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NHS ‘treating minority Sonny Bill inspiring Marrying Mr Right doctors as outsiders’ young Muslims in Wrong way town


The Islamophobic Party

Issue: 135

July 2019

Four out of ten members of the ruling Conservative Party would not want a Muslim citizen to be prime minister of the U.K., a new poll has revealed

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Four out of ten members of the ruling Conservative Party would not want a Muslim citizen to be prime minister of the U.K., a new poll has revealed. The poll was carried out by YouGov and the anti-racism group Hope Not Hate as part of a survey that is measuring

the scale of Islamophobia in the governing party and found that a similar number of Tories was in favour of putting limits on the number of Muslims entering the country. According to the poll, more than two-thirds of party members believe the conspiracy theory that certain regions Continued on page 3

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Reaching 215,000 readers across the UK*

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Islamic Human Rights Commission

Morsi’s “murder” exposes international double standards

The death in court of the former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi casts a dark pall over the West and its allies, exposing the callous hypocrisy in their total abandonment of the aspirations of the Egyptian people. That Morsi should meet his end in a kangaroo court at the hands of a military dictatorship which stole a revolution and an election victory from the people is a fitting metaphor for the state of repression and fear to which the country has reverted.

Since he was toppled by the military in 2013, Morsi was kept in conditions that a British panel of parliamentarians and lawyers described last year as degrading and inhuman and which could make the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi liable for prosecution for the crime of torture under international law. In a finding that now seems prescient, the panel found the consequences of the poor level of care afforded to Morsi, who suffered

from a variety of ailments including diabetes and deteriorating liver and kidney function, were “likely to be rapid deterioration of his long term conditions, which is likely to lead to a premature death”. As Egypt’s first and to date only popularly elected leader his death under these circumstances will simply serve to nourish the aspirations of freedom-loving Egyptians and incubate more hostility to the Western and Gulf monarchy backed military regime.

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Continued from front page

of the U.K. are being governed by Sharia law. “From the grassroots to the great offices of state, Conservative members buy into racist myths, with almost half unwilling to have a Muslim prime minister -- and only 8% [saying they would be] proud to have one -- and most denying there’s even an issue to confront,” Mathew McGregor, the campaign director at Hope Not Hate, said in a statement. “The Conservatives have paid lip service by saying they have zero tolerance to Islamophobia and anti-

Muslim prejudice, but this new poll confirms they face a real crisis. No mainstream political party should accept racism and racists within its ranks,” McGregor added. The online survey of 864 Tory members also found that 45% of party members think certain areas of the country are no-go areas for nonMuslims, with 40% arguing that there should be a reduction in the number of Muslims entering the U.K. Some 39 percent also believe that “Islamist terrorists” reflect widespread hostility to Britain.

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Poll reveals Islamophobia rife among UK Conservatives

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The Conservative membership, which numbers 160,000 strong, will vote in the final round of the Tory leadership ballot and will choose the next prime minister of the U.K. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two finalists, repeatedly committed to holding an inquiry into Islamophobia within the party should they become prime minister. However, the new poll suggests that members believe such an inquiry is unnecessary and although half of the party believe that Islamophobia is a big issue, only 8% believe that it is a problem, with 76% arguing that the party is doing all it can to combat the issue. “The first step to challenge this crisis should be a show of leadership from Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson. They must both confront the racism of some party members and the complacency of others, state clearly that they accept there is a problem,” the campaign director said. The Muslim Council of Britain compiled 20 pages of evidence showing the large extent of Islamophobia in the ruling party and submitted the report to the Equality and Human Rights Commission urging an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. - AA www.pi-media.co.uk




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Labour MSP launches Scotland’s first public anti-Islam hate probe

Anas Sarwar launched Scotland’s first public inquiry into Islamophobia amid growing concerns about rising levels of race hate . Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Tackling Islamophobia wants to hear from individuals and organisations about experiences and consequences of anti-Muslim prejudice. Labour’s Sarwar received a barrage of abuse after speaking last year about his own experience of racism. The Glasgow MSP has continued to speak out against prejudice,

despite being targeted with hate mail from far-right extremists with links to neo-Nazi terrorists. He is now forced to carry a personal security alarm and closely monitor the whereabouts of his three young sons to ensure they are safe. Sarwar won praise for setting up a cross-party group of politicians at Holyrood to challenge everyday racism . The group’s work has already included taking on the sick “punish a Muslim” letter campaign and an attempt to tighten up rules about public institutions’ attitude to racism

and Islamophobia. They are now seeking views about what steps should be taken to tackle Islamophobia in Scotland, and the written responses will be followed by verbal evidence sessions and outreach across the country. The work will be carried out in conjunction with Newcastle University. The move comes after CPG chair Anas Sarwar and MSP Humza Yousaf were named ‘political heroes of the year’ for speaking out about their experiences of Islamophobia Sarwar said: “I am delighted that the CPG is launching the first ever public inquiry into Islamophobia in Scotland. “We have established that Scotland is not immune from Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. “We now want to gather evidence on the nature and extent of Islamophobia and identify the steps that should be taken to challenge and overcome hatred and prejudice, working with the Scottish Government and politicians, public bodies, and the media. “The fight against hate is a fight for all of us; and working together we can build a Scotland free of Islamophobia and all forms of prejudice.”

