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THE SPY WITHIN
The rumours are true and Muslim organisations in UK are warning that the use of undercover police to infiltrate mosques is destroying relations between communities and the police. A senior police source has admitted to the national press that undercover policing at mosques throughout the UK would continue and had proved invaluable in providing intelligence that had thwarted “numerous” terrorist plots in the past five years. “I promise you that, if there was a terror threat from Hindus, Jews or
Christians, we would be in their temples, synagogues and churches like a shot,” he said. “It is alarming, you’ve got one community that is being targeted,” Yasmin Dar, a member of the Greater Manchester Police Mosques and Community Forum, told the BBC. “I’ve not heard of any cases of undercover officers going into churches or synagogues, so why a particular faith? Shamiul Joarder, the forum’s spokesman on counter-terrorism, said that Muslim communities were leading the fight against extremism and that the
police needed to concentrate not on undercover operations but on improving relations with these communities. “The police have not managed to foster positive relationships with the Muslim community, otherwise they could use these channels to get the information they need,” he said. A Muslim special agent told Passion Islam that the work we do is not only protecting the community but also Muslims, it’s our duty as Muslims to eradicate terrorism which is nothing to do with Islam.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I December 2011
By Dr Azeem Ibrahim
British Muslims: Active players in UK counterterrorism efforts
Earlier this year British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized ”state multiculturalism” for encouraging people of different cultures, including Muslims, to live separate lives. While this does not in itself sound harmful, the speech went on to suggest that it was time for “less passive tolerance” and ”more active, muscular liberalism” when dealing with extremism — either advertently or inadvertently linking extremism with culture. His target seemed to be communitybased counterterrorism programs, which he felt were accepting government funding but doing little to prevent extremism. Community-based counterterrorism, however, has a proven track record in preventing terrorist incidents, with the communities themselves being the first to condemn criminal activity in their desire for peace. For example, Muslim communities in the United States have helped foil close to a third of Al Qaeda-related terror plots since September 11, 2001. Likewise in the UK, Muslim activists have worked for many years to cooperate with police, empowering their communities and helping shape the debate against extremism within them. Rather than seeing British Islam as a political and security problem — undermining civil and religious liberties — the British government should view it instead in the context of diverse cultural expressions within its stated policy goal of promoting community cohesion. Much of Britain is profoundly ethnically segregated with different communities leading parallel lives, as Paul Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at the University of Huddersfield, notes in his 2010 article, “Failed and Friendless: The
UK’s ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’ Program”. Instead of winning hearts and minds, some government initiatives have led to a significant growth in surveillance of Muslim communities. It is deeply offensive to British Muslims to know their mosques are being spied upon by intelligence agents who consider Muslims the “enemy”, which has the opposite effect of achieving social cohesion by focusing on Muslims and antagonizing the very communities they are trying to win over. One approach has been to fund new organizations and promote them as the voice of contemporary, mainstream British Islam. Successful community programs, such as Channel — which works with at-risk youth — and those which prioritize work with Muslim women and children, may continue to be an effective alternative to isolation and disaffection amongst British Muslims. A survey in 2009 on the attitudes of British Muslims showed they identified strongly with the UK and had a high regard for its institutions, including higher education. If this respect is to continue, then attention must be paid by the discerning public to the standard of contemporary scholarship regarding multiculturalism, which is not always academic or impartial, and the prevalence of harmful terminology in popular media and culture. The British people are continually being warned about the threat of Islam, “Islamic extremism”, “Islamic radicalization”, and the lack of cultural integration from a variety of sources: the media, right-wing think tanks and sometimes even the government. According to the University of Exeter’s European Muslim Research Center, “these
reductionist and populist portrayals of Muslims in Britain don’t do our society any credit. Politicians need to be braver — and reject cheap votes for real political engagement.” Negative terminology is being steadily countered by work at many different levels. For example, cultural programs, funded either directly or indirectly by the UK government, are empowering Muslim voices calling for understanding, integration and harmony through the Muslim press, Arabic-language television programs, which at the same time are strengthening links with nongovernmental organizations, and building religious and educational initiatives. A positive sign of Muslim participation in political power is that the number of Muslim Members of Parliament in Britain continues to rise, with eight Muslims elected to the British Parliament in the 2010 election, including three women. For example, incumbent Shahid Malik, who lost his seat but remains an active participant in British-Muslim dialogue, has emphasized that the perpetrators of the June 2007 attack should be described by the media as “criminals”, not “Muslims”. It is this important distinction and its accompanying attitude that must be encouraged as the British government moves to defuse the Islamophobic undertones of the debate on multiculturalism and violent extremism. Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is a fellow and member of the Board of Directors at the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding, former Research Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and World Fellow at Yale University. Visit www.azeemibrahim.com to read more of his articles and follow him on Twitter (@AzeemIbrahim).
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: firstname.lastname@example.org - www.passionislam.com This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -
Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not Necessarily of Passion Islam
UK confident over games security Passion Islam
I December 2011
The UK Government insists it has “full confidence” in its security plans for next year’s Olympics, after reports the US is worried about protection levels. According to the Guardian newspaper, the US is preparing to send up to 1, 000 of its own agents, including 500 from the FBI, to look after America’s contestants and diplomats at the event. The newspaper reported that US officials have raised “repeated concerns” about security. The restriction of the scope of anti-terrorism stop-and-search powers is claimed to be one of their reasons for concern. Earlier this year, National Olympic security co-ordinator Chris Allison, of the Metropolitan Police, said
he believes 12,000 officers will be needed nationally to police the event. Another 10,000 to 15,000 security officials could also be deployed by the security firm G4S. The Ministry of Defence is also understood to be involved in security discussions. A Home Office spokesman said: “Security planning is on track and funding has been protected. The Government is committed to delivering a safe and secure Games that London, the UK and the world can enjoy. “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) undertake detailed inspections of security preparations and have full confidence in our plans. The UK has a strong and close working relationship with the US, who
have expressed similar confidence. “The Government, London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and G4S are working together to finalise the requirement for venue security and as is common at major events in the UK we will make the best and most appropriate use of all available resources.” A Home Office source said it “not recognise as true” suggestions that there are concerns from the US. The US state department declined to comment.
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I December 2011
Iraq war report delayed by dispute
Britain’s long-awaited report on Iraq war is not being published until at least next summer due to continuing disputes, a statement on website of the inquiry led by former civil servant Sir John Chilcot has revealed. The delay is being caused by disputes over the disclosure of secret documents and damning criticism of former prime minister Tony Blair and the way his government led Britain into invading Iraq. The inquiry was officially launched in July 2009, examining the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, the military action and its aftermath. In a new statement on its website, the inquiry posted in general terms the extent of the serious difficulties it
is confronting after completing taking evidence in February this year. ‘Pulling together and analysing the evidence and identifying the lessons, for a report that covers so wide and complex range of issues and a time period of some nine years, is a significant task,” the statement said. ‘The inquiry has advised the government that it will need until at least summer 2012 to produce a draft report which will do justice to the issues involved,” it said, making clear that government departments have blocked sensitive documents. ‘The inquiry will need to negotiate the declassification of a significant volume of currently classified
material with the government, to enable this to be quoted in, or published alongside (the final report),’ the statement said. The inquiry also refers indirectly to continuing disputes with Blair and other officials, over the content of the draft report. ‘If the Inquiry concludes that it wishes to criticise any individual, in line with the Inquiry’s witness protocol the individual would be informed of the Inquiry’s views and offered the opportunity to make representations,” it said. During the hearings, a succession of witnesses, ranging from former cabinet secretaries to military commanders, sharply criticised the way Blair and his close advisers took key decisions without consulting senior ministers and the attorney general. The way the notorious, and now discredited, Iraqi weapons dossier was drawn up was also heavily criticised, as was the failure to plan for the aftermath of the invasion. The report will be eventually submitted to Prime Minister David Cameron initially before it is published officially in parliament.
