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Top judge backs sharia law in UK
“The view of many of Sharia law is coloured by violent extremists who invoke it, perversely, to justify terrorist atrocities such as suicide bombing, which I understand to be in conflict with Islamic principles,” Lord Phillips
Leading Muslim jurists welcomed comments by chief justice supporting a role for Sharia law in resolving disputes. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, said in a speech that there was no question of Islamic law replacing English law. However, “there is no reason why Sharia principles, or any other religious code, should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.” Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi, a barrister and chairman of the governing council of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, said that critics of any use of Islamic law failed to recognize that both parties had to agree to any form of dispute resolution in Britain. Shamim Qureshi, the presiding judge of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, said the application of Sharia law could be useful in settling disputes about forced marriages, according to a statement released by the tribunal. Qureshi, a judge in Wolverhampton is one of the few Muslims to serve as a judge in England. The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, established last year, offers alternative
inside this month issue
resolution of family disputes, forced marriages, and disputes over debts, commercial matters and inheritance. In his speech at the East London Muslim Centre, Phillips said there is a widespread misunderstanding of Sharia law in Britain. “Part of the misconception about Sharia law is the belief that Sharia is only about mandating sanctions such as flogging, stoning, the cutting off of hands, or death for those who fail to comply with the law,” Phillips said. “The view of many of Sharia law is coloured by violent extremists who invoke it, perversely, to justify terrorist atrocities such as suicide bombing, which I understand to be in conflict with Islamic principles,” Phillips said. He said British media, in particular, had misunderstood a speech in February by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who also supported a role for Sharia law, specifically suggesting a role in resolving disputes. “A point that the archbishop was making was that it was possible for individuals voluntarily to conduct their lives in accordance with Sharia principles
‘Detention dangerous and disappointing ’
Local Muslim’s in Queens honours
without this being in conflict with the rights guaranteed by our law,” Phillips said. He noted that it is already permissible in England for parties in a dispute to agree to resolve under rules other than English law. Mr. Muhammad Umar, Chairman of the Ramadhan Foundation a voice for young Muslims in the UK told Passion Islam, “I am grateful that the Lord Chief Justice has made this important intervention into tackling some of the misconceptions of Sharia law. There is clearly an appetite in this country for some elements of Sharia law to be implemented in relation to finance, family matters. When the Archbishop of Canterbury raised this issue there were fascist headlines in some newspapers and unnecessary hatred directed towards Muslims, we should debate these issues but they must be in a respectful manner that is tolerant of other views. Lord Phillips shows the importance of tackling ignorance on important issues, he stands taller today in the Muslim community” www.passionsiam.com
Sunni and Shia united in prayers
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I July 2008
0.7% is not enough Britain needs more Muslim police officers. But some forces don’t even know - or won’t say - how many there are
When the inquiry into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the investigation into Stephen Lawrence’s murder reported in 1999, it rocked the force to the core. The Met was not just found to have been incompetent, but was guilty of institutional racism. In response, the then home secretary, Jack Straw, pledged to create a force which fully reflected the diversity of the communities it served, and increase ethnic minority recruiting and retention. Nearly a decade later, where do we stand? last months Observer splashed with a report that chief constables were blocking an audit we undertook on the position of Muslim officers in the force. We embarked on this survey because of continued concerns over the recruitment, retention and promotion – or lack there of – of Muslim, ethnic minority and female officers. Despite Straw’s pledge in 1999, not much has changed: just one of 43 chief constables
is from an ethnic minority background, and only eight of the 300 members of the Association of Chief Police Officers are from an ethnic minority. Though the results of our survey are admittedly limited (just 20 of the 43 constabularies provided figures specifically on Muslim officers), four things stand out. First is the basic issue of numbers: of a total of over 76,000 officers surveyed, there are only 430 male Muslim officers and 78 female Muslim officers (around 0.7%). Muslims account for 3% of the overall British population. Secondly, there is a lack of data about representation in the force, and seemingly a lack of willingness to provide any. This doesn’t make life any easier for anyone – especially those trying to make the force more representative. Thirdly, Muslim officers are found mostly in the lower echelons of the force and are underrepresented in the higher: around 95% are either
constables or sergeants, and just one Muslim serves at the rank of superintendent or above. Finally, Muslim officers are almost entirely absent in counter-terrorism and other specialist branches, something that the Association of Chief Police Officers itself has been trying to encourage. The overall picture is worrying. Diversity and representation in the force are not just token phrases, nor are they simply a matter of equality of opportunity for individual officers. There is an operational imperative: to be effective, the police must work in partnership with communities on a range of issues, from gun crime to terrorism, and it is therefore sensible for the police to be able to draw on the full range of officers’ skills and attributes, be they cultural or religious, or linked to language or other practical skills. Our survey does not allow us to provide definitive answers, but it does raise
questions as to whether Muslim officers are being overlooked – and potentially discriminated against – for promotion or are failing to receive the necessary training and support. It will be almost impossible to improve this situation without proper information on the position and role of Muslim officers across all 43 police forces. If we are serious about ensuring that Muslim officers are able to rise through the ranks at the same speed as everyone else, and ensuring that Muslims are deployed to counter-terrorism duties at a time of heightened national security, we need reliable data to track, progress and measure success. That is why we at Demos are urging the Home Office to support a commission to mark the tenth anniversary of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry to establish what progress has been made - and, of course, to see how much we still need to do. By Jamie Bartlett Researcher at Demos
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Heading towards race equality training A Leeds primary school headteacher has apologised after talking about Muslims and bombs while dealing with a playground squabble and will undergo race equality training, education chiefs confirmed. Jon Farley, head of Kerr Mackie Primary in Roundhay, was asked to explain his
comments following a minor playground argument between four pupils - all of them Muslim. He has been told to watch his
words after referring to Muslims and bombs while apparently trying to encourage squabbling youngsters in the playground to get on. The teacher has never denied using the words. Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said: “The complaint has been taken extremely seriously. It has been fully investigated by the school’s governing body twice, and the procedure has been reviewed by both Education Leeds and the council’s chief executive. “The headteacher understands and regrets any offence caused, which was not intentional.
“He has apologised and taken on the recommendations of his governing body and local authority. “The police have also investigated the family’s complaints and found no criminal act has been committed and recommended mediation, which the family have refused. “Additional race equality work has been organised, on top of the two sessions every member of staff had throughout the course of the year - including one with a specific focus on dealing with incidents involving racial or religious namecalling.”
This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran
I July 2008
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Muslim absent from the police, as twenty forces ‘block race audit’
The Home Secretary has been asked to intervene in a fresh police race row as it was claimed at least 20 forces blocked an inquiry into discrimination against Muslim officers. Barely half of the 43 forces in England and Wales co-operated in an audit into the treatment of officers from ethnic minorities, the National Association of Muslim Police said. In a letter to Jacqui Smith, Zaheer Ahmad, president of the association, also claimed information from the forces that did respond suggested routine racial harassment. Referring to 10 years since the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence found the Metropolitan Police to be “institutionally racist”, an association spokesman said its audit revealed: “We
still do not have the level of diversity that the public rightly expects.” Progress on diversity was “painfully slow”, he added. The revelations come just days after it emerged Tarique Ghaffur, Britain’s most senior Muslim officer, was considering suing the Metropolitan police for discrimination. From the data provided to the association, it was revealed 95% of black and minority ethic officers are in the most junior rank. Figures also revealed Muslim officers are almost “entirely absent” from specialist operations such as counterterrorism - a move Mr Ahmad believed is hampering the fight against terrorism.
In the questionnaire, the association asked forces about the promotional prospects, rank and number of Muslim and black officers employed. Initially just 11 of the 43 forces replied - 23 co-operated when the deadline was extended. From the replies it received, just 0.3% of police officers were found to be Muslim, compared with 3% of the British population. www.passionislam.com
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‘Detention dangerous and disappointing ’
I July 2008
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
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UK Members of Parliament voted last month to extend yet further the maximum period of pre-charge detention for terror suspects. Amnesty International has called the vote “a dangerous and disappointing development.” “It risks moving the law in the UK even further away from fundamental principles of fairness and the protection of human rights,” the organisation said. The House of Commons – the lower, elected house of the UK Parliament – supported, by 315 votes to 306, proposals to give a government minister the power to extend from 28 to 42 days the period for which people suspected of involvement in terrorism can be detained by the police in the UK without being charged with any offence. “No government minister should be able to invoke a power which would allow the police to hold people for six weeks without charging them with a criminal offence,” said Amnesty International. “People who are detained have a right to be charged promptly, or to be released: the law in the UK is moving further and further away from this basic principle and in so doing is increasing the scope for arbitrary detention and other violations of human rights.” last month’s vote showed that members of the House of Commons may have been persuaded by lastminute concessions by the government that were claimed to provide safeguards for the exercise of this power. Amnesty International said that these concessions do not address the fundamental injustice of
allowing an individual to be held for up to six weeks on the strength of a mere suspicion, without being charged with any offence. The legislation now goes to the upper house – the House of Lords – for their consideration. Amnesty International said that the organisation will be calling on the members of the House of Lords to reject this proposal, and to give very careful scrutiny to some other worrying aspects of the Counter-Terrorism Bill. Amnesty International renewed its call to the UK government to listen to the large number of MPs who voted against this dangerous and ill-conceived measure, and to the wide range of experts who have expressed the most pressing concerns about it, and to abandon it once and for all. “Instead of allowing people to be held for longer and longer without being charged, the UK government should be committing itself to a root-andbranch review of all counterterrorism legislation in the UK, with the aim of bringing it into line with basic international human rights standards – standards which protect the rights of individuals, including the right to be treated fairly and the right not to be detained arbitrarily for a prolonged period of time,” Amnesty International said. “The idea that countering terrorism somehow requires removing or eroding basic guarantees of individual liberty and physical safety is a dangerous and discredited one; the government should reject it once and for all.”
