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UK IN AFGHAN DRONE STRIKES Issue: 62
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that remote controlled armed drones, used to murder and maim insurgents and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, are now being operated from the UK for the first time. The UK’s armed forces have been using drones, officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to monitor and attack insurgents in Afghanistan for at least six years.
Previously these missions had been operated from the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, as the British military did not have the capability to operate them from UK soil. Anti-war activists will hand the Prime Minister’s office at No 10 Downing Street a “drone quilt” on May 7 that is created of sewn patches featuring names of victims of killer-drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I May 2013
By Craig Murray
Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist
The official Tsarnaev story makes no sense
There are gaping holes in the official story of the Boston bombings. We are asked to believe that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was identified by the Russian government as an extremist Dagestani or Chechen Islamist terrorist, and they were so concerned about it that in late 2010 they asked the US government to take action. At that time, the US and Russia did not normally have a security cooperation relationship over the Caucasus, particularly following the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008. For the Russians to ask the Americans for assistance, Tsarnaev must have been high on their list of worries. In early 2011 the FBI interview Tsarnaev and trawl his papers and computers but apparently – remarkably for somebody
allegedly radicalised by internet – the habitually paranoid FBI find nothing of concern. So far, so weird. But now this gets utterly incredible. In 2012 Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is of such concern to Russian security, is able to fly to Russia and pass through the airport security checks of the world’s most thoroughly and brutally efficient security services without being picked up. He is then able to proceed to Dagestan – right at the heart of the world’s heaviest military occupation and the world’s most far reaching secret police surveillance – again without being intercepted, and he is able there to go through some form of terror training or further Islamist indoctrination. He then flies out again without any intervention by the Russian security services.
That is the official story and I have no doubt it did not happen. I know Russia and I know the Russian security services. Whatever else they may be, they are extremely well-equipped, experienced and efficient and embedded into a social fabric accustomed to cooperation with their mastery. This scenario is simply impossible in the real world. We have, by the official account, the involvement of the two Tsarnaev brothers, the FBI and the Russian security services. The FBI have a massive recent record of running agent provocateur operations to entrap gullible Muslims into terrorism. The Russian security services have form on false flag Chechen bombings. Where the truth lies may be difficult to dig out. But the above official version is not true.
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: firstname.lastname@example.org - www.passionislam.com This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -
Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not necessarily of Passion Islam.
I May 2013
British ‘snoopers’ charter’ under revision amid harsh criticism
The UK draft Communications Data bill that could allow the government to keep tabs on emails and Skype is being reviewed after a wave of criticism. The opposition has slammed the law as potentially disastrous and an affront to personal privacies. The legislation is currently being revised by a commission of MPs after a torrent of criticism over the scope of the law. “As a society, it would be stupid to build the infrastructure that could be used to oppress us,” Ben Hammersley, a Number 10 Downing Street tech advisor, told Tank Magazine. “The fact that we don’t know who is going to be in charge in 10 years’ time means that we shouldn’t give them free toys to play with.” The draft bill has been championed by Home Secretary Theresa May, who described it as vital in combating pedophiles, fraudsters and extremists. However,
civil liberties groups condemn the legislation as a step too far and have branded it as a “snoopers’ charter.” The plans outlined in the bill would oblige internet providers to store web browsing history, details of messages sent over social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter and voice calls made over the web. The legislation stipulates that this information should be retained for a year and would allow police access to it without asking permission if they are investigating a crime. The MP commission charged with reviewing the legislation pledged to consult with “technical experts, industry, law enforcement bodies, public authorities and civil liberties groups.” However a number of groups, including the Liberty and Open Rights group, Big Brother Watch and Privacy International, have written to
the UK Home Office to complain that they have not been consulted. In a letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May they said that the revision of the bill was “unnecessarily closed.” The controversial legislation has seen the UK’s coalition government divided and is likely to continue to be a bone of contention until the wording of the bill is sufficiently refined. The anticipated cost of the draft bill currently stands at 1.8 billion pounds and if the law is passed by parliament it will come into effect in 2014.
