Harvard to help set up Qatar law school
Bahraini royals in Umrah Diary Leeds takeover bid Blog - Part 2
World caught sleeping over Burma Over 35,000 Muslims Killed Over 500 Muslim Villages Burnt Over 300 Masjids Locked Itâ€™s nearly two months since the Muslimâ€™s massacre ignited in Arakan, the western province of Burma (Myanmar). It all began on 3rd June 2012 when 11 Muslims were killed by the extremist Buddhists with an alleged assistance of Burmese Army after bringing them down from a bus. The Muslims of Burma are losing hopes for a better future as they do not see any sort of help, now, from the International community specifically from the Muslim Ummah who have done nothing other than the lip service. The attitude of civilian and military leadership of Pakistan, Saudia Arabia and other Muslim States came as a shock as they showed signs
of no interest and even no condemning statement. UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has called for an independent investigation into the genocide. Amnesty International, the human rights group, has accused both security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists of carrying out attacks against Rohingyas. The Rohingyas are regarded as foreigners by the ethnic majority. They are reportedly denied citizenship by the government because it considers them illegal settlers from neighbouring Bangladesh, the rights watchdog said. Images coming out of Burma have been very distressing, with burnt and slashed bodies.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I August 2012
By Shakir Ahmed Editor
Mr Clifford, We Salute You
Henry Clifford, the 83-year old American who spent US$25,000 of his own money to place advertisements at New York train stations that showed maps of Israel’s gradual expropriation of Palestinian lands over 64 years, says he is unfazed by criticism from pro-Israeli groups and will continue to take out similar placements.
Clifford, who is the chairman of the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, said. Clifford, who has lived and worked in the New York area all of his professional career, took out ads on platforms at Metro-North railroad stops this month that read “4.7m Palestinians are classified by the UN as refugees”. The billboard
includes maps showing the loss of Palestinian land from 1946-2010 to Israel. The ads stirred up a storm in New York with Jewish organisations, including the proIsrael Anti-Defamation League calling the signs “deliberately misleading and biased” and “inflammatory”. “It’s completely expected, I’m not surprised that organisations like that would have something to say along the lines of what they said,” Clifford said. Clifford has received over 600 emails from all over the world in response to the billboards, which have been reported on by television and radio stations, newspapers, and picked up by blogs and posted on social media sites like Facebook.
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: email@example.com - www.passionislam.com
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Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not Necessarily of Passion Islam
University unveils praying booth Passion Islam
I August 2012
In Case You Missed It
A multi-faith praying booth has been installed at a university. The converted photo booth of the Pray-o-mat offers more than 300 prerecorded prayers, via a touch screen. The free to use machine at the University of Manchester is designed for people on the go. A three-year research project on multi-faith spaces is being conducted at the university. A team has visited almost 250 multi-faith spaces in the UK and abroad. Charting the emergence and scope of the spaces has been difficult because many are concealed from public view, according to the university. But it is estimated more than 1,500 exist in the UK.
Luqmaan Fazal, president of the University of Manchester Islamic society says: “Coming together in large multi-faith spaces allows student communities to blossom. This increases their morale and wellbeing, especially those living away from home. “The pray-o-mat is an innovative concept and aims to increase accessibility to multi-faith spaces. But it may not be as effective as larger multi-space facilities when it comes to building student communities and serving faiths that require worship in congregation. “Universities should continue to be active in ensuring that the religious needs and comforts of its students are addressed.” www.passionislam.com
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
UK rail firm slammed over Arabic posters
A British train company has been criticised after producing an Olympics security poster in Arabic which reads as gibberish. The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) said First Capital Connect’s posters in 13 stations were “completely unintelligible”. The posters, which warned visitors not to leave items unattended and what do to if such items were found, were also printed in English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Arabic. However, the Arabic section of these signs made no sense, Council said in a statement. “The words are back to front. The characters are not joined up as they have to be in Arabic, even when in
typeface. “This oversight does not only represent a lapse in security, but it is also entirely disrespectful to our guests and makes our capital - host city of the Olympic Games - look like a joke.” CAABU called on First Capital Connect to review its procedures for creating such signs as soon as possible. In comments published by the BBC, Chris Doyle, director of CAABU, said: “It’s sloppy. If they don’t take remedial action there will be lots of Arabic speakers who will say ‘What a farce’. “It doesn’t reflect brilliantly on London and looks frankly incompetent. It’s ridiculous”. www.passionislam.com
I August 2012
UK Government to match fund donations for schools in Kashmir The READ Foundation, a UK based Muslim charity, has secured match funding from the British Government to give poor children in Kashmir a better education. Working in partnership with a Islamic Channel, READ Foundation – a registered charity in the UK – will be raising funds to benefit needy children at schools in Kashmir, Pakistan this Ramadhan. The appeal will have an extra boost as the British Government has committed to match all public donations to the Adopt a School appeal raised through the telethon on the TV channel on 8 August, and other events the charity will hold.
Passion Islam Media
British Airways to add capacity on Riyadh route
British Airways said on Saturday it is planning to expand capacity on its Riyadh route. The UK’s national carrier said that from October 28, it will use a larger Boeing 747 on the route, rather than a Boeing 777, which means more
than 1,000 extra seats a week. In addition the flight will be retimed and services will arrive at Heathrow in the early morning, enabling customers to land in time for a full working day in London, and increasing opportunities for connections, BA said in a statement. Following customer feedback, British Airways added that its Jeddah service will now operate on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It said bmi’s Riyadh and Jeddah flights will stop from September 16 as British Airways already serves these routes.
Due to poor revenue performance, bmi’s services to Dammam will also be suspended from September 16. Paolo De Renzis, regional commercial manager, Middle East, said: “Our new winter schedule brings over 1,000 additional seats from Riyadh. “The increased capacity and new timetable gives business and leisure customers the opportunity to connect with British Airways’ extensive global network from Heathrow. “Saudi Arabia continues to be a strategically important market for British Airways and we are committed to flying from Saudi Arabia.