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Local Muslim’s in Queens honours
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Manchester’s first Muslim Lord Mayor was among the local heroes saluted in last month’s honours list, Councillor Afzal Khan was made a CBE for unstinting services to local government and race relations. Mr Khan, who was born in Pakistan, said: “I was a bit shocked when I was told about the award but I feel genuinely honoured” The solicitor moved to Britain when he was 12 and started his working life as a mill worker. He resumed his education before joining Greater Manchester Police as a constable and entering politics. Also honoured was Riaz Ahmad, JP from Oldham who was made an OBE for services to local government, the administration of justice and to the community in Oldham. Iqbal Bhana 52 from Batley, West Yorkshire received an OBE for 30 years of service to community relations in West Yorkshire. He said: “I’m very pleasantly surprised.
I had no inkling that I had been nominated. I feel deeply honoured.” He was made an independent member of the Lawrence Steering Group, set up to take forward the recommendations of the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence, as well as an advisor to the Commission of Racial Equality and became the first Muslim to be appointed deputy lieutenant for West Yorkshire which he carries out in addition he holds the position as the chairman of the Home Office Racist Incidents Group and deputy chairman of a Ministry of Justice advisory group to the Lord Chancellor. He said: “The work I do for the Home Office and the criminal justice agencies gives me great pleasure in helping to
I July 2008
improve the quality of life for people, making sure the system is fair for everyone.” Mr Bhana has been heavily involved in charity work with local Masjids and Muslim Community Centres and has been at the forefront of many fund raising appeals. Also honoured was witness care officer from Bury, Zahida Fazaley she was made an MBE.
£4m boost for war on terror
I July 2008
Dozens more counter-terrorism officers will be recruited in Scotland after ministers handed police chiefs an extra £4m to tackle the threat of Islamic extremism. Almost a year after the attack on Glasgow Airport, the additional funding is intended to boost security at ports and airports, as well as helping police do more work with minority communities to boost awareness of terrorism. The Scottish Government is also working with the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland and other key agencies to develop a Scottish approach to preventing terrorism as part of the UK counter-terrorism strategy, Contest. The £3.8m extra will help fund more than 50 new counterterrorism jobs north of the border. It will focus on areas such as improving communications and improving knowledge and understanding. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “As last year’s attack at Glasgow Airport showed, terrorism respects no boundaries. Terrorism is a threat to all of our communities. We all need to work together to reduce the threat of another terrorist attack. “These additional counter-terrorism officers will help to make our ports and airports more secure and allow the police to work with communities to raise
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
awareness of terrorism and related issues to make Scotland a safer place.” Since 2003, Contest has been the UK framework for countering terrorism, and the Scottish Government plays a prominent role in delivering the Contest
strategy in Scotland. Unlike in England, there remain doubts about exactly how much is being spent in Scotland on funding counter-terrorism. Home Office figures show that it spent £472m in the last financial year on counter-terrorism in England and will spent an additional £240m over the next three years. To match spending levels, the Scottish
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Government would be expected to spend around one-tenth of that figure – some £50m – but officials have revealed they allocated just £12m in the last financial year. Aspokesman for the Scottish Government said that, unlike in England, chief constables in Scotland allocated money for counter-terrorism from their own budgets. However, police forces refuse to say how much they spend, claiming the figures are confidential, making it impossible to compare spending on counter-terrorism in Scotland against England. Muslims have sought assurances that the new funding will not be directed at creating an anti-Islamic “terror industry.” Osama Saeed, the chief executive of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, said: “We are, of course, supportive of any measures that are needed towards our safety. What we have in the past cautioned against is the creation of a ‘terror industry’ in Scotland that would need to find work to do in order to justify its existence. “We’ll be seeking assurances from the government and the police that these 50 posts are proportionate and necessary, as there have already been issues around the level of questioning at airports and surveillance on the ordinary activities of young Muslims.” www.passionislam.com
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
‘Lyrical Terrorist’ has conviction quashed
The Appeal Court in London last month overturned the conviction against a former shop assistant accused of possessing ‘information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’. Samina Malik, who wrote poetry and called herself
the ‘lyrical terrorist’, was the first woman convicted under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 last November. But Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips quashed the conviction, saying that the appeal judges considered there is a ‘very real danger that the jury became confused
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and that the prosecution have rightly conceded that this conviction is unsafe’. Malik, aged 24, received a nine month suspended prison sentence at her original trial at which Judge Peter Beaumont described her offense as being ‘on the margin of what this crime concerns’. She was earlier found not guilty of the more serious charge, under Section 57 of the Act, of possessing an article for a terrorist purpose. Sue Hemming, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s counterterrorism division, insisted that Malik
I July 2008
had not been prosecuted for her poetry, which reportedly praised Osama Bin Laden, and celebrated martyrdom, but for possessing documents. Documents in her possession were said to include the alQaida Manual, the Terrorist’s Handbook, the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook and several military manuals. The quashing of her convictions come after a PhD student at Nottingham University was released without charge last month after being arrested for possessing alleged ‘radical material’ which he was using as part of his research work.
UK overtakes US as world’s largest arms exporter Britain became the world’s largest arms exporter last year, largely due to a megaorder from Saudi Arabia for Typhoon aircraft. New government figures released by the Defence and Security Organisation show that the UK won £10 billion worth of arms orders from overseas in 2007, including the Saudi deal initially valued at £4.3 billion. According to the Financial Times, the British orders, up from £5.5 bn in 2006, represent a 33 per cent of the world arms markets and overtake the US as the top exporter. Britain was also calculated to have been the second largest arms exporter after the US over the previous five years,
with cumulative orders worth Dlrs 53 bn compared with Dlrs 63 bn by the US, Dlrs 33 bn by Russia, Dlrs 17 bn for France and Dlrs 7 bn each for Israel and Germany. The figures compare with arms delivery data collated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which listed the UK as the sixth largest supplier of defence equipment in 2007, after the US, Russia, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Over the past five years, Saudi Arabia is listed as the largest importer of arms worth Dlrs 31 bn, followed by India with Dlrs 18bn and the US Dlrs 17 bn. Australia with imports of Dlrs 11 bn, Canada Dlrs 10 bn and Pakistan Dlrs 6 bn, all move up the rankings.
I July 2008
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Leeds Masjid holds Islamic exhibition event Leeds Makkah Masjid last month opened up its doors to the wider community to learn about the Muslim faith and culture, with a view to spreading and celebrating the city’s diverse and multi-faith spiritual heritage. Makkah Masjid hoped that by developing a better understanding of the message of peace propagated by Islam within the wider community, the barriers created by underlying suspicion between different communities could be broken down and the message that Islam truly does equal “Peace” could be spread. With these objectives in mind, Leeds Muslim Council got involved in the Leeds wide ‘Treasures Revealed’ initiative and opened the doors of the Masjid to the general public, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike. With Yorkshire’s largest ever Islamic exhibition on
display, information about the miracles of the Qur’an, comprehensiveness and applicability of Islam to our modern society, as well as the tremendous contribution Muslims have historically made in the fields of mathematics, medical science, geography and astronomy, was displayed. Highlights included a tour of the Masjid, a detailed description and explanation of the calligraphy and Islamic artwork inside the dome. The centre piece of the display was, without doubt, the spectacular calligraphy on the inside of the Masjid’s dome, which was produced by the Gold-medalist, renowned Pakistani calligrapher, Naveed Bhatti, in 2006. As well as the Islamic exhibition which was opened to the general public, a special ‘Connecting Cultures’ session was held for senior members of local statutory bodies:
the education, voluntary, community and faith sectors, lectures from Universities and representatives from local council also attended the event. Rev Canon McCreadie (Cathedral Dean) said: “Diversity in our city gives rise to new challenges to reflect on the core principles of a democratic society which must have in its heart the recognising of religious liberty as a basic human rights. The annual Connecting Cultures event is] very important event in our city to discover the core values that we all share and how we can promote mutual understanding.” Hilary Benn, Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs said: “I applaud the community for the initiative to open the doors and invite the community of Leeds inside this magnificent place. This gives us hope and encouragement
that as a world we will live to learn alongside each other. I thank you for the step that you have taken and I wish you every success in the coming months and years”. Imam of Makkah Masjid, Hafiz Asim said: “The event was an eye-opener for many. The general consensus amongst those who attended the Masjid was that the experience was informative, enjoyable and spiritually uplifting. It is hoped that by providing an opportunity for people of other faiths to explore the beauty of Islam within the setting of the Masjid’s traditional architectural designs and contemporary styles, the whole community has benefited from greater respect and mutual understanding. During the course of the open days around 3,000 people visited the Masjid.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
The owner of a hair salon has been ordered to pay £4,000 compensation to a Muslim stylist who was turned down for a job because she wears a headscarf. Bushra Noah accused Sarah Desrosiers of religious discrimination when she failed to offer her a job at her Wedge salon in King’s Cross, central London. An employment tribunal panel dismissed the 19year-old’s claim but upheld her complaint of indirect discrimination. Ms Desrosiers said she needed stylists to showcase alternative hairstyles. During the hearing Ms Noah, who lives in Acton, west London, told the tribunal that she was “devastated” that she was not offered the job
Muslim stylist wins £4,000 payout of assistant stylist “due to my headscarf”. Ms Desrosiers, 32, told the panel that Ms Noah lived too far away, but was persuaded to give her an interview in May last year. Ms Desrosiers told the tribunal she was surprised it had not been mentioned earlier and expected her staff to reflect the “funky, urban” image of her salon. The panel found that Ms Noah had been badly upset by the 15-minute interview . She was awarded £4,000 damages for “injury to feelings”. In its judgment, the panel stated: “We were satisfied by the respondent’s evidence that the claimant was not treated less favourably than the respondent would have treated a woman who, whether Muslim or not, for a reason other than religious belief wears a hair covering at all times when at work.” It added: “There was no specific evidence before us as to what would (for sure) have been the actual impact of the claimant working in her salon with her head covered at all times.” Speaking after the ruling the salon owner said: “I never in a million years dreamt that somebody would be completely against the display of hair and be in this industry. I don’t feel I deserve it.”
local Muslim groups raise £62,000 for Gaza Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS) and the Pakistan & Kashmir Welfare Association (PKWA) from Batley, West Yorkshire, have jointly raised a staggering £62,000 for the people of Gaza . At a presentation evening held at the PKWA Centre in Batley last month,
representatives from both community organisations presented a cheque to the Chairman of Interpal, Ibrahim Hewitt. Interpal is continuing its efforts despite the many challenges and obstacles faced by aid and development agencies working in Palestine
. Interpal is registered with the Charity Commission, and is managed and supervised by a Board of Trustees. The monies raised came from two charity fundraising events, auction sales, sponsors and collections made at local Masjids and at both community centres.
