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Times apologises and pays libel damages to imam who appeared on BBC debate

The Times has apologised and paid damages to an imam who questioned the Conservative leadership candidates about Islamophobia during a televised BBC debate in June. Imam Abdullah Patel, who appeared on BBC One’s Our Next Prime Minister on 18 June, was selected to ask Boris Johnson and the four other Tory leadership hopefuls whether they agreed that Islamophobic rhetoric had real-life consequences. He was subsequently suspended from his mosque and his job as a deputy headteacher after controversial posts he had made online emerged. Press Gazette understands he has since been fully reinstated and that no action was taken against him. Two days after the debate, The Times wrongly claimed Patel had

blamed Israel for the 2003 murder of a British police officer by a terror suspect in Manchester. The claim is believed to have been based on posts by someone with the same name. In its correction, published, the Times said: “This gave the impression that he had expressed views which excused or explained acts of terrorism. We accept that he did not make any such comment.” The front page story on 20 June, headlined: “Tory candidates threaten BBC debate boycott”, also wrongly claimed that Patel ran a primary school that had been warned by Ofsted for imposing a segregation policy for parents at events that ran “counter to British democratic principles”. In fact, the education watchdog’s criticism came before Patel was working at the school.

The front-page article ended by directing readers inside to the “Cleric’s history of controversy”, while the page eight headline claimed: “Israel is the real problem, said Imam in BBC row.” The Times has settled Patel’s defamation claim against it by making a formal offer of amends and agreeing to apologise and pay damages and legal costs. In a statement shared by his lawyers, Patel said: “It’s a great relief for me and my loved ones to finally put this episode to an end. “We owe thanks to my legal representatives and well-wishers who have ensured that shoddy sensationalist journalism will be challenged and defeated. “For my part, I will continue holding anyone, including politicians to task for stoking the flames of antiMuslim sentiment.”

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Muslims treated differently by newspapers, says press watchdog

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The portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the British press has been “the most difficult issue” facing the press watchdog in the past five years, according to its outgoing chief. “I speak for myself, but I have a suspicion that [Muslims] are from time to time written about in a way that [newspapers] would simply not write about Jews or Roman Catholics,” said Alan Moses, who is standing down after five years as chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation. His comments come two months ahead of Ipso’s plans to publish voluntary guidance for journalists when writing about Muslims, who make up roughly 5 per cent of Great Britain’s population, according to 2017 data from the Office for National Statistics. The regulator has previously issued similar advice for journalists reporting on transsexual people and victims of sexual crime. The decision followed a home affairs select committee hearing last year on Islamophobia and Britain’s print media, during which Ipso was accused of not doing enough to

tackle inflammatory and inaccurate writing. “A shock-jock Muslim story on the front page sells papers,” the former Conservative party chair Sayeeda Warsi told the committee at the time. “This is nothing new, we have been here before — some of the headlines we see now could have been written about the Jewish community in the 1930s and indeed were.” Ipso was founded in 2014, after calls for a tougher system of press self-regulation following the phone hacking scandal. It regulates more than 1,000 British newspapers and can force members in breach of its editors’ code to publish a correction, or pay a fine if there has been a serious and systemic breach. Sir Alan, who became its first chairman in 2014, said Ipso faced “constant” requests to make its editors’ code stricter on discrimination, which states that the press “must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference” to an individual based on a range of categories, including religion. “I think producing guidance is

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the best, sensible and decent way forward,” the former court of appeal judge said, adding that Ipso’s powers to “tell an editor what to write” were unprecedented and had to be administered “proportionally”. Critics have, however, said that Ipso could do more. Steve Barnett, media professor at the University of Westminster and member of campaign group Hacked Off, argued that The Times’ stories last year about a “white Christian child” who was “forced into Muslim foster care”, which Ipso later found to have been in breach of its rules on accuracy, should have prompted a wider investigation. “Had that disregard for the industry code happened in any other industry, the press would have been up in arms condemning the shocking negligence of these professionals,” Mr Barnett said. Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said enforced corrections were rarely given as much prominence as the original misleading article. “It’s an incentive to lie and only correct when you get found out,” he said, pointing out that the now debunked story about the girl in foster care could still be read online. Sir Alan, however, asked how stricter rules could be implemented. “Do you have a law that says you have to be like the BBC in taste, balance and decency? I mean, what sort of a rule would it be to say to a newspaper ‘don’t be nasty’?”


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Tribunal judges divided on MI5 secret approvals for serious crime

Five judges of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal have given a divided ruling over a secret MI5 policy allowing security service agents to commit serious crimes on UK soil. The judges decided 3-2 that MI5’s policy was lawful. The claimants in the case confirmed they would immediately seek permission to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal. In its 20 year history, the IPT

has made almost two thousand decisions, but this is the first case in which it has ever published a dissenting opinion, with one judge warning that the Government’s claimed basis for the policy amounts to a “dangerous precedent”, and another noting the court had been asked to accept ‘fanciful’ and ‘extraordinary’ propositions. The judgement was handed down in the so-called ”Third

Direction” case – brought against the Government by four NGOs: Reprieve, the Pat Finucane Centre, Privacy International and the Centre for the Administration of Justice, who argued that the policy had no legal basis and risked Government involvement in severe rights abuses. The dissenting judgements found that there is no basis in law for MI5’s authorisation of participation in crime, and that therefore the policy is unlawful. One of the dissenting judges’ opinions stated: “Can [the Government’s claims] possibly be correct? Where does it end? What other powers does MI5 have as a result of the section [of the 1989 Act in question]?” Maya Foa, Reprieve’s Director, said: “The IPT’s knife-edge judgment, with unprecedented published dissenting opinions, shows just how dubious the Government’s secret policy is. Our security services play a vital role in keeping this country safe, but history has shown us time and again the need for proper oversight and common sense limits on what agents can do in the public’s name.”

