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Commons passes agent crime bill without limits

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Commons. Reprieve Director Maya Foa commented: “Without limits on the crimes agents can commit this Bill is wide open to abuse – and history suggests this will result in terrible harm. We are hopeful the House of Lords will amend this legislation to make clear MI5 cannot say what is and isn’t lawful, nor authorise torture, murder, or sexual violence.” The Bill grants every police force in Britain, plus MI5 and a broad range of other governmental bodies the power to authorise undercover agents to commit crimes. During the debate, MPs from across the political spectrum called for strict limits in the bill to prevent authorisation of the most serious crimes, including murder, torture and

sexual violence. “America and Canada learnt the hard way, the need to include specific limits in the crimes that agents can commit,” said Conservative MP David Davis. “Both countries have set clear limits.” Labour spokesman Conor McGinn MP said: “Nothing justifies murder, torture, sexual violence… It is one of the biggest concerns about the bill that there is nothing in it to limit or specify the kinds of offences covered.” “I’m pretty certain that sooner or later… we will be back here looking at a future bill because this one is not fit for the purpose for which the Government claims it,” said Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael. The Bill now moves to the House of Lords for consideration and amendment. www.pi-media.co.uk

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New report shows british families still stuck in Syria

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have loved ones detained in North East Syria called on their respective governments to initiate “an immediate repatriation of all European nationals”. This international network, Families for Repatriation International (FRI), has representatives from all over the world, including Canada, Germany and France. Over 200 academics signed on to their open letter calling for the return of families from North East Syria and denouncing the use of family separations and citizenship deprivations by Western governments.

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Only a handful of British families are now detained in North East Syria, a new report shows, undermining the UK Government’s position that these families cannot be brought back to the UK. Government sources implied last year that over 300 British nationals might still be imprisoned in North East Syria: the Foreign Office had suggested the UK will struggle to monitor and prosecute this group. The real number now appears to be much lower, according to new research published by the Egmont Institute, drawing on data from Reprieve. The research reports that there are just 24 British adults and 35 British children still detained in the region. The comparatively tiny number of British families detained in North

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East Syria casts further doubt on the Government’s argument that repatriations are not possible, especially as the Government has already flown a number of British children from Syria to the UK. The numbers in today’s report suggest it would be feasible for the Government to repatriate these families to the UK, and to prosecute adult family members wherever there are charges to answer. The report follows calls by senior MPs for the Government to change its position on repatriating UK nationals, including the Chairs of Parliament’s Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees, Tobias Ellwood and Tom Tugendhat, and the former Cabinet Ministers David Davis and Andrew Mitchell. A network of families who

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UK refuses to assist Police Scotland investigation into torture and rendition

The UK Foreign Secretary has refused to assist a Police Scotland investigation into the use of Scottish Airports to facilitate rendition and torture. Dominic Raab ruled out asking the US government to release potentially vital evidence held in the unredacted version of a Senate into the CIA’s torture and rendition programme, in response to requests from the Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf. It was revealed in The Herald that the Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, in July of this year, formally requested that the FCDO make representations to the US Government over the unredacted US Senate Torture Report. Police Scotland have been

investigating the use of Scottish airports to facilitate torture and rendition in 2013, and the Lord Advocate in 2014 ordered them to examine potentially vital evidence held in the US Senate report. Mr Yousaf’s request to Westminster comes off the back of years of campaigning by MSPs over concern about use of Scottish airports in CIA rendition flights, including calls in February of this year from a cross-party group of MSPs to make sure Police get to the bottom of what happened. In his letter, Mr Yousaf notes that: “We have, in the past, sought confirmation that UK airports were not used for extraordinary rendition flights, and that assurance was

found to be inaccurate when the US government finally disclosed the use of Diego Garcia for one such flight. I am therefore inclined to seek the report itself, which should be a true and accurate picture, than to seek verbal assurances.” Mr Yousaf told The Herald that Mr Raab wrote to him on September 23rd: “The Foreign Secretary has refused the Justice Secretary’s request for the UK Government to make representations to the US Government to help secure access to relevant information about the use of Scottish airports for extraordinary rendition flights, specifically the unredacted information contained within the US Senate Intelligence Committee report. “Mr Yousaf is disappointed, having made the request following representations from Reprieve, other human rights organisations and a number of elected representatives and in order that some closure to the events can be achieved.” 73 year old Saifullah Paracha – currently detained at Guantanamo Bay without charge or trial – is suspected to have been on a rendition flight that stopped at Glasgow’s Prestwick airport. Mr Paracha has had three heart attacks and is in extremely poor health – largely as a result of the torture he suffered before his rendition to, and at, Guantanamo.

