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Muhammad is Issue: 32
Number ONE Muhammad has become the most popular name for newborn boys in Britain. It shot up from third the previous year, overtaking Jack, which had topped the list for the past 14 years but was relegated to third spot. A total of 7,549 newborns were given 12 variations of the Prophet Muhammad name last year, such as Mohammed and Mohammad. The second most popular boyâ€™s name, Oliver, was given to 7,364 babies. Harry and Alfie came in fourth and fifth place respectively. The official list, which covers all births in 2009 in England and Wales, has
Muhammad at number 16 but this does not include the many different spellings, which are all ranked separately. When they are added in, Muhammad zooms all the way up to top spot for the first time. In order of popularity, the variant spellings used during the year were: Muhammad, Mohammad, Muhammed, Mohamed, Mohamad, Muhamed, Mohammod, Mahamed, Muhamad, Mahammed and Mohmmed. There are still other possible spellings but these were not used for births in England and Wales in 2009. Regionally, the single spelling of Muhammad came
top of the list for the West Midlands. Since 1999 the number of babies called Muhammad, however spelled, has increased by more than half. In 1999 the name was given to 4,579 newborns. Going even further back, the single spelling Muhammad appeared at 73 in the list in 1964 and 87th in 1944. Overall, the popularity of the most common names has changed little, with the top tens for both boys and girls remaining almost identical. There were 706,248 children born in England and Wales last year. passionislam.com
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I November 2010
By Yvonne Ridley
US INTELLIGENCE TRADES ON FEAR IN LATEST TERROR PLOT
We are in the grip of yet another socalled terror plot designed to terrify the wits out of everyone. Anyone of a nervous disposition was sent in to a tailspin of panic over the increasingly dramatic news coverage … this manifested itself in a tsunami of 911 calls in America which paralysed parts of New York, Maine and Philadelphia for several hours. Mercifully in Britain the majority of us refuse to get caught up in this bloody nonsense for many different reasons. The primary one being we had already endured more than three decades of this during the height of the IRA activities in London. Virtually every single day for 30 years there would be some terror alert in the English capital – it was called shoestring terrorism. One telephone call could bring a halt to a section of the London Underground. The police would make their necessary checks, the media would ignore it and we all got on with our lives refusing to be intimidated by Irish terrorism. And that is exactly how we should have treated the terror nonsense – that does not mean to say people should be reckless or less vigilant but governments should stop trying to impose a fear factor on its citizens. We can not sacrifice our freedoms and liberties just because America wants to impose its own neurosis, hysteria and paranoia on the rest of the world.
While British anti-terror police say no explosives were found in a suspicious package found onboard a UPS flight, the White House issued a statement completely contradicting this. Now the parcel has been removed for full forensic testing! Call me cynical, but I find it too much of a coincidence that this bizarre alert came less than 24 hours after British Airways chairman Martin Broughton has accused the country of bowing to US demands for increased airport security measures. Mr Broughton criticised the US for imposing more security checks on US-bound flights, but not on its own domestic services. He urged the UK to stop kowtowing to demands for passengers to take their shoes off and to put any laptop computers through scanners to be screened separately. The UK government said it would give airport operators permission to review their security procedures and I hope they stick to their promise despite all this nonsense. One of the most ridiculous procedures we have to go through is to submit all of our potions, lotions and liquids to airport security. This came about because of the so-called plot to blow 10 airliners out of the sky. That the fools behind this crazy scheme didn’t even have passports or a collective IQ of George W Bush mattered not. A video was shown of an explosion
onboard a plane if this chemical had been mixed with that chemical. The fact the bombmakers would have had to create sub zero laboratory conditions onboard a plane which would take around 40 minutes, mattered not. As a frequent flyer I can tell you no would would be allowed to hog the tiny toilets for more than five minutes. Yet despite this nonsense we have to hand over our liquids, but can buy them in vast quantities minutes later having past through airport security. Just recently I was stopped because I had a brand new 200ml jar of Eve Lom face cleanser and was told I could not take it through. I pleaded for some commonsense from the security officer and he even went to his superior when I pointed out that the jar cost more than my airline ticket. A nearby passenger who had just wistfully given up his full bottle of Remy Martin brandy sympathized with me. Since when did Eve Lom become a threat to Britain’s national security? The British Government’s COBRA emergency committee is meeting as I write this. God only knows what will transpire but I hope this coalition government distances itself from these crazy security terror alerts coming over from the Americans. US President barack Obama is facing his mid-term elections this weekend … if either he or his team have resorted to the “terror threat” ploy so often used by his predecessor to try and win votes then shame on them. Of course what better way to divert voters’ minds from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Wikileaks than to create a fresh new bogeyman … Yemen. Any government which uses security and fear to win votes does not deserve to be in power. Yvonne Ridley is a presenter for Press TV’s show The Agenda and co-presenter of the Rattansi & Ridley show
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I November 2010
Israel postpones ‘dialogue’ with UK
Israel has postponed all strategic dialogue with Britain in protest at a law which allows British courts to prosecute visiting Israeli officials for alleged war crimes, officials said. Strategic dialogue between the two countries
takes place annually and focuses on defence and security issues. “The strategic dialogue has indeed been postponed,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP shortly after British Foreign Secretary
William Hague arrived for a two-day visit. “The visit by Foreign Minister Hague is an important phase in the ongoing exchange between the countries and the question of Israeli officials being unable to travel to Britain will be on the top of the agenda as far as we are concerned,” he said. The law in question gives British courts “universal jurisdiction” to issue warrants against individuals accused of war crimes, including visiting foreign politicians. Earlier Israel’s Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor cancelled a trip to London over general concerns he risked being arrested, with local media speculating it was in connection with Israel’s deadly raid on a Gazabound aid flotilla in May. In Ramallah for talks with Palestinian officials, Hague insisted the British government was taking the issue seriously. “The issue of universal jurisdiction is something
that we in the new government are putting right... but we will do that in our own way and on our own timetable.” Britain’s embassy in Tel Aviv said a draft amendment to the law would be put before parliament”. “The British government understands that we have a real problem and we are dealing with it,” spokeswoman Karen Kaufman told AFP, saying it would take “several months” before any amendment was passed. “We will present a draft (amendment) in the coming weeks with the goal of passing it in this current sitting of parliament.” This year’s strategic dialogue meeting, which had been expected to take place in Britain last month, did not happen, a diplomatic source said. A spokesman for the prime minister’s office declined comment, but Hague insisted that “a great deal of strategic dialogue goes on all the time.”