School demands bully apologises to Muslim girl she assaulted

A school in the Hertfordshire area will make a female student, who assaulted a Muslim pupil because of their hijab, write a letter of an apology, as police logged the incident after Tell MAMA gained the consent of the parents. We can reveal that on December 4, the Muslim student, aged 11, had decided to wear the hijab for the first time, when a female student in their year group approached her and said, “that hijab is horrible, I want to see your hair” before assaulting her

and attempting to rip her hijab off. Her parents confirmed that the same student had previously made anti-Muslim and Islamophobic statements towards their daughter. The nature of the assault meant that the young girl felt unable to inform staff but disclosed the incident to their parents, who, in turn, wrote to the school to raise their concerns. She had even talked about no longer wearing the hijab again following the assault. Tell MAMA has declined to reveal

the exact location of the school to protect those affected, but we have seen a copy of the letter sent to the family this week. It confirms that an investigation took place which demanded that the girl responsible would apologise in writing. The family chose not to pursue the matter further with the police following Tell MAMA’s report on their behalf. Tell MAMA has continued to warn against the issue of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic bullying in schools.

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Local campaigner supports the quest for peace in Palestine & Israel In Case You Missed It

The Chair of SACK (Kirklees community centres’ consortium) & Director of PKWA is set to live in the disputed West Bank territory as a human rights monitor early in 2020. West Yorkshire teacher & lifelong human rights activist, Fiaz Rashid, will be part of the international team from 25 countries on a programme initiated by the World Council of Churches & managed by the Quakers Peace & Social Witness programme. The initiative is aimed at supporting all of those affected by the conflict there & working for an end to the unlawful occupation. The programme has now been running for 17 years. It involves providing a protective presence to communities at risk of violence. Fiaz says “our team may be called upon

to provide a protective presence to children on their way to school, farmers trying to access their farmland to work, to support acts of non-violent resistance alongside local Christian & Muslim Palestinians & Israeli peace activists, to monitor checkpoints that restrict the free movements of Palestinians around their own land, or generally monitor any violations of human rights. Independent witnesses have been shown to act as an effective deterrent against intimidation and harassment. Fiaz has visited the region previously, although not in an official monitoring role. He says, “I witnessed a great deal of casual harassment of the Palestinian citizens from Israeli troops, other officials, and unlawful settlers. In

particular, I was distressed to witness the contempt and disdain demonstrated by settlers towards the Palestinians they encountered. Locals recounted that settlers would throw stones and other missiles from settlement areas into the market square, disrupting the Palestinians as they tried to earn a living, and risking injury to market holders and shoppers alike. This made me feel I wanted to do something to challenge the abuse by raising awareness of the situation as faced by many ordinary, everyday Palestinian citizens. There is extensive evidence to suggest that providing this monitor presence is highly appreciated by those suffering abuse and intimidation. It is important to point out that the monitoring service has the backing and support of Israeli peace activists as well as ordinary Palestinians.. An enormous value of the project is also the advocacy and awareness raising that is done back in the UK & other countries around the World. Fiaz says “on my return, I will gladly give presentations around what I witness to any group that is willing to host me. The conflict is incredibly complicated, however we can all do something to support the basic human rights of the vulnerable communities. www.pi-media.co.uk

Stunning Cambridge Mosque officially opened Cambridge Central Mosque was officially opened last month with hundreds of guests admiring its stunning architecture and environmental measures. Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque caters for Cambridge’s 6,000-strong Muslim community and was paid for entirely by donations. Aiming for a zero-carbon footprint, the mosque in Mill Road features air source heat pumps and airtight insulation, solar panels, water-saving measures and sustainably sourced wood.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was present for the opening ceremony after an invitation from founding patron Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, the singer-songwriter behind songs like Where Do The Children Play?, Wild World and Peace Train. The trustees of the Cambridge Mosque Trust, the registered charity that looks after the mosque, said: “The Cambridge Muslim community, which brings together local people from over 70 different ethnic groups, is delighted that its long-standing

dream to create an ecologicallyresponsible mosque has become a reality. “We are grateful to all our sponsors, to local residents, and to all who have shown such patience over the last 10 years while we planned and built this ambitious addition to the Cambridge skyline. “We are sure that its symbolism of harmony between East and West will preside over a hub for peace, prayer, and mutual understanding.” www.pi-media.co.uk


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British ISIS captives ‘could be handed over to Assad’

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Human rights NGO Reprieve has raised concerns that the UK Government appears to have ‘walked back its previous opposition to UK nationals being tried in Assadcontrolled Syria’, in a letter sent to the Foreign Secretary and published in Observer. In April, a Foreign Office Minister confirmed to Parliament that “we would not view prosecution by the