‘UK army resistant to human rights’ British Army’s former chief legal adviser in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer, has accused the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of “cultural resistance to human rights.” In an interview with the Guardian, Mercer categorically announced that the MoD had systematically ignored the requirements posed by the Human Rights Act “at every twist and turn.” Referring to the way British soldiers breached human rights in Iraq by abusing detainees and beating them to death in custody, Mercer maintained that the MoD demonstrated “moral ambivalence”
on human rights issues and Britain’s senior officials and lawyers acted with “sheer arrogance.” “I don’t think the UK government wanted a judge for fear of what he might find. The last thing it wanted was independent judicial oversight,” said Mercer. During the first two month after Britain invaded Iraq, up to seven Iraqi prisoners died in British troops’ custody. Nevertheless, British soldiers’ abuse of Iraqi detainees came under spotlight when the brutal death of the Basra hotel worker Baha Mousa at the hands of British troops was
revealed. n September 2003, only 6 months after the American and British forces invaded Iraq, Mousa was beaten to death after being hooded for 24 hours during the 36 hours in British troops’ custody. Mousa’s death came four months after Mercer issued an urgent directive expressing concern over the abuse of Iraqi detainees by British troops. Nevertheless, Mercer’s advice was ignored and he was effectively suspended and “sent into the wilderness,” as described by himself. passionislam.com
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I December 2011
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Police to set up cyber crime unit
A new police Cyber Crime Unit is to be set up to protect Britain against the growing threat of attacks on the internet and in electronic communications, it was officially announced. Alongside the law enforcement unit, a new Joint Cyber Unit at the Government’s GCHQ eavesdropping centre will develop the UK’s military capabilities in cyberspace, UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced. The teams form part of a 650 million pounds Government drive to tackle what Maude said was a “real and growing” threat to the UK’s national interests from cyber attacks by organised criminals, terrorists, hostile states and “hacktivists”. The Cyber Crime Unit - already being nicknamed the iPlods - will be up and running as part of the UK-wide National Crime Agency by 2013, said Maude in a written statement to Parliament. He also announced plans for a
voluntary code of conduct for internet service providers to help people recognise if their computers have been compromised and what they can do about it. And he promised a “real and meaningful partnership between Government and the private sector to help improve cyber-security and make Britain a safe place to do business. The role of the Centre for Protection of the National Infrastructure will be strengthened to cover a wider range of electronic
communications systems. Maude said: “The growth of the internet has transformed our everyday lives. But with greater openness, interconnection and dependency comes greater vulnerability. “The threat to our national security from cyber attacks is real and growing. Organised criminals, terrorists, hostile states, and ‘hacktivists’ are all seeking to exploit cyberspace to their own ends.” The Government’s National Security Strategy last year classed cyber-security as one of the UK’s top defence priorities, alongside terrorism, international military crises and natural disasters. Official estimates suggest that online crime, including intellectual property theft such as music or film piracy, costs the UK economy billions of pounds a year. Around 6% of the UK’s national income is currently enabled by the internet, and this proportion is expected to grow, said Maude.
UK ‘to remain top Islamic financial centre’ The UK and London will remain the world’s leading international and Islamic financial centres, said British Ambassador Iain Lindsay at a UK roundtable discussion at the WIBC. ‘Islamic finance, like every other type of financial activity, benefits from the UK’s combination of experience, variety of skills, geographic location, infrastructure, transparency and openness,’ he said. ‘The UK recognises the tremendous opportunities that Islamic financial services have to offer. ‘The latest figures for Shariacompliant assets in the UK are $19 billion and $1 trillion globally with a potential global growth to $4 trillion.’ ‘As a leading centre for financial innovation where Islamic structures are constantly being developed, our goal is to position the UK as the global partner of choice for the provision of Islamic financial services.’ ‘This includes the development
of strong partnerships with other centres of Islamic finance, including Bahrain,’ he said. ‘In the UK we have a proven record of developing and delivering retail domestic and wholesale international investment Islamic financial services and products and the necessary legal and financial skills and expertise to take full advantage of this key market,’ he added. ‘The UK is in ninth place globally and is the leading Western country and is seeking to consolidate its position as the gateway to Islamic finance in Western Europe. ‘We have 22 UK banks which offer Islamic banking of which five are fully Sharia-compliant, more than any other Western country.’ ‘We have 31 sukuk issues raising $19 billion on the London Stock Exchange and there is a growing focus on the development of Islamic funds. ‘There are 34 managed from the
UK but asset managers are keen to innovate this market and there are more than 20 law firms supplying specialist services in Islamic finance,’ he said. ‘The UK is moving Islamic finance from the niche to the mainstream market with world-leading expertise, skills and financial infrastructure to support this dynamic sector,’ he added. He said many UK universities already offered Islamic finance degrees and UK institutions provided Islamic finance for small- to mediumsized businesses across the country. ‘All the above demonstrates the strength of the UK and how ideal we are as partners of choice in the development of Islamic finance,’ he added. ‘The success of WIBC demonstrates that Bahrain is an ideal location for businesses looking to establish themselves in this region,’ he added.