Report slams UK involvement in torture
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
A damning report has slammed Britain for violating human rights through colluding with the U.S. in the torture and rendition of terror suspects. The document blamed the UK for being involved in or turning a blind eye to abuses and for cooperating in the murky U.S. practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’ - illegally transferring terror suspects to secret CIA jails in countries that allowed torture. The so-called Constitution Project dossier also claims MI5 agents under the last Labour government knew prisoners were ill-treated at the hands of their captors. An independent American task force did the research and concluded ‘indisputably’ that the U.S. ‘engaged in the practice of torture’ after the September 11 attacks. The task force included an 11strong panel of experts who spent
two years investigating the country’s treatment of military detainees. The experts found that the US used interrogation methods violating international laws - including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and extraordinary rendition. Their document also criticised the detention of 166 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. For years, Labour ministers denied involvement in rendition. But the report pointed out that the UK had paid out around £10million to more than a dozen detainees after they were illegally rendered and tortured. “Torture - a crime - was committed and authorised at the top levels of the US government. Britain is just starting to face up to its role in this sad saga”, said Cori Crider, from human rights group Reprieve. Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group
on Extraordinary Rendition, said: “This concludes that the United States engaged in kidnap and torture, in violation of its own laws and of international treaties. The report takes us a step closer to the truth. “It is in the national interest of not just the U.S. but also of Britain to uncover the truth about the scope of the extraordinary rendition programme. Only then can we draw a line under it and move on”.
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I May 2013
UK faces court over spy tech sales
I May 2013
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
In Case You Missed It
British rights group Privacy International has launched a legal action against the British government for the continued exports of high-tech spying equipment to the repressive regimes including Bahrain and Hosni Mubarak era Egypt. “[Privacy International lawyers] have commenced legal action against the British government asking why, despite repeated requests the government has failed
to take any concrete steps to stop British surveillance technology being exported to repressive regimes,” the group said. The London-based organization said Gamma International, the manufacturer of FinFisher surveillance system described as “Governmental IT Intrusion and Remote Monitoring Solutions”, had sold the computer tool to Mubarak regime’s secret police. It added a report by Canadian interdisciplinary laboratory, Citizen Lab, shows the system has been supplied to 25 countries, many of them dictatorships, while recordings made by FinFisher have been used against victims during torturous interrogation sessions. The technology can tap on voice-
over-internet calls like Skype and record calls and text messages and send them to third parties. Privacy International has filed a lawsuit against the government over its “unlawful” conduct during investigations into exports of the technology, while British export control regulations only authorize it to be sold to governments and law enforcement agencies pursuing serious criminals. The group is representing a British-born victim of the Bahraini regime crackdown on pro-democracy protesters who says has been targeted by the regime authorities using the FinFisher tool. Privacy International says HM Revenue and Customs has unlawfully refused to hand information on the spying tool to its victims.
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I May 2013
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Haroon Aswat No Extradition Passion Islam
I May 2013
European judges rule sending Broadmoor patient Haroon Aswat to the US to face trial would breach his human rights. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that Broadmoor patient Aswat’s probable incarceration in a high security prison could “exacerbate his condition of paranoid schizophrenia”. Hamza and four other terror suspects were extradited last year after the court rejected their appeal against the move - but Aswat’s case
was adjourned to allow judges more time to consider his mental health. Aswat is being treated for schizophrenia, claimed that he would be at risk of ill-treatment inside the so-called supermax prison ADX Florence, in Colorado, if he was sent to America. The Strasbourg court’s decision came after it adjourned the case last April to obtain further submissions on the relevance of Aswat’s schizophrenia to his claim. www.passionislam.com
Tony Rooke refused to pay a TV license fee because the BBC intentionally misrepresented facts about the 9/11 attacks, he alleged. It is widely known that the BBC reported the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 over 20 minutes before it occurred. WTC 7 was a 47-story skyscraper that was not hit by a plane on 9/11 but collapsed at free-fall speed later that day
So Rooke said the BBC had to have had prior knowledge to a terror attack making them complicit in the attack. He presented the BBC footage to the judge along with a slew of other evidence, and the judge agreed that Rooke had a reasonable case to protest. Rooke was found not guilty and he was not fined for failure to pay the licensing fee.
Court victory over BBC for 9/11 coverup broadcast
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Helmand poppy crop triples under UK eye
Opium poppy production in the Afghan province of Helmand, where British forces are stationed, has tripled compared to 2006 when the British first went there, a United Nations report says. The UN said in a report released on Monday that opium production in Helmand is increasing at a record level and “very high” cultivation levels are expected there. According to the report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), almost half of Afghan opium is produced in Helmand where more than 75,000 hectares of land were given over to poppy cultivation last year, that is up from just 25,500 hectares in 2005. “We can’t deny the fact that the level of cultivation now is much higher than it has ever been under the Taliban,” Martin Raithelhuber of UNODC said. The report, titled “The Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment 2013”, also said opium production has increased for the third year in a row in Afghanistan with total poppy cultivation standing at 154,000 hectares heading to break the 2007 record of 193,000 hectares this year. The Asian country produced 75 percent of the global poppy crop in 2012 with the figure expected to take a 15 percent leap this year.