The Bradford-born poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, who was the first to withdraw, said the government strategy treated all Muslims as potential criminals and that she could not endorse community organisations working with counter-extremism funding and support. The others to boycott the festival, are Lola Olufemi, Waithera

Sebatindira, Malia Bouattia, Sahar al-Faifi and Hussein Kesvani. The organisers of the festival said they regretted the withdrawal of the artists but defended the use of the funding to run a pre-festival education project focused on raising aspirations and literacy levels. Bradford literature festival (BLF) ends on 7th July. www.pi-media.co.uk

Six pull out of Bradford festival over counter-extremism funding Six writers and activists pulled out of the Bradford literature festival (BLF) in protest after it emerged it received funding from a government counterextremism programme. The group withdrew after learning that the 10-day event, which was founded in 2014, has accepted money provided as part of the Home Office’s counterextremism strategy for the first time.

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I July 2019



Secret far-right Facebook groups stirring up anti-Muslim hatred

An LBC investigation has uncovered far right groups using Facebook to stir up violence and hatred against Muslims. Not only is the content of these groups racist, and in clear breach of Facebook’s own terms and conditions, but police sources have told LBC that it may also include criminal offences. Most users on Facebook know you can set up and join groups, on any subject under the sun. Normally, you can search for these groups some are open, others are closed, and you have to apply to join. But there’s another lesser-known type of group: secret groups. These

aren’t searchable, and the only way you know they exist is if you get invited to join. LBC gained access to two such secret groups, and found a hive of far right activity, racism, islamophobia and homophobia. One group in particular has around 2,000 members, and is using Facebook as a means to share some disturbing, and potentially radicalising content. On one page discussing Muslim politicians like Sadiq Khan and Sajid Javid, members have commented that “Muslims need to be controlled”. “They are invading our countries like turmites” (sic) says another. On a post about a recent clash

between far right protestors and Muslim counter protestors in Oldham, one man commented that Muslims were like “Sewer rats crawling out of drains” and another suggested bullets should be thrown at them. And there is even some discussion of concentration camps being the best place for Muslims. LBC were told by a senior police source, as well as a criminal lawyer, that some of these comments could constitute offences under the public order act, punishable by up to 6 months in prison A Facebook spokesperson told LBC: “Harmful or offensive content has no place on Facebook and groups must adhere to our community standards. These include strict rules around hate speech, harassment, bullying, and terrorist and extremist content. “In this instance, the group itself does not violate our community standards - however, there were users and content within these groups which violated our rules and which we’ve immediately removed. LBC flagged this with Facebook and as they’ve decided not to take the group down, people are still free to post on these groups. www.pi-media.co.uk

British Society for Middle Eastern Studies endorses boycott of Israeli universities The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) has endorsed the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, in a vote taken at its AGM in Bristol. According to reports on social media, the resolution supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign was easily passed, with almost 80 percent support. The resolution highlights Israel’s obstruction of “Palestinians’ right to education by destroying Palestinian universities and schools, arresting students, raiding and forcing Palestinian universities to close, and restricting Palestinians’ movement”.

The text goes on to describe the “key role” played by Israeli universities “in planning, implementing and justifying Israel’s illegal military occupation”, and claims such institutions “are maintaining a close and supportive relationship with the Israeli military”. Example of this relationship include “involvement in developing weapon systems, providing justification for military actions and extra-judicial killings, rewarding students serving in the occupation forces, designing and delivering special programmes for soldiers and officers, building on occupied land, and systematically discriminating

against non-Jewish students”. Proposed by Professor John Chalcraft (LSE) and seconded by Dr Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS), the resolution commits BRISMES to “endorsing the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until these institutions publicly end their support and complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law”. BRISMES was established in 1973 “to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East in the UK”, and brings together “teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East”.




I July 2019



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I July 2019



NHS ‘treating minority ethnic doctors as outsiders’ In Case You Missed It

Doctors from ethnic minorities are too often treated as outsiders by their NHS bosses and peers and not given the support they need, according to an investigation into why they are twice as likely to face disciplinary action as white doctors. A report commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC), the regulatory body for doctors, talks of “multiple and intricately linked” factors behind the disproportionate number of referrals of doctors from ethnic minorities by their employers. At the heart of the problem appears to be a club culture in some parts of the NHS. The report describes an insider/outsider dynamic; those most likely to be left on the outside are foreign-born

and trained doctors. They are often not given enough help to settle into the UK and the new job. It can be hard for them to find a place to live and school for their children as well as struggling to understand what is needed of them at their hospital or GP practice. It is not just racism. “The dynamic is a lot more complex than could be explained by focusing on racism,” said Dr Doyin Atewologun from the Cranfield University school of management, one of the authors. “There are multiple reasons why people could be considered to be outsiders. There are locums who are not overseas-qualified or black, Asian or minority ethnic [BAME] doctors, but also experienced a degree of

otherness. I would not say it can all be explained by racism.” Minority ethnic doctors told researchers of the pitfalls they encountered when trying to assimilate. “What people were telling me isn’t what they meant,” said one. “It can be as simple as how you ask for things – not just the words but the tone. The teams we join don’t always appreciate that,” said another. People in the NHS from overseas are expected “to just soak up the culture as they go along”, said a consultant. The report was commissioned after the case of the trainee paediatrician Hadiza Bawa-Garba caused uproar within the profession. Bawa-Garba, considered a good doctor, was struck off and then reinstated over the death of a boy at the understaffed hospital where she was working without proper supervision. Twice as many minority ethnic doctors as white doctors are referred to the GMC by their NHS employers for an investigation that could damage or end their careers. The report says support is especially needed for locum doctors, who fill in for others, and for specialists. These doctors are most likely to be isolated. It calls for “engaged and positive leadership” and a focus on learning and accountability rather than blame.

