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AID AGENCIES BATTLE THE ODDS IN GAZA KING BAC

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Secours Islamique France is a respected aid agency, part of the global Islamic Relief network based in the UK, but when it comes to helping Palestinians in Gaza, its operations are challenged by both Israeli bureaucracy and its own “no-contact” policy with the Hamas officials who control the territory. Hamas is branded a “terror” organization by most western countries, despite their victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative council elections. That requires Secours Islamique France, and all other international charities working in Gaza, to tread extremely carefully to avoid falling foul of anti-terror legislation. While all INGOs operating in Gaza face

similar frustrations, an aid worker, who asked not to be identified, said Israel’s objection to assistance reaching Hamas was sharpened by “Islamophobia” when that aid was delivered by Muslim charities. At the practical level, Islamic INGOs face greater movement and access restrictions than other agencies because some are banned by the Israeli authorities, according to Ahmed Shurrab, including his own agency, Interpal. Banks are very sensitive, particularly in Gaza, and even if an entity is not marked by OFAC, it can still be assessed as a risk,” says the governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, Jihad Al-Wazir.

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Passion Islam

I February 2012

By Rami Khouri

Editor of Beirut-based Daily Star

Arab regime change is best left to Arabs

Two very different political trajectories were evident in Egypt and Syria at the start of this week, offering timely comments on the condition of governance and politics in two of the most important Arab countries. Egypt inaugurated its newly elected parliament in which Islamists of various colours took 73% of the vote, while Syria woke up to an Arab League decision to seek the removal of President Assad, and the formation of a national unity government to oversee new elections for parliament and the presidency. The sharp contrasts between events in Egypt and Syria provide fitting bookends to the last two generations of political life in the Arab world – as incompetent, exhausted and discredited political orders are in the process of being changed, largely at the instigation of their own people. These two cases can also be compared with a third – Iraq – where an equally unacceptable autocratic government led by the Ba’ath party was overthrown by an AngloAmerican-led military invasion in 2003, leaving the country today in a sad and fractured condition of stress and violence. Historians will long debate the four critical factors we see at play in these countries: the power and limits of domestic civil disobedience, the role of foreign armies, the impact of Arab League action, and the nature and consequences of Islamist politics that seem to inevitably dominate in liberated and democratic Arab countries. It is fair to say, I believe, that two verdicts among these four issues are clear: foreign invasions to re-order Arab countries are not a good idea because they create lasting chaos more than orderly change (Iraq); and domestic

mass dissent to overthrow an incompetent and brutal regime and replace it with a more legitimate elected leadership is the preferred route to regime change (Tunisia and Egypt). In between these two extremes are the cases of Libya and Syria, where the Arab League and foreign pressures have both played a role in the drive to unseat the incumbent regimes. More interesting than Nato’s military involvement in Libya, in my view, is the role of the Arab League in pressing for protective military action, which crucially paved the way for the UN security council to authorise Nato action. The league is making even more robust moves in the case of Syria, including its monitoring mission and calls for the president to step down and pave the way for regime change by democratic vote. The Arab League’s dynamism in Syria is refreshing and welcome, but it is also perplexing. I am not sure why most Arab countries vote for such sharp intervention in a member state when they know very well that this precedent could be used against them one day. It is strange to see calls for national unity governments and democratic elections by Arab countries that are mostly non-democratic and nonrepresentative of their people. Nevertheless, the Arab League’s actions are important in several areas. The fact that Arab countries are taking more responsibility for developments in their region should reduce the incidents of foreign armies coming in to re-order us, and provide political legitimacy for other actors – including individual Arab and foreign states, opposition movements in Syria, the UN security council and other multinational bodies – to play a role in ending the bloodshed in Syria

and helping that country find its way to a more humane and effective governance system. The practical logistics of how Arab and international parties can play a role in protecting Syrian civilians while promoting a democratic transition remain hotly debated, but should be clarified in the coming weeks if Syrian opposition groups take the lead in asking for such intervention to protect civilians and speed up the democratic transition. The fourth dramatic trend we witness these days – the dominance of political systems by elected Islamists – remains a purely domestic issue that Arab countries have to experience and judge. The incumbent Islamists are now subjected to the two great forces that make democracy so attractive to so many people across the world: legitimacy and accountability. More and more Arab countries are now experiencing that which they have always demanded: the ability to manage their own affairs without external interference. The main lesson we can draw for now seems to me that selfdetermination and democratic transitions achieved through legitimate popular revolt are likely to lead to stable governance systems, while upheavals and change generated by invading foreign armies or engineered coups will only lead to continued instability, because they lack the critical elements of legitimacy and accountability. We should keep our eyes on those two factors as deliberations continue on Arab and international intervention in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and other Arab lands to follow in due course. © 2012 Rami G. Khouri – distributed by Agence Global

Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@passionislam.com - 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


Press TV loses UK licence

Passion Islam

I February 2012

Iranian state broadcaster Press TV has had its UK licence revoked by Ofcom over fears that control of the broadcaster rested not in London but with Press TV International in Tehran. In a statement Ofcom said that throughout 2011 it was involved in a dispute with the broadcaster over an interview it claimed was “obtained under duress” from Newsweek and Channel 4 journalist Maziar Bahari while in an Iranian prison. In May 2011 Ofcom held it to be a serious breach of the Broadcasting Code and fined Press TV £100,000 - and in October it warned the media regulator that it was minded to take the channel off air.

“Broadcasting rules require that a licence is held by the person who is in general control of the TV service: that is, the person that chooses the programmes to be shown in the service and organises the programme schedule,” said Ofcom. “Ofcom gave Press TV Ltd the opportunity to apply to have its operations in Tehran correctly licensed by Ofcom and Ofcom offered to assist it to do so. Press TV Ltd was given the opportunity to make representations on Ofcom’s ‘minded to revoke’ letter. “Press TV Ltd has failed to make the necessary application and Ofcom has therefore revoked Press TV’s licence to broadcast in the UK.” A spokesperson for Ofcom confirmed it had contacted BSkyB to have Press TV removed from its broadcast schedule. Press Gazette

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Actor Liam Neeson admits considering reverting to Islam He was named after a priest, but Actor Liam Neeson has admitted he is now considering converting to Islam. The Ballymena raised star has told one British newspaper that Islamic prayer “got into his spirit” while filming in Turkish city Istanbul. He said: “The Call to Prayer happens five times a day and for the first week it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit and it’s the most beautiful, beautiful thing. “There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.” Raised a devout Catholic, who lost his wife Natasha Richardson in a freak skiing accident in 2009 - has said he felt his faith challenged in recent times. He said: “I was reared a Catholic but I think every day we ask ourselves, not consciously, what are we doing on this planet? What’s it all about?