LOCAL & NATIONAL
I May 2013
Muslim history should be Included in school syllabus
Faith campaigners have called on the government to include more Muslim history in the national curriculum, as a way of engaging young Muslim pupils, and educating non-Muslims about the contributions of the Islamic world to science and philosophy. In February the Department of Education published a draft specification of a new history syllabus which is currently under consultation. But campaign group Curriculum for Cohesion, backed by the Muslim
Council of Britain, claims the draft curriculum “ excludes all reference to Muslims and Islam” and are urging teachers and members of the public to appeal to the government. The campaign is being led by Matthew Wilkinson, a former Eton head boy who converted to Islam. It is backed by high-profile patrons includiong MP Sadiq Khan and Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger. CfC say a broader curriculum would engage Muslim pupils, which they claim make up 10% of the
school population, who may feel excluded from British historical identity, and have published “A Broader, Truer History for All”. CfC’s Mohammed Amin told HuffPost UK the campaign was intended to advocate for the inclusion of the history for all faiths, not just Muslim history. “We have asked, for example, for the curriculum to include the persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages, and their eventual expulsion from Britain. “This is not just about educating Muslims. This is about those young pupils who hear nothing about Islam at school and grow up thinking Muslims have contributed nothing to the world about from terrorism. Those children could grow up to join the English Defence League.” “At the same time non-Muslim children will grow up believing that Muslims have contributed nothing of value to Britain or indeed human civilisation, creating the risk of their acquiring anti-Muslim attitudes. Neither of these outcomes is good for Britain, or for the ability of Britons to do business in a world economy which is increasingly integrated.” www.passionislam.com
Islamic gold dinars to auction for £500,000 The first ever coin to record the famous Islamic phrase ‘There is no God but Allah’ is set to sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds when it goes under the hammer. The historic gold dinar from 690 AD was minted in Damascus by the Umayyad dynasty - the first Arab empire, which stretched from Spain in the west to India in the east at the peak of its power. The coin, which weighs 0.15oz and is slightly larger than a 5p piece, comes in a set of 56 gold
dinars struck between 690 and 750 - expected to sell for £500,000 at auction. Dated 77 in the Islamic calendar, the words written on the coin translate in English to: ‘No God but God, Unique, He has no associate. ‘Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions. God is one, God is eternal. He does not beget nor is he begotten. In the name of God this
dinar was struck in the year seven and 70.’
Shaker Aamer petition hits over 100k mark
I May 2013
Last month Passion Islam front page on signing the petition to release Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the United States infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, has secured over 100,000 signatures needed for a parliamentary debate. Hosted by Aamer’s father-in law Saeed Siddiqui, the petition calls on the British government to “achieve the immediate transfer of Shaker Aamer to the UK from continuing
LOCAL & NATIONALI 11
indefinite detention” in the US military prison. The petition is expected to put more pressure on the UK government to secure Aamer’s freedom. The Saudi-born British citizen was kidnapped in November 2001 in Afghanistan for allegedly leading a unit of fighters in the Asian country. He was transferred to the US-run military detention facility later on in 2002.
UK apology campaign gains momentum Hundreds of activists from across the world have signed a memorandum asking Britain to apologize to the Palestinian people over its colonial policy in the region between 1917 and 1948. Some 220 dignitaries from around the Arab and Muslim world signed the memo during a conference the Egyptian capital of Cairo in April 4-6, the international campaign dubbed “Britain, It’s time to apologize” said in a press release on Thursday. The campaign added that the signatories to the petition included journalists, parliamentarians, academics, doctors, engineers and writers.
Earlier in February, the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) organization launched an international campaign aiming to collect one million signatures within five years, asking Britain to apologize to the Palestinian people for its “past atrocities” starting with the Balfour Declaration and for the human rights abuse suffered by Palestinian citizens under the UK’s mandate. Earlier in March, hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Samer Al-Issawi also called on the UK government to impose sanctions on Israel “until it ends the occupation, recognizes Palestinian rights and frees all Palestinian political prisoners”
As there had been no evidence against Aamer he was cleared for release under the administration of former US President George W. Bush in 2007 and also Obama in 2009, but he was never set free despite reports revealing his torment because of long periods of being in solitary confinement. Aamer is currently on hunger strike in protest against the appalling conditions he and his fellow inmates are subjected to, as well as the US troops’ mistreatment of The Holy Qur’an at the illegal detention center. Some 166 inmates at the US military prison have been on hunger strike for almost two months to protest their indefinite detention without charges. They are also demanding an end to the intrusive search of their cells and personal belongings. A spokesman for the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign said, “This public outcry must not be ignored. The [UK] government must act now to get Shaker home to his family and friends in Britain.”