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I November 2010
UK spy boss: Nukes a wider threat than terrorism
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Britain’s top spy, in the first public speech by a serving UK espionage chief, said terrorists might hit the West again “at huge human cost” but nuclear proliferation by states was a more far-reaching danger. Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) chief John Sawers, in a address to the Society of Editors media group hosted at Thomson Reuters London offices, said the risks of failure in tackling proliferation by countries like Iran “are grim.” “Terrorism is difficult enough, and despite our collective efforts, an attack may well get through. The human cost would be huge. But our country, our democratic system, will not be brought down by a typical terrorist attack,” he said “The dangers of proliferation of nuclear weapons and chemical and biological weapons are more far-reaching. It can alter the whole balance of power in a region,” said Sawers, whose century-old service is popularly known as MI6. He added that intelligence failings on Iraq before the 2003 invasion showed “politicians and officials alike” how important it was that sources of information were rigorously evaluated. Improving intelligence performance has been a focus for the West since the Septemper 11 2001, attacks and the 2003 Iraq invasion, events involving profound faults in preparedness. A British inquiry in 2004 by a former top civil servant, Lord Butler, said it was a “serious weakness” that caveats from intelligence chiefs were not spelt out in a September 2002 dossier which set out the government’s case for disarming Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Former US President George W. Bush launched the Iraq invasion citing a threat of weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein’s government. No such weapons were ever found. Sawers said the Butler Review “was a clear reminder, to both
the agencies and the center of government, politicians and officials alike, of how intelligence needs to be handled.” He added he was confident his service had implemented the recommendations of Butler’s report, which urged steps to ensure “effective scrutiny and validation of human intelligence sources” and to make sure this was properly resourced. Sawers, a career diplomat, had previously been the ambassador to the United Nations, the Foreign Office’s political director, and also worked as an envoy in Baghdad and as foreign affairs adviser to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. His speech is a move to more public accountability and openness at SIS, a big cultural shift for a service that 20 years ago was so secret the government would not publicly avow its existence, even if it still enjoys more anonymity than its close US ally, the Central Intelligence Agency. The pressure on intelligence officials to be more transparent has many roots — pressure from lawmakers to prevent abuses and improve performance, public concern over surveillance by authorities, and a need by the intelligence community to make their work known so as to widen the avenues of recruitment. SIS, which gathers secret intelligence overseas, was first publicly acknowledged by the government in the 1990s. passionislam.com
Airfreight risk League table announced
Countries sending airfreight to the UK will be “graded” according to risk, UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has said. Rules which allowed some freight not to be rescreened if it was merely passing through the UK were being amended, he added. Hammond was speaking after the meeting representatives of airlines, airports and parcel companies to discuss security in the wake of alledge air cargo bomb plot. Outlining a freight risk “league table”, Hammond said: “We shall be categorising countries of origin (for freight) according to layers of risk.” Freight from Yemen and Somalia has been banned since last week’s incident and Mr Hammond said these two countries would be at the high-risk end of the categorised countries. After the meeting with Hammond, Mike Arrive, chief executive of Bar UK (the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK), said: “We had a good meeting. I think passengers should be assured that measures being introduced should have only a limited effect on them.”
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I November 2010
UK unwilling to discuss illegality of Israel attack on Jewish boat British Airways speaks out against US-imposed security checks
The British government is unwilling to say whether last month’s attack by Israel in international waters on a UK-registered Jewish boat taking aid to Gaza was illegal. “We are unable to comment on whether or when legal advice has been sought/given,” Foreign Office Minster Lord Howell said in a written parliamentary reply. “We followed this incident closely, that our consular staff remained in regular contact with the families of those British Nationals on board and that we offered consular assistance to the British participants on arrival in Israel,” Howell said. The minister was replying to a written question from Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge, who asked what legal advice the government received concerning the interception of the British registered boat in international waters, when carrying Jewish people towards Gaza. Organisers of the boat, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) condemned the attack, which it said took place outside Gaza’s 12 nautical miles of territories waters.