Cardiff Muslims request same-day burial plan

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A same-day burial service is being prepared for Cardiff, aimed at meeting the cultural and religious needs of mainly Muslim and Jewish communities. Cardiff has run a next-day burial service on request since 2004, but a survey of Muslim leaders led to calls for a same-day option. Under the proposal, a burial booked by 10.30am could happen as early as 2.30pm that day, if the paperwork is in order. However, the service would not

Passion Islam

be restricted to a particular faith group. The proposal would also allow anyone to report a death at a weekend or on a bank holiday. report to councillors says it will cost more, but this can be met from the service’s £2.8m budget. The Muslim Council of Wales has asked the council to accommodate the needs of the city’s Muslims, which it estimates as 25,000. Under Islamic law, a person must be buried as soon as possible after death. For the past eight years, Cardiff council has operated a short notice burial arrangement whereby a funeral booking notified before noon will be conducted the following day, including weekends and some bank holidays.

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Members of the council executive will consider proposals to upgrade this to a same-day service, which would be available to anyone who asks for it. The option would require a funeral booking to be made by 10.30am, with the legal paperwork completed by noon. Burial could then take place at an available 2.30pm or 3.30pm slot. If approved, the same-day service would operate from April, although deaths notified to coroners would not be included. The report says: “It was clear from all of the service users and faith group leaders that a same-day burial service would better meet the religious needs of both the Muslim and Jewish communities”. BBC passionislam.com

London play tells story of “Guantanamo Boy” A theatre in east London is staging new play “Guantanamo Boy” focusing on the U.S. detention camp as it marks it 10th anniversary and engaging local Muslims in political debate. The production, based on a 2009 novel of the same name by Anna Perera, opened at the Stratford Circus, located in an area of the capital with a large Muslim population. “Stratford wanted to start making emotionally challenging theatre for a teenage audience and we are in east London with a lot of Asian resonance,” said director Dominic Hingorani. “It (Guantanamo Bay) obviously has a lot of resonance with people here.” It is not the first time detainees’ experiences at Guantanamo Bay have been portrayed on stage and screen. Michael Winterbottom co-

directed docu-drama “The Road to Guantanamo” in 2006 based on the true story of three British Muslims who were held at the U.S. military base in Cuba before being released. And South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu appeared in a U.S. version of a London play called “Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom” based on spoken testimony given by detainees. Hingorani said his adaptation of Perera’s novel looked at Guantanamo through the eyes of a Muslim teenager from Britain who is detained during a family visit to Pakistan because he is suspected of being a terrorist. Although fictional, the book was inspired by the incarceration of teenagers like Mohammed El Gharani, a Chadian citizen released without charge in 2009 after more than seven years in captivity, including at Guantanamo. His lawyers said he was 14

when he was seized in Pakistan in 2001 before being turned over to the U.S. military, although the Pentagon disputed his age. Guantanamo Boy is one of several recent London plays that tackle political themes. “The Trial of Ubu” at Hampstead Theatre puts Alfred Jarry’s creation Ubu on trial at the International Criminal Court, while “The Riots” at the Tricycle Theatre examined social unrest in Britain based on eyewitness accounts. Guantanamo Boy runs until February 11. A national tour is planned for the autumn. Passion Islam Magazine orginally reviewed the book in March 2009.


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I February 2012

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UK Muslim pilot dismissed over religion

A British Muslim pilot who was dismissed from his position in 2010 has complained to an employment tribunal, saying he was axed because of his religion. The Metropolitan police officers arrested the Muslim pilot, who was not named by the press, in 2007 over the allegations of being linked with terror suspects. Following the arrest, the airline employer, which was not named by the press either, suspended the Heathrow-based pilot over the allegations that he would be a threat

to national security. The allegations were made based on the British police’s claim that the two suspected extremists could have links with the Muslim pilot and he could be part of an alleged terror plot. One of the suspects was the pilot’s landlord and the other was someone with whom the Muslim pilot’s brother conducted business transactions. The pilot was dismissed in 2010 over the accusations that he could “cause considerable harm” to the

Tesco sets out its stall for Saudi debut in 19-store deal

Tesco, the world’s third biggest retailer, has sealed a deal to open 19 of its fashion stores in Saudi Arabia as it looks to boost its overseas profits amid declining retail sales in the UK. The UK’s biggest retailer will debut its F&F stores in the kingdom under a franchise deal with local conglomerate Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair & Co, which counts Zara, Marks & Spencer and Gap in its brand portfolio. The deal marks Tesco’s GCC debut, following on the heels of rival retailer Asda, which last year said it planned to launch its discount fashion brand George in a stores across the Middle East. Tesco has been hit hard by the UK’s economic woes, posting one of its worst performances in years in January. The firm said

its 2.3 percent decline in like-forlike sales in the six weeks to Jan 7 was below expectations and “disappointing”. Tesco operates in 13 international markets, including Thailand and China, and has said it plans to focus on improving returns on capital in foreign markets. The supermarket in December was forced to abandon plans to launch in India after the Asian state revoked its decision to open its retail market to foreign investors. Saudi Arabia, the wealthiest Arab state, sees retail accounts for more than 17 percent, the kingdom said last year it expected retail spending to top SR256bn ($68bn) by end-2011, making it more than twice the size of the UAE market.

“national security.” During the hearing at the employment tribunal in Havant, Hampshire, the pilot said that if he had been a non-Muslim, he would have received a different treatment. Moreover, the tribunal was told that the case was “unique and unprecedented” and never before had a pilot been axed over accusations of having links with terror suspects. A union official who represented the pilot during the airline’s inquiry said the airline employer had no substantial evidence to prove any links between the pilot and the suspects. Moreover, the official revealed that the airline had explicitly stated that the pilot’s religion and race were the main reasons for accusing him of plotting to hijack a plane and sabotage it. “The airline’s line of questioning came across to us as, ‘You’re a Muslim man with a Pakistanisounding name. You must therefore believe in all this stuff or at least be familiar with it,’” said the official.

Deputy PM slams Israeli settlements Britain slammed Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “deliberate vandalism” of efforts to establish a Palestinian state. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s comments came during his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “Once you place physical facts on the ground which make it impossible to deliver what everyone has for years agreed is the ultimate destination, then you do immense damage,” Clegg told reporters. “It’s an act of deliberate vandalism to the basic premise upon which negotiations have taken place for years and that is why we have expressed our concerns as a government in increasingly forceful terms,” he said, according to Reuters. “If there was any time for real progress, then it is now at a time when so much change and transformation has taken place throughout the region,” Clegg said. He, however, concluded his remarks by saying there was no stronger supporter of Israel than himself. On his part, Abbas welcomed the deputy prime minister’s comments. “This is exactly what we had wanted to hear officially from government of the United Kingdom,” he said.


