Do not promote terrorism, UAE stuns Iraq The Mindless warns new Charity guidance to lift Gulf Cup Dating Game
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Israel attack Syria and deploy forces on the Syria border whilst Russia condemn Israelâ€™s action Israel targets Syrian military centre
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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I February 2013
By Cerie Bullivent
Trial by press but where’s the Jury? With the inevitable first TPIM detainee absconding, the debate has been sparked again around what to do with ‘suspected terrorists’. There are a few things I can say about the way in which this whole matter has been covered by the press. In particular there has been a big fuss about why “ dangerous terrorists” are allowed to roam free on watered down Control Orders. At this point let me declare my own interest in this matter, I was on a Control Order, and yes - I absconded from it as well. Control orders ruin lives! And all based on secret evidence. But in my case we found out what was the secret evidence, and the basis for these most heinous of accusations. It was nothing more than a drunken call to the anti-terror hotline that was never investigated. It brought me two years of this life of fiasco. Let me begin with the issue of TPIM’s being watered down Control Orders, a line I find hard to write without scoffing. In real life terms the differences between living on a Control Order and a TPIM are tiny if any. There is no difference between the strictest form of Control Orders I was on and the current TPIM regime. The only major difference in one’s day to day life is that you can’t be forcibly relocated to another area. Lord McDonald said of these measures, forced relocation: ‘This is a form of internal exile, which is utterly inimical to traditional British norms. In the absence of any intention to charge, still less to prosecute, no British citizen should be told by the government where he may or may not live. The Review is clearly right to recommend the abolition of this thoroughly offensive practice. It is disproportionate and there is no justification for its retention.’ So if the biggest change to the system is the removal of a condition
Ex Control Order detainee
that was ‘utterly inimical’ to British norms of justice, then that’s hardly progress. In my own case, it was the nature of all the other conditions, which still exist, coupled with the secret evidence, also still in use, which led me to abscond. I am amazed that the people on these orders have remained so patient with such draconian living conditions. Be under no illusion: those that adhere to their TPIM do so because they choose to. Take it from me that absconding is not too hard… Many news outlets have asked if this latest escape is due to the watering down of Control Orders, a view also put forward by a new face, Pat McFadden, Labour MP for Wolvehampton. In The Mirror he is quoted as saying “The Government has elevated the civil liberties of these suspects above the protection and liberty of the general public,” This is political scaremongering at its worst. Seven people absconded from Control Orders, the legislation of Mr McFadden’s party, none of whom was caught by the police. Yet one person absconds from an order that in real terms is exactly the same as the 7 that happened on his watch and it is these dangerously watered down measures that are to blame. Indeed David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism, said the only way to stop people fleeing these “pretty oppressive” conditions (his words) is “to lock them up in high security prisons” instead. I would like to pose the exact opposite point of view, that the reason for Magag’s departure is that the system has not yet been watered down enough. I might be so bold as to say that the system should be brought in line with the norms of criminal justice to allow those subjected to TPIMs to defend themselves. Perhaps, if the system was fair and gave those
individuals an opportunity to defend themselves they would not feel the need to escape these obtrusive measures. Although I accept that at this particular moment in time, demanding the respect of our basic rights such as habeas corpus, might be thought to be asking too much. Now the accusations fly around in the press and we see Magag’s brutal trial by media. Yet the one thing all of the individuals on TPIMs would like is quite simple - a fair trial and a day in court in front of jury of their peers. Much has been made in the press about the individual’s links to ‘terror’ groups. The Daily Mail alleged he was ‘an Al Qaeda linked terror suspect ‘going on to explain that ‘He was arrested in 2007 after returning from an Al-Shabaab terrorist training camp’. Yet it is accepted that by a British counterterrorism command spokesman that ‘Magag was not considered to be a direct threat to the public’. Indeed, if there was evidence that he had committed any criminal offence then he would be liable to a trial and a hefty prison sentence. Despite the fact that no charges have been brought, and all “evidence” remains secret even to Magag, we are still asked to believe the rumours and conjecture of the ‘intelligence’ services. These ‘intelligence’ services have been wrong on far too many occasions, not least my own case. They can be seen as pushing us into a police state, where any of us can be denied our rights or even our very citizenship. So now history repeats itself: a man held under draconian measures with no evidence and little chance for justice feels he would rather make a new life elsewhere; our politicians use it as an opportunity to score points against one another and beat the drums of fear; and all the while, the media convict and sentence another man who has never seen the faces of a jury of his peers.
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: firstname.lastname@example.org - www.passionislam.com This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -
Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not necessarily of Passion Islam.