British freelance photo-journalist Vish Vishvanath, travelling on the boat, also said it was illegal for Israel troops to have forcefully taken over control and took down the British flag it was flying. After returning to the UK, British captain Glyn Secker A British captain, deported from Israel, has returned to the UK, related the extent of the violence used by the Israeli forces in seizing a Jewish boat seeking to break the three-year siege of Gaza. “It was only luck that there were not more deaths and another public relations disaster for Israel,” Secker said. The attack on the nine crew and passengers “violent, reckless and very dangerous” as well as being “illegal,” he said. In his reply, Howell referred to the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May, when masked Israeli commandoes gunned down nine passengers on Mavi Marmara. “We have repeatedly made it clear to Israel that it is a matter of grave concern that Israeli actions should have ended in such heavy and tragic loss of life,” he said. IRNA
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British Airways (BA) has spoken out against US-imposed security checks at UK airports that are not implemented for internal American flights, saying Britain should stop ‘kowtowing’ to Washington’s demands. ‘America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do. We shouldn’t stand for that. We should say ‘we’ll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential’,’ said BA chairman Martin Broughton. Broughton suggested the practice of forcing passengers on US-bound flights to take off their shoes and to have their laptops checked separately in security lines should be dropped, during a conference of UK airport operators in London. There was no need to ‘kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done’, he was reported to have said by the Financial Times in remarks that were not disputed by BA. The criticism is believed to be the first from a major airline against US demands that have grown since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and have become he more obsessive after the alleged attempt blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Yemen as it was landing at Detroit airport last December. Transport Minister Philip Hammond told the conference he wanted a new regulatory system – where the government concentrated on setting security outcomes that are needed. But according to the BBC, the Department for Transport said there were no plans to change rules on checking laptops and shoes. This article was written before the bomb packages on the plane incidents
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I November 2010
No terror arrests from stop-and-search says government
Not one person stopped and searched under anti-terrorism powers in Britain was arrested for terrorism-related offences last year, figures show. The Home Office statistics also showed no terror suspects had been held in custody before charge for longer than 14 days since 2007. In all, 101,248 people were stopped and searched in England, Wales and Scotland under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act. Of the 506 arrests that resulted, none was terrorism-related. Since July, police are not allowed to stop and search people unless they “reasonably suspect” them of being a terrorist. Of all the searches, four out of five were made in the Metropolitan Police area, with almost a fifth being made by British Transport Police. Overall, 59% described themselves as white, 17% as Asian or Asian British, 10% as black or black British and 2% as of mixed ethnicity, the figures showed. They also showed the use of stop and search powers fell by 60% compared with 2008-09. The latest figures are likely to raise questions about the future of controversial powers which allow police to detain terror suspects for between 14 and 28 days before charging them.
Detention and stop and search powers are being looked at as part of a review of the government’s counter-terrorism policy by the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Ken Macdonald, whose findings are due to be published shortly. It involves police, spies, public officials and campaigners, and will also focus on control orders, deportation of terror suspects and the use of surveillance by local authorities. Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, said the statistics highlighted what a “crude and blunt instrument” stop-andsearch had been. “It costs us dearly in race equality and consent-based policing with very little return in terms of enhanced security,” she added. Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, which campaigns against intrusions into privacy, said the figures were not surprising. “Rather than a genuine counterterrorism tool, random stop-andsearch has been a way of bullying and hassling our increasingly abject population,” he added. “We have to decide what kind of society we want to live in. Random stop-and-search allows the state to confront the individual in the street, without cause, and demand your papers. It’s wrong.”
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Stop and Search based on race
The draft proposal ‘’flies in the face of recommendations in Sir William Macpherson’s Inquiry’’ into the 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, Liberty reported. The changes proposed to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace), that governs the police powers, permits the officers, who must take particular care not to discriminate on the grounds of race, to act differently ‘’in response to a specific threat or incident.” ‘’Officers must also take particular care not to discriminate against members of minority ethnic groups in exercising the powers,” it read. This could include ‘’when the authorizing officer reasonably believes that those likely to be responsible are associated with particular ethnic identities and passes that information on to the officers exercising the powers’’, the draft proposals said. The requirement was recommended by the 1999 inquiry in a bid to improve accountability and safeguard minority ethnic communities from institutionalised racism. Under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, a police officer can stop and search anyone without suspicion in a designated area for a 24-hour period. Isabella Sankey, Liberty’s policy director, said, “Stopping and searching individuals without suspicion is divisive enough without telling police they can directly discriminate on the grounds of race.” “The Home Office’s planned changes will set the clock back and jeopardise race relations in the UK.” The Macpherson Inquiry severely criticised police in 1999 for their handling of the murder of Lawrence, who was killed in an unprovoked racist knife attack by a gang of white youths in April 1993. ‘’The proposed new guidelines make clear that ethnicity may not be used as the sole basis for stopping and searching anyone under section 60,” a Home Office spokesman said. ‘’The previous guidance does not place any explicit restrictions on who may be stopped and this change is intended to protect civil liberties.’’