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I February 2012

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Sharia law compatible with human rights, says leading barrister In Case Y o Missed It u

A leading barrister has called for the UK to become more sharia-literate, while arguing that Islamic law can be compatible with the toughest human rights legislation. Sadakat Kadri told the Guardian that so-called “sharia courts”, such as the Muslim arbitration tribunal, were good for “the community as a whole” by putting Sharia on a transparent, public footing and should be more

widely accessible to those who want to use them. Kadri said they played a role in safeguarding human rights: “It’s very important that they be acknowledged and allowed to exist. So long as they’re voluntary, which is crucial, it’s in everyone’s interests these things be transparent and publicly accessible. If you don’t have open tribunals, they’re going to happen

anyway, but behind closed doors.” In 2008, Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury suggest that sharia law should be more widely adopted. But Kadri, a barrister and contemporary of Barack Obama at Harvard Law School, stresses the ability of sharia to adapt and change. He sets out the history of sharia in a book, Heaven and Earth, to be published on Friday 20 January. He describes the slow development of sharia law, which many assume to be derived directly from the Qur’an, in the centuries after the death of Muhammad. “After 7/7,” he said, “people were saying the sharia is all about violence, others said it’s nothing to do with that, Islam is a religion of peace. Sharia, which means “path” in Arabic, is the name Muslims give to a wide-ranging collection of ethical and legal principles that believers are expected to observe. It includes prohibitions on certain foods and alcohol, as well as the obligation to visit Makkah and give to charity.

Historic copy of Quran on display in London One of the oldest known copies of the Quran went on show at the British Museum ahead of a new exhibition. The Quran, lent by the British Library, will be part of the exhibition, Hajj: Journey To The Heart Of Islam, the first major collection dedicated to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia. The collection will examine the significance of the Hajj as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, exploring its importance for Muslims and looking at how it has evolved. A host of objects have been lent to the exhibition from public and private collections from the UK and around the world, including important historic pieces and new contemporary art works. The objects will document the

perilous journey associated with the pilgrimage, gifts offered to the sanctuary as acts of devotion and the souvenirs brought back from Hajj. Some of the objects will include archaeological material, manuscripts,

textiles, historic photographs and significant material from Saudi Arabia. The exhibition is now open to the public and will run until Sunday April 15th.


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I February 2012

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‘No Halal’ Meat Upsets Muslim MPs

The seat of the British Parliament has upset Muslim lawmakers by refusing to serve halal food at its restaurants. “I did feel misled,” Lord Ahmed of Rotherham told The Daily Mail. “I think a halal option should be made available.” The issue came to headlines after the Palace of Westminster, also

known as the Houses of Parliament, had rejected requests by Muslim lawmakers to serve halal meat in its 23 restaurants and cafes. Muslim MPs and peers were told that they cannot eat halal meat slaughtered in line with Islamic rituals for being offensive to some non-Muslim colleagues. The concept of halal, -- meaning

permissible in Arabic -- has traditionally been applied to food. Now other goods and services can also be certified as halal, including cosmetics, clothing, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Neither the House of Lords nor the House of Commons serve halal meat in their restaurants. The refusal to serve halal meat was slammed by members of the Church of England as reflecting hypocrisy of the Westminster Palace. “It’s a bit hypocritical that the Houses of Parliament, which have allowed other people to provide halal food, have ruled it out on their own premises,” Alison Ruoff, a member of the Church of England, said.

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I February 2012

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UAE cancels $5.8 billion in Iraq debt

The United Arab Emirates says said it will scrap $5.8 billion in debts owed by Iraq, Emirati foreign

minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said after a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart. “An agreement will be signed soon to lay out the legal framework for waiving old Iraqi debt of $5.8 billion,” Shaikh Abdullah said during a joint news conference hosted with Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari. Zebari thanked the UAE for cancelling the debts, which he said was “a very heavy burden” on Iraq. “The relations between the two states did not stop [in the past 10 years], but today we

started the official framework of cooperation,” Zebari said. The debt date backs to the 1980s when Iraq had borrowed money from Gulf states for assistance with Iraq’s long-running war with Iran. The move follows a similar one in 2008, when the UAE wrote off almost $7 billion worth of Iraqi debt left over from the era of Saddam Hussein. Trade between Iraq and the UAE reached more than $4.5 billion last year, the foreign ministers said. Zebari, meanwhile, called cooperation between Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council members in security and military areas “good,” adding that it was Iraq’s destiny to be with its sister countries in the Gulf.

South African Muslim council Shoura approves anti-defamation defends halaal procedures law for media

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has defended its halaal clearance procedures following calls from the local Muslim community for the council to be scrapped. “We have not certified anything which is not halaal. On the basis of that, why must we defend the right to exist? I don’t understand that,” MJC acting president Achmat Sedick told the Cape Times. The council, which certifies products as halaal, was criticised by the Muslim community for allegedly certifying as halaal pork sold by the company Orion Cold Storage. “Orion deceitfully relabelled the products as halaal. The criminality lies with Orion and not the MJC,” Sedick said. The MJC cleared 18 consignments of meat Orion had imported, but was not responsible for checking all of Orion’s imports, he said. Various Muslim groups took court action against Orion late last year.

It was subsequently stripped of the right to label imported meat as halaal. Sedick said the MJC was “evaluating our systems” around halaal meat imports. “We have not changed anything about our procedures and certification. We are looking at the process of clearing all imports and exports to make sure that this does not recur. If there are things that we could tighten up,” Sedick said. National Consumer Forum provincial co-ordinator Imraahn Mukaddam who had led a campaign against the MJC’s halaal unit, accused the MJC of acting like a “corporate monopoly”. “Islam is not a trademark,” he said. “Muslim markets cannot be sold as a franchise. The capitalist exploitation of the Muslim community must stop because the corporate clergy class have lost our trust and proved their incompetence.”

The Shoura Council has approved amendments to the media and publications law which prohibits publishing insulting and defamatory articles about individuals and government officials. The amendments approved by the council include changes to five articles ordered under a Royal Decree issued last year. The Shoura Council also discussed the municipal council’s draft law which consists of 12 chapters and 96 articles. One of the articles stipulates that the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has to appoint non-government and non-profit organizations to monitor municipal council elections. However, these organizations have the freedom to ensure the elections take place in a fair and transparent manner. The draft law stipulates that citizens have the right to vote if they are over 18, do not work at a military post and live inside the country. Citizens can also nominate themselves to stand in the elections as candidates, provided they are over 25 years of age, have no criminal record, and were not dismissed from their jobs for disciplinary reasons


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Taliban confirm initial deal to open political office in Qatar

The Afghan Taliban said they have reached a preliminary agreement to set up a political office in Qatar, and asked for the release of prisoners held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. The Taliban office is seen by Western and Afghan officials as a crucial step to moving forward with secretive attempts to reach a negotiated end to a decade of war in Afghanistan. “We are right now ready ... to have a political office overseas, in order to have an understanding with the international (community), and in this regard we have reached an initial understanding with Qatar

and relevant sites,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an emailed statement received by Reuters. Afghanistan’s high peace council said Kabul would accept a Taliban liaison office in Qatar ─ although Saudi Arabia and Turkey were Afghanistan’s preferred choices ─ but underlined that no foreign power could get involved in the negotiating process without its consent. Senior U.S. officials told Reuters late last month that, after 10 months of dialogue with the Taliban, talks had reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a

breakthrough is possible. As part of the accelerating, highstakes diplomacy, the United States is considering the transfer of several high-profile Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody. Mujahid also called for the release of Taliban prisoners. “The Islamic Emirate has also asked for the release of the Guantanamo prisoners,” the statement said, using the Afghan Taliban’s own name for its movement. The prisoners likely to be freed include former Taliban interior minister Maulvi Khairullah Khairkhwa, former Taliban commander for northern zone Nurullah Nuri, former Taliban intelligence officials Maulavi Wasiq and Muhammad Nabi Khosti, Haji Wali Muhammad, a trader accused of financing the Taliban regime through illegal money business and Taliban army chief Mullah Fazal. Afghanistan’s leaders have expressed concerns that any office be used only as an address to help negotiators verify the identity of anyone claiming to represent the Taliban, rather than as a base to build political clout.