I December 2011
Muslims ‘are more patriotic than most British people’
British Muslims feel a greater sense of national pride than the average UK citizen, according to the results of a new poll. While 79 per cent of the Britons quizzed said they agreed with the statement ‘I am proud to be a British citizen’, the figure rose to 83 per cent among Muslims. And Muslim Britons were also found to be significantly more optimistic than most with just 31 per cent agreeing with the notion that
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Britain’s best days are in the past compared to an average of 45 per cent. The figures are, to some extent, understood to reflect a reaction to the hostility and distrust felt by many British Muslims in the post 9/11 world. There is also the belief that Muslims are more able to appreciate the political freedoms UK citizens enjoy as they can trace their family roots to far more oppressive and
non-democratic regimes. The poll of 2000 people, taken by the think tank Demos, was designed to find what symbolises the best of Britain. The report found: ‘This optimism in British Muslims is significant as - combined with their high score for pride in being British - it runs counter to a prevailing narrative about Muslim dissatisfaction with and in the UK.’ Around half of people questioned for the survey said they believed Britain benefited from being a multicultural country. They survey also discovered that courteous and generous behavior inspired patriotism more than institutions such as the monarchy or the BBC. Shakespeare was found to be Britain’s most prized national treasure with 75 per cent of people ranking him as s source of pride. He was followed by The National Trust, the armed forces, The Union Jack flag and the Pound. Institutions the NHS, the monarchy and the BBC came in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
EU Council warns UK on human rights
The Council of Europe has warned Britain that the negative coverage of human rights by its media could undermine other countries’ commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights. “If the UK were now to be perceived as calling the convention into question, this could have a negative knock-on effect in other countries,” said Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General the Council of Europe, also the guardian of the European Convention of Human Rights. His comment comes as British Tory politicians, including Home Secretary Theresa May, are calling for an end to Human Rights Act 1998
that obliges Britain to follow the EU Human Rights Convention. The critics of the Convention and the HRA 1998 want a British Bill of Rights that cites the limitations the EU imposes on how Britain deals with immigrants, as well as the recent disputes between the European Court of Human Rights and the British justice system over prisoners right to vote, among others. Jagland made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times during a visit to Britain. Britain is on the verge of taking on the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of Europe and has pledged to reform the Strasbourg court, so that it shelves most of
its 160,000 pile of cases and only focuses on major abuses of human rights. Jagland said he supports Britain’s move to replace the HRA 1998 with a British Bill of Rights as long as the latter does not violate the terms of the EU human rights convention, yet slammed the British media for their damaging reports on the convention. “If [the bill of rights] is an alternative to the human rights convention, it will be a problem,” Mr Jagland said. “But if it is about defining the role of the convention in your own system, it is the right thing to do,” he added. passionislam.com
I December 2011
LOCAL & NATIONALI 11
Hague “draws a line” under torture
Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague was stressing the Government’s commitment to “drawing a line” under the alleged involvement of Britain’s intelligence agencies in the torture of terror suspects held overseas. In a rare speech on the use of secret intelligence, Hague praised the agencies as “vital assets” which protect lives and make a “critical contribution” to safeguarding UK national interests, according to various agencies. He however, acknowledge that Britain’s reputation had been damaged by a series of claims that officers of the domestic and foreign intelligence services known respectively as MI5 and MI6 had
been complicit in the extraordinary rendition of terror suspects leading to their detention and torture overseas. “The very making of these allegations undermined Britain’s standing in the world as a country that upholds international law and abhors torture,” he said. “As a Government we understand how important it is that we not only uphold our values and international law, but that we are seen to do so.” Hague will point to the establishment of the detainee inquiry under Sir Peter Gibson and the recent green paper proposals to enable the greater use of secret intelligence material in court cases as evidence of the Government’s commitment to tackle the issue.
“We are confident that taken together these changes represent the most comprehensive effort yet to address the complex issues thrown up by the need to protect our security in the 21st century, and to do so in a way that upholds our values and begins to restore public confidence,”. “So this will be our Government’s approach: drawing a line under the past, creating the right legislative framework so that the interests of national security and justice are reconciled, and drawing on the talents and capabilities of the intelligence agencies to support foreign policy and our national security.” Both approaches have been controversial. Lawyers representing detainees have said they will boycott the Gibson inquiry complaining the hearings will largely be secret and it will not seek evidence from other countries involved. The green paper has been criticised by human rights groups who have warned that it will lead to greater secrecy in the justice system, making it more difficult to hold the authorities to account for alleged abuses.
UK terror suspects killed in attack in Pakistan Two British nationals are believed to have been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan, family and friends of the men said. Terror suspects Ibrahim Adam and Mohammed Azmir are thought to have died in a CIA missile strike on Waziristan, a remote and lawless mountainous region along the border with Afghanistan. Adam’s father confirmed that his son was killed by an American unmanned aircraft. A close friend of Azmir’s family, who did not want to be named, said: “They have taken it very badly - this is the second son who has been killed in a drone strike.” It is not known precisely when the men died, but it is thought to have been at least three months ago, according to a source with personal connections in Pakistan. Adam, 24, from east London, had been on the run from the UK
authorities since absconding from a control order in May 2007. His brother, Anthony Garcia, was jailed for life in April 2007 for his part in a major fertiliser bomb plot to attack targets in London and across the UK. Adam was made subject to a control order after being stopped while en route to Syria after the British authorities claimed he was planning to travel to Iraq or Afghanistan for jihadist training or to fight Western forces. Father-of-three Azmir, 37, who lived in Ilford, Essex, outside London, was made subject to a Treasury order freezing his assets in February 2010 in response to concerns he was involved in funding terrorism. He is not currently on the Treasury’s list of people and organisations subject to financial sanctions. It is believed that Azmir’s brother,
Abdul Jabbar, 32, was killed in an earlier CIA unmanned drone attack in Pakistan in September last year. The Foreign Office could not confirm Adam and Azmir’s deaths but said it was investigating the reports. A spokesman said: “We are aware of reports and are looking into them further.” The Home Office declined to comment. The CIA’s drone programme in Pakistan, which is not publicly acknowledged by the US, is hugely controversial. The Pakistani authorities have criticised the attacks as violations of their country’s sovereignty and international human rights campaigners have condemned reports of innocent civilian casualties. American officials have privately said that the strikes have killed many Taliban and Al Qaeda commanders.
I WORLD NEWS
I December 2011
FBI hires spies to fake terror plots
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly giving money and weapons to poor criminals to carry out terrorist attacks on US soil on behalf of Muslim groups. The Guardian reported that the terrorist plots “came from the FBI, and an informant paid to pose as a terrorist mastermind paying big bucks
for help in carrying out an attack.” Drug dealer David Williams was one of the victims of the FBI plot. In May 2009, he was rearrested and handed a 25-year jail sentence. Williams and three others were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down military jets with missiles. Alicia McWilliams, David’s aunt, expressed disbelief that the US government had paid her nephew to be a terrorist and then jailed him for it. “I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone,” she told The Guardian. According to the report, lawyers for the case have launched an
Israel threatens to cut Water/Gas supply to Gaza strip In Case Y o Missed It u
Israel has threatened to cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, establish a unity government. “The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure,” AFP quoted Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon as telling the daily Yediot Aharonot’s website. Ayalon, a Knesset (Israeli parliament) deputy for the leftist Yisrael Beitenu party, said a Palestinian unity government “would put an end to any hope for a peace agreement” with Tel Aviv. Acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas (leader of Fatah party) held talks with Hamas Political Bureau Chief , Khaled Meshaal, in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where they announced a new era of partnership between the rival Palestinian factions. The talks seriously irked Israeli
leaders who decided to maintain a freeze on the transfer of tens of millions of dollars in tax monies to the PA, to further increase the strain on Ramallah-based authority. The transfer of funds, which make up a large percentage of the PA’s monthly budget, was frozen in November by Tel Aviv, after the Palestine won full membership of the UN cultural organization, UNESCO. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had in January threatened to cut off water and power to the long-blockaded Gaza Strip. Israel continues to control the supply of water to Gaza and 70 percent of the territory’s electrical power. The rest of Gaza’s electricity needs are supplied by neighboring Egypt and local power plants, which rarely receive enough fuel to operate under Israel’s blockade. Israel has tightened its crippling closure on the Gaza Strip since 2007, defying international calls to lift the blockade.
appeal that will be held early next year. Advocates hope the case offers the best chance of exposing the issue of FBI “entrapment” in terror cases. “The target, the motive, the ideology and the plot were all led by the FBI,” said Karen Greenberg, a law professor at Fordham University in New York, who specializes in studying new FBI tactics. Critics say the FBI is running a sting operation across America, targeting -- to a large extent -- the Muslim community by luring people into fake terror plots. The FBI sends informants to trawl through Muslim communities, hang out in mosques and community centers, and talk of radical Islam in order to identify possible targets sympathetic to such ideals, the report said.