Muslim worker wins £6k compensation after a colleague Islamophobic rant A crematorium worker won £6,000 compensation after a colleague allegedly said “white people wouldn’t want to be buried next to a Muslim”. Admin officer Lehla Aboulossoud was awarded the payout after suing her bosses over a rant by Dawn Squires. Her remarks came at a Greenwich council meeting about cemeteries in Eltham, South East London. Referring to a local burial ground,

parks chief Mrs Squires allegedly said: “Do Kemnal Park really think the residents of Bromley would want to be buried next to a Muslim? “No offence to the Muslim community but that’s what the Muslims do, they move in and take over.” Mrs Squires was sent on a diversity training course after Ms Aboulossoud – whose late father was a Muslim – made a formal complaint and the case ended up at

an employment tribunal. They said Mrs Squires had said words to the effect of “white people would not want their loved ones buried next to Muslims.” The tribunal found the comments on January 8, 2016 did not “violate the claimant’s dignity” but were “derogatory of Muslim people”. The panel also criticised the council for lacking diversity guidelines and ordered additional training.


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UK: Arms sales to Saudi Arabia declared unlawful 10

U.K. weapons exports to Saudi Arabia have been declared unlawful as they have contributed to high levels of civilian deaths and casualties in the bombing of Yemen by Saudi-led coalition forces, Britain’s court of appeal said. The ruling was passed down by three senior judges after they

accepted the legal challenge from the Campaign Against Arms Trade group, which has accused the government of licensing arms sales when it was clear their sales could breach international law. According to Campaign Against Arms Trade, around £4.7 billion ($5.9 million) worth of arms exports


to Saudi Arabia have been licensed by the government since the Saudiled intervention began in 2015 with record sales taking place before 2018. The U.K. government “made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so,” the court said. British weapons exports are signed off by the foreign, defense and international trade ministries with Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson, former foreign secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, have defended the country’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The U.K. government has said it would challenge the ruling that its arms sales to the kingdom are unlawful as they contribute to high civilian fatalities in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Ethnic minorities ‘much more vulnerable to loneliness’

People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds may be more vulnerable to loneliness and face greater barriers in accessing help to overcome it, new research suggests. A study by the British Red Cross and Co-op found that ethnic minorities face multiple challenges that may mean they may be more likely to experience loneliness. These include increased likelihood of discrimination and fear of stigma, which can impact on their sense of belonging, and greater barriers to accessing help for loneliness and joining in community activities, including a lack of money and time. Some cultures may also attach

increased stigma to talking about feelings and causes of loneliness – such as mental health issues – making it potentially harder for people in some BAME communities to open up and seek help, the study found. The Barriers to Belonging report has been published to coincide with Loneliness Awareness Week. The new research reveals that people who feel like they “belong” to their community – who feel valued, included, safe and able to join in community activities – are less likely to feel lonely. Paul Amadi, chief supporter officer at the British Red Cross, said: “We all need to ask if we’re doing enough to make our institutions, services

and workplaces as inclusive, diverse and welcoming to people of all backgrounds as they can be. “And we need the Government to make a commitment to spending on services and activities to help combat loneliness and improve people’s health and wellbeing – reaching those most in need, irrespective of race, culture, geography or income. “If those from BAME backgrounds are at a greater risk of loneliness, any initiative to connect people with each other needs to be designed with that in mind. No one should feel isolated or unable to make friends and meaningful connections with others because they feel excluded by their ethnicity, or anything else.


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I July 2019

UN rights boss urges states to repatriate ISIL fighters’ families

Thousands of relatives of suspected ISIL fighters should be taken back by their countries of origin, the United Nations human rights chief has said. Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council as it opened its annual summer session in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet said that children, in particular, had suffered “grievous violations” of their rights. “Foreign family members should be repatriated, unless they are to be prosecuted for crimes in accordance with international standards,” she

said. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there are 29,000 children of foreign fighters in Syria, of which 20,000 are from Iraq. In total, more than 55,000 suspected ISIL fighters and their families have been detained in Syria and Iraq following the armed group’s collapse. Most of them are citizens of these two countries, but overall the suspected ISIL fighters come from nearly 50 countries, Bachelet said.

More than 11,000 of their relatives are being held at the Al Hol camp in northeastern Syria alone, she added, noting that many there lived in “deeply sub-standard” conditions. Bachelet appealed to the relevant countries to uphold their responsibilities under international law - even with regard to members of an armed group infamous for beheadings and other grave violence. “Regarding the alleged fighters, well over 150 men and women have been sentenced to death in Iraq under the anti-terrorism law, following trials which have not afforded adequate due process guarantees,” Bachelet said. Putting European fighters on trial in their home countries is considered problematic, as little evidence that would survive judicial scrutiny directly links them to crimes in Syria and Iraq. The US has been urging European countries to bring back their nationals and put them on trial but most EU countries have refused. Russia and Kazakhstan have been most active at repatriating foreign fighters and their families.