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‘Anti-Muslim reporting’ leads to hate crimes: report says Passion Islam
I August 2012
‘Anti-Muslim reporting’ has led to an increase in hate crimes against Muslims a report says. Journalists and media experts have submitted recommendations to Leveson Inquiry to address racist media portrayal of Muslims and it’s wider social impact. The report ‘Race and Reform: Islam and Muslims in the British Media’ draws on first-hand interviews with 16 journalists, media experts, community representatives and politicians and aims to address inaccurate anti-Muslim narratives in British media and their social impact,
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
from the 1990s to 2011. It also examined a large range of significant academic studies, policy reports, opinion polls, and surveys. Submitted by Unitas Communications, the report found a disturbing correlation between the rise of anti-Muslim narratives in the media over the last decade, a rise in Islamophobic sentiment in wider British society and a rise in hate crimes against members of Muslim communities over this period. Findings in specific studies found the Muslim world was associated with
the words ‘extremism and terrorism’, ‘despotism’ and ‘sexism’. It also found that in a study of 351 articles over a random selected one week period in 2007 - 91% of articles proved to be negative. And 12 of 19 publications had no positive associations at all. Ninety-six percent of tabloid articles were negative compared with 89% of broadsheet articles. References to ‘radical Muslims’ outnumbered references to ‘moderate Muslims’ by 17 to one. Imagery associated with articles depicting Muslims generally depicted Muslims as a homogenous mass. Report author Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Chief Research Officer at Unitas Communications, said: “Although there are mixed views about the term ‘Islamophobia’, our analysis of existing research to date on how the British media has reported on Islam and Muslims over the last two decades shows that this reporting has been overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical and inaccurate.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards service Warns Hajj pilgrims to be on their guard
Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah, is one of the greatest religious observances in Islam. The majority of travel operators arranging Hajj pilgrimages provide an excellent service, but Trading Standards has received reports locally of travel agents who are taking advantage of pilgrims by not fulfilling their obligations as far as travel and accommodation arrangements. Consumers have complained about poor quality of hotel rooms, over-crowded rooms, poor arrangements for bus transfers and a lack of clarity regarding what the package includes. Unfortunately, pilgrims who have faced these problems are often reluctant to bring their complaints to the authorities. Without this vital evidence, it is impossible for Trading Standards to take action.
In other areas of the UK there have been successful prosecutions taken as a result of complaints received by Trading Standards Services against Hajj operators, who have incorrectly described their packages and the facilities offered. Choosing the right agent is the most important aspect of planning for your Hajj. There are two types of tour guide: authorised licensed agents and sub-agents. Authorised licensed agents are companies or groups who hold their own licences from the Saudi authorities. Sub-agents are those who use the name of the agents to get the visas. These subagents simply get their customers together, take their passports and liaise with the agent to get them the necessary paperwork to enter Saudi Arabia. Using a sub-agent in this way reduces the protection you may have in case of any problems.
You should choose an authorised licensed agency, recognised by Saudi Arabian authorities. You can obtain a list of authorised licensed agencies from the Saudi Arabian Consulate. West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is urging consumers to take steps to avoid problems If something does go wrong make your agent aware as soon as possible and where possible collect evidence or take pictures as proof. At the link below you can find a list of questions to ask your agent when booking your package as well as other helpful information. http://www.hajinformation.com/main/ t30.htm If something does go wrong, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06 to get advice and report the company.
I August 2012
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Arab Spring demands change in UK arms policy: report Passion Islam
Britain must exercise more caution in granting licenses for the export of arms to authoritarian regimes such as Bahrain in light of the Arab Spring uprisings, a parliamentary report has urged. A Commons select committee review of export controls also revealed that Britain’s Foreign Office (FCO) is concerned about the sale of equipment to Argentina amid tensions over the Falkland Islands, the Guardian reported.
Select committee chairman John Stanley said the government needed to make “significantly more cautious judgments on the export of arms.” “Bahrain is self-evidently a very sensitive country, given the very serious human rights violations that took place there,” said Stanley. “There have been very serious human rights violations involving doctors and nurses.” Around 100 licenses were granted last year for sales to Bahrain
for equipment including rifles, body armor, shotguns, pistols and small arms ammunition. Under British rules, licenses should not be granted if there is a strong chance the arms will be used to provoke conflict or as instruments of internal repression. The chairman said FCO unease about the sale of equipment to Argentina mirrored anxiety within the government triggered by “previous Falklands experience, where British ships were tragically sunk and many people lost their lives.” Alistair Burt, the minister for counter-proliferation, said Britain had behaved responsibly during the Middle East uprisings. “The UK has a rigorous export licensing procedure,” he said, according to the Guardian. “We look at each application on a case-by-case basis. It is wrong to allege that in the runup to the Arab spring UK export controls were lax. “When the licenses in question were issued, they were properly assessed in the light of the prevailing circumstances. Once the circumstances changed, the risk was reassessed and licenses were revoked,” he stressed.
Speaking up for Pakistan: video debate launches The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has launched a public debate on the future direction of the UK and Pakistan relationship and how British Pakistanis can help to bring the two countries closer together. Prominent members of the British Pakistani community appear in “Speaking up for Pakistan: voices from the UK” the first of several videos to be hosted on the FCO website. Over the next two months, contributors including entrepreneur Asif Rangoonwala, writer Max Malik, Amina Salahuddin from Friends
of the Citizenship Foundation and journalist Mobeen Azhar debate their views on everything from identity to the war on terror. UK residents are invited to join in the debate and submit their own video responding to the issues discussed. Speaking about the launch, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said: “I’m delighted that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is hosting this debate as we are committed to speaking up for Pakistan. Over one million people of Pakistani origin live in the UK and there are many more with connections to Pakistan. Many
of those people are passionate about Pakistan’s future and this debate offers us the opportunity to listen to them and learn from their experiences.” The person or people who produce the best video win the chance to present their ideas to the judging panel drawn from organisations who have the ability to help them turn their ideas into action. Full details how to submit a video are available here: http://tinyurl.com/cs3sk5h. Videos must be submitted by Sunday 16 September.
w w w. p a s s i o n i s l a m . c o m
Prayer mat lights up to Makkah
I August 2012
A London-based Turkish designer Soner Ozenc, has applied his wealth of knowledge in technology to build entertainment and information into the Muslim prayer mat. Tagged EL Sajjadah, the new digital prayer mat lights up when it faces Makkah. With the aid of an embedded digital compass, it finds Makkah based on the mat’s current location, especially if the user feeds that information to the mat’s tiny computer. Only two prototypes exist and one was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for its show last year on interactive design. Ozenc said he has not received any negative comments about his invention yet but admits the light is
very strong and could be distracting. “But there is an off button on the side. You just turn it to off,” said Ozenc. Ozenc is trying to raise $100,000 through Kickstarter.com, the online fundraising tool, to bring the mat into mass production. If he reaches his goal, for $500, donors can expect one of the first mats out of the factory. In EL Sajjadah, the ‘EL’ stands for Electro Luminescent and sajjadah means prayer mat in Arabic. The whole mat, which is made partly of neoprene, doesn’t glow, but the designs do. “The mosque pattern was drawn pixel by pixel by looking at a small-scale model of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque,” Ozenc said.
Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq war delays final report again The inquiry into British involvement in the Iraq war and its aftermath will not publish its report this year as it had been planned, local media reported. The inquiry’s chairman Sir John Chilcot said he will not be ready to publish the report before the middle of 2013 at the earliest, media reported. “The Chilcot Inquiry is set to be delayed by at least a year whilst it seeks to declassify details of secret conversations between former PM
Tony Blair and former U.S. President Bush”, according to the reports. Sir John Chilcot said that evidence received by the inquiry was “not wholly consistent”, due to gaps in documentation and personal accounts. He said the report would be about a million words long, about twice the size of literary epic War and Peace. Discussions with officials over whether secret documents could be published in the report were continuing, he added.
LOCAL & NATIONALI 11
Plans unveiled for £1m community mosque at college in Dundee Plans have been unveiled for a new £1m mosque in Dundee. The development at the Al-Maktoum College for Higher Education is part of the institution’s bid to attain university college status. The three-storey building will include a community hall, prayer and worship areas for students and the wider community. More than 70 jobs will be created during construction, which is due to start in September with completion expected next summer. It is ten years since the centre for Islamic and Arabic studies was established in Dundee with the aim of promoting multiculturalism. Mr Al-Sayegh, chairman of the Al-Maktoum Foundation, which is funding the project on land it owns near the existing College building, said: “This is a memorable moment in the life of the Al-Maktoum College in Dundee, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. “A mosque of the highest possible standard is to be built and the £1m development demonstrates our commitment to Dundee and to our aims to become a university college. The College has made great progress since it opened here and now it proudly enjoys an international reputation as a centre of academic excellence. “We believe the new building, open to all and for the benefit of all, will prove to be a great addition to the College campus and Dundee as well. We regard this development as a contribution to the city and also to multiculturalism. It is a major undertaking and we thank Dundee City Council for its support, guidance and expertise in making this possible.” Dundee’s Lord Provost Bob Duncan said: “I am pleased to see the start of this work which will help to boost our economy. We are looking forward to seeing this development progressing.”
Halal India launches online restaurant guide
I August 2012
India, with a population of over 170 million Muslims, got its first online restaurant guide, recently. This online Restaurant guide is first of its kind in India which features all the Halal Certified Restaurants, Hotels, Halal Friendly Hotels, Halal Friendly hospitals, Halal Friendly shops and beyond. The website will also be dedicated to improve the Food Safety Standards in Indian Food, restaurant and retail industry. “This will be a comprehensive and dedicated guide for all travellers as well as Halal Consumers within the country and for those people visiting India from around the world”, a Halal India official said. The chief guest, Dr Kuganantham while launching the website stated
that a community movement is very much required to promote food safety and quality in India. He also stated that Halal Certification can be a great tool in bringing food safety revolution in India. Aksamil Khair, Director of Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre brought to the notice another important aspect of this website. He said for him, and for other people coming to India for residing or as a tourist, this website will work as catalyst for people to come to India without any hesitation. His statement came out with supporting fact that for any business to grow between countries, cultural understanding and affinity is very important, and Halal India’s initiative
will fill this gap by its act of launching the website. Mufti-in-charge of Halal India, Mufti Omer Sheriff made a detailed speech clarifying matters related to the concept of Halal and also emphasizing on why Halal is important for the humanity. The new website can be viewed by following the below link: www.halalindiarestaurant.com Halal India (HI) is an Independent Certification body which is registered with government of India. Halal India Certification is becoming more relevant in today’s market mainly because people are more aware of the Halal concept, as it is not just about religious matters but it extends to the products or services being deemed safe for consumption as well as ensuring health benefits. Halal India, is recognised by IHIA (International Halal Integrity Alliance, Malaysia) - a partner of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). It has been recognised by the 57 OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) Countries, and Intertek Testing Services, a testing company, is its global partner.
Muslim groups face threats in Sweden Some 40 percent of Muslim congregations in Sweden have been exposed to some form of criminal attack, according to a recently published study at Mid Sweden University. “The study concludes that around four in 10 Muslim congregations are exposed to criminal attacks of various kinds - vandalism, threats, physical attacks or such like,” said Klas Borell the researcher who led the study to The Local. Borell explained that the study is the only statistically representative survey of its kind in Europe and involved more than 100 representatives for Muslim
organizations. While the study is unable to offer conclusions as to the perpetrators of the attacks, Borell said that their frequency followed a familiar pattern. “There are really two identifiable factors. Firstly if the organization’s operations have gained media attention, such as the building of a mosque. And secondly an international event, such as the Madrid or London bombings.” Borell explained that the conclusion could be drawn from the study that the attacks against Swedish Muslim groups were “very much dictated by specific events”. One of the most contentious
issues in recent years has been the building of a new mosque on Hisingen in Gothenburg. Demonstrations by far-right and counter-demonstration groups required the deployment of police force resources not seen in the city since the violent EU summit demonstrations in 2001. Sweden is however not unique in the frequency and nature of criminal attacks against Muslim groups and despite the findings of the study, Klas Borell concluded that Sweden as a whole “is a very tolerant country”. “The situation is much, much better in Sweden that in other comparable countries,” he said.
I WORLD NEWS
Tunisia’s ex-dictator Ben Ali sentenced to life in jail
Tunisia’s ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been handed a life imprisonment sentence for complicity in the murder of antiregime protesters prior to his ouster in 2011. Ben Ali received the life sentence in abstentia for involvement in the murdering of 43 protesters and wounding 97 others before he was toppled by a popular revolt last February, a judge for the Tunis military court said. Hedi Ayari said the former dictator was tried with around 40 of his former officials, including the former head of presidential security, General Ali Seriati, who received a 20-year prison term. Former Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem was sentenced to 15 years, while charges were dropped against Ahmed Friaa, who was named interior minister shortly before Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011.
