News The Buried Issue
Secret evidence cannot be used in a civil damages claim being brought by six former Guantanamo Bay detainees, the Court of Appeal ruled. Binyam Mohamed and other former prisoners are seeking to sue the Government for complicity in torture, and the Government and security services wanted to use secret information in their defence at the High Court, their lawyers said. But the senior Judge, who headed a panel of three appeal judges, declared that it was not open to the courts to order a closed material procedure in an ordinary civil claim. He said “the primary reason for our conclusion is that, by acceding to the defendants’ argument, the court, while purportedly developing the common law, would in fact be undermining one of its most fundamental principles.” The former detainees deny any involvement in terrorism and allege that the domestic and the external intelligence services, MI5 and MI6, respectively aided and abetted their unlawful imprisonment and extraordinary rendition to various locations around the
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world, including Guantanamo, where they say they suffered torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. The intelligence services, Attorney General Baroness Scotland, the Foreign Office and the Home Office contest the claims. The Government asked for the trial to be heard under the closed procedure, whereby the claimants would not see large parts of the evidence being used as a defence. A judge ruled in the High Court in November last year that there was no reason in law why the court could not allow a “closed material procedure” to be used in a claim for damages. This would mean that the Government and security services would not have to disclose information to the claimants’ lawyers if they felt that doing so would damage the interests of national security, UK’s international relations, the detection and prevention of crime, or was likely to harm the public interest in some other way. Instead, the material would be disclosed to “special advocates” -
barristers who had been given security vetting and clearance. These lawyers would be able to take instructions from the claimants - but before they actually saw any of the material the Government did not wish to disclose. The former detainees took their case to the Court of Appeal, where it was ruled in February that paragraphs which gave details of Binyam Mohamed’s torture in US custody should be published. The Government had argued that publishing the paragraphs, which summarised information received by the British security services from American intelligence, could damage the intelligencesharing relationship between Britain and the United States. The court again ruled against the Government in a case in which human rights groups Justice and Liberty and a number of media organisations intervened, arguing that the Government’s secrecy proposals breach the right to a fair and open trial, and are contrary to the right to freedom of expression and the public’s right to know what the authorities are or have been doing on its behalf.
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I May 2010
The Quran: Reflecting on Volcanic Ash As I was watching the news coverage of the volcanic ash cloud blanketing parts of Europe, I couldn’t help but think of the Surah, Surah Dukhan (the Smoke), one of the ten major signs of the Last Day, as taught by the Prophet (saw): Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this is a painful torment... (Surah Dukhan) For decades, man has taken it for granted that they can fly wherever and whenever they wished. The advent of mass travel, cheap air tickets and bigger and better jumbo jets have meant we felt masters of the skies. However, the volcano erupting in Iceland has led to the cessation
of all air traffic over Europe. Despite all the advances of modern technology, truly man cannot pass beyond the bounds of Earth without the permission of Allah (SWT). O assembly of jinns and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allâh)!” (Surah AlRahman: Ayah 33) “Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?” (Surah Al-Rahman: Ayah 13) Is already written in the Quran the past, the present and the future and still millions of people ignore it and its infront of you, the greatest gift to us by Allah (SWT).
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Doctor wins damages from The Sun over terror slur A doctor accepted an apology and “substantial” libel damages at the High Court over false allegations linking him to terrorism. Dr Mohammed Asha, who is based in the Midlands, sued over a front page article in The Sun last August headlined “Terror case doc works in casualty”. Solicitor Leo Dawkins, representing Asha, told Justice Eady that the allegations were that “there were very strong grounds to suspect that the claimant would be involved in the future in terrorist bomb plots and was, therefore, an ongoing threat to national security”.
He added: “There is no truth in these allegations whatsoever. “The article complained of was published to millions of people and has been devastating for the claimant, causing him immense damage both personally and professionally.” Dawkins said News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun, now accepted the allegations were “entirely false and without foundation” and had offered to pay Asha “substantial compensation and his legal costs”. Patrick Callaghan, solicitor for News Group Newspapers, told the judge: “The defendant offers its
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sincerest apologies to Dr Asha for the damage it has caused and is pleased to set the record straight.” Asha said in a statement: “The damage caused by The Sun has been incalculable, causing both myself and my family immense hurt and distress, not to mention worries over my own personal safety. “I am glad this terrible ordeal is finally over and that The Sun has apologised and agreed to pay me compensation and my legal costs.”
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I May 2010
UK ‘breaking international law’
Amnesty International accused Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden of forcibly repatriating Iraqis to “extremely dangerous” parts of the country - in breach of United Nations guidelines. The campaign body said there have been more than 100 civilian deaths in the first week of April alone - with religious and ethnic minorities, females and gay men being particularly targeted. Amnesty is calling for the return of failed asylum-seekers only when the security situation in the whole country has “stabilised”. Its report claims hundreds of thousands of people in minority communities have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the continuing insecurity more than seven years after the US-led invasion. These include thousands of Christians, as well as members of the Sabean-Mandaean religion, Yazidis and women and girls targeted for “unIslamic” behaviour.
Amnesty said many of those at risk had been killed - including dozens of women murdered in Basra on “moral” grounds, at least 25 men and boys thought to be gay who were killed in February last year, and at least eight Christians killed in Mosul in February during apparent sectarian attacks. The campaign group said the uncertainty over when a new Iraqi government would be formed had led to the recent increase in attacks. Amnesty’s Middle East director Malcolm Smart said: “Iraqis are still living in a climate of fear seven years after the US-led invasion. The Iraqi authorities could do much more to keep them safe, but over and over
UK official critical of anti-Muslim laws The UK government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation has expressed concerns about the use of stop and search operations on Muslim citizens by British police. “Stop and search has a particular community impact and I have been concerned not only about the exercises of police in the past, whether foul or do not foul in the civil liberty agenda, but I have been concerned too about the fact that perhaps this proportion of Muslims have been stopped and searched, which should not have occurred,” Lord Alex Carlile told Press TV’. The former Member of Parliament also made clear that “stop and search with the suspicion that someone is a terrorist is perfectly reasonable.”
In another part of the interview, Carlile said that a possible ban on Muslim women from wearing burka (the full Islamic face veil) would be a wrong decision. Last month, some European countries voted for a law that would ban women from wearing burka in public. “I think banning for burka in Britain would be quite wrong. There are many women in many towns and cities in Britain who wear the burka and they are no less British for it. what I do think is important is that people of all creeds, all religion and non-secular people too, should be able operate in an atmosphere of tolerance with a balanced, not absolutist, human rights legal framework,” Carlile added.
they are failing to help the most vulnerable in society. “The continuing uncertainty as to when a new government will be formed following last month’s election could well contribute to a further increase of violent incidents of which civilians are the main victims. The uncertainty is threatening to make a bad situation even worse. Both the Iraqi authorities and the international community must act now to prevent more unnecessary deaths.” In October last year the UK deported 44 failed Iraqi asylum seekers to Baghdad, but the Iraqi authorities allowed only 10 of them to enter the country.