Army ‘defied Geneva conventions’
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
British military interrogators have been trained to use techniques that appear to defy the Geneva conventions, a newspaper in the UK has reported. “The British military has been training interrogators in techniques that include threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness in an apparent breach of the Geneva conventions,” the Guardian said. The newspaper cited training materials created in 2005 and 2008, as well as “more recent” materials in a report. Although the manuals state that “torture is an absolute no no”, they do condone techniques including humiliation, with interrogators told to strip prisoners naked and “keep them naked if they do not follow commands”. Exhaustion is also recommended as an interrogation technique, with
a maximum of four hours sleep at a time allowed until prisoners cooperate. Interrogators are also advised to provoke fear, by screaming, swearing and making threats to prisoners. The Geneva conventions governing the humane treatment of prisoners of war bans “humiliating and degrading treatment”, as well as “cruel treatment and torture”. In a statement to Al Jazeera on Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: “While tactical questioning and interrogation provide vital intelligence that helps to save lives, the Mod is committed to fully observing the law.” It said that the MoD acknowledged that “some past practices and training methods were not compliant with acceptable standards and has been working hard to remedy deficiencies where identified”.
Warsi ‘barred from Islamic conference’ Baroness Warsi was prevented from attending a GPU Islamic conference under the orders of the prime minister, according to media reports. The Observer reported hat the Conservative chairman was barred from attending the Global Peace and Unity Event
in London following a fundamental split in the government’s counterextremism strategy. The newspaper reported that David Cameron did not want a Conservative minister attending the event in Docklands because of the presence of extremist speakers on the platform. Those more extreme
speakers, such as former Pakistani government minister, Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq will be tackled head-on by moderate Muslim figures. Labour is sent Sadiq Khan, a key player in Ed Miliband’s victories leadership campaign and current shadow justice secretary. passionislam.com
I November 2010
“An independent legal audit of current training material has been commissioned,” the ministry said. Tom Porteous, the London director of Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera that there was a a real concern about where these types of orders are coming from. “These training manuals suggest that the government has a policy of abuse and that is why we have reports of abuse coming out of Iraq,” he said.
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I November 2010
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
U-Turn on Internet Snooping
Home Office confirmed that the previous Government’s plan to allow the police and security services to track the record of all emails, texts and phone calls made and internet sites visited of everyone in Britain is being revived, to the tune of £2bn. Plans to set up the ‘Interception Modernisation Programme’ were abandoned by the former Government ahead of the election, but they have now resurfaced in the hands of the Coalition. The Telegraph originally highlighted this section buried in the current Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review: “We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law
enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework. This programme is required to keep up with changing technology and to maintain capabilities that are vital to the work these agencies do to protect the public.” Communications service providers (CSPs) already hold large amounts of communications data and an EU directive that came into force in 2009 now requires that data is retained for 12 months. The proposed measure will require Internet Service Providers and telephone companies to store all the traffic details of their customers’ phone and web use for
12 months, including all third-party communications data that crosses their networks. This represents a huge extension of the data currently being collected. It is also unclear whether the data will be processed differently – previously mooted proposals were to require CSPs to process data on each individual. Hundreds of public bodies, not just the police and security services, can have access to this type of data, including local authorities. And there is no need for them to go to a court or any other body to access the data – access can be selfauthorised (under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000). While access to data already held by CSPs can be important in crimefighting, the scope of this proposal goes beyond that which is necessary and sweeps the innocent up with the guilty. It also comes despite the Coalition Agreement (PDF) promise just days after forming Government to “end the storage of internet and email records without good reason”. “Any move to amass more of our sensitive data and increase powers for processing would amount to a significant U-turn,” Liberty Policy Director Isabella Sankey said yesterday. “The terrifying ambitions of a group of senior Whitehall technocrats must not trump the personal privacy of law abiding Britons.”
Cambridge hosts training session for British Muslims The first course launched by Al-Azhar University in collaboration with the University of Cambridge has come to an end. Al-Azhar University in Cairo offered British Muslims studying at the Prince Alwaleed Centre of Islamic Studies in Cambridge the chance to attend its Imam training. The course was especially designed for young British Muslims studying in Darul Ulooms (Islamic seminaries) which often produce future Imams and Muslim chaplains. The 15 week program hoped to provide students with a challenging series of seminars, lectures and
personal study assignments that will help them with potential roles as leaders in their faith communities. During the course, students spent time at both Cambridge and Al-Azhar and met with representatives from community organisations of different faiths to learn about pastoral care, interfaith working and community leadership. This course marks just one of the ways in which Al-Azhar has a blossoming relationship with British universities. In 2008 Al-Azhar set up an English Training Centre which has opened the door to a whole host of opportunities in non-Muslim countries.
