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SUSPECTED COMMUNITY

Issue: 60

March 2013

NO TARGETS NO PLANS NO BOMBS

One Terror accused had a medical condition that would have prevented him from carrying out any attacks and another was partially-sighted.

BUT IT WAS GOING TO BE BIGGER THAN 7/7 Read our full analysis of the Birmingham Terror plot case on page 2

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Passion Islam

thePassion

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By Craig Murray Former Ambassador

Non-Existent Bigger Than 7/7 Plot

Convicting “terrorists” with no bombs, no parts of bombs, and no targets is shameful.

The BBC has used “Bigger than 7/7″ as the strapline for every alleged Muslim terror plot these past years, and the latest conviction was no exception. This conviction of three men from Birmingham was purely for thought crime. They possessed zero explosives and zero detonators. They had identified zero targets – the prosecution did not even claim they had. The prosecution did not know if they “planned” suicide bombs or times bombs, which is unsurprising as they did not know either, having not developed their fantasies that far yet. They had not made a practice bomb. They did possess some sports fluid which apparently they did believe might be of use in bomb making, but it did not in fact contain what they were said to believe it contained. They possessed none of the ingredients for a bomb. The state did however have

genuine and incontrovertible evidence that they had driven around in a car impersonating the highly distinctive voice of Murray Walker, saying “Now here come the suicide bombers, driving around, taking on England”. There does appear good evidence that they supported the idea of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, and thought about doing it themselves. The evidence that what they were doing in Pakistan was attending terrorist training camps was nonexistent – they had obvious reasons why they might be in Pakistan. Their fantasies and views were unpleasant, perhaps extremely so. But they had not actually done anything practical about it. This is thought crime – expressing sympathies with terrorism can in itself get you life imprisonment. The comments by the judge about what dangerous, evil

terrorists they were, are repeated with relish by the media. The judge said this so it must be true. But his comments are no more bloodcurdling than the comments passed by a succession of judges on the tortured and wrongly convicted Birmingham Six. I strongly support the jury system, but there is plenty of evidence that where a recognisable ethnic group is societally identified as “the enemy”, juries are overready to convict them – and so, as Gareth Peirce’s article brilliantly illustrates, are the judiciary. The Catholic Irish suffered repeated injustice in the 1970′s. The Muslim community do so now. That is not to deny the existence of actual terrorists. But injustice inspires terrorism, it doesn’t reduce it. Convicting “terrorists” with no bombs, no parts of bombs, and no targets is shameful.

Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@passionislam.com - www.passionislam.com This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -

Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not necessarily of Passion Islam.


Iraq to sign prisoner swap deal with UK

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The Iraqi government says it will sign a prisoner transfer deal with Britain, under which a former British soldier convicted of murder in Iraq could serve the remaining of his life sentence in the UK. An Iraqi cabinet statement said the government has given Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari “the power to negotiate and sign a

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draft agreement for transferring convicted prisoners between Iraq and Britain.” The Iraqi Justice Minister and British officials have been discussing the deal since January. A key beneficiary of the deal would be British security guard Danny Fitzsimons, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Iraqi court in February 2011 for shooting two of his colleagues in Baghdad’s Green Zone in August 2009. Earlier in January, allegations that British troops were guilty of killing Iraqi civilians and performing

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“terrifying acts of brutality” were also made in London’s High Court. Lawyers representing 192 Iraqis are asking for a public inquiry into British detention practices following the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, to which Britain was the second largest contributor of troops. US-led forces attacked Iraq in 2003 and toppled Saddam Hussein on the pretext of possessing weapons of mass destruction. But no WMD was ever discovered in Iraq. At the peak of the US-led military operation in Iraq, there were 170,000 US troops and more than 500 bases in Iraq. More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.


Britain to get its first free Islamic School

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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

Muslims in Blackburn are awaiting the approval of plans to build the first free Islamic school in the country to serve both Muslim and non-Muslim students. “The planning application has been submitted following months of detailed design work on what has proven a very challenging but equally rewarding project,” Principal Jacquie Petriaho told Lancashire Telegraph. Muslims have applied to the Darwen Council to build a free Islamic school in Blackburn in Lancashire County.