Man jailed over Islamic charity shop fire
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I May 2010
26-year-old man who admitted setting a fire which caused £26,000 worth of damage to an Islamic Relief Centre in Glasgow has been jailed for 15 months. Stuart Rose torched bags of donations in the doorway of the centre in Albert Drive, Pollokshields, on 2 July 2009. Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that the 26-year-old was captured on CCTV and traced through the taxi firm which collected him from the scene. He later told police he “was just having a laugh”. Rose, of St Georges Road, Glasgow, admitted culpably and recklessly setting fire to clothing in the doorway of the centre. The court was told the fire could have caused an explosion because it damaged a gas inlet pipe. The pavement outside the centre had to be dug up and the gas supply cut off before firefighters could stop the flames. Even after the blaze had been extinguished, fire crews had to withdraw from the scene until the gas supply had been isolated. A gas worker later noticed that some of the escaped gas had ignited near the front door. CCTV images from the shop showed Rose outside the premises,
bending down out of site of the camera and then making off. Shortly after a fire engulfed the front of the shop. CCTV images from neighbouring businesses also showed Rose getting into a black hackney taxi. Police later identified the telephone number which phoned for that taxi in the name of Rose and detained him at home. He later admitted to setting the fire and told officers: “I was just having a laugh.”
Sentencing Rose, Sheriff Robert Anthony said that the offence was an “act of complete stupidity”. He added: “This was a serious offence in which you set fire to bags of clothing the effect of which caused considerable damage to the premises. “In addition to this, I cannot lose sight of the fact that there was also damage to a gas pipe which could have had far reaching consequences. “Such acts of stupidity will not be tolerated.”
MI5 agents illegally interrogated British Muslims who were detained while on safari holidays in Africa, it was claimed. The new allegations mirror cases first raised by The Independent last year in which the security service was accused of harassing and intimidating north London community workers who had returned from Somalia. Now two British men from west
London who visited Tanzania for a week-long safari in May last year say they were arrested and held for “days” in inhumane detention on the orders of MI5. Abu Talib and Mohamed Ibn Muazzam, both in their mid-20s, and a German friend travelling with them, allege they were threatened with beatings by members of Tanzania’s security forces.
After being refused entry to Tanzania they were returned to the Netherlands, where they say they were questioned by MI5 agents who accused them of having links to Islamic extremists. On their return to the UK the next day, the men allege they were harassed by MI5, who warned them they were now on a terror watch list which prevented them travelling to any Muslim country.
British Muslims stopped by Secret Service in Africa
UK to pay compensation to former 9/11 suspect
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Britain agreed to pay compensation to an Algerian pilot who was put in jail for five months after he was wrongly accused of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Lotfi Raissi was arrested 10 days after the attacks on New York and Washington, threatened with extradition to the United States and put in a maximum security prison because U.S. police thought he had been involved in the al Qaeda plot. But the allegations against him proved to be false and he was later released. Raissi has been trying to clear his name ever since, saying he had been blacklisted from all airline jobs and that his life had been ruined. “This is one of the best days of my life. I am completely exonerated now by the Ministry of Justice and I am delighted,” Raissi told BBC TV. “My life was destroyed, my career
was destroyed. It was hell for me for the last nine years. I suffered discrimination, I suffered racism, my life wasn’t safe.” Raissi’s arrest was the most highprofile carried out by British police in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The British-based Algerian had studied at a flight school in Arizona and U.S. officials believed he was linked to the hijacker who crashed an airliner into the Pentagon. However, a British court later dismissed the accusations, ruling the allegations were unsubstantiated, and the pilot began his bid for compensation. This was rejected by the British government in 2004 but four years later, the Court of Appeal ordered ministers to reconsider saying the way extradition proceedings and refusal of
I May 2010
bail had been conducted amounted to “an abuse of process.” Last month the court gave the government 28 days to decide what action it would take and a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that he would now receive compensation. “In accordance with the decisions of the Court of Appeal...and after careful consideration of all the relevant material available to him, the Justice Secretary Jack Straw has notified Mr Raissi that he is eligible for compensation,” a spokesman said. An independent assessor will consider how much he should be paid, but Raissi said the money was not important. “I was fighting for justice. What I want at the end of it is an apology,” said Raissi, adding he hoped to be allowed to fly again. - ITN News
European week of action Religious against deportation poster row
The Stop Deportation Network has proposed a European-wide week of action against deportation. The Stop Deportation Network, along with other groups in Europe, is proposing a week of action against deportation across Europe, with a focus on joint European mass deportation flights and the EU external border agency (Frontex). The proposed date for the action is the first week of June 2010. Stop Deportation is a loose network of groups and individuals in the United Kingdom who campaign and take action against deportations, with a particular focus on mass deportation flights. The hope behind the proposed week of action is that it will draw together and widen the scope and
diversity of groups involved, including migrants and refugees and their supporters both inside and outside Europe. The aim, according to the Stop Deportation Network, is to highlight the role of airlines and transport, escort and multinational security companies, such as Serco and G4S, in managing immigration removal centres and carrying out deportations on behalf of immigration authorities. The Network also wants to draw attention to the roles played by intergovernmental agencies such as Frontex and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Those who want to get involved are encouraged to contact the Stop Deportation Network via the website below.
AN atheist who left leaflets mocking Jesus Christ, Islam and the Pope in an airport’s prayer room was hit with an Asbo. Harry Taylor, 59, dumped homemade posters at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in November and December 2008. The self-styled philosopher denied three counts of causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress but was convicted by a jury. The order bans him from carrying religiously offensive material in a public place. He was sentenced to six months in jail suspended for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid.
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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I May 2010
Racial violence - The buried issue
Research from the Institute of Race Relations reveals that, on average, five people per year are being killed in racial attacks in the UK since the death of Stephen Lawrence. The Institute of Race Relations, the only research body in the UK to monitor racial violence, has found that a total of eighty-nine people have lost their lives in racial violence attacks in the UK since the murder of Stephen Lawrence on 22 April 1993. Of these, eighty-three were from BME communities and just six were White (four were White British and two were Polish migrant workers). Forty-six per cent of all victims were Asian and 26 per cent were Black. The vast majority of perpetrators, 94 per cent, were White British people. People working alone and at night as taxi drivers, workers in takeaways or small shops are at particular risk of attack - 16 per cent of all deaths. Those who do not have settled immigration status, home or community such as asylum seekers, migrant workers and overseas students are also at risk - 20 per cent of all deaths. And Muslims represented a massive 44 per cent of all those who died (partly explained by the fact that they work in the particularly risky trades). A spokesperson at IRR commented: ‘Seventeen years ago, the country was transfixed by the information that emerged, because of the sustained campaign by
the Lawrence family, about the random nature of the attack and the way the police failed to find the killers. The Macpherson report into the death, with its finding of institutional racism in the police force and seventy recommendations as to how to deal with the problem and with that of racial violence, was supposed to ensure that such murders never happened again. But they have happened again and again
and again. The sad thing is that such deaths hardly make news. The names of the victims will barely be known to anyone but their immediate families. For politicians, the issue of racial violence is dead and buried.’ The IRR will be publishing a full briefing paper on racial violence, Racial violence: the buried issue - which includes an analysis of attacks in 2009.