I July 2008
UK councils accused of abusing spying powers
Civil rights campaigners last month accused local authorities in the UK of abusing spying powers and called for a change in the law. The accusation came after the Local Government Association warned councils that they should stop using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to detect “trivial matters” such as dog-fouling and litter offences. In a letter to all local authorities, the association’s chairman Sir Simon Milton also advised councils to carry out an annual review to let the public know how they were using their powers and to appoint a scrutiny committee. “I’m concerned that if those powers are seen to be misused then we could lose them altogether, so really I’m asking councils to do a stock check to make sure they can satisfy themselves that they are acting in a proportionate and necessary way,” Milton told the BBC. The criticism flows a wave of publicity about the “overzealous” use of the act. A survey by the Press Association in April found that a number of councils had used the act to monitor offences never intended to be covered by the new powers. Home Office guidelines say that the act allows “the interception of communication, carrying out of surveillance and the use of covert human intelligence sources” to help crime, including terrorism. Liberty civil rights group went further in criticizing the abuse, saying that self-restraint by council was only useful as a very first step. “Ultimately we need a change in the law to ensure that judges are more involved in authorising the more intrusive powers and to make sure that the powers are clear and proportionate and aimed only at serious crime,” Liberty’s director Shami Chakrabarti said. The opposition Conservatives also warned that the public will be alarmed about the way the councils were using such strong powers under the guise of counter-terrorism. “They must be as tightly controlled as if they were being used by the police or security services,” shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve, said.
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Surveillance protects civil liberties, LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month defended his government’s excessive use of surveillance by arguing that CCTVs, the introduction of ID cards and the country’s huge DNA databank protect civil liberties. In a speech defending the country’s excessive anti-terrorism laws, Brown insisted that Britain needed “21st century methods to deal with 21st century challenges.” His argument was that people threatening security were ready to use the most upto-date technology and that the challenge was to use technology to counter that. “New technology is giving us modern means by which we can discharge these duties, but just as we need to employ
these modern means to protect people from new threats, we must at the same time do more to guarantee our liberties,” he said. A report last year by Liberty civil rights group found that Britain was the world leader in CCTV use with approximately 4.2 million cameras and in having the biggest national DNA database with 3.9 m samples. Personal communications surveillance was also shown to have reached unprecedented levels with nearly 440,000 authorizations recorded between June 2005 and March 2006. But in his speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research, the British premier said that the big brother society, as it has been
dubbed, helped ensure people’s right to live free from crime. “Facing these modern challenges, it is our duty to write a new chapter in our country’s story - one in which we both protect and promote our security and our liberty, two equally proud traditions,” he claimed. Brown also defended his government for pressing ahead with 42-day detentions without charge, by arguing that authorities could not afford a “head-in-the-sand” approach to it. During his speech, he announced that he would ask the Information Commissioner to produce a report each year on surveillance in the UK, which would then be debated by MPs.
Muslim woman wins business award A Centre set up in Liverpool to promote women’s enterprise and employment is celebrating after its client won her category in the 2008 Asian Business Federation’s Tiger Awards. Train 2000 client Ilham Hamood won the Creative, Digital and New Media Award at the event in Bolton. Ms Hamood, 33, from Aigburth, came to the UK as a young house- wife. When her life took
a turn, Ilham joined English language classes and enrolled on a photography course – a move she says was “the best decision I ever made”. Since then, she has launched her own business, held her own independent exhibition in both Liverpool and London, and is now seeking funding for an overseas project to highlight the children living on the streets. LDP
I WORLD NEWS
Muslims in Europe face more discrimination than American Muslims
Muslims in Europe face greater discrimination as compared to American Muslims in civil and political life, according to an observatory report on Islamophobia carried out by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). In contrast with that in the United States, the report said the stigma was more visible and pronounced with more acute situations in Europe. Bernama news agency said citing the report “Islam and the West Annual Report on the State of Dialogue” published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2008 that clear majorities in all European countries surveyed, saw greater interaction between the West and the Muslim World as a threat. The report said that it was true of 79 percent of the population in Denmark, Italy (67 percent), Netherlands (67 percent), Spain (68 percent), Sweden (65 percent) and Belgium (59 percent). “This corresponds to a growing fear among Europeans of a perceived “Islamic threat” to their cultural identities, driven in part by rising immigration from predominantly Muslim regions. “The WEF Report goes on to assert that in the United States (70 percent) and Canada (72 percent), the majority say that greater interaction was a benefit,” it added. The report said this however, did not deny the facts that Islamophobia was also on the rise in American society. “An August 2006 USA Today/Gallup Poll
for instance, reported that a significant number of Americans (were) willing to admit (that) they harboured at least some prejudice against Muslims,” it added. Meanwhile, the report has identified several root causes of Islamophobia consisting of ignorance or insufficient knowledge of Islam in non-Muslim societies that have contributed to the development of a mind-set in various strata of public opinion in the West and non-Muslim societies, at large. This made them live with a perception that Islam was a religion that “lived by the sword’, preached hatred and violence
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I July 2008
towards non- believers, and stood to challenge the Western way life. “It is also caused by insufficient dissemination of information about Muslim countries being victims of terror attacks by extremists. “The lack of coverage of the firm rejection of terrorism and extremism by the Muslim world’s political leaders, including OIC leaders, mainstream public opinion and key religious authorities, in addition to the misrepresentation and incorrect interpretation of Islam at various levels have contributed significantly to the growth of Islamophobia,” it said.
Terror attack ‘would help McCain’ The true thinking behind Americans presidential candidate
An aide to Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has said he regrets telling a reporter that a terror attack on the US would be “an advantage”. Charlie Black made the comments to a journalist from Fortune magazine. McCain has distanced himself from Black’s comments, saying he “strenuously disagree” with him.
When asked whether a terror attack on US soil would help McCain’s campaign, Black told the magazine: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.” In the article, Black also said that the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was an “unfortunate event” that had “helped” McCain’s presidential bid.
I July 2008
Time for real change as Supreme Court rules on Guantánamo detentions
On the 12 June 2008 the US Supreme Court recognized, in the case of Boumediene v.Bush, the right of those detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba to challenge their detention in US civilian courts. Amnesty International described the ruling as an essential step towards restoring the rule of law to the USA’s counter terrorism measures. The judgment removes a key obstacle to vindicating basic rights ending the lawless environment of isolation, enforced silence, invisibility, and unrestrained executive power in Guantánamo Bay. The Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional attempts by the administration and Congress (through the 2006 Military Commissions Act) to strip the detainees of their right to habeas corpus. The Court also dismissed as deficient the substitute scheme established by the administration and Congress to replace habeas corpus proceedings. That scheme consists of “Combatant Status Review Tribunals” (CSRTs), panels of three military officers empowered to review the detainee’s “enemy combatant” status, with extremely limited judicial review of final CSRT decisions under the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act (DTA). The first CSRTs were not held until more than two years after the detentions began. No judicial review of CSRT decisions had been undertaken at the time of the
Supreme Court’s decision. “This is the third time since 2004 that the US’s highest court has rejected arguments advanced by the Bush administration that it can indefinitely detain people without charge or trial, with no meaningful access to justice,” said Amnesty International.
The organisation had filed an amicus brief in the case. “The time has come for the US government to finally bring its detention policies and practices in the ‘war on terror’ in line with international standards. It must stop all interference with the access of detainees to civilian courts. It should close Guantánamo promptly, abandon the
Sunni and Shia united in prayers
In a rare gesture of unity and amity with their brothers in Islam, a delegation of Sunnis performed Juma prayers at one of the Shiite Masjids in the eastern city of Qatif, the only part of Saudi Arabia where Shiites are a majority. Observers see it as an unprecedented move to soothe the feelings of alienation among the Shiite minority in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The delegation, headed by Shaikh Mukhlef Bin Daham Al Shamri, were attentive to the Friday sermon delivered by the well-known Shiite Shaikh Hassan Al Safar, in which the preacher underscored the significance of strengthening Islamic and national unity and closing ranks among followers
of Islam. “This is part of our duty to promote virtue and prevent vice,” he noted. The new initiative on the part of Sunnis and Shiites to close their ranks received wide media coverage and some foreign media such as BBC also covered it extensively. Shaikh Al Shamri is one of the shaikhs of Shamr tribe, which spreads over a vast area in various regions of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. In yet another gesture to express the significance of national unity, Shaikh Al Shamri and those accompanying him, covered their shoulders with the Saudi flags while they were praying at the Masjid, according to witnesses.
fundamentally unfair military commission proceedings and either release or charge and try detainees held there in US federal courts”, Amnesty International said. President George W. Bush’s immediate response to the judgment was to side with the four Justices who dissented from the majority opinion. The President stated that the dissenters had been concerned about national security, and that the administration would “study this opinion, and we’ll do so with this in mind, to determine whether or not additional legislation might be appropriate, so that we can safely say, or truly say to the American people: We’re doing everything we can to protect you.” The organization expressed concern that the US Government has in the past sought to circumvent rulings of the Supreme Court dealing with their detention policies and practices - notoriously introducing the Military Commissions Act after the court ruled against it in Hamdan v Rumsfeld - and its hopes that the President’s response is not a signal the administration will not adequately address the substance of the Court’s ruling. “Justice is long overdue for the some 280 detainees, many of whom have been detained for more than six years without access to any court,” said Amnesty International. www.passionislam.com During the talks with the Shiite community, Shaikh Al Shamri proposed that a similar delegation of Shiites would come over to one of the Sunni Masjids in Al Khobar next Friday. This move was regarded as a bold initiative from the part of the majority Sunnis to bury the hatchet and show their reciprocal respect to fellow members of the community. This also comes as part of repairing the damage caused by a statement issued two weeks ago by some 22 Sunni clerics blaming Shiites. In their statement, radical Sunni clerics accused Shiites of destabilising Muslim countries and humiliating Sunnis. However, the Saudi officials disclosed then that the clerics who issued the statement do not represent the official Saudi religious establishment, and their views do not reflect those adopted by the government. www.passionislam.com
I July 2008
Duke University hires its first Muslim chaplain In a sign of the changing makeup of its students, Duke University has hired its first imam, or Muslim religious leader, becoming one of only a handful of universities in the United States that have fulltime Muslim clergy. Abdullah Antepli, a native of Turkey who is completing his doctoral work at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn., will become the Muslim imam and chaplain on campus, beginning July 1. Antepli will join a roster of at least 20 faith leaders, including a rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest and a dozen Protestant ministers who attend to the spiritual needs of Duke’s increasingly diverse student body. ‘’Here’s a university seeing a growing need for a qualified Muslim chaplain and graciously responding to the need,’’ Antepli said. ‘’It’s really admirable. They could easily have ignored it or asked the Muslim community to pay for it.’’
