Featured Sport News EU says terrorist Spain players Month of attacks decreasing Gaza bound Ramadhan
Almighty - Creator of the heavens and the earth! Knower of the hidden and the exposed! Rubb of everything and every one. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but You. I seek Your Protection from the evil of my own self from the evil of Satan and from the evil of Shirk to which he calls.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I August 2010
by Sarah Bibbi
Makkah Twin Peaks Challenge
In the Footsteps of the Beloved
This summer, in the blazing Arabian sun, I will be ascending Mounts Noor, (where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would spend endless hours in deep reflection and where the first revelation was received) and Thawr (where the Prophet (SAW) and Abu Bakr (RA) found sanctuary when they had commenced the hijra, migration from Makka to Madina), to raise money for two amazing causes; Ebrahim College and the Muslim Community Fund. The trek is organised by Ebrahim College (EC). EC is an Islamic sixth form that offers school leavers and adults the opportunity to study
both traditional Islamic Sciences and mainstream secular education. Despite the academic success, EC constantly struggles to make ends meet financially, as the College is not supported by the Government. Course fees are heavily subsidised by the College, to make the courses accessible to all. This ultimately results in a negative cash flow. With a deficit of over £200,000, EC has launched a £1,000,000 campaign to help raise the necessary funds to build a secure future for the College, its students and the community it serves. Working in partnership with EC is the Muslim Community
Fund (MCF). MCF seeks to address the incredibly poor state of the Muslim Community in the UK, compounded by a lack of awareness and investment toward it, by the community or otherwise. Since their formation in early 2009, MCF have since coordinated one funding cycle for one grant scheme, dedicated to improving provisions for youth and students - increasing their aspirations, creating more relevant and appropriate services for them, skills/training courses. If you have been inspired by the efforts of these organisations, then sponsor me at http://www.justgiving. com/makkatwinpeakschallenge
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I August 2010
Express pays out £60k over charity terrorism-links claim Passion Islam
By Dominic Ponsford
Express Newspapers apologised and agree to pay damages of £60,000 to the trustees of a charity which it reported was linked to the Palestinian organisation Hamas. Six trustees of the UK-based
the terrorist attempt to blow up an aeroplane over the US on Christmas Day last year and it “falsely alleged that Interpal supported Hamas, notwithstanding that Hamas is deemed a terrorist organisation under UK anti-terrorism legislation”. A statement read in the High Court this morning said: “Interpal does not support Hamas and would not enjoy its charitable status in this country if it did support Hamas. “Interpal is not affiliated to any political (let alone terrorist) organisation, whether officially or unofficially, nor does it support any such organisations.” The Express apologised to the six trustees of the charity and accepted that the allegations were false. The six have said they will pay the money into Interpal’s charitable funds. Express Newspapers will also have to pay Carter Ruck’s costs.
charity, which provides help to Palestinians, sued the Daily Express over an article which appeared on its website in December 2009. According to Interpal’s solicitors Carter Ruck, the article was about
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UK admits using DU ammunition in Iraq 4
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
UK defense secretary says American and British forces used depleted uranium (DU) ammunitions during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. “UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in a written reply to the House of Commons. The announcement came after a joint study by the environment, health and science ministries in Iraq said there were communities near the cities of Najaf, Basra and Fallujah with increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels of radiation and dioxins. Fox said the Ministry of Defense provided the coordinates of targets attacked using DU ammunition to the UN Environmental Program. “They also exchanged information
with humanitarian and other organizations; and warned Iraqis through signs and leaflets that they should not go near or touch any debris they find on the former battlefield,” he claimed. The use of depleted uranium ammunition is widely controversial because of potential long-term health effects. It is reported that the US and Britain used up to 2,000 tons of these ammunitions during the Iraq war. The World Health Organization is now investigating the rising number of birth defects, which Iraqi doctors attribute to the use of chemical weapons and depleted uranium ammunition during the war. Iraqi doctors say they’ have been struggling to cope with the rise in the number of cancer cases, especially in cities subjected to heavy US and
I August 2010
British bombardment. Iraq’s Ministry for Human Rights is expected to file a lawsuit against Britain and the US over their use of depleted uranium bombs in Iraq. The ministry will seek compensation for the victims of these weapons.
NHS urged to offer circumcisions
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Senior doctors have called for male circumcision to be offered by the NHS amid fears that unregulated operations are leading to serious injuries among Muslim boys. A number of public health specialists have urged the health service to overturn its ban on such operations after an investigation into circumcisions performed at an Islamic school in Oxford found that 13 out of 32 boys who had the procedure – at an average age of six – ended up with medical problems. Three endured what a new research paper describes as “incomplete circumcision” at the hands of an overseas-qualified doctor who only had six months of basic surgical training. They also ended up with urethral scarring or a haematoma – a build up of blood that results from internal bleeding – or both. Six had to be treated in hospital for complications related to their circumcision, and two had to undergo the procedure for a second time. Ten of the 13 needed to take a course of antibiotics. Writing in the UK Faculty of Public Health’s Journal of Public Health, the study’s co-authors, Dr Karthikeyan Paranthaman and two fellow public health doctors in Oxford, concluded: “This incident highlights the harm associated with circumcision in young children by unregulated operators due to lack of compliance with best surgical and infection control guidance. There is an urgent need for commissioning circumcision
services for religious reasons in the NHS.” In 2006 the three specialists undertook an inquiry for the Thames Valley Health Protection Unit into unregulated circumcisions after an Oxford GP alerted them to a young patient. The procedures were carried out in the library of a faith school, they discovered. They listed a series of concerns about the way the operations were carried out. The General Medical Council banned the doctor involved from performing more circumcisions after it learned of the harm done to the boys. The Oxford case was not an isolated incident, however. Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust in east London began offering the operation to families who sought it for religious and cultural reasons in 2005 after some children were harmed in non-NHS procedures. “It was set up due to community need, and also to counter occasional children presenting at local accident and emergency departments with infections and other problems associated with unregulated operations,” said trust spokesman Tim Carter. The boys of parents who are registered with a GP in the borough can have the operation when they are aged between six weeks and five months. Parents are charged £120£150. More than 900 boys have been circumcised by the Trust since the service began five years ago.
I August 2010
‘We don’t have cash to tackle all threats’ UK minister
British Defence Secretary Liam Fox issued a renewed warning that Britain could no longer afford to protect itself from all possible future threats. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper, he said the military was facing a series of “really hard choices” in the forthcoming strategic defence and security review, with some existing capabilities facing the axe. “We don’t have the money as a country to protect ourselves against every potential future threat. We just don’t have it,” he said. “It is really difficult and we will have to make really hard choices.” He said that, in future, the Armed Forces would have to concentrate on preparing to meet “realistic potential future threats.” He confirmed that British troops stationed in Germany was an area where savings could be found. He suggested that he would like the Royal Navy to have more warships, acquiring cheaper, less sophisticated vessels rather than state-of-the-art ships like the Type 45 destroyer. The minister also indicated that he would like to find savings by reducing the number of different types of aircraft in the RAF’s transport fleet.
Tahira Foods helps young offenders during Ramadhan Tahira Foods Europe’s leading Halal brand have linked with the Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) to ensure that young offenders do not feel forgotten during Ramadan. They are sending gift packs to over 4,000 Muslim prisoners during the festival. The Prison Campaign – now in its seventh year - is dedicated to raising awareness of the special needs and conditions of Muslim prisoners, assisting them while they are in prison and helping them re-engage with society and the community when they are released.