ICC prosecutor requests probe into Rohingya deportation A prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) declared that she intended to submit a request to open an investigation in the deportation of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, according to an ICC statement. Following the notification, the court convened a pre-trial chamber that would decide whether or not to authorize prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open an investigation into the issue, the statement said. It added that last September

the court decided it may exercise jurisdiction over the “alleged” deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. Later that month, Bensouda announced the opening of a preliminary examination into the issue. According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, escaped Myanmar and crossed over into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim

community in August 2017. Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA). Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added. www.pi-media.co.uk

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Muslims seek Islamic values when choosing holidays survey finds

Islamic values are just as important as the destination, quality and value for money for Muslims when choosing a holiday destination, according to a new study by the University of Portsmouth. The research found that when choosing a halal holiday (one that allows Muslim tourists to go on a holiday while remaining true to their religion), Muslim’s travel destinations are based on a combination of ‘consumption’ values (associated with accommodation, airline, entertainment), ‘personal’ values (fun, enjoyment, security) and Islamic religious values, such as Iman (faith). Islamic values, related to aspects such as halal food, segregated facilities for men and women, prayer

facilities and avoiding haram, were found to play a significant role for Muslim’s in their expectations of a halal holiday. The study, published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Tourism Research, recommends that tourism and hospitality companies develop products and services that are Sharia- compliant. With the halal tourism market expected to be worth more than USD 200 billion by 2020 (Global Muslim Travel Index GMTI, 2016), such initiatives would enable tourism and hospitality firms to demonstrate their cultural responsiveness to this emerging sector. Lead author of the study Dr Padmali Rodrigo, Research Fellow in Marketing at the University of

A mosque in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in the North Africa, was attacked last month, a local media reported. People were praying inside the Muley el Mehdi mosque, known as the largest of Ceuta, when

it became the target of at least four gunshots fired by unknown assailants, Spanish news agency EFE said citing police sources. One or two people are suspected for the attack, according to the EFE.

Portsmouth, said: “Given the growth in Halal tourism, understanding the values that influence Muslim consumers travel decisions are important as it would allow companies to provide a unique and authentic travel experience to Muslims, which would make them feel safe, secure and welcomed. Therefore, we argue that consumption values need to be broadened to include religious values such as Islamic values that stem from Iman.” The data for the study was gathered via 21 semi-structured interviews conducted among Sri Lankan Muslims (17 male and 4 female). While the study has limitations, such as interviewees from just one country and the low number of female respondents, the findings provide new insights into expectations of Muslim consumers in the under-represented halaltourism market (the share of halal tourism is 12 per cent globally). Co-author Dr Sarah Turnbull, Principal Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Portsmouth, said: “Merely understanding the values associated with basic consumption expectations are not sufficient tourism and hospitality companies need to pay attention to other factors such as religious and personal values that come into play. It is not possible to understand the behaviour of Muslim tourists without incorporating the Islamic attributes.”

Mosque in Spanish enclave Ceuta comes under gun attack

No casualties were reported, police launched a probe into the incident. Muslims consist around 43% of Ceuta’s population, which is located on African side of the Strait of Gibraltar.

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I July 2019

Ex-Serb soldier gets 13 years for war crimes


I July 2019

A Bosnia and Herzegovina court last month sentenced a former Serb soldier to 13 years in prison for crimes against Bosniak civilians during the 1990s Bosnian War. Sretko Pavic was convicted of crimes against humanity. A court in the capital Sarajevo found Pavic guilty of playing an active role in systematic attacks by

Serb soldiers and police on nonSerbs in Prijedor, northern Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. According to the statement, Pavic was also involved in the abandonment and murder of the Bosniak population in Prijedor. What happened in Prijedor? In March 1992, when the war in


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Bosnia and Herzegovina had just begun, 1,775 Serbs from 13 police stations in Prijedor were armed in about a month. Serbian troops seized the city of Prijedor on the night of April 29, when the majority of the population was then Bosniak. Serb troops with heavy weapons attacked villages around Prijedor on May 23. During the attack and the massacre in and around Prijedor, 3,176 civilians died, including over 100 children. About 30,000 civilians from Prijedor were also taken to concentration camps in Omarska, Keraterm, Kozarac, Trnopolje and Manjaca. Tens of thousands were deported from their own lands.

Real News


France smashes neo-Nazi cell over plot against Muslims, Jews French police have smashed a neo-Nazi cell accused of plotting attacks on Jewish or Muslim places of worship, legal sources said. Five members of the group, who were “close in ideology to the neo-Nazi movement” were charged between September and May over the alleged plot, a source close to the investigation said. “The investigation suggested they were developing an ill-defined plot to carry out an attack, likely to target a place of worship,” the judicial source said. The sources gave no details of specific targets or motives. Police in the southeastern city of Grenoble first arrested a man

on weapons charges in September 2018. The investigation led them to the four other suspects, two of them minors. Anti-terrorism investigators took over the investigation in January and charged the suspects with terror offences, including making and transporting explosive devices and being part of a terrorist conspiracy. While France has repeatedly been targeted by jihadists since 2015, a handful of alleged plots involving far-right extremists have made headlines in recent months. In November, six people were arrested over an alleged plot to attack President Emmanuel

Macron. In July 2017, a 23-year-old was charged with plotting to assassinate the president at France’s Bastille Day military parade. The man told investigators he wanted to kill Macron along with “Muslims, Jews, blacks and homosexuals,” and three kitchen knives were found in his car. In June 2018, 13 people with links to the radical Action des Forces Operationnelles (Operational Forces Action) group were arrested by anti-terrorist police over an alleged plot to attack Muslims. www.pi-media.co.uk