Prince Alwaleed invests $300m in Twitter Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) has invested $300m to buy a ‘strategic stake’ in popular social networking site Twitter. In an emailed statement KHC said that the Twitter deal had been the result of “several months of negotiations and comprehensive due diligence “Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact,” the statement said. Prince Alwaleed, whose

investments include stakes in General Motors Co, News Corp and Apple Inc, was named the world’s richest Arab by Arabian Business with a confirmed personal fortune of $21.3bn. The prince, who signed a deal with Bloomberg in September to launch his own news channel, saw his wealth rise by 4.4 percent over the course of 2011. Kingdom Holding, which is 95 percent owned by the prince, is building the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah at a cost of SR4.6bn ($1.23bn). Work on the 1,000m superscraper is set to begin in January, the architects behind the

project said in November. The number of Twitter users in Saudi Arabia rose by 240 percent in 2010, significantly above the global average, the microblogging site said earlier this year. CEO Dick Costolo said that Twitter had 100m active users logging in at least once a month, and 50m active users every day. The site hosts around 230m ‘tweets’ every day.


Sweden rejects blanket ban on veils in schools Passion Islam

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Sweden’s education agency rejected a blanket ban on veils but said that teachers had in some situations the right to ban students from wearing them. A general ban on Islamic garments such as the full-face niqab or full-body burqa could be considered a violation of religious freedom, the National Agency for Education said. The agency had been asked to clarify its guidelines on in which situations it was possible to ban facial coverings. Lessons in which students could be required to remove veils included those involving laboratory experiments or metal and machinery work, the agency said. The Equality Ombudsman said

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the agency’s statement was in line with its own view. There are no statistics on how many female students in Sweden wear the burqa or the niqab. Estimates suggest there are at least 100,000 practicing Muslims among Sweden’s 9 million inhabitants, but that number is also uncertain as there are no official statistics. The issue has surfaced from time to time. In 2009 a woman studying to become a kindergarten teacher was told she could not wear the niqab at a school where she was training in Stockholm.

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She complained to the Equality Ombudsman, who said that a general ban against veils was discrimination, but since a compromise had been found to allow the woman to complete her training she had not been discriminated against.

France’s presidential hopeful calls for Muslim holidays

France presidential hopeful Eva Joly has called for equal treatment for religions by according a national holiday to the Muslim festival of Eidul-Fitr and the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur in the country. “Each religion should benefit from equal treatment in the public sphere,” Green party presidential candidate, Eva Joly said at her first campaign rally in Paris on Wednesday

“I believe that national holidays should also be accorded to faiths other than the Catholic faith,” she added. Joly also said that religious equality was a “key element of the French national identity” and it had been “battered by five years of the Nikolas Sarkozy presidency”. The Green candidate proposal for new national holidays faced fiery remarks immediately from many French officials. “France’s national holidays have come about through our Christian history. We are not going to rub out our history,” Minister of Higher Education and UMP member Laurent

Wauqiez said. “While the state respects all religions, it recognizes none,” Michael Sapin, campaign director for Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande said, adding that Joly should bear in mind “the great French principle of secularism”. Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right National Front party, attacked Joly directly, calling her rival presidential candidate a “Francophobe”. “I have to ask myself if Eva Joly finds anything good in France, our people, traditions, history and life morals, It’s astonishing coming from a presidential candidate.” Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan -- the ninth month on the Islamic calendar when Muslims refrain from dawn to dusk from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured.


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U.S. judge drops Saudi Binladin Group in Sept 11 lawsuits Largest Quran Manuscript Unveiled

A Saudi construction firm founded in the 1930s by the father of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden cannot be sued for damages over the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a U.S. judge ruled. Manhattan federal court judge George Daniels ruled against plaintiffs who said the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the largest construction firms in Saudi Arabia, helped fund bin Laden’s militant activities leading up to the 2001 attacks. The move dismisses claims against the Binladin Group in six different lawsuits in which survivors, relatives and others are seeking damages from defendants they accuse of aiding the attacks. The judge ruled that the Binladin Group’s “alleged support of Osama bin Laden before 1993 is too

temporally remote to establish jurisdiction.” Any activity a subsidiary of the Binladin Group may have had in the United States prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed close to 3,000 people, was also too thin to justify jurisdiction over it, the judge ruled. Bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces last May in Pakistan, was removed as a shareholder of his family’s construction business in 1993, the court order said. Bin Laden, who was stripped of Saudi citizenship and whose family ultimately disowned him, was born in Saudi Arabia in 1957, one of more than 50 children of millionaire Saudi Binladin group founder Mohammed Binladin. The family became prominent thanks to an oil-fuelled construction boom.

Iran to return US secret drone... as a toy Reports say the US is to get its top secret surveillance drone back from Iran. The catch is, the device, intercepted in December, has been reduced to 1:80 of its original size and is being marketed as a popular toy. Iranian state radio was quoted by Associated Press as saying on Tuesday that the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone toy models would soon

be on sale in Tehran. They are expected to sell for 70,000 rials – around US$4. One of the models will even make it to the White House in response to a formal request from Washington last month asking Iran to return the topsecret device. State radio reports that the model will be of the original aircraft, but one

The largest manuscript copy of the Holy Quran was unveiled in a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. The ceremony was attended by a number of high-ranking cultural and political officials from Pakistan, Khama Press reported. The manuscript copy was calligraphed by eminent Afghan calligrapher Sabber Hosseini at the request of the Hakim Nasser Khosrow Balkhi cultural center. The work of art is 230cm long and 150cm wide. It took Mr. Hosseini more than 5 years to calligraph the work.

New Mosque Opens in France A new mosque was opened last month in Cote d’Or city, France. The mosque has been set up near the building of “Le Bien Public”, which releases a local magazine with the same title. The construction project of the mosque was financially supported by local community. Set up on a 200-square meter site, it replaces the old 27-square meter prayer center in the region. Another new mosque is reported to be open in France n the near future. eightieth of the actual size. The top secret US drone was intercepted over the Iranian town of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers from Iran’s border with Afghanistan, in early December. Reports also suggest the trophy might be put on public display after a thorough examination, and in a year or two it may be put up for auction.