Thousands raised for silent victims of terror HHUGS (Helping Households under Great Stress) held its Annual Dinner last month at The Tower. The dinner was attended by Lauren Booth, Uthman Lateef , Mohamed Ali of Islam Channel and Fahad Ansari, HHUGS Trustee. Samir Alyafee, Chair of HHUGS said, ‘We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to you all on behalf of HHUGS families for showing your support and making our dinner a success. By the grace of Almighty, and through your generosity, we managed to raise £143,000. To support HHUGS, either on a one-off or regular basis, you can do so online via CharityGiving or make a donation by texting HHUG76 £10 to 70070.
I May 2013
Israeli warplanes strike Gaza Strip
I May 2013
women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured in the Israeli attacks from November 14 to 21. Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as adequate healthcare and education.
Join us Israeli warplanes have carried out three airstrikes on Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip, witnesses say. Palestinian witnesses said that the Israeli aircraft bombarded areas in the southern town of Khan Younis and near the town of Rafah in southern Gaza during the early hours on 28th April 2013. There have been no reports of
casualties at the time of going to press. The Israeli military confirmed the airstrikes. In early April, Tel Aviv also conducted airstrikes on Gaza for the first time since a truce ended an eight-day Israeli war on the Palestinian territory in November 2012. Over 160 Palestinians, including
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New guidebook on Islamic insurance Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading supplier of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, has released a comprehensive guide to Islamic insurance titled “Takaful Primer 2013”. The guidebook is authored by Dr Omar Fisher who had earned a PhD in Takaful through a combined graduate program of the International Islamic University of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) and Camden University of Delaware (US) in 2005. He is also the author/technical editor of several books and articles on Takaful, the Islamic alternative to conventional insurance. The guidebook expands the scope of publications and news coverage by Thomson Reuters to
include a comprehensive yet basic guide to Islamic insurance. It features an introduction to Takaful system and its unique features. Furthermore, it includes current industry trends, worldwide statistics, and a perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry. The guidebook contains an extensive glossary of terms in Arabic and English, together with a comprehensive directory of Takaful Operators globally. Sayd Farook, global head of capital markets, Thomson Reuters, said: “It is apparent that the ethical basis and demonstrated practicality of Islamic finance and Takaful appeal to more communities than only Muslims.” “It is widely expected that
this Takaful Primer 2013 can help overcome myths and misunderstandings among both Muslims and non-Muslims on the subject of Takaful so that this promising sector can expand even more rapidly worldwide and thereby enhance their knowledge to engage risk protection services needed by individuals, groups and businesses on a daily basis,” he added.
‘US looted Iraq’s cultural treasures’
I WORLD NEWS
I May 2013
An Iraqi archaeologist and architect says the United States has stolen thousands of ‘Iraq’s cultural treasures’ during the war in the Arab nation. “Some 35,000 small and large items are missing from the National Museum of Iraq,” said Ihsan Fathi in an interview with RT. He went on to say that “huge
amounts of documents representing historical importance that cannot be assigned a monetary value were taken by the US.” “Large amounts of currency have been also misappropriated. Everything that was stored in the Central and other banks was sent to the US without any documentation and now is kept in archives,” the Iraqi
archaeologist stated. In March, Assistant Director General for Culture at the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Mounir Bouchenaki issued a statement saying that over 1,500 modern paintings and sculptures from Baghdad’s Museum of Fine Arts were stolen during the US-led invasion of Iraq. The statement added that “This is a real cultural disaster.” In 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction. But no such weapons were ever found 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.
A high profile former Dutch Islamophobe has said he is planning to produce a film hailing the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam. Arnoud Van Doorn shocked the Islamic world and Europe earlier this year when he announced his conversion to Islam more than a year after quitting Holland’s venomously anti-Islam political party run by Geert Wilders. Van Doorn also was involved in the production of the 2011 antiIslamic film Fitna, which inspired Al Qaeda to issue a Fatwa against Wilders and Muslim countries to condemn the movie. However, Van Doorn claims he is now on “the right path” and he will attempt to “repair the damage” he
caused to Islam. He told the Saudi Gazette he would produce an international film with Canadian Dawah Association to spread “the true message of Islam”. “I will try my best to repair the damage that I caused to Islam and its Prophet through the film Fitna,” he was quoted as saying. “It was unfortunate that I did not make any efforts to know what really Islam is [before producing Fitna] and who is the Prophet before blindly believing in the misinformation
campaign being unleashed by the anti-Islamic forces. “When I came to realize that it was not Islam, I decided to study about the religion and that led to my conversion.”