British Asian children found to be most at risk of type two diabetes
British Asian children show the most signs of developing type two diabetes, according to a study which has found that warning signs for the disease can be identified in children as young as 10. The Child Heart and Health Study (Chase), which was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Wellcome Trust, was based on the blood samples of 4,796 children aged nine and ten in Birmingham and Leicester. The tests revealed that children from South Asian families had higher levels of blood markers associated with type two diabetes compared to white children, indicating that they are risk of developing the disease in later life. Black African-Caribbean children
were also shown to be at a higher risk, but on a much smaller scale. The disease usually develops in adults aged 40 and above. BHF associate medical director Dr Mike Knapton said: “The prevalence of heart disease and diabetes is disproportionately high in South Asian people, and this research shows that signs of differences in risk are already apparent in young children.” South Asian people in the UK are about three times more likely to develop type two diabetes than white Europeans, according to BHF statistics. The study did not explore the reasons behind these differences and researchers are highlighting the need for more research into ethnic variation among sufferers.
Chase lead researcher Professor Peter Whincup said: “We know that being physically active, eating healthily and avoiding being overweight help all children to lower their long-term risks of type two diabetes. But we need to do more research to find out which particular factors make Asian and African-Caribbean people more likely to develop diabetes, so that we can establish the most effective measures for preventing the disease from an early stage in life.” Whincup also highlighted the need to take a life course approach when tackling health inequalities. “We need to intervene early to divert these children off the road to ill-health,” he added. passionislam.com
Details of hundreds of students handed to CIA Passion Islam
I May 2010
The details of up to one thousand Muslim students at University College London (UCL) have been made available to the CIA jointly by the university and the Students Union. The move represents a grave attack on democratic rights and another step towards tighter controls over academic institutions in the UK. An article appeared in the Independent on April 1 confirming that the Metropolitan Police had, on behalf of the CIA, approached UCL’s Islamic Society for details of its members between 2005 and 2008. The request was in connection with the investigations into the failed Detroit bomb plot on Christmas day last year. After being told by police that the data of the entire membership would be kept on file for at least seven years, the Islamic Society president Mojeed Adams-Mogaji refused to disclose the information. The police then approached the Students Union, which provided names and email addresses of all members of the Islamic Society at the university between September 2005 and summer 2009. Subsequently after discussions, the university’s registry divulged the home addresses and telephone numbers of these individuals to the police, which were then passed to the CIA. The main suspect of the failed Detroit bomb plot, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, studied at UCL between 2005 and 2008. He was president of the Islamic society between 2006 and 2007. There was no proven connection between Abdulmutallab and any of the students whose details were obtained by the CIA, with many confirming that they had never seen, let alone met him. That has not stopped the stepping up of intimidation against the students, with at least 50 addresses on the list having been visited by police. Not a single student has been charged or arrested as a result of the disclosure. Sayyida Mehrali, a first year student at UCL commented, “I feel that it is a bit extreme that my information has been passed onto the Metropolitan Police as I joined UCL after Umar Farouk had left. There was never any opportunity to meet this individual and I think it’s shocking that they have my details on a database.” With the students’ details now on a CIA database, concerns have been
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raised that some may find themselves on the US’s anti-terrorism watch-list, which would bar them from entering the country and open up the possibility of increased surveillance. Given the record of the US when it comes to detention without trial, extraordinary rendition and the torturing of prisoners, the threats to those involved are very real. Spokesmen for the university and the students union responded to the news by seeking to absolve themselves of all blame, stating that they had merely complied with police requests. AdamsMogaji was severely critical of the role of the union, commenting, “We also realised that the student union gave the details of the UCL Medical Islamic Society without being requested for it. The union is supposed to protect the societies under it and not hastily succumb to pressure without the need to. We’re clearly not safe with the union and our trust in them is undoubtedly diminishing.” Only after the Students Union came under sustained pressure did it notify the students whose personal details had been revealed to the intelligence services. Gareth Peirce, the prominent human rights lawyer who provided advice to the Islamic Society, drew attention to the legal implications of the disclosure. “You wonder if he [Abdulmutallab] had been a member of a society without the name Islamic on it, then would there have been such an appetite to grab the information. It adds to the fear that the Muslim community is a suspect community. The whole concept of data protection was meant to nail down absolute privacy and here it is being breached without a legal reason being imposed on the university to comply.” Not only has there been no “legal reason” given to justify the disclosure of information on the private lives of hundreds of students to the intelligence services. There has not been a shred of evidence produced to link these individuals to any crime. A precedent has been set which permits the intelligence services to gather information held by institutions and organisations on whoever is deemed to be a “threat”, without the slightest attempt to prove any criminal activity. This episode is only the latest in a
mounting attack on basic democratic rights by the Labour government. Sweeping powers have been granted to the state in recent years, including the power to detain suspects without charge for up to 28 days, the ability to charge individuals on the “suspicion” of links to terrorism, and a vast broadening of police powers to stop and search. The conduct of the police and special branch has become ever more aggressive, with the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes in 2005 and the death last year of Ian Tomlinson at the hands of the police being only the most prominent examples. Last month, even the government’s own commission reported that antiterrorist policies were “alienating Muslim communities.” Universities have come under increasing surveillance, with Special Branch activity stepped up at campuses across the country. Dundee University was one of the first to be targeted between 2005 and 2007. The Independent noted that Muslims involved in the Islamic Society there had been visited by police at their homes, and Special Branch officers had posed as members of the public to attend society meetings on campus. The activities of the Special Branch officers brought protests by student groups. The failed plot in December provoked a new round of calls for universities to clamp down on Islamic groups, with the media accusing “academic liberalism” of being responsible for the development of extremist views on campuses which were leading to terrorist attacks. In March, the government confirmed it would assign counter terrorism officers to institutions where students were deemed to be in danger of coming under the influence of “extremist” views. This provides the basis for measures to be employed against any political opposition that emerges amongst students and workers. Voices have also been raised in favour of tightening the immigration system, in order to make it more difficult for international students to come to Britain. In the current General Election campaign, this theme has been wholeheartedly embraced by the major parties. By Jordan Shilton
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I May 2010
UK needs new role in world politics, say defence experts
The UK needs a ‘radical reassessment’ of the position it wants to play, and is able to play, in world politics, according to majority of the country’s defence and security community. A survey carried out by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) also found that 58 per cent still believed the UK’s best interests were served by maintaining a special relationship with the US, ahead of other strategic partners. Less than 6 percent disagreed that the UK needed a new role in the world, while 88 percent agreed that a “radical reassessment” was needed now, believing the country was approaching a big moment for the UK’s foreign and defence policy. “With the forthcoming defence review it has been generally accepted that the ‘role in the world’ question is the most fundamental and yet is not
easy to frame, still less to generate a public debate around,” Rusi said. On security priorities for the next government, just over 80% believed tackling terrorism would remain the most pressing task of its role in world politics. But opinion among members of the defence and security community was more divided on whether the Afghan war plays “an intrinsic part in maintaining the UK’s security,” with 57 percent agreeing and 34 percent disagreeing. “The rationale of the Afghan operation has been controversial from 2005 when the present build-up began,” said Rusi, which is the world’s oldest defence institution, dating back to 1831. There was also a similar difference of views on whether security and political benefits to the UK of the
Army builds ‘mosques’ on North Yorkshire firing range
Muslim community have demanded an apology from the British Army after it emerged that replica mosques were being used on a North Yorkshire firing range. The Ministry of Defence said it had “no intention” of causing offence. Muslims were particularly angry as it had been assisting the army in its efforts to recruit more Muslims. Muslim Community have called for the Army to apologise. Muslims accused the Army of reinforcing negative perceptions of Muslims.