I February 2013
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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I February 2013
Do not promote terrorism, warns new Charity guidance
UKIP backs far right Euro extremism
Trustees must take steps to ensure partner organisations and speakers at their events are not linked to terrorism, according to new guidance from the Charity Commission. The guidance is the fifth and latest chapter in a compliance toolkit called Protecting Charities from Harm. It was devised by the regulator to help trustees prevent their charities being used to promote extremist views and to comply with charity law. The guidance is particularly aimed at religious charities, students unions and education charities, among others, which the commission believes are at particular risk of inadvertently promoting extremist views. According to charity law, trustees must protect their charities’ assets from abuse and make sure they do not promote extremism. In practice, this means trustees must vet proposed speakers and partners as well as carry out risk assessments of proposed events. They must also manage events to prevent any “inappropriate activities”
and to deal with any problems promptly. The guidance says extremists can attempt to abuse charities by using their premises or communications networks to promote their views. Trustees have a duty to manage situations in which speakers or literature might break the law by encouraging or glorifying terrorism, inciting racial or religious hatred or inciting criminal acts. Charity leaders must also preserve their organisations’ reputations and work within the objects at all times, the guidance says. “Charities are often at the cutting edge of debates about controversial or emotive issues, and the nature of the work of many charities provokes a strong, often a critical, response,” said Sam Younger, chief executive of the commission. “Our guidance does not ask trustees to avoid these risks at all costs. However, trustees have a duty to comply with the law and protect their charity and its reputation.”
The far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) has come under fire after it refused to oppose a funding package that would back some of the most extreme parties in Europe. The UKIP has told its Members of European Parliament (MEPs) not to go against a package that would financially support racist far-right parties across Europe. The Alliance of European National Movements, a grouping of far-right MEPs, is seeking to get a sum of £340,000 from the European commission, with a similar amount for a possible thinktank. The alliance of the far-right extremists includes the British National party (BNP), Hungary’s neo-fascist Jobbik party, Bulgaria’s far-right National Democratic Party and the Front National in France. An appeal among MEPs that could stop the funding has gained broad support, but it emerged that the UKIP instructed its MEPs not to back the petition. UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, who was once expelled from the European Parliament after directing a Nazi slogan at a German colleague, wrote to his fellow UKIP MEPs.
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I February 2013
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I February 2013
UK lists Israel as human rights abuser
I February 2013
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
In Case You Missed It
British Foreign Office has listed the Israeli regime’s human rights record as one”of particular concern” in its quarterly report on human rights, over the Zionist entity’s brutal attack on the Gaza Strip in November and its new settlement expansion plans. The British government’s criticism against the illegal regime follows recent warnings by the British government that the regime’s illegal
settlements, especially the new buildings planned in E1 area, will alienate its international allies. Britain’s new policy turn on the regime comes despite the fact that London has always been one of Tel Aviv’s staunchest allies with British Prime Minister David Cameron priding himself on being a friend of Israel. The British listing, which puts the regime alongside 27 other countries including Bahrain, follows Tel Aviv’s aggressive bombing of Gaza that left over 100 Palestinian civilians killed and another 700 wounded including many who were critically hurt. The Israeli regime has also announced it would push ahead with the hugely controversial plans
to build 3,000 new settler homes on Palestinian lands. The report reiterated an earlier warning by British Foreign Secretary William Hague who said the illegal settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem “constitutes a serious provocation and an obstacle to peace.” This comes as British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould has also warned the Israeli regime that the continued illegal expansion of settlements was draining its socalled international support. British Foreign Secretary had also launched a tirade on the regime. “I condemn recent Israeli decisions to expand settlements. I speak regularly to Israeli leaders stressing our profound concern that Israel’s settlement policy is losing it the support of the international community,” Hague said.
Centre will study fascist and anti-Muslim attacks
A centre dedicated to studying the extreme far right and anti-Muslim attacks has been established by a university. The Centre for Fascist, AntiFascist and Post-Fascist Studies, launched by Teesside University, will look at the historical developments of far-right politics. Professor Nigel Copsey, along with his colleague, Dr Matthew
Feldman, opened the centre at an event to commemorate National Holocaust Memorial Day. Speaking at the launch, Prof Copsey said recent developments in far-right politics led them to believe there could be more attacks like the one carried out by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in 2011. “Over the last year there is no evidence for increased support
for the far right. The BNP are fragmented and split and there is growing disillusionment with the EDL,” he said. “All these developments mean we argue it could lead right-wing extremists to think of more extreme actions, like Breivik. “I’m not saying this will definitely happen but, because of the developments in the far right, there’s a vacuum and it raises the potential for more violent actions.” The centre will also look at the opposition to far-right groups and how successful anti-fascist protests are, as well as far-right anti-Muslim activity. Dr Feldman said: “An important development in radical right activism this century is, without doubt, the turn from anti-Semitism toward antiMuslim politics. “One of the things we will be looking at is a quantifiable analysis of far right participation in anti-Muslim attacks.”
I February 2013
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I February 2013
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
London based broadcast specialist opens Dubai office
London based broadcast specialist Vision247, has expanded its global operations with new offices in Dubai and the appointment of Tanya Vidmar to the role of Managing Director, UAE. Vision247 already works with major regional broadcasters including: Al Arabia; MBC; GEM TV and Iqraa, and will now expand its activities with support for local telecoms operators, offering combined subscription and pay-perview services, IPTV and OTT, with
provision of both channels and apps. The region’s leading telecom operators have already concluded that the best strategy for consumers of premium TV services is to merge the adaptability of OTT delivery with the security of managed IPTV. The new MEA offices will support fresh partnerships with the region’s telecoms providers as Vision247 develops its award winning XtremeIPTV™ and Perception® platforms, introducing innovative solutions for telco IPTV networks,
including: high performance VoD; network PVR & Time Shift systems; HLS streaming; and new set top box and mobile client applications. Tanya Vidmar, Managing Director, UAE says: “The Middle East and Africa regions represent some of the most exciting new opportunities for Vision247. As a vendor of IPTV and OTT content delivery and management platforms the company is in a prime position to support the development of free to view and payTV services, delivered over the internet, to the new generation of ‘digital’ homes in the region.” Vision247 will be exhibiting its latest technology and presenting as part of the Cabsat2013 conference in Dubai on the right approach for broadcast content owners and telecom operators to manage and monetise content whilst attracting and then keeping subscribers.