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I February 2012

Biggest Islamic center to be set up in Italy Muslims in Sicily, Southern Italy, will set up the biggest Islamic Center in their country. It is over 30 years that Muslims in Katenna, the major city in Sicily, have not been able to perform their prayers and religious rituals at a place with proper conditions, so it was decided that a Islamic center to be established in this region. The center is planned to be set up with three floors to host a large number of Muslims and to be specified for religious and cultural activities. Qeith Abdul Hafiz, leader of Muslims in Sicily and one of the regional officials said in this respect that presence of a large number of Muslims in the region increases the necessity of establishment of the

center. The center is reported to be constructed without the government’s financial support

“Museums in the Islamic World” Published As part of ISESCO Publications, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has released a new book in Arabic on “Museums in the Islamic World: Emergence and Evolution) by Dr Shawqi Shaath, former Director of Antiquities and Museums in the northern region of Syria. In his foreword to the 304-page book, ISESCO Director General, Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, highlighted ISESCO’s interest in developing comprehensive cultural action, particularly through the modernization of museums and the preservation of their archaeological and artistic collections in the Member States, given their role as a “ repository of history”, “houses of arts and letters” and depots of antiquities, which reflect Man’s intellectual, cultural, social and economic

production through the ages. In the same vein, the Director General noted that ISESCO has always paid attention to maintaining museums in its Member States, and has taken this into account in its various action plans, as part of its efforts to safeguard intangible heritage, particularly museum collections and archaeological sites, as an essential component of civilization. The organization, he adds, is keen on incorporating elements of heritage in a number of such museums, training human resources to manage them using modern ICTs, recovering stolen cultural property, and caring for the physical aspects of manuscripts through maintenance and restoration and the training of specialized human resources in this area on the use of modern technologies.

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WORLD NEWS

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Pakistan tops Google search for ‘Muhammad (pbuh)’ & ‘Quran’ Pakistan is ranked number one in the world to search for the word ‘Muhammad (pbuh)’ and ‘Quran’. A recent report by ProPakistani shows words which were searched the most by Pakistan during the year 2011. The list of those words is as follows: Muhammad (pbuh), Pakistan tops the list among all countries in the world to search for the word ‘Muhammad (pbuh)’. Five Pakistani cities also top the first five spots. Islam, Pakistan ranked as number three in the world to search the word ‘Islam’ on Google in 2011. Quran, From all over the world, Pakistan was the number one location to search the word ‘Quran’ on Google – with Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore topping the first three spots respectively. Education, Literacy rate still may not be that high in Pakistan, but it tops the list of countries searching for the word education’ on Google during 2011. English, Pakistan is once again on top, with Karachi and Lahore also topping the list of cities that searched for the word ‘English’. Scholarships, With Islamabad and Lahore on the fourth and fifth spot, Pakistan ranked on number five to search for the word ‘scholarships during the year 2011′. Apart from the above mentioned results, Pakistan also ranked as top country that searched the term ‘Jobs’ and ‘Peace’, seventh for searching ‘Information Technology’ and second for searching ‘Physics’ and ‘Thesis’. passionislam.com


“U.S. and UK want to get rid of Saudi regime”

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The Saudi Arabian monarchy will be overthrown by Qatar very soon, a leaked confidential conversation by Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani has revealed. According to an audio file which has gone viral on the Internet, the

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premier said Qatari troops would occupy Qatif in Eastern Province and the Al Saud regime will disintegrate. “The regime of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud is exhausted and powerless to control the country and the army cannot confront the future changes,” he asserted. The remarks were made as people in Qatif have been staging protest rallies to demand freedom and equality over the past months. The Qatari premier also revealed that the United States and Britain wanted him to report back to them on the situation in Saudi Arabia. “They want to get rid of the Saudi

French Muslim bride sues mayor after order to remove hijab

A newly-wed Muslim couple are suing the mayor of Lyon after a local official insisted the bride remove her hijab at the town hall wedding ceremony. The bride, identified only as Nassima A., was asked to remove a veil which was covering her hair during her wedding ceremony at a town hall in Lyon. “Nassima thought it was an order and did not think twice about removing her hijab. She thought she had to do it to get married and took it off in front of everybody,” says her lawyer Gilles Devers in an interview with the French daily Liberation. He says she felt humuliated during the ceremony. The deputy mayor of Lyon’s 9th district, Fatiha Ben Ahmed, who

asked the bride to bare her hair, told the bride that she looked “very pretty” without a veil. The couple are now suing the mayor of Lyon Gérard Collomb and demanding €50,000 in damages. The mayor says he is ready to negotiate with the couple and admits Ben Ahmed could have been more sensitive during Nassima’s wedding ceremony. After the incident the local official Ben Ahmed said she had acted to defend the rights of women. In France, officials who conduct wedding ceremonies are required to check the identities of the bride and groom. However in this case, Nassima’s hijab was not covering her face.

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regime while they are afraid of any new Islamic regime in the region,” Sheikh Hamad said. “Therefore, Qatar has taken advantage to transfer US military bases to its country,” he added. Sheikh Hamad said Qatar also has been able to gradually reduce the dominance of Saudi Arabia in the region and impose itself on Arab countries. Qatari state-run news channel Aljazeera has refused to comment on the audio clip. This is while several Arabiclanguage new agencies have covered the story. Passion Islam cannot independently verify the authenticity of this report.

Gold-plated Quran to be displayed A gold-plated Quran will, for the first time, be on display during the Chinese Islamic Treasure Exhibition at the Terengganu State Museum from February 14th Terengganu State Museum director Mohd Yusof Abdullah said the Muslim holy book would be among many Islamic artifacts on show during the six-month exhibition. The 500-year-old Quran was from the Ming Dynasty,” he told a press conference here yesterday. Mohd Yusof said the manufacturing history of the goldplated Quran began during the Ottoman Empire using Naskhi script. It was then taken to East Turkestan by an Arab religious scholar during the Ming Dynasty. The Quran, valued at more than RM170mil by international artifact experts, was then taken to Yunnan in China.


World’s top Halal-friendly travel spots revealed Passion Islam

I February 2012

WORLD NEWS

Malaysia, Brunei and Qatar have all been named amongst the world’s top 10 Muslim-friendly holiday hotspots for the year ahead, according to a new survey. Halal website Crescentrating has listed its top 10 Muslimfriendly destinations amongst the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as the top 10 countries outside the bloc. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vienna and London all take a spot in among the world’s leading Muslim-friendly destinations outside of the OIC.

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Destinations were complied based on the facilities available for Muslim visitors such as Halal food availability, Halal certified restaurants, and the availability of mosques and family-friendly attractions, said Crescentrating. The Halal market is estimated to be around $2 trillion, underpinned by one of the fastest growing religions in the world, according to the consultancy group AT Kearney. There are an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, representing 23.4 percent of the global population.