Met criticised for multiple errors in stop and search practice The Metropolitan police force has been getting its use of stop and search wrong with multiple errors that have undermined its legitimacy, the police watchdog has found. The Independent Office for Police Conduct said police in one case stopped and searched two black men who were innocently fist bumping, because officers wrongly thought they were drug dealing. The IOPC made 11

recommendations for the Met, Britain’s biggest force, for reform of its policies. “There is clearly much room for improvement,” it said. The watchdog’s report is an embarrassing set of findings for the Met, which has been plagued by claims of racial and bias, and whose leadership has dismissed claims that its tactics and approach have been damaging community confidence. The report comes after official

figures released showing that across England and Wales black people were nine times more likely to be stopped by police than white people. The Met is the biggest user of stop and search of any British force, responsible for almost half of all the police stops carried out in England and Wales. All officers must have reasonable grounds to suspect unlawful activity before carrying out a stop.


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Palestinians sue Britain for 1917 Balfour declaration that led to creation of Israel

Palestinian lawyers have lodged a complaint to sue the British government for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which set out London’s aim to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. The lawyers took the measure in the occupied northern West Bank city of Nablus, highlighting that “the suffering of the Palestinians” emanated from the UK document. “The Balfour Declaration is unacceptable. It was not just a declaration, but a birth certificate for a regime with letters of shame and injustice. It was a replacement tactic

drawn by Britain in partnership with Zionists, ignoring the rights of more than 93% of Palestinian people, and granting the Jews, who at the time composed only 7% of the population, full rights,” Munib al-Masri, head of the Federation of Independent and Democratic Trade Unions, told a news conference in Ramallah. He added, “The British mandate is at the root of the suffering of the Palestinian people and has paved the way for the violation of their rights and the plunder of their land.” The complaint was filed on behalf of the International Commission to

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Support Palestinian People’s Rights and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate in addition to the trade unions group. The Balfour Declaration came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community. It was published on November 2, 1917. The declaration was made during World War I (1914-1918), and was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. It is widely seen as the precursor to the 1948 Palestinian Nakba, when Zionist armed paramilitary groups, who were trained and created to fight side by side with the British in World War II, forcibly expelled more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, captured huge swathes of the Arab land, and proclaimed existence of Israel.

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Non-white people likelier to lose jobs: Survey

Twice as many young and nonwhite British workers have lost their jobs after going on furlough compared with the average, largely because they are more likely to work in sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, a study showed. The Resolution Foundation thinktank said 19 percent of workers aged 18-24 and 22 percent of ethnic minority staff had lost their jobs after being furloughed, compared with 9 percent of employees overall. The study was based on a survey of 6,000 people conducted in late

September, carried out by polling company YouGov. Job losses were most common in the hospitality and leisure sectors and for those whose work was already insecure before the crisis – categories in which younger and non-white workers more commonly find themselves in the United Kingdom. Race on its own did not seem to be a big factor but age did appear to play a partial role, with younger workers more likely to leave employment even after adjusting for some other factors.

“Worryingly, fewer than half of those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic have been able to find work since,” Resolution Foundation analyst Kathleen Henehan said. “This suggests that even if the public health crisis recedes in a few months’ time, Britain’s jobs crisis will be with us for far longer.” Few job seekers applied for roles outside the sectors where they had previously worked, due to a lack of other experience, raising the risk of long-term unemployment. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Britain’s first hijab-wearing mayor quits Labour party over racism

The UK’s first hijab-wearing mayor has resigned from the Labour party citing racism and a “system that allows white men to have what they want, when they want”. Somalia-born Rakhia Ismail said she had stepped down because she felt she was marginalized as a woman of color and was not taken seriously by some male colleagues. After leaving her ceremonial post as mayor of Islington, north London, late last month Ismail has informed Labour members of Holloway Ward that she is resigning as councillor after eight years. She said: “I’m saddened deeply that the party I thought was for

justice and fairness and ‘for the many’ is the opposite, from my personal experience. “Therefore, I find it hard to represent Holloway Ward as a Labour councillor because I was battling with a party system that simply allows white men to have what they want, when they want.” Listing reasons for quitting the party, Ismail pointed to a letter she received in February 2019 inviting her to Labour’s first national women’s conference which, beneath her address, was printed the word: “Somalia.” “What has my birthplace got to do with this invite? I was shocked,” said

Ismail. Ismail also claimed she was initially blocked out of the official mayoral Twitter account and alleged Islamophobia among some colleagues which she felt was behind the decision by the council not to organize an event to mark the major Muslim festival of Eid in 2019. She also alleged that a Labour colleague shouted at her for tarnishing the reputation of the area after she highlighted to the media the issue of knife crime and was reduced to tears after being told to be quiet during a Labour group meeting. “It felt like me as a BME woman that I had no voice. In the end I thought what’s the point?” she said. A Labour Party Spokesperson said: “Cllr Ismail’s decision to resign is disappointing especially coming so soon after her term as Mayor of Islington, having served the borough admirably through an incredibly challenging time. “Islington Labour has a diverse and talented group of councillors serving their community. The Labour Party takes any allegations of discrimination received extremely seriously, which are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures.” www.pi-media.co.uk