Assad regime as an appropriate means of justice”. However, as the letter from Reprieve lays out, the FCO failed to stand by that statement last month when asked about the issue directly. Instead, the FCO said only that: “Any decision in relation to the continued detention, transfer or prosecution of detainees is ultimately a matter for authorities under whose

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jurisdiction the individuals are detained. The British Government is clear that those individuals who have fought for, or supported Daesh, whatever their nationality, should face justice through a fair trial in the most appropriate jurisdiction. The UK will work with international partners, as well as partners in the region who can assist in establishing an appropriate pathway to justice within their territory or legal systems.” Although the FCO said it had human rights concerns about trials in Iraq and Syria, it stopped short of opposing such trials altogether. As the letter from Reprieve to the Foreign Secretary points out, the FCO’s statement also offers no clarity as to what the Government believes to be “an appropriate pathway to justice”. There is no prospect that individuals currently held in Kurdishrun camps could be effectively tried within Bashar Al Assad’s Syria. Should UK detainees be handed over to the Assad Government, they will face torture, disappearance and death.

UK government ‘ignored’ warnings before London terror attack

A former policeman warned authorities that a terrorist might have faked his renunciation of violence eight months before he murdered two people. The Muslim mentor said Usman Khan had a “suspiciously rehearsed” persona of a reformed extremist during their hours of discussion following his release from prison, the Sunday Times reported. Khan, 27, went on to stab two people to death at a conference on rehabilitation in November before being chased on to London Bridge, where he was tackled by passersby. Khan, who was wearing a fake suicide vest, was shot dead by police. Khan was jailed in 2012 over a plot to bomb the UK’s stock exchange but was released in December 2018. He joined a desistence and disengagement

programme, a new strand of the government’s counter terrorism programme, designed to help deradicalise convicted extremists. The mentor said Khan had been willing to talk about how he was a reformed character and claimed he had urged other inmates to recant. Far right outstrip religious extremists for first time in UK deradicalisation project. But the mentor highlighted his concerns after Khan suddenly became enraged during one of their meetings because of restrictions placed on his movements and internet use after his release from prison. “That sudden shift in his demeanour was alarming. But he was very self-aware and immediately self-corrected his behaviour when he realised I’d noticed his shift,” he said.

But he said the only contact he had from the UK’s Home Office after raising concerns was when they advised him not to speak to the media following the deaths of Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25. The murders happened 11 months after Khan was freed from prison. “What the hell happened between March and November, and how the hell has nobody seen the warning signals?” he said. “I am prepared to speak to people in authority to ensure that lessons are learnt and that no more innocent lives are lost as a result of terrorist acts.” A Home Office representative declined to comment on the case but said authorities would “make an assessment about the risk posed and take action accordingly” when concerns were raised.


‘No ceasefire plans’ in Afghanistan, say Taliban 10

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The Taliban have rejected reports that the militant group has agreed to observe a brief ceasefire in Afghanistan amid ongoing peace talks with the United States. “In the past few days, some media have been releasing untrue reports about a ceasefire,” said the Taliban in a statement on Monday, adding that the group “has no ceasefire plans.” The truce agreement was reported by the Associated Press on Sunday evening. The report said the Taliban’s ruling council had not yet decided when the ceasefire would begin. According to the report, it was

suggested that the ceasefire would last for 10 days. The AP added that the Taliban chief was expected to approve the temporary ceasefire agreement. The report also said four members of the Taliban negotiating team had met for a week with the council before the agreement was reached. The negotiating team returned on Sunday to Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office and where US representative for Afghanistan Zelmay Khalilzad has been holding talks with the militants’ negotiators since September 2018. The Taliban group refuses

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I January 2020

to negotiate with the Kabul government, which it regards as being illegitimate and a US puppet. In September, the peace process in Doha came to a halt while both sides seemed close to a deal, with President Donald Trump declaring the talks with Taliban “dead” after the militant group killed a US soldier in a Kabul bombing. Talks resumed after Trump made a surprise visit to Afghanistan at the end of November. So far, there has been no immediate response from Washington regarding the temporary truce with the Taliban. A ceasefire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement could be signed. The Taliban has been demanding that all foreign forces — US troops included — leave Afghanistan and end the invasion of the country, which began in 2001 under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Even as the Taliban are engaged in talks about ceasing hostilities, the militant group has kept up it attacks across Afghanistan. A Taliban raid killed at least 14 Afghan forces and injured five others in the northern province of Jowzjan, local sources said. Two government troops have also been missing. www.pi-media.co.uk

Hamas denies holding truce talks with Israel Palestinian group Hamas denied holding any truce talks with Israel. “We confirm that the siege and sanctions are still ongoing and the Zionist enemy [Israel] didn’t abide by the full entitlements of the previous Egypt-brokered negotiations,” Hamas said in a statement. Hamas called on all sides to “assume their responsibilities to stop the siege and lift the sanctions imposed on Gaza Strip, whether

from Israel or the Palestinian Authority.” Israeli Channel 12 said that progress had been made in the negotiations for a long-term armistice agreement between Israel and Hamas. Hamas rejected to stop operations in the West Bank as part of negotiations to conclude a long-term armistice agreement with Israel, the Israeli official Kan

channel said. Egypt, UN and Qatar have been leading consultations for several months to reach a truce between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, based on easing the 12-year-long blockade imposed on the strip in exchange for stopping the protests organized by the Palestinians near the border with Israel. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Woman forced to remove hijab in Minnesota gets $120,000 in settlement