Duke has atleast 300 undergraduate and graduate students who follow Islam as their religion. The university has no precise numbers because students are not required to disclose their faith. About 50 of those students are actively involved in its Muslim Student Association. Duke also has dozens of Muslims working for the university in various capacities. Antepli’s role will be to lead them in Friday ‘’Juma’’ prayers, teach the Quran, lead discussion groups and offer pastoral care to students who want it. He will also teach introductory classes on Islam at the Duke Divinity School, which is paying half his salary. ‘’It’s an important moment for a university that has historic Methodist roots in the South,’’ said Tom Tweed, formerly a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and now at the University of Texas at Austin.
‘’It’s time for leading institutions in the West to step up and actively seek to shape the next generation of global Muslim leaders,’’ said the Rev. Sam Wells, the dean of the chapel at Duke. ‘’It’s up to institutions like Duke to take the initiative, with all the values Duke stands for.’’ For the past nine years, Muslim students on campus have had the benefit of a volunteer imam, Abdul hafeez-Waheed, a resident of Durham. But the university wanted a scholar, too, and conducted a national search.
Waheed was invited to remain active on campus. The trend to add Muslim leaders to serve students has gained momentum in recent years. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., is among the first in the nation to hire an full-time imam. Ivy League schools, including Princeton and Yale, are now hiring fulltime imams. ‘’Duke is reaching beyond mere toleration of diversity and is taking an extra step toward engagement,’’ said Michael Goldman, rabbi for Jewish life at Duke.
groups.” In December 2004, a new relationship was struck between the Chief of the Defence Force and Heads of Churches Representatives which resulted in a change to the Religious Advisory
Committee to the Services (RACS) and the creation of an Affiliated Representatives Committee (ARC). The review has now recommended Buddhist, Hindi and Muslim representatives be appointed to the ARC.
Muslim ‘chaplains’ to minister Australian Defence Force troops The Australian Defence Force is poised to engage Muslim leaders for the first time to help manage its chaplaincy services and care for the mental health of its troops. An internal review of chaplaincy services has recommended greater involvement of nonChristian faiths to reinforce the doctrine of freedom of religious practice. While a majority of ADF members - 57 per cent in total - identify themselves as being Christian, Defence does not force members to declare their religious faith or specify whether they are practising or non-practising. However, a Defence spokesman has confirmed
more than 300 members have voluntarily reported non-Christian faiths that need to be better catered for: 142 Buddhists, 79 Hindus, 67 Muslims and 17 Sikhs. “Defence accepts the significance of religious faith in people’s lives and upholds the freedom of religious practice,” the spokesman said. “Therefore, ADF members are encouraged to practise their religious beliefs according to freedom of choice. This is met to a significant extent by the provision of permanent and reserve uniformed chaplains, and is supported by access to local civilian resources, as available, to meet the requirements of different faith
I WORLD NEWS
$1.2 trillion to be invested for Hajj and Umrah development
SR2.5 million for world’s costliest Quran
The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank(IDB), the Muslim world’s premier multilateral financial institution, estimates that its 56 member countries are set to invest up to $1.2 trillion in infrastructure over the next 10 years to meet the rapidly growing demand for telecom, transport, power, water and other infrastructure services. “Around $675 billion will be used to finance new telecom and power projects, some half of which will be in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) states, while an additional $290 billion is to be invested in expanding and upgrading air, sea and land transport infrastructure, with half of that investment taking place in Asia” Dr.
Al Nimr Group for Gold and Jewelry has come up with world’s costliest copy of the Holy Quran. The 2-kg copy of the Quran worth SR2.5 million is plated with pure gold and is studded with precious stones. The Quran pages are golden and the copy has interpretation of the meanings of the verses in other languages plus a full Tafseer (exegesis), according to Al-Riyadh Arabic daily. Mustafa Al Nimr, marketing
manager of Ghassan Al-Nimr for Gold and Jewelry, said 18 carat gold has been used and the Quran copy is studded with rarest diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and turquoises. “We have used world’s best quality paper with gilded edges,” Al-Nimr added. Best designers including a woman Greek designer and an expert in gold and jewelry were involved in production, AlNimr added.
they are issued in the interest of the people. The practice of exploiting workers by selling visas and then allowing them to work somewhere else for money is a despicable act and clearly violates the Shariah provisions, Okaz Arabic daily reported him as saying. Several cases have come to light where the original sponsors have been
demanding money every month from workers under their sponsorship. Meanwhile, Dr. Bakr Bin Khushaim, member of the Shoura Council, said the Passports Department, labor offices and other related departments should conduct a study to root out the practice of selling visas. Dr. Suhaila Zain Al Abedeen from the National Society for Human Rights
Visa selling Haram says saudi scholar
Selling of work visas is Haram (forbidden) and exploitation of expatriate workers does not have religious sanction, says prominent Saudi scholar Sheikh Abdul Mohsin AlObeikan, who is also adviser to the Minister of Justice and member of the Shoura Council. He said selling of visas violates the regulations as
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Amadou Boudacar Cisse, IDB vice president was quoted as saying by the Jeddah-based Saudi Gazette in a report published last month. Cisse said IDB sees a greater role for the private sector in meeting demand for infrastructure projects such as the new Hajj and Umrah terminals, Petro Rabigh and SABIC’s Yansab petrochemical project. Mohammed Binladin, vice president of the Saudi Binladin Group, presented the new Hajj and Umrah terminals construction and development project, which is expected to significantly improve both the handling capacity and quality of service provided at the Kingdom’s main gateway.
every month over 90,000 people read Passion Islam said selling visas to workers, exploiting them and usurping their rights amount to human trafficking that is banned worldwide. He said the society has presented a number of proposals to the Shoura Council to rectify the situation. Dr. Al-Abedeen did not divulge details of the proposals and said they will be made public soon.
Saudi issues health warnings to pilgrims
I July 2008
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has issued strict directives to prospective Haj and Umrah pilgrims from all over the world to fulfil all the necessary health requirements before entering the Kingdom. In a press statement issued last month, the ministry, ordered its overseas diplomatic missions to inform the health ministries in their respective countries to strictly adhere to the health requirements. “The ministry stressed the need to take all the precautionary measures by the pilgrims to ensure the Haj and Umrah season is free from all types of infectious diseases,” the statement said while adding the Kingdom’s keenness to exert all possible efforts to ensure the sound health of
pilgrims. spokesman of the health ministry said that a circular has been dispatched to all the Saudi missions from the Foreign Ministry saying that visas would only be issued once vaccination certificates are presented against diseases such as meningitis, yellow fever and polio that are endemic in respective countries. “Pilgrims are also advised that only canned foods will be allowed entry into the Kingdom,” the spokesman said. The ministry’s statement comes following a meeting of the Haj Preparations Committee under the ministry last month as part of early preparations by the government departments and agencies to ensure a smooth
and trouble free Haj. The committee decided to purchase 20 fully equipped ambulances for use in the holy cities, as well as to increase the number of employees at medical warehouses in the holy cities. Vaccination against meningitis is compulsory for pilgrims coming from all countries. The vaccination, which is valid for three years, should be taken ten days before the pilgrim’s departure to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. According to the circular, pilgrims coming from countries affected by yellow fever, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Congo, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia should bring a medical certificate showing that they received vaccination against the contagious
disease. Children under the age of 15 from African countries, as well as from Yemen, Nepal, India and Pakistan shall be vaccinated against polio before their departure for the Kingdom, the spokesman said quoting the circular. The ministry especially noted that Saudi Arabia was successful in eradicating polio and received a certificate from the concerned UN agency that it is free from the disease. The ministry also urged the pilgrims to take injections against seasonal influenza, an illness that can easily turn fatal for pilgrims who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiac, renal and wheezing problems. www.passionislam.com
Muslim Foreign Ministers’ hold Conference in Kampala The 35th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is set to begin at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, capital of Uganda,Several issues, including Islamophobia, Palestine and Iraq as well as the development of Muslim countries in the African continent will figure on top of the agenda of the conference. The ways and means to boost trade exchange and joint investments among member states will also be figured highly in the three-day event. The foreign ministers from 57 Muslim countries will also discuss conflicts in member countries, and international
terrorism, the head of the national task force has said. “The OIC’s position on terrorism is clear: It does not condone the killing of civilians,” Ambassador James Mugume said. Discussions will unfold in light of the implementation of the Ten-Year Program of Action adopted at the Extraordinary Summit held in Makkah in 2005, which seeks to push the volume of trade exchange between OIC Member States up to 20 percent by the year 2015. The Kampala Session stands out as the first meeting held in the wake of the ratification of the OIC amended Charter by the Islamic Summit convened last March in Dakar, capital of Senegal.
Far-right politician votes for Masjid A far-right Sweden Democrat politician surprised his colleagues in the southern Swedish town of Karlskrona by voting in favour of allowing Muslims to convert a former recreation hall into a Masjid. Despite his party’s opposition to Muslims in Sweden, the politician joined his colleagues on the town’s environment and buildings committee and supported the measure, reports the Blekinge Läns Tidningen (BLT) newspaper. The paper wasn’t able to reach the politician for comment, but his local party
colleague Richard Jomshop said that the vote must have been some sort of misunderstanding. “A minaret is a strong political symbol for Islam and it stands in sharp contrast to our Christian values,” he told BLT. The Islamic group, which has been active in Karlskrona since 1991, is elated. “We are really happy,” said Imam Abboud Sleiman. But there are no plans now for the minaret feared by the Sweden Democrats, as the Islamic association currently lacks
the money to build one.