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Cambridge UK Site of Europe’s First Eco-Mosque
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
The historic city of Cambridge, UK will soon be home to Europe’s first real eco-mosque. Designed by Marks Barfield, the same design firm known for the London Eye and the Kew Gardens Treetop Walkway, the £13 million project will be built on a 0.4 hectare brownfield that was purchased two years ago, just for the purpose of building a new structure that hopes to inspire other mosques to abide by the long-standing environmental principles originally laid out in the Quran. “Islamic civilization has been based on the rejection of waste as an under-estimation of God’s blessing,” says Tim Winter (also known as Abdul Hakim Murad), chairman of the trust responsible for funding the project. “So in the construction of the new mosque here in Cambridge, we were very much in the forefront of the local environmental movement in that we are using the latest heat pumps, conservation technology and green roofs so that we’ll have an almost zero carbon footprint.” Featuring its own green roof, natural lighting provided by beautiful skylights, and energy locally generated by ground-source
heat pumps, the mosque will also be faced in brick - allowing it to complement the existing buildings in the neighbourhood. The design will be Europe’s first true eco-mosque, preceded by a partially eco-friendly mosque in Levenshulme that was completed in 2008, but did not use renewable energy and materials sourced from India. Cambridge’s mosque will accommodate up to 1,000 people with dedicated areas of worship (ablution, teaching, children’s area and morgue) in addition to its cafe and meeting rooms for both Muslims
I August 2010
and non-Muslims. The design draws its inspiration from ‘the Garden of paradise’ and water - the source of all life to create a calm ‘oasis’, with the ‘trees’ set out on a generous 7.8 x 7.8 metre grid forming the main mosque structure. The prayer hall is the heart of the building, organized around the mihrab with the principal dome above it. Between the structural ‘trees’ within the prayer hall, soft natural light filters in through circular glass domes. Twenty new cypress trees creating a new permeable green edge around the building.
Torture inquiry chairman ‘’fatally compromised’’ A human rights group called for the removal of the judge leading an inquiry into torture allegations against the UK’s security services. UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed former appeal court judge Sir Peter Gibson as chairman of the investigation into claims of British complicity in the abuse of detainees abroad since the 9/11 attacks on the US. But legal charity ‘Reprieve’ wrote to Sir Peter asking him to disqualify himself because his impartiality was “fatally compromised” as a result of his connections to the security services. As Intelligence Services Commissioner since 2006, Sir Peter is the official watchdog for Britain’s spy agencies. Reprieve said, in its letter released, he should not be the judge of whether his own work in overseeing the security services was effective, adding
that he should be a witness to the inquiry rather than its chairman. The group’s director, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “Welcome though the torture inquiry is, the current structure is a sham. “Sir Peter Gibson was perhaps the least appropriate judge to evaluate the security services. The Government must get serious about learning the mistakes of the past, rather than try to cover them up, or we are in for a long, hot summer.” Reprieve highlighted former foreign secretary David Miliband’s revelation in a recent BBC interview that Sir Peter had already carried out a secret inquiry into the torture complicity allegations. It also noted that each of Sir Peter’s annual reports as Intelligence Services Commissioner had described all members of the security services as “trustworthy, conscientious and
dependable”, which it said “entirely prejudged” the issues before the new inquiry. In his letter to Sir Peter, which was copied to Cameron, The inquiry was announced by Cameron on July 6 after mounting pressure following claims by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed that he was tortured with the knowledge of the British security services while held by the CIA in Pakistan. A number of other former detainees have since brought legal action against the British Government, claiming they were subjected to similar mistreatment with the knowledge of the security and intelligence agencies, MI5 or MI6. Allegations have also been made of UK involvement in the extra-judicial transfer, or rendition, of terror suspects between countries in the aftermath of 9/11. Sir Peter served as an appeal court judge from 1993 to 2005.
I August 2010
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
UK still considering law change on Israeli war criminals Passion Islam
The British government is still seeking a way to change the law on universal jurisdiction to prevent Israeli leaders from being arrested for alleged war crimes, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has confirmed. “We are urgently considering how to proceed and expect to make an announcement shortly,” Clarke said when asked if the government had plans to bring forward proposals to meet the pledge made by the Conservatives before taking office. “The Government consider it unsatisfactory that an arrest warrant for such offences can be issued on the application of a private prosecutor on the basis of evidence that would be insufficient to sustain a prosecution,” he told MPs. Foreign Secretary William Hague disclosed in May that the new coalition government with the Liberal Democrats had “not yet determined the exact action that we will take on universal jurisdiction.” Before taking office, the Conservatives made an election pledge in the Jewish Chronicle that “universal jurisdiction will be amended at the earliest opportunity to enable Israelis to visit the UK”. The Conservatives’ reported
Sky News confirms Arabic news channel venture
plans are to change the law so that only the Crown Prosecution Service will be able to initiate prosecutions for universal jurisdiction offences. It comes after the previous Labour government also pledged to change the law last December when former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni was forced to cancel a visit to the UK after an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes was issued in London. But the attempt was thwarted by 145 MPs signing an Early Day Motion to parliament warning that they would vote against any change to the law that allows the public to apply for arrest warrants for suspected war criminals. Among those opposing were 53 of the current 62 Lib Dem MPs, including two who are now cabinet ministers, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne as well as 11 more who hold ministerial posts. IRNA
Sky News has confirmed it is in talks to launch a new 24/7 Arabic language satellite news channel. BSkyB, which is 39 per cent owned by News Corp, confirmed today that it is in discussions with an Abu Dhabi-based private investor on a 50-50 joint venture to set up the channel. According to Sky News: “The service would offer a new style of independent and neutral multi-media news coverage for countries in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). It would be based in Abu Dhabi but have bureaux in most major regional and international news centres and would be available free-to-air across MENA.” It revealed that the channel could be launched within the next two years if discussions are successful. News Corp is currently seeking to buy out the BSkyB shares that it does not currently own.
TV channel fined for airing ads for ‘spiritual helper’ Ofcom has fined a TV channel targeting the Asian community £17,500 for airing ads featuring a “spiritual helper” that the watchdog said exploited vulnerable members of the public. Ofcom said that it had levied a fine against DM Digital Television, which broadcasts mainly in Urdu to the UK Asian community, because of “serious and repeated breaches of advertising rules”. The Manchester-based station, which was fined £15,000 in 2008 for promoting potentially harmful treatments to cure illnesses including cancer, broadcast an advertisement
for a “spiritual healer” called Professor Mohammed Zain. The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint from Manchester Trading Standards Service, which had been contacted by the social worker of a viewer who had paid money to Zain after seeing an ad and asking for relationship help. Zain told the woman to pay a total of £1,510 and in return he would find her a “prince”. The ASA ruled that the ads broke the broadcasting code because they were misleading and exploitative and referred the case, which it considered to be very serious, to
Ofcom. Ofcom ruled that that the breach in advertising rules was serious because it resulted in actual financial harm to a viewer. In levying a fine Ofcom said that the breach demonstrated a “repeated failure on behalf of DM Digital to ensure that material it broadcast met the requirements of the TV advertising code” Passion Islam welcomes Ofcom decision on false advertising and a lesson needs to be learnt by broadcast and print media regarding sending out messages by these fraudsters.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I August 2010
Compensation for Gaza protesters beaten by police Passion Islam
Two demonstrators beaten by unidentified police officers during a protest against Israeli massacres in Gaza last year have been awarded £25,000 in compensation. “Offers of compensation have been made to Ashley and Russell Inglis for the injuries they received. The Met has apologised for the force used,” a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan police said. The apology was made in a letter to the twin brothers, both Oxford University graduates, who needed hospital treatment after being struck on the head with a baton by a police officer during a protest outside the Israeli embassy in January 2009. “Whilst it has not been possible to identify who struck you and caused your injuries, the investigation into the events established there was no reason to suspect that you were acting in a violent way, and therefore you should not have been struck with a baton,” the letter said. Payment of the compensation
came as ten demonstrators jailed for protesting against Israel’s massacre of more than 1.400 Palestinians in Gaza launched appeals against their sentences. Over 100 people were arrested after demonstrating outside the Israeli Embassy in London, 78 were charged with violent disorder and many, mostly Muslims, were given deterrent sentences of up to two and a half years. The twin brothers, who have been highly critical of the police investigation into their assault, said they were planning to use some of the compensation to help other people involved in the demonstrations pursue cases against the police. The Islamic Human Rights
Commission (IHRC) produced a report earlier this year on the policing of the demonstrations, which included very disturbing eyewitness accounts of unprofessional police conduct and in some cases amounting to police brutality. Claims were that “law enforcement officials used tactics of intimidation and indiscriminate, disproportionate force”; they “failed to communicate effectively. IRNA
The Home Secretary announced the suspension of the broad stop and search powers found in section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This widely discredited power, that allowed blanket stop and search without any suspicion of terrorism, was designated in secret by senior police officers and past Home Secretaries often on a rolling basis across whole counties of England and Wales. Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision: “Liberty welcomes the end of the infamous s.44 stop and search power that criminalised and alienated more people than it ever protected. We argued against it for ten years and spent the last seven challenging it all the way to the Court of Human
Rights. It is a blanket and secretive power that has been used against school kids, journalists, peace protesters and a disproportionate number of young black men. To our knowledge, it has never helped catch a single terrorist. This is a very important day for personal privacy, protest rights and race equality in Britain.” In January of this year a seven year Liberty legal challenge (Gillan and Quinton V the United Kingdom) resulted in the Court of Human Rights ruling that section 44 violates the right to respect for private life guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights. The case arose from an arms fair in the Docklands area of East London in September 2003 where journalists and peace protestors were
subject to lengthy stop and search and prevented from attending a demonstration. Liberty’s challenge revealed that the whole of Greater London had been secretly designated for stop and search without suspicion on a rolling basis since 2001. Prior to the General Election, the previous Government made a last ditch appeal to the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights which was roundly refused. Continued use of the power would only have left both the public and police under confusion about a law that was ripe for misuse and further legal challenges. Passion Islam have from day one been critical of the Stop and search method and like liberty welcomes the end of the infamous s.44 stop and search power.