Saudi offers permanent residency to expats 16




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In Case You Missed It

Saudi Arabia has opened applications for a permanent residency programme designed to attract foreign investment to the kingdom, but it will cost a hefty 800,000 riyals ($213,000). There’s also a cheaper option, with a one-year renewable residency costing 100,000 riyals. The so-called premium residencies will allow foreigners to buy property and do business without a Saudi sponsor, switch jobs and exit the kingdom easily and sponsor visas for family members, according to the website for registrations. As well as the paying the high fee,

applicants must be at least 21 years old, prove financial solvency and have a clean criminal record and bill of health. The programme approved in May is the latest sign of how the quest for non-oil revenue is prompting Gulf nations to rethink the role of foreigners in their societies. It’s a landmark move in a region where many overseas workers are subject to some of the world’s most restrictive residency rules. The United Arab Emirates approved a plan this year to allow wealthy foreigners to apply for a 10-year stay. The idea for a long-term Saudi

residency programme was first floated in 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as a part of his plan to reduce the economy’s reliance on oil and boost foreign direct investment. At the time, he estimated the programme would generate about $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020. While Saudi Arabia is seeking to encourage the affluent to stay, monthly fees imposed on foreign workers and their families, along with sluggish economic growth, have prompted hundreds of thousands of expatriates to leave. The levy is designed to spur private businesses to hire Saudi nationals. The new permanent residency system could prove controversial among Saudis at a time when unemployment is at 12.5%, nationalism is surging and xenophobia is not uncommon. Slogans like “Saudi is for Saudis” are common on social media, and a recent opinion piece in a newspaper argued that the kingdom could deport all its Lebanese residents without consequence.

India rejected a US State department’s annual report on religious freedom that raised questions about the government’s inability to curb violent attacks on the country’s minority Muslims. “India is proud of its secular credentials, its status as the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a longstanding commitment to tolerance and inclusion,” Raveesh Kumar, the ministry’s spokesman, said in a statement. The State Department report, released, said some senior officials from Prime Minister Narendra

Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year had made “inflammatory speeches” against religious minorities. Kumar said India’s constitution guarantees fundamental rights and religious freedom of all citizens, including its minority communities. Muslims make up 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people. “We see no locus standi for a foreign entity to pronounce on the state of our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights,” Kumar said. The US State Department report

examined attacks on minorities during 2018. “Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumors that victims had traded or killed cows for beef,” the report said. It also noted reports by nongovernmental organizations that the government sometimes failed to act on mob attacks on religious minorities, marginalized communities, and critics of the government. www.pi-media.co.uk

India rejects US report on attacks on minority Muslims

Tunisia among five elected to UN security council www.pi-media.co.uk

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Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were elected to the UN Security Council as the top UN body struggles to agree on how to confront global conflicts. The five newcomers will join the council in January for a two-year stint, replacing Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Poland and Peru. The election comes at a time of diplomatic deadlock at the council, which has been unable to agree on a response to several crises, from Syria to Myanmar, Venezuela or Sudan.

Five countries - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States - have a permanent seat on the 15-member council and enjoy veto power over any decisions. The 10 other non-permanent members are elected for twoyear terms to serve on the UN’s most powerful body, tasked with addressing threats to international peace and security. During a secret ballot at the General Assembly, Estonia squared off with Romania for the eastern European seat while Saint Vincent and the Grenadines faced a lastminute challenge from El Salvador


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for the Latin America seat. The three other countries ran unopposed, having been selected as the candidate of their regional bloc. Vietnam picked up 192 votes, Niger and Tunisia 191 votes each and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines won 185 votes against six for El Salvador during the ballot in the 193-member assembly. Estonia won a seat with 132 votes during a runoff with Romania, which picked up 58. It will be the first time that Estonia, which made cyber-security its campaign plank, will serve on the council as will Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which has pledged to push for action on climate change. UN expert Richard Gowan said the election of the five new members could exacerbate divisions. “I think we are going to see quite a strong anti-Western group in the council, which could lead to more fiery diplomacy and make it harder for the US and its allies to push their resolutions through New York,” said Gowan, UN director for the International Crisis Group. “Vietnam and St Vincent seem likely to side with the Chinese and Russians on issues like Venezuela, as Indonesia and South Africa have already done this year.”

Afghan leaders holds peace summit in Pakistan Dozens of Afghan political leaders held a peace conference in neighbouring Pakistan to pave the way for further Afghan-to-Afghan dialogue. The three-day conference was ahead of President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan. Ghani, his political opponents and a broad swath of civil society

have been meeting in recent days with the United States’ special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who is continuing to press for talks between the Afghan government, the opposition and the Taliban. There are no representatives of the Taliban at the meeting near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

However, attending the conference was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who struck a peace deal with Ghani’s government and was taken off a US terrorist list. That peace deal was touted as a blueprint for an agreement with the Taliban. www.pi-media.co.uk

Sri Lanka monk calls for stoning of Muslims



Muslims in Sri Lanka say they fear new attacks after a top Buddhist monk called for violence against members of the religious minority, claiming a Muslim doctor had sterilized thousands of Buddhist women. Activists, politicians and members of the Muslim minority said Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero’s speech was likely to fan communal tensions after Buddhist mobs attacked scores of Muslim homes and businesses last month. The riots were an apparent response to deadly bombings on churches and hotels on Easter

www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2019

Sunday that killed more than 250 people and were claimed by the Deash (ISIL, or ISIS) terror group. With the country still reeling from the bombings and subsequent riots, Gnanarathana repeated unsubstantiated accusations that a Muslim doctor in the central Kurunegala district had covertly sterilized 4,000 Buddhist women. “Some female devotees said [people like the doctor] should be stoned to death. I do not say that. But that’s what should be done,” he said in a speech broadcast on national television. The monk, who heads the Asgiriya