Imran Khan calls on UK to expel former premier Nawaz Sharif Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has called on the UK to expel fugitive former premier, Nawaz Sharif. In an interview with a private TV channel, Khan suggested he is willing to travel to the UK in order to expedite Sharif’s deportation, and presumably extradition to Pakistan. Sharif, who has served as the

Prime Minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms, traveled to the UK late last year ostensibly to receive medical treatment. In 2017, Sharif – who is the longest-serving Pakistani Prime Minister having served a total of more than 9 years – was removed from office by the Supreme Court following the Panama Papers

scandal. The following year, the Pakistani Supreme Court disqualified the former premier from holding public office. Sharif was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison by an accountability court. www.pi-media.co.uk

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Muslims in Japan facing lack of burial sites

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The number of Muslims in Japan has reached 230,000, and while Halal and other parts of their culture and customs have become more widespread in the country, there is an issue of great concern to the Muslim community -- there are almost no graves for them to be buried in as befits their beliefs. In Oita Prefecture, southwestern Japan, one plan to build a Muslim cemetery has experienced setbacks from unexpected opposition by residents. In Buddhism, the deceased are cremated and then interred, but Muslims are buried after death. It appears that Japanese people’s resistance to the nowunfamiliar sight of burial grounds and anxiety toward the faith itself are behind the pushback. Saeed Zafar, 39, was born in Pakistan and works as a company employee in the Oita prefectural city of Beppu. He too has been distressed by the issue of Muslim burials. In December 2011, he lost his first son after he was born prematurely. But in the Kyushu region of southwestern Japan, there are no cemeteries for Muslims. For Zafar, who came to Japan in 2000 and has obtained citizenship, Japan is his home country. A cemetery that allows for burials and is run by a Catholic church in the city offered

to let his son be interred there, and Zafar was finally able to send his child to the afterlife. But now there are no more empty plots at that graveyard, and the Muslims around Zafar were worried about what to do. Then, the Beppu Muslim association, a religious corporation, set about trying to build the first Muslim cemetery in Kyushu, and in December 2018 it purchased a plot of land measuring about 8,000 square meters in the prefectural town of Hiji. Japan’s Graveyards and Burials Act does not prescribe any limits on cemeteries for burials. Some municipal authorities have ordinances forbidding burials, but Hiji has no burial ban regarding local graveyards, and as long as Mayor Hirofumi Honda grants permission, the Islamic cemetery can be built. The purchased land is situated in a mountainous area about 3 kilometers away from the nearest settlement of homes and fields, and is adjoined to a graveyard that allows both for general internments and Catholic burials. Tahir Khan, 53, the association’s representative, told the Mainichi Shimbun, “I thought that we would be able to solve the problem.” But in explanatory meetings held from February to May in a number of local areas, the organizers faced

an unexpected interruption to their plans. Among the comments in resistance to the graveyard were, “If there’s a powerful earthquake, then won’t the bodies come out from the ground?” and, “It will hurt the image of this town.” Some residents even petitioned the town government and assembly to stop the graveyard being built. Originally the association had planned to open the site to burials in September, but even now they still haven’t received permission to build the cemetery. Hiji does have an ordinance that asks residents to make considerations not to cause concerns over sanitation, but the town government’s living and environment section has taken a stance that the proposed site has “no issues regarding public health.” Khan expressed his despair, saying, “I worry what will happen to us after we die. If it goes on like this we won’t be able to even mourn our dead.” He added, “Long ago in Japan it was common to be buried. We want Japan to be more tolerant towards different faiths and cultures.” The local ordinance doesn’t require the agreement of residents. Asked whether he will grant permission, Mayor Honda has stated, “We are examining the documents submitted by the association. We will make a decision consistent with the town’s ordinances and the national government’s guidelines.” In the period immediately after the war, around half of all Japan’s deceased were being buried upon death, but now almost everyone is cremated. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, in fiscal 2018, 99.97% of the around 1.4 million people interred in Japan were cremated, and of the 472 people buried, 355 of them were stillborn fetuses. Even among Catholics in Japan, who formerly were often buried, it has become more common for them to be cremated, thereby introducing further difficulties for Muslims to secure burial sites.


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No forced conversion of minorities in Pakistan: study

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A report released by a Pakistani think-tank has debunked claims of several international and domestic NGOs that the minority community in the country was being forced to convert to Islam. Titled Forced Conversations or Faith Conversations: Rhetoric and Reality, the study published by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), described the NGO reports as “out of proportion”, and lacking “empirical evidence”.