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The application includes moving the current Tauheedul Islam Boys School from its current site in Little Harwood to the former Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) building at Edinburgh House on Clarence Street. “The scheme submitted meets the schools aspirations, by providing well-ordered learning spaces and innovative working environments and has done this while respecting the qualities of the surrounding area,” said Petriaho, the former deputy head of Beardwood Humanities

ORGANISING A WEDDING OR A PARTY

I March 2013

College. The new school aims to provide a first-class education for its 700 pupils with the aim of getting many into Britain’s top universities. If approved, the multi-purpose school will open in September 2014. It will be the first free Islamic school in Britain. There are 400,000 Muslim students in British schools, according to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). About 7,000 state schools in Britain are faith schools – roughly one in three of the total – educating 1.7 million pupils. Of the 590 faith-based secondary schools five are Jewish, two Muslim and one Sikh - the rest are Church of England, Roman Catholic and other Christian faiths. The free Islamic school would offer huge opportunities for both Muslim and non-Muslim students in Blackburn.

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I March 2013

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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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UK to leave UK could provide rebels Afghanistan via Uzbekistan with military Equipment

Britain could send “security and civilianmilitary” trainers to assist insurgents in Syria, despite failing to lift the European Union (EU) arms embargo. The decision followed a debate by European foreign ministers to ease an arms embargo against Syria to increase support for militants in the Arab country while tightening economic sanctions against the Syrian government. Following opposition to lift the embargo from Germany, Sweden and over 20 other countries, British Foreign Minister William Hague suggested

a compromise to allow “technical assistance” for the insurgents. “It is important because it shows that we can change the arms embargo and the worse the situation becomes the more we can change,” he said. “It allows is to supply a greater range of equipment to protect civilian life in Syria,” Hague claimed despite the British government being repeatedly accused of arming Syrian terrorists. The Syrian unrest began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed ever since.

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The UK government has clinched a deal with Uzbekistan to use the country as a route for returning 4 billion pounds of military equipment from Afghanistan in the wake of a gradual pullout of troops from the country, announced Defense Secretary Philip Hammond. The deals comes after Britain announced that it will reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan from the current almost 9,000 to about 5,200 by the end of 2013. The Defence Secretary told the House of Commons Ministry of Defence MoD has

selected Uzbekistan because the only current transit route for equipment through Pakistan “would be hard pressed to meet the capacity demands”. Britain would be bringing home about 2,500 vehicles and 6,500 storage containers, he said. “Under the arrangement, some 450,000 pounds of surplus equipment - Land Rover spare parts and Leyland DAF trucks - will be ”gifted” to Uzbekistan”, according to the The Defence Secretary. www.passionislam.com

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MP calls for assurances over halal meat Passion Islam

I March 2013

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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In Case You Missed It

Sadiq Khan MP has called for assurances that the Government and the FSA are investigating halal meat as part of the horse meat scandal. Muslims account for about 20% of lamb consumption in this country and a small but increasing amount of beef. Sadiq Khan MP has written to both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural

Affairs, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP to find out whether they will be testing halal products as part of their investigations into horse meat contamination. Sadiq also recently raised concerns with the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, following the news that the Prison Service had notified the Food Standards Agency that traces of pork DNA had been found in a selection of meat pies labelled as

Halal. Any contamination is clearly of concern to faith communities and the affected products were rightly quarantined and contracts suspended. Mr Khan said: “I have written to the FSA and the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, to raise the important issue of potential contamination of Halal products with horse meat. “The FSA are already investigating how a number of beef products on sale in the UK came to contain horse meat, but it is also important for the FSA to reassure British Muslims that they are also looking at halal meat to see if it has been contaminated. Following the contamination of prison food with traces of pork DNA, we need to know that every effort is being made to investigate halal meat.” The latest episode comes after traces of horsemeat had been found in Halal beefburgers served up to schoolchildren in the Lancashire area.

Galloway sends out a powerful message at Gaza fundraising event Over £5,000 was raised to help widows, orphans and poor families in the war-torn city of Gaza at an event organised by World Charity Organisation in Batley, W Yorkshire. Guest speaker and Bradford West MP George Galloway spoke at the Fundraising for Gaza Day at the Pakistan and Kashmir Welfare Association in Batley, West Yorkshire. The event was organised to highlight, people in desperate need of basic necessities like food, shelter, medicine and clothing which has been caused by the Israeli embargo on goods going into the Gaza strip and the constant bombing and destruction in the area by the Israeli government. Yusuf Patel who founded World Charity Organisation is a strong campaigner who has visited the area eight times, including six trips on

convoys delivering aid. Yusuf Patel said “People are living under sticks and sheets of plastic and that one room is their bathroom, kitchen and living room.” “It was heartbreaking to see what the widows and children are living through,” he said Mr Patel said The £5726.24 raised will be spent on long term projects the charity is working on in Gaza. Mr Patel has bought farmland in the area and is giving the milk and meat from the cows to orphans and widows free of charge. Other projects include an automated bakery that bakes fresh bread every day for poor families, installing and distributing water filters and improving the general living conditions of struggling families. Mr Patel said: “We can do a lot

with this money - £250 can buy a water filter that will provide clean water, 24 hours a day. We can hand out food packages to the needy.” The Gaza day was the charity’s first major event, but Mr Patel was keen to stress that the organisation will be supporting countries throughout the world affected by humanitarian disasters. “It doesn’t matter if you are Muslim or non-Muslim” he said. “We will look to give assistance to any country that needs help.” Mr Galloway, a vocal supporter of Palestine, spoke about how the ummah needed to do more to help the brothers and sisters of Palestine and gave a very emotional speech. It was estimated over a 1,000 people attended the event. www.passionislam.com