Converted ex-Islamophobe to produce Islamic movie
I May 2013
Greek mosque opens after nine decades
A 111 year-old mosque in Thessaloniki, Greece has opened its doors to Muslim worshippers for the first time in 90 years at the same time a planned mosque in Athens is moving closer to reality. Kerin Uras, Turkey’s Ambassador to Greece, said the Reopening That mosque is “a positive step in the right direction. We’re expecting the rest to come. I hope Athens will also be a place where Muslims can pray. “ The Mosque was constructed by Vitaliano Poselli, an Italian architect, in 1902. However, it was closed for prayer in 1923. Between 1925 to 1963 the mosque was used as an archaeology museum and was later used as the Thessaloniki Municipality’s exhibition hall. An important step for the
construction of the first mosque in Athens is being made through the publication of the project to Diaugeia program by the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, according to the newspaper Kathimerini. The mosque will be built on Navy land next to the Sacred Way, Votanikos. Athens’ some 30,000 Muslims, without an official mosque, have to pray in about 120 makeshift places of worship, such as basements while waiting for the Greek government to build them a mosque. The building site has five derelict buildings, one being turned into the mosque. The mosque will have a capacity for 350 worshippers. In the outdoor there will be a courtyard to be used for worship as well.
Game CDs abusing Holy Quran seized in UAE
The UAE’s Department of Economic Development in Umm Al Quwain has confiscated video game CDs abusing the Holy Quran from an electronic game shop. Issa Musbah Fardh, Director General of the Department, confirmed that the shop was fined and a final notice has been issued against it, besides making them take a pledge not to sell such CDs.
The shops in the emirate were also warned against selling games that abuse Islam, stressing that there is no tolerance for shops that sell these games. The game contained many stages, including one where the player has to shoot a library housing the Holy Book and burn it, so as to jump to the next stage, he added. There should be a parental
Israel threat to kill Hamas officials
Israeli regime’s spy agency, Mossad, has threatened to assassinate officials of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas. Israel Radio quoted a Hamas spokesman as saying that Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, has sent warning messages to Gaza officers and security forces, threatening to assassinate those fighting against the regime. The threats came after Hamas said last week that its security forces arrested a number of people on suspicion of espionage for certain Western and Arab spy agencies in the Gaza Strip. Mohammed Lafi, a Hamas security chief, said that half of those arrested “have confessed to being collaborators.” “The Gaza Strip is swarming with Western intelligence agencies, such as the American, British, French and German services,” Lafi said, adding that certain Arab spy agencies were also operating in Gaza. The official added that Hamas had a “list of collaborators who will be arrested once the time for them to repent has run out.” In mid-March, Hamas Interior Ministry warned those spying for the Israeli regime that they would be pursued without mercy if they did not turn themselves in. guidance while buying video games to assure that they are free of any dangers, Fardh pointed out. The department will continue its intensified campaigns on markets and shops to confiscate the game which is known among children as ‘Masahif’.
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I May 2013
Islamic body urges Myanmar visit over Muslims situation
French Muslims Object to Extension of Hijab Ban
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has asked Myanmar to permit a ministerial delegation to visit the country in a bid to discuss the recent outbreak of violence against Muslims. In a statement issued following its meeting in Saudi Arabia, the 57-member body also urged the UN Human Rights Commission to send a fact-finding mission to the Southeast Asian country. The statement urged Myanmarese authorities to “strongly respond to the organization’s appeal and allow a ministerial OIC delegation to visit” the country. In March, more than 40 people were killed and a number of mosques and homes of Muslims were burned in central Myanmar, indicating a rise in the persecution of Muslims in the country. Myanmar’s Islamic Religious Affairs Council and the Myanmar Muslim National Affairs Organization later appealed to the government of President Thein Sein to take swift
action to stop the ‘violent attacks.’ On March 28, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, said he had received reports that Myanmar’s soldiers and police sometimes stood by “while atrocities have been committed before their very eyes” by well-organized Buddhist mobs in the central city of Meiktila. The Muslim minority of Rohingyas in Myanmar accounts for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million. The persecuted minority has faced torture, neglect, and repression since the country achieved independence in 1948. Last year, scores of Rohingyas were killed when Buddhist extremists carried out atrocities against Muslims in the western state of Rakhine. Thousands of Rohingyas were also displaced. Myanmar’s government has been repeatedly criticized for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslims. www.passionionislam.com
Members of the French Muslims Council in a meeting with the country’s interior minister voiced their protest to the extension of Hijab ban. According to the SaphirNews website, the 8 members of the council during their meeting with Manuel Valls warned against the passing of anti-Islam laws and the development of Islamophobic measures. The expressed concerns that such measures would be exploited by radical groups and give way to spread of discrimination against Muslims. According to Abdullah Zikri, head of the Council for Monitoring Islamophobia in France, whenever French politicians talk about Islam and Muslims, Islaamophobic measures rise in the country. It should be noted that a recently passed law in France has banned Hijab in the country’s kindergartens.