Quoting some Dalit (lower caste Hindu) activists, the IPS report said the narrative of “forced” conversion is projected by the privileged upper-caste Hindus to maintain their hegemony over the emerging political class of Dalits. Citing a recent report authored by a Christian scholar, Asif Aqeel, the think-tank maintained that “the data shows that the issue of forced conversion and marriage is much more complex than headlines in

the media,” which had claimed that nearly 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls are being kidnapped, forcibly converted and married annually in Pakistan. “No known organization has ever verified that 1,000 non-Muslim girls are forced to convert every year,” said Aqeel. Analyzing data provided by different NGOs, the study claimed that even the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has admitted that no authentic data is available on the issue. Surendar Valasai, a veteran Dalit activist and currently a member of the Sindh provincial assembly told the authors of the report that every conversion is not forced. “There is no denying the fact that isolated incidents of forced conversions are reported involving criminal and exploiting elements. But since every conversion is treated by interest groups as forced, the real victim that is girls are also denied the required sympathy and justice in the media as well as by the society and government,” he said.

Qatar, Libya sign security cooperation agreement Qatar and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding in security cooperation, according to local reports in the Gulf state. Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held talks in Doha on Monday with a Libyan government delegation on the latest developments in the war-torn North African country, according to the official QNA news agency. The talks with Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Taher Siala

and Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha dwelt on ways to bolster bilateral cooperation between Doha and Tripoli, QNA said. As part of the official visit, the Libyan delegation was also hosted by Qatari Prime Minister and Interior Minister Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani. Premier Al-Thani, as well as Siala and Bashagha on the Libyan side, witnessed the signing of the three-year agreement under which

the two countries are expected to enhance cooperation, particularly in the fields of counter-terrorism and organized crime. Qatar is one of the main supporters of Libya’s internationally recognized government against warlord Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and France.

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UAE becomes to exempt Israelis from visa requirement In Case You Missed It

The UAE and Israel are determined to continue to boost cooperation. The two countries signed four agreements, including a deal on visa exemption for nationals of Israel and the UAE. The signing took place during the first official visit of UAE officials to Tel Aviv following the normalization of ties between the two countries. Anadolu Agency reported today that a flight with US and Emirati officials landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport for the signing. Upon their arrival, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed both delegations.

UAE and Israeli officials signed four agreements on aviation, trade, investments, and visa exemptions. The agreements make the UAE the first Arab country to exempt visa requirements for Israeli nationals. The decision does not come as a surprise after the UAE and Bahrain agreed last month to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel. The peace treaties stirred controversy in the Arab world, with the Palestinian Authority condemning the moves. US President Donald Trump, however, vowed that other Arab countries will soon also sign

normalization agreements with Israel. Israeli and international media quoted Trump’s pride after the signature of the Abraham Accords between the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel. In September, Donald Trump said he expects Saudi Arabia will also join the peace treaty and normalize ties with Israel. Saudi Arabia, however, said in August that it can accept normalization with Israel only if a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is guaranteed as a condition. However, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy reported that the Saudi foreign minister said his country foresees an “eventual normalization” of ties with Israel. “[However,] I believe that the focus now needs to be on getting the Palestinians and the Israelis back to the negotiating table. In the end, the only thing that can deliver a lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud said. Trump is also certain that in addition to Saudi Arabia, more than six countries are planning to establish diplomatic ties with Israel. www.pi-media.co.uk

Muslim police officer dismissed for keeping a beard in India Authorities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have suspended a Muslim police officer for keeping a beard without permission. Sub inspector Intesar Ali, 46, was posted at Ramala police station in the Baghpat area of Uttar Pradesh state, which has been in news for the past month because of the high-profile gang rape and murder of a teenager from the Dalit (formerly “Untouchable”) community. Ali said he had sought permission

from his senior officials in November 2019 and would resubmit his request. Growing a beard was a “matter of faith” and a “just demand”, he told the Times of India. Prior to his suspension, he had been working with the police department for over two decades. Superintendent of Police (Baghpat) Abhishek Singh, however, defended the action. In a video message seen by The Independent, Singh said of the case: “He was suspended because he kept

a beard without permission. He was warned about this earlier as well and was served notice after an inquiry. But he didn’t change his conduct which is considered as indiscipline. Thus he was suspended and an inquiry has been set up against him.” According to the Uttar Pradesh police, officers are only allowed a beard if they are followers of Sikhism, where it is an integral part of their faith. The authorities say that is not the case with Islam.