Chapter, one the largest and oldest Buddhist chapters in Sri Lanka, went on to call for a boycott of Muslimowned restaurants, reinforcing a longstanding and unsubstantiated rumor that Muslim restaurants served their Buddhist customers food spiked with sterilization medication. “Don’t eat from those [Muslim] shops. Those who ate from these shops will not have children in future,” he told worshippers at a temple in the central district of Kandy, where that same rumor had unleashed days of anti-Muslim riots last year. Gnanarathana defended his comments, saying: “The remarks I made are only in line with what the majority are thinking.” Buddhists make up more than 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million population, while Muslims account for 10 percent. Activists described the comments as hate speech and called on President Maithripala Sirisena to take action, while members of the Muslim community said they feared the monk’s comments could lead to new violence against them. Gnanrathana’s office and a spokesman for the president declined to comment. www.pi-media.co.uk

commercials is prohibited. The decision has been made in order to prevent misuse of religious content in commercials. The council also banned advertising for fundraising. Tunisia is a North African country

bordering the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert. Islam is the official state religion in Tunisia. Approximately 99 percent of the population of the country is Muslim. www.pi-media.co.uk

Tunisia bans using Quran in commercials Tunisia issued a ban on using the Quran and Hadiths for commercial purposes. According to Rasid news website, the Supreme Council of Media said using Quranic verses and Hadith in radio and TV

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I July 2019




Bodies of Muslims killed in Bosnia war- found in mass grave west of Sarajevo, to the capital for DNA tests and the results should be available in six to eight weeks, she said. When the conflict ended, 31,500 people remained missing. The bodies of some 25,000 have since been exhumed from mass graves, but few have been found in recent years. More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were butchered by Bosnian Serb forces in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II and deemed genocide by international justice.

The remains of 12 Muslims killed in Bosnia’s brutal 1992-95 civil war have been found in a mass grave on a mountain near Sarajevo, Fena news agency said. The war is thought to have left more than 100,000 people dead and over 7,000 people are still missing. “According to the evidence, they

were liquidated while they were trying to go to the Free Territories,” or areas under the control of the Bosnian army, Emza Fazlic, the spokeswoman of the Bosnian Institute for Missing Persons, told Fena. The bodies have been transferred from the grave site at Mt. Igman,

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Malaysian firm develops world’s 1st ‘Halal’ web browser In Case You Missed It

A Malaysian tech firm said it has developed the world’s first mobile and desktop browser that is compliant with Islamic values to target the worlds 1.8 billion Muslims by offering them a safe and ethically-sensitive online experience. Among other features, SalamWeb has a clock showing prayer timings as per your geographical location, a compass indicating the direction that a Muslim must face while praying and signals warnings when you try to open a website that may be forbidden according to Islam’s teachings, Efe news reported. The multilingual browser with a simple interface to which its user

can add other linked applications, all in accordance with Sharia, made its debut earlier this year. “Generation M, the younger Muslims who have a strong belief in their faith and are technology savvy, is looking at more practical solutions to support their needs,” Hajjah Hasni Zarina, the Director General of SalamWeb Technologies, told the news agency. With over 1.8 million Muslims in the world or 24 per cent of the global population, the company, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, sees a “huge opportunity” to exploit the niche market and “the potential in making technology the enabler to enhance the lives” Muslims around

the globe. “Our guidelines have been developed with the care and guidance of Muslim adab (discipline) based on the principles of the Shariah (Sharia),” Zarina said. She claimed that the certificate for the browser was endorsed by the Shariah Supervisory Board of Amanie Advisors, comprising of scholars from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Malaysia. In order to respect and uphold fundamentals of Islam, the browser filters search options and allows users to classify websites as appropriate, neutral and inappropriate. www.pi-media.co.uk



www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2019

Islamophobia in Liverpool falls following striker’s arrival, study finds

Muslim footballer Mo Salah’s high strike rate for Liverpool and his kind personality are behind reduction in Islamophobia in the city, a study has found. He helped bring the Champions League trophy back to Liverpool with his early penalty against Tottenham Hotspur but the Mo Salah phenomenon in the city isn’t just about hitting the back of the net.

Researchers from America’s Stanford University believe his presence in the team has seen hate crimes against Muslims on Merseyside plummet by almost 20% since the Egyptian’s arrival. But it’s not just academics that have noticed a difference, the Muslim community in Liverpool has seen for itself the Salah effect. “Guys like Mo Salah and Sadio

Mane, these guys playing at the level that they’re playing football and it gives the world an opportunity to say ‘Ey, Muslims are like everybody else’,” said Imam Abu Usamah Atthahabi. Salah’s arrival has not only brought goals and trophies to Merseyside, it has also brought an influx of Muslim football supporters who say they feel part of the club. “In that moment you don’t just feel that Salah is welcome, you feel welcome too,” said Hamzah Khalique-Loonat, a presenter of Tactics Weekly podcast. He added: “It opens up who you believe your friends could be, who you believe your family could be, you become a lot more accessible to others and they’re more accessible to you.” Despite research pointing to a huge drop in Islamophobia, one Muslim who already supported the club before the Egyptian revolution told ITV News he “never noticed any racism towards Muslims” in Liverpool. - ITV