Liberty welcomes demise of section 44 stop and search
I August 2010
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Extent of UK involvement in torture revealed in secret papers The extent of the British government’s involvement in the illegal abduction and torture of its own citizens following the 9/11 attacks in the US have been revealed in secret documents. Among the most damning disclosures made during court proceedings brought by six former Guantánamo inmates are interrogation reports from MI5 security agents that betray the suffering of a British resident whom they were questioning at a US airbase in Afghanistan. Another startling document, according to the Guardian newspaper, is chapter 32 of MI6’s general procedural manual, entitled “Detainees and Detention Operations”. This was said to advise intelligence officers that among the “particular sensitivities” they need to consider before becoming directly involved in an operation to detain a terrorism suspect is the question of whether “detention, rather than killing, is the objective of the operation”. The disclosure come after Prime Minister David Cameron recently
announced an inquiry into whether Britain has been complicit with torture despite repeated denials by the previous Labour government. The Previously secret papers include a number implicating former prime minister Tony Blair’s office, including overruling Foreign Office attempts to provide consular for his return to the UK with the result that he was “rendered” to Guantánamo. The Guardian reported that the documents also show that the Foreign Office decided in January 2002 that the transfer of British citizens from Afghanistan to Guantánamo was its “preferred option”. In the court proceedings, the government has been responding to disclosure requests by maintaining that it has identified up to 500,000 documents that may be relevant, and says it has deployed 60 lawyers to
Al-Sudais Message of Peace
The imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah told the world not to be afraid of Islam and Muslims, adding that Islam represents a message of peace, goodness and tolerance. Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais made the announcement while delivering his Friday sermon at the Tauheedul Islam Mosque in Blackburn, Lancashire, UK. The new Tauheedul Islam Mosque is the largest in Lancashire and cost 3.5 million pounds ($5.37 million). Qatar’s royal family provided an initial donation of 1.5 million pounds for the basic construction of the mosque, with the remainder generated from the Blackburn community. The community had outgrown the much smaller mosque, which was established at the same site in the 1960s. In his sermon, Al-Sudais said: “Islam came to protect the interests of humanity, prevent evils and build bridges with all communities. It offers a great message of mercy and tolerance.”
The Makkah imam urged Muslims living in Western countries to abide by the laws of the countries where they reside. “You should be a positive and constructive factor in the community you live and should not involve yourselves in activities that would undermine its security and stability,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted Al-Sudais as saying. Al-Sudais asked Muslims to learn from the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who used to visit his Jewish neighbor. “When the Prophet died his armor was kept with a Jew as a security,” he said, urging Muslims to establish good relations with non-Muslims. “This is the best way to attract them to Islam.” Al-Sudais said Muslims living in the West should serve as ambassadors of their religion. “You should uphold the great Islamic values while dealing with Muslims as well as non-Muslims and should not engage in any corrupt or unjust practices.”
scrutinise them. Many of the documents requested by lawyers remained to be handed over with so far only 900 papers disclosed, and these have included batches of press cuttings and copies of government reports that were published several years ago. “Together they paint a picture of a government that was determined not only to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States as it embarked upon its programme of “extraordinary rendition” and torture of terrorism suspects in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, but to actively participate in that programme,” the Guardian said. IRNA
Islamic Bank of Britain given £20m capital injection Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) is to gain £20m of capital from Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), a founding shareholder, when QIIB increases its stake in IBB to 80%. The capital injection, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, will allow IBB to enhance its sales of key products, including the IBB Home Purchase Plan, an alternative to mortgages. IBB was the first Shariacompliant bank in the UK, and remains the sole Sharia-compliant stand-alone retail bank in Europe.
I WORLD NEWS
Indian banks hindering Muslims
Islam is the second-most practiced religion in India, with more than 13.4% of the country’s population being Muslim. State-owned Indian banks have been accused of being biased against a Muslim minority in offering banking services, with a doubling of complaints. India’s minorities watchdog has received a record number of complaints from Muslims who say they have been deterred from opening bank accounts, BBC reported. The National Commission of Minorities said there has been a 100 percent increase in the number of complaints it has received over the past year from Muslims regarding the issue. Reports say the worst case
took place in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh where some 90,000 Muslim students were unable to open accounts to deposit scholarship checks issued to them by the Indian government. According to a number of reports, India’s Muslims fare poorly in accessing quality education or employment opportunities. Muslims make up India’s largest minority community and are among the poorest in the country. Islam is the second-most practiced religion in India after Hinduism, with more than 13.4 percent of the country’s population identifying themselves as Muslim. Official reports frequently put Muslims at the bottom of India’s social and economic ladder, even beneath low-caste Hindus.
Zionist Regime Shielding War Criminals The Zionist regime’s latest report to the UN on the 2008-09 Gaza war, which details Israel’s response to allegations of international law violations, proves that Israel has failed to fulfill its international obligations, a Palestinian human rights organization said. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said in a statement that Israel’s report, Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update, “serves to highlight the inadequacies
inherent in Israel’s investigative system” and demonstrates the flaws in Israel’s accountability system. Citing several incidents in which Israel provided conflicting accounts of deadly military activity during its Operation Cast Lead assault or “wholly failed” to conduct independent investigations, the PCHR accused the Zionist regime of making efforts “to shield the perpetrators from justice.” passionislam.com
Al-Sherbini memorial vandalized A memorial in honor of a martyred Muslim woman in the eastern German city of Dresden has been vandalized, press reports quoted police as saying. The 31-year-old Marwa elShirbini was brutally stabbed to death by a German neo-Nazi in July 2009 in a courtroom because of her Islamic faith. An art group, calling itself ‘Achtzehn Stiche’, erected three small pillars with an explanatory plaque as a monument in honor of
the murdered Egyptian mother. The pillars were reportedly overturned the past few days by unknown persons. The artists said the destruction was “deliberate, politically motivated.” They also added that the memorial plaque had been stolen. The murder of Al-Sherbini, who was pregnant with her second child at the time of her death, sparked international outrage and condemnation. IRNA
I August 2010
Centuries Old Handwritten Quran Showcased in Dubai An exhibition of Quranic and Islamic handwritten manuscripts belonging to the 4th to 14th centuries Hijri (11-21 centuries AD) is being held in Borjman Cultural Center in Dubai, UAE. According to Al-Ittihad Newspaper, the exhibition which has been organized by Jom’at Majed Cultural Center in Dubai is showcasing a 1000-year-old handwritten copy of the holy Quran known as “Ibn Al-Bavaab” manuscript, as well as a Quranic manuscript written by Al-Hassan AL-Helma (died in 1313 Hijri). They are among the most magnificent works at the exhibition. The Quranic and Islamic manuscripts showcased at the exhibition which belong to the 4th to 14th centuries Hijri feature different categories of history, medicine, astronomy, genealogy, and syntax.