UK court hears troops Iraq abuse claims
LOCAL & NATIONAL
I February 2013
to investigate the claims. But Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), which is acting on behalf of the Iraqis, says the IHAT is not independent enough to investigate alleged “systemic” human rights violations on a huge scale.
Allegations that British troops were guilty of killing Iraqi civilians and “terrifying acts of brutality” have been made in London’s High Court. Claims that British interrogators were guilty of unlawful killings and torture in detention facilities in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 were put before two judges in an 82-page
document. Lawyers representing 192 Iraqis are asking for a public inquiry into British detention practices following the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has set up a body, called the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT),
PIL argues there has already been too long a delay and only a fully independent probe can deliver justice. “Enough is enough. There must be a public inquiry in relation to the credible and prima facie cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the British military in Iraq from 2003-09,” said Michael Fordham, a lawyer appearing for the Iraqis at the start of a three-day hearing at the High Court. The case seems to be the tip of the iceberg, with lawyers saying further 800 claims of violations will be made.
UK to test flight new combat drone
Britain is to test flight a remote controlled stealth combat aircraft build by British arms producer BAE Systems for the British military later this year. The new robotic plane, Taranis, which has been designed to fly intercontinental missions to bomb targets, has no pilot and cannot be detected by radar. The aircraft has cost £125 million to build and is to be flown for the first time in a series of tests in Australia in the spring. Currently, British Ministry of Defence (MoD) and US military use unmanned drones such as Reaper to attack targets. The Taranis, however, is expected to provide a prototype of a new kind
of bomber that will replace piloted planes and the current drones. This comes as the deployment of assassination drones by the US
and its allies have led to killings of at least hundreds of innocent civilians, including many women and children, in the Middle East.
BBC condemned for pro-Israel bias
I February 2013
A leading British human rights group has uncovered the BBC blatant silence on the plight of the Palestinians’ subject to a prisoner exchange deal with Israel at the same time that the state-run outlet made Israeli trooper Gilad Shalit, also subject to the deal, almost a daily headline. On January 12, Palestinian political prisoner Samer Al-Issawi has been on hunger strike for 162 days and his fellow prisoner Ayman Sharawna has been refusing food for nearly six months, with a week-long break due to his critical condition. The stories of both of them were silently in the headlines as unnamed prisoners to be swapped with Shalit, as part of a prisoner exchange deal between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian
LOCAL & NATIONALI 11
resistance movement Hamas. The swap took place and the two along with Shalit were released from Hamas and Israeli custody, respectively. However, after Shalit’s release the Israeli regime broke the deal and recaptured the Palestinians, the BBC stayed silent; nor did it publish even a single news article about the fatal hunger strike they have been pursuing after they were forced to refuse food to win back their release. According to the London-based Islamic Human Rights Council (IHRC), Google returns over 21 million articles from the BBC website but none of them mentions Samer Issawi or Ayman Sharawna. This is while, the BBC describes its mission as one to “inform” and
“educate”, claiming to provide “trusted World and UK news.” But that apparently only applies to certain non-Palestinians, as Shalit story remained widely covered even after his release, when he was “trying to come to terms with his fame” and even “his first bicycle ride after he returned home”; the BBC even mark the anniversary of his release on October 18, 2012. However, the Palestinian prisoners remain uncovered even after Israeli prison guards attacked the emaciated Al-Issawi after 140 days on hunger strike and losing almost half of his weight, leaving him with broken ribs. “Their mission to ‘inform’ and ‘educate’ apparently doesn’t extend to Palestinians. An emaciated dog that has lost half its weight due to being abandoned is afforded an article by the BBC which includes a large color photo, but not Samer Al-Issawi who after 160 days without food has lost more than half his body weight, not even one mention of his name,” the IHRC said. The campaign group is now calling on BBC to “follow its remit to inform and educate by covering the issue of Palestinian hunger strikers” as the broadcaster is 82 percent by television license fees paid by the British taxpayers but is forcing through a campaign of “blatant bias” and political omissions.
Islamic bank launches new buy-to-let deal Islamic Bank of Britain has diversified its Sharia compliant Buy to Let Purchase Plan (BTLPP) product range with the launch of a rent-only BTLPP. The ‘rent only’ feature of this BTLPP does not refer to the tenancy agreement between the landlord and the tenants but to the payment arrangement between the customer and the bank. IBB’s BTLPP is a variable rental rate product available to landlords, of any faith, with a deposit of 35% at a rental rate of 5.49%. The bank will lend on a property with a minimum value of £90,000 and its maximum
loan will be £500,000. Imran Pasha, head of sales and service at Islamic Bank of Britain, said: “IBB launched its Sharia compliant Buy to Let Purchase Plan in November 2011 and we have seen a healthy demand for the product since then. The recent launch of the rent-only BTLPP is the natural next step for the bank.” He added: “The new BTLPP also represents a major opportunity for intermediaries looking to develop their business in the ethical and Sharia property finance market. There is a growing demand from landlords for Sharia compliant
property finance. “IBB also offers financial incentives for the IFA who can refer successful leads. “With a competitive procuration fee, which is currently matching the figures offered by other home finance providers for fully packaged cases, now is a good time for IFAs to consider working with IBB.”