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New Mosque to be built in Lithuania
A new mosque will be constructed in Karolinishkes region of Vilnius’ Naujininkai District in the Republic of Lithuania. “The exact location of the mosque has not been finalized yet”, said the head of Lithuanian Muslim Mufti Romas Jakubauskas. But most likely, it will be built in the centre of Karolinishkes.
Currently, Muslims in the region are forced to pray in the building of Spiritual Administration of Lithuania Muslims, on A.Vivulske Street. In Lithuania there are four mosques namely, in Kaunas, Nemezhise, in village “forty Tartars” and in Rayzhyay.
I May 2013
First Muslim private school tops the list of quality education in France
Averroès High School in Lille is France’s first private Muslim school. Unlike other high schools in France, where the majority of students are loath to take their classes seriously, students in Averroès High School are the total opposite. The dedication and hard work of the students in this private Muslim school have made the school rank first at the regional level, and among the top three at the national. According to the French daily le Monde, Averroès is considered one
more educational institution that has managed to make its way, alongside other private high schools, to the top of the nation’s list of institutions that provide a good quality education. On the other hand, the quality of education in French public schools has not been developing in parallel with the needs of French parents as much as private education has managed to do so. Amidst the harsh international criticism that France has received concerning its strict policies on
secularism while being home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, Averroès Muslim High School has been one significant step in rethinking France’s attitude towards Islam in particular, and religious freedom in general. Having started with only 11 students after its inauguration in 2003, France’s first Muslim private school has grown since then to attain 330 students. In an interview with the leading French daily Le Monde, Amar Lasfar, rector of the Lille mosque and president of the Averroès school, said: “On our first day, there were 34 journalists, including one from Japan – compared to only 11 students and 19 teachers.” Asked about the secret behind the success of his school, Lasfar told Le Monde: “Have faith – not necessarily religious faith, but believe in the project.” Also open to non-Muslims, Averroès, which is a school under contract with the government, has been praised by parents, students and staff for its welcoming atmosphere and serious commitment to providing great quality education to its students.
Australia gets first Muslim woman MP
Australia will have its first Muslim woman MP, the Greens party in News South Wales (NSW) said. Academic Mehreen Faruqi, of Pakistani origin, will replace NSW upper house MP Cate Faehrmann in the new parliament later this year. “As the first Greens MP in NSW from a migrant background, I’m also excited about building stronger relationships between the Greens and migrant communities,” Dr. Faruqi said in a statement. Dr. Faruqi was preselected by the Greens in a postal ballot from among a field of seven women-only candidates, in another first for the party. “Mehreen’s Pakistani heritage not only breaks new ground for the
Greens but it breaks new grounds for politics in NSW, and indeed the whole country,” Ms. Faehrmann said in a statement. The party said Dr. Faruqi has been the first Muslim woman appointed to any parliament in Australia, the party said. In recent years, Muslim women in Western politics have been making the news. In 2012, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg appointed a Muslim woman as part of his government during a Cabinet reshufle.
Hadia Tajik, 29, also of Pakistani descent, was appointed as Norway’s minister of culture. In 2009, a young Muslim veiled woman joined the Christian Democratic Party in Brussels to become the first and only veiled Muslim in a Christian political party.