A Minnesota Muslim woman has received $120,000 to settle her lawsuit alleging she was forced to strip in jail and remove her hijab for a booking photo over a traffic offense, the woman and her attorneys said. Aida Shyef Al-Kadi appeared with her attorneys at the Minneapolis headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to announce the settlement approved last month. Al-Kadi, 57, said her treatment at the Ramsey county jail in August 2013 was “one of the most humiliating and harmful experiences” of her life. “I knew that I did not want any

other Muslim woman to experience what I did,” she said. A judge had issued a warrant for Al-Kadi’s arrest after she missed a court hearing over a traffic offense while taking her daughter to the hospital, the Star Tribune reported. In her lawsuit, Al-Kadi argued that the county violated her constitutional rights and discriminated against her for her religious beliefs. Al-Kadi was born and raised in Ohio. She moved to Minnesota in 2005 so her daughter could receive specialized medical care. When Al-Kadi turned herself in, she said, she was told to remove her hijab and abaya, a long dress that

covered her body, in front of male jailers. When she objected, she said, she was removed from the area and taken to a holding cell, where she removed her hijab in front of a male jailer. She said she agreed to remove her headscarf for her booking photo after being told that the photo would never be released to the public. But months later, she found it on a thirdparty website that charges users to take down the photos. After taking the photo, officers gave her a bedsheet to use as a hijab. Al-Kadi eventually was told to remove her abaya and change into a jail uniform, while two female officers watched her. Ramsey county policy says that misdemeanor inmates such as Al-Kadi “will not be viewed without clothing”, according to court records. Under the settlement, the jail has put in place specific rules about how to accommodate inmates with religious headwear when taking booking photos. The county also agreed to destroy all hard copies and delete any electronic copies of Al-Kadi’s booking photo. The settlement does not require the county to admit wrongdoing.

Cairo, Bukhara named 2020 Cultural Capitals of Islamic World Egypt’s capital, Cairo, and the ancient city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan were named the cultural capitals of the Muslim world in 2020. At the Closing Program of the Islamic Capital of Culture of the Islamic World 2019 in Tunisia, the Islamic Education, Science and Culture Organization (ISESCO) announced that Cairo was selected as the 2020 Islamic Capital of Culture in Africa and Bukhara in Asia. Speaking at the program, ISESCO General Director Salim bin Muhammad al-Malik said that the program aims to support cultural development among Islamic countries. Malik reminded that Tunisia was chosen as the capital of culture for 2019 because of its deep-rooted Islamic history and cultural background. Tunisian Culture Minister Mohammed Zeynelabidin pointed out the importance of developing cultural policies in the Islamic world, according to Anadolu Agency.


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Erdogan says Turkey to boost cooperation with Libya www.pi-media.co.uk

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Turkey will improve cooperation with Libya by offering military support to its internationally recognized government and backing joint steps in the eastern Mediterranean, broadcaster NTV cited President Tayyip Erdogan as saying. Turkey and Libya’s Tripolibased government signed a deal on maritime boundaries, infuriating neighboring Greece, and another pact on military cooperation. Ankara says it may send troops to Libya if the Tripoli government requests it, but that no such request has been made yet. Speaking to reporters in Geneva after a forum on migration, Erdogan said he had met the premier of the

Tripoli-based government, Fayez al-Serraj, to discuss potential joint initiatives, adding Ankara was ready to help. “We will speed up the process between Turkey and Libya. We told them that we are always ready to help if they need it. From military and security cooperation, to steps taken regarding our maritime rights - we are ready,” he was cited as saying by NTV, Reuters reported. Libya has been torn by factional conflict since the 2011 uprising that deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Turkey has been providing military equipment to Serraj’s government despite a UN embargo, diplomats say. Rival forces under Khalifa Haftar

controlling the east of the North African state have received support from Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Erdogan also said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have appointed delegations to discuss developments in Libya and that the officials would meet “soon”. For its part, the Kremlin said Erdogan and Putin would address Ankara’s offer of military support to Serraj’s government during talks in Turkey next month. Turkey has said the maritime accord allows the two countries to carry out joint energy exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara has been at odds with Greece and Cyprus over offshore hydrocarbon resources. Greece says the move violates international law. Ankara rejects this and says it is aimed at protecting its rights. Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that once the maritime accord was approved and registered by the United Nations, Turkey will start working on licensing for oil and gas exploration and production in the region. “I think we will start the process in the first months of 2020,” Donmez said. www.pi-media.co.uk

‘Future Challenges in Islamic World’ Published by ISESCO

The Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) recently published a book titled “Future Challenges in the Islamic World”. According to akhbarelyom website, it was unveiled in a series of periodical cultural and intellectual forums held by ISESCO’s Cultural Association.