The ousted dictator has already been sentenced in his absence to a number of heavy sentences. Ben Ali has been sentenced to more than 66 years in prison in three separate trials, for charges including embezzlement, illegal possession of weapons and narcotics, housing fraud and abuse of power. According to United Nations figures, more than 300 people were killed and many others wounded in the former government crackdown on protests over corruption, unemployment, and high food prices. Many of the victims died by live rounds fired by security forces during the January 2011 prodemocracy protests. Saudi Arabia has refused to hand over Ben Ali and his wife to Tunisian authorities despite the fact that they are the subject of an international arrest warrant. www.passionislam.com
UK and France sign deals on drone cooperation France and Britain have signed two agreements for further cooperation on the use of military drones, AFP reports. British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian met in London to agree closer military ties. Under the first deal France will cooperate with Britain on the Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air system, which provides British armed forces with surveillance and
reconnaissance. The second agreement represented the first phase of a collaborative “demonstration program” for a Future Combat Air System (FCAS), another unmanned air system, to be completed between 2030 and 2040, the ministers said According to Le Drian’s aide, Britain and France are soon to make an announcement on plans to jointly develop medium-altitude, longendurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles.
I August 2012
Saudi calls for Muslim summit
Saudi Arabia has called for an extraordinary summit of Muslim leaders to be held next month to address risks of “sedition” threatening Muslim countries, state news agency SPA reported. Saudi King Abdullah has called for “an extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting to ensure... unity during this delicate time as the Muslim world faces dangers of fragmentation and sedition,” SPA quoted Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal as saying. King Abdullah wishes to convene the summit in midAugust in a bid at “unifying the ranks” of Muslims, the report said. There were no further details concerning the agenda of the meeting. But the announcement comes amid a spike in deadly violence across Syria, where more than 19,000 have been killed since an uprising erupted in March 2011 against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia and the other energy-rich Sunni nations of the Gulf have repeatedly voiced support for Syrian rebels against the regime of Assad, a member of the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. In a separate statement, SPA reported that the Saudi monarch has called for launching a campaign to raise funds “in support of our brothers in Syria”. “The donations will be from all the kingdom’s regions” urging all Saudis “to participate in the campaign.” Saudi Arabia hosts the headquarters of the 57member pan-Muslim body -- the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which is based in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
I August 2012
US to build missile-defence station in Qatar - report
The US Pentagon is to build a missile-defence radar station in Qatar, as it boosts its military presence in the Gulf, it was reported. The location for the radar station in Qatar was not revealed, but the Wall Street Journal newspaper cited unnamed US officials, who claimed the move was part of a Gulf-wide system being designed to protect the US and its allies against rockets. Officials also told the WSJ the Pentagon was set to undertake its biggest ever minesweeping exercise in the Gulf in September and was increasing the number of aircraft carriers it has in the region. “The Pentagon’s moves reflect concern that tensions with Iran could intensify as the full weight of
sanctions targeting the country’s oil exports takes hold this summer,” the WSJ said. “Though US officials described both the radar site and the naval exercises as defensive in nature, the deployments likely will be seen by Iran as provocations,” it added. USA Today newspaper reported the Pentagon is to send the USS John C Stennis to the region, several months earlier than planned. The news was made the same day it was announced that US sailors had fired on a small craft off Dubai after it ignored warnings to stop, killing one person. The choice of Qatar for the radar station comes as the Gulf state ramps up its defence spending.
2.5 million throng Two Holy Mosques More than 2.5 million people attended prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah on the first day of Ramadan. The Makkah mosque received the largest number of worshippers on Friday that included thousands of pilgrims from within the Kingdom and abroad to perform Umrah
during the holy month. About 28,000 security officers have been deployed inside and outside the Grand Mosque to ensure the safety of worshippers. Maj. Gen. Jameel Arbaeen, director of Civil Defense in Makkah, said some old pilgrims who fainted while performing tawaf around the Kaaba were given first aid.
“[Qatar] had not been a big spender in defence, compared to their exposed position in the Gulf and their revenue and compared to the threat assessment that others might have made,” Kevin Massengill, vice president and regional executive for Raytheon, the world’s largest missile manufacturer, told Arabian Business in an interview in Dubai. “We have seen an uptake in some of that. Why? I am not qualified to speak to what their leadership can see [as the motives behind it],” he added. Qatar announced has expressed interest in buying 24 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters and 700 Hellfire missiles from the US in a potential deal worth more than $3bn. In June, it was announced Qatar was also looking to spend in excess of $1bn, in a deal set to include 12 Black hawk helicopters, 26 engines, 15 common missile warning systems, 15 laser detecting sets, 15 radar signal detecting sets, 26 machine guns, and 26 night vision goggles. www.passionislam.com
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I WORLD NEWS
I August 2012
CNN runs bogus data on US drone attacks’ casualties: Analysis
The false statistics of US media reports on civilian drone deaths, including those of CNN, have misled Americans about such deaths caused by Washington’s use of drones, study reveals. The revelation comes as many US journalists have started to reassess how they report on deaths in drone strikes after the New York Times recently disclosed that the CIA considers all military-aged males in Pakistan’s Waziristan to be ‘fair game’ in its drone attacks. CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen’s views were therefore the subject of strong criticism when he produced a graph claiming that ‘no civilians have been killed in Pakistan this year by US drones’. Among Bergen’s critics was a columnist for the American magazine
The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf, who accused CNN and Bergen of running ‘bogus data’. The accuracy of Bergen’s drone killings data is of great importance as he is the director of the New America Foundation (NAF) - the most common source of statistics for the US media, including CNN. The New America Foundation has run a database on CIA drone strikes in Pakistan for more than three years and provides estimates of the causalities. For example, out of 148 - 220 deaths in Pakistan this year until July 16 between three and 27 civilians have been reported killed, some of whom were clearly defined as civilians by news organizations including Reuters and AFP. Yet the civilian deaths are not
necessarily limited just to these. Uncertain reports sometimes refer to those killed as ‘people’ or ‘local tribesmen’ killed. The US has so far been able to name just 13 individuals of the remaining alleged militants killed thus rendering Bergen’s claim of zero reported civilian casualties this year as “factually inaccurate”. Speaking with such certainty is also illogical. The Bureau’s own data shows that the identities of merely around 500 of the at least 2,500 people killed by the CIA in Pakistan since 2004 are known, whilst most of the others have been reported by local and international media as being ‘alleged militants’. This inconsistency is not limited to NAF’s 2012 data, in which reliable reports of civilian deaths have been either missed or ignored. There are also factual errors in NAF’s Pakistan data, wherein confirmed strikes are left out and the estimated numbers of people killed are considerably lower than even that of the CIA’s own accounts. Pakistan contends that the drone strikes against suspected Taliban militants are ‘unlawful’ and ‘counterproductive.’ The US claims the airstrikes target Taliban militants. But locals say civilians are the main victims. The aerial attacks, initiated by former President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Obama.