Malaysia signs security agreement
As part of the security cooperation between Malaysia and the United Kingdom, the two countries have signed an agreement on crime prevention and fight against cross-border, NAM News Network reported. The agreement aims at facilitating the criminal investigations through the development of formal measures of gathering evidences to assist the authorized bodies in both courtiers, it added. The agreement was signed by Malaysian attorney general, Abdulghani Ftayel and British high commissioner in Malaysia Bowed Maclari, the news network said.
Registered Charity No: 1135772 It gives us great pleasure to inform you that we have recently purchased the former Elm Pentecostal Church on Swindon Road, Dewsbury for the purpose of a Masjid, Madressa (for children / adults) and a Pre-school Islamic Nursery inshallah. We have named the premises “Madina Academy” and registered it as a charity. The cost of purchase and renovation work on the premises is estimated at £175,000. Alhamdulillah, we have raised the initial amount for the purchase of the premises with Qarze hasana (loans) from Muslim brothers and sister. However, we still require additional funds, both Qarze hasana and Lillah (donations) to undertake essential renovation work. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, “Who is it that will give a loan to Allah, a beautiful loan, then He will increase it, a multiple increase.” [2:245] “The example of those who spend their wealth in the path of Allah is that of a grain of corn; it produces seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold to whom He desires.” [2:261] “Whatever you spend is for yourselves. (You earn the reward.)” [2:272] The Holy Prophet SAW said, “Charity does not in any way decrease wealth.” [Bukhari] “Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your cause’, and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser.’” [Bukhari] “Verily what a believer continues to receive (in the form of reward) for his action and his virtues after his death is the knowledge which he acquired and then disseminated; the pious son that he left behind him; or a copy of the Qur’an which he left as a legacy; or the Masjid that he had built; or the inn that he had built for the wayfarers; or the canal that he caused to flow, or a sadaqah which he gave out of his property in the state when he was healthy and alive. (These are the acts of goodness the reward of which) reaches him even after his death.” [Tirmidhi] We would be grateful to all Muslim brothers and sisters, especially those living in the area for their generous support and assistance in this noble cause. If you wish to contribute in any way or view the premises please contact us. Donations can be sent to the address below or directly to any NatWest bank, quoting the following details: Account Name: Madina Academy - Sort Code: 52-30-29 - Account No: 36228753
Tel: 07852 762632
website: www.madinaacademy.org.uk - email: email@example.com MADINA ACADEMY I SWINDON ROAD I DEWSBURY I WEST YORKSHIRE I WF13 2PA I ENGLAND
Spain parliament rejects burqa ban proposal
I August 2010
Spain’s Parliament rejected a proposal to ban women wearing the face veil in public places, citing protection of personal freedoms. The proposal to ban women from wearing a veil that only reveals the eyes was presented by the leading opposition Popular Party on the grounds that the outfit, also called burqa, violates the rights of women and undermines their dignity. Following a debate that took place in the parliament’s lower chamber, 162 MPs voted for the ban, 183 opposed it, and two abstained. According to the Popular Party, the proposal was put forward “in defense of the dignity and equality of all women” and to make sure Muslim
women are not being forced by their husbands to become fully veiled. “It is very difficult to understand how it is that our troops are defending liberty in Afghanistan and the government doesn’t have the courage to do so here, in Spain,” said opposition spokeswoman Soraya Saenz de Santamaria. Some analysts argue that the main purpose of the proposal is strengthening the opposition amid the economic problems with which the government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been plighted. “This has been used politically in a search for electoral support,” said Mansur Escudero, president of the Islamic
Commission of Spain. He added that the last time he had seen a fully veiled women in Spain was 10 years ago in the southern city of Marbella, where several wealthy Arabs own houses, and that this woman might have been a tourist. “The only woman I
knew who regularly wore a burqa had lived in the southern city of Cordoba and died about a decade ago.” None of the opposition spokesmen had been able to cite a place in Spain where women routinely wear face-covering veils. passionislam.com
Human rights committee discusses draft of the right to freedom of expression The Human Rights Committee continued its first reading of a draft General Comment on State parties’ obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, setting out the rights to hold an opinion without interference and to freedom of expression. Committee Experts recommended that the language of the draft General Comment be more explicit in its description of statutory acts because that language could mean different things in different cultures; perhaps the Committee should be explicit that it meant acts adopted by legislative bodies when it referred to statutory acts. In general observations on the draft General Comment, a Committee Member asked whether the working documents of the Committee could be made available to the outside world as it would be valuable to hear comments
and feedback. Other Committee Member noted that it was important not to be too explicit as this could limit the list of subordinate laws that were often used to limit the freedom of expression, including local bylaws, traditional or customary law and religious law. An Expert noted that legal systems were rich and varied so in some countries the concepts of informal law, customary law, or religious law were not concepts that were subscribed to so the use of that language could be confusing. Michael O’Flaherty, the Committee Expert serving as rapporteur for the draft General Comment, introduced a revised draft text which took into account comments made by Committee Members during the March 2010 session, as well as revisions that were made and approved at that last session. The updated text contained a set of
general remarks and included sections on freedom of opinion; the scope of the right of freedom of expression; freedom of expression and the media; access to information; freedom of expression and political rights; limitations on freedom of expression; restrictions on political expression; restrictions on expression by the media and related information gathering/disseminating actors; restrictions related to counter-terrorism measures; restrictions and defamation laws; restrictions and blasphemy laws; restrictions and “memory laws”; and the relationship between articles 19 and 20 (prohibition of war propaganda or advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence). The Committee reviews the document on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. Experts commented and proposed changes to the draft General Comment.
I WORLD NEWS
I August 2010
Ban on buses in central Madinah With increasing numbers of visitors to Madinah expected in the runup to Ramadan, the Ministry of Haj has prevented buses from entering the central area around the Prophet’s Mosque to avoid congestion. The ministry has issued a circular directing all Haj and Umrah companies not to allow their buses from entering the central area. The ministry said all buses will be allowed to park in the car park for land pilgrims on the outskirts of Madinah. The Shoura Council recently made a proposal to ban all vehicles carrying less than 25 people from entering the holy city of Makkah during the Haj season. Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, secretary-general of the council, said the arrangements should be made in the interest of both pilgrims and residents. A reduction in the number of vehicles entering the holy city
will help facilitate the smooth operations of ongoing expansion programs, he said. Currently vehicles carrying less than nine people are banned from entering Makkah and the holy sites during the peak pilgrimage season. Meanwhile, Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed issued instructions that visitors to Madinah should only be accommodated in hotels and apartments approved and classified by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA). He added that anyone who violates this rule risks being punished. Preparing for an increased number of visitors, the Madinah
municipality last week opened a twokilometer long pedestrian road for joggers and walkers. The road has been made welcoming and includes seating areas. The Madinah Summer Festival also opened recently and will continue for an entire month. More than 200 various activities will be held during the festival.