The book includes activities of the first forum of the association held on October 22 in Rabat, Morocco, with the participation of Abbas Al-Jarari, a Moroccan intellectual. The 42-page book also covers a part of the speeches delivered by Salim bin Mohammad Al-Malik, director general of ISESCO, and Dr

Al-Jarari in the seminar on the future cultural challenges in the Islamic world. ISESCO is an international organization working within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), specializing in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.


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UN denounces human rights abuses against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims

The UN General Assembly approved a resolution strongly condemning human rights abuses against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and other minorities, including arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and deaths in detention. The 193-member world body voted 134-9 with 28 abstentions in favour of the resolution, which also calls on Myanmar’s government to take urgent measures to combat incitement of hatred against the Rohingya and other minorities in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states. General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion. Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be “Bengalis” from Bangladesh, even though their families have lived in the country for generations.

Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless, and they are also denied freedom of movement and other basic rights. The long-simmering Rohingya crisis exploded on August 25, 2017, when Myanmar’s military launched what it called a clearance campaign in Rakhine in response to an attack by a Rohingya armed group. The campaign led to the mass Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh, and to accusations that security forces committed mass rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes. Myanmar’s UN ambassador, Hau Do Suan called the resolution “another classic example of doublestandards (and) selective and discriminatory application of human rights norms” designed “to exert

unwanted political pressure on Myanmar.” He said the resolution did not attempt to find a solution to the complex situation in Rakhine state and refused to recognize government efforts to address the challenges. The resolution, the ambassador said, “will sow seeds of distrust and will create further polarization of different communities in the region.” The resolution expresses alarm at the continuing influx of Rohingya Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh over the last four decades, now numbering 1.1 million including 744,000 who arrived since August 2017, “in the aftermath of atrocities committed by the security and armed forces of Myanmar.” The assembly also expressed alarm at an independent international fact-finding mission’s findings “of gross human rights violations and abuses suffered by Rohingya Muslims and other minorities” by the security forces, which the mission said “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law.” The resolution called for an immediate cessation of fighting and hostilities. Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu-kyi has defended the military action in Rakhine state during her appearance at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, while denying the “genocidal intent” of the state against the Rohingya.

“It is unacceptable that Hezbollah is waging a terrorist fight against Israel in the Middle East, which is being financed through worldwide criminal activities, among other things,” Mathias Middelberg, the spokesman for Merkel’s conservatives in parliament said in a statement. “In view of Germany’s special responsibility toward Israel, we call on the government to ban all

In Case You Missed It activities for Hezbollah in Germany.” The EU currently lists Hezbollah’s military wing as a banned terrorist group, but not its political wing. “The separation between a political and a military arm should be abandoned, and Hezbollah as a whole should be placed on the EU terrorist list,” Middelberg said. “This could freeze Hezbollah’s funds and assets in Europe more extensively than before.”

Germany’s parliament passes motion to ban all Hezbollah activities The German parliament passed a resolution calling for a national ban on Hezbollah, urging the European Union to add the group to its terrorist list and freeze its assets. Mathias Middelberg, the spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in parliament, said the joint resolution was agreed upon with the junior coalition Social Democrats, as well as the opposition Free Democrats.


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Israeli regime has demolished hundreds of Palestinian Homes in 2019: UN 16

WORLD NEWS

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Israeli authorities have demolished and confiscated hundreds of Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank since January. It comes as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its land expropriation policies in the occupied territories. The world body, in a report entitled “Protection of Civilians,” announced that 617 structures have been demolished or seized so far this year, displacing 898 Palestinians. It noted that the figures represent a 35 and 92 percent increase respectively, compared with the equivalent period in 2018, Press TV reported. Additionally, over 20 percent of all structures targeted this, and some 40 percent of all donor-funded aid structures were located in firing zones, which cover about 30 percent of Area C. The Israeli army has full control over the management of resources, planning and construction in the West Bank’s Area C, and strictly limits Palestinian construction

or development to less than one percent of the area. The territory accounts for more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank, and would form a significant part of a future Palestine state under the so-called two-state solution. The OCHA further highlighted that Israeli forces uprooted or chopped down about 2,500 trees and saplings during a demolition operation in a shooting area east of Nablus, and that the trees were part of a recreational area that served about 14,000 residents of Beit Furik town and nearby Khirbat Tana village. The UN’s anti-racism panel is to probe grievances by Palestinians holding Israel responsible for practicing “apartheid” in the Tel Avivoccupied West Bank. The report went on to say that Israeli authorities have demolished 29 Palestinian buildings or forced their owners to demolish them in Area C and occupied Jerusalem al-Quds during the past two weeks, under the pretext that they have been constructed without proper permits. The demolitions led to the displacement of 45 Palestinians and

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incurred losses on more than 100 others. Moreover, Israeli forces injured 14 Palestinians, including at least three children, in several incidents across the West Bank. The UN says Israel has advanced or approved plans for over 22,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank. According to the report, Israeli settlers injured four Palestinians and damaged about 330 olive trees and seven vehicles during eight attacks in the West Bank over the past two weeks. Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, the OCHA pointed out Israeli military forces injured a total of 129 Palestinians, including 44 children, during the “Great March of Return” rallies on the border between the besieged Palestinian enclave and the occupied territories in a fortnight’s time. The monthly economic loss for the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli blockade stands at nearly $100 million. The UN body reported that Israeli soldiers shot and killed an 18-yearold Palestinian east of Khan Yunis on December 17 as he approached the border fence. His body is currently being held by Israeli officials. On at least 15 occasions, Israeli forces opened fire in areas bordering the border fence with intent to impose access restrictions, and conducted an incursion and bulldozing operation near the fence. Four Palestinians, including three children, were arrested near the border fence in two separate incidents. www.pi-media.co.uk