An MOD spokesman said that the range had been designed in response to feedback from Afghanistan. “Providing the best training facilities for our armed forces ahead of deployment to operational theatres is a priority for us,” a spokesman said. “Facilities at Bellerby have been upgraded in response to operational feedback from Afghanistan as it is crucial that our armed forces train at ranges that replicate the environment they will be deployed to. “We have no intention of offending religious sensibilities.”
Trident nuclear deterrent system clearly outweigh its diplomatic and economic costs. Although the specialised defence and security community has tended to endorse the utility of the Trident system fairly strongly, Rusi said that this is “less obviously” the case in its, pointing out the having a nuclear deterrent has “also tended to polarise opinion.” Four former army commanders added their voice to growing calls for a review of the government’s controversial plans to replace Britain’s nuclear missiles, questioning if it was value for money. Former chief of general staff General Sir Richard Dannatt also suggested in February that the USled drive for global disarmament could mean the UK does not need a nuclear deterrent in five years.
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I May 2010
MI5 forces Muslims to spy on community
A UK-based human rights group has accused British Intelligence of forcing Muslims to work for the secret service as informers and to spy on the Muslim community. Cage-prisoners human rights group has reported on the intimidation and attempts by Special Branch and MI5 to profile members of the British Muslim community in an attempt to force them to spy on other Muslims, The Morning Star, a British national daily newspaper, said in its Friday edition. The Executive Director of the organization, Asim Qureshi, noted that the British Security service prefers migrants from North Africa or British Muslims who frequent the continent, to work for them. Many cooperate fearing that, otherwise, under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, they can be detained for up to nine days without being formally charged. Schedule 7 allows police to stop and question travelers at ports and
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airports “for the purpose of determining whether they are a person who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism,” added the report. Falling to give what is deemed to be a ‘proper’ answer to the investigators is considered a criminal offence. “The policies that have been implemented through counter-terrorism legislation have only been counterproductive as Muslim communities feel marginalized from British society,” said Qureshi. Another human rights group, Scotland Against Criminalizing Communities (SACC), also condemned the alleged attempt to recruit Muslims and the policy of profiling. “It is completely unacceptable for the police to exploit people who find themselves in this frightening and vulnerable situation by trying to recruit them as informers,” said a spokesman of the organization. passionislam.com
Crown prince calls for more e-books on Islam
Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, chaired a meeting of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and emphasized the need to publish more e-books and establish e-libraries. The meeting, which was attended by Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and other senior Cabinet members, focused on applying modern information technology to promote Islamic culture. Saleh Al-Ayed, secretary-general of the council, said the meeting also discussed prospects of encouraging Islamic websites and promoting electronic and Internet programs to teach Arabic. The establishment of Islamic centers and the organizing of Islamic conferences in some African countries were also discussed. He said Prince Sultan has called for increasing support for those foreign Islamic organizations that are licensed by the governments of their respective countries. The meeting’s proposals will be presented to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, he added.
First Mosque for Downtown Rock Hill, USA For the past three years, Makadara and a group of Rock Hill-area Muslims have held prayer services in borrowed spaces - first a house, then a church activity room and finally a strip mall storefront on Cherry Road. Now, a lot on Main Street near downtown will become a permanent home - and the site of Rock Hill’s first mosque. “During all of that time, this was our dream,” Makadara said. “To build a Muslim community in Rock Hill.” Construction is set to begin next month on the Islamic Center of South Carolina, a building that will house men’s and women’s prayer rooms and meeting space. The former grocery store site sits just west of Wilson Street near the Pilgrims’ Inn. Sketch plans foretell one of the more distinctive structures in Rock Hill. Reaching skyward will be a slender tower known as a minaret, used in Islamic architecture, from which the faithful are called to prayer. Mosques typically have one or more
small towers. For the 40 or so individuals and families involved in the effort, the prospect of a new home has become a source of pride. “We expect that when the building is constructed, other Muslims are going to gravitate to this establishment,” said Makadara, 70, a retired mental health
clinician who lives off S.C. 322. Similar Islamic centers operate around South Carolina, including in Columbia and Charleston, but members say the one in Rock Hill will operate independently and is not connected to any larger organization. “We report to Almighty God, and that’s it,” said Makadara.
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I May 2010
UK aware of alleged torture of Afghan prisoners, court reveals
The UK is being urged to stop its troops handing over prisoners to the Afghan Secret Service (NDS) because of the risk they will be tortured. Evidence that Britain’s MI5 security services were aware of allegations of mistreatment of detainees by the NDS in Kandahar province back in March 2007 was revealed this week in a judicial review seeking to prevent the UK’s complicity in torture. This was several months after British forces started handing prisoners over to the NDF and one month before similar allegations emerged in the Canadian media. Spearheading the legal action at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, human rights solicitor David Carey of Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) said the government “cannot continue to ignore the clear evidence of torture by this organisation.” “Its international human rights law obligations couldn’t be clearer. They are risking prisoners’ lives and the reputation and criminal responsibility of British Forces,” Carey warned in a statement obtained by IRNA. During the judicial review, which is set to continue next month, PIL said the overnment also conceded in court that British Forces had preserved access into the NDS facility for British interrogators, underlining the extent of cooperation with the Afghan NDS.