Aussie Muslim Women on Football Mission
Taking an unusual move to raise awareness about their faith, a group of young Muslim women in Australia has formed a Aussie Rules football team to change perceptions about themselves and their religion. “Sport can change everyone’s lives and it has done that for so many of our girls,” Lael Kassem, captain of the Auburn Tigers team, told The Daily Telegraph Kassem and a group of Muslim women have formed a team to compete in Australia Football League (AFL). The captain says that her teammates had never watched a game of football live or even seen stars of the game on TV. Though they know very little about AFL rules, Muslim women have not feared going into the competition. In its first game, the Muslim team suffered a 130-0 loss to Macquarie University. Yet, captain Kassem opines that her team wants much more than to just put points on the scoreboard. “When we started the team we didn’t think about winning,” Kassem said. “We just wanted to be the most respected team and the most culturally aware team.”
The AFL is the highest-level professional competition in the sport of Australian rules football. According to market research, the AFL is the second-most-watched sporting event in Australia, behind cricket. Last year, the league agreed to introduce multi-faith prayer rooms at playgrounds to respect Australia’s cultural diversity. Showing off their faith, the Muslim team members donned their hijab during the competition. “The majority of the girls in our team wear the Islamic veil and they can wear tracksuits if that makes them more comfortable,” Kassem said.
I May 2013
“We enforce that we are representing our religion so we go on to the field with the best manners and demonstrate Muslims are normal.” Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population. Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity. A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and racebased treatment like never before. www.passionislam.com
Emirates in Real Madrid sponsorship deal
Dubai’s Emirates Airline will pay up to 26m euros ($34m) per year to become the new shirt sponsor of Spanish football giants Real Madrid, according to a report in Spain. Football newspaper Marca said that the carrier, the world’s largest by international passenger traffic, signed a four-year deal with the planet’s richest football club on April 30, with sponsorship starting from next season. The newspaper did not say where it got the information. As a result the Emirates logo will
appear on Real Madrid’s players’ shirts as the main sponsor, with current partner Bwin relegated to secondary sponsor status. Emirates currently has an existing relationship with the current La Liga Champions and Champions League semi-finalists, which sees the Dubai airline’s branding appear in stadium Santiago Bernabeu, as well as other global promotional and hospitality rights. If the deal goes through, it will become one of the most expensive sponsorship packages in football
history. Qatar Foundation currently pays close to $40m every year to sponsor fellow Spanish giants Barcelona although their logo will be replaced by Qatar Airways from next season. Emirates has deals in place with a number of Europe’s top sporting clubs, including English Premier League side Arsenal, whose shirts and stadium the airline’s branding appears on. The airline also sponsorship arrangements with Qatar-owned Paris St Germain and Hamburger SV.
Newcastle United create prayer room for players Passion Islam
SPORT I 19
I May 2013
Football stars looking for divine intervention in a bid for victory now have a prayer room at their stadium. Newcastle United provided the area for Muslim players to worship before matches. An insider said: “We believe we now have more Muslims in our first team squad than any other team in the Premier League, so it is important to look after them. “They have been using various rooms at the ground to worship before games. Now they will get a proper prayer room.” Seven first team stars – Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko and Mehdi Abeid – are devout followers of Islam. And former striker Demba Ba, now with Chelsea, would often lead
team-mates in prayer before games. The insider added: “Prayer has become an important part of the build up to big games. “Demba was the most devout of all the players. He would regularly
pray before big games, and be joined by team-mates. It helped build a bond between them.” The prayer room can be used by players of all faiths, the club said. www.passionislam.com
Muslim woman golfer top 10 dream
Sahra Hassan, from Newport, south Wales, hopes to crack the Ladies European Tour this season after being recognised for her role as a successful Muslim woman in sport. Hassan, 25, was named UK sportswoman of the year 2012 by the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation
at Wembley Stadium last May and was presented with her award by FA chairman David Bernstein. Hassan turned pro four years’ ago and is in her second year competing full-time on the European Ladies Tour. She started playing golf at
Tredegar Park in Newport aged 13 after taking a three month break from tennis, which she’s been playing since she was four years old. After immediately getting hooked, she never looked back. So far this year she has been to Australia, New Zealand, China, Morocco and South Africa. “My goals for this year are to win an event or at least a few top 10s and top 5s. And just to keep improving on my game,” she said. “It would mean the world to me to win on the LET, a dream come true.” And she is certainly putting in the training. Hassan plays three times a week; practices every day and works out at a Cardiff gym every day with her trainer. “I’m working on power at the moment, so mainly my down swing and impact through the ball,” she said. She is currently ranked 455th in the world but hopes to break through into the Ladies European Tour’s winner’s circle this year.