Dutch court urges new Wilders trial 12
I WORLD NEWS
A Dutch court has approved a request from right-wing politician Geert Wilders to have new judges for his trial on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims, forcing the court to start the case over again. The ruling, made, is seen as another victory for Wilders, who plays a key role in supporting the new minority Dutch government after his anti-immigration Freedom Party was one of the big winners in the June elections. Wilders’ lawyer had asked the court to replace the current judges
because of concern about their potential bias after they did not immediately approve a request to take testimony from a witness the defence considers crucial to its case. Prosecutors had initially declined to take the case against Wilders in 2008, but anti-racist protests compelled the public prosecution department to take the case the following year. And on October 15, prosecutors called for all charges against the controversial politician to be dropped. passionislam.com
I November 2010
Israel blocks school building in Gaza The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees has criticized Israel for impeding efforts to build schools in the blockaded Gaza Strip. UNRWA says Israeli officials are blocking building materials needed for the construction of schools in the impoverished coastal strip. UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hassan said on Saturday that his organization has been unable to provide schooling for some 40,000 Palestinian children. “The Israeli authorities are hampering the construction of schools by UNRWA in the Gaza Strip by refusing to allow necessary construction materials into the enclave,” he said. The spokesman added that UNRWA would continue urging Tel Aviv to allow construction materials into the densely-populated Gaza Strip. The Israeli military launched a deadly air, sea, and land assault on the strip at the turn of 2009, killing at least 1,400 Palestinians. Most of the victims were women and children. The conflict partially or entirely destroyed many school buildings, including ones operated by the United Nations. press tv
Palestinian Human Rights group lodges complaint against Dutch company The Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq announced that it has lodged a criminal complaint against a Dutch private rental company, Riwal, for its involvement in the construction of Israel’s wall. The complaint asserts that Riwal is complicit in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity - offences contrary to Holland’s International Crimes Act - through its supply of mobile cranes and aerial platforms for the construction of settlements and the wall in several locations in the occupied West Bank.
The complaint is being considered by the prosecutor’s office. On 13 October 2010, the Dutch National Crime Squad conducted a search of Riwal’s offices in the Dutch town of Dordrecht under their statutory powers of investigation. The prosecutor has yet to make a decision as to whether to pursue the complaint further. Riwal machines were used in the construction of the wall in the villages of Hizma and Al-Khader and in a settlement near the village of Bruqin. Statements made by Riwal during the
period suggest the company knew its equipment was being used in this way. The complaint is part of ongoing efforts to ensure accountability for the many corporations that are complicit in violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories, and whose activities facilitate “the commission of international crimes by the Israeli authorities,” Al-Haq said in a statement hoping that the prosecutor’s investigations will lead to a prosecution of Riwal. passionislam.com
CIA sues ex-agent for book’s breach of ‘secrecy’ Passion Islam
I November 2010
The Central Intelligence Agency announced that it has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against a former deep-cover agent who published a book highly critical of the agency without allowing CIA censors to complete its lengthy review process and to have the option to remove large portions of the manuscript before publication. The lawsuit accuses the officer of breaking his secrecy agreement with the US. Ishmael Jones, the pen name for the 20-year CIA veteran and Arabic speaker, told reporters that he published the book to expose corruption in the agency. He now faces a civil lawsuit over his 2008 book, “The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture.”
Parcel plot not linked to international terror says Minister
The book is a detailed account of his career inside the CIA’s clandestine service and his work as a “nonofficial cover” operative in the Middle East and Europe. The CIA says his book was submitted to the agency’s publications review board under a secrecy agreement that covers books written by former CIA officials, but Jones went ahead and published the book without the CIA’s official approval. The suit seeks an injunction against further violations of Jones’ secrecy obligations and recovery of proceeds from unauthorized publication. One of Jones’ main disclosures in the book is that, despite being limited solely to collecting secrets outside the country, 90 percent of CIA employees live and work entirely inside the United States. The USbased work force, he says, is “largely ineffective” and the failure to have more people outside the United States violates the agency’s founding charter. “We need to make Americans safer by increasing the tiny numbers of CIA heroes serving undercover in foreign lands,” he told reporters. “We need financial accountability and whistleblower systems to stop tremendous waste and theft.” “The book contains no classified information and I do not profit from it,” Jones told The Washington Times. “CIA censors attacked this book because it exposes the CIA as
Greek parcel bomb plot that has seen packages mailed to European leaders and foreign embassies in Athens has “no link” to international terror. “All the evidence so far clearly shows that these incidents have nothing to do with any kind of organised international terrorism,” Foreign
a place to get rich, with billions of taxpayer dollars wasted or stolen in espionage programs that produce nothing.” Jones told reporters that he was never notified by the agency and discovered it only after he was served with court papers in late September. The book, available online, has received positive reviews in the intelligence community. Max Boot, senior fellow in National Security Studies at The Council on Foreign Relations wrote: “This book should be required reading for anyone who serves in our government or is served by it. But beware: Reading ‘The Human Factor’ will make you very, very angry” because “For ‘Ishmael Jones,’ better than any previous spook, peels back layer upon layer of deception to show how dysfunctional the CIA is. “It has failed to cure its cultural ills or to dispatch large numbers of clandestine operatives abroad without State Department cover. “Ishmael Jones” has served his nation honorably and bravely… but has provided no greater service than to risk his former employer’s wrath to alert us to the CIA’s continuing, crippling woes. The lawsuit is one of a few cases brought by the agency against former officers since the James Snepp was forced to pay the agency over his 1977 book about Vietnam, “Decent Interval.”