US chain store boycotts Israeli goods An American chain store has boycotted sales of Israeli products to protest at the policies of the Tel Aviv’s regime against Palestinians. The board of directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Washington decided that no more Israeli goods will be sold at its two grocery stores in the city. “We met last Thursday for the board members meeting and a pretty large group - about 40 people - presented the boycott project and answered our questions,” board member Rob Richards told Ha’aretz. “A couple of board members were concerned about what will
be the financial effect on the organization, but it’s minimal,” he added. Richards also said that two members on the board were from the Jewish community who supported the boycott. The co-op grocery stores carried Israeli products including ice cream, crackers and a line of baby wipes. Olympia is the hometown of Rachel Corrie, a US peace activist who was run over and killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she attempted to prevent a Palestinian home from being demolished.
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I WORLD NEWS
Muslim Groups to Survey 600 U.S. Mosques
Muslim American organizations have launched what they say will be the most comprehensive survey of mosques in the United States in a decade. “This is the biggest mosque survey since 9/11,” said Ihsan Bagby, an Islamic studies professor at the University of Kentucky, who is
leading this survey and worked on the last one, in 2000. The survey will again provide figures for the number of U.S. mosques and the number of Muslims associated with those and attempt to ascertain the status of women in them. The survey is sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America and six other Muslim groups. Researchers intend to call leaders of 600 mosques with questions between this month and September. Final results are expected in February.
India, US sign Counter Terrorism Cooperation Initiative India and the United States signed the India-US Counter Terrorism Initiative, the text of which was initialed on the sidelines of the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the US in November, 2009. Union Home Secretary, G.K. Pillai signed for India whereas Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer signed on behalf of the USA. The India-US Counter Terrorism Cooperation Initiative, signed in New Delhi, seeks to further enhance the cooperation between two countries in Counter Terrorism as an important element of their bilateral strategic partnership. The initiative provides for strengthening capabilities to effectively combat terrorism; promotion of exchanges regarding modernisation of techniques; sharing of best practices on issues of mutual interest; development of investigative skills and promotion of cooperation in forensic science laboratories. Besides, it seeks to establish procedures to provide mutual investigative assistance; enhancing capabilities to act against money laundering, counterfeit currency and
financing of terrorism; exchanging best practices on mass transit and rail security; increasing exchanges between Coast Guards and Navy on maritime security. Exchanging experience and expertise on port and border security; enhancing liaison and training between specialist Counter Terrorism Units including National Security Guard with their American counter parts are part of the agreement. Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary recalled that during the visit of the Union Home Minister to the US during September, 2009, several areas for Counter Terrorism Cooperation between India and US, beyond the existing instrumentalities, were identified and which find full reflection in the agreed document. He described the MoU as an evidence of successful cooperation between India and US in Counter Terrorism and as being based upon the solid foundation of mutual benefit. Union Home Secretary also acknowledged the key role played by Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer in bringing the proposal to successful fruition. IRNA
I August 2010
Anti-Islamic websites to be banned in Turkey Turkey’s Dianat (religious affairs) Department has been given the right to seek to ban anti-Islam websites according to a bill passed by the parliament, internethaber reports. According to the new law, all the websites with anti-Islamic and sacrilegious contents will be blocked. This also includes websites which put Quranic publications online without permission from the publishers. The Dianat Department can sue the websites’ owners and the court will give orders to block the websites. Some secular parties have criticized the law claiming it is against Turkey’s Constitution and would lead to political and religious censorship.
Frankfurt University to introduce Islamic studies program Frankfurt’s Goethe University is to begin a three-year Islamic studies program this winter semester. The bachelor’s program is to focus scientifically on religious, cultural and historical aspects of Islam. The scientific success of the Islamic studies program will be reviewed by the university in three years. Germany announced plans earlier this year to set up institutes for Islamic studies to train new generations of Muslim clerics and religious teachers more attuned to western society, and to exert subtle control over how the country’s growing Muslim population is taught about its faith. The government has welcomed a proposal by its academic advisory council to create centers of Islamic theology at two or three state-run universities. Germany has long-established faculties for Christian and Jewish theology, but no centers for Islamic studies, even though it has four million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in Europe after France. Until now, the only German university training Muslim teachers is located in the western city of Muenster. IRNA
I August 2010
Media Portraying us as Terrorists, Slams Muslim Australians
A report of the ‘Department of Immigration and Citizenship’ has revealed that Muslim families have good relations with other Australians, and feel safe and happy in the country, but they are furious with the media for depicting Muslims as terrorists and criminals. ‘’The families felt strongly the media were gunning for Muslims; it was a huge concern for them,’’ The Age quoted Ilan Katz, director of the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and a co-author of the study, as saying. The research is part of a wider project commissioned by the department to understand the concerns and needs of Muslim Australians.
Based on interviews with 72 family members, it found people traced a change in the media’s depiction of Muslims after the 9/11 attacks in the United States. ‘’They felt community attitudes had hardened towards them since then because of the media,’’ Dr Katz said. ‘’Media portray us as terrorists; the media are against us. Australians listen to the media; that is what they believe,’’ an Iraqi father of a student in the country said. Nevertheless, the paper states, that the Australian Muslims were mainly positive about their daily interactions with ordinary Australians,
Muslim cleaner who returns £33,000 dubbed a ‘national hero’ A cleaner who handed in £33,000 worth of cash after discovering it in a Pakistan hotel room was rewarded for his remarkable honesty. Hotel employee Essa Khan found the wad of $100 notes left in a safety deposit box in the room of a Japanese NGO worker at the Serena hotel in Gilgit. The 51-yearold father-of-five, who earns about 21,000 rupees (£153) per month, told the BBC that he never considered keeping the money. He hoped his honesty would portray Pakistan in a positive light after allegations of Government corruption and incidences of state terrorism Hotel manager Rajid Uddin also told the BBC that there had been similar instances where lost items
had been returned, but none “of this magnitude”. Mr Uddin said the guest had been relieved when the cash was found. “He was naturally very worried as he wasn’t able to figure out where he had lost the money,” he said. Mr Khan has really shown that honesty is the best policy as the governor of Punjab has named him a ‘national hero’ and a special ceremony in his honour was held.
friends, workmates, and passers-by. ‘’Australian government high schools even have a prayer room inside the school and the students perform midday and Friday prayers there,’’ another father said. A major concern was low incomes, with some blaming discrimination in the workplace for shutting them out of jobs.
Islamic University in Holland Wins Official Recognition
Rotterdam Islamic University founded by the Turkish entrepreneurs in the Netherlands wins official recognition by the state after its successful negotiations. The Islamic University of Rotterdam has set itself the goal of creating a Muslim academic elite in the Netherlands, Turkish TRT said. The first and only Turkish Islamic University has been functioning in Rotterdam city of the Netherlands since 1997 and it has succeeded to secure all accreditations.
EU says terrorist attacks decreasing
I WORLD NEWS
The European Commission adopted a report taking stock of the main tools in place under the EU CounterTerrorism Strategy. The report outlines achievements and upcoming challenges and initiatives, laying the foundation for a broader Internal Security Strategy, which is planned for this autumn. “Thankfully, the overall number of terrorist attacks and arrests is decreasing in the EU, “ said Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs in press statements. “But at the same time terrorist methods and terrorist propaganda are evolving and taking new forms. We must make sure that we are able to meet these new threats ,” she added. The report lists the existing measures to prevent, protect, pursue and respond to terrorist threats, underlining efforts to fight terrorist
I August 2010
Indian woman charged for spying for Pakistan
propaganda and recruitment, measures to avoid attacks with explosives, and prevention of chemical, biological and nuclear threats. The report also identifies future challenges in areas such as radicalisation, crisis management and response. The report is based on the 2005 EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy which consists of four areas: prevent, protect, pursue and respond. Over the period 2007-2013, the EU has set aside a total amount of 745 million euro to support policies to counter terrorism and organised crime .