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Islamic rights body slams Indian citizenship bill www.pi-media.co.uk

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly condemned the violence and loss of life in the wake of peaceful protests against the Indian government’s discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB). The commission said that Muslims and non-Muslims alike across India have categorically

rejected CAB, charging it as a biased, discriminatory and diversionary act, which goes against the Indian constitution. The IPHRC welcomed the assertions of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that CAB is “fundamentally discriminatory in nature.” It added that the law is incompatible with international human rights covenants, Arab News

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reported. The citizenship law comes amid recent waves of discriminatory actions by the Indian government, including revoking the special status of the Muslim-majority state of Indianadministered Jammu and Kashmir, discriminatory screening of Muslims from the National Register of Citizens in Assam and plans to build a Hindu temple at the site of centuries-old Babri Mosque. The IPHRC said that these actions reflect a consistent pattern of the bigoted far-right Hindutva policies that aim to subjugate Muslims in India. The commission urged the international community and the UN to pressure the Indian government to repeal the discriminatory clauses of CAB, abide by international standards in dealing with peaceful protests and ensure protection of all human rights and freedoms.

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UNHCR urges protection of civilians in Libya S The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for protecting civilians in Libya from the escalating military conflicts. “UNHCR ... renews its call for protecting civilian lives including refugees and migrants in detention and respecting international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” a UNHCR statement said. The UN refugee agency also expressed concern about a recent deadly airstrike that hit an area close to a refugee center in the city

of Zawiya, some 45 km west of the capital Tripoli. “UNHCR reiterates its call for the orderly release of all refugees and asylum-seekers held in detention centers close to conflict areas and stands ready to provide them with the assistance upon release into urban settings,” the statement said, according to Xinhua news agency. Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, choose to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from Libya although the UNHCR has repeatedly said Libya is not

a safe port given its deteriorating security conditions. Shelters in Libya are crowded with immigrants rescued at sea or arrested, despite international calls to close those centers. The east-based army has been leading a military campaign since April in an attempt to take over Tripoli from the rival UN-backed government. Thousands have been killed and injured in the fighting, while more than 120,000 civilians have been displaced.


From life in a refugee camp to rising cricket star

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SPORT

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

She has just returned from Miami where she was acting as a Young Leader for Street Child United, which uses the power of sport - especially international sporting events - to change the perception of streetconnected children all over the world. Dawn Leak, Vice Principal at Bradford College, said: “We are extremely proud of Jasmin. “She is a young woman who has broken down barriers and has shown people what can be achieved with talent, support and determination to succeed.”

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An inspirational young cricketer has fought against adversity to make waves in the sporting world. Bradford College student Jasmin Akter, 18, has been named Everything in Sport’s Unsung Heroine in Women’s Sport 2019 - just weeks after appearing on the BBC 100 Women 2019 list of inspiring and influential women. The award, for individuals behind the scenes who may not always get the praise they deserve, is the latest in Jasmin’s long list of achievements. Earlier this year, she represented England in the Street Child Cricket World Cup and was selected alongside fellow Bradford College student Sabeha Salam for Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s girls’ team. Her story is made all the more incredible because of the journey she has been on. A Rohingya refugee, Jasmin was born in a camp in Bangladesh shortly after her father passed away. For almost a decade, she lived in what she has described as “destitute

poverty”. Her family came to the UK when Jasmin was eight years old through the Gateway Resettlement programme, operated by the UN in partnership with the UK government. In 2014, while visiting Bangladesh, Jasmin, her brother and her mother were involved in a car accident that left Jasmin’s mother paraplegic. While still in full-time education, Jasmin became one of her mother’s carers. A talented footballer, who has also played for Bradford City FC, Jasmin’s sporting promise was noticed at a young age and she was recommended to apply for a sporting scholarship in America. However, she decided to put her energy into caring for her mother, as well as studying for her Level 3 Business Diploma at Bradford College. Despite her decision not to embark on the scholarship, Yasmin has developed her talents at the college.

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New Zealand rugby star joins Ozil in criticizing China

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I January 2020

New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams joined Arsenal football player Mesut Ozil in speaking out against violations of the human rights of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region. After Premier League club Arsenal star Mesut Ozil accused Muslims of staying silent over what he called China’s persecution of Uighurs in Xinjiang on Dec. 13, Williams added his voice of protest. On Twitter, Williams posted an image of a hand with the colors of Chinese flag forcefully gripping another hand colored with the flag of East Turkistan, with blood dropping from the second hand. “It’s a sad time when we choose

economic benefits over humanity #Uyghurs,” Williams wrote. East Turkistan in China’s farwestern region of Xinjiang is the Muslim-majority Uighurs’ home. The 34-year old rugby player converted to Islam in 2009. The New Zealand international is currently playing for Canadian club Toronto Wolfpack. Williams won the Rugby World Cup with New Zealand in 2011 and 2015. He also became the world’s best-paid rugby player after signing a two-year contract in November worth about $10 million with Toronto Wolfpack.