UAE, Switzerland set up grenade sales probe
The UAE has established a joint commission with Switzerland to investigate whether hand grenades exported to the UAE were sent to Syria. The Swiss government
temporarily halted arms shipments to the UAE after a newspaper published a photograph of Syrian rebels handling a grenade made by Swiss firm RUAG, originally sold to the Gulf state in 2003. Swiss authorities say they have not sold arms to Syria since 19971998. Officials in Switzerland described the ban as a “provisional measure” pending the outcome of an investigation which is already underway. Switzerland said the joint panel
had started work and it has lifted a block on licenses for arms shipments that were already issued. “Pending license applications are to remain suspended until further notice,” said the government The photograph raised concerns about the final destination of Switzerland’s arms exports. The grenade reportedly came from a shipment of 225, 216 grenades sold to the UAE, which signed a declaration pledging not to “re-export” the weapons. www.passionislam.com
NZ firms could make billions in Halal market
I August 2012
New Zealand firms could be making billions from doing more business in the lucrative Asian Halal economy. But right now, the New Zealand Asia Institute says kiwi exporters aren’t doing enough to reach the growing number of Muslim consumers throughout Asia. Auckland-based company Burger Fuel is a developing success story when it comes to expanding in Muslim markets. The Burger franchise has eight stores scattered throughout the
Middle East and plans to keep on growing. Burger Fuel worldwide marketing manager Alexis Lam says Muslim consumers like the products. “They love the NZ produce and beef. They’re really excited about having something that tastes quite different to the other beef products they have there and they’re really comfortable with our Halal certification.” Trade analysts say New Zealand is doing well when it comes to tapping into the Halal food sector but it is the billions of dollars in other sectors such as finance, IT, health products, cosmetics, travel and tourism they say we need to address. However New Zealand Trade and Enterprise commissioner Fiona Acheson says complying with Halal standards may require less work than some imagine. “It’s not that New Zealand companies are making products that aren’t potentially Halal-certified products but it’s not something wellunderstood yet,” Mr Lam says. Halal is what is deemed permissible to a Muslim, as defined by Islamic law and requires a specific way of slaughtering the animal.
Financial advisory firm KPMG now caters for the fast growing needs of Islamic businesses. The firm says New Zealand has been typically reactive to the area, rather than proactive but it was becoming increasingly important. As with all markets, there are costs and barriers to overcome when targeting the Halal economy, of which Burger Fuel has firsthand experience. “In getting over to the Middle East there’s a lot of paperwork that we’ve had to deal with, we’ve had a lot of shipments that have been held at the border,” Mr Lam says. But the New Zealand Asia institute says there’s enormous potential in Asian countries that New Zealand already has trade relationships with. And with the Halal economy set for massive growth, ignoring it would be at the New Zealand economy’s own peril. A conference at the University of Auckland business school will kick off in a few hours bringing together Asian and New Zealand business leaders with a goal to push New Zealand’s presence in the lucrative Asian Halal economy.
Saudi Arabia get new intelligence chief
Saudi Arabia has replaced intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz with its former ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi Press Agency said, citing a royal decree. Prince Bandar, who was the kingdom’s envoy to Washington for 22 years, a period spanning the first Gulf War and the Sep 11 2001 attacks on the United States, takes the portfolio at a time when Saudi Arabia faces growing instability in its immediate region. The world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam is locked in a struggle for Middle East influence with Iran as the rivals back opposing
forces in Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. “There was a feeling that we needed stronger intelligence and Bandar has a history of this sort,” said Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi commentator with ties to the royal family. “We are witnessing the start of a new Middle East with the collapse of the (Syrian President Bashar al) Assad regime. We are worried about Jordan and Lebanon,” he said. Bandar has headed Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council for seven years but has shunned the limelight since leaving his Washington post in 2005. “He’s been close to that position
heading the National Security Council and is very well aware of the intelligence apparatus. He’s also been involved in Saudi security issues of the highest order for the last 10 years,” said Robert Jordan, US ambassador to Riyadh from 2001-03. Prince Bandar is a son of the late Crown Prince Sultan, who died last October and had served as defence minister for five decades. In the sprawling ruling family, Sultan was one of seven brothers born to the kingdom’s founder by his favourite wife and known collectively as the Sudairis, who formed the strongest power bloc in the House of Saud.
US firm wins UAE military vehicles contract
I WORLD NEWS
I August 2012
In Case You Missed It
US-based Oshkosh Corporation’s defence unit has been awarded a contract to provide the UAE Armed Forces with 750 mine resistant ambush protected all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs). The vehicles will offer greater off-road mobility and crew protection to support national security, as well as critical missions related to the security of the Middle East, Oshkosh said in a statement. The contract allows for additional vehicles to be ordered at the
discretion of the customer, the statement added without giving a value for the contract. Oshkosh is scheduled to deliver the M-ATVs to the UAE between January and August 2013, pending standard regulatory requirements. “The UAE continues to expand its role, in partnership with its allies including the United States, in regional security and peacekeeping operations,” said John Urias, executive vice president, Oshkosh Corporation and president, Oshkosh
Annual Muslim Summer Festival Held in Ottawa
The 12th Annual Muslim Summer Festival has been held in the Canadian city of Ottawa, marking various culture, history and traditions of many locals. This year’s festival, representing more than 40 distinct cultural backgrounds, was held at Ottawa’s Britannia Park on July 14, 2012. Over 20 Muslim countries took part in the event to introduce Islamic culture and civilization as well as their diverse traditions to the local community. This year’s event with the theme of “The World in One City” presented country exhibitions, Islamic arts and handicrafts, a bazaar as well as fun
activities for children. Muslim Canadians that form 3 percent of the country’s population are important contributors to the nation’s economy, politics and culture. While there are over 67,000 Muslims living only in Ottawa, today the Muslim population in Canada is estimated to be between 980 thousand to 1.3 million. Organized by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), the Muslim Summer Festival attracts thousands of visitors every year. The festival recognized by the City of Ottawa as a city-wide festival. www.passionislam.com
Defence. “The UAE is central to our international growth strategy, and we are honored that they have selected the Oshkosh M-ATV to support their missions.” Serge Buchakjian, senior vice president and general manager of international programmes, Oshkosh Defence, added: “No vehicle has been more effective in supporting ground operations - from urban security patrols to combat in harsh desert and mountainous terrain.” To date, Oshkosh has received delivery orders for more than 9,500 M-ATVs. Oshkosh Corporation is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire and emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies.