The court heard numerous allegations of NDS torture have been made by former British prisoners involving electrocution, whipping, beating and stress positions, yet the transfer of prisoners was continuing. Anti-war activist Maya Evans, who brought the legal proceedings against the government, said it was only now that Britain is clearly admitting it cannot hand over prisoners where there is a risk of torture by the NDS. “The evidence is overwhelming. This practice must stop,” warned Maya, a leading campaigner in ‘Justice Not Vengeance’, which focuses on Iraq, Afghanistan, civil liberties and Islamophobia. The judicial review into alleged
British complicity in torture comes after the government was forced to hand over evidence about the treatment of prisoners held by the NDS after losing a court case last year. Concerns were first raised by Amnesty International in its 2007 report “Afghanistan: Detainees transferred to torture: ISAF complicity?” which prompted the launch of a judicial review 18 months ago. The majority of other human rights abuse cases so far heard in London have involved British troops deployed during the Iraq war as well as in the role of UK security and intelligence agents in the capture and rendition of alleged terrorist suspects around the world. - IRNA
Hamas: US unfit as peace mediator
A spokesman for the Hamas movement says the administration of US President Barack Obama lacks credibility as a mediator in IsraeliPalestinian peace talks. Senior Hamas spokesman Sami
Abu Zuhri criticized President Obama’s statement on the occasion of Nakba Day, saying the US leader’s remarks only reaffirmed his administration’s favoritism toward Israel. Abu Zuhri also said that Washington was not fit to play the role of an “honest broker” in the peace process between Israel and Palestine. “Obama’s statement was a clear message to all Arab parties concerned with the peace process not to bet on the American role in this regard,” he said. President Obama issued a statement reaffirming the United
States’ “unbreakable bond” with Israel, adding that Washington is confident the relationship “will only be strengthened” into the future. Israel’s establishment on May 14, 1948, which according to the Jewish calendar corresponds to April 20 this year, is called “al-Nakba” or the Day of National Catastrophe by Palestinians. More than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their villages and towns and forced to live in refugee camps. This year marks the 62nd anniversary of Nakba Day.
Israeli tourism advert banned in UK
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Britain has banned an Israeli tourist office press campaign in which pictures of Noble Sanctuary and the al-Aqsa Mosque have been displayed as part of Israel. Guardian newspaper reported that the UK advertising regulator imposed a ban on the advertisement over display of the sites, both of which are in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) and part of the Palestinian occupied territories. The Advertising Standards Authority said that readers of the ad would assume that all the places featured in the ad were part of Israel. “The status of the occupied territory of the West Bank [is] the subject of much international dispute,
and because we considered that the ad implied that the part of East Jerusalem (al-Quds) featured in the image was part of Israel, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead,” the organization noted. Last year, another tourism campaign depicting the areas of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights as part of Israel was banned by the advertising watchdog following hundreds of complaints. Israel occupied East Jerusalem (al-Quds) during a 1967 aggression and later annexed it. The status of the city is among the thorniest issues of the so-called peace process with the Palestinians underscoring the reality that any Palestinian state should
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include the city as its capital. Frequent Israeli attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound are considered as part of a Judaization campaign that targets the holy city of Jerusalem (al-Quds) and a provocation of Muslim feelings. - press tv
Conference highlights key role of Islamic finance
The important role of the Islamic finance industry in the global economy was the focus of a major conference in Bahrain this month. More than 200 international delegates toke part in the seventh Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) summit. Themed Global Financial Architecture: Challenges for Islamic Finance, the event was held at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa from May 3 to 5 and was hosted by the Central Bank of Bahrain. “As the global financial community considers the lessons of the crisis and how best to respond to the new financial landscape that it confronts, it is vital for the IFSI to be alert and responsive to the unique challenges ahead,” a spokesman for the organisers said. “The seventh summit was convened following the events of recent years that have dramatically transformed perceptions of the
soundness and stability of the global financial system with respect to both its architectural framework and industry best practices. “The crisis has highlighted the challenge for regulators and key industry players to take the necessary steps to ensure that this rapidly evolving industry continues to remain sound and stable,” he added. “The summit provided a suitable
platform to discuss how international organisations can best provide the structure and facilities that equip the industry for further sustainable growth,” he said. “it also focused on lessons that need to be learned from the crisis and their implications for the IFSI, areas of monitoring and surveillance that need more attention and whether the current and evolving.
India sits up to US terror warning
I May 2010
Indian police said they were taking seriously a specific US warning of possible attacks on New Delhi shopping centers, an alert that underlines challenges for a city hosting the Commonwealth Games in October. Threats to sporting events were underscored when bombs exploded outside a packed cricket stadium in south India, stirring fears the country may not be able to secure multi-city events involving tens of thousands of players and spectators. India is also holding next year’s cricket World Cup across eight cities. The US advisory spoke of
“increased indication that terrorists” are planning to attack some of New Delhi’s markets frequented by foreigners. Some of these markets have been bombed in the past. “Every bit of input is important. We are in a permanent state of alertness, but when we have a specific input we sensitise our staff to any special security needs,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesman for Delhi Police. Police say the alert underscored their suspicion that security at Games venues may prompt militants to turn to softer targets. Officials said the basis of the US travel alert was intercepted telephonic
messages of Pakistan-based militant groups. “We are aware of the nature of the inputs the US State Department has,” UK Bansal, a senior Interior Ministry official, told Reuters. New Delhi and other Indian cities are already on high alert, but the specific nature of the US advisory prompted the authorities to hold several security review meetings. Australia and Britain have also issued travel advisories for India. Security agencies routinely intercept messages exchanged between militant networks, but officials said the highly detailed alert had prompted immediate action, including tighter security. “We had part of this alert already, and now with the US alert we have activated our forces further, especially in markets,” special police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said. India raised security in the aftermath of a bombing that killed 17 people in western India in February, the first major attack in the country since the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
A Muslim schoolgirl has been suspended for wearing an Islamic headscarf to school. Najwa Malha, 16, was banned from the Camilo Jose Cela school, near Madrid, for violating the dress code. Malha, born in Spain to Moroccan immigrants, began wearing a hijab two months ago to express her religious beliefs. “I feel totally discriminated against” The school’s decision has divided
opinion across Spain and led to widespread debate. It is believed that Malha’s classmates support her decision, but regional authorities have backed the school’s stance. “I feel totally discriminated against,” Malha said. However, her father, Mohammed, revealed that he didn’t agree with his daughter’s decision to begin wearing the headscarf.
“I asked her to reconsider because I figured it would cause her problems,” he said. Meanwhile, the Association of Moroccan Workers and Immigrants criticised the state school. “For the past several weeks Najwa Malha could not go to her school, which is contrary to her right to a basic education guaranteed by the constitution,” said the association’s head, Kamal Ramoini.