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Erdogan sues Dutch anti-Islam politician for insults In Case You Missed It

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is suing Dutch politician Geert Wilders after the anti-Islam politician posted a series of tweets against the Turkish leader, including one that described him as a “terrorist.” The state-run said Erdogan’s lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Wilders at the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office for “insulting the president” -- a crime in Turkey

punishable by up to four years in prison. Wilders posted a cartoon depicting Erdogan wearing a bombresembling hat on his head, with the comment: “terrorist.” Wilders continued posting tweets targeting Erdogan this week amid a growing quarrel between Turkey and European countries sparked by Erdogan’s sharp comments against French President Emmanuel Macron,

including remarks questioning Macron’s mental health over his stance on Islam. Erdogan has persistently sued people for alleged insults since he took office as president in 2014. Thousands have been convicted. More than 29,000 people were prosecuted on charges of insulting Erdogan last year, according to the Birgun newspaper. The complaint against Wilders, whose political career has been based largely on his strident antiIslam rhetoric, accused him of using language “insulting the honor and dignity of our president and of targeting Erdogan’s personality, dignity and reputation,”. Wilders, who leads the largest opposition party in the Dutch Parliament, shrugged off the Turkish criminal complaint and described Erdogan as a “loser.” Wilders has lived under tight security for 16 years due to death threats following his anti-Islam rhetoric.

we will leave together,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference. NATO deployed forces to Afghanistan following the 2001 USled invasion to topple the Talibanrun government, on the pretext of fighting terrorism following the September 11 attacks in New York. Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called ‘war on terror’ 19 years ago. Many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of US-led foreign troops. American forces have since remained bogged down in the country through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now, Donald Trump. In an interview Trump also said that US forces are “down to 4,000

troops in Afghanistan. I’ll have them home by the end of the year. They’re coming home, you know, as we speak. Nineteen years is enough.” Analysts say Trump, trailing in polls just weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential election, made the withdrawal announcement to show he is making good on his 2016 promise to end “endless wars.” Stoltenberg, however, said NATO would only leave Afghanistan when it could do so without the risk of the country once again becoming a haven for militants. “We will make decisions based on the conditions on the ground, because we think it is extremely important to continue to be committed to the future of Afghanistan, because it is in our interest to preserve the long-term security of Afghanistan,” he added.

NATO refuses to commit to withdrawal from Afghanistan

NATO has dismissed US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement to pull out all of US forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year, saying that members of the military alliance will decide together on when to withdraw forces from the war-ravaged country. NATO refuses to commit to withdrawal from AfghanistanTrump announced on Twitter that he was going to bring all US troops home from Afghanistan by Christmas. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reacted to the president’s remarks, saying that the military alliance will end its mission in Afghanistan only when conditions on the ground permit. “We decided to go into Afghanistan together, we will make decisions on future adjustments together, and when the time is right,


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Libyans hold UN-backed talks after ceasefire deal www.pi-media.co.uk

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Dozens of Libyan delegates opened a political dialogue via videoconference as a step towards holding elections after a landmark ceasefire agreement between warring factions in the North African country. The UN mission in Libya said the political talks, which it is brokering, would pave the way for a “direct, in person meeting” of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) on November 9 in the Tunisian capital. The goal of the LPDF would be to “generate consensus on a unified governance framework and arrangements that will lead to

holding national elections”, it said. Libya’s rival administrations signed a “complete and permanent ceasefire agreement with immediate effect” after five days of talks in Geneva. Libya has been wracked by conflict for nearly a decade, since the overthrow and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a NATObacked uprising in 2011. It has since been dominated by armed groups and divided between two bitterly-opposed administrations: a UN-recognized Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli and another in the east

backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar. The UN mission said “at time of an overwhelming sense of hope emerged in Libya” after the signing of the permanent ceasefire deal. It said 75 Libyan personalities were taking part, including representatives of its rival parliaments and civil society activists, several of them women. High-ranking officials were not involved. Participants were “drawn from different constituencies, based on the principles of inclusivity, fair geographic, ethnic, political, tribal, and social representation”, it said. “During the online consultation meeting participants... will be briefed on the intra-Libyan economic and military tracks facilitated by UNSMIL,” the United Nations mission. “They will also hear the recommendations emerged from the consultative meetings with mayors, and representatives of women and youth groups,” it added, according to AFP. UNSMIL urged participants to “shoulder their responsibility before the Libyan people and engage constructively and in good faith in the talks and to uphold the interests of Libya”.