I LEGAL NEWS
Each month we hope that this section of the magazine will inform, educate and sometimes also maybe puzzle you in the big wide world of UK Law
By Price Water House Coopers Legal
UK immigration reform started
Following two years of radical planning to reform the UK immigration system, the Government announced that the implementation of the new points based system (PBS) which came into force from April 2008. UK businesses employing foreign nationals should have started ensuring systems are in place to comply with the new rules now as the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) has already begun compliance audits. The PBS is based on the Australian model and has been developed to provide a simpler, clearer and easier to enforce system, superseding the current confusing range of worker entry routes. All businesses employing non-EU nationals will be required to register as certified sponsors, allowing them to act as visa sponsors for prospective employees. The Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) is currently visiting businesses to explain the new procedures and will be arranging followup meetings to carry-out a compliance audit for businesses wishing to become certified sponsors. The new system uses objective criteria to determine whether an individual is suitable. Foreign individuals will need to complete an on-line application at their
embassy and will need a UK sponsor to vouch for them and prove they comply with immigration rules. The system will be streamlined so it can be completed in one stage. There are five tiers within the new system: > Highly skilled migrants > Migrants with a job offer > Low skilled migrants > Students and other temporary categories, such visiting workers and cultural exchange.
Points will be awarded to reflect aptitude, experience, age and the level of need in any given sector, allowing the UK to respond flexibly to changes in the labour market. There is also an English language requirement for qualification under tier 1 or tier 2. The BIA will require UK businesses to anticipate the likely need of foreign labour for their business and businesses should start monitoring and recording the number of non-EU nationals
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currently employed by them. Employers should also ensure that data confirming permission for employees to work is up to date. Finally, employers should review and tighten their rules on issues such as post-termination restrictions and reimbursement of relocation expenses, as many highly skilled employees will no longer be tied to just one company. For employers who have not previously applied for work permits a substantial amount of documentary evidence will be required in order to prove the need for foreign labour, to demonstrate that salaries are commensurate with UK market rates and that they qualify for sponsorship status. The new system fits alongside on-going activity totighten up the UKâ€™s immigration controls. This includes implementing new technology to record details of passengers entering or leaving the UK before they begin their journey and the strengthening of the UKâ€™s visa system. The BIA will be setting up a migration advisory committee to advise ministers on where migration might sensibly fill gaps in the labour market.
Type of worker
Highly skilled migrants such as professional graduates and entrepreneurs. This will be similar to the current highly skilled migrant programme visa. Applicants with this visa can work for any UK employer
Skilled workers with a job offer who do not qualify under tier 1
Workers to fill low skilled shortage occupations
Students applying to study in the UK
Temporary workers such as visiting workers, youth mobility and cultural exchange and selective development schemes
We want to know what you think - email us: email@example.com
I July 2008
Visa curbs ultimatum New recruitment to encourage targets 11 countries British Muslims The UK is set to deliver an ultimatum to 11 African, Asian and South American countries to address abuses of the immigration system in six months or face tough new visa restrictions. Opponents of the Home Office plan have warned, however, of the risk to relations with key trading partners and even undermining England’s bid to host the 2018 football World Cup. Areas of concern include overstaying, forgery and other crimes including drug trafficking. The nations identified by the review are Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia, Botswana, Bolivia, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. Home Office ministers had planned to announce curbs quickly but in a concession to the Foreign Office, individual countries will be approached through diplomatic channels and offered a grace period. Visa requirements, a key measure of diplomatic relations, could prompt tit-for-tat responses against UK interests if tightened. Brazil is described by the Foreign Office website as a “rapid emerging global player of great importance to British interests – economic, political
and commercial”. Relations with Malaysia are described as “strong and deep – especially in areas of trade, investment, science and education”. There are 11,500 Malaysian students in UK universities. Richard Caborn, Gordon Brown’s ‘sports czar’, said South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago were supporting England’s World Cup bid. “We have to ensure there is good justification for doing this. This could be highly detrimental . . . I hope the government will not rush into it,” he said. Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said this year the visa regime should widen. The Home Office said: “Our assessment for which countries need visas is still ongoing.” www.passionislam.com
Military bosses plan to send serving Muslims back into their communities to encourage others to join the fight in Afghanistan. General Sir David Richards, Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces, revealed the move in an interview with an internal Ministry of Defence journal. He said: “There is an appreciation on our part that the Army would be better getting more Muslims into our ranks.” He added: “I am looking to see if some of our Muslim troops can go back into their communities to act as extra recruiters.” An MoD source revealed Bradford, West Yorks, would be the first area targeted. He said: “We already know there are many young men and women in Bradford very keen to join up.” PARA Robin Jepp rushed home from Afghanistan in combat gear to surprise his mum Mary as she was ordained as a deacon at Ely Cathedral, Cambs — leaving desert sand on her robes when he hugged her.
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I July 2008
The Life and works of Imam Abu Yusuf (RA)
A testing beginning of a Prestigious Life Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi humble beginnings in the path of knowledge mirror what many young Muslims suffer today from parental displeasure at occupying oneself in acquiring the sacred knowledge of Islam, at the detriment of one’s secular studies or in pursuing a career. Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi had a great passion for studying at a young age, however his father wanted his son to occupy himself in mastering some trade in order to make ends meet. The Imam followed his father’s wishes, but as soon as he was free of his days work he would scurry along to the circles of learning of the scholars. At first, as the Imam puts it: ‘I would go to the scholar Ibn Abi Layla rahmatullahi alaihi, who recognised my potential, however when some issue would arise he would get it solved by Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi. Because of this, deep down in my heart I wanted to study with the Imam and benefit from him, but hurting the feelings of Ibn Abi Layla rahmatullahi alaihi prevented me. Eventually, I did start to frequent the circles of Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi; Once when I was present in his circle, my father appeared and forcibly escorted me back home with him. At home he explained, ‘Son! Allah has made Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaih content about his livelihood, he is wealthy and rich - you are poor and needy, why do you wish to be like him? You should worry about gaining a livelihood.’’ Imam Abu Haneefa (RA) assesses the value of this gem: Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi says after this bitter episode he reluctantly gave
up his studies and started living with his father. A few days passed and Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi noticed the absence of his bright young student from his circle: ‘Why is it that Ya’qub no longer comes?’ he asked the other students. Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi says: ‘When I discovered Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi was asking about me I went to him and told him the whole story, the Imam then surreptitiously handed me a small bag. When I got home, I looked inside and found a thousand Dirhams. The Imam had also said to me: ‘When it finishes let me know’. However with the grace of Allah I never had to ask him, he would give me according to his own estimation regularly.’ A master of many sciences: From then on Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi became a regular student from the horde of students that sat at the feet of the great Imam. The knowledge of Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi mainly acquired from Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi was that of Fiqh. However it should be noted that he was also highly talented in the field of Hadith and Aathar as well as such auxiliary sciences as history and literature. The historian Ibn Khaldun rahmatullahi alaihi tells us that Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi had memorised a vast array of histories, from the Maghazi to the Ayyamul Arab. It is also well known that in Hadith he was an authority in his own right, so much so that when the other great Imam-Ahmed rahmatullahi alaihi began his quest for Ahadith, his first stop was Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi as is recorded by Khatib Al Baghdadi in
his Tarikh. Imam Ahmed rahmatullahi alaihi also had this to say about Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi and the Tarafayn (Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi and Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alaihi): ‘Whenever the opinions of three men agree upon an issue, the disagreement of anyone else will not even be entertained.’ When asked who these three men were, he replied: ‘Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad Ibn Al Hasan. The reason being, Abu Hanifah with his insight of Qiyaas takes precedence above all, and Imam Abu Yusuf is ahead of all others in Ahadith and Athar and Muhammad is the Imam of the Arabic language.’ Glimpses form his unparalleled zeal of learning: Such accolades being heaped upon one man is not down to his having read a few books or spending a few years in studying Fiqh, rather, it is the result of his immense sacrifice and devotion to sacred knowledge. Seldom has the world seen a person more dedicated to the acquisition of knowledge. To give our readers a glimpse into how deeply absorbed the Imam was in knowledge, we present the following two examples from his life: It has been recorded that Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi was so engrossed in his studies that the frail student was oblivious to partaking of his meals. Often a whole day or two would go by with the Imam untiringly discussing Fiqhi issues with his fellow students from morning till late at night, his counterparts remarking: ‘Yet by the end of the day he seemed as alert and fresh as he was in the morning!’ The second incident may seem a bit
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strange to us today, but in reality it is the hallmark of the true seeker of knowledge. It is recorded in several books that after thirty years had passed in the circle of Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi without being absent for a single day. Then one early morning disaster struck the house of Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi when the Imam’s young son became severely ill and died. That morning the funeral prayer was to be held and burial was to take place. The problem was that it meant that the Imam would, after thirty years of diligent attendance have to miss his Imam’s lecture. It bore too heavily on the Imam, that he should be deprived of even a moment of learning, compelling him to arrange for his neighbours to conduct the funeral prayers and see to the burial whilst he could take his place in the circle of the great Imam. Amazing! Especially for those students amongst us who due to a minor cold or headache nonchalantly absent ourselves for hours and even days from our ustadh’s lectures. True knowledge inherits love, respect and humbleness: One can fully gorge the depth of Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi knowledge by a study of the famous Hanafi fiqh book al-Hidayah. The arguments and proofs that he gives to bolster his positions often time leaving the reader mesmerised and in awe. On many occasions he takes a position against the other Imams, but this in no way indicates that any sort of rivalry or enmity existed between them. In fact Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi had indescribable awe and each and every word that would leave his mouth, which is shown by the fact that in the text of alHidayah in one issue related to Hajj we find the words: “Were a woman to do Tamattu; and then sacrifice a sheep it would not suffice her for the Dam of Tamattu as she performed what was not wajib upon
Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi humble beginnings in the path of knowledge mirror what many young Muslims suffer today from parental displeasure at occupying oneself in acquiring the sacred knowledge of Islam, at the detriment of one’s secular studies or in pursuing a career.
her.” This Masalah applies equally to men and the only person we find the text amiting it to women is because these are the exact words relayed to Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi from his teacher Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi when he asked him the Masalah (which had arisen concerning women). So precious were these words to the Imam he did not even adjust the words to suit the general applicability of the ruling. In another place in al Hidayah we find the rare phase “… and accordingly to Yaqub,” the explanation for this that Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi stipulated out of deference for his teacher, that “whenever my opinion conflict with the Imam’s relay it from Yaqub” and not from Abu Yusuf. As for Imam Abu Yusuf’s rahmatullahi alaihi recognition of his colleagues Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alaihi in term of his immense erudition as shown, for example by the fact that the Imam reduced the Najasah of the urine of such animals that can be eaten from being ghalizah to khafifah because Imam Muhammad rahmatullahi alaihi held contrary to the majority of scholars, that their urine is pure.