Anti-Islamic websites come under scrutiny

German authorities have announced a plan to place anti-Islamic websites under surveillance because of growing concern that they are becoming more radical and fomenting right-wing violence. The attack by Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people in July and posted a “manifesto” on the internet, threw a spotlight on the role played by websites as a forum for spreading hatred of Muslims in Europe Right-wing populists and websites condemned Mr Breivik as a crazed loner. But many of the arguments in his 1,500-page declaration matched their own rhetoric, sparking accusations that they have been breeding violence by railing against Muslims. In Germany, calls for greater scrutiny of the far-right intensified after the revelation in November that a neo-Nazi terrorist cell murdered at least 10 people, eight of them Muslim immigrants of Turkish origin, in a killing spree spanning more than a decade. The case has embarrassed German authorities and exposed them to criticism that they have been blind to the threat posed by racists. The head of the Hamburg branch of the intelligence agency, Manfred Murck, said there were clear signs that the operators of many antiMuslim sites “had a disturbed

relationship with the democratic rule of law” and often espoused “infringements of human rights protected under our constitution”. Aiman Mazyek, the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said in a recent interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, a leading newspaper, that it was time authorities clamped down on such sites. “We must be clear that the lines between right-wing populists and right-wing radicals are blurred. The

one can pave the way for the other. Right-wing populists like to fan fear of Islam, and the resulting hostility to Islam is used by neo-Nazis as an entrance ticket into mainstream society. “Those who sow hatred and transport blatant racism cloaked as criticism of Islam aren’t representing an opinion but committing a crime. No one minds criticism but there is no right to spreading racist ideology, which is precisely what inflammatory internet sites are doing.”


UAE Rugby gets official recognition

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UAE’s governing body of sport, the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, recently advised UAE Rugby that their general strategy guidelines will be incorporated into the Authority’s online governance and compliance portal for the development of sporting unions within the UAE. Only four UAE registered unions, out of 80, have been recognised and selected by the Authority to be referenced in the portal, which is aimed at creating accountable strategic planning and governance for UAE’s official sporting unions. The portal will be a mandatory administration tool and will allow

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the Authority to effectively monitor and oversee each union’s progress throughout the year. This selection is the result of a dramatic and intense climb in UAE Rugby’s first official year. “We have been very focused with building a proficient management team and implementing processes that are both effective and accountable for the betterment of the game,” said UAE Rugby Association Chairman Mohammad Falaknaz. “For our efforts to be recognised, be acknowledged by our governing body and have our strategic guidelines incorporated into the portal is a great honour.”

Zesh Rehman signs for Hong Kong champions

Leading Kick It Out ambassador Zesh Rehman has signed a one-anda-half year contract with Hong Kong champions Kitchee SC. After a successful first year in Asia

with Thai side Muang Thong United, the former Bradford City captain is now heading to new territory in East Asia. Ken Ng, Kitchee’s President, said: “Kitchee is happy to have secured Zesh as our Asian Foreigner for the upcoming AFC Cup competition. Not only has Zesh played at the highest level in England, he has also demonstrated his leadership and good nature as an individual who share our values. We believe that he will make a positive impact at Kitchee and in Hong Kong Football.” Focusing on the challenge ahead, ex-Fulham and QPR defender commented: “I am looking forward to getting started and taking up this new challenge. Kitchee play a very good style of football and put in decent performances against both Chelsea and Blackburn last year. “After meeting with the directors and owners of the club, I was impressed with their ambition and

determination to take the club up a level. I want to play my part in helping Kitchee improve, raise the profile of the club and further progress in the AFC Cup.” After making the move to Muang Thong a year ago, Zesh became the first ex-Premier League player to play in Thailand. Since then, former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler has gone on to become Muang Thong’s manager. The 28-year-old continued: “Thailand was a great experience and all the players, management and fans were great to me until the day I left. Robbie’s arrival was great for me personally as I learnt a lot from him and I’m sure he will continue to improve the team. “I had some very good offers in other parts of Asia and Europe but all my attention now turns to Kitchee. As a player I’m still yet to reach my peak and I want to continue developing as a player and person.”


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I February 2012

LFC open Egypt football Academy

The groundbreaking venture, a first for Liverpool FC in the Middle East, was officially unveiled by Reds legend Ian Rush at a ceremony attended by media from all over the region. The Academy, when it officially opens early next month, will have a permanent base in Madinaty, a new 33 million square metre ultra-modern extension city being built within New Cairo, with a supporting soccer school in nearby Al Rehab designed to help identify the best young footballing talent in Cairo. For Managing Director Ian Ayre, who over the past two years has seen LFC team up with international parters to open soccer schools in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway,

Greece, Cyprus, Indonesia, USA and St. Vincent in the Caribbean, the announcement demonstrates a genuine commitment to bringing supporters closer to the club, no matter where in the world they live. “Our international football Academies connect fans around the world and provide young people with an opportunity to be trained by qualified coaches at an official Liverpool Football Club academy,” says Ayre. “All of our Academies follow the operating model of our own academy here in Liverpool and we are excited about this latest addition in Egypt as it will also bring children together in local communities through football events and camps.” LFC Online

Liverpool take Swedish youngster on trial Liverpool have stolen a march on a host of European clubs by inviting Swedish teenage sensation Abdul Aziz for a trial at the club. The IFK Norrkoping attacker will spend a week at their Melwood training ground under the watchful eye of Kop Academy Director Frank McParland, who will run the rule over the 14–year-old many regard

as the hottest prospect in Swedish football. The teenage forward is currently part of IFK Norrkoping’s academy and has represented Sweden at youth level and the Reds have jumped to the top of the queue for his signature, ahead of both Inter and AC Milan. passionislam.com

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Free Equality and Diversity training for club staff & volunteers The RFL would like to offer four free places for club and community staff and volunteers at each of the 2012 RFL staff Equality and Diversity courses. Training covers all equality strands with a Rugby League specific focus. Through interactive group work in a supportive environment participant will have the opportunities to explore stereotypes, assumptions, unconscious bias, barriers to participation and action planning to address barriers. The training has been well evaluated by RFL staff and the session is both enjoyable and thought provoking. RFL Equality and Diversity Training - Hamara Centre, Beeston Leeds: Thursday 12th January 2012 10.00am - 4.00pm Monday 12th March 2012 10.00am - 4.00pm Thursday 10th May 2012 10.00am - 4.00pm Tuesday 3rd July 2012 10.00am - 4.00pm Thursday 6th September 10.00am - 4.00pm If you would like to book your place on any of these courses please contact Kate Walls RFL Workforce Development Officer at kate.walls@rfl.uk.com