The Delhi Police formally charged an Indian woman diplomat, Madhuri Gupta, who was caught in April this year for allegedly spying for Pakistani intelligence authorities while being posted at the Indian Embassy in Islamabad. Following the incident, Madhuri, who worked as Second Secretary in the Press and Information Wing of the Indian Embassy, was recalled from Pakistan and interrogated by Indian authorities. The 22-page charge-sheet filed against her alleged Madhuris links with a Pakistani agent to whom she passed on classified information of the Indian Embassy. It also claimed that there were as many as 30 witnesses against her. This is the first incident in Indians history where a woman diplomat posted overseas was caught for allegedly spying for the host country.
International Conference on Islamic Tourism Organized The Islamic Tourism Center, a body under the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, will be organizing the inaugural International Islamic Tourism Conference and Travel Mart (IITM) on 28-31 October 2010 at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur. Themed “Harvesting the Potential of Intra-Regional Islamic Travel & Tourism”, the forum seeks to enhance the understanding of the myriad opportunities arising from the burgeoning market for Halal-friendly travel and Islamic tourism worldwide. Looking to explore the issues associated with the development, management and promotion of Islamic tourism, the forum will focus on the existence of a suitable “Muslim tourism environment”,
acknowledging such issues as Halal services infrastructure, entrepreneurial systems, travel and tour agencies, airlines, the roles of mass media as well as safety and security. Providing a platform for the coming of minds between the academic and industry sectors, IITM sets out to identify and address key issues relating to Islamic tourism so as to maximize the benefits of Islamic tourism promotions and minimize any perceived negative impacts. A four-day travel mart will also be held alongside the forum, which will provide a comprehensive B2B and B2C platform for trade and retail visitors, allowing each to sample the various tour packages on offer, as
well as provide a relaxed atmosphere for industry players to network. To be officiated by the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak, various key speakers and industry experts are expected to present their papers including Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, President of the Heritage Trust of Malaysia and Dato’ Jamil Bidin, CEO of Halal Industry Development Corporation. Also expected to address the forum delegates are Azran Osman Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, Imtiaz Muqbil from Islamic Travel Newswire, Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman, Editor of Halal Media and Fazal Baharuddin from CrescentRating.
SPORT I 21
Spanish World champions could join Flotilla
I August 2010
European pro-Palestinian activists are reportedly asking internationallyrenowned sports champions to join a potential Gaza-bound relief convoy. The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) is seeking to ensure the attendance of Iker Casillas, Spanish goalkeeper who wrested the 2010 World Cup on the national squad, and his countryman and world’s top tennis player, Rafael Nadal, Israeli website Ynetnews reported quoting Londonbased daily Al-Hayat as saying. The seaborne mission, dubbed Freedom Flotilla II, would leave in September to break Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip. Tel Aviv put the Gaza blockade into effect in mid-June 2007, reinforcing the restrictions it had already put in place. Ever since, the
siege has deprived the 1.5 million Gazans of food, fuel and other necessities. ECESG also helped organize the Freedom Flotilla, which came under a bloody Israeli attack before reaching the coastal sliver. The assault in international waters killed nine Turkish activists, triggering global outrage and worldwide pleas for an international investigation. Casillas, meanwhile, shunned championship celebrations in his native land, citing “deep sorrow over what happened in Gaza,” the AlHayat report said. “It’s unthinkable that people take part (in the celebrations) and laugh after seeing what is going on in the Gaza Strip”. The jubilations are “partial, as long as the Gaza Strip remains besieged,” he added. Nadal also condemned “Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip” during Operation Cast Lead, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians at the turn of 2009.
Muslims in Malaysia ban Man Utd shirts Muslim leaders ruled that images on football shirts of crosses, alcohol brands and devils are an insult to Allah and should not be worn. Manchester United is a hugely popular brand in the Muslimmajority country and the club’s summer tour last year included two games against a Malaysia XI played in front of capacity 40,000 crowds. Other football shirts deemed unacceptable include Brazil, Portugal, Serbia, Barcelona and Norway because their crests all carry images of a cross. “There is no excuse for wearing such garments because it means, as a Muslim, you are idolising the symbol of another religion,” said
Datuk Nooh Gadot, the Mufti of Johor state. The Mufti of Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, said that Muslims wearing such football shirts “leads to a path of sin”. In March, Manchester United signed a sponsorship deal with communications group Telekom Malaysia, further raising their profile as the leading sports team in the country. “Anyone who went on our tour of the Far East last summer knows the strength of feeling that Malaysians have for the club,” David Gill, the Manchester United chief executive, said. Malaysian supporters of the club expressed anger at the ban on fan websites.
Muslim girls get football chance
A Sheffield sports group is giving Muslim girls the chance to take up football after receiving a grant from a local charitable trust. Sistahood aims to engage 40 young women from the Shiregreen and Burngreave area of Sheffield in regular coached football activities at Concord Sports Centre. The group has received £2,000 from football’s equality and inclusion campaign Kick it Out to increase Muslim girls’ participation in sport. The lessons will teach girls aged 1421-years-old for six months. Coaches from Sheffield Wednesday’s community programme will be delivering the training sessions and will give participants the opportunity to visit Hillsborough Stadium to watch the first team in action. At the match they can also have their photograph taken on the pitch during the Kick Racism Out week of action in October. There is also the chance for two players to train for an FA Level 1 qualification in football coaching to provide them with increased employment opportunities. Sessions started on July 20 at Concord Sports Centre. For more information, call 0114 257 0053 or visit www.concordsportscentre. co.uk.
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I August 2010
& Islam Part 2
Unipolar affective disorder (Depression) The mental disorder usually called ‘depression’ is now described as ‘unipolar affective disorder’. The term depression is of course problematic, in that a low mood, or sometimes a feeling of emotional glumness, of living ‘out of sorts’ or ‘fed up’, is a frequent experience for many people. In this sense it is ‘normal’ and many people can feel ‘depressed’ without having depression. There is another side to this coin, where a person can feel particularly well, ‘on a high’ or with a feeling of well being. This can be the experience of a large number of people without it being felt, thought or obseverd as a problem or a disorder. A person simply feels in a ‘good mood’. The causes of depression are many: 1. Mood: There is a profound disturbance of mood, which is one of the prevailing sadness and misery. 2. Cognition (To think deeply): There is an important disturbance of cognition, so that everything around them is interpreted dismally. Sufferers can believe they are hateful, worthless and, at the extreme, that they are already dead and responsible for the evils in the world. 3. Energy: There are very often telltale changes in mood and energy, in which the mood is especially low in the early morning hours, with relative lighting of misery in the afternoon. 4. Sleep: There is a disturbance of
sleep, where it is quite usual for a person to be able to sleep almost as soon as going to bed, but with early waking, sometimes accompanied by quite enclosed changes of mood. 5. Appetite: There is a loss in appetite, and an apparently liked food turns to such, that you cannot bear the sight of it. 6. Stress: Stress at work, home, school etc can cause severe depression which can lead to suicide. Isolation and detachment One of the most common sentiments expressed by many of those who resort to suicidal behaviour is a sense of detachment from others. This is not so much physical isolation but refers more to a sense of moral insulation, where the individual has come to define his, or her, situation as so hopeless that others cannot help to put it right. Substance misuse (Drugs and alcohol) Addiction to drugs and alcohol, in this day and age, has become a major factor, which leads a person to suicide. In the past few months the media around the world have shown many cases of suicide due to drug use. Some have also predicted if drugs like cannabis was to be made legal, the death toll will increase due to this. The media have shown the devastating effects suicide has on the society around the world through drug use. Loss of family or friends One may feel isolated after the death or separation from family members
or friends. Loss of a relative/friend causes immense grief, which may cause one to think about suicide. Some commit suicide thinking they will join the dead in the grave. Relationship break-ups This many times has the same effect as the death of a loved one. Sometimes it may, make some feel life is not worth living. Financial problems One who is large debts, thinking he will never be able to pay-up and may resort to suicide, thinking he will no more have this burdensome responsibility on his head, leaving his next of kin this problem. Sickness and disability Severe sicknesses, which one cannot bear, can lead one to take his life. In many cases taking help from others in doing this act (Euthanasia). (Above are only a few reasons why one may resort into taking his own life. Many others can be found through thorough research.) Few events in life have the same impact on us as the suicide of a friend or a loved one. The loss of a loved one, from any cause, brings out intense grief and mourning. The response and emotions felt by the bereaved following suicide are very different to those felt after other types of deaths. The fact that a loved one’s death appears to involve an element of choice, raise painful questions which deaths from natural or accidental causes do not.