I February 2013
Hamas and Fatah to revive unity deal
I February 2013
Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have agreed to revive their unity deal, stalled for two years. “Fatah and Hamas agreed at a meeting in Cairo between delegations of the two movements on a timetable for implementing Palestinian reconciliation,” AFP quoted Azzam al-Ahmad, who headed Fatah’s delegation in Cairo talks. “We are in agreement on the mechanisms and timetable to end the division, the most important being the resumption of operations by the Central Election Commission (CEC) in the Gaza Strip on the 30th of the month at the latest and
afterwards in the West Bank,” he said. Al-Ahmad stated that Hamas and Fatah had agreed to renew talks about forming a transitional government. The Cairo talks came following the January 9 meeting between the acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief, Mahmoud Abbas from the Fatah party and the Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal in the Egyptian capital. In 2011, Hamas and Fatah signed a unity deal, which has not yet been implemented. The agreement was designed to lay the groundwork for the formation of a
More women convert to Islam, says study
The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD) witnessed last year a conversion to Islam of 2,322 persons from 77 nationalities, 1,630 of them being females. “The department does its best to fulfil its message concerning spreading the Islamic culture and maintaining their national identity through taking care of Masjids, the Holy Qur’an and the Islamic
heritage,” said IACAD directorgeneral, Dr Hamad Bin Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani. The chairwoman of the new Muslims section, Huda Al Kaabi, said that the new Muslims came to the department’s building out of their own will and with sincere intention to embrace Islam, after they had learnt about its principles and teachings and the great message that it offers. www.passionislam.com
transitional government ahead of last year’s legislative election. But the process was halted. Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006. The dispute marginalized Hamas’ governance to the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli regime also reacted to the victory by laying a crippling siege on Gaza and keeping the impoverished strip under regular deadly attacks. Fatah, however, set up headquarters in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.
Quran Verse Posted at US Harvard Varsity The US Harvard University has posted a verse of the Holy Quran at the entrance of its faculty of law, describing the verse as one of the greatest expressions for justice in history, a Saudi newspaper reported. Verse 135 of Sura Al Nisa (women chapter) has been posted at a wall facing the faculty’s main entrance, dedicated to the best phrases said about justice. A Saudi student who studies at Harvad published a picture of the poster in his Twitter page, according to the Saudi Arabic language daily Ajel. “I noticed that the verse was posted by the faculty of law, which described it as one of the greatest expressions for justice in history,” Abdullah Jumma said. Harvard University was established in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1636 as the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
Afghans reject US bid to train police 14
I WORLD NEWS
US plan to continue its local police training bid in Afghanistan even after the pullout of its troops there has been rejected by top Afghan officials, highlighting persisting disputes over future role of American forces in the country. Top Afghan officials insist that Obama’s recent offer to remove US troops from Afghan villages must include Special Operations forces tasked with training the so-called Afghan Local Police (ALP), despite assumption by American officials that police trainers would be exempt from the pledged military force drawdown, The Washington Post reports. While the US military regards
the ALP training mission as “critical to security throughout Afghanistan, the effort has been opposed by top Afghan officials, including President Hamid Karzai, who argues that it helps create lawless armed militias, undermining the authority of the central government’s security forces. The dispute, the report says, “Underscores just how difficult negotiations over a long-term security partnership could be during the next year.” The report adds that while US officials say the local police training prevents assaults by militant groups, President Karzai “insists that it invites attacks.”
I February 2013
According to the daily, nearly 4,500 US Special Operations forces are tasked with training the ALP, a force of over 18,000 villagers “who are armed, paid and taught to defend their communities against encroaching insurgents.” The report further reiterates that although Karzai initially approved the formation of the ALP under pressure from US military commanders, he has persistently objected to the presence of US-led forces in Afghan villages, expressing skepticism of their ability to protect Afghan civilians and describing them as “a source of instability and tension.” Meanwhile, the daily quotes Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi as stating in a interview that the Afghan president has met with a number of civilians in recent months that “have accused the local police of rape, murder and theft in their villages.” American officials, however, stand by the program, describing it as a viable solution to Afghanistan’s security problems in remote villages. This is despite reports that since 2010, there have been at least three instances of ALP recruits shooting at their American trainers.
Russia allows Muslim women to wear headscarves in ID Photos
Muslim women who come to Russia to work have received permission from the Russian government to wear hijabs, traditional veils that cover the head but leave the face uncovered, when having their photos taken for identification papers. “The order says that it’s allowed to take photographs of persons wearing head attire that doesn’t cover the face of people whose religious convictions prevent them from having their head uncovered
in the presence of strangers. Photographing in overcoats or scarves covering up part of the chin is not allowed,” Federal Migration Service spokeswoman Zalina Kornilova told Interfax, citing an order by FMS head Konstantin Romodanovsky that has been in force since January 1. “These are the same criteria as those for photographs for Russian Federation passports,” she said. “Freedom of worship is
guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international treaties on human rights,” Kornilova said, adding that in 2003 the Russian Supreme Court satisfied appeals against an Interior Ministry ban on official photos showing people with their heads covered. The order sets new rules on photographing and fingerprinting for foreigners seeking work or applying for the registration of patents in Russia.