Obama and Sarkozy fed up with Netanyahu A leaked conversation between US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy suggests both are tired of dealing with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A number of journalists overheard the controversial private chat held during G-20 summit in the French city of Cannes, after it was inadvertently transmitted over a system used for translation, AFP reported. “I can’t see him anymore, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama in French. “You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day,” Obama responded. This comes as the journalists, who overheard the conversation, initially made a group decision not to report the private conversation. Netanyahu’s office has made no comment on the leaked conversation. The initial topic of discussion was apparently Sarkozy’s failure to inform the US of French plans to vote in favor of Palestinian membership in the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Air France rules women can wear face veils on flights
I December 2011
Muslims passengers on Air France flights will not be asked to remove their burqa following a national ban on full-face veils, according to an internal memo from the carrier’s legal department. Muslim women wearing face veils can be ordered to remove the garment in French airports but are free to put it back on during the flight,. “Flight crews on board planes cannot ask a person to uncover their face if they are hiding it,” the
newspaper said, quoting an internal memo to staff from Air France’s legal department. “The law can only be enforced by police and other public officials on the ground.” France became the first European country to prohibit the wearing of the full veil in public places when it introduced the ban on April 11. The country’s President Nicolas Sarkozy last year labelled it “a sign of servitude” and said it was not welcome in France, which is home to about five million Muslims. Offenders are fined €150 and ordered to attend citizenship classes. Repeat offenders who refuse to pay up can be sent to prison. Similar laws have since been passed in Belgium and the Netherlands. France also outlawed praying in the street in September, after a lack
of prayer space in big cities forced Muslims to lay their prayer mats on the streets. The burqa ban has prompted several Muslim women to flout the law and wear face veils in public. A French court in September fined two women, the first time a judge has imposed punishment under the new law. One of the women said she would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the ban. “This violates European laws. For us the question isn’t the amount of the fine but the principle. We can’t accept that women are sentenced because they are freely expressing their religious beliefs,” Hind Ahmas told reporters outside the court. “We are going to launch the necessary appeals to bring this before the European Court and obtain the cancellation of this law, which is in any case an illegal law” she said.
Dutch Moroccans turn to UN court over anti-Muslim incitement by Wilders
Three Dutch Moroccans have filed a complaint against the Netherlands to the UN court of human rights, saying the Dutch state has not protected them from incitement to hatred instigated by anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Dutch media reported. The three who were not named say the “systematic incitement to hatred and discrimination against
Muslims and other migrants” committed by Wilders has left them feeling “discriminated against, humiliated and threatened”. They are of the opinion that Wilders by his continued hate speech has poisoned the social climate in the Netherlands that has become “more and more anti-migrant and anti-Muslim.” Wilder, leader of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, was
taken to court in the Netherlands for discrimination and inciting hatred last year but found not guilty. The three Dutch Moroccans say international human rights treaties should protect them against discrimination and the UN committee should ensure those treaties are upheld. passionislam.com
I December 2011
25 percent of Brussels population is Muslim
More than 250,000 residents out of a total population of one million in Brussels have Muslim roots, according to a study carried out by the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and published in the Belgian media. The study was carried out by Felice Dasetto, a sociologist and a professor at the university who is considered to be an expert in issues relating to Muslims in Belgium. Brussels the political capital of the European Union accounts for half of the total number of Muslims
in Belgium. The figure puts Belgium among other European cities with a big Muslim presence like Birmingham in the UK, says teh study. It claims that the Islamic presence is becoming more and more visible in Brussels with more mosques and minarets, more women wearing a veil and more Muslim organisations. The study argues that the Islamic faith has the power to mobilise people to a a very big extent, more than for example the Catholic church or political parties.
Israel confiscates more Palestinian land Israel has systematically confiscated some 375 acres of Palestinian land in the al-Aghwar area northeast of the Jordan Valley and given it to Israeli settlers, Press TV reports. “There is nothing new in the Israeli policy regarding al-Aghwar area, in fact, Israel is practicing an ethnic cleansing in that area, and in particular in the northern area of alAghwar in order to annex the whole area to Israel,” Khalil Shaheen, a political analyst, told Press TV. Tel Aviv’s Absentee Property Law says that any land which is
inhabited by “absentees” is allowed to be used for settlement activities. And Israelis consider Palestinians to be “absentees.” Israel, however, is according to international law only regarded to be a guardian of absentee properties in the occupied West Bank. It is therefore illegal for Israel to give away land to settlers. In 1967, Tel Aviv occupied and later annexed Palestinian lands in the West Bank, which hosts the greater part of the valley, as well as East al-Quds (Jerusalem). passionislam.com
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Palestinian, Afghan activists win UNESCO tolerance prize
Afghan female rights campaigner and a Palestinian peace activist are the winners of a United Nations award recognizing their outstanding contributions to the promotion of tolerance and non-violence, the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced. Anarkali Honaryar, defender of the rights of women and minority groups in Afghanistan, and Palestinian activist Khaled Abu Awwad will receive the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, UN organization said in a press release. It added that the winners will be honored in a special ceremony on 9 December at the agency’s headquarters in Paris. Honaryar will be honored for her work helping women who suffer from domestic abuse, forced marriages and gender discrimination and for her commitment to promote the ideals of human dignity, human rights, mutual respect and tolerance in her country. Last year she became the first nonMuslim woman to become a member of the Afghan Parliament’s lower house. Awwad will receive recognition for his work as a peace activist and leader in the reconciliation process between Palestinians and Israelis. He heads the Palestinian Branch of the Parents Circle Families Forum, an organization of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost immediate family members in the conflict, and is one of the founders of AI-Tariq (The Way), a Palestinian institution for development and democracy. UNESCO said that the two laureates, who were selected by an international jury, will receive a USD 100,000 award, to be split equally between them. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize is awarded every two years and was created in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, with the support of the Indian writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh.
I WORLD NEWS
I December 2011
South African Muslims furious at ‘halal pork’ scandal In Case You Missed It
received threats since the allegation surfaced. Muslim companies have obtained a court order banning Orion from using the halal label, which means food has been prepared according to Islamic law. The company has also been accused of relabelling kangaroo meat from Australia and water buffalo meat from India as halal, even though they were not slaughtered according to Islamic law. South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), which issues halal certificates, has suspended its dealings with Orion.
Orion has, in turn, laid charges of sabotage, blackmail and extortion against two rival businessmen. It acknowledges that some pork may have been labelled halal, but alleges that its rivals paid some of its employees to switch products and labels before being loaded on to trucks destined for South Africa’s main province, Gauteng. Orion head Patrick Gaertner told a local radio station that, whatever the outcome of the case, it would take his company several years to rebuild its reputation. Cape Town is home to South Africa’s oldest Muslim community.