YouTube launches Ramadan channel Video-sharing site YouTube have launched an online channel dedicated to Ramadan-theme programming. The service, will broadcast shows the same day they air on television, is a joint venture with sponsor Unilever through its brands Lipton and Knorr. According to a statement from YouTube, which is owned by search giant Google, shows are categorised, allowing users to browse by genre and title. Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa watch an average of 167m YouTube videos a day, ranking the region as the second globally in terms of views. It is the first time YouTube has rolled a channel specifically for the Islamic holy month. A preview of upcoming shows is already available on youtube. com/ramadan.
I August 2012
Harvard to help set up Qatar law school
Harvard University is to help in the establishment of a graduate law school in Doha alongside the Qatar Foundation. Harvard University, named the best university in the world for the past nine years running, is to help in the establishment of a graduate law school in Doha alongside the Qatar Foundation, it was announced. Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development joined forces with Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) to set up a graduate law school at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha. The planned institution will include three elements: a doctoral programme, a research institute and a faculty development programme, according to the Qatar News Agency. IGLP will help in the development of the law school’s academic programme, admissions policy and exchange of academic and administrative know-how. At present, IGLP runs a yearly workshop at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and it aims to replicate this project in Qatar, with the first of these workshops due to take place from January 4 to January 14 next year.
“We are delighted to announce this collaboration with one of Harvard Law School’s elite institutes. At the heart of this cooperation is Qatar Foundation’s vision to establish a centre of learning that will help revitalise legal education in the Middle East, and represent Islamic and Arabic legal traditions in the global dialogue on legal and governance issues,” said Dr Mohammad Fathy, president of Qatar Foundation. “It is an honour to have been asked to help advise Qatar Foundation as it develops its plans to build a world class law school in Qatar,” added David Kennedy, Harvard Law School Professor and IGLP Director. Established in 1817 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard Law School is one of the US’s oldest law schools, while Harvard University has been named the top university in the world for the ninth year running in an annual global list compiled by China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University. www.passionislam.com
EU turns down Israel call to put Hezbollah on terror list The European Union has flatly rejected an Israeli call to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist group, saying there is no such agreement among the bloc’s member states. “There is no consensus for putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato KozakouMarcoullis, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said on Tuesday. Israel’s hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the request for blacklisting the Lebanese resistance movement while sitting alongside the Cypriot minister at a news conference held after annual EU-Israel talks. “The time has come to put Hezbollah on the terrorist list of Europe,” Lieberman urged. “It would give the right signal to the international community and the Israeli people.” But Kozakou-Marcoullis highlighted Hezbollah’s active role as a political party, stating that the EU would consider the move if there were tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terror. Lieberman’s call comes days after the sixth anniversary of Israel’s war against Lebanon in July 2006, a 33-day conflict which ended in Hezbollah’s victory and heavy losses on the Israeli side. This raised serious questions about Tel Aviv’s long-boasted military capabilities and forced several Israeli commanders to resign over their poor handling of the war.
I WORLD NEWS
I August 2012
Germany PM intervenes over court ban on circumcision 20
Angela Merkel’s spokesman has promised Germany’s Jewish and Muslim communities they will be free to carry out circumcision on young boys, despite a court ban that has raised concerns about religious freedom. The government said it would find a way around a ban imposed by a court in Cologne in June as a matter of urgency. “For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany,” said Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert. “Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible
in this country without punishment.” Ruling in the case of a Muslim boy taken to a doctor with bleeding after circumcision, the Cologne regional court said the practice inflicted bodily harm and should not be carried out on young boys but could be practised on older males who gave consent. The ruling applies to the city and surrounding districts. Jewish religious practice requires boys to be circumcised from eight days old, and among Muslims the age of circumcision varies according to family, country and branch of Islam. “It is well known that in the Jewish religion early circumcision carries
great meaning, so it is a matter of urgency that this right be restored,” said Seibert. He said Merkel’s office would be involved in efforts to resolve the problem. “We know a quick decision is needed and that this cannot be put off. Freedom of religious practice is a very important legal right for us.” The head of the Conference of European Rabbis urged Jews in Germany to continue carrying out circumcision. Pinchas Goldschmidt, the Swiss-born chief rabbi of Moscow, said the ban was a fresh example of creeping prejudice in European law against non-Christians, after a Swiss ban on minarets, French and Belgian bans on Islamic veils in public and an attempted Dutch ban on halal meat. “Circumcision represents the basis for belonging to the Jewish community. It has been practised for 4,000 years and cannot be changed,” he said. The German Medical Association said it opposed the ban because it could drive circumcision underground with greater risk of infection through poor hygiene, but advised doctors not to carry out the operation until the legal situation was cleared up. Germany is home to about 120,000 Jews and 4 million Muslims.
Saudi Arabia considers law against insulting Islam Saudi Arabia is studying new regulations to criminalize insulting Islam, including in social media, and the law could carry heavy penalties, a Saudi paper said. The potential regulations come five months after a Saudi blogger and columnist Hamza Kashgari, 23, was arrested for tweeting comments deemed as insulting the Prophet Mohammad. “Within the next two months the Shura Council will reveal the outcome of study on the regulations to combat the criticism of the basic tenets of Islamic sharia,” unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter told al-Watan, adding that
there could be “severe punishments” for violators. Criticism penalized under the law would include that of the Prophet, early Muslim figures and clerics, it said. “The (regulations) are important at the present time because violations over social networks on the Internet have been observed in the past months,” the sources said. A spokesman from the Shura Council, the governments allappointed consultative body, did not respond to calls for comment. Kashgari’s case set off a debate in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally for decades and leading world oil
exporter, on whether repentance could save convicts from the death penalty. Kashgari fled the country in February, a few days after his twitter posts, but was later arrested by police in Malaysia en route to New Zealand. Despite declaring repentance, he was deported back to Saudi Arabia and was taken into police custody to face a trial. Tension has risen in recent years between religious conservatives and reformers over the pace of gradual political, economic and social reforms in a country with a large young population.
I August 2012
Study shows Coca Cola Pepsi contain alcohol
The Paris-based INC said the brand leaders of Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola are among the drinks. French magazine 60 Million Consumers published the results of the tests, saying that the alcohol levels are up to 10 mg per liter and this works out at around 0.001 percent alcohol. The tests also showed “the presence of certain elements, such as Terpenes, which are known allergens.” Other controversial ingredients include phosphoric acid, sweetener or coloring E150d (Sulphite ammonia caramel), with the latter having been recently registered by
the State of California on the list of hazardous constituents to health. Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola had announced that they would not use the ingredient in their products in the United States. The survey revealed the high amount of sugar in the sodas, between 17 and 19 pieces of sugar per liter. Muslim consumers of Cola are concerned because Islam forbids them from drinking alcohol. The presence of alcohol in colas is discussed on the Internet, including forums devoted to Islam, who wonder if the drink is in accordance with halal food.