Sonny Bill speaks about inspiring young Muslims All Blacks and Blues midfielder Sonny Bill Williams hopes to continue inspiring young Muslims, Pacific Islanders and his children, as he looks to grow as a person and leader. Williams’ plans post 2019 are up in the air, amid speculation match against the Hurricanes was his final Super Rugby outing. A committed Muslim who showed leadership following the Christchurch mosque attacks which left 51 worshippers dead, he has also completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management,

with distinction, from Otago Polytechnic, as he balances life on and off the pitch. He said from a young age he has always wanted to better himself and learn from his mistakes. As the father of young Pacific Islanders, he also wanted to show leadership and inspire them to be the best they can be. “I know I didn’t have to study, but I want my kids to grow up to be what ever they want to be,” he said. “They are Pacific Islanders and that stereotype probably doesn’t open all doors for them, but if

they wanna step in that arena, I say I want them to do that, but I understand that education plays a process in that. “But I don’t wanna be that guy who says ‘go and do that’ and they turn around and look at me and say, ‘Um, Dad, you dropped out of school at 14’.” He said he is keen to study more about religion, among other things, but he doesn’t want to ‘pigeonhole’ himself. Continuing to lead, and inspiring young Muslims and Pacific Islanders, is a priority, however.

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Pogba says Islam made him a better person www.pi-media.co.uk

I July 2019

Paul Pogba has opened up on his Muslim faith and the role it has played in making him a better person. Pogba’s mother practiced Islam but did not raise her three sons to be Muslim. However, the Manchester United midfielder connected with religion as an adult through friends, and says Islam is often misunderstood. “Islam is not the image that

everyone sees, terrorism,” Pogba told The Times’ Life Times podcast. “What we hear in the media is really something else. It’s something beautiful.” After going through some difficult personal times Pogba has committed to his faith, and last month was pictured on a pilgrimage to Mecca. “It made me change, realize things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside.

Amir Khan, the two-time world boxing champion, is set to appear for a one-off Fight Night event at King Abdullah Sports City Arena, on July 20 as part of the Jeddah Season festival. The Fight Night will be the culmination of a special “Boxing Week” organized by the World Boxing Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It will feature appearances by Khan and others at a number of

gyms across the region, including Fitness Time Gym, where they will engage in sparring demonstrations, open training sessions and meet and greets. Saudi celebrities Qusai Kheder and Badr Al-Zaidan are also slated to attend. Tickets for the Fight Night itself will be sold at Virgin Megastores and via the sharek.sa platform, as well as through Jeddah Season’s official website Jeddah.sa.


It was a good change in my life because I wasn’t born a Muslim, even if my mum was. I just grew up like that, respect for everyone. “It came because I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. We always talk. I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends and I felt something different. I felt really good. “Since that day I just carried on. You have to pray five times a day, that’s one of the pillars of Islam. It’s something that you do. The meaning why you do it, you ask forgiveness and be thankful for everything you have, like my health and everything. “It’s really a religion that opened my mind and that makes me, maybe, a better person. You think more about the afterlife. This life has a test. Like when I’m with you, here. Even if you’re not a Muslim, you are a normal human. You have a human relationship and respect you for who you are, what religion you are, what color and everything. “Islam is just this – respect of the humanity and everything.”


Amir Khan to fight part of Jeddah festival season

Boxing has become a major attraction in the Kingdom in the wake of the country’s success in various foreign tournaments by its male and female boxers. Jeddah Season is one of a range of Saudi cultural festivals to be held across the country this year, established as part of the Quality of Life Program, a key component of Vision 2030. www.pi-media.co.uk

Marrying Mr Right in Wrong way town




I July 2019

By Moulana Khalid Dhorat

Marriages are made in heaven, but the wedding ceremony takes place on earth … and at times, besides the Mehr-e-Fatimi, there is nothing heavenly about it. Many thousands of years ago, long before this earth was even created, when the pen of destiny was writing in the skies, the sweetest thing happened: the name of your sweetheart was placed next to yours. Special consideration was taken in this sacred union by the Almighty Himself. It was to be blessed with happiness and prosperity. But sadly on our part on earth, the way some of us conduct our wedding ceremonies nowadays, it seems that everyone but the Almighty, that loving Being responsible for our happiness, is relevant and needs to be obeyed and pleased. Our ideas of having a modern un-Islamic and fancy wedding starts many years before we even find our better half. These crazy wedding fantasies are mostly obtained from romance novels, movies, sitcoms,

fashion magazines and of course, the bad example set by others in our own family and community. We have all read about the simplicity of our Noble Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) and how his daughters got married, but there is always a big BUT to it: “We know its sunnat to be simple, BUT we can’t exclude anyone from the invitation list.” “It’s our first daughter’s wedding and we know it has to be simple, BUT we can’t break her heart.” The best justification yet for abandoning the blessed Prophetic way is this: “Our neighbor got married last year and although they are only working class, they invited 1000 people. Must we now keep it simple and show they are richer than us? We are not cheapskates! Let’s show them and invite 2000 people.” No one can plead ignorance as to how the ideal Islamic marriage is to be conducted nowadays, but somehow everyone seems to forget this when their daughter starts weeping or when the neighbors may

comment how stingy one is for not making the sendoff of their child a most memorable one. We seem to be more worried of the opinion of people and our status inn society than the pleasure of the Almighty. For this disobedience, we are punished in various ways without even realizing it. Let us now see what’s wrong with our wedding functions nowadays. Besides the mandatory Nikah ceremony which is usually held in the Masjid, and the Waleemah (nuptial feast), it must be known that nothing else is really prescribed in Islam. But Islam is only meant for the books nowadays, so many couples unofficially marry their sweethearts over facebook or by dating a few months or years before the official marriage ceremony. When they do decide to tie the knot, they call upon the friendly community Shaikh or Imam to solemnize their Nikah in a Masjid. Sometimes, a special Shaikh is flown in from overseas to add to the