Pakistan summons French envoy over Islamophobia The French ambassador to Pakistan was summoned at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey Islamabad’s deep concerns over the recent Islamophobic campaign. The envoy was called over systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and desecration of Holy Quran by certain irresponsible elements. The envoy was told that “such illegal and Islamophobic acts hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world, including those in Pakistan.” Furthermore, such actions could

not be justified in the name of freedom of expression, a Pakistani Foreign Office statement said. It was conveyed that Pakistan strongly condemned equating Islam with terrorism for narrow electoral and political gains. “Such provocative statements and actions were fanning interreligious hatred, hostility and confrontation thereby imperiling efforts of peace and harmony among various segments of society,” the statement said, the Nation reported. It was reiterated that freedom of expression should not be misused as means to attack or hurt public sentiments or religious beliefs and

fan inter-religious hatred, hostility and confrontation. It was also emphasized that such actions and statements would further divide peoples and civilizations and undermine the global aspirations for peaceful co-existence as well as social and inter-faith harmony. “At a time of rising racism, intolerance and populism, there is a need to promote harmony among peoples and communities instead of reinforcing stereotypes and making people alienated,” the Foreign Office statement concluded. www.pi-media.co.uk


Israel to approve new settler units in Hebron www.pi-media.co.uk

I November 2020

Israel is set to approve construction of settler units in a flashpoint area of the West Bank city of Hebron (AlKhalil) for the first time since 2002, the anti-occupation group Peace Now said. It condemned an attempt to “squeeze in” the approvals before next week’s US presidential election when Donald Trump faces Democratic challenger Joseph Biden, who views such settlements as illegal. Peace Now, which tracks settlement construction in the occupied territory, said Israeli military authorities had given the green light to the construction of 31 settler housing units “in the heart of Hebron”.

Hebron is considered a West Bank powder-keg where around 800 Jewish settlers live under hefty Israeli army security, surrounded by around 200,000 Palestinians. The city includes the site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is revered by both faiths. The Israeli military body responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, COGAT, took steps to approve new settler units in central Hebron in 2017. Peace Now and the Hebron municipality challenged that project in court. In 2018, Tel Aviv allocated more than 21 million shekels ($6.2 million)

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to the project, according to Peace Now. The Jerusalem (Al-Quds) District Court had said that the project cannot go ahead until the legal challenge is resolved, with a hearing set for January 31, Peace Now said. But Israeli authorities told the court Sunday that they would issue the permits within a week, the nongovernment group said. The Israeli government was “quick to issue the building permit even though the court has explicitly ruled that work should not start until the... hearing takes place,” said Peace Now’s statement, AFP reported. It “explains to the court that although the court order prohibits the commencement of the works, it does not prohibit the issuance of the permit itself,” it added. Peace Now linked the timing of the approvals to next week’s US presidential election. Trump has not criticized Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank. Biden was the vice president in the Barack Obama administration that considered Jewish settlement building in the West Bank illegal, a position in line with international consensus. About 450,000 Jewish settlers live alongside roughly 2.7 million Palestinians in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967. www.pi-media.co.uk

Islamophobia has no place in Canada: Trudeau Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Islamophobia and right-wing extremism have no place in our society following threats to a Toronto mosque. He said he is “deeply disturbed” after a Toronto mosque received a sinister threat referencing the Christchurch terror attacks, and vowed to do more to counter anti-

Muslim hatred. “Islamophobia and hate have no place in our country, and this kind of behavior and language will not be tolerated. We must do more to counter hatred and we will,” Trudeau said on Twitter, responding to a letter posted on the social media site by Canada’s Muslim Caucus, the Middle East Eye reported.

The letter addressed an incident from in which an unidentified mosque in Toronto received an email saying: “we have the guns to do a Christ church all over again”. The mosque in question was not identified due to an uptick in attacks in the Toronto area this year. Toronto police said they are currently investigating the threats.


Khabib, the undefeated MMA champion

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SPORT

MMA world lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from the sport on Saturday after revealing he promised his mother his clash with Justin Gaethje would be his last fight. The Russian, who won by a second-round technical knockout, was fighting for the first time since the death of his father Abdulmanap,

www.pi-media.co.uk I November 2020

who was also his coach, in July. “I’m the UFC undisputed, undefeated champion with a 13-0 record (in UFC), and 29-0 in all of my pro MMA career,” he said after his win in Abu Dhabi. “Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. “When UFC comes to me about Justin I spoke with my mother for

three days. She didn’t want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight – and I have given her my word. “Thank you, coach, thank you, guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC.” Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 57, passed away after COVID-19 related complications in the summer. www.pi-media.co.uk

to ask their clubs to sign up to the Code, and supporting its development as it expands more broadly over time. We have been campaigning for greater diversity in football for over 27 years, and we are excited to see how this new Code will tackle the inequality seen across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles. On the launch of the Code, Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, says: “We welcome the Football Leadership Diversity Code, published today by The FA. It shows

what football can achieve when we work as a team. I applaud all the clubs and individuals who participated in this massive joint effort over the last three months and those who have immediately signed up to the Code. The Code is a clear signal of intent and sets the future direction for building a more inclusive game. It has the potential to transform the way that people get in, stay in and get on in the football industry, so that it is more representative of the people who play and watch the game. www.pi-media.co.uk