Hezbollah denies Al-Khlifa’s accusations
Construction of Biggest Mosque in Africa Begins
South African Muslims have reacted with outrage to allegations that a leading meat importer labelled pork as halal. The head of Cape Town-based Orion Cold Storage said he had
In Case You Missed It
Retorting to accusations made by Bahrain MPs that Hezbollah was involved in a recently busted “terrorist cell” in Manama, Hezbollah denied having ties “to an alleged cell in Bahrain”. Hezbollah said in its statement that the alleged terrorist cell might be “one of the fabrications [weaved] by the Al-Khalifa authoritarian regime in Bahrain,” in reference to Bahraini King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa. Those accusations “are not true and baseless,” the statement read. The allegations are part of “an
unsuccessful attempt made by the Al-Khalifa regime to blackout the real popular and peaceful revolution staged by patient and oppressed Bahraini people, amid the silence of international community and the suspected disregard of Arab League,” Hezbollah added. Hezbollah stressed in its statement that such a silence of hostility “will not deter the people of Bahrain from continuing the project of its legitimized struggle until the achievement of its noble and national objectives.”
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The project for constructing the biggest mosque in Africa began in a ceremony in the Algerian capital of Algiers. The ceremony was officiated by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The mosque is built on a 20-hectar lot of land in the Muhammadia district of Algiers. Upon completion, it will accommodate 120,000 worshippers. It will have a library with a study hall holding 2000 people. There will also be a museum and a research center. The Algiers with be the third largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid al-Nabi in Medina. It will cost some 1.3 billion dollars to build the mosque.
I December 2011
Muslim voters hard to predict in 2012
As the 2012 presidential caucus election draws near, a sizable segment of the Muslim vote remains a mystery and up for grabs. “If I was going to vote, I would vote for Ron Paul,” said Sehiha Kraina, who lives with her husband and young daughter in Iowa City. But Kraina, 27, a EuropeanMuslim from Kosovo, said she isn’t sure if she will vote in the 2012 presidential elections — and she’s not alone. About 26 percent of Muslim-
Americans don’t see themselves as part of any party, said Karma Dana, an associate at the Center for American Political Studies and the Department of Government at Harvard University. Dana co-led a survey of Muslims with Matt A. Barreto, an associate professor at the University of Washington. Although their population in the U.S. may be small, the voting power of this group could become significant in a close election. More religious Muslims are less
likely to select a political party. Barreto, in a 2009 study with Dino Bozibekos of the University of California at Riverside, found that Muslims who practice their religion every day were more than 30 percent more likely to cite no political party. Most Muslims have remained Democratic, or continue to lean toward that party, since President Obama took office. But recent events, particularly his opposition to the Palestinians’ effort to become a member of the United Nations, contribute to their political ambivalence. Moreover, a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States has fueled wariness. Kraina, who has lived in Iowa City for 12 years, cites several reasons for favoring Ron Paul. One key point is his position on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, which is to remove American troops from the region. But, ultimately, she remains on the fence on whether she will vote in the election at all. by Dana Davidsen is a writer for Iowa Watch
Saudi prince warns against Iran attack
A military attack on Iran aimed at halting its nuclear programme could have catastrophic consequences and only strengthen Tehran’s determination to make an atomic weapon, the former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services said. “Such an act I think would be foolish and to undertake it I think would be tragic,” Prince Turki alFaisal said at a Washington D.C. appearance. “If anything it will only make the Iranians more determined to produce an atomic bomb. It will rally support for the government among the population, and it will not end the programme. It will merely delay it if anything.” Tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions have increased this month since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a bomb and may still be conducting secret research to that end. The United States has advocated increasing pressure on Tehran
through additional sanctions. But there has been speculation in the Israeli media that Israel might strike Iran’s nuclear sites, and US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared in a debate on Saturday that he would be willing to go to war to stop Tehran from getting nuclear weapons. Prince Turki, who retired in 2006 but remains an influential voice in Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, said prior military campaigns such as in Iraq had shown how unpredictable that route can be. “An attack on Iran I think will have
catastrophic consequences,” the prince said, citing both human costs and the fact that “the retaliation by Iran will be worldwide”. “It will include a lot of US and other interests throughout the world... They can do harm in a lot of places,” he said. Saudi Arabia remained concerned over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its “meddling” in other countries including an alleged Iran-backed assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington and a separate alleged plot to stage attacks in Bahrain. Iran has rejected both accusations, saying they are aimed at stoking fears in the region. The prince said that while Saudi Arabia did not favor a military option, it would continue to press Iran publicly, including possibly at the United Nations, in hopes of heading off future threats. “We fully support tightening of the sanctions, assertive diplomacy and concerted action via the United Nations,” he said. - Reuters
Chinese Muslims develop halal industry
I WORLD NEWS
Chinese Muslims have announced plans to develop halal industries to accommodate not just the needs of fellow Chinese Muslims in China but also Muslims in other countries. “We have more than 10,000 factories, restaurants with halalcertified foods and beverages,” said Wang Shengjun, the Halal Food Commission chief of the Ningxia province, as quoted by antara.com.
Ningxia, a province that has gained autonomy since 1958, is well known for its Muslim Hui ethnicity, which is the dominant ethnicity among the 35 Chinese ethnic groups found in the province. Wang said the province’s halal industry had a laboratory that used some of the most advanced technology in China, with 15 experts and 300 staffers. The halal product industry in Ningxia
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is currently worth up to 50 million RMB (Rp 70 billion). Wang also said the local halal industry was working with other halal industries abroad. “We have cooperated with halal industries in Saudi Arabia, Qatar,Egypt and Malaysia on a reciprocal basis,” he said. He added that that the Chinese halal industry planned to cooperate with its Indonesian counterparts soon.
Twitter, Facebook Muslims used as CIA spy tools in Russia
pray on the street In Case You Missed It
According to AP quoting CIA Open Source Center (OSC) director Doug Naquin, a team of “vengeful librarians” have the task of studying networks and media outlets that are open to contributions made by individuals across the world. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, TV news channels, internet chat rooms, local radio stations, and newspapers are closely monitored, in order to draw a semi-realistic picture of “the mood of a region” at a given time of importance for the US. Naquin says that any tweet in any given language, regardless of its
significance, is closely looked at by analysts. They then cross-reference it with local newspapers or even a “clandestinely interrupted phone conversation.” For example, such a process was carried out after the US military operation that killed former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan back in May, in order to let Washington in on the world public opinion. Analysts also made efforts to predict the series of events which led to the uprisings in the Middle Eastern or North African nations.
Tens of thousands of Muslim men knelt shoulder-to-shoulder in prayer on the freezing streets of Moscow on Sunday to celebrate the religious holiday of Eid alAdha. Estimates of the number of Muslims living or working in the Russian capital run from 2 million to as high as 5 million, but the city has few mosques. Many of those who braved temperatures of minus 8 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) to pray on Sunday morning were migrant workers from countries in Central Asia that were once part of the Soviet Union. Eid al-Adha, a feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, is known as Kurban-Bairam in Russia.