Passion Islam I August 2010 Bereavement by suicide is usually prolonged. The grief is characterised by agonising, questioning and the search for some explanation as to why the death of his loved one has happened. Bereavement in this way often encompasses strong feelings of abandonment and rejection. The sense of shock and disbelief following suicide is very intense. The most common and disturbing aspect of grief after suicide is recurring images of death, even if it was not witnessed. The finding of the body can be a traumatic experience. Going over and over the very frightening and painful images of the death, and the feelings these create, is a normal process of grief. Newly bereaved people always ask ‘why?’ However bereavement through suicide often involves a prolonged search for a reason or explanation to tragedy. Most people bereaved by suicide usually come to accept that they will never know the reason why a loved one did what they did. In the search for answers, different members of the same family may have different ideas as to why he/she took their life, it could strain family relationships, especially if an element of blame is involved. Below, I have included statistics, which I have obtained for many different sources, including The Samaritans (www.thesamaritans.org). · The World Health Organisation estimates that in the year 2002 approximately 1.1million people will die from suicide · A global mortality rate of 17 per 100,000 · One death every 40 seconds from suicide · In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 65% worldwide. · Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death amongst those aged 14-44(both sexes) · Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide · Although suicide rates have traditionally been highest amongst the elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such a rate that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries · More people die from suicide than homicide in the USA, in 1997 there were 1.5 times as many suicides as homicide · Mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90%
of all causes of suicide · Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than women are. However , females are more likely to attempt suicide than males · 2 suicides every day by young people in the UK and Republic of Ireland · 80% of suicides by young men · Suicide accounts for a fifth of all deaths of young people · An estimated 24,000 adolescents self-harmed in 1998 – 3 every hour · Alcohol and substance misuse are significant factors in youth suicide · Contributory factors to youth suicide include unemployment, social isolation, recent inter personal life events and difficulties with parents, peers and partners · 6,216 suicides in the UK, 439 suicides in the Republic of Ireland · One suicide every 79 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland · More than two young people commit suicide every day in the UK · Suicide figures are double the death toll from road traffic accidents · Suicide is now the second most common cause of death in the UK for young people aged between 15-24 · People who make suicide attempts or threats are not just “attention seeking”, but are at the risk of harming themselves · Most suicidal people are undecided about living or dying, and try beforehand to let others know how they are feeling, or give clues or warnings · Somebody tries to take his own life every three minutes · In any given week, at least 463,000 people have serious thoughts about suicide · Every year around 2500 children or young people phone child-line about feeling suicidal · Overdosing accounts for 50% of female suicides and 25% of male suicides · Under 25 year olds account for 9.26% of all suicides in East Lancashire. Of which 2.3% are of Asian heritage Statistics about suicide are difficult to collate, and many are inaccurate because of the sensitivity of the issue. According to some research suicide rates are 50%-60% higher than the official rate. There are three areas where the law is relevant to suicide. First, while attempting to commit suicide has not been illegal in Britain since 1961, it is still a criminal offence
SPECIAL FEATURE I 23 under the ‘Suicide Act 1961’ to help someone commit suicide. Second, health professionals who do not take reasonable precautions to safeguard a suicidal patient who then goes on to commit suicide may be sued for negligence in the civil courts. Third, in some cases, people felt to be at grave risk of harming themselves can be detained for their own safety under the ‘Mental Health Act 1983’ (England and Wales), 1984 (Scotland), or ‘Mental Health Order 1986’ (Northern Ireland). Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) mentioned suicide many times, a few of these incidents are recorded in Muhammad Ibn Ismael’s, ‘Sahih Al-Bukhari’. In one incident narrated by Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak (RA): the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew if he is a liar). And whoever commits suicide with a piece of iron, he will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell-fire.” Narrated by Jundub: The Prophet (SAW) said, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he commited suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.” Narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said, “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hellfire (forever), and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself, he shall keep stabbing himself in the Hell-fire (forever). From the sayings of Allah and his Prophet (SAW), we can see suicide is not accepted in Islam and we can also see through other sources, it is also prohibited in other religions. If one is thinking of committing suicide he should think about his friends and family, then he should turn to Allah and ask for his help Talking to the Scholars and others would also help. Confidential information is also available through your GP. Many centres also offer help for people in these troubled times. May Allah save us from this sin and give us all guidance to the straight path. May Allah save us from all types of grief and give us all entrance into Paradise.
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I August 2010
The Month of Ramadan
Just Enjoy it
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is called “Ramadan” and it is the most meritorious month of the whole year. Since there are many specific rules peculiar to this month, we would like to deal with its characteristics in a rather detailed manner under different sections. Philosophy of Ramadan The Holy Qur’an has expressly told us that the basic objective for which man is created by Allah (swt) is that he “worships” Him: And I did not create Jinn and human beings except that they should worship Me. The word used by the Holy Qur’an for the worship is “ibadah” which has a much wider sense than “worship.” In English, the word “worship” normally indicates to some specific acts or rituals meant exclusively to show one’s reverence to his Creator. But the word “ibadah” is not restricted to such acts or rituals, rather, it embodies any act done in submission to Allah’s commands and to seek His pleasures. Therefore, many acts which seem to be mundane in nature are included in the word of “ibadah” like earning one’s livelihood throughhalal (permissible) means and in order to fulfill one’s obligations towards his dependants. However, ‘ibadah is of two kinds. At the first place there are acts meant exclusively to worship Allah,
having no worldly objective, like salah, fasting, etc. These are direct acts of ‘ibadah while the other kind of ‘ibadah includes the acts which are primarily mundane, but they are converted into an ‘ibadah when they are performed in full conformity
with Shari’ah and with an intention to discharge one’s obligations. Therefore, these acts are treated as ‘ibadah in an indirect manner. It is obvious that the direct acts of ‘ibadah should be superior to the indirect ones. Now, while prescribing very few acts of direct ‘ibadah in one’s daily life, like the salah which is performed five times a day, Islam has left its followers mostly with the indirect acts of ‘ibadah like eating,
drinking, earning the livelihood and association with one’s wife, children, parents, relatives, friends and other human beings. But the primary nature of these acts being mundane, one becomes so absorbed in their worldly pleasures that their material aspects prevail on their spiritual aspect. Therefore, these acts have less spiritual strength than the direct acts of worship. Since the direct acts of ‘ibadah are very few in one’s daily life as compared to the indirect ones, his spiritual progress becomes slow visa vis his material progress. The month of Ramadan has been designed to maintain a balance between material and spiritual aspects of the human life. This month is meant to maximize the direct acts of ‘ibadah and to minimize the pure mundane activities, so that one may accelerate his spiritual progress to make up the distance and to repair the spiritual loss one may have suffered through his deep involvement in the mundane activities during the year. The days of Ramadan are designed ot keep fast which is an act of ‘ibadah for the whole day, and depriving oneself from any material food for many hours, it lessens the bad spiritual effects, if any, of the material pleasures. The nights of Ramadan, on the other hand, are spent in offering Tarawih and waking up for tahajjud and suhur, reducing the time of one’s sleep much less than in the normal days. Moreover, apart from the prescribed acts of worship, one is supposed to offer as much optional (nafl) ‘ibadah in this month as he can. In this way the level of one’s spiritual activities in this month is raised up much higher than in other