Minister Dimitris Droutsas told reporters in Athens. Thirteen parcel bombs have so far been accounted for, including one that reached the German chancellery in Berlin and another found on board a courier plane to Paris after it was diverted to Bologna. These were respectively addressed to German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A third parcel intended for French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found. The two men carrying it were arrested, and one was subsequently found to be wanted as a suspected member of a Greek farleft group.
I WORLD NEWS
I November 2010
Israeli Rabbi encourages use of Palestian human shields Passion Islam
US raises Pakistan military aid by $2bn
A controversial Israeli rabbi has encouraged the use of Palestinians as human shields by army soldiers, even if the victim happens to be a civilian. “Anything you do to keep the war tough is permissible, and obligatory according to the Torah,” Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, headmaster of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, wrote in fliers distributed to his students, the Ha’aretz reported on its website. “According to true Jewish values, your lives come before those of the enemy, whether he is a soldier or a civilian under protection. Therefore, you are forbidden from endangering your own life for the sake of the enemy, not even for a civilian,” declared Shapira, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. The rabbi was arrested in the summer for encouraging Jews to kill non-Jews in his book The King’s Torah. Last month, Israel’s southern command military court convicted two Israeli soldiers of using human shields during the December 2008January 2009 war against the Gaza
Strip. The so-called Operation Cast Lead left more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, dead and thousands of others injured, while reducing scores of houses and edifices to rubbles. Soon after the 22-day conflict, an independent fact-finding team commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the offensive found Israeli forces guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report by the head of the commission, South African prosecutor Richard Goldstone, listed -- among other things - instances where Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields upon entering buildings thought to hole up resistance fighters Last month, an Israeli military court convicted two soldiers of offenses including inappropriate behavior and overstepping authority for ordering an 11-year-old Palestinian following the Gaza war to search bags suspected to have been booby trapped.
The US has announced a $2.29 billion military aid to Pakistan, claiming the package is aimed at boosting the fight against militants and al-Qaeda groups. “The United States has no stronger partner when it comes to counterterrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten both the US and Pakistan,” US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at high-level talks between the two nations AFP reported. The package will increase current financing for weapons purchases by about one-third. It was claimed that the aid was intended to help Pakistan fight terrorists more effectively along its Afghan border. The United States would also train 10,000 Pakistani working women in Arizona, the report added. A range of issues, from flood relief to ways Pakistan can do more to fight militants, was discussed in three days of strategic talks in Washington. It was the third such session since March. Last year, US Congress approved 7.5 billion dollars in aid for Pakistani roads, schools, power facilities and infrastructure for civilians. The US State Department has confirmed that the aid is being denied to several Pakistani army units linked to human rights violations. Clinton did not discuss the administration’s moves to stop financing certain elements in the Pakistani Army that have killed unarmed prisoners and civilians. Relations between the two countries plunged last month after a series of unsanctioned US drone strikes resulted in the deaths of three soldiers. That, in turn, led Pakistan to close a key-supply line into Afghanistan for several days.
US campaign to cripple Taliban is failing
I November 2010
The United States military campaign against the Taliban has failed to destroy the group or pressure its leaders to seek peace, the Washington Post said, citing U.S. military and intelligence officials. The intense military campaign, including drone strikes and more commando attacks, has inflicted some temporary setbacks on the Afghan insurgency, the sources told the newspaper, speaking on condition of anonymity. However U.S. intelligence officials
say that captured or killed Taliban commanders are often replaced in days, the insurgents seem content with small scale tactics of intimidation and assassination, and appear confident they can outlast the U.S. troop buildup. “The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience,” an unnamed senior Defense Department official involved in war assessments told the Post. Taliban fighters have consistently shown that they can “reestablish and
rejuvenate,” sometimes just days after a defeat by U.S. forces, the official said. According to the Post, the assessments “are consistent across the main spy agencies responsible for analyzing the conflict, including the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.” The joint CIA-military efforts to target Taliban leaders have caused senior operatives to move more often and increase security. But the impact on the Taliban’s highest ranks has been limited, the Post said. “For senior leadership, not much has changed,” the defense official told the newspaper. “At most we are seeing lines of support disrupted, but it’s temporary. They’re still setting strategic guidance” for operations against the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. Taliban operatives have been focusing on President Barack Obama’s stated intention to start withdrawing troops in mid-2011. Taliban operatives, citing leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, tell one another, “The end is near,” the officials told the Post. passionislam.com
US Government backs Tennessee mosque
The U.S. Department of Justice backed a project to build a mosque in Tennessee, which local landowners were attempting to block. The Justice Department’s civil rights division filed an amicus brief in support of
Rutherford County in Tennessee, which is being sued by a group of landowners who are opposed to countyapproved plans to build a mosque in Murfreesboro. The brief said that Islam, like all religions, is entitled to protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Rutherford County was obliged by law to “treat the mosque project as it
would other proposals for construction of places of worship.” “A mosque is quite plainly a place of worship, and the county rightly recognized that it had an obligation to treat mosques the same as churches, synagogues, or any other religious assemblies,” assistant attorney general for civil rights Thomas Perez said. “This is not only common sense; it is required by federal law,” he
said. The brief was filed weeks after the 10th anniversary of the Religious Land Use or Institutionalized Persons act (RLUIPA), which bars officials from discriminating against religious groups over zoning and land-use applications. Local landowners went to court last month to try to stop construction of the mosque, claiming county officials had violated state rules.