Ozil accused Muslims of staying silent over what he called China’s persecution of Uighurs in Xinjiang. On Instagram, the Turkish international wrote under the headline, “East Turkistan: Bleeding Wound of Islamic Ummah,” calling Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution... Glorious believers who put up a fight alone against these who forcefully move people away from Islam.” In China, he wrote, “Qurans are burned... Mosques were closed down... Islamic theological schools, Madrasahs were banned ... Religious scholars were killed one by one ... Despite all this, Muslims stay quiet.” “Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself? The honorable Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, says, ‘If you cannot prevent persecution, expose it’,” he added. Following the post, China’s state broadcaster refused to televise Arsenal’s match with Manchester City and the former Germany international was also removed from a Chinese video game. China is accused of carrying out repressive policies against the Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim group, and restraining their religious, commercial and cultural rights. www.pi-media.co.uk

Bahrain clinch first ever Gulf Cup with win over Saudi Arabia

Bahrain pulled off a shock in the final of the Gulf Cup with victory over Saudi Arabia. In a thrilling match, Mohamed Al Romaihi’s second half strike was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle as the Pearldivers secured their first ever Gulf Cup title. Bahrain’s victory saw King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa declare a holiday in the kingdom in recognition of the historic achievement. Following a semi-final win over hosts Qatar, Saudi started the match the brighter and hit the post in the

opening few minutes courtesy of a curling effort from Al Hilal winger Salem Al-Dawsari. The Green Falcons then had a glorious chance to open the scoring when Al-Dawsari was pulled down inside the area by Bahrain midfielder Mahdi Al-Humaidan. However, Salman Al-Faraj saw his spot kick clip the woodwork and sail wide. Saudi thought they had a second penalty as the match approached half-time when Abdullah Al-Hamdan was hauled down in the box. But appeals were waved away after a

quick VAR review. As the game wore on Bahrain grew in confidence and the introduction of Brazilian-born attacker Thiago Augusto provided some impetus in their attack. Al Romaihi smashed the ball against the post but was more clinical just minutes later when he rounded off a pin-point cross from Al-Humaidan. That proved enough for the win, prompting scenes of celebration on the final whistle. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Last Man Standing

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By Moulana Khalid Dhorat

It used to happen once in a blue moon, then about once in a year, then about once a month, but now it doesn’t happen weekly or daily, but about ten times a day! Very soon, it will happen so often till there are none left standing, but it will then be too late for action. And no, I’m not referring to eclipses or hurricanes, but to the rampant crime that has overtaken our neighborhoods and communities. Our community has lost too many valuable people in South Africa – many of whom were true men of God, dedicated community workers, courageous crime busters, affectionate mothers, dedicated breadwinners, and selfless professionals. For how long will this senseless killing continue? Will the last man standing be a brazen criminal or a respected member of the public? In a sense, this article is

dedicated to all our fallen victims of senseless crime I have no intention of shining the spotlight on the police or the government for their incompetency or lack of action in this article. Although there is much frustration at their lack of performance, urging them to do their duty is like flogging a dead horse. If governments can steal billions to the point of causing widespread poverty and a national economic collapse of their own people, and if police are more worried about bribes and protection fees from drug lords and gangsters, why should they care for our safety? What interest do the police have in protecting my house situated on Taj or Jewel Street in Laudium, or yours on Rose or Flamingo Avenue in Lenasia? Didn’t you hear the saying: “It’s a jungle out there, survival of the fittest?” Well it’s

I January 2020

time to actualize it. Firstly, it must be known that criminals are nothing but cowardly opportunists, preying on soft targets, who will not stand in a ring for a fair fight. They are no different to Israeli, American, Russian and Arab terrorists who drop cluster bombs on innocent and defenseless Palestinians, Yemenis, Syrians, Iraqis and Afghanis, but who will not come to the ground to engage in face-to-face combat. These criminals only have the element of surprise, but there is really no need to be terrified and scared of them. They are nothing but immoral degenerate scum who need to be regarded as such. A snake is only as dangerous as our perception of it, but once we learn how to capture it using nothing more than a loop, then no one will be scared of snakes anymore. Likewise, once we change our mindset of fear of criminals to that of loathing and disgust for them, we have won half the battle. We should not fear criminals, they should fear us. Cockroaches are meant to trample, not to flee from. In order to combat crime on a personal or community level and reverse the climate of fear we find ourselves in, there is one big ‘do,’ and three don’ts to implement. Let’s start with the ‘do’ first. As said earlier, we need to change our perception of fear of crime and of criminals and start making criminals fear us. This may sound logical, but unfortunately, our behavior and philosophy on crime reflects otherwise. We not