I December 2011
Boston Uni Installs Ablution Stations
The center for English Language and Orientation at Boston University installed ritual foot baths in its bathrooms as part of its remodelling. The initiative was taken by the university without the student’s requesting it. Students come from all over the world to master English at Boston University. The majority are Muslims. Muslim prayer rooms and foot baths have also been installed in Boston University’s student union. “We have to pray five times, and every five times we have to wash,” said student Reeema Alashgar. It is a ritual that includes washing
the feet. “Using our bathroom ended up being a messy situation with a lot of water on the floor,” said Center director Margot Veldivia. “The students have been very grateful. They didn’t ask for this but rather we understood the tradition and how necessary it was in their daily lives,” she said. “I was amazed. Before we used to have to use the sink” said student Omar Biyari. Across the country a number of universities, including the University of Michigan in Dearborn and George Washington University in Washington
D.C., have installed foot baths. So have two airports, the Indianapolis Airport and KCI Airport in Kansas City, Missouri. In each case the move came with some degree of resistance. Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called the foot baths at the University of Michigan an “accommodation we’re making to one religion at the expense of the others.” He called it “un- American.” Most students we spoke to welcomed the extra effort. Others questioned sharing a religious ritual in a public bathroom. “In a public place, not everyone shares the same religions and beliefs,” said one student. “We don’t look at it like that. This is a large population,” said Veldivia. “We are dedicated to the students in global harmony. They count. That’s what we’re here for,” she said. Some of the foot baths in other states were built using public funds. The American Civil Liberties Union generally objects to public money being used for religious structures. But they don’t take issue with the foot baths because, they say, anyone can use them. passionislam.com
31 get life term in post-Godhra riots case A special court in Gujarat awarded life imprisonment to all 31 convicted in the 2002 Sardarpura post-Godhra riot case. The accused were charged for murder, attempt to murder, looting, rioting and other charges. Of 73 accused, 8 are still lodged in jail while remaining are out. The court convicted 31 of the 73 accused in the 2002 Sardarpura post-Godhra riot case in which 33 people of a minority community were burnt alive. Out of the 42 acquitted, 11 were freed due to lack of evidence, while 31 were given the benefit of doubt, who have been asked to submit a solvency bond of Rs 25,000 each. The court has also directed them not to leave the country without its permission. This is the first post-Godhra riot case, probed by the Supreme Courtappointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), on which the verdict has been pronounced.
The 31 convicted have been charged with murder, attempt to murder, rioting and other sections of IPC, while charges of criminal conspiracy against them were dropped by the court. After the Godhra train burning incident in which 59 people, mainly karsevaks, were burnt to death on
February 27 2002, riots had taken place across the state, in which Sardarpura town in Vijapur taluka also fell prey to violence. A strong mob had surrounded a lane called ‘Sheikh vaas’ on the intervening night of February 28 and March 1, 2002, where minority population of the village used to live. Fearing the worst, people of the minority community took shelter in a house owned by one Ibrahim Sheikh. However, the mob torched the house after pouring petrol, in which, 33 people, including 22 women, were charred to death. In all, 76 accused were arrested in the Sardarpur case by the police, out of which, two died during pendency of trial, while one was a juvenile, against whom, trial was on in a juvenile court. The court had framed charges against 73 accused in June 2009 and initiated trial in the case.
I December 2011
Newcastle United fans praised for welcoming Muslim players
Newcastle United star Leon Best has hailed the Geordie public for the way they have welcomed the squad’s new Muslim players. Best also spoke about Show Racism the Red Card, a charity attempting to stamp out bigotry in the game. The Newcastle-based group uses the public profile of professional footballers as role models to combat racism. The striker discussed his experiences of racism prior to the recent abuse allegations concerning England captain John Terry. “We’ve
got a few Muslim players here at Newcastle United, like Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa,” said Best, who was born in Ireland. “I have a few friends that are Muslim as well and, again, I can understand there is a lot of racism towards them but I don’t see much of it myself. “It isn’t right though and it shouldn’t exist. They are probably the most humble players, and in life they are probably the most strict on themselves. “It doesn’t matter about religion. I’ve met Muslims, Catholics, Jewish
people, all kinds and they are all the same, all lovely people. “I’d never played with Muslim players before Demba and Hatem, but I get on perfectly well with them.” Best went on to praise the work of the Show Racism the Red Card campaign and pledged to back its work in any way he could. “It’s unbelievable the work it does,” he said. “I think that if, when I was younger, there was a campaign like that around I would definitely have had a lot less fights and would of also had somebody to go to. “I think the success of it shows that kids these days don’t need to be scared to say anything and that they should go and tell their parents. “I was young and naive, but I think these days kids are a lot more mature so will try and speak to someone about it rather than fight. “If I could turn back time that’s one thing I would definitely change. I would go back and tell someone and get it out in the open to let everyone know what’s happening.”
AFC awards ceremony for 2011 concludes in Malaysia The Asian Football Confederation Awards for 2011 concluded after attendance by President of Asia Olympic Council Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah as an honorary guest, including the attendance of President of Kuwait Football Association Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. Other prominent guests attending the awards included Malaysian State Governor of Pahang Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah and FIFA President Sepp Blatter. During the ceremony, Uzbekistan Midfielder Server Djeparov won
the Asian Football Confederation’s Player of the Year award for the second time. The 29-year-old Djeparov helped Uzbekistan reach the semifinals of the 2011 Asian Cup in the team’s best ever finish. Djeparov, who also won the AFC award in 2008, joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab in July after playing well for FC Seoul in the Asian Champions League. Other winners included Japan’s Aya Miyama for Women’s Player and Qatar’s Al-Sadd for Club of the Year. Aya Miyama was women’s player
of the year, Japan’s men’s and women’s teams were both named as the best national sides, and Japan was honored as the best member association. Japan also won best men’s coach through Norio Sasaki and top women’s coach through Takako Tezuka.
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I December 2011
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo donates 2,400 euros to Palestinian children
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has donated 2,400 euros ($3,273) to Palestinian children in Gaza, the Arabic site of the club’s ‘Classico’ network has revealed. Ronaldo gave away sports shoes to the foundation, which in turn sold the boots at a public auction and will now dedicate the funds to schools in Gaza. According to the network, bidding began at 700 euros ($954) and was finally concluded at 2,400 euros. During his spell at Manchester United, Ronaldo was photographed wearing the Palestinian head cover, the kufiyyeh, which was seen as support for the Palestinian cause.
History in the making for Pakistan Rugby League Pakistan Rugby League made their historic bow against the British Amateur Rugby league (BARLA), select team in front of large audience including Rugby Legend and Sky Sports commentator, Mick ‘Stevo’ Stephenson. The world famous ‘Sport City’ stadium in Dubai was an excellent venue to host this memorable occasion and both teams will indeed look back and can be proud of being part of this unique event. Although the BARLA select team came away winners of the game, the Pakistanis can be very proud of their achievements and performance in their first ever competitive rugby league outing. The Pakistani squad was compiled of nineteen players, sixteen of whom were home grown players who had flown in to Dubai from Pakistan only hours before the game took place. All of these players were previously mainly of a rugby union mind set and very little experience of playing any competitive rugby league games. Kashif Khwaja , Captain of the Pakistan Rugby League team , commented ‘ We as team, are very pleased with our first ever competitive outing. My boys demonstrated character and resilience against a very strong and youthful BARLA select team. We
know we have a lot to learn and need to improve in many areas of the game. However, we go away full of confidence and look forward to building on this outing.’ Mick ‘Stevo’ Stephenson, added ‘The Pakistani team competed ever so well and can be proud of their performance. It is great to see our great game of rugby league expanding in South Asia and all credit must go to BARLA and the Pakistanis for making this event happen.’ The next steps for the Pakistan Rugby League is to continue developing the sport within the local schools and universities etc. A schools festival is being organised in late March next year at the Islamabad rugby club and the Pakistanis are already planning to host a visiting team during the winter months in Pakistan. Ikram Butt , BARA MD and one of the founding members of Pakistan Rugby League, commented, ‘To be part of and be able to put my boots back on for this historic event was like a dream come true. Our vision is to see rugby league being played not only in Pakistan but all over South Asia and discussions are already taking place in India, Iran, Iraq and Bangladesh, just to name a few of the countries who have already been in contact.