Creating Strategic Partnerships

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I BUSINNESS FEATURE

Passion Islam

I February 2012

Talking Busine ss with Aisha Eja z

Running a business can test your metal at best of times, but doing so in the ‘age of austerity’ has changed the game. The fittest businesses are those that are not afraid of change and can adapt to and embrace the turbulence within our economy. Today, there are many businesses struggling to survive as they have not accepted nor adapted to the market changes. They are somewhat traditional in their ways and may often be overwhelmed with new developments. Equally though, there are businesses that have evolved with market changes and are much better placed in terms of survival of the fittest. These businesses have perfected the art of identifying their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and successfully created strategic partnerships (also known as strategic alliances). Creating wellstructured and meaningful strategic alliances are critical to any business’ success as it represents the middle ground where both parties can build on each other’s success – “win win situation”. So who or what kinds of businesses can strategic partnerships be developed with? Some are: * Suppliers (improved terms of trade) * Competitors (cross sell, product licensing, global alliances) * Large customers (preferred supplier status and product testing) * New Entrants to market (ensure you are not priced out of market) * Outsourcing (exclusive arrangements to keep competitors out) Note: This is not an exhaustive list of with whom such partnerships can be developed. The main purpose of a strategic partnership is the speed in which growth may be achieved. Launching a new product/service, may not be cost efficient for Company A due to having to complete various feasibility, market and demand tests amongst other considerations. However creating a strategic partnership with

Company B eliminates substantial risk for Company A. This is because Company B already possesses the ‘know-how’ and is successfully operating in the market. Businesses that have adapted their business models with the volatile demands of our economy and taken advantage of strategic partnerships, are not only seeing survival of their business but are also witnessing and enjoying growth. It is important to note that strategic partnerships create confidence with investors/ lenders as this illustrates a proven business model and a credible and experienced management team. Strategic partnerships can be for a number of reasons. Some of which are: * Market – need support to distribute product/service to customers * Technology – Company B may have more advanced technology suitable for Company A’s needs * Geographical – penetrating overseas markets * Management – fusion of two teams for top quality management * Risk Minimization – With Company B’s track record, Company A’s risk/ losses should be minimal * Acquisitions – limited opportunities and strategic partnerships ensure growth. Note: This is not an exhaustive list of when companies may wish to enter into Strategic partnerships. Strategic partnerships are everywhere today. Large and small businesses are cutting costs and eliminating as much waste as possible to ensure bottom-line growth. With such cost cutting exercises, strategic partnerships often become viable options whilst expanding their market reach simultaneously. In order to successfully create a strategic partnership, it is important to identify in regular intervals, the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your business. In addition, you must be able to answer the following questions: 1. What is my business’ strategic objective?

2. What are my management team’s core skills? 3. What strategic gaps are there in my business? 4. What are my competitors like and how are they faring? (Completing a SWOT analysis here would be recommended) 5. What can my business offer Company B? 6. What is my business USP and how will this potential alliance create value? Note: This is not an exhaustive list of questions. Without being armed with at least answers to the above questions, you may not recognise the need for such an alliance and may miss a golden opportunity. An opportunity awaits you at every corner, therefore, it is important to be alert and aware. After all, this is your business and its success lies in your hands as its owner. The more you know your ‘baby’, the more success you will be well placed to enjoy. About the Author Passion Islam Business Articles series as published since October 2011, have been submitted by Aisha Ejaz, Director, Noor Business Services Limited. For further information, Aisha can be contacted at Aisha@noorbizservices.co.uk Islamic Disclaimer Islamically, it is every Muslim’s duty to ensure that their income is halal and is obtained through halal means.


Valentine’s Day

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Another day approaches when Muslims become inane and participate in it with much excitement. Every 14th of February across the globe, couples give each other gifts as a sign of their love. Most of them do not even know why they are celebrating this day and what the origin of this day is. Despite what other people are doing, even across the Muslim world such acts are carried out on this day as well. Historians link this day to a certain St. Valentine. The Catholic Church identifies three saints who were named Valentine and where all martyred. There are variations in the origin of this day. Some say that this day originates from a Roman called Valentine who was asked to give up Christianity but refused to do so and thus was killed on 14thFebruary 269 C.E., the day which was also allocated to love lotteries. Another tradition arises from the time of Emperor Claudius II. He came to a conclusion that single men made better soldiers and thus made it illegal for young men to marry. No wives, no families – hence better soldiers. During this time St. Valentine was a priest at the temple and he found the actions of Claudius outrageous and thus defied the emperor by marrying off young men in private. When the emperor became aware of the actions of Valentine he sent him to jail, and according to certain sources he was to be put to death. In 496 C.E., the 14th of February was set as a day to honour St. Valentine by Pope Gelasius. Some legends also inform us that St. Valentine fell in love with the Jailer‟s daughter who would visit him often before he was put to death. It is also stated that before his death, Valentine wrote a letter for her (sort of a love letter) and signed it off as “From Your Valentine”. One cannot point to the exact origin of this day however one thing is for certain that regardless of which version of the story holds to be true, it is an event which the Muslims were not asked

SPECIAL FEATURE

by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to celebrate; it is a day with origins deep within Christianity and not Islam. It should also be noted that Christianity as a religion does not ask its followers to celebrate this day. This day is a complete innovation by man. It honours a saint not of the Islamic religion but of Christianity. It is also important to point out here that in the pagan Roman days, mid-February was allocated for the festival of love. Every year Muslims spend a lot of money buying chocolates, jewelleries, cards and a range of other gift items. While it is perfectly okay for married couples to give each other gifts, it is most definitely against Islam for unmarried „couples‟ to follow these practices. Islam recognises „love‟, but does not recognize „love affairs‟. So why do we forget

teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) and Allah (SWT) so easily? First let me point out that when I said above that it is okay for married couples to give each other gifts, I certainly did not mean that they should do it on this particular day. In Islam a husband and wife should express love for each other every single day hence borrowing the name given to 14th of February, I would say that everyday

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should be a Valentine’s Day for the husband and wife. So what happens when a husband and wife go out of their way to express their love for each other particularly on this day? When the child sees that his or her parents are going out of their way on this particular day, he or she would automatically start to associate this day as being one in which you are to express you love for your loved ones and thus even unintentionally we as parents would be teaching them that this day is actually of some significance. As Muslims we should know and realize the importance of our religious teachings. Islam in itself is a religion of peace and love and thus we are to express our love not only towards our parents, wives/ husbands, and children but also towards our neighbours, poor & needy, all of the Muslim Ummah and humanity at large. We are to express this love and care for them throughout the year; no one particular day is needed for us to express our love for others. To a Muslim, Islam should be the first and foremost priority and we should not blindly imitate the rest of the world. Just because someone else wants to follow a day does not mean that we as Muslims should do the same. We are told by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not to imitate the non-Muslims, then why do we repeatedly imitate them. Islam is a complete way of life, and we are to follow this complete way of life if we want to come close to Allah (SWT). We should not be party to the irreligious practices that take place on that day; Muslims or non Muslims. As being part of the Muslim Ummah we should boycott such man-made innovations and not be a part of it. Insha-Allah we should all make a conscious decision to move closer to Islam rather than away from it by distancing ourselves from such un-Islamic practice. rabetah


Three Talaaqs (Divorce) Is it permissible to give three talaaqs at once?