I February 2013
55 Countries demand UN Council orders Syria war crimes case At least 55 countries have demanded that the UN Security Council refer the Syria conflict to the International Criminal Court for war crimes investigation. AFP reported that the demand was made in a letter organized by Switzerland, which has spent seven months collecting signatories. The 15-member Security Council is the only body that can refer the case to the ICC. Swiss UN mission spokesman
Adrian Sollberger said Other diplomatic sources said 55 countries had signed and others could still join even though the initiative has little immediate chance of success. The Security Council is in a crippling deadlock over the 22-month old Syria conflict. Permanent members Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions which would have threatened sanctions against Syria’s President Bashar alAssad.
New Doha airport renamed Hamad International In Case You Missed It
Saudi King Gives Women 20% Quota in Shura Council
Qatar’s New Doha International Airport will be renamed Hamad International Airport when the much delayed hub finally opens in the second half of 2013. The US$15.5bn airport missed its most recent scheduled opening date last month and has now been put back to the second half of 2013 as a legal battle ensues between airport authorities and a major contractor. Airport operator Qatar Airways said in December it plans to file a US$600m legal claim against German-Emirati joint venture construction company Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) after it claimed LDI’s failure to complete the US$250m fit-out of 19 airport lounges by the summer of 2012 had resulted in significant delays to the opening of
the project. LDI accused the carrier of making “false and misleading” comments and the war of words intensified when Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said the joint venture was “adding insult to injury by denying that its delay caused huge damages and that LDI should pay compensation for such damages”. Phase one of the new US$15.5bn airport is slated to handle over 28m passengers a year, with the capacity expected to more than double by the time the airport is fully operational in 2018. The current Doha International Airport handles almost 20m passengers a year, with over 80 per cent of the passenger traffic generated by Qatar Airways alone.
In a historic move, Saudi King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the consultative Shura Council in decrees he published. The Decrees, published by the official SPA news agency, give women a twenty percent quota in the Shura Council, a body Appointed by the king to Advise on policy and Legislation him. One decree amended an article in the council’s statute to give women representation on the body while the other named the 150 members, among them 30 women. The new Shura council members are not permitted to mix with men, and are subjected to several restrictions, according to the decrees published by the SPA. As they are obligated with Islamic veil, women will also be segregated from men inside the council, with a special area designated for females who will enter through a separate door so as not to mix with their male colleagues.
Swiss delay return of Mubarak millions
Switzerland has said it will delay the return of millions of dollars of assets linked to deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak while it evaluates the institutions requesting the money. Swiss authorities have frozen about $700 million in assets connected to Mubarak and his entourage. Since Mubarak was toppled in February 2011, Egypt’s new rulers have made three formal requests to Switzerland for judicial assistance to recover the money. The attorney general’s office said it has reviewed some 140 different accounts in the course of its analysis, which would be completed at the end of January, when it would decide what to do next. After the Arab uprisings began in early 2011, Switzerland blocked funds stashed in its banks linked to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, former Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as money linked to Mubarak.
“The attorney general has asked the relevant Swiss authorities, namely the Federal Office of Justice, for an analysis of the situation of the institutions in Egypt,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. “Based on this analysis, the
I February 2013
attorney general will decide how to proceed in the legal assistance and criminal proceedings continue.” The office did not give details of which institutions it was analysing, or why. www.passionislam.com
Islamophobia” becoming culturally acceptable in germany
A new study warns that Islamophobia in Germany is becoming culturally acceptable, as bigotry leaves the confines of ethnicity and moves towards religious bias against Muslims. “It’s no longer ‘the Turks’ but ‘the Muslims’,” Wilhelm Heitmeyer, head of the institute for research of interdisciplinary conflict and violence at Bielefeld University told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Monday. Research has led him to be concerned general xenophobia had given way to a growing rejection of Islam in Germany. His theory is not new – a study from Münster university found that in 2010, 66 percent of western Germans and 74 percent of eastern Germans had a negative attitude towards Muslims.