On the seat of Chief Justice: Later on in life Imam Abu Yusuf rahmatullahi alaihi was given the highest legal post in the entire Khilafah; that of qadi ul Qudat, the modern equivalent of a Chief Justice. During the day he’d listen to the cases and give Fatawa. The visitors to his court were amazed at his skill, the most complicated legal issues would be put before him and in a matter of moments he would have them solved. The night would be given over to teaching Hadith and Fiqh. One would imagine one who is so occupied in these affairs would have little time for the worship of his lord, but on the contrary the Imam was able to
even with all his duties, offer two hundred Rakaas in Tahajjud every night. Final moments of a grand living: The Imam’s rahmatullahi alaihi last moments before departing from this World were spent in pain and restricted to his bed. It is narrated that once, during his time, a visitor entered upon him and noticed the Imam was in a distressed state, the visitor questioned him, “Is it the pangs of death? The Imam replied: “It is not that, the reason for my unease is my fear about what Allah (SWT) will do to me because of a case I judged between a Muslim and a Jew. Though alHamdulillah, I judged in the end correctlyin favour of the Jew I cannot forget that in the court the Muslim was seated in a higher position than the Jew (showing inequality).” Allahu Akhbar!, can there be a more strictly example of Taqwa? May Allah bestow upon us the Taqwa of our Predecessors-Ameen. There are several other Hadiths related about the Imam during his final illness, such as him discussing Figh issues with his visitors in between bouts of unconsciousness. It is recorded that just before he died he said: “O Allah! You know that I never intentionally judged against the apparent. I have always gave your Book and the Sunnah of your Messenger predence over all else. And whenever a complex issue would arise I would use Imam Abu Hanifah rahmatullahi alaihi as my source, and to my knowledge he used to understand your laws fully, never leaving the bounds of the Truth on purpose. I thank Allah (SWT) and it is His blessing upon me that I never knowingly opposed anyone nor ever favoured any side, whether king or subject. O Allah! You are aware that I never intentionally partook of anything forbidden nor consumed any unlawful dirhams…” - inter-islam.org www.passionislam.com
I SPECIAL FEATURE
The young Muslims of today are facing an ever-increasing number of dilemmas. One of these is drugs. What does Islam have to say about it? How should Muslims regard drugs? To understand this we have to see what the Qur’aan and Ahaadith say regarding intoxicants i.e. narcotics. Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’aan: - O You who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. Avoid (such abominations) that you may prosper. (5:90) Allah Ta’ala has described intoxicants amongst other things as being appalling, despicable and hateful acts of Satan and he has commanded us to abstain from them, Allah thereafter states in the next verse: Satan’s plan is to sow hatred and enmity amongst you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hamper you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not give up? (5:91) This Aayah tells us how it is a detestable act of Satan, because intoxicants apart from sowing the seeds of enmity also stop you from the sole purpose of having been sent to the world, namely the remembrance of Allah. Bear in mind that when the term intoxicant is used it also encompasses narcotics, because they to among other things result in the loss of self-control. There are also many Ahaadith stated by the Holy Prophet in regards to
I July 2008
By a Student of Darul Uloom
intoxicants. 1) Jabir reported that the Holy Prophet said, “Whosoever drinks wine, whip him. If he repeats it for the fourth time, kill him.” He (Jabir) says, A man was later brought to the Prophet who had drunk wine for the fourth time. He beat him, but did not kill him. (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood) The following Hadith clearly states that the Holy Prophet prohibited intoxicants. 2) Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Every intoxicant is khamr (wine) and every intoxicant is haraam (unlawful). Whosoever drinks wine in this world and dies whilst consumed in it and does not repent will not drink it in the next world. (Muslim) 3) Jabir narrates that a man came from Yemen and asked the Prophet about a wine made from corn called ‘Mizr’, which they drank, in their land. The Prophet asked, “Is it intoxicating?” He replied, “Yes” The Prophet said, “Every intoxicant is unlawful. Verily there is covenant upon Allah for one who drinks intoxicating drinks, that he will make him drink from ‘Teenatul Khabal,’ they asked, “O messenger of Allah, what is Teenatul Khabal?” He said, “The sweat of the inmates of hell or the pus (of impurities) of the inmates of hell.” (Muslim) 4) Abdullah ibn Umar reports that the Prophet said, “Whosoever drinks wine, Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will forgive him. And if he repeats it Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he
seeks repentance Allah will forgive him. And if he repeats it again Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will forgive him. If he repeats it for the fourth time Allah will not accept his prayer for 40 days. If he seeks repentance Allah will not accept it and he will be made to drink from the river of impurities (of the inmates of hell). (Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah and Daarami from Ibn Amr) 5) Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allah said; “Whatever intoxicates in a greater quantity is also unlawful in its smaller quantity.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah) 6) Umme Salmah narrates that the Messenger of Allah prohibited every intoxicant and Mufattir (anything which excites and irritates the mind, body and heart). (Abu Dawood) 7) Abdullah Ibn Amr t reports from the Prophet , who said, “One who is disobedient to parents, gambles, harsh after charity and a is a habitual drunkard shall not enter paradise.” (Daarami) 8) Abu Umaamah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Verily Almighty Allah sent me as a mercy for all the worlds; and my Almighty and Glorious Lord ordered me to abolish drums, musical instruments, idols, the cross and the affairs of the days of Ignorance. My Almighty and Glorious Lord has sworn, “By my honour, no servant among my servants shall drink a mouthful of wine but I will make him drink like it from the scorching water (of hell); and none abstains from it out of fear of me but I will give him drink from the Holy fountain.” (Ahmad) 9) Ibn Umar narrates that the Messenger of Allah said, “There are three for whom Allah has forbidden paradise, a habitual drunkard, one disobedient to parents, and a careless husband who establishes impurity in his family.” (Ahmad and Nasai) 10) Abu Musa Al-Asharee narrates that the Messenger of Allah said, “There are three who will not enter paradise, a habitual drunkard, one who cuts of blood ties and one who believes in sorcery. (Ahmad) 11) Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said’ “If a habitual
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Protect what is most important to you, yourself
drunkard dies, he will meet Allah like the one who worships idols.” (Ahmad, Ibn majah from Abu Hurrairah) 2) Abu Musa reported that he used to say, “I do not differentiate whether I drink wine or worship these idols besides Allah. (Nasai ) From the above Ahaadith, we can clearly see the Prophet and the Islamic view regarding intoxicants. In another Hadith the Prophet has described intoxicants as: 1. The key to all evils. 2. The head of all errors and lapses. 3. The most terrible of major sins. 4. The mother of all atrocities. 5. The mother of all evils. Why are drugs, intoxicants so abhorrent, awful, foul and vile in Islam? Let us look at what the scholars have said regarding the effects of drugs from a worldly and religious point: Ibn Hajar Al-Makki rahmatullahi alaihe narrates from some scholars that they are 120 worldly and religious detriments in consuming hashish (Cannabis). Not 10, not 20, but 120 harmful things occur by the consumption of drugs. The great Ibn-e-Seena says that large amounts of it dries up semen (The fluid that carries sperm thus rendering him incapable of passion in sexual intercourse). Ibn-ul-Bitaar says: A group of people used it (drugs) and they became mentally deranged (insane). Imaam Zarakhshee narrates in his book upon the prohibition of Hashish (Cocaine) from Zakariyah Razee, a famous doctor, that consuming hashish causes headaches, desiccates semen, brings about confusion, Neurosis, dries up all body fluids which could cause sudden death. Also it defects the mind, induces hectic fever, tuberculosis and oedema (dropsy). Ibn-e-Taymiyyah (a renowned scholar) says: All the faults, blemishes, bad things in khamr (wine) are present in hashish and more. Because the majority of faults in khamr effect religion, but hashish effects to a great extent both religion and body. Thereafter Sheikh Taymiyyah describes its faults: 1) From a religious point of view it is as intoxicating as wine, it destroys the mind, causes forgetfulness, causes to reveal secrets, destroys shame, incubates dissimation, quells self respects, obliterates intelligence, prevents salaah and instigates towards Haraam, forbidden things. 2) From a physical aspect it deteriorates the mind, cuts off the means for offspring, brings about leprosy, sickness, feverish shivers, bad breath, loss of eyebrows and teeth, warming of blood, tuberculosis, damages intestines, destroys body organs, punctures the liver, burns the stomach and weakens eyesight amongst
other things. The point all botanists have unanimously agreed upon is that hashish (cannabis) is an intoxicant, one of these botanists is Ibn-e-Baitaar. Ibn-e-Baitaar states that it is intoxicant. All the scholars including Abu Ishaaq Sheeraazee rahmatullahi alaihe and Allahma Nawawee have stressed that it is intoxicating. Allahma Zarakhshee further writes that we have not seen anyone differ in opinion regarding this. Ibn-e-Taymiyyah says that the fact is that it is an intoxicant like Wine. And Allahma Keerafe says that according to my research hashish is the cause of corruption and evil. Shariah and rational thinking both point towards the prohibition of drugs. As Imaam Zarakshee has mentioned in his book: - All verses (of the Qur’aan) and Ahaadith which testify that intoxicants are haraam also include hashish (i.e. drugs) The verses and Ahaadith regarding this have already been stated. Another verse, which proves drugs to be prohibited, is: They as you concerning khamr (intoxicant) and gambling. Say “ In them there is great sin and some gain for mankind, but sin is greater then the gain. This verse, apart from informing us of how grave a sin it is to consume intoxicants, is also imparting a principle: Everything in which the evil and harm outweighs the gain is not allowed. Therefore, if we consider drugs, they deflect the sensory perceptions as well as producing hallucinations and illusions. They cause body lassitude, neurosis, decline in health, moral insensitivity etc. etc. the list is endless. Furthermore, there are no benefits whatsoever of taking drugs for recreational purposes. The perception (from Shaitan) that Class B drugs such as cannabis (dope, draw) is all right is utterly wrong. This verse clearly shows that although it seems like they may contain a few benefits, overall its evil is far greater. It is narrated that in Sahih Muslim: Every intoxicant is khamr (wine) and all Khamr is haraam. Imam Ibn-e-Taymiyyah states: It should be enough harm for a person just to know that it prevents you from the remembrance of Allah and salaah. In short, everything, which obstructs a person from Zikr-ullah and salaah, is haraam like wine. Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’aan: And Allah has forbidden on to you the ‘khabaith’ i.e. repulsive, wicked and evil things. What could be more evil then the thing which impairs the faculties of thought and perception in the mind? Dailamah Al-Humairee states: I asked the Holy Prophet , ‘O Messenger of Allah, Verily we are in a cold land, and we have to work hard therein, and we prepare wine from this wheat which gives as strength
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in our works and in the chill of our cities.’ He asked, ‘Does it intoxicate?’ ‘yes’ he replied. He said, ‘Give it up.’ I said, ‘Verily the people can not give it up.’ He said, ‘If they do not give it up, fight with them.’ (Abu Dawood) This Hadith explains to us the principle cause of what is haraam. Chiefly, if it intoxicates it is haraam. The very same reason and cause is to be found in drugs. Some might say that all drugs do not intoxicate, that drugs like heroin and hashish are only depressants which slackens and weakens the mind. The answer to this is in the following Hadith: It has been narrated by Umme-Salmah, she states: The Prophet prohibited every intoxicant and muftir (every substance which slackens the mine). Imam Zarakshee notes in his kitab: The scholars have stated that muftir is everything that causes slackness. He then states: The Hadith (which has been mentioned above) particularly proves the prohibition of hashish because if it is not regarded as an intoxicant if definitely comes under the definition of ‘muftir’ (substance which causes drowsiness and the weakening of the mind etc.). Moving on, the unanimity of the ummah on the prohibition of narcotics is also narrated from many scholars. Imaam Zarakshee states: The consensus of the Ummah is narrated from several scholars in the prohibition of hashish; scholars include Qiraafi and ibne-Taymiyyah.