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Britain ‘can’t afford to overlook’ halal trade

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A significant rise in the Muslim population revealed in the 2011 Census has prompted new research into the halal meat market. Eblex has commissioned the research, which will follow on from a comprehensive publication it put out in 2010 – ‘The Halal Meat Market: Specialist supply chain structures and consumer purchase and consumption profiles in England’. The 2011 Census highlighted a 1.2 million growth in the Muslim population in the decade since 2001, making it the second largest religious group in England and Wales, representing 2.7m people or 4.8 per cent of the population.

Eblex maintains the work will provide further insight into the purchase drivers of Muslim consumers, important because of the effect the community growth is likely to have on halal lamb and beef demand. Chris Leeman, trade sector manager for Eblex, said: “The halal meat market is a multi-million pound contributor to the British economy. It’s an area which abattoirs, butchers, processors and retailers can’t afford to overlook.” In December Mullaco of Batley won the national halal butcher of the year award which was sponsored by Eblex.

The Government has secretly ramped up a controversial programme that strips people of their British citizenship on national security grounds – with two of the men subsequently killed by American drone attacks. An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for The Independent has established that since 2010, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has revoked the passports of 16 individuals, many of

whom are alleged to have had links to militant or terrorist groups. Critics of the programme warn that it allows ministers to “wash their hands” of British nationals suspected of terrorism who could be subject to torture and illegal detention abroad. They add that it also allows those stripped of their citizenship to be killed or “rendered” without any onus on the British Government to intervene. www.passionislam.com

British citizens quietly stripped of citizenship

Passion Islam

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Burkinis gaining popularity among British non-Muslims

The burkinis, which is a swimwear originally designed for Islamic women to protect their modesty, are soaring in popularity among British non-Muslims. The swimwear, which was first worn by Nigella Lawson on Sydney’s Bondi beach two years ago, is now gaining popularity among British non-Muslims, who are keen to cover up their curves or protect their skin against the sun, the Daily Mail reported. Burkinis are lightweight outfits made of Lycra and nylon that leave only the hands, feet and face showing and were originally imported from Turkey and Morocco before London-based companies Modestly Active and Modestkini started with its production. According to Ismail Sacranie, sales and marketing director at Modestly Active, though first few years were a hard struggle, but over the past two years sales have grown between 300 and 400 per cent. Kausar Sacranie, chief executive of Modestly Active, who designed Lawson’s burkini, said that she wanted to design something differentm which was comfortable and good to wear. She revealed that Lawson’s endorsement of the burkini on Bondi in April 2011 was a turning point for her firm and is now gaining lot of popularity.

www.passionislam.com


City University bars Muslim students from prayer room

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City University bars Muslim students from prayer room A London university has outraged Muslim students after locking worshippers out of their own prayer room. City University blamed students for not letting officials check their sermons’ “appropriateness.” It said in a statement that it “could not continue to condone an activity taking place on its premises where it cannot exercise reasonable supervision.” But student Wasif Sheikh of protest group Muslim Voices on Campus said their university was singling them out. “When you start submitting your sermons to be monitored and scrutinised then there’s a chance for it to be dictated what’s allowed and what’s not allowed,” he said. The university cited a recorded sermon in which the speaker said the Islamic state “teaches to cut the hand of the thief” and “teaches us to stone the adulterer.”

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But the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Ahmad Chaker Jomaa said the inflammatory sermon was given “years ago” and student societies typically churned through their entire membership every three to four years. Mr Jomaa said he did not want to dismiss concerns about incitements to violence. “But we have to realise that our society is putting more pressure on

Campaign launched to help eradicate polio

The Global Poverty Project (GPP) launched its Global Heroes campaign. The aim of the Global Heroes campaign is to mobilise public awareness and pressure for the UK government to commit the funding needed to finally eradicate the remaining 0.1% of polio cases worldwide. Polio would then become the second ever disease to be completely eradicated. It also seeks to build on the UKs leading role in fight against this deadly disease, which saw an extra 29 million children vaccinated against polio in 2012. Polio is a highly infectious disease that invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis and even death. It continues to leave many children across the globe devastated, but

can be effectively prevented with immunisation. Fortunately since 1988, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9%- from more than 350,000 cases in 1988 to just 222 in 2012- and is now close to being the second human infectious disease to be permanently eradicated. If support and funding succeeds for the end of polio, we will see the health economics savings upward of $50 billion over the next 20 years. However, progress is threatened. The situation remains endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, and with a funding gap of US $4.5 billion over the next 5 years, together with the UK Government’s multi-year financial contribution to polio eradication ending last year; vulnerable communities remain at risk.