I August 2010 days of the year. This philosophy of the month of Ramadan makes it clear that this month should be devoted to the direct acts of worship as far as possible. That is why the reward of the virtuous acts in this month has been multiplied. This is to encourage the Muslims to the maximum possible acts of ‘ibadah. The Merits of Ramadan The Holy Prophet has mentioned the merits of Ramadan in a large number of ahadith. Some of them are reproduced here with translation: Salman, the Persian (ra) has reported the following: The Holy Prophet addressed us on the last day of Sha’ban wherein he said: “O men, a great, blessed month has cast its shadow upon you. It is a month which contains a night far better than one thousand months, a month that Allah has made it obligatory to fast therein and made in commendable to stand up praying in its nights. If someone seeks Allah’s nearness by offering an optional act of worship in this month, it will be as rewarding as to offer an obligatory worship in other days, and if someone performs an obligatory act of worship in this month, it will carry as much reward as the reward of performing seventy obligatory acts of worship in other days. It is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Jannah (paradise). It is a month of sympathy, a month in which the provision for a believer is increased. If someone provides another person with food to make iftar (terminate one’s fast by eating or drinking something), it will cause forgiveness to his sins and freeing his neck from hell and he will be awarded the same thawab as the fasting person will be rewarded for his fast, without decreasing his own thawab.” The companions of the Holy Prophet said, “O Messenger of Allah, every one of us does not have enough food to offer for iftar to another fasting person.” The Holy Prophet said, “This thawab will also be given to a person who offers to a fasting person one date or a drink of water or a little milk for his iftar. And this is a month the first part of which is the forgiveness from Allah and the last part of which is liberation from
I 25 is reported to have said: Ramadan has come to you. It is the month of blessing in which Allah envelops you (with His kindness). He makes His mercy descend upon you, He forgives your sins and accepts your prayers. Allah witnesses you when you race one another (in virtuous deeds) in this month and becomes proud of you before His angels. Therefore, show Allah the best of deeds from your side, because unfortunate is that person who deprives himself from Allah’s mercy in this month. These ahadith are sufficient to explain the great merits Allah has invested this month with. SPECIAL FEATURE
hell. If someone relaxes the burden of work from his slave in this month, Allah will forgive him his sins and will free from the Fire. In this month you should do four acts frequently. Two acts are such that you will please your Lord through them and two are such that you can never claim to be need-free of them. As for the two acts you please Allah through them, they are: to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and to seek forgiveness from Allah. And the two acts you can never be need-free of them are: to pray Allah to give you the Jannah and to seek refuge to Allah from the Fire. And if someone serves a drink to a fasting person, Allah will make him have such a drink from my canal (the Kauthar) that he will never get thirsty after it until he enters Jannah.” This hadith gives us a detailed account of the peculiar merits of the month of Ramadan and of what we should try to do in it. The upshot of the hadith is that one should not restrict himself to fasting in this month; rather, he should maximize the number of his virtuous acts and take this opportunity to seek forgiveness for his sins and to secure as much thawab as he can, by offering the nafl acts of worship including charitable acts. In another hadith, reported by Abu Hurairah (ra) the Holy Prophet has said: My ummah has been given five characteristic honours in the month of Ramadan which have not been given to any other ummah before. The smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk. Fishes (in the water) keep praying Allah to forgive the fasting persons until they make iftar. In every day of Ramadan, Allah decorates the Jannah and addresses it saying, “It is not too far that my righteous servants shall throw away the burdens (of the worldly life) and shall proceed towards you.” The rebellious satans are shackled in this month, and they cannot do in it what they do in other days (i.e. instigating men and women to commit sins). In the last night of this month, they (the fasting persons) are granted amnesty. In a hadith narrated by ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit (ra), the Holy Prophet
Rules of Fasting Fasting in the days of Ramadan is obligatory (fard) on every Muslim. The one who does not believe it to be obligatory is not a Muslim, and the one who, without a valid excuse, does not fast in a day of Ramadan is a sinner. “Fast” means “to refrain from eating, drinking and having sexual intercourse throughout the day, right from the break of dawn upto sunset, with a clear intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah.” If somebody refrains from food, drink and sex for any reason other than seeking the pleasure of Allah, it cannot be called a “fast” in the terminology of the Shariah. It is thus necessary that there should be an intention which is called the “niyyah”. For the fasts of Ramadan it is advisable that the “niyyah” be made in the night, i.e. before the commencement of the fast. However, if a person had no intention of keeping fast before dawn, he can also make “niyyah” in the morning at any time before midday, i.e. about 11/2 hours before Zawal (noon). But this rule is applicable only for the fast of Ramadan and for the nafl (optional) fasts. As for fasts of qada’ it is always necessary to make niyyah before dawn. Since the niyyah means intention, it is an act performed by one’s heart. It need not be pronounced in words. However, it is also permissible to express this intention in spoken words, but those who take it as ‘necessary’ to pronounce the words or “niyyah” are not correct. by Mufti Taqi Usmani
I August 2010
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Alhamdulillah by the grace of Almighty I have been working in HMYOI Feltham as a full time Muslim chaplain for the past nine years. Ramadhan with its barakaat (blessings) brings hope and joy for all. In essence it also grants our boys a real opportunity to reach out (spiritually) and change their lives once and for all. During Ramadhan a staggering two thirds or more prisoners fast, one must keep in mind that some of these kids have never fasted before this, in their lives! The Prison Service provides for our prisoners however, as the community likes to donate too (and many of you as regular donors have started emailing me this year) with this in mind we would appreciate your spiritual and financial support in the following: Regular dua - constant supplications Donation of religious items: Qur’an donations for every prisoner to take home with them as their personal copy - recently an Imam met an ex-prisoner who travelled with his Qur’an daily. Religious artefacts for our library - Books on Seerah , Salaah, Duas, Stories of the Sahaba. DVDs, CDs and audio cassettes on various qira’aah, anasheed & inspiring speeches. As well as itr, miswak, tasbeeh, etc for our Muslim prisoners. In the past you have donated many of the above and.... A handful of Algerian / Tunisian dates daily Madani dates .5 kg to all Muslim prisoners (one off) During the last nights of Laylatul Qadr 25, 27 & 29th a ‘special’ Iftaar meal to all fasting prisoners & also ‘Eid meals’ from a local restaurant This year we would lurve to continue the above by the help of Allah and your gracious donations insha’ Allah. Kindly donate either, by sending a cheque direct to the prison we would then use your donations in the above areas as required. Donations can be made by posting a cheque or postal order payable to ‘HM Prison Service’ addressed to: Moulana Sikander Khan Pathan, Muslim Chaplain, HMYOI Feltham, Bedfont Road, Middlesex, TW13 4ND Don’t forget to email me amount donated and name that appears on your cheque/ postal order, postal address and contact phone numbers; as this helps in emailing confirmation and posting paper receipt. Email me if you would like to donate online. I appreciate an informal email should you decide to post this email on your website! Please pray for all our staff and prisoners. Also pass this on to friends and family. Shukran, Was Salaam Sikander firstname.lastname@example.org Ps. If you would like to make a donation to a prison in your locality kindly email me details of prison of your choice and insha’ Allah I will make the appropriate links for you.
Published on Aug 18, 2010
Published on Aug 18, 2010
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