Yusuf Estes wins Islamic personality award in Dubai Yusuf Estes, an American Muslim preacher and teacher, was named the Islamic Personality of the Year at the 16th Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA). Ibrahim Bumelha, Chairman of the Award Organising Committee, told the media, Estes was chosen among a group of nominees for his unremitting efforts to spread and preach Islam’s tolerant teachings and values in the West. “When he was told of his selection, he was happy and he said he expressed his thanks and gratitude to Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and to the award’s
organising committee members,” Bumelha said. Estes was born in 1944 in Texas to a musically talented Christian family. He became a Muslim in 1991 and since then he has been very active in Islamic Dawa (call) in the west. He is always studying Islam, the Arabic language and the Quran while working day and night to present the correct message of Islam. Across the world Sheikh Yusuf has given hundreds of lectures, written books, established thousands of websites, began live web-casting and video conferences in mosques and schools.
UN Confirms Rise in Settler Attacks on Palestinians
The United Nation and nongovernmental organization (NGOs) confirmed that Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians have risen sharply, due to friction between both sides and the Israeli settlers’ desire to intimidate or take revenge. “Last year, the number of settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage increased by more than a third; since 2009 it increased by nearly 150%,” revealed by a joint statement signed by the UN High Commissioner for Human rights, the UN children fund UNICEF, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel, Israeli NGOs Yesh Din and B’Tselem and Palestinian NGO Al-Haq. “There are two distinct phenomena,” B’Tselem director Jessica Montell told a joint news conference with representatives of the other groups in Ramallah. She cited “the price tag phenomenon which is actually related to settlers feeling threatened when there are military measures against settlements.” Furthermore, “violence is a means of displacing Palestinians and expanding the settlement in a very explicit way,” she added. Participants at the news conference denounced the Israeli authorities’ attitude and the de-facto impunity enjoyed by perpetrators, and urged them to take responsibility as the occupying power. More than 90 percent of the complaints filed against settlers in recent years have not been addressed, according to the United Nations. “From the soldier on the ground and all the way up through the military, the police and the government, a much higher priority is given to Palestinian violence than to violence against Palestinians,” Montell lamented. More than 340,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and about 200,000 in settlement neighborhoods in occupied and annexed east Jerusalem, among some 2.6 million Palestinians.
I August 2012
Clubs need to look at lack of opportunities for Asians in football Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle would like to see the introduction of a quota system as a means to combat racism in the sport. Carlisle fronted a BBC Three documentary called ‘Is Football Racist?’ which was aired last month. Among the problems he encountered were highly-gifted South Asian players being denied opportunities because of their ethnicity and the limited opportunities open to black managers. The 31-year-old, who has played in every division of English football, believes a quota system would begin to address the issue. “I do like the idea of quotas for the application process, not just for coaching or managerial jobs, but for all positions that are available within the structure of football,” he said. “That would definitely be a precursor to addressing the levels of diversity. “What was also apparent was that the young black footballer didn’t feel as though anything was being done about incidents of racism. “We need to address our processes in dealing with incidents
- reporting mechanisms and sanctioning. “When it comes to scouting young players I don’t have a solution, but it’s something that needs to be looked at so that clubs are encouraged to embrace their ethnic communities, especially Asian.” Several current black England players were contacted by Carlisle to give their views in the documentary, but all refused to speak out. “We didn’t get a real answer from players about why they were so reluctant to talk,” Carlisle said.
“My personal opinion is that they don’t because nobody wants to be seen to be a troublemaker by stirring things up or to be perceived as a militant activist. “Professional footballers earn fantastic wages but their average career span is only eight years. “You’re not going to stick your head above the parapet, even if your perceived apprehensions are founded. “If they’re worried it will affect their career, why would they rock the boat?”
Garuda Indonesia signs with Liverpool Football Club
Garuda Indonesia and Liverpool Football Club have announced a three year partnership that will see one of Asia’s most rapidly growing brands become the Global Official Airline for Liverpool Football Club. As one of the world’s leading football brands, the partnership provides Garuda with access to Liverpool Football Club’s global brand awareness and international fan base which will enable the airline further opportunities to grow its business throughout the world. Ian Ayre, Liverpool Football Club’s Managing Director, said: “This is a
fantastic partnership for both parties. Liverpool Football Club has a huge international following and we are looking forward to working with Garuda Indonesia across many markets in order to capitalise on their rapid growth. It is an honour for us to be associated with a brand that has become a leading player in global aviation, and in particular, a brand that has its base in a region where we enjoy such a passionate fan base. Indonesia is an ambitious country with a rapidly growing economy
which the Club has great affiliation with and where we hope to hold next year’s Pre Season Tour.” Emirsyah Satar, President & CEO Garuda Indonesia, added:”As part of our continued efforts to build Garuda Indonesia into one of the global players in airline industry, this partnership provides us with great exposure in international markets. The global scale that LFC brings will support the initiative to increase exposure while LFC’s huge fan base all over the world enables us to introduce Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia in general to the world.”
SPORT I 23
I August 2012
Bahraini royal said to be part of Leeds takeover bid
A member of the Bahraini royal family has been named as a key figure among Middle East investors keen to take over English football club Leeds United. Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, the man who led a failed takeover of Leeds United in 2003, is reportedly part of a consortium close to completing a deal for Championship side Leeds. Al-Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s ruling dynasty, was part of a consortium including representatives from Saudi Arabia and Asia who failed to push through a takeover deal just under a decade ago, the Yorkshire Post reported. And according to Bahraini newspaper Gulf Weekly, friends of
the Sheikh, a life-long Leeds fan, said he was currently visiting Europe and was unavailable to comment. A successful takeover would follow hot on the heels of Nottingham Forest’s sale to the Al Hasawi family from Kuwait Leeds said in a statement: “Leeds United can confirm they have granted an exclusivity period to enable a potential investor to carry out the appropriate due diligence “It is anticipated this will be a fairly straightforward process. A confidentiality clause prevents the club from making any further comment. The statement did not mention the value of the potential deal or names of anyone involved.
Qatari Bin Hammam’s lifetime football ban overturned Former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has won his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a life ban from all soccer-related activity over bribery allegations. However, CAS said the decision did not amount to an “affirmative finding of innocence” for Bin Hammam, saying that FIFA’s investigation had not been through enough, and that the case could be re-opened with new evidence. Qatari Bin Hammam remained suspended from the game after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which he previously headed, opened a disciplinary case against their former boss over alleged financial wrongdong. He was banned for 30 days, which was extended to a worldwide ban by FIFA. “The CAS has upheld Bin Hammam’s appeal, annulled the decision rendered by the FIFA Appeal Committee and lifted the life ban imposed on Mr Bin Hammam,” the CAS statement read.