Muslims than other societies. “We live in a time where Islam and Muslims have become controversial,” he said Mr Jomaa said the federation opposed any action that broke the law, but pre-approved sermons crossed the line. A democratic society had to allow for a diversity of views, he said, and similar sentiments could easily crop up in a Conservative Future event.

Drugs & Alcohol a bigger problem than radicalisation Local volunteer community workers in Birmingham say issues such as drugs, alcohol and unemployment are bigger problems among young muslims than radicalisation. However they say high profile terrorism cases such as this can have a damaging impact on the community. Community worker Yousuf Hussain says: “When people look at my beard they think oh he’s a terrorist. People judge on how they look.” Harun Raza who also volunteers as a community worker in Birmingham agrees: “It does have a massive impact when these fanatics and these terrorists do something. These people need to be stopped because they’re giving Islam a bad name, they’re giving the community a bad name.” itv news


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20 CIA black site prisoners still missing: Report Passion Islam

I March 2013

WORLD NEWS

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In Case You Missed It

A new report reveals that at least 20 prisoners once held in CIA’s black site prisons still remain missing, four years after US President Barack Obama ordered them closed. The report by investigative journalists studying the CIA’s notorious prisons, where “terror suspects” had been held and tortured, said that the whereabouts, and in some cases the identities, of the inmates remain unknown or uncertain. The journalists working for ProPublica, a non-profit corporation based in New York City which claims to produce investigative journalism

in the public interest, went through a 213-page report on secret CIA detentions by Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organization. The OSJI counted 136 prisoners who were either held in a CIA black site or subject to the so-called extraordinary rendition, in which detainees were secretly shipped off to other countries for interrogation. The OSJI report also listed 54 countries that assisted Washington with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe. “There is no doubt that high-

Thailand launches TV channel for Muslims

Thailand’s government has launched the first Malay-language television channel geared toward the insurgency-plagued south’s Muslimmajority audience. Muslims in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated provinces of Southernmost Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat say they are Treated as second-class Citizens by Predominantly Buddhist Thai Authorities. More than 5,000 people have been killed there since an Islamic

insurgency flared in 2004. Some militants, mainly ethnic Malays, have called for a separate Muslim state. Project supervisor Chamroon Den-udom said Thursday that the new channel would foster an understanding between Malay Muslims and Thai Buddhists in the region. The “TV Malayu” satellite television station will initially offer a half-hour of news programming a day before broadcasting for 24 hours a day starting next year.

ranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorizing human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, and the impunity that they have enjoyed to date remains a matter of significant concern,” the report, dubbed Globalizing Torture, said. “But responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable,” the report added. Former US President George W. Bush, together with a number of other high-ranking US officials, approved the establishment of secret prisons in foreign lands, as early as 2002, by its key spy agency in efforts to carry out harsh interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to extract information from what they introduced as terror suspects. The US administration sought to avoid accountability for its torturous interrogation tactics by establishing facilities in foreign, allied nations, since torture is specifically banned by the US Constitution

Serbian Muslim graves desecrated

Approximately 20 serbian graves were desecrated in the village of Osllare, where the Majority of the residents are Muslim Albanians. “The Villagers demanded the authorities find the Perpetrators. Mukhtar Naser who lives in the village told a group of ultraNationalists Serbian journalists.” Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and senior level politicans condemned the desecration of the graves. Thaci said, “Whether in Kosovo or Serbia, those responsible for the desecration provocateurs and should be on trial.”