And a more recent study from the Allensbach Institute suggested that this had not changed over the past two years, as only 22 percent of Germans asked said they agreed with Germany’s ex-President Christian Wulff’s statement that Islam, like Christianity, was a part of Germany. Heitmeyer also found that Islamophobia seemed to exist not only in the far-right, but was also present in more left-leaning and centrist circles. The sentiment was identifiable throughout the country, from the highest echelons of society to the lowest. Neo-Nazi expert from Düsseldorf’s technical university Alexander Häusler told the newspaper that while discriminating against an entire ethnicity was a taboo, religion-based
racism was generally considered to be exercising freedom of opinion. “Criticism of Islam or Muslims appear acceptable, because it is not seen as classically racist,” said Häusler. German Muslims have also voiced concern about growing anti-Islamic sentiment. Head of the Central Council for Muslims in Germany Aiman Mazyek told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that police and intelligence officials still refused to rank violent attacks towards Muslims independently, but grouped it within the broad category of xenophobia. “By doing this, hostility against Islam is being blurred out,” said Mazyek. He said the government should publish a yearly racism report. www.passionislam.com
I February 2013
Bosnian-Serb policeman jailed for war crimes
In Case You Missed It
No Hijab for Norwegian police force
The war crimes court in Bosnia has sentenced a former Bosnian-Serb police officer to a 20-year prison term over his involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The court convicted Bozidar Kuvelja for his role in the killing of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995. According to presiding Judge Jasmina Kosovic “Kuvelja is convicted of taking part in the persecution and forced removal of Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) from Srebrenica on religious and ethnic grounds and the killing of several dozen detainees at a warehouse in nearby Kravica between July 11 and July 14.” “He is found guilty for crimes
against humanity and the court sentences him to 20 years imprisonment,” she added. The 41-year-old, Kuvelja was an officer in a special Bosnian-Serb Interior Ministry police brigade. He was accused of helping round up Bosnian Muslims, separating women from men and sending those arrested to execution sites including a ware house in Kravica which is a predominantly Serb populated village in Bratunac county near Srebrenica. At the start of the Bosnian war in 1992, Srebrenica was a mainly Muslim town in the Serb-held part of Bosnia. On July 11, 1995, BosnianSerb forces overran Srebrenica and systematically murdered the men in mass executions. Mass graves were later found in the area.
Minister of Culture Hadia Tajik concludes that the hijab will not become part of the Norwegian police uniform or be used in the court system in the near future. Despite the Norwegian Faith and Ethics Policy Committee’s recommendation to make the hijab legal to wear for police officers and judges while at work, Tajik rejected the committee’s proposal in Parliament. A majority of 12 out of 15 members of the committee suggested to permit the use of hijab in the Norwegian police force and among judges, but according to Tajik no changes wil be made to the current ban in the near future. The same committee has also suggested that the church should lose its marriage license. They want the actual ceremony to be civil, and that those who wish to have a church ceremony can have one in addition to the civil service.
First Halal Russian Summit in St. Petersburg
The first Russian Summit Halal is scheduled to be held on June 4-7, 2013 in the St. Petersburg city with support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), COMCEC, SMIIC, the Central Spiritual management of the Russian Muslims, the Spiritual management of the Chechen Republic Muslims, the Business Russia. Halal certification Center will carry out the First Russian Summit Halal in Russia. Within the Summit, there will be the Conference devoted to the products certification and services on the Halal standards. It was planned to carry out this conference every year in the
different countries and the second conference should be held in Brazil, but according to the wishes of the international certification bodies, who gathered for the JAKIM meeting in Malaysia, it was decided to hold it again in Russia. This time it will be held in St. Petersburg. It is expected that on the Summit will arrive more than 200 heads and the experts who are engaged in certification, development, introduction and improvement of the Halal standards, bank managers investing for the Halal industry projects, and also the people working in the Halal industry. This time is scheduled to
discuss the following hot topics on Halal industry: Identification of the foundations of emerging markets in the Halal Industry, Investments in the halal industry — the world’s finances, Investments in the halal industry — emerging markets, Free Trade Zones — Halal Industry, Raw materials and ensuring the safety requirements in the halal production, Financial centers in the conditions of emerging halal markets, Investments, microfinancing of small and medium-sized enterprises in the halal industry, Marketing researches of Halal markets and Development of the Halal Tourism in Russia.
I February 2013
UAE stuns Iraq to lift Gulf Cup
United Arab Emirates defeated former Asian champions Iraq 2-1 in extra-time to claim their second Gulf Cup title in a thrilling final.
Substitute Ismail Al-Hammadi scored the winner in the 107th minute as thousands of UAE fans, flown in by chartered flights for the title showdown, roared in celebration. Al-Hammadi, who replaced Ali Mabkhout in the 62nd minute, latched on to a pass from Amer Abdulrahman and neatly slid the ball past the right of Iraqi goalkeeper Noor Sabri. Omar Abdulrahman had conjured the lead for the UAE in the 28th minute while Iraq captain Younes Mahmoud Khalaf equalized nine minutes from time.Abdulrahman’s solo goal was the best of the championship as the 21-year-old slipped into the penalty box before slamming the ball to the left of Sabri. Khalaf could have sealed the match six minutes later when he did well to beat Abdulaziz Sanqor inside the penalty box but he shot directly
at Khaseif. UAE, made up mostly of players who were part of the national team which took part in the 2012 London Olympics, kept pressing for the second goal but failed to find a way past goalkeeper Sabri. For UAE coach Mahdi Ali, the only one of two native coaches among the eight nations in the fray, it was a moment of crowning glory having earlier steered his team to victory in the 2008 AFC Under-19 Championship, a silver medal at the 2010 Asian Games and a berth in the 2012 Olympics. It was UAE’s second title in this prestigious regional championship, six years after having won it for the first time since its inception in 1970. Earlier, 10-time champions Kuwait beat Bahrain 6-1 to claim third place. www.passionislam.com
Djokovic, Federer confirmed for Dubai tournament
Six of the world’s top 10 men including world number one Novak Djokovic and reigning champion Roger Federer will converge on Dubai to contest the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Federer will bid for his sixth title, and Djokovic his fourth, but both will face a challenge from a field that includes top 10 rivals Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic. “Once again we are thrilled to announce that an incredible line up of stars will be coming to the Tournament”, said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free. “We can look forward to a wonderful week of sport from many of the most talented players ever to have played the game,” he added. The ATP World Tour event takes place between February 25 and March 2 and follows the WTA tournament that features nine of the
world’s top 10. Beginning on February 18, the women’s event will feature Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams as well as former Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova, Li Na, Ana Ivanovic and Samantha Stosur. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and
organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Tickets for the event are on sale with prices ranging from AED50 for opening rounds to AED450 for finals, with season tickets also available.
