, insha’allah, to the rest of this school year and to many successful years ahead. We hope that the community will support this program in whichever manner they are able. You are the important part of our program, the children and families- the community. We thank you and thank Allah for this great blessing.



Issue 305 - Rabi ul Thani 16, 1433 / March 9, 2012

NFLPA to do own probe of Saints

The NFL Players Association will do its own investigation of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty system and asked the league to help set up interviews with the team’s coaches and front-office staff. In a statement released Wednesday, the union vowed to “vigorously protect the rights of all players.” “If the facts prove that players voluntarily and willingly participated in conduct that jeopardized health and safety, we will work with them and the league to put in place additional safeguards to prevent this in the future,” the statement said. “Dangerous play and acts on the field by players intended to injure have no place in football. We must do better to ensure that this activity is not a part of our game.” There was no mention of possible punish-

ment for players involved. After the NFL made its investigation public Friday, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams admitted to running a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the past three seasons, rewarding players for knocking targeted opponents out of games. The league now wants to know whether Williams -- who recently left the Saints to become defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams -- ran a similar scheme while a head coach or assistant with the Titans, Redskins, Jaguars and Bills. It took until Tuesday for current Saints head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis to also acknowledge the existence of the bounty system. “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their inves-

tigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility,” Payton and Loomis said in a joint statement. Noting those comments, the NFLPA said Wednesday that it “negotiated vigorously to protect our players from coercive actions that compromise health and safety. The current CBA contains detailed rules on what clubs and coaches can and cannot do in terms of practice schedules and places limitations on the amount of contact. These rules include how clubs and coaches can be punished for violations of those safeguards.” The union asked the NFL to give it “sufficient time” to finish its own inquiry into what happened in New Orleans. According to the league, “knockouts” were worth $1,500 and “cart-offs” $1,000

-- with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs. The NFL said the pool amounts reached their height in 2009, the season the Saints won the Super Bowl. The league said between 22 and 27 defensive players were involved from 2009-11, but it hasn’t publicly cited specific players. Spokesmen for the league and Saints declined to comment Wednesday. Source: ESPN

ICL officials had their own ‘agenda’ The man who was in charge of anticorruption operations in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) has described how his investigations were “handicapped” by officials who had their own “agenda”. Howard Beer, an Australian former homicide detective, was giving evidence on day three of Chris Cairns’ libel claim against former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in London’s High Court. Beer also confirmed that at no stage had he handed over any of his findings to anti-corruption officials at the ICC. Cairns, the retired New Zeland international, is suing Modi

over a 2010 tweet that suggested his involvement in match-fixing activity during his time as captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the ICL - claims which he vigorously denies. Cairns left Chandigarh after three games of the third edition of the ICL, with the official reason given as his failure to disclose an ankle injury. Beer revealed that the suggestion Cairns was involved in match-fixing at the ICL was first put to him by Kiran More, the former India wicketkeeper and one of the league’s executive directors. However, More would not reveal the source of his information, Beer said. Beer was informed by More before the start of the third edition of the ICL that one team was suspected of corrupt activity but not initially told which team it was. After an incident in which a player with the Mumbai Champs, Hasan Raza, was alleged to have lied about a man seen entering his room, Beer was told by More not to investigate Raza further. Asked by Andrew Caldecott QC, representing Cairns, whether he was “handicapped in carrying out a full investigation” into the Mumbai Champs incident, Beer said: “Yes”. The court heard that Beer was also told by More that he had information that the game between Mumbai