‘There is a long way to go, however, we are planting the seeds and laying the foundation for our great game to flourish around the world.’ Ikram, the founder of BARA, manages Connecting Communities, Leeds Rugby Foundation’s biggest project to date, and was recently awarded a Doctorate in Sport Science by Leeds Metropolitan University for his pioneering sport development initiatives within the UK and abroad.
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I December 2011
“Your Business Plan”
As a start-up company, writing a Business Plan is one of the most important activities, to complete. The Business Plan is a manual that will assist you in navigating your way through various stages of business development. As such, the Business Plan is a blueprint of your ‘initial’ vision and a powerful tool to continually analyse your business model, to test ideas and feasibility of those ideas, whilst simultaneously assisting in making informed decisions. Unfortunately, as is often the case, Business Plans seem to only be written upon request from a potential investor or by a Bank. It is worthwhile noting that a well written and researched Business Plan can often make the difference between a successful business and one that may struggle to survive. I can hear you ask, “Why – after all I know what to do and know how I will achieve it. It’s all in my head”. That may be so, but a business plan helps you to focus on detail such as the “ideas in your head” into realistic and viable opportunities and focus on company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Your comprehensive plan will not only help to forecast regular growth but also will assist in securing investment from business angel investors or loans from Banks. For these investors, business plans are required and referred to during the ‘Due Diligence’ phase of investing and typically businesses that present quality business plans will undoubtedly secure the investment required. Remember Business Plans are about quality and substance rather than quantity (of pages). Look at your start-up venture as a car. Let’s say that as you’ve never launched your own business before, you’ve also never driven a car before. You have, however, just taken some classes and passed your driving test. As a beginner, you may have to refer to your car’s manual to ensure you are aware of your cars functions. In exactly the same way, your start-up
venture is your car and your business plan is its manual. So what should your manual for business contain? Well, a quality, effective business plan will at the very least have the following sections: 1. Executive Summary – Should be no more than three page; should summarize the business plan and provide an interesting overview to keep potential funders interested to read more. To be written upon completion of business plan to ensure incorporation of all key points. 2. Introduction / Background of the Business – WHO, WHAT, WHY? Who started the business? What is the core activity of the business? Why was the business started? 3. The Market Opportunity - What gap is this activity addressing? What market research has been conducted in support of your endeavours? 4. The Product/Service - What is this activity? Elaborate in significant comprehensive detail the product or services core benefits – then describe its ‘features’ if any. 5. The Competition – Know your competition – who are they, what do they do, how do they do it? What are you doing differently and What barriers to entry exist to obstruct a competitor from offering the same/ product or service - ie lead team, intellectual property, etc. 6. Sales & Marketing (Target Market, Marketing Plan, Sales) – Who is your Product / Service for? What is the demographics and geographical location of your Target Market? What route to market will be taken and how will sales be achieved. 7. Operations (Sources of supply, Operation Plan) – information relating to the internal day to day operations and logistics of a business. For business supplying products, will they be imported? Who are the suppliers? Will there be any storage requirements? For service led businesses, will there be Strategic Partners in place who will supply
services you may wish to outsource. 8. The Management Team – Who is behind the business? Whether it be an individual or a team, it is important to be able to illustrate the skills and experience of those behind the business to ensure its success. This section should also include strengths and weaknesses (i.e. missing skill sets) within the team and to create credibility for the business. 9. Financials – Financial forecasts (cash flow and profit & loss) must be as realistic as possible. Your financials should ideally contain a best and worst case scenario to help you address any volatility in the local and global economy today. 10. Risks and Mitigating factors – Mention any risks to your business, (internal or external to your business) and how these risks will be addressed to ensure smooth business continuity. 11. Appendices - Any images, tables, research, reference items. Compiling a business plan is a time consuming task and often in the zeal of starting a business, entrepreneurs either ignore to put one together or usually ask an external source to write one. Neither option is ideal. A blindly run business is doomed to fail and one where entrepreneurs have not been involved during the Business Plan compilation process, will have a rocky road to raising finance. Last words of wisdom: “Know your Business Plan inside out – its success relies on you.”
I December 2011
Azaan Constantly Echoes Around the Globe
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest Ashadu an La illaha illAllah I witness/declare that there is no god but Allah Ashadu an La illaha illAllah I witness that there is no God but Allah Ashadu anna Muhammad ar Rasool Allah I witness that Muhammad is Rasul (Messenger) of Allah Ashadu anna Muhammad ar Rasool Allah I witness that Muhammad is Rasul of Allah Hayya ‘alas Salat Come towards the Salat Hayya ‘alas Salat Come towards the Salat Hayya ‘alal Falah Come towards the Success Hayya ‘alal Falah Come towards the Success Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest La illaha illaAllah There is no god but Allah
Let us begin with Indonesia right on the eastern side of the earth’s central land mass. Indonesia consists of numerous small islands, the principle ones amongst them being Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Saibil, all of which are well known. It is the largest country in the world, with 180 million inhabitants. The number of non-Muslims here is negligible. As soon as dawn breaks on the eastern side of Saibil, at approximately 5:30 am local time, Fajar Adhan begins. Thousands of Muazzins in eastern Indonesia commence proclaiming the Tawheed (oneness) of the Almighty, Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah and Risaalat (Universal Apostleship) of the Prophet Muhammad. The process then continues and advances towards the Western Islands of Indonesia. The time difference between the eastern and western islands of Indonesia is one and a half hours. So one and a half hours after the Adhan has been completed in Saibil, it echoes in Jakarta on Java
There is not a single moment when thousands of Muezzins around the world are not proclaiming the Oneness of Almighty Allah and the Apostleship of the noble Prophet Muhammad on the surface of this earth! island. Sumatra then follows suit. Before this auspicious process of calling Adhan ends in Indonesia, it has already begun in Malaysia. Burma is next in line, and within an hour of its commencement in Jakarta, it reaches Dacca, the capital city of Bangladesh. No sooner the calling of Adhan ends in Bangladesh, it has already prevailed in western India, from Calcutta to Srinagar. It then advances towards Bombay and the environment of entire India resounds with this august proclamation. Srinagar and Sialkot (a city in north Pakistan) have the same timing for Adhan. The time difference between Sialkot, Kota, Karachi and Gowadar (a city in Baluchistan, a province of Pakistan) is forty minutes, and within this time, Fajar Adhan is heard throughout Pakistan. Before it ends there, however, it has already begun in Afghanistan and Muscat. The time difference between Muscat and Baghdad is one hour. Adhan resounds during this one hour In the environments of Hijaaze-Muqaddas (Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah), Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq. The time difference between Baghdad and Alexandria in Egypt is again one hour. Adhan continues to resound in Syria, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan during this hour. Alexandria and Istanbul are situated on the same geographical longitude. The time difference between eastern and