SPORT I 19
Ex England football boss Eriksson joins Dubai club
I February 2013
Former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson will join Dubaibased club Al Nasr as technical director. Eriksson, who has been linked with Blackburn, Ukraine and 1860
Munich in recent. Al Nasr spokesperson Mohammed Mubarak later confirmed Eriksson had accepted the post. Dubai-based Al Nasr, coached by former Italian goalkeeper Walter
Scotland to play Pakistan in Edinburgh
Scotland will play Pakistan in two one-day internationals in Edinburgh in May. Cricket Scotland announced the games would be held at Citylets Grange on May 17 and 19. Scotland have come up against Pakistan three times previously and captain Gordon Drummond described the fixtures as a “fantastic boost” for Scottish cricket. He added: “We have the chance to qualify for two global ICC events in 2013, and now we find we also have the opportunity to play two top test nations with Australia also visiting for
an ODI in September. “These matches are particularly important for the development of the current squad. “We are all really looking to welcoming the Pakistan team to Scotland once again, and these fixtures will undoubtedly build on the already strong ties between the Pakistani/Scots community. “It’s a fantastic platform for us to show what we are capable of, as we did with victory against Bangladesh last year- these are the sort of matches that every Scottish squad member will want to be involved in.”
Zenga, are currently fifth in the UAE Pro League after finishing second the previous season. The team is currently attempting to qualify for the Asian Champions League. Eriksson, who has just finished a temporary role as technical director of Thai club BEC Tero Sasana, is one of a number of European football managers to be lured to the GCC in recent years. Former Arsenal player and Leeds United coach David O’Leary coached UAE Al Ahli football club while Dutch legend Frank Rijkaard managed the Saudi Arabian national team for 18 months before he was fired last month.
Qatar pays Spain $4m to move football match
Qatar has paid football’s world and European champions Spain over US$4m to relocate its friendly match against Uruguay next month to Doha. Uruguay FA president Sebastian Bauza confirmed to reporters the friendly match on February 6, which was originally to take place in Portugal, would be moved to the Qatari capital. The move is part of the oil and gas-rich Gulf state’s bid to promote its football credentials ahead of its hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. As compensation, the Spanish Federation will be paid €3m (US$4m) and a share of the profits. Qatar, which is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, is aiming to use the showcase to promote its facilities The Gulf state is planning to invest nearly US$100m in infrastructure projects in the run up to the hosting of the tournament, which will the first time the World Cup will be staged in the Middle East.
The Mindless Dating Game
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I February 2013
Happiness or Heartbreak
Many unmarried people these days search for “love” in a series of premarital relationships, which far from yielding happiness, lead to nothing but spiritual degeneration, loss of self-respect, heartache and misery. When the average girl reaches the age of ten or eleven, she sometimes with the knowledge of her parents, sometimes without their knowledge - becomes engrossed in and obsessed with the teen romance novel: a blonde, blue-eyed girl, with a perfect figure, falls in love with the football hero of the school, a few complications on the way (nothing major, of course), but things end happily after. In these novels, girl and boy might hold hands, or there might even be a kiss, thrown in somewhere along the line. By the time the impressionable reader of these novels reaches her late teens, she is sick of these story lines...and is searching for more. And in most cases, “more” is usually available right there in her home, tucked away at the bottom of her mother’s cupboard, in the form of adult romance novels. The holding hands, and the kissing has now made way for much more, as details of pre-marital passion, and the fulfilment thereof are graphically spelt out on these pages. The reader is told what the “perfect body” is supposed to look like, the notion that sexual intercourse before marriage is sweet and romantic, seeps
through these pages...the feelings of degradation, and the many possible consequences thereof are conveniently left out. A fairy tale is a fairy tale, we tell ourselves, a book is a book...they have no implications on real life. Surely our daughters understand and accept this... But we are deluding ourselves. These same “harmless” fairytales and books, have a detrimental effect on the thinking, lifestyles and attitudes of our children. The first “crush”/infatuation our daughters experience in relation to members of the opposite sex, is often linked to false perceptions about “dating,” perceptions to which a wide variety of factors contribute. And one of the main factors painting a sugar and candy image of pre-marital romances, are these shallow bits of reading material that our daughters are exposed to. It is no strange co-incidence that girls grow up believing that a boyfriend is the key to happiness... after all they have barely started walking, when the stories of the poor ill-treated Cinderella, saved only by a dashing prince, and the beautiful Snow White woken up by a prince, and the doomed Rapunzel, saved from the tower by...who else - a dashing hero, are told to them. And when they read romance novels, this theory is further reinforced - for, in the classic teen romance novel, the girl without a boyfriend, or sweet sixteen and never been kissed” is the poor, laughing stock, who doesn’t have a date to the