France defies FIFA, bans female footballers from wearing hijab
France says it will not permit female players to wear headscarves despite the recent approval by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Press TV reports. The French Football Federation (FFF) announced on Friday that it must “respect the constitutional and legal principles of secularism which prevail in our country and which feature in our statutes,” and went to explicitly ban female players from wearing headscarves. France has a law, which strictly enforces a total separation between religion and the public sphere. FIFA reversed their ban on headscarves, which was incorporated in 2007 for safety reasons, arguing that the garment increased the risk of neck injuries. Following the announcement, French lawmakers publicly urged the FFF to maintain the ban in order to protect the secularism law. France did not ban the hijab for foreign players who play in France during international matches. France has drawn international condemnation for a
total ban instituted last year on the burqa as well as on the niqab. Paris also banned the hijab in public schools in 2004 and has recently drawn more disapproval by forbidding the hijab on mothers who assist at school functions.
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The Importance of Dawah and Tabligh 24
I SPECIAL FEATURE
All praise is for Allaah, Lord of the Worlds, who ordered us to follow His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and to call to His Way, and may Allaah send praises and blessings of peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family, his companions, and those who truly follow them until the Day of Judgement. To proceed: The meaning of Da’wah is to invite. Da’wah has two dimensions external and internal, External Da’wah is to invite nonMuslims to islam, and Internal Da’wah is to remind the Muslims about their duties to Allah and the teachings of Islam taught by our beloved prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). The person who does such a work is called a Da’ee Calling to Allaah (ad-Da’wah ilallaah) is the way of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his followers, as Allaah, the Most High, says: Say, O Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam): This is my way, I call to Allaah (i.e to the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, with no partner) upon certain knowledge I, and those who follow me. I declare Allaah free and far removed from all that they associate as partners with Him, and I am free of those who worship anything else along with
Him. [Soorah Yoosuf 12:108] Indeed calling to Allaah was the mission of all the Messengers and their followers, in order to bring the people out of darkness and into light, from unbelief (kufr) to true Faith (eemaan), from shirk to tawheed, and from the Fire to Paradise. An important matter for Muslims to realise is that da`wah is an obligation upon them. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta`aalaa) says in the Qur’aan: Invite to the Way of your Rabb with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Rabb knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (An-Nahl: 125) He says: You are the best of peoples, taken out for mankind. You enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and believe in Allah. (AlImran:11O) “Let there be a group of people amongst you inviting to all that is good, enjoining al-ma`roof [i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden]. And it is they who are successful.” [alQur’aan, Aal `Imraan (3):104] The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) has said: “Convey from me, even one verse.” [alBukhaaree] Conveying the message
I August 2012
therefore does not require a high level of scholarship, it is in fact a responsibility of each and every Muslim, according to his or her ability. There are numerous verses of the Quran and the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that emphasizes on the importance of Da’wah. All praise is for Allaah who has made it easy for us to take part in Da’wah in this day and age with the Barakah of Dawah and Tabligh. We have seen great changes in the life’s of individuals, communities, around the world, Asia, America, Africa, China, and Middle East throughout the world through the Barakah of this work Dawah and Tabligh. PARADISE FOR ALL MANKIND. This was the Motto of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihu wasallam. He even cried at the death of a Jew. We are his ummati our concern should be same. To start simultaneously from ourself, family, locality, country to whole mankind till the day of Judgment. Dawah is very effective tool for our correction also. Our success for life here and Hereafter THE LIFE AFTER DEATH is in obeying commands of Allah and following Path of Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu Alahi Wasallam. MAY ALLAH ENABLE AS TO PARTICIPATE IN DAWAH AND TABLIGH AND GO IN JAMAAT.
I August 2012
Diary Blog H A R M U
First of all apologies for a late second part of the Umrah Blog, from the feedback it seems everyone across the UK have been waiting in anticipation for blog no2, so here it is. Every time I saw the Kabba and also the Prophets mosque, the wow word seemed to slip out without a single thought. My Sheikh had the right idea come back from fajar and go to sleep, it was a pattern I had to get to use to but unfortunately for me throughout my umrah I could not adapt to it which meant eventually I was going to get tired, which I did once I was back home. People ask me what was the highlight of my umrah, I said so many to mention, one was doing the All Nighter in Makkah, go to Maghreb, pray Esha do tawwaf and sit and pray in front of the Kabba /Mataf area until Fajar a great feeling and if anyone going for the first time it’s a most experience, it’s amazing. I was lucky I had great company, Moulana, the group leader Mr Kayat of Kayat tours and not forgetting my sheikh Munir and Zara the resident homee, as we all ventured out to eat after esha it was apparent that as usual like every night we will get one taxi and try to squeeze 6 people in, we all decided one evening to go for a pizza, so our group leader Mr Kayat told the taxi driver in his
urdu/gujarati/arabic language to take us to Pizza Hut as we approached it the whole complex was in rubble no Pizza Hut in sight, apparently this is very normal for Saudi Government they literally knock and demolish buildings with very little notice, so we told the driver to take us to another Pizza Hut and sorely he did, lucky for us this was still in good condition, as we went in and sat down I could not avoid to notice a group of arab men sitting in a corner watching tv so I took a closer look, eyes were glued to the TV as they watch... wait for it ... yeap ... Arabs Got Talent, anyways we all sat down to eat, as we were eating the noise of the tv was too much and how much i tried to ignore it, it kept annoying me, so in frustration I went up to the manager and told him shut this filth off now, which he did immediately I got this very embarrass look from the group of arab men whilst they discretely stood up and walked out, oh by the way the food was awesome and Mr Kayat attempt at filling the salad bowl was even better, I have since tried his technique but failed horribly. I will not go into the shopping we did as I will then need to write a book but if anyone hates shopping then do not worry as my sheikh munir is an expert in the field, he may charge you a nominal price but it’s worth it,
and the kajur market well just one word for that MENTAL and yes I did lose 2kg of Ajwa between the kajur market and the hotel. The Easter Kayat group was a great mix of bunch of people and you just seem to mingle and get to know everyone and get along, that ends my second blog which the third blog inshallah will coming very soon.
The famous salad bowl
Mr Kayat treats us with a cake
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I August 2012
I August 2012
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