Hong Kong Muslim leader calls for more mosques 14

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A top Muslim leader has called for building more mosques and community centers in Hong Kong to help accommodate the religious needs of a growing minority on the island, according to a report in South China Morning Post. There are not enough places to pray, “Khan Muhammad Malik, Chairman of the Federation of Muslim Association in Hong Kong, he said. There are only five mosques in Hong Kong. While four mosques are located on Hong Kong island, there is

Passion Islam

only one Muslim worship place in the southern area of Tsim Sha Tsui. Malik said the Muslim community in Hong Kong has grown five-fold while the number of mosques remained the same. “There’s always a big crowd.” The Muslim leader said that there was an urgent need to build new mosques in the New Territories, one of the three main regions of Hong Kong. He said Muslims living in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long were finding difficulty in getting access to a place of worship in the region. Estimates

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put the number of Muslims in Hong Kong between 200,000 and 250,000. About 100,000 are from Indonesia and work as domestic helpers. The rest come from all over the world, including large populations from Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Africa. Only 20,000 or so are Hong Kong citizens. The Muslim leader also called for building more community centers on the island. “The children have nowhere to go,” Malik said. “We could teach them better if there were community halls in Hong Kong.” He said that rents in Hong Kong are too high for the Muslim community to lease places on their own. There are small Islamic meeting places and informal Islamic schools throughout Hong Kong. Mainland China has now 20 million Muslims, about half of them being from the Hui ethnic group. Unofficially, Muslim groups say the number is even higher, stating that there are from 65-100 million Muslims in China - up to 7.5 percent of the population.

US plans to keep 8,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014

The US Defense Department is pushing for a compromise plan to maintain nearly 8,000 American troops in Afghanistan after the scheduled 2014 drawdown of US-led forces in the war-torn nation. The plan Further Troop Intends to Significantly reduce American presence in Afghanistan over the following two years after the “Phased” Drawdown scheme, calling for Slashing the number of Troops in the country to between 3,500 and 6,000 by 2016, The Washington Post reports, citing senior US government and military authorities. The plan, according to the report, represents a bid to “strike a compromise” between senior

Pentagon commanders, who called for 10,000 US soldiers to remain in the country after 2014, and several top civilian advisers to President Barack Obama, who have advocated a much smaller long-term troop presence. Another option under serious consideration called for even greater reduction of US troops in the country to below 1,000 by early 2017, “with most of the personnel operating from the giant US Embassy in Kabul.” Under the option, according to senior military authorities cited in the report, elite Special Operations commandos would not be based in Afghanistan after 2016. Instead, they would be flown into the country from

US warships in the area or bases in nearby countries “to conduct counterterrorism missions.” Afghan President Hamid Karzai, meanwhile, has expressed his support for a continued US military presence in his country although the decision “and the provision of immunity to American forces” may require the approval of the nation’s legislators. Nearly 66,000 US soldiers are currently deployed in Afghanistan, but the Obama administration is expected to announce soon the number of troops that will be brought back this year as part of its phased drawdown approach. www.passionislam.com


Pentagon to take over CIA’s Drone operation

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Report says the White House is planning to let the Pentagon carry out most of the CIA’s drone operations overseas. The report by the Stars and Stripe, the US military’s news source, said that the administration of US President Barack Obama wants to shift more of the CIA’s covert drone program to the Pentagon to be “even more transparent” about the “targeting, detention and prosecution

WORLD NEWS

of terrorists.” Obama promised to be more forthcoming with the American public on his administration’s campaign of drone strikes. He vowed to work with Congress to craft a “mechanism” to be more open about how the drone war is conducted. Obama’s nominee to lead the CIA, John Brennan, has also supported shifting most of the agency’s secret

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drone operation to the Pentagon. Brennan is the top White House adviser on the so-called war on terror. He is known as the architect of Washington’s drone operations. It is, however, uncertain how much more transparency the Pentagon would provide than the CIA because Title 10, the US law that governs the military, operations may be kept secret but officials have the option of disclosing them. A recently-leaked Justice Department memo offered justification for an increase in the number of drone strikes, including those aimed at US citizens, under the Obama administration in recent years. The memo has come under fire by the American Civil Liberties Union, among other groups, for using executive authority to justify the killing of US citizens without a due process of the law. Washington uses assassination drones in several countries, claiming that they target “terrorists.” According to witnesses, however, the attacks have mostly led to massive civilian casualties.

US-led Airstrike Kills 10 Afghan Civilians

At least 10 Afghan civilians, including women and children, have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan. Local officials said that the attack in eastern Kunar Province claimed the lives of “five children, four women and a man.” A spokesman for the USled NATO forces said they have

launched an investigation into the report. Afghans have become increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults by US-led forces in the country over the past months. The killings have been the main source of friction between Kabul and Washington.

In another similar attack on January 23, three Afghans were killed and two others wounded in the eastern province of Nangarhar when a US-led warplane targeted a residential building. The US claims that its operations target militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks. The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but after 11 years, insecurity remains in the country despite the presence of many US-led forces.