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Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayhima) are of the opinion that to give three talaaqs in one sentence is Haraam and Bid’at (an innovation). This is also narrated from Imam Ahmad. From the Sahaabah, this is narrated from Hadhrat Umar, Ali, Ibn Masood, Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar (Radhiallahu Anhum). Imam Nasa’i has recorded a hadeeth on the authority of Hadhrat Mahmud Ibn Labid that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) was informed of a man who had given his wife three talaaqs at once. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) stood up angrily and said, “Does he play with the book of Allah whilst I am present amongst you?” It is narrated that Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anhu) would punish by flogging anyone brought to him who had divorced his wife with three

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talaaqs. According to the opinion of Imam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) pronouncing three talaaqs at once is not haraam, however, it is preferred that three talaaqs should not be given together in one “tuhr” (state of purity). The preferred method of divorcing is to say once or write “I divorce you”. This should be in a “tuhr” in which there has been no sexual intercourse and then leave the wife alone until she passes three periods. Are three talaaqs counted as three? If a man says to his wife, “You are divorced”, “You are divorced”, “You are divorced” or “I divorce you” “I divorce you”, “I divorce you” or says only once “I give you three talaaqs” then do three talaaqs take effect or

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are they counted as being only one talaaq? The most famous opinion in regards to the ruling of three talaaqs is the verdict of the Four Imams (Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’ee, Imam Ahmad) and the majority of the scholars from the time of the pious predecessors to this day that three talaaqs take effect and are counted as three. This is narrated from Hadhrat Umar, Uthman, Ali, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood, Ubaadah Ibn Samit, Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Abdullah Ibn Amr, Anas Ibn Malik and Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (Radhiallahu Anhum). The Ja’fariah Shi’ah claim that such sentences have no effect and thus not even one talaaq takes place. The Ahl-Zahir (Salafees), Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim are of the opinion that only one talaaq raj’ee


I February 2012 takes effect. In support of their stance, the Salafees present two Ahaadith. The first is the saying of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (Radhiallahu Anhuma) recorded by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh which states that three talaaqs were counted as one in the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam), Abu Bakr and for two years into the khilafat of Umar Ibn Khattab. Then Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anhu) said, “Surely people have rushed into a matter in which there was some respite for them, so it would be better if we put an end to it. Then he executed the ruling. (Takmila Fathul Mulhim, P.151 Vol 1) The second is a hadeeth reported by Imam Ahmad in which it is mentioned that Rukaanah Ibn Abdul Aziz pronounced three talaaqs to his wife in one instance and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) counted it as one talaaq. However, the reality is that neither hadeeth can be used as evidence. In the blessed time of the Noble Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam), if someone pronounced the sentence three times and said his intention was to give only one talaaq with the first sentence and that repetition was merely for emphasis, not to give three separate talaaqs, then because of the purity of the hearts of the people, his claim would be accepted. As time passed and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anhu) became the khalifah, the population had increased. Hadhrat Umar noticed that lying had become commonplace. People would repeat the word talaaq three times and then say that they were only emphasising the first one and so he decreed that three talaaqs take effect and count as three. Anyone’s claim of only intending emphasis and not three separate talaaqs was no longer accepted. Furthermore, in the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) pronouncing even one talaaq was considered as severe as three. For this reason, Hadhrat Umar, after seeing a decline in moral standards declared three talaaqs to count as three in case people begin taking the issue of talaaq lightly. Allamah Maaziri mentions that some people might argue that

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Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallahu Anhu) abrogated a ruling of Shariah whereas abrogation is only possible for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam); no one after him can abrogate any Shariah law. This argument is not correct because if Hadhrat Umar had cancelled a ruling of the Shariah then the Sahaabah would have immediately contested and pointed out this mistake. He did not abrogate, he merely acted according to the need of the time due to the changes in circumstances. This is like when Hadhrat A’aisha (Radhiallahu Anha) disliked women coming to the masjid for salah. She said, “Had Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) seen what the womenfolk have invented, he would definitely have stopped them from the masaajid just as the ladies of Bani Israeel were prevented. (Bukhari) The hadeeth of Rukaanah Ibn Abdul Aziz mentioned previously is also presented as proof. This hadeeth has been narrated with a variation in wording. In one narration the word “three talaaqs” is mentioned and in many other narrations the word “al-battah”, hence it cannot be used as proof. Al-battah means ‘Baain’, the separating talaaq, as opposed to Raj’ee, which means one in which retaking is allowed. There are many ahadeeth in support of the consensus of the fuqahaa which substantiate three talaaqs taking effect. Mufti Muhammad Taqi sahib has mentioned fourteen such Aathaar in his commentary of Saheeh Muslim; Takmilah Fathul-Mulhim (p.154, vol1) from which five are mentioned briefly: Imam Bukhari narrates on the authority of Hadhrat A’aisha (Radhiallahu Anha) that a man divorced his wife with three talaaqs. The woman then married someone else only to be divorced again. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) was asked if she had become halaal for the first husband. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) answered, “No, not unless the second has intercourse with her as was done by the first husband.” The hadeeth of Uwaymir AlAjlaani also known as the “the hadeeth of li’aan” which clearly indicates that the Holy Prophet

Written by Asif Saleem - Checked and corrected by Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Raheem Sahib

SPECIAL FEATURE I 25 (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) enforced three talaaqs given at once. In this hadeeth Hadhrat Uwaymir said, “I would be lying if I were to retain her” after which he gave her three talaaqs. Imam Bayhaqi has narrated in his Sunan Al-Kubra on the authority of Hadhrat Sawaad Ibn Gaflah that a woman by the name of A’aisha Khathamiah was married to Hadhrat Hasan Ibn Ali. Upon the passing away of Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallahu Anhu) she remarked, “Congratulations upon gaining the khilaafah.” Hadhrat Hasan (Radhiallahu Anhu) got angry and said, “Are you expressing happiness upon the death of my father?” He then gave her three talaaqs. After she had completed her iddah (waiting period upon being divorced), Hadhrat Hasan sent her the remainder of her dowry and an extra ten thousand. Upon receiving the gifts she commented, “A meagre amount from a departing beloved.” When news of this reached Hadhrat Hasan (Radhiallahu Anhu) he began to weep and said, “Was it not that I heard my grandfather” or he said “Was it not that I had heard my father saying he had heard my grandfather saying, “Whoever gives three talaaqs to his wife ………….then she does not become halaal for him until she marries again”, I would have definitely taken her back. Imam Abdur Razzaq in his Musannaf and Imam Tabrani narrate on the authority of Hadhrat Ubaadah Ibn Saamit (Radiallahu Anhu) that he said, “Someone from my forefathers gave one thousand talaaqs to his wife. His sons came to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) and enquired, “Oh Messenger of Allah! Verily our father has given one thousand talaaqs to our mother. Is there anyway way out for him? The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) said, “Your father did not fear Allah that He make a way out for him from his affair. She has separated from him by three talaaqs which were given against the sunnah and the sin of nine hundred and ninety-seven remains upon his neck.” Imam Nasaai in proof that three talaaqs given simultaneously take effect narrates the incident of Fatimah Bint Qais in which it is Continued next month


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Passion Islam February 2012