Leaked files show US ignored Iraq torture
I WORLD NEWS
I November 2010
In Case You Missed It
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to almost 400,000 secret US army field reports obtained by WikiLeaks. The documents, passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations, also show more than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents during the Iraq war. Despite US and UK denials
of keeping official records of Iraq casualties, the files log records of 109,000 deaths, including 66,081 civilians. ‘Hundreds’ of civilians were killed at US military checkpoints. The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war. Numerous reports of detainee
abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee’s apparent death. Britain’s Stop the War Coalition (SWTC) said that the biggest leak of military secrets in history reveal how the US turned a blind eye to Iraq torture and abuse. “The documents shows how the US military colluded in torture by the Iraqi police and army by ordering that no investigation take place into horrific instances happening every day, sometimes leading to the death of the victims,” STWC said. “US soldiers reported dozens of torture cases but their commanding officers, on instruction from the highest levels of government, decided to turn their backs and do nothing to stop the abuses taking place,” it said. IRNA
France “Deeply Disappointed” by Jerusalem Settlement Plan France expressed “deep disappointment” over the Israeli decision to issue a tender for new housing construction in illegal settlements in Arab East Jerusalem and the French government urged Israel to go back on this decision. A statement from the French Foreign Ministry noted the Israeli decision to build 238 housing units
in two different sectors of East Jerusalem, which is destined to be the capital of a future Palestinian State. France is deeply disappointed by this decision which is not well-timed, as efforts are underway to restart direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” the
statement said. The French statement stressed that “this is the message delivered on several occasions by the President of the Republic, who recently declared that settlement-building must stop.” “France calls on the Israeli authorities to go back on this decision,” the statement added, noting
that French authorities and their partners remain mobilized on this question. While France has often criticized the illegal Israeli settlements, the government here has baulked at moving towards some form of punitive measures or sanctions against the Zionist regime within the framework of the European Union.
First Islamic Bank to be set up in the Maldives Passion Islam
I November 2010
The Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) has joined forces with Maldives Islamic Bank to set up the first Islamic bank in Maldives, which aims to be operational next January. Both parties signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) at
the Global Islamic Finance Forum. The MoA will bind both parties to co-develop Islamic finance in the Maldives through an extensive study of Maldives’ legal and banking framework to create a harmonized environment for the growth of Islamic finance. Maldives Islamic Bank chairman Khaled Al-Aboodi said the bank hoped to capture up to 25% of its local market share within three years or so by offering Islamic finance products targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and fisheries. “We are looking at offering services for retail banking, which include takaful products and
mortgage financing. We are also working with a Malaysian partner to come up with a savings scheme but have not yet firmed up the relevant agreements,” he said during a press conference after the signing ceremony. Maldives Islamic Bank will have one branch in the first year of operations before opening more subsequently. With a 100% Muslim population of some 330,000 individuals in Maldives, expectation strong demand for shariah compliant products to drive the bank’s future growth. There are currently four conventional banks in the Maldives.
Shaikh Ibrahim Basha, Chairman of Ghana’s National Islamic Education Unit Council, has called for the setting up of more Islamic second cycle schools, to facilitate the establishment of an Islamic university in the country. He said the Council was collaborating with stakeholders to establish Arabic Department in some tertiary institutions to promote the study of the language. Shaikh Basha was speaking at the Sixth General Meeting of the Council in Wa, which was on the theme: “Promoting quality education: the role of stakeholders”. He called on parents, organisations and Government to jointly ensure the proper upbringing of children so that they would become assets to society. Shaikh Basha said the Council would support Government to implement policies that aimed at enhancing the welfare of the people. He commended Government for establishing a cordial relationship with the Muslim community. Alhaji Issahaque Salia, Upper
West Regional Minister, commended the Council for developing a universal syllabus for Arabic Studies at the Primary and Junior High School levels. He said Government would sustain the Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme and Free School Uniforms and Exercise Books Programme, to enhance education in the country. Alhaji Salia appealed to religious organisations to support Government towards the development of the youth, especially girls, who according to him, were being marginalized as a result of obsolete cultural practices. Alhaji Nurideen A. Salih, Upper West Regional Manager of Islamic Education Unit, asked Municipal and District Assemblies to stop the arbitrary takeover of Islamic Schools. He called for the re-orientation of Islamic teachers to enable them to discharge their duties in accordance with Islamic principles. Alhaji Salilh said that efforts were ongoing to ensure that Arabic Language became examinable at basic school level and praised
Government for its intention to extend the Ghana Education Trust Fund to Islamic schools. Alhaji Baba Khalid, General Manager of the Council, called on managers of Islamic schools to work with Government towards the development of the educational institutions.