Conversions to Islam doubles in France

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Yearly conversions to Islam have doubled in France over the past 25 years, a report says. Bernard Godard, an official in charge of religious issues at the French Interior Ministry, said around 100,000 out of an estimated six million Muslims in France are thought to be converts, compared with some 50,000 in 1986. The report was published by the

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New York Times. “The conversion phenomenon is significant and impressive, particularly since 2000,” said Godard, adding that the “nature” of conversions has changed. Samir Amghar, a sociologist and an expert on Islam in Europe, said even non-Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan in the neighborhoods mostly inhabited by

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Muslims since they like “the group effect, the festive side of it.” According to the report, many Muslims in France, however, say they regularly face prejudice by the government. They also consider a 2010 law banning the full-face veil (Burqa) from public spaces and the growing concern with conversions as reflections of French intolerance. Paris has declared that any woman -- French or foreigner -- who wears a niqab or burqa in public will be fined 150 euros and those who force women to wear such covers will face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years. Experts say the increasing number of conversions to Islam in France presents Paris with a growing challenge as the secular government holds awkward or sometimes hostile attitudes towards Muslims.

“Islamic Literature” Israel announces plans for 90 more settler units in West Bank Magazine

Israel has announced plans to build 90 more settler units in the occupied West Bank despite widespread international criticism over the construction of settlements in Palestinian territories. The plans, signed by Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak in August 2012, received final approval by the Civil Administration’s planning committee, and the construction of the new settler units had began. The Israeli Ministry for Military Affairs approved the construction of 346 new settler units in two settlements in the southern West

Bank. Two hundred units will be built in Tekoa settlements while the rest will be constructed in Nokdim. The two settlements are located in the Gush Etzion bloc, south of East al-Quds (Jerusalem). The Israeli settlements are considered illegal by the UN and most countries because those territories were captured by Israel in a 1967 war, and are thus seen as being subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands. More than half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem). Earlier, Israeli officials said they would go ahead with plans to construct 6,000 settler units on the Palestinian lands despite rebukes from the United Nations and the international community.

Unveiled in India

A new religious magazine featuring Islamic literature was unveiled at a ceremony by Women Association in Urdubag village located in Aligarh District, Uttar Pradesh State of India. The ceremony was attended by eminent Indian female intellectuals and managing directors of Islamic, cultural and literary magazines of various universities and organizations. Addressing the program, Ms. Raheda Khalil, executive director the magazine, talked about the importance of the magazine particularly in promotion of level of Muslim girls and women’s knowledge. The 150-page issue of the magazine has been published with over 2000 copies distributed.


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Israel uses Media to justify its inhumane policies

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The Israeli regime uses the media and film industry to justify its inhumane policies. Darnell Stephen Summers, a US army veteran and American filmmaker made the remark in an interview, adding that the policy of the Israeli regime is portraying a positive image of itself despite having occupied Palestinian lands. They want to justify this flagrant crime by any means such as

employing the film industry, he said. He said it is a problem of today’s world that most of the youths are not much experienced and aware and the film industry exploits this to produce attractive movies with unreal themes to shape the mind of the youth. It is necessary that the younger generation and people in general refuse to believe everything they see and hear. They should be keen on research about issues and try to get to the bottom of the things, Summers said. According to the American filmmaker, Hollywood movies seek to portray a positive image of Israel. “The movie ‘The Exodus’, for instance, is about the migration of the Jews after World War II. This movie presents a very negative image of the Palestinians and a very positive one of the Israelis. Unfortunately, many people take what they see in movies as reality.”

He said there are a few movies that question Israel’s credibility but they are not given much attention and gain little publicity. The US army veteran underlined that the United States’ Defense Department (the Pentagon) spends a lot of money to finance Hollywood movies. “If you look at movies such as ‘Platoon’ and many others, you can see that the Pentagon and US government agencies have been involved in producing them.” Pentagon directly invests in Hollywood, based on a policy that began perhaps before the Second World War, he stressed. “I believe that Hollywood is a corporation controlled by Zionism and many of those working in Hollywood are Zionists… Zionists are active in Hollywood and seek to implement their agenda to shape the mindset of the world people as they want.”

Virtual Islamic University India Muslims want action to be set up next year

The first virtual Islamic university, combining 285 Islamic universities from 51 countries under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will be set up next year. International Islamic University of Malaysia Rector Prof Datuk Seri Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin said the university, to be managed by the Federation of Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) would provide easy educational platform

to the global Islamic community. “This is a way to spread knowledge to Muslims worldwide, requiring them to only interact online, without having to go abroad to study at any of the Islamic universities,” she told reporters after the fourth FUIW Virtual Islamic University Board of Trustees meeting. She said, learning would be conducted online through video conferencing and virtual libraries that allowed students to obtain material from all universities. Among universities involved in the project are the University of Sharjah, Islamic University in Uganda, Kuwait University, Azerbaijan State Economic University and the University of Sheikh Anta Diop-Senegal.