And if that was not enough, Ibn-eTaymiyyah has further said: Whosoever regards it lawful has become kafir (Irreligious; ‘God forbid’). The scholars of all four madhab’s unanimously agree that consuming anything intoxicating is haraam, certain plants have also been included as Imam Rafee’ clearly says that, ‘The scholars have included intoxicating plants etc. within the prohibition.’ So far the prohibition of drugs has been proven by means of the Qur’aan, Sunnah and Ijmah (consensus of the ulama). Its can further be proved by ‘Qiyaas’ (deduction by analogy) i.e. logical reasoning. When a person is intoxicated (or ‘stoned’ in street language) he does not know what he is doing. He could easily kill someone or fornicate etc. In the same manner, to feed his habit, he will most probably have to steal. These are, without a shadow of a doubt, unlawful. And there is a general rule that whatever leads to something haraam (unlawful) is in itself haraam. Thus drugs have been proven as haraam by all four sources of jurisprudence (Qur’aan, Sunnah, Ijmah and Qiyaas). What is the legal punishment for consuming drugs? Imam Mawardee has stressed that by consuming plants, which cause overexcitement (intoxication) ‘hadd’ (legal punishment i.e. 80 lashes) will become necessary. Imam Qiraafi states that all the ulama of this period have agreed that its
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consumption is haraam. However, there is a difference of opinion as to what (punishment) becomes incumbent by drugs; either hadd because it intoxicates or tazir (reprimand) because it corrupts the mind. In addition, in his book Az-Zakheera he states hadd or tazir will be imposed. According to three prominent Imaams (Imam Shafee’, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad) consuming anything intoxicating however small the amount will bring the legal punishment of 80 lashes to the person. However, in the Hanafi madhab in Fatawa ‘Al-Khulasa lil-Hanafiyyah’ it is stated: If an intoxicating amount has been taken then according to Imam Muhammad hadd will be necessary and according to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Abu Yusuf he will be reprimanded severely, but the hadd will not be imposed. Tazir (reprimand) is such a punishment that holds no specific amount and it is for the Judge to decide. Bear in mind that according to some scholars, in certain cases, tazir could prove to be more severe than the hadd itself e.g. When the person persistently commits the crime. Conclusion: Drugs are Haraam. It is necessary to abstain from them. They ruin people’s lives physically, mentally, morally and spiritually. If anyone is involved with drugs they should stop immediately and seek help. May Allah help and protect us all.
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The True Knowledge
In today’s world, we constantly find ourselves asking the very same question, ‘What is true ‘Ilm’? What is true knowledge? Due to our weak Imaan and our love for the world and its luxuries, true knowledge does not enter our hearts. The question arises ‘What is Ilm’? Ilm is that asset which not only increases one’s knowledge and respect in his community, but it also makes his heart pure and keeps it protected from evils. It also teaches the heart and soul to live according to the commands of Allah Taa’la. The knowledge of Allah is the best of all knowledge and to seek this knowledge is compulsory on each and every Muslim, be they male or female. A Hadith states, “To seek knowledge is compulsory on each and every Muslim” Abu Zar narrates that the Prophet once told him that, ‘O Abu Zar, if you go in the
morning and learn one ayah (verse) from the book of Allah, it will be better than offering 100 rak’at nafl Salaah. And if you learn one chapter of knowledge, it will be better than offering one thousand rak’at nafl Salaah.’ In one Hadith, it states, “An Alim enforces a much greater task upon Shaytaan than one thousand pious men.” You may be asking yourselves why this is? The answer to this is that Shaytaan will find it relatively easier to lure pious men away from Islam than an Alim who has studied and learnt Islam.. Once an argument took place in Basra about Ilm. Some people said that Ilm was better than wealth while others disagreed saying wealth is worth more than Ilm. Eventually they asked Hazrat ibn Abbas who agreed that Ilm was worth more. When he was asked why this is the case he replied, “Ilm is a safeguard for
man whereas man has to safeguard his wealth.” Allah gives wealth to his beloved and non-beloved, but only gives knowledge to his beloved. When a man dies, he leaves all his wealth behind in the world. Whatever he has done with his wealth only comes to use if he spent it in the path of Allah, he will be rewarded for it. On the other hand, if he spent it wrongly, he will be punished for it. When a learned person passes away, his knowledge goes with him. For every Hadith a man learns, his status in Paradise gets higher and higher. Always remember that no matter how hard life becomes and how many difficulties a man has to face in life, his Ilm is always there for him to turn to. Whereas his wealth is here today, gone tomorrow and may never return. May Allah give us the ability to learn true Ilm and accept us with this Ilm.
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I July 2008
Islam in Holland Out of Hollands population of 15.6 million, Muslims make up half a million, which is ten-fold what it was in 1971. Now the Islamic atmosphere in Holland has become common feature, with Masjids and Islamic schools in existence in various parts of the country. The Dutch government does not interfere in the religious affairs of any community, and seeks to integrate the various minorities in the country into the Dutch society, so that they can participate in the democratic practices of the country and do away with racial inclinations. Holland itself was inhabited by very few Muslims since the last half century or so, though the majority of those that were encompassed by the Dutch Empire were Muslims, because, up to 1949, its borders included Muslim Indonesia. In Surinam also there is a sizeable Muslim community, of Indian descent. In the sixties there was a shortage of manpower in Holland and the country had to look for foreign labor outside its borders, so that its economy could be activated, and for this reason there was a movement of people from such Mediterranean countries as Turkey and Morocco. Though in 1974 Holland put a stop to the importation of foreign labor, it did not stop the current of immigration from such countries, and
many of the resident workers started to bring in their families. There was also a wave of immigration from Surinam, before its independence in 1975, and most of the immigrants were Muslims. Muslims now comprise four percent of the Dutch population, with the ethnic Turks being the majority in the Muslim community, in that they number about 270,000. This is followed by the Moroccan ethnic community, numbering 225,000, while the Surinamese community comes third, numbering 50,000 in all. Additionally, there are Muslims who came to Holland as refugees, from such countries as Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Afghanistan, the former Soviet Union, and Bosnia. In 1971, Muslims in Holland numbered 54,000, in 1975 the figure went up to 108,000, in 1980 it was 225,000, and in 1997 it reached the 573,000 mark. Clause No. 1 of the Dutch Constitution stipulates that all the residents of Holland shall enjoy equal rights, and the constitution also forbids any form of discrimination on grounds of religion, faith, politics, sex, or ethnic origin. This means that the Muslims also enjoy equal rights as those enjoyed by the Christians. But coupled with these rights, there are also responsibilities that go hand in hand
with them, such as the payment of taxes, as well as compulsory education. This means that up to the age of 16, every child must go to school, including the children of residents. Those who have taken up Dutch citizenship also enjoy equal rights as their Dutch-born counterparts, including the rights to vote or stand for election on the national level, while at the local level even residents enjoy such rights. It is reported that over 100 Muslims hold elective offices at the local level. There is complete religious freedom in Holland, on both the level of the individual and at the communal level, and religion is separated from the state. This means that the government does interfere in the affairs of religious bodies, while at the same time such bodies do not interfere in affairs of the state. At the moment there are about 200 Masjids scattered in various parts of Holland, that were built by each of the various ethnic groups, while Muslim cemeteries also can be found in dozens of towns and cities. In fact, right up to the eighties, the Dutch Government used to give subventions for the construction of Masjids and churches, but this came to an end after it was decided that this was contrary to the idea of separating
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religion from the state. So now the onus of building Masjids has been left to the Islamic organizations. Even in the private sector, Muslims enjoy a measure of freedom, such as flexible hours during the fasting month of Ramadhan, while some enterprises allocate special prayer areas for their Muslim workers. Circumcision is practiced in many of the hospitals in Holland, while the wearing of the Hijab by Muslim women has become a common sight at schools and at university campuses. But at some of the private schools the practice is somewhat discouraged, and there is nothing that the
ethnic minorities is around 20 percent, though this segment forms only five percent of the labor force. The government is therefore working toward improving the lot of this segment of the society in Holland, and integrating them within the Dutch society as a whole, not only by providing employment opportunities for them, but also by teaching them skills and the Dutch language. The government of Holland is now in the process of initiating the appointment of Muslim chaplains in prisons and asylums, and for this purpose will form an Advisory Commission, for purposes of reference. Thus, in order to take care of the
studentat such schools are free to chose either Arabic or Turkish as a second language. Itis also expected that this year (2000) a Muslim secondary school will be established in Rotterdam. Islam and Islamic studies, including Arabic and other Muslims languages, are also given their due importance at the higher level of education, and there are several lecturers who lecture on such subjects at the university level. AT the University of Amsterdam there is a Chair for Islamic Studies and it is funded by private organizations. In 1998, the Dutch Institute for Islamic Studies in the Contemporary World was
government could do about it, since they enjoy a large measure of freedom to run their affairs. As far as slaughterhouses are concerned, and in keeping with the practice in other European Union countries, the government of Holland has set aside special abattoirs for slaughtering animals according to the Islamic Sharia. Thus there are more than 500 Islamic slaughterhouses, out of a total number of 4,500. But the government of Hollands policy is that of social integration, regardless of religious affiliation, though some of the ethnic minorities suffer from a number of drawbacks, such as the linguistic barrier and other stumbling blocks. The rate of unemployment among the
spiritual life of the inmates of prisons, the government in Holland would shoulder the responsibility of paying the salaries and other emoluments of such appointees, provided the appointees can carry out their duties using the Dutch language. There are denominational schools in Holland, such as those of the Catholics and the Protestants, but the Muslims also have about 30 such schools. But the secular curriculum applies to all, while education is compulsory for all, so that no segment of the society can be left behind as far as education is concerned. Public schools are free to introduce religious education, and in this connection both Islamic and Christian studies are taught in many such schools. The
opened in Leiden, and, as the name implies, it focuses mainly on Islamic studies. The government is also funding the training of Imams, as it does with other religious denominations. At the moment, about 50 Imams are drawn from Turkey and Morocco every year, and the first year of their residence is used by the government to induct them in Dutch society, and this includes the learning of the Dutch language. Such induction courses are followed by examinations not only in the language, but also to assess the ability of the fresh waves of Imams. Photo shows: Mevlana Majsid, in Rotterdam which is one of many masjids first built in Holand.