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I May 2013
Cupping the forgotten Therapy
All praise be to Allah the lord of the Worlds the living The Absolute of whom The Prophet Ibrahim described “and when I am ill it is He who cures me” (Ash-Shu`ara` 26:80) and Who sent down the diseases as well as the remedies in order to teach people to seek knowledge and to place their confidence in His Superior. “The best medicine with which you can treat yourselves is Cupping, or it is one of your best medicines” (Al Bukhari and muslim) Cupping also known as‘Hijama’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘hajm’ which means ‘sucking’. refers to an ancient practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup.
The Great Prophet Mohammed (saw) also advised in about 28 holy instructions. He said “healing is to be found in three things: drinking honey, the blade of a cupper and cauterisation by fire but I forbid my Ummah (nation) from cauterization (branding with fire).” [Saheeh alBukhaaree (5681), Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3491)]. What is striking is the complete agreement of the sayings of the prophet mohammed (saw) with modern scientific data and even more so as he was neither a physician nor a scientist. Yet it is unthinkable that a man like Mohammed (saw) who was illiterate could have quoted these instructions. The publications of many physicians corroborate the regulatory and enhancement effect of cupping to the immune system and also its
ability to speed up healing of many diseases. Many have reported the most important action in cupping is the improvement in balance and in the body’s ability to fight against foreign pathogens helping the immune system. Cupping is the best deep tissue massage available. It has been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, when the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, it draws up the underlying tissues causing superficial local congestion and localized healing takes place through allowing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, veins arteries and capillaries. When wet cupping, a small amount of blood letting is done first, using a sterile blade, and then the cup is applied over the site. This technique is said to promote
I May 2013 blood circulation, remove stasis, and alleviate swelling and pain. It is employed especially when there is a toxic heat syndrome and for a variety of acute ailments. Cupping therapy offers many therapeutic benefits. It has been used for thousands of years to treat painful symptoms e.g. sciatica, back pain, and clearing congestion in the chest which can occur with colds and flu, but has recently gained popularity for its ability to release toxins (i.e. helps tissues to release toxins), enhance blood circulation, stimulate the immune system, and reduce stress as it releases chemicals in the brain that reduce stress and depression. The prophet (saw) used cupping on his head for migrane and his honourable hip joint and the back of the neck, lateral sides of the neck and between the shoulders, and said “Cupping on the back of the neck treats seventy two illnesses”(AtTabarani) Anas (radiAllahu anhu) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to apply cupping on the two jugular veins and the upper part of the back.’ [Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad and al-Hakim] The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to apply cupping on three areas, his upper back area and the two jugular veins.’ [al-Bukhari and Muslim] One of the main purposes of cupping therapy is to encourage a sufficient supply of nutrition to the affected tissues. Cupping is believed to stimulate the flow of blood and lymph to the affected area. Thus it improves blood and lymph flow of the corresponding organ, activates its function and at the same time provides rough clear diagnosis through skin discolouration.
Cupping the corresponding organ points is used in internal medicine disorders to add help to the main stream medicine. Cupping helps in treating disorders such as liver or kidney problems, respiratory diseases, digestive disorders and some gynaecological disorders. Usamah bin Shuraik narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘O servants of Allah! Seek treatment, Allah did not create a disease without creating a cure therefore, except one disease (which is) death.’ [at-Tirmidhi] Abdullah ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger said, “I did not pass by an angel from the angels on the night journey (meraj) except that they all said to me: Upon you is cupping (hijama), O Muhammad.” [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3477)]. In the narration reported by Abdullah ibn Mas’ud; the angels said, “Oh Muhammad, Order your Ummah (nation) with cupping (hijama).” [Saheeh Sunan Tirmidhee (3479)]. Cupping can also be used as a preventative medication as seen in the following hadiths. Anas ibn Maalik reported that the Messenger said, “Whoever wants
to perform cupping (hijama) then let him search for the 17th, 19th and 21st day (of the Islamic, lunar month) and let none of you allow his blood to rage (boil) such that it kills him.” [Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah (3486)]. Anas ibn Maalik reported that the Messenger said, “When the weather becomes extremely hot, seek aid in cupping (hijama). Do not allow your blood to rage (boil) such that it kills you.” [Reported by Hakim in his ‘Mustadrak’ and he authenticated it and Imam ad-Dhahabi agreed (4/212)]. When choosing a cupper ensure they have the right qualifications with insurance and a waste disposal licence as these are prerequisite in the uk. They also need to use disposable equipment to avoid cross contamination. A lot of people believe that cupping can be painful due to the incisions. If the cup is placed on the area in advance this should makes the area numb, therefore when the scratches are made the pain is very limited. Also if done properly there should be no marks left within a week or two.
I May 2013
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