Getting attention only on election season, Muslim leaders complain that promises of improving the living conditions of the community are never translated into action. “We need action, not tall promises to empower Muslims by giving them reservation in legislatures, parliament and government jobs and ensuring justice for innocent Muslim youth, languishing in jails without trial for years,” Maulana Arshad Madni, president of the Jamiat-Ulema Hind, was quoted as saying by IANS. Madni was speaking at a meeting of over 10,000 Muslim scholars who had gathered at Talkotra Indoor Stadium to voice concern over growing communalism and denial of Muslim rights. The event was attended by key government officials, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. India prepares for general election in 2014.


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I March 2013

Palestinian youngster to join Barcelona’s youth academy

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Palestinian teenager Mohamed al-Badawi is preparing to represent his homeland after being invited to join Barcelona’s football school next summer. Barcelona’s Youth Academy has been touring the world to discover

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new young talent. In Jordan academy scouts chose the best five young players in the region and Al-Badawi got his lucky ticket and will join the training program in Barcelona this summer. The 15 year old currently trains at

a green soccer field in Ramallah and plays with a local soccer club. He says the move to Europe is a great challenge for him. “It is a nice feeling for a Palestinian to try this European experiment. The fact that I am, as a Palestinian, representing Palestine in Barcelona, has given me so much motivation,” Reuters quotes AlBadawi as saying. Soccerstages, Barcelona’s Youth Academy, brings up over 300 select players, and Al-Badawi’s friends believe he could equal the competition and one day become the Palestinian version of Lionel Messi. “I encourage him to go to Spain and play with Barcelona, because he will join the same school that the famous player (Lionel) Messi joined, and Messi has become famous. So there might be a chance for Mohamed to play with Barcelona and become famous too,” friend Feras Alomari told Reuters.

Capital Finance International’s Award programmes identify and applaud individuals and organisations that add true value with their operations in niche areas. Initial nominations are based on input from readers, subscribers and visitors to CFI.co with a judging committee selecting the winners. GFH said it won recognition for its steadfast approach to investing primarily in high quality infrastructure and private equity projects that help provide sustainable growth opportunities in the region. An innovative approach to Islamic financial structures and recent recognised restructuring activities for

the bank and its projects that benefit all stakeholders have placed GFH as a leading example of modern Islamic finance. Following on from the global financial crisis and bank restructuring, GFH welcomed the successes of 2012, in which it demonstrated resilience and the ability to thrive in all climates, diversity and the scope to compete on the world stage. It returned to profitability and success along with moving to new innovative areas of investment including its subsidiary GFH Capital’s acquisition of Leeds United Football Club.

Leeds Utd owners wins investment bank award

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH), the parent company of Leeds United Football Club owners GFH Capital, said it has been named the ‘Best Islamic Investment Bank’ for 2012 at the prestigious CFI.co Awards. A London-based print journal,

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I March 2013

Qatar secures World Record for largest 5-a-side football match

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An event organized by the Qatar football association (QFA) and Qatar Shell has set a new Guinness World Record for the largest ever set of five-a-side football matches played at once. The matches ran for 11 hours, 58 minutes and 12 seconds, they were played by 523 participants from all over the country.

The sports event was attended by Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, as well as Guinness World Records officials. The highly anticipated match was organised by Qatar Football Association (QFA) and Qatar Shell, and officiated by Guinness World Records.

The players managed to surpass the 464 player mark set by England’s BBC Radio 5 Live, at the Sheffield United Academy in 2012. Other notables who took part in the footie fun included Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies and Sheikh Thani al-Thani, Deputy General Manager of Qatar Shell. The successful attempt was part of a QFA and Qatar Shell five-year sustainable initiative, designed to improve the health of Qatar’s youth via football. “We knew we were aiming high – but we did it. I am excited to see that we have managed to kick off a driven and passionate football movement we envisioned would be characteristic of the initiative. We look forward to having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Qatar’s youth through many more events like this,” said Hamad al-Kuwari, Head of Marketing & Commercial at QFA.