I July 2019 status of the marriage. At times, the future couple and start spreading blessed environment of the Masjid is rumors, which sometimes lead to the left out and the Nikah is solemnized breakup of the couple or delaying it in the hall. for several years. The Shaikh or the Imam is only The couple should separately there to legalize the contract, and attend marriage classes before their to make sure he turns a blind eye to wedding, and register for various all the wrong going on around him. workshops offered in this regard. The serious lecture on the rights of Authentic literature can also be husband and wife in the Masjid is studied so that the couple makes replaced by gags and giggles by a a mental adjustment of what is humorous MC in the hall, and the expected of them after the Nikah. sacred atmosphere is very soon For boys in particular, your ten turned to one of merry-making and fishing buddies will be replaced by fun. Sometimes, the Imam is even one killer mermaid, so prepare for used as a rubber stamp to sanction it. Also remember that the ring band all the evil that takes place at these given at the time of engagement gatherings; and after the white is no license to see each other or envelope is safely tucked away in go out together before the Nikah. his pocket, he will even pose for a There will be ample time for that photoshoot! afterwards. Yes, we have taken our religion Now comes the big day. Keep for granted. And this is why on the it simple. Our most noble Prophet day when we are supposed to be Muhammad (peace be upon him) pleasing the Almighty the most, we told us that the wedding in which anger Him the most. We pay the the least amount of expenditure price for this many years thereafter is incurred, will have the most without even knowing it. Some blessings. He (peace be upon him) marriages end in messy divorces a also told us that the function to which short while thereafter, some couples the poor is not invited, is cursed. have endless financial, in-laws, So, let us compete in earning the addiction, extra-marital or family pleasure of the Almighty, and not by issues, whilst others go through so competing with the Jone’s. Never much depression and anxiety in their take a loan for a wedding. marriage that they wish they could Islam doesn’t place such a turn the clock back and would’ve burden on one’s shoulder. There is never married. Let’s not be foolish simply no need to pitch up at the hall and destroy our future lives for one in a hot-air balloon or in your distant day of pleasure. Do it right so the cousin’s yellow Ferrari. No need rest of your life can go right. to walk down the aisle with a R40 There is no mehndi night, belly 000- gown which you will never wear dancing night, meethu mauru thereafter, to the accompaniment of (sweetmeat) night, or bachelor night. haraam music. There are no lavish meals a week There is no need for a fiveor two before the nikah ceremony, course meal, photoshoots and and late nights of gossiping and making elaborate videos of the day smoking. Yes, family and friends for which half the people don’t end are welcome to visit and create an up paying. The function can be atmosphere of joy, but there is no held in a humble tent or a Masjid or elaborate occasion for this. In fact, community hall – there is no need the custom of delaying the wedding to hire out halls for as much as R50 for many months after the proposal 000- per day when Muslims around is also un-Islamic as Islam teaches the world are starving or fleeing for us to marry as soon as a suitable their lives from war-torn areas. partner is found. But extravagance is not the About a month is a reasonable only issue at weddings. The show time to prepare, not ten to twenty of outfits, intermingling of men months! The more the marriage and women and the mountains is delayed, the more attention the of makeup is even worse. Many families will pay to shopping and guests dress up as if they are getting planning a lavish wedding. It will married on the day, and some also give more time for mischief women apply so much make-up that makers to dig up the past of the a skyscraper can be built on their


FEATURED I 23 face! For them, scarves are meant for the shoulders, not the heads! Some brides and grooms tend to be religious in their daily lives, but on the wedding day they throw caution to the wind. It’s also observed that some functions do have a partition to separate the ladies and the men, but as soon as the biryani is served, the floor crossing starts. This is called yo-yo partition – up down, up down! The competition peaks when the designer gifts, or kunchas, are displayed for all to see in the hall or in the bride’s home. Some gifts will have money made in the shape of trees, some will have expensive watches and exotic jewelry, some fruity perfumes and the latest outfits, whilst others will have grape juice in wine-shaped bottles and Swiss chocolates. It’s such shows of ostentation that invites burglars to break into one’s home on the wedding day. The above are just a few of our crimes committed on the wedding day. Apart from these crimes, we have the bad habit of arriving late as per “Indian Time” (two hours late) or according to “Arab Time” (five hours late). Never mind the cook, the children and the elderly, as well as the sickly and diabetics are greatly inconvenienced by this. Those who need to travel a great distance to return home or those who do not want to miss their Fajr prayers are also pained. Let us take heed of these factors and change our ways. For those who had a wedding reception in which some or all the above crimes were committed, there is a way out. Repent sincerely to the Almighty; as expiation, make sure that the same mistakes are not committed when you get your children married one day. Take it upon yourself to advise family and friends to keep their weddings simple. Read the life story of the Queen of Paradise, Sayyidah Fatima az-Zahra and the Pure Wives of the Prophet, and try to emulate their example of simplicity and piety. Above all, break the cycle by setting a good example. Finally, remember that weddings last only a day, but a marriage lasts a lifetime. Let’s put the same effort daily in our marriages as we put on our wedding day, and our lives will become heaven on earth – Ameen.

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Profile for Shakir Ahmed

PI Magazine July 2019  

latest magazine from PI, #passionislam #islam #muslims #news #conservative #islamophobia #marriage #muslimwedding #soccer #football #liverp...

PI Magazine July 2019  

latest magazine from PI, #passionislam #islam #muslims #news #conservative #islamophobia #marriage #muslimwedding #soccer #football #liverp...