Champs and Chandigarh Lions on October 13, 2008 had been fixed. In separate interviews, conducted as part of Beer’s investigations, Mumbai coach Sandeep Patil and captain Nathan Astle both reported concerns about the game. It was at this point that Beer was informed that the ICL’s suspicions were focused on Chandigarh. “There was a suggestion by Kiran More that Mr Cairns was involved,” Beer said, though no evidence to support the claim was put before him. “It was a closed shop, they only told me what that wanted to tell me.” Shortly after this, Beer was informed that ICL executives wanted to take over the investigation themselves. When asked by Caldecott if he thought that was “irregular”, Beer replied: “Yes.” “They had not been cooperative all the way through,” he said. “They weren’t going to change.” Asked if he thought they had their own agenda, he said: “Yes. What it was, I don’t know.” Caldecott suggested: “They didn’t want you digging around, did they?” Beer responded by saying: “You could draw that inference.” It was also revealed that JP Yadav, a player with the Delhi Giants, said that he had been approached by Chandigarh players Dinesh Mongia and TP Singh but did not mention Cairns. Several of the interviews with players who have accused Cairns were not conducted in English, Beer said, at one point admitting “I had no idea what was going on,” during the questioning of one player. Earlier, when under examination from Ronald Thwaites QC, representing Modi, Beer said that he had been present during the hotel meeting that led to Cairns’ sacking and confirmed the evidence given in his witness statement that Cairns had looked at him and said: “Help me here, Howard.” Cairns has denied saying this and claims that fixing was only mentioned in general terms during the meeting, with the discussion centring on his ankle injury. The court also heard from Cairns’ wife, Mel, and his advisor Andrew Fitch-Holland, who was instructed by Cairns to “shut down” rumours about match-fixing after his departure from the ICL. FitchHolland said, however, that there was a “massive difference” between gossip on fan websites and Modi’s tweet. Source: Cricinfo

COLTS RELEASE STAR QB MANNING Sent packing by his only NFL team, one he transformed from afterthought to Super Bowl champion, Peyton Manning said goodbye to the Indianapolis Colts with a shaky voice and tear-filled eyes, then got ready to find a new place to play quarterback.

ICC frames plan for ‘unsafe’ series The ICC has introduced a “special dispensation” to be made only in “exceptional circumstances” in order to ensure that bilateral series take place even if the ruling body has determined it “unsafe” to appoint its officials for such series. This would allow such series to be manned by “non-neutral match officials”, a departure from the ICC’s Standard Playing Conditions, pending permission from the ICC’s Executive Board. The dispensation, announced at the end of the ICC’s Chief Executive Committee (CEC)’s two-day meeting in Dubai, will have special significance for the proposed tour of Pakistan by Bangladesh, the planning for which is at an advanced stage. The CEC stated that it had limited powers to take a decision over safety issues as to whether tours should take place or not. It reiterated that the ICC’s role in bilateral series was “limited to considering the safety and security of the match officials after a tour had been confirmed and a security plan produced.” The decision as to whether a particular tour should take place or not was, the CEC stated, “one for the participating countries.” The CEC statement has ensured that the ICC’s own officials need not be appointed for Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan. That could be seen by Pakistan as a stumbling block towards hosting toplevel international cricket; other nations would be wary of touring if the ICC deemed the situation was not safe for their officials. For Bangladesh, the seal of ICC’s approval would have ensured greater vigilance around security issues. Last week, a nine-member Bangladesh delegation, led by their cricket board president Mustafa Kamal, gave a nod to the security arrangements at various venues after a two-day visit. Both Kamal, and Zaka Ashraf, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, had said that they would approach the ICC to approve the tour. It is understood that the ICC

dispatched individual letters to both the PCB and BCB on Monday, saying that it could not give the tour a go-ahead. The CEC’s introduction of this special dispensation around “non-neutral match officials” did not make a specific reference to the ICC’s disapproval of the series or that the tour had been deemed “unsafe” for its match officials to stand in. The dispensation however, creates the opportunity for the series to go ahead with Pakistani or Bangladeshi umpires and match-referees. There had been two itineraries proposed for the tour, one of which includes a three-match ODI series, and the other a series of two ODIs and one Twenty20 international, to be completed in one week in April. Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium and Karachi’s National Stadium are the venues expected to host the matches. ESPNcricinfo understands that Bangladesh’s security team had expressed its reservations in playing in Karachi, and instead hope to play all the proposed matches in Lahore. Earlier, Rawalpindi was dropped as a venue from the plan. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, pointed out that special dispensations however should not become a norm. “Bearing in mind that safety and security is the sole responsibility of individual member boards for bilateral matches, the CEC regarded this as an exceptional circumstance in which the appointment of non-neutral match officials could be justified but stated clearly that it should not to be regarded as a preferred option or precedent if the dispensation were to be granted,” Lorgat said. There has been no international cricket in Pakistan for exactly three years now after masked terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus and the van carrying ICC match officials, who were on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 3, 2009, on what was the third day of the second Test. Source: Cricinfo











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