Muslim girl banned from Madrid school
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I May 2010
UK sued for refusing to indentify prisoners rendered to Bagram
A legal charity is suing Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for refusing officially to identify two men, who ended up in the “dark prison” at Bagram in Afghanistan after being handed to US by members of the UK’s elite SAS force. Reprieve accused the ministry of “rank hypocrisy” for refusing to give the prisoners, who were captured in Iraq, their rights while at the same time claiming it was upholding the rule of law. It said it had taken years and
thousands of pounds to discover the identities of the two men who were taken by the SAS in Iraq in 2004, and named them as Amanatullah Ali and Yunus Rahmatullah, who are both from Pakistan. The MoD has insisted that if it released their names, even to their families, it would be in breach of the country’s Data Protection Act. After previously denying having knowledge about the case, former defence secretary John Hutton said last year that both were members
of Lashkar-e-Taiba, (LeT) a banned organisation linked to al-Qaida. But Reprieve said it had received information that Amanatullah Ali was a Shia rice farmer and could not be a member of LeT, a Sunni extremist group. The refusal to identify the prisoners prevents their families from bringing a case to court under the British legal aid system because there was insufficient proof that were rendered to Afghanistan. - IRNA passionislam.com
Muslims in Moscow condemn extremism and terrorism
Thousands of Muslim residing in Moscow gathered in the city central square and condemned extremist and terrorist activities. The demonstrators were carrying placards to condemn recent blasts in
Moscow underground, slogans like; “ Islam against terror,” was written on boards. One of city Muslim leader said that enemies of Islam are trying to present an inappropriate picture of Islam and introduce Muslims as opposed to other religion followers. He added that Islam is a religion of peace and any type of radical or forceful work is in contradiction with Islamic teachings. In recent blasts in several Moscow underground stations, 40 persons were killed and more than 100 were
injured. Russian security sources said that agents who carried out the blasts were residence of Russian Republic of Dagestan. - IRNA
RADIO & TV COMING SOON
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I May 2010
Canada Muslims plan to build world’s first arctic Mosque
Germany’s first ever female Muslim minister facing death threats
A charity is planning to build a mosque in Arctic Canada where Muslim children have suffered from traveling far from their homes because of lack of an Islamic education center or mosque in northwestern region, a Canadian report said. Dozens of Muslim families in Inuvik currently send their children to live elsewhere, Alaska Dispatch reported. The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is raising money to build a mosque in Winnipeg then ship it 4,000 kilometres by truck and barge to the northern community. “It is very important to this community - really important,” Abdalla Mohamed, Inuvik resident was quoted as saying. Abdalla Mohamed lives in Inuvik but sent his children to live in Edmonton. The pre-fab construction of the
mosque for Inuvik will cost close to $185,000, and the shipping another $80,000, the Winnipeg Free Press said. The Inuvik Muslims purchased two lots of land for a mosque and approached other mosques and foundations for help to build one. The Muslim community in Inuvik has tried raising money for a mosque, but it’s just too small to do it on its own - only about 100 members, Mohamed was quoted as saying. What it has raised will contribute to the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, which needs almost $300,000 by September to get the mosque on the final barge of the year to Inuvik. When it arrives, the structure will be the northernmost mosque in the world. passionislam.com
The South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFL) announced that Miami-Dade Transit is dropping bus advertisements sponsored by an anti-Islam hate group. CAIR-SFL asked that the ads, produced by the hate group “Stop the Islamization of America”, be dropped
because they promote bigotry and may fuel discrimination against ordinary Florida Muslims. “We believe Miami-Dade Transit did the right thing in dropping this campaign of hatred and intolerance,” said CAIRSFL Executive Director Muhammed Malik. “The advertisement’s reference to apostasy is merely a smoke-screen
Germany’s first ever Muslim regional cabinet minster has received death threats after her nomination, the weekly news magazine Focus said in a report to be published. Police bodyguards have been assigned to Aygul Ozkan after being faced with anonymous death threats in the Internet. The 38-year-old Ozkan is to be sworn in next week as minister of social welfare and integration in the north German state of Lower Saxony. Ozkan was born in the port city of Hamburg after her parents immigrated to Germany. A trained lawyer, Ozkan joined the conservative Christian Democratic party (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2004 and became a Hamburg lawmaker in 2008. Political observers have labeled her nomination as a bold and unexpected move by LowerSaxony’s Prime Minister Christian Wulff, who has still chancellorship ambitions despite Merkel’s ongoing popularity. - IRNA
Anti-Islam ads pulled from Miami buses
for the promotion of anti-Islam bigotry and the attempted marginalization of American Muslims.” He said Stop the Islamization of America’s leaders, Pam Geller and Robert Spencer, are considered by many Muslims to be among the nation’s most vicious Islamophobes.
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‘Qatar stands good chance to host World Cup’ FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said Qatar has a good chance to become the first country from the Arab world to stage a World Cup in 2022. “The Arab world deserves the World Cup and Qatar has a good chance to become the first country from the region to host it,’’ Blatter told a news conference in the Qatari capital, Doha. “I’m a regular visitor to Qatar and every time I land here I am impressed by all the development,’’ he went on to say. Blatter further pointed out that the Qatari government’s successful hosting of the 2006 Asian Games
proved that it had the credentials to organize any international tournament. “The Asian Games is a big event in which men and women compete in 30 different sports and the fact that Qatar hosted it successfully means its organisational abilities cannot be questioned,’’ he added. “To bring the World Cup to Africa was a project I had in mind 35 years ago, when in February 1976 I undertook a technical course in Addis Ababa,” he further explained. Qatar is among nine countries vying for the 2022 World Cup.
Dubai still considering Olympic bid Dubai is still considering a bid to host the Olympics in 2020, said the ruler of the Arab emirate as leaders and executives from the sports industry gathered in the city for an international convention. Dubai has spent billions of dollars to build sport venues and host high profile golf and tennis tournaments. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised Dubai’s sports infrastructure and said Dubai has “a lot to offer” to the Olympic movement. “There is a strong ‘can do’ culture here,” Mohammed said in comments, released by the ruler’s media office. Dubai continues to evaluate “the costs and benefits” of a bid, Mohammed also said and added, that no formal paperwork has been filed yet. Dubai is the second Gulf state trying for the Olympics.
Doha, the capital of Qatar, failed to make the list of finalists for the 2016 Games. Dubai has run far ahead of its Gulf competitors on the sports front by linking investment with a decade-long effort to attract tourists and entertain the Asian and Western expatriates that make up most of the emirate’s 1.5 million inhabitants. The Gulf emirate has earned high marks for hosting ATP and WTA tour tennis events, the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and horse racing’s Dubai World Cup. Since Dubai has been hammered by the global financial crisis in the past months, the ruling Al Maktoum family has scaled back some of its development plans, but sports events have not been causality in Dubai’s struggle to pay off its massive debt. Last month a $2 billion racing
complex was inaugurated. Managers of Dubai Sports City said progress has been undeterred on the cluster of mega-venues that will stage sports events and set up training facilities and specialized academies for golf, tennis, soccer, rugby, cricket and swimming. Sheik Mohammed has relied on such large-scale global ambitions to help drive his territory from little more than a patch of sand 15 years ago to the Middle East’s business, sports and tourism hub. The harsh economic reality has caused Mohammed to include some caution in his comments on Dubai’s possible Olympic bid. “We will have to take an honest look at our weaknesses as well as our strengths, I can assure you of this, though: if we decide to make a bid for the Olympics, we will be in it to win.”