www.pi-media.co.uk I January 2020 only fear for our safety in our own Companions ever back down from a environment, homes and businesses, fight or a challenge? Did the enemies but we have weird ideas of creating of Islam have the temerity of entering a ‘space’ for criminals in our midst. their homes in order to loot them off We need to kiss the Gandhian their belongings? Never. They were philosophy of passive resistance warriors who were respected by goodbye for good, and embrace the their enemies. All of them aspired for Muhammadan philosophy of bravery martyrdom, because the status of a and fearlessness. The Gandhian martyr (shaheed) is indeed lofty in philosophy tells us to be passive Islam. with our oppressors and murderers, Although the original martyr is to offer our cheek for slapping when dying on the battlefield, but for us, it being asked to do so, and to forgive can also be achieved by defending our enemies, no matter how much our life and property. You may have a they have subjugated us. This few martyrs initially in the community, philosophy is responsible for our and eternal peace thereafter, but if inferiority complex, for our lack of we are continuously passive and not resistance, for our practice of keeping prepared to take our own security in some money at home “just in case our own hands, we will just have more some robbers break in,” and to invite and more victims within our ranks. these same robbers to steal it, “but Towards achieving this aim, we just leave us alone.” need to extensively arm ourselves, The Muhammadan philosophy, legally of course, including our on the other hand, demands that womenfolk. Those who are in the all Muslims be strong, powerful process of obtaining their firearms, and never to allow their lives or should also take self-defense classes properties to be wasted without a and keep deterrents such as high good fight. Whilst we may use modern powered pellet guns and pepper technology in the form of alarms, spray handy. CCTVs, armed response, and panic Children, instead of idling their buttons in the fight against crime, time away on their smartphones our most valuable asset should and computers indoors, should start be ourselves, our own formidable playing soccer and cricket outdoors, selves. We should be ready to meet a preferably in front of their homes, criminal at any time, and be ready to just as we did in the good old days. beat the daylight out of them. For too In this way, we can once again take long Muslims have been perceived control of our streets and help the as soft targets, as those upon whom Neighborhood Watch too! a robbery is never “wasted.” This This point should become the perception needs to change, and number one priority for everyone change fast! in South Africa, even if it means One may ask, but isn’t this a substituting our designer clothing for reckless approach. If it is, then ponder the Sniper ranger which resembles upon the following words of our most military gear. The fight starts from noble Prophet, the final Apostle of within ourselves. God, Prophet Muhammad (May As to the three don’ts, these are as peace be upon him). A man once follows: asked him: “O Prophet of God, what Don’t abuse your workers about if a man came to me asking or domestics: Many house for my money (meaning to take it by and shop break-ins are ‘inside force).” Prophet Muhammad (May jobs,’ engineered by disgruntled peace be upon him) said: “Don’t give employees. Abuse of workers take him your money.” So the man said: the form of sexual harassment, “What if he fights me?” The Prophet verbal abuse, exploitation of labour, (May peace be upon him) said: “Fight and underpaying one’s staff. Some him (back).” The man asked: “What employers think that by living in if he kills me?” The holy Prophet high-security villages, surrounding (May peace be upon him) said: “Then themselves with bodyguards, and you are a martyr.” The man asked: having secret entrances and exits at “What if I kill him?” The Prophet said: their workplace, they will be saved, “(Then) he is in the hell-fire.” [Muslim] but oppression always caught up with Did our noble Prophet Muhammad the most powerful of nations, why (May peace be upon him) and his wouldn’t it catch up with you, in this

FEATURED I 23 world and the next? Don’t boast about your money: Many people, at social gatherings and even at funerals, love to boast about their money. They brag about their huge profits and lavish holidays. Unbeknown to them, their own brother or cousin is hearing this boisterous conversation, not with the ears of admiration, but with a heart of envy. After a few weeks, the burglars are at his house expecting a huge loot. Today, our own families are our biggest enemies. In addition, many people live way above their means by driving super cars and living in luxurious mansions, thinking that this increases their status in society. Many a time these houses and cars actually belong to the bank, but when the borrower is targeted or killed due to it, the bank is not there to pay the hospital bills or the funeral expenses. So don’t flaunt your wealth. It’s disastrous. Don’t be a thief yourself: Burglars and robbers are crude thieves, but you get another class of thieves who don’t have to break into anyone’s safe to steal – they are called Professional Thieves. Yes, victims of crime may be criminals themselves, criminals of a different kind. A person or a household nourished by ill-gotten wealth will always be struck by misfortune in the form of sickness, accidents, endless court cases, and burglaries. This is God’s way of leveling the playing field a little. So, if a calamity struck you, ask yourself: “Who did I hurt whom I need to ask forgiveness from? Did I discharge my Zakaat (compulsory annual alms) in full and on time this year? Are my workers or suppliers cursing me or praying for me?” Remember, the plea of the oppressed is never rejected. Lastly, remember that faith and correct action go hand-in-hand. Let us not only recite our formulas (wazeefas) of protection like Ayat al-Kursi (the Verse of the Throne) before sleeping, but sleep with a clear conscious too. Ultimately, all calamities can only be committed or averted only by His leave. May the Almighty keep each and everyone safe, and save us all from a sudden death – Ameen.

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PI Magazine January 2020  

Latest news from your monthly Muslim magazine PI, #islam #muslims #india #bill #sbw #nz #ozil #media #tabloids

PI Magazine January 2020  

Latest news from your monthly Muslim magazine PI, #islam #muslims #india #bill #sbw #nz #ozil #media #tabloids

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