FA launches new football leadership diversity code The FA has launched the Football Leadership Diversity Code, a new initiative to drive diversity and inclusion across English football. The Code, which has been developed alongside Kick It Out and others in the game, aims to ensure that the support structures off the pitch better reflect the diversity we see on it. With over 40 clubs already signed up across both the men’s and women’s games, the Code sets a clear direction for promoting inclusivity within the game. At Kick It Out we will be encouraging fans and sponsors


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I November 2020

SPORT I19

Rafiq claims diverse England cricket team is not representative of national game

Azeem Rafiq claims the diverse England team that won last year’s Cricket World Cup is not representative of the wider sport in this country. Last month Rafiq spoke movingly about how he suffered systemic racism at Yorkshire that left him on the brink of suicide before he quit the game at the age of 27 in 2018. The club have since started an inquiry into those allegations about the former England Under-19 captain’s time at Headingley. Jason Gillespie, who was coach for part of Rafiq’s time at Yorkshire, admits he was “heartbroken” to hear of his former player’s experiences. But Rafiq believes racism is not

just a problem at Yorkshire and admits he is reluctant to let his young son play cricket for fear he will suffer similar abuse to himself. “The thing that really upsets me is I love the game of cricket and I’m not sure if I want my son to go anywhere near a cricket ground,” he said. “That is really, really upsetting for me. I haven’t even got him a bat or a ball yet. We need to stop talking – it’s time to do something about it, move it forward and get some solutions.” Speaking on the latest edition of Cricket Australia’s Cricket Connecting Country series, Rafiq also says the multi-cultural WorldCup winning England team are not representative of the wider sport.

Limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, himself born in Ireland, has spoken passionately about how his team represent the best of a diverse, modern Britain. “I spoke to Adil Rashid and he said Allah was with us,” Morgan famously said after last year’s epic World Cup Final against New Zealand at Lord’s. Gillespie, speaking on the same programme, added of Rafiq’s claims of racism at Yorkshire: “That was quite confronting and quite heart-breaking for me as a coach because some of those experiences happened when I was at the club. I remember there were a couple of times where I saw Azeem struggling; I didn’t know there was this undertone of things going on regarding racism. “Listening to that interview really opened up my eyes that there was a lot more to that period at the club when his game was suffering and he was battling off the field.” www.pi-media.co.uk

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Six Good Things That End Up Badly

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By Moulana Khalid Dhorat

Truth has a tongue, but falsehood has fangs. Goodness has a soft touch, but evil has a powerful grip. If these words were uttered only twenty years ago, no one would’ve believed it, but today, it cannot ring more true. We are living in a time of capsized values to the extent that when people intend doing good, they find themselves hesitating; but when it comes to evil, they find the courage to do so. People fear that the shabbily dressed hitchhiker may turn out to be a hijacker, the student you tutored in the comfort of your lounge may accuse you of raping her, the beggar at your door may turn out to be a thief, and the collector from some Madrasah in India may just be a hobo on holiday! Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do good without feeling a sting to it. It seems no one appreciates anything anymore.

Today, lawyers pray that you get into any type of trouble, plumbers wish that your geyser could bust everyday, doctors hope that some rare disease afflicts you so that you could stay in hospital for six months, and even our burial committees and undertakers are dying for you to die! The only people who wish for your prosperity are two: the thief and the tax-man. In the good old days, good was repaid with good, but today, good is repaid with a boot. However, this should not discourage anyone from doing good, but we should do it a little differently. Remember that a person who criticises your good work in any form – either the speech of Maulana Ismail at Jumuah, the architecture of a building on 19th Ave., a cold plate of beans at the feeding scheme in Mamelodi, or the teaching of Appa Imaan at Mighty Muslim School – is actually reflecting their own

insecurities and character. It’s not a reflection of you. A lion will not attack you simply because you don’t hunt lion. He will attack you, nevertheless, because for a lion, you are just a meal. So don’t feel down at being a victim of good. Here are seven common mistakes people make in their goodness nowadays: 1.Loan: Only a close friend, one who is informal with you, will ask you for an interest-free loan. He would expect you to agree to it, and understand when he doesn’t pay, especially now that banks do not grant loans easily. So, decide which is dearer to you: the money or the relationship. If you value the relationship, refuse the loan, and if you don’t value the relationship and do not need the money, give him the loan. You will lose both in any case. Such loans are based on informality; Islam teaches us to live like brothers,