Imaam Mahdi and the signs that will precede him
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The Imposters The coming of Imam Mahdi is one of the signs of Qiyamah as is the belief of the Ahlus-Sunnah and he has yet to appear. Abdullah ibn Masu`d has reported that the Prophet has said: â€œThe world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man (referring to Mahdi) of my family whose name will be the same as mineâ€? (Abu Dawud). However, many people in the past falsely claimed to be Imam Mahdi. One of these false claimants was Muhammad bin Tumarat, a tyrant who spread corruption and even buried some of his companions because they did not believe that he was the Mahdi described by the Ahaadith of Rasulullah
Some believe it was Muhammad bin Al-Sakari who disappeared at the age of five and went into hiding and has been hiding 10 centuries. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani (the cursed) was also one of those who claimed to be the Mahdi as well as many other people. Beside those mentioned there were many others who claimed the office of Mahdi, the most recent being somebody from Manchester who claimed the position for himself. It should be noted that none of the above or anybody else who claimed to be the Mahdi in the past fulfilled the conditions laid down by the Prophet Some of the signs which will precede Imam Mahdi are as follows, so that we Muslims are not mislead
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to believe in somebody claiming to be the Mahdi who in reality is a blatant liar. Signs that will Precede Imam Mahdi 1) A General Sign There are many signs that will precede him, a general and very important sign is that he will come at a time when there is great confutation, intense disputes and violent deaths. When people are afflicted by disturbance and experiencing great fear. Calamities will fall upon the people, so much so that a man shall not find a shelter to shelter him self from oppression. There will be battles and fitnaas before his appearance. Every time a fitnaa
I May 2010 has come to end, another will start, spread and intensify. The people will be troubled to such an extent that they will long for death. It is then that Imam Mahdi will be sent. Abu Saeed Al-Khudri has repoted that the Messenger of Allah said “He will be sent at a time of intense disputes and differences among people and earthquakes...” (Ahmed)
2) The Double Eclipse In Ramadan Note. The Double Eclipse In Ramadan statement quoted from Darequtni is NOT verified, indeed it’s authenticity is questionable. It is NOT to be considered as authentic Hadith. 3) The Battle in Mina Before Imam Mahdi emerges an inter-tribal fight will take place. In the same year hajis will be looted and a battle will erupt in Mina in which many people will be killed. Ameer bin Shauaib reported from his grandfather that the messenger of Allah said: “In Dhul Qaidah (Islamic Month) the tribes will fight, Hajis will be looted and there will be a battle in Mina in which many people will be slain and blood will flow until it runs over the Jamaratul Aqba. Their companion (referring to Imam Mahdi) will flee to
a point between the corner and the Maqaam and will be forced to accept people’s allegiance.” (Al-Fitan, Nuaim ibn Hammad) Return to Title 4) The Euphrates will Disclose a Mountain of Gold The Final Hour will not come until the river Euphrates (which flows through Syria and Iraq and finally opens in the Gulf) will disclose a mountain of gold over which people will fight and die Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “The shall not occur until the Euphrateswill disclosea mountain of gold, over which people will fight. 99 out of every hundred shall die, and every one of them shall say, ‘perchance I shall be the one to succeed” (Muslim) In another narration we have been told that who ever is present at the time when the Euphrates discloses a mountain of gold should not take the gold. 5) Emergence of the Sufyani The Sufyani (a descendant of Abu Sufyan) will emerge before Imam Mahdi from the depths of Damascus. According to some weak narrations,
SPECIAL FEATURE I 21 his name will be Urwa bin Muhammad and his kunniya ‘Abu Utbah’. The Ahadith regarding the Sufyani specify that he is a tyrant who will spread corruption and mischeif on the earth before Imam Mahdi. He will be such a tyrant that he will kill the children and rip out the bellies of women. When he hears about the Mahdi, he will send an army to seize and kill him. However the earth will swallow this army before it even reaches Imam Mahdi. Abu Hurairah has narrated that the Prophet said: “A man will emerge from the depths of Damascus. He will be called Sufyani. Most of those who follow him will be from the tribe of Kalb. He will kill by ripping the stomachs of women and even kill the children. A man from my family will appear in the Haram, the news of his advent will reach the Sufyani and he will send to him one of his armies. He (referring to Imam Mahdi) will defeat them. They will then travel with whoever remains until they come to a desert and they will be swallowed. None will be saved except the one who had informed the others about them.” (Mustadrak).
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Peace be upon him
Maryam the daughter of ‘Imraan was a pious and righteous woman… She strove hard in worship until she had no peer in matters of worship… The angels gave her the glad tidings that Allaah had chosen her: “And (remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allaah has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn) (of her lifetime).’ O Maryam! ‘Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allaah, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with Ar-Raaki‘oon (those who bow down)’” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:42-43] Then the angels gave Maryam the glad tidings that Allaah would bestow upon her a child, whom He would create with the word “Be! And it is.” This child’s name was the Messiah ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary)… He would be held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and he
would be a Messenger to the Children of Israel… He would teach the Book and wisdom, and the Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel) … And he would have attributes and miracles that no one else would have, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “(Remember) when the angels said: ‘O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allaah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [“Be!” — and he was! i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allaah. He will speak to the people, in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.’ She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.’ He said: ‘So (it will be) for Allaah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” and it is’” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:45-47] Then Allaah tells us the rest of the
I May 2010
glad tidings of the angels to Maryam of her son ‘Eesa (peace be upon him), and of the honour of ‘Eesa, and how He would support him with miracles: “And He (Allaah) will teach him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] the Book and AlHikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom), (and) the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel). And will make him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allaah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allaah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe. And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Tawraat (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you,
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and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allaah and obey me. Truly, Allaah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path’”[Aal ‘Imraan 3:4851] Allaah is absolutely perfect in His powers of Creation. He creates what He wills, how He wills… He created Adam from dust without a father or a mother, and He created Hawwa’ from the rib of Adam from a father but without a mother. He has caused the descendents of Adam to have both a father and a mother, and He created ‘Eesa from his mother without a father… Glory be to the All-Knowing Creator. Allaah has explained clearly in the Qur’aan how ‘Eesa was born. He says (interpretation of the meaning: “And mention in the Book (the Qur’aan, O Muhammad, the story of) Maryam (Mary), when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Rooh [angel Jibreel (Gabriel)], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects. She said: ‘Verily, I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (Allaah) from you, if you do fear Allaah.’ (The angel) said: ‘I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son.’ She said: ‘How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?’ He said: ‘So (it will be), your Lord said: ‘That is easy for Me (Allaah). And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allaah), and it is a matter (already) decreed (by Allaah)’ ”[Maryam 19:1621] When Jibreel told her that, she submitted to the will and decree of Allaah, and Jibreel breathed into the sleeves of her garment: “So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place (i.e. Bethlehem valley about 4-6 miles from Jerusalem). And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm. She said: ‘Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!’”[Maryam 19:22-23]