western Turkey is one and a half hours, and during this time it is echoed with the call to prayer. Alexandria and Tripoli (capital of Libya) are located at a hour difference from one another. The process of calling Adhan thus continues throughout the whole of Africa. Therefore, the proclamation of the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad that had begun in the eastern islands of Indonesia reaches the Eastern Shore of the Atlantic ocean after nine and a half hours. Prior to the Adhan reaching the shores of the Atlantic, the process of Zohar Adhan has already commenced in eastern Indonesia, and before it reaches Dacca, Asar Adhan has started. This has hardly reached Jakarta one and half hours later. Then the time of Maghrib becomes due, and no sooner has Maghrib time reached Sumatra, then the time for calling Isha Adhan has commenced in Saibil! When the Muezzins of Indonesia are calling out Fajar Adhan, the Muezzins in Africa are calling out the Adhan for Isha. There is not a single moment when few thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Muezzins around the world are not proclaiming the Oneness of Almighty Allah and the Apostleship of the noble Prophet on the surface of this earth! Insha Allah this universal and continuous calling of the Adhan shall not cease until the Day of the Judgment. - By Zuhair Girach
Masjid or Musalla
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I December 2011
Islamic Centers and Musallas Today In the case of large Islamic centers today, which include a prayer hall, the prayer hall area could be considered the shar’î masjid, if it has been intended and designated as such. However, the adjacent rooms, such
as the lobby, dining hall, children’s room, gymnasium, or offices would be considered as supplementary or extensions of the masjid and hence, not part of the shar’î masjid area, even though they would be part if the endowment [waqf] (i.e. not returnable to any one’s ownership), but the
rulings would be different for the two as we will highlight below. Women in Menstruation A menstruating women or one who is experiencing post natal bleeding or a person in a seminally defiled state is prohibited from entering into
I December 2011
a masjid. The Prophet (upon him be peace) said: I do not make the masjid lawful for the menstruating women or the one experiencing post natal bleeding (Abû Dâwâd, Ibn Mâja, Tabarânî, Zayla’î has considered it sound [hasan] 1:193-194). Young Children in the Masjid It is unlawful [haram] to bring in infants or young children into the masjid if there is a possibility of them polluting the area of the masjid. If they are in diapers and less likely to pollute any part of the masjid, it will still be somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan) to bring them as they could be carrying filth in their diapers (Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala ‘l-Durr 1:441, Al-Ashbah wa ‘l-Naza’ir, alQawl fi Ahkam al-Masjid 407). The Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace said. Keep your infants and the insane away from your masjids (Sunan Ibn Maja, babu ma yukrahu fi ‘l-masjid). Sleeping & Eating in the Masjid It is disliked to sleep or eat in a masjid without the intention of i’tikâf or unless one is a traveler (al-Ashbâh wa ‘l-Nazâ’ir 407) Congregation for Five Daily Prayers in the Masjid is a Communal Obligation A congregation for the five daily prayers have to be established in a masjid otherwise the local inhabitants would be sinful for negligence, since it is a wâjib to perform the congregational prayers for the locals in the masjid. ‘Allâma Ibn ‘Abidin writes regarding tarâwîh prayer which is a confirmed sunna and not wâjib The apparent purport of their [jurists] statement is that it is a communal sunna to perform it [tarâwîh] in congregation in the masjid, to the extent that if they performed it in congregation in their homes, and no congregation took place in the masjid, they would all be sinful (Radd al-Muhtâr 1:473). Hence, if this is the case for a confirmed sunna congregation, it would be more binding to have a congregation for every obligatory prayers in each locality. The Messenger of Allah (upon him be
peace) said, There is no salât for the neighbor of the masjid except in the masjid (Dâraqutnî, Hâkim from Kashf alKhafâ’). Conversation in the Masjid It is likewise disliked [makrûh] for one to speak about worldly affairs in the masjid, ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) had designated a special place outside the masjid where people could go and talk. Ibn ‘Abidin writes, (It is disliked to speak in the masjid) this is regarding that talk which is of [a] permissible nature, [and] not regarding other than that which would warrant much greater sin (i.e. if one were to speak of it in the masjid) (Radd al- Muhtâr 5:269). The Musallâ or Temporary Place of Prayer All the above restrictions (i.e. that it is disliked to speak of worldly matters in the masjid, etc.) do not technically apply to a musallâ since it is a temporary place for worship. Hence, it can have apartments, bathrooms, etc., above or below it; or itself even turned into such (i.e. an apartment), once it is no longer used as a musallâ. However, it is recommended to treat it as a masjid, since it is being used for similar purposes. A third floor musallâ within an industrial complex, which has other activities and businesses operating on the other floors (basement included), cannot be considered a shar’î masjid, but rather comes within the definition of a musallâ. ‘Allâma Haskafî writes, If the basement was designated for any other use [i.e. not for the masjid] or he [the owner] made a room above it and faced the door of the masjid to the street [meaning he made it separate], then it cannot be a masjid. Hence he may sell it… [if he wishes, since it does not become an endowment] the same as if he had made [a portion from] the middle of his home into a masjid, and permitted for the adhân to be called therein - it would not become a masjid. ‘Allâma Ibn ‘Abidîn comments on this by saying: The reason for the place not being a masjid is
because the additional rooms are not designated for the welfare of the masjid. This is explicitly mentioned in the Is’âf, where it says, “If the basement or the floor above it is endowed for the benefit of the masjid or they were properly endowed for that then it would become a masjid (Shurunbulâliyya). It states in alBahr [al-Râ’iq] that the summary of this [issue] is that it is a condition for it being considered a masjid that the lower and upper floors need to [also] be a masjid, so that the rights [and ownership] of people is waived from it, as Allah says ‘And verily the masjids are for Allah…’” (Radd alMuhtâr 3:370). Although similar laws should be observed in a musalla as in a masjid, since it is emulating a masjid, it is not legally necessary. Therefore: · It would be permissible for menstruating women to enter into a musalla to attend classes or lectures. · Performing prayer therein would not hold the same reward as praying in a masjid although it would be more than in the home. A hadîth related by Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalânî from ‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As states that the reward for a congregation with one’s family members (aside from in a masjid) holds 15 times the reward of praying alone, whereas praying it in the congregation in the masjid holds twenty five times the reward. Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalânî concludes that the 25 times extra reward is confined to performing it in congregation in the masjid and not in a congregation performed at home. See Fath al-Bârî 106, Mirqât al-mafâtîh 3:145, and alBahr al-râ’iq 1:346 · It would be permissible to eat or sleep in a musalla without having the intention of i’tikâf, which is necessary in the masjid for one to eat or sleep. · One can also perform Tahiyyat al-Masjid in a musalla. A useful setup for women’s prayer could be that there be two room: one connected to the back of the men’s prayer area, which could be intended as being included in the shar’i masjid; and another room behind the first room, which could be a musalla or a multi purpose room for menstruating women or women with children to stay in. passionislam.com
I December 2011
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