www.pi-media.co.uk I November 2020 and deal like strangers. It’s a sad fact become complicated. of life that today people instead of Families who have split due to appreciating the kindness of others, partnership or inheritance disputes rather exploit it to their own benefit. normally only reunite after three to Only grant a loan if you are dead four generations. Those in smooth sure of the person’s morals; or ask partnerships at the moment, please for surety or collateral. dissolve it before it’s too late. 2.Friends with Partner’s Spouse: 4.Asking Favours: Gone are the My friend doesn’t automatically days when people do things solely for become my wife’s friend, nor does the pleasure of the Almighty. Prophet my wife’s friend automatically Muhammad (Peace be upon him) become my friend after marriage. advised us to ask the Almighty for Yes, your mother-in-law can become anything, even if it’s just a shoelace. “Mummy,” but your sister-in-law People who do you a favour will doesn’t become “Barbie”. Your father- expect a favour in return. The Qur’an in-law may be called “Abba,” but his refers to this abhorrent habit thus: other sons don’t become “Dabba.” “O you who Believe, do not nullify If you value your friend’s marriage, your charity by asking of favours, and don’t have supper with his wife harming (the recipients).”(2:264) If even with his consent - when he is your cousin once helped you in the absent. Many people have found out middle of the night with a breakdown, after many years that their children besides expecting you to return the were not theirs, but it was too late. favour a 100 times over, the whole Remember, who doesn’t like a platter town will get to know what a rundown of hot malva pudding after supper? jalopy you drive! This will place a The line between trust and invasion strain on your relationship. Humble of privacy is very fine here. ‘Umar ibn yourself before your Lord in asking, Abdul ‘Aziz said in this regard: “Don’t and do not disgrace yourself in front be alone with a woman, even if you of people. Remember the advice of are teaching her Qur’an.” Sayyadina ‘Ali in this regard: “Give 3.Business Partnerships: Although somebody something, and become partnerships can eliminate financing his lord; accept something from charges, but in today’s times, there someone and become his slave, or is no shortcut to fortune. Rather don’t expect anything from anyone, start small and grow big, rather and the kings and the wealthy will be than start big and grow small. Your your equal.” business partner who maybe now 5.Confiding a Secret: Two things your blood brother, neighbour or must always remain hidden: your close friend, who feels every pin prick money, and the ups and downs you experience, will not tolerate your of the relationship with your wife. success and fortune one day. Never trust anybody with your Greed, envy, hatred and money or your wife, and never leave contempt will take the place of love, them exposed for everyone to see. compassion and loyalty. He will Remember, secrets are ammunition attribute your success to his effort in the hands of your friends, your only, and will want to enjoy all the lawyer, your accountant, and your profits alone. own wife too who may use it against Because business is a place you she becomes your enemy one where one’s values are tested, more day. than often, the decision of whether Some people may even become to buy cosmetics from the factory or so mean as to ruin your relationship the truck will arise, or the question with your wife as at times of of whose son should take charge vulnerability, you took them into of “governing” the computers, so confidence. The past always comes instead of the takings of eight tills back to haunt you. Even in business being reflected, only six would and family affairs, reveal only how appear. As usual, the family will much is necessary. Never reveal also get involved, and matters will your master plan to anyone. Trust is

FEATURED I 23 buried a long time ago and don’t be an open book for everyone to read - you will lose your edge and your friends will scoff you. The time which our Noble Prophet prophesized that trustworthy people will be very few, is really now. Remember the golden rule: “Only tell a person a secret if you want others to know about it.” 6.Arbitration: The basic rule of arbitration is that the arbitrator should not have any background knowledge of the people before him; if he knows the parties, such knowledge should not influence his judgement. Never arbitrate between two people informally and never let your enmity of a person cloud your judgement. Establish all the facts first and pronounce your judgement after careful consideration. Many people have blamed arbitrators for the breakdown in their marriage, especially when both parties were known to them. If this is a possibility, rather excuse yourself. People generally can’t swallow the truth and want to only hear what they like. Many people will only befriend you if you agree with them in everything. Once you have a different opinion, you are suddenly a “traitor.” So be careful about giving your opinion on everything, it may just end your relationship. I end with the story of the scorpion and an old man. A kind old man once saw a scorpion drowning in a pond. He extended his hand to help it, but it stung him. He did this a few times, and the scorpion stung him every time. A wise boy who was standing next to him asked him: “My dear uncle, why do you keep on helping the scorpion when it stings you every time?” to which he replied: “I only know how to help, and it only knows how to sting.” The young boy smiled and held out a twig to the scorpion. It gripped on to it and reached the shore safely. “You see, my dear uncle, never let the sting of the scorpion change the goodness in you. Don’t be a goody gumdrops and trust everyone. Do good, but do it smartly.”

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Profile for Shakir Ahmed

PI Magazine November 2002  

latest news from the muslim world, PI magazine monthly read our november 2020 issue out now, this month, #britishkids #covid19 #uk #muslims...

PI Magazine November 2002  

latest news from the muslim world, PI magazine monthly read our november 2020 issue out now, this month, #britishkids #covid19 #uk #muslims...

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