Then Allaah provided Maryam with water and food, and commanded her not to speak to anyone: Then [the babe ‘Eesa (Jesus) or Jibreel (Gabriel)] cried unto her from below her, saying: ‘Grieve not: your Lord has provided a water stream under you. And shake the trunk of date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and be glad. And if you see any human being, say: “Verily, I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allaah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day”’”[Maryam 19:24-26] Then Maryam came to her people, carrying her child ‘Eesa. When they saw her, they thought that she had done a terrible thing and they denounced it, but she did not respond to them. She indicated that they should ask this infant, and he would tell them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: ‘O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariyy (a mighty thing). O sister (i.e. the like) of Haaroon (Aaron)! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.’ Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’”[Maryam 19:2729] ‘Eesa replied to them straight away, even though he was a child in the cradle: “He [‘Eesa (Jesus)] said: ‘Verily, I am a slave of Allaah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet; And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salaah (prayer), and Zakaah, as long as I live. And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest. And Salaam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!’”[Maryam 19:30-33] This is the information about ‘Eesa ibn Maryam, the slave and Messenger of Allaah. But the People of the Book differed concerning him. Some of them said that he was the son of God, and some said that he was the third of three (“trinity”), and some said that he
was God, and some said that he was a slave and Messenger of God. This last view is the correct view. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Such is ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). (It is) a statement of truth, about which they doubt (or dispute). It befits not (the Majesty of) Allaah that He should beget a son [this refers to the slander of Christians against Allaah, by saying that ‘Eesa (Jesus) is the son of Allaah]. Glorified (and Exalted) be He (above all that they associate with Him). When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: “Be!” and it is. [‘Eesa (Jesus) said]: ‘And verily, Allaah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is the Straight Path. (Allaah’s religion of Islâmic Monotheism which He did ordain for all of His Prophets).’ Then the sects differed [i.e. the Christians about ‘Eesa (Jesus)], so woe unto the disbelievers [those who gave false witness by saying that ‘Eesa (Jesus) is the son of Allaah] from the Meeting of a great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection, when they will be thrown in the blazing Fire)”[Maryam 19:34-38] When the Children of Israel deviated from the Straight Path and overstepped the limits set by Allaah, they did wrong and spread corruption on earth, and a group among them denied the resurrection, Reckoning and punishment. They indulged in their desires and in physical pleasures without expecting to be brought to account. At that point, Allaah sent to them ‘Eesa ibn Maryam as a Messenger, and taught him the Tawraat and Injeel as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And He (Allaah) will teach him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] the Book and AlHikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom), (and) the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel). And will make him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel”[Aal ‘Imraan 3:48] Allaah revealed to ‘Eesa ibn Maryam the Injeel (Gospel) as guidance and light, confirming that which had come before it in the Tawraat: “and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and continued next month
A Comparative Study of Ideologies
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I May 2010
The Muslim States, that trusted the Muslim conscience about the Zakat . were similarly mistaken. By withdrawing it from the State control, surplus capital did not flow into the public exchequer and most of the welfare schemes too had to be left to the private conscience. Islam had saddled the State with the responsibility of controlling and regulating the production and distribution of wealth. The Islamic State was enjoined to do it without becoming a totalitarian colossus. A vital problem of legislation is to determine the boundaries of State interference and individual freedom. Islam had solved this problem in a beautiful and practicable manner. But the Muslim States themselves sabotaged the scheme. Zakat is a tax levied on capital; it makes wealth circulate to the organs that need it most. Zakat coordinates wealth with social welfare and is the antithesis of the doctrine of laissez-faire. Muslim thinkers and theologians of note realised the importance of Zakat for moral purity and public weal. Here is a passage from Shah Waliullah, the saintly thinker of Islam. Shah Sahib says about Zakat , “There must be no mistake about the fact that Zakat has been ordained to serve two purposes; self-discipline and provision against social destitution. Riches breed stinginess, selfishness, mutual hatred and aversion and even moral degeneration. The best remedy against these evils is the charitable disposal of one’s money. This uproots stinginess and cures one of selfishness. It also heals social cleavage-and replaces it with a spirit of comradeship, becomes a foundation stone of high moral character. As it develops. It fosters habits of honest dealings. Slowly but surely, these noble traits transform man into a paragon of moral excellence. This means self-improvement through selfdiscipline. “ Zakat is the most effective insurance measure against communal and social misery because a civic
structure cannot be sound unless it rests on a sound economic basis. It is through the working of its economic mechanism that society can minister to the wants and needs of its needy members in accordance with their status in life. It prevents the spread of beggary, because the indigent, the defectives, the cripples, the orphans and the widows and likewise all other categories of the needy folk are duly provided for, and saved the humiliation and disgrace of begging for alms. It is the State which must bear the responsibility for their maintenance. But it can discharge this onerous obligation satisfactorily only when, in addition to the usual source of public revenue. there is an adequate supply of money coming from the rich people in the form of Zakat .”
The Qur’an has enumerated certain classes of beneficiaries who are entitled to help from the Zakat fund: “ Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those Employed to minister the fund For those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (To truth): for those in bondage And in debt; in the cause Of God and for the wayfarer; ( Thus is it) ordained by God, And God is full of Knowledge And Wisdom.” (9:60) The two words ‘the poor’ and ‘the needy’ are so comprehensive that it would be impossible to make a list of all those situations in which men stand in need of help for the essentials of life. Hazrat Omar included in the category of the needy not only the unemployable but also the unemployed, that is those who would work but could get no work. One category is particularly worth noting. Muhammad , The Great Liberator of humanity, was very anxious that the institution of slavery should be abolished. He said that it was a great act of merit to set free a slave. As the entire economic structure of ancient civilisations rested on slavery it was impossible to abolish it, at one stroke. The emancipation of slaves was
enjoined as a measure of expiation for certain acts of commission or omission. Fervent appeals were made to the conscience of the masters to treat their slaves with kindness. But according to the principle that all matters of vital social concern must be handled by the State along with the free initiative of the individuals, it was laid down that the State too should make it incumbent on itself to spend a part of its revenues on the freeing of slaves. The State must also come to the help of the man in debt, who has been placed in that predicament by misfortune. The relief of undeserved indebtedness is a duty of the State. The term Fi-sabilillah (in the way of God) covers all acts of public weal. It may be said that such a vast scheme of social insurance would require enormous funds; surely it may do so. Spreading out of wealth and equalisation of opportunity were the basic aims of the Muslim polity. If the Zakat fund and other public revenues fail to relieve human distress the State can demand more from those who can afford to give. The right of individual ownership is not absolute; it is always subject to public weal. The capitalistic countries destroy their surplus production if the capitalists are afraid of a slump and they are aided by the State in this act of destruction, while there are millions of needy persons who stand in dire need of those things. The capitalists say that fulfilling the needs of the needy by State aid would impoverish the producers of wealth and demoralise those who receive help. The Prophet too was conscious of the fact that the recipient of charity stands in danger of demoralisation. So we find him on the one hand exhorting people to be charitable and on the other hand discharging beggary. Islamic Ideology, The Fundamental Beliefs and Principles of Islam and their Application to Practical Life , by Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim, Published by the Institute of Islamic Culture, 2 Club Road, Lahore, Pakistan ©1993
We gratefully acknowledge and thank the Institute of Islamic Culture for permission to reproduce Chapter 13 from his book “ Ideology of Islam “ by Khalifa Abdul Hakim.
I May 2010
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