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I July 2008
BARA tieup Middle East rugby links
The British Asian Rugby Association’s (BARA) TagTime initiative is breaking new ground after MD Ikram Butt met with United Arab Emirates rugby officials for constructive talks in Dubai recently. Ikram, a dual code international and former professional rugby league star,commented: “I met with Sol Mokdad of UAE’s rugby body and Jill Conlon who organises the prestigious Dubai Sevens event to discuss the promotion of BARA’s TagTime initiative which aims to introduce young people to both codes of rugby. “TagTime is a dual code touch rugby variation, initially established in partnership with the Bradford Council’s Sport & Leisure Service, amongst others, that will help the UAE to engage with
local communities and schools across the Emirates and impact on areas where rugby is currently not being played,” added Ikram. BARA was praised recently by Prime Minister Gordon Brown during PM Question Time and has been officially endorsed for its work by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe MP. BARA is an organisation which aims to provide positive role models, break down cultural & religious barriers, promote community integration,citizenship personal development, healthy living and encouraging participation in sport & physical activity especially in rugby. For more details please visit www. bararugby.com.
AFC welcomes Yousuf says Premier League farewell in style 39th match
Mohammed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has expressed a changed view concerning the English premier league 39th game in issue. He has now stated that he would “welcome” the game, and don’t not object to it being held in Asia. When the Premier League first considered the additional match in February, Hammam only offered criticism against the possibility. The AFC president claimed that he would offer a firm vote against it. His mind has now changed.
In China, earlier this month, Hammam met with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. It was at this meeting that Hammam expressed that he would not take issue with a city in Asia hosting such an event, and that Asian fans would love it. He did express that he wants official approval from both FIFA and the Football Association before a 39th match takes place. Currently, neither the Football Association nor FIFA have offered support or consent to the endeavor. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is strongly opposed.
Pakistan batting ace Mohammad Yousuf signed off from Lancashire duty in the best possible way by recording a sparkling double century on the final day of the drawn County Championship game against Yorkshire last month. The 33-year-old, who finished unbeaten on 205, has head back to the sub-continent to and playing in a one-day international tri-series against Bangladesh and India. Yousuf creamed 19 fours and one six in a marathon 380-ball innings to help Lancashire claim the five maximum batting points. Opener Paul Horton completed a fine 152 but was bowled by leg-spinner Adil Rashid. Horton and Yousuf compiled a third wicket stand of 258 to equal the previous best Lancashire partnership for any wicket against Yorkshire. Horton starred in the other 258 with Stuart Law against the White Rose in the same fixture last season. Francois Du Plessis was then caught in the slips by Jacques Rudolph for a duck off the bowling of Ben Sanderson. And then Yousuf was partnered by Steven Croft for a record fifth wicket alliance of 197. Croft hit a first-class best of 96, but
was furious at falling four runs short of a maiden ton. He was trapped lbw by Rashid. Lancashire have now got seven batting points out of a possible 25 this season, and will take a lot of confidence from their time at the crease ahead of the crucial clash with Notts. Yousuf, who claimed his fifth career double ton, said: “I am very happy to make some runs for Lancashire, and it is a good thing that we got all the points for a draw. When I arrived I was struggling a little bit because of the weather. I felt in good touch during my last four-day when I got 40 runs, and that helped me to come back.” Yousuf was dropped on one, by Anthony McGrath at slip off the bowling of Tim Bresnan, and then again on 168, by sub fielder James Lee off the bowling of Rashid. Yousuf, who scored 192 for Pakistan in a Test match at Headingley two years ago, continued: “I knew that if I kept working hard, stayed focused, then the runs would come, I think that this ground is good for me. This is my first double hundred outside Test cricket, and I think that you have to work hard in whatever game that you play.” www.passionislam.com
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Dutch psychologist discovery Vander Hoven, a psychologist from Netherlands, announced his new discovery about the effect of reading the Qur’aan and repeating the word ALLAH both on patients and on normal persons. The Dutch professor confirms his discovery with studies and research applied on many patients over a period of three years. Some of his patients were non-Muslims, others do not speak Arabic and were trained to pronounce the word ‘ALLAH’ clearly; the
result was great, particularly on those who suffer from dejection and tension. Al Watan, a Saudi daily reported that the psychologist was quoted to say that Muslims who can read Arabic and who read the Quran regularly could protect themselves from psychological diseases. The psychologist explained how each letter in the word ‘ALLAH’ affects healing of psychological diseases. He pointed out in his research
Easy vs Hard Why is it so hard to tell the truth but yet so easy to tell a lie? Why are we so sleepy in THE MASJID but right when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up? Why is it so easy to delete a HOLY e-mail, but yet we forward all of the nasty
ones? Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one there are no costs, but wonderful rewards Isn’t it funny how simple it is for people to NOT BELIEVE IN ALLAH and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.
God said don’t look around because you’ll be impressed, Don’t look down you’ll be depressed, Just look to me all the time and you’ll be blessed Ilyas, Bolton Prayer is an open line to Heaven. No cards to use, no low battery problem, no error, No charging, always good signal and all messages sent. Make prayer a habit like Texting Zahid, Preston
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Never a weakness that He can’t fill, Never a sickness that He can’t heal, Never a sorrow that He dsn’t share,Moment by moment- you are under GOD’s care. Tina - Brighton When earthly help s no avail, There s 1 friend who will never fail. Just lift your eyes, The answer is there, For nobody knows the power of prayer. Ismail - Leicester
that pronouncing the first letter in the word ‘ALLAH’ which is the letter (A), released from the respiratory system, controls breathing. He added that pronouncing the velar consonant (L) in the Arabic way, with the tongue touching slightly the upper part of the jaw producing a short pause and then repeating the same pause constantly, relaxes the aspiration. Also, pronouncing the last letter which is the letter (H) makes a contact between the lungs and the heart and in turn this contact controls the heartbeat. What is exciting in the study is that this psychologist is a non-Muslim,
but interested in Islamic sciences and searching for the secrets of the Holy Quran. Allah, The Great and Glorious, says, We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to (remember me in UR Dua) ALLAHU AKBAR Allah is great Allah keeps me going day and night. Without Allah, I am no one. But with Allah, I can do everything. Allah is my strength.’ This is a simple test. If you love Allah and you are not ashamed of all the great things that he has done for you, send this to everyone you know, May Allah help U to succeed...Ameen
Isn’t it funny how someone can say ‘I believe in ALLAH’ but still follow Shaytan (who, by the way, also ‘believes in ALLAH). Isn’t it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding ISLAM ,people think twice about sharing? Isn’t it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send
it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them. Isn’t it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what ALLAH thinks of me? Sent in by Adam in Preston
I July 2008
Why do we read Quran, even if we can’t understand a single Arabic word?
Images sent in by Shahed Reading
Did you know that for each letter of the quran you read you are rewarded for that in the akhirah(hereafter) This is a beautiful story... An old American Muslim lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up earlysitting at the kitchen table reading his Quran. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could. One day the grandson asked, ‘Grandpa! I try to read the Quran just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Qur’an do?’ The Grandfather quietly
turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, ‘Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.’ The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, ‘You’ll have to move a little faster next time,’ and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, ‘I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of
water. You’re just not trying hard enough,’ and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into the river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.Out of breath, he said, ‘SeeGrandpa, it’s
useless!’ ‘So you think it is useless?’ The old man said, ‘Look at the basket.’ The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out. ‘Son, that’s what happens when you read the Qur’an. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Allah in our lives.’ Sent in by Amara - Liverpool
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It is always very interesting to know what is happening around the Muslim world and your magazine seems to have answered these questions, awesome. Mohammed, Australia Brilliant Mag keep it up. Fiona Dean, Nottingham
Makkah in Development
Just seen Passion Islam magazine, may i wish you great success as i, found much unity in it and nicely done. well done Matthew Patrick, Harrogate What a great publication, found it very interesting and enjoyable to read. Rabia Kara, Glasgow
I hope this message reaches you in the best possible health by the grace of the almighty Allah (SWT), I have to say this great magazine and extremely good for Muslims and Islam. Prince Zain - UAE Keep the peace - Sara - Peterborough