Formula One signs sponsorship deal with Emirates airlines

Emirates airline, which has multimillion dollar sponsorship deals with FIFA and Arsenal football club, inked a five-year partnership with Formula One motor racing, beginning this year. Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, who announced the sponsorship deal alongside Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, said it was worth “millions of dollars” but gave no specifics. “In a five-year agreement, Emirates will become the global

partner with Formula One beginning in 2013,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “Motor racing fans will see our branding for the first time at the Malaysian Grand Prix (in March).” The Dubai government-owned carrier also has shirt sponsorship deals with Italy’s AC Milan and French club Paris St Germain. Sheikh Ahmed, the uncle of the ruler of Dubai, said the airline’s total sports sponsorship now stands at 1 billion dirhams ($272.25 million) for this year. In November, Emirates agreed a new $239 million sponsorship deal with Arsenal that extends its shirt partnership with the north London club to the end of the 2018/2019 season. Arsenal’s 60,000-seat home will also continue to be known as the Emirates Stadium until 2028. Emirates airline is one of a number of Middle Eastern airlines to

back major European soccer clubs. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways sponsors English champions Manchester City, while Barcelona will have the Qatar Airways name on their shirts for next season after long eschewing corporate branding. Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates federation, also hosts a Formula One Grand Prix race each November.

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I SPECIAL FEATURE

Women Islam series

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I March 2013


Hazrat Hafsah (R.A)

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Hafsah was the daughter of ‘Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) who was born in Makkah five years before the Nubuwwat. She was first married to Hadhrat Khunais bin Huzaifah (Radhiyallaho anho), who was one of the very early Muslims. He first emigrated to Abyssinia and then to Madinah. He participated in Badr, and was fatally wounded in Badr (or in Uhud) and died of the wound in the year l or 2 A. H. Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha) had also emigrated to Madinah with her husband. When her husband died, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) went to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) and said: “I want to give Hafsah in marriage to you.” Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) kept quiet and said nothing. Meanwhile Ruqayyah (Radhiyallaho anha) the daughter of the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) and the wife of Hadhrat Usman (Radhiyallaho anho) died. Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anha) went to Hadhrat Usman (Radhiyallaho anho) and offered Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho

SPECIAL FEATURE

anha’s) hand to him. He declined by saying, “I have no mind to marry for the present.” Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) complained of this to the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam). The Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) said: “I tell you of a husband for Hafsah better than Usman and of a wife for Usman better than Hafsah.” He then took Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha) as (next wife, and gave his own daughter Hadhrat Umme Kulsum (Radhiyallaho anha) in marriage to Hadhrat Usman (Radhiyallaho anho). Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) later said to Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho): “When you offered Hafsah’s hand to me, I kept quiet as the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) had expressed to me his intention of marrying her. I could neither accept your offer nor disclose the Prophet Mohammad’s (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) secret to you. I, therefore, kept quiet. If the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) had changed

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his mind, I would have gladly married her.” Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) says: “Abu Bakr’s silence over the offer was in fact more shocking to me than ‘Usman’s rejection.” Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha) was a very pious woman, and very much devoted to Salaat. She would often fast during the day and spend the night in prayers. Once the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) , for some reason, was displeased with Hafsah and even pronounced the first divorce to her. Hadhrat Umar (Radhlyallaho anho) was naturally very much shocked over this. Jibraeel Alayhis came to the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) and said: Allah wants you to take Hafsah back, as she is fasting often and spending her nights in Salaat, and also Allah wants it for Hadhrat Umar’s (Radhiyallaho anho) sake. The Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) therefore took her back. Hadhrat Hafsah (Radhiyallaho anha) died in Jamadil oola, 45 AH, at the age of 63.

Hazrat Umme Habibah (R.A)

Hadrath Umme Habibah (Radhiyallaho anha): She was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, and was first married to Ubaidullah bin Jahsh in Mecca. The couple embraced Islam, and then emigrated to Abyssinia due to persecution by the Qureysh. One night she saw her husband (in a dream) in the most ugly and obnoxious form. The next day she came to know that he had turned Christian. She, however, remained a Muslim and was therefore

separated from him. She was now all alone in exile. But Allah soon recompensed her loss. The Prophet Mohammad (‫ )ﻡﻝﺱﻭ ﻩﻱﻝﻉ ﻩﻝﻝﺍ ﻯﻝﺹ‬sent her an offer of marriage through the King Negus, who sent a woman named Abrahah to her with the message. She was so happy with the good news that she made over the bracelets and other jewellery that she was wearing to the woman in gratification. King Negus represented the Prophet

Mohammad (‫)ﻡﻝﺱﻭ ﻩﻱﻝﻉ ﻩﻝﻝﺍ ﻯﻝﺹ‬ Nikah ceremony, and gave her 400 dinars as her portion and many other things in dowry from himself. He also gave a feast and dinars as gift to all those who were present in the ceremony. The Negus then dispatched her to Madinah, with her dowry and other gifts such as perfume, etc. This marriage took place in 7 A. H. (Her father was not a Muslim then). She most probably died in 44 A.H.


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