“prom.” And on the pages of a typical adult romance novel, the heroine is always a successful, beautiful career woman, but, she feels, that “something” is lacking in her life...and that “something” is naturally a man. It is improbable that the average teenager, would just read these books, and that there would be no impact on her mind. It is usually exactly the opposite: she wishes she was the person on the pages of the book, and transfers her fantasies to her real life. She might see someone at school, who is popular, and goodlooking [i.e. the football hero], and so begins her first painful crush, which is accompanied of course, by sending him anonymous ‘Valentine’s Day’ cards, or calling him and playing songs over the phone. Shaitaan has set his trap, and the temptation to sin heightens, and each time the temptation is given in to, the girl becomes more daring. By the time the boy “asks her out,” her Nafs has gotten the better of her, and her head filled with the notions of how sweet holding hands before that first kiss must be, she cannot resist. And so begins a “relationship.” But this has all the ingredients that a classic romance novel does not....for those candy-coated pages do not tell you about the heartbreak, the tears, the mood swings and the countless negative aspects that are the central to these relationships And they do not tell you about the degradation and the loss of self-respect, with which people,
I February 2013
especially women, emerge, after these relationships. For there is no peace, no tranquillity in such relationships. The daily cycle, the moods, everything about the individual is affected. There is a certain sort of darkness, a restlessness which fills the heart, and this restlessness affects the rest of the family too. For it is now that all the arguments with the parents start: “Why can’t I go out tonight? All my friends are going?” And there are the mood swings, the fluctuating eating habits...if the phone doesn’t ring, then it’s a case of “I don’t feel like eating.” And then there is dishonesty... unable to tell her parents where she really wants to go, she makes the excuse of having to go to the library to study for tomorrow’s test. The ending of each relationship is most often marked by a long periods of torture, in which the girl has to “get over” the boy. Everyday life becomes a misery... her marks drop, daily moods start to depend on the current state of her relationship with the boy and many girls, totally misled by Shaitaan, even makeDu’a for a “reconciliation.” During this period the girl is ravaged by guilt, because deep down in her heart, she is aware that what she has done is Haraam, and she also feels guilty about lying to her parents. If there was a physical aspect to her relationship, then these feelings of guilt are deeply accentuated and coupled with a total loss of selfrespect. In the worst possible scenario, which is frequently happening, the girl, in an effort to improve her “self image,” may turn to various other ways...smoking, clubbing, drinking and drugs...or she may embark on a series of flings just to make herself feel “special” again. In short the “relationships” so sweetly portrayed in romance novels, which speak only of chocolates, flowers and happiness, end right there: on the pages of the novel.
In real life, such relationships lead to nothing but unhappiness and heartache. For how can there be any real happiness in a “love” inspired by Shaitaan? This type of “love” far from being pure and sacred falls into the category of fornication. And regarding fornication, Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’aan: “The woman and man guilty of adultery of fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: And let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.” [Surah An-Nur:2] How can there be any long term happiness in a sin for which the punishment prescribed is so severe? But while keeping in mind the above injunction, we should also not despair of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala... for we cannot even comprehend the vastness of this Mercy. We need to realise and to tell ourselves that there is only temporary satisfaction of the Nafs in a pre-marital relationship. We need to terminate any such relationship which we might be involved in, and sincerely make Taubah to Allah . As difficult as it might be to end such relationships, once we realise and acknowledge to ourselves that the novels to which we are exposed to from such an early age are totally based on a Kuffaar way of life, which appears to be very appealing from the outside, but which bears no contentment, no real happiness, it will insha Allah, be easy to do so. In addition to painting a rosy picture of dating, these books also create a very wrong concept of what the ideal partner should be like. It is obvious that since they are Kuffaar publications, there is no stress on piety, good Akhlaaq, honesty and all the other qualities people should be searching for in a potential marriage partner. Instead these books promote superficial thinking, with all their
emphasis on “good looks,” “ figures,” “star football players,” “smart cars,” etc. Parents should closely monitor the reading material which their children bring home and should teach their children about the beauty of Nikaah. We should realise, that while it is natural to be embarrassed to discuss such aspects of Islam with them, it is infinitely better for them, that we impart the correct knowledge of an Islamic way of life to them, than allow them to acquire the totally wrong concept of “love” from books, television, movies, and their friends and environment. It should be explained to each teenager that the pre-marital relationships, the engagements, etc to which we attach such a great deal of importance in this world have nothing but a negative bearing on our lives in the Aakhirah. It should be time and time again instilled into their minds that premarital relationships are a sin... Nikaah is an Ibaadah. Allah Ta’ala has Created men and women with natural desires, and He has Created Nikaah as an institution in which these desires maybe fulfilled. A Nikaah in which both, husband and wife are striving to fulfil their obligations to Allah Ta’ala, such a Nikaah will be filled with the mutual respect, love and inevitably, the contentment, which we hopelessly search for in pre-marital relationships. Within the sacred context of a Nikaah, in which both parties are obedient to Allah Ta’ala, and adhere to His Commandments, there can be no room for the loss of respect, feelings of degradation, etc. which goes hand-in-hand with “going out” with or “dating” someone. We should always bear in mind that should we die in the company of a “boyfriend” or a “girlfriend” or even a “fiancé,” we will be leaving this world, having spent our last few moments of this life in the company of a non-Mahram.
If you have a Question regarding this subject or any other featured articles we have covered please email us at info@passionislam. com and we will forward it onto our team of Scholars to answer.
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