Ghana Islamic Council calls for the establishment of more schools
I WORLD NEWS
I November 2010
Hamburg to become 1st German State to recognize Islam
Hamburg may soon become the first German state officially to recognize Islam as a religious community and give its Muslims the same legal rights as Christians and Jews in dealing with the local administration. Four years of quiet negotiations about building mosques, opening Muslim cemeteries and teaching Islam in public schools are nearing an end just when Germany is embroiled in a noisy debate about Islam and the integration of Muslim immigrants. The deal seems set to go through, but the national debate on Islam and local political changes could make its approval more difficult than expected, politicians and Muslim leaders said. Also, equal status with Christians and Jews could be more controversial when the agreement comes up for discussion in the local assembly for Hamburg, a traditionally Lutheran city where Muslims make up about 5 percent of the 1.7 million population. “It’s important for us that this
agreement makes clear that we are part of this society,” said Zekeriya Altug, chairman of the Hamburg branch of DITIB, a TurkishGerman mosque network that is one of Germany’s largest Muslim organizations. “We’re close to wrapping this up,” said Norbert Mueller, a German convert who is a board member of Shura, the largest mosque association in this north Germany port city. Germany has an estimated 4 million Muslims, most of them of Turkish origin, in its 82 million population. Long treated as migrant workers due eventually to return to their countries of origin, they have become an established minority that wants equal rights. The agreement in Germany’s second-largest metropolis, a citystate in the country’s federal system, would set out their rights and also their duties, such as consulting neighborhood residents before
building mosques or erecting minarets. Altug said many rights were already allowed under various German laws, or granted as local exceptions. “This agreement should bring all this together in a single text,” he said. President Christian Wulff set off a heated debate by saying in his October 3 German Unity Day address that the country had Christian and Jewish roots but the presence of a large Muslim minority meant that Islam too now “belongs to Germany.” The Hamburg agreement would integrate Muslims in several practical ways. For example, city schools would have to hire Muslims to teach Islam in religion classes all pupils attend. These are now run by teachers from the local Lutheran church. It would ensure burial rights in municipal cemeteries, so Muslims can be interred in shrouds rather than coffins and have no other religious symbols nearby. Many immigrants prefer to be buried in their original countries to ensure a Muslim burial. Muslim pupils would be free to skip school on 2 or 3 Islamic holidays and Muslim chaplains would be posted in prisons. Two other states, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, are also considering recognizing Islam. Since recognition of religions is a state issue under German law, some other states may not follow Hamburg’s example.
Forum on Miracles of the Quran and Sunnah in Madina A forum on the scientific miracles of the Quran and Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) Sunnah (tradition) was held on October 17, in the holy city of Madina, Saudi Arabia. Women Quran scholars from different parts of Saudi Arabia were in attendance at the forum. They are members of Miracles of Quran and Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) Sunnah societies. Addressing the opening session, Belgheys Sharif Nasser, director of the society in madina, said propagating different aspects of the miracles of the holy Quran and the Sunnah of the holy Prophet (PBUH) is a powerful means for promoting Islam. Leyli Zaffer, Khadija Bannani and Fatemeh Mujahid were among other speakers at the forum. Ms Zaffer presented a paper titled “Principles of Miracles of the Quran and Sunnah”. The theme of Ms Bannani’s paper was imagery in the holy Quran.
SPORT I 21
I November 2010
Racism, ethnic discrimination and social exclusion in sport Passion Islam
New report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) investigates racism, ethnic discrimination and the exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport across the European Union. The report, titled “Racism, ethnic
discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport: a comparative overview of the situation in the EU”, is the result of the first EU wide research on the topic. The report draws on the findings of 27 studies conducted in all EU member states. The research findings identify incidents of racism, anti-Semitism and anti-Gypsyism in both amateur and professional sport across the EU member states, but the report concludes that there is a reluctance to recognise such incidents – especially in amateur sports. The report also highlights that, across the EU, ethnic minorities and migrants – especially women and girls with an ethnic minority background – are generally
underrepresented in sports and even though there have been some progress in recent years, limited attention seems to be paid to this fact. In order to address this issue of racism in sport, the report suggests that Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) should play an active role, for example by supporting sports federations and clubs in developing awareness-raising activities, providing support to potential victims of racist incidents or, where this is permitted, participating in legal action against perpetrators. You can download the report from http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/ news_and_events/infocus10_2810new_en.htm
What do young Muslims think of Rugby league?
Earlier this year the RFL, in partnership with Sporting Equals, conducted a research project with young Muslims from Leeds, Bradford, Oldham and Huddersfield looking at their perceptions and experiences of Rugby League. The final report with a comprehensive range of recommendations that could be invaluable for both the RFL and clubs in engaging more successfully with young Asian people will be available following the launch event in Huddersfield. If you would like a hard copy please contact Sarah.email@example.com
I SPECIAL FEATURE
I November 2010
L L E H
Life in this world is a test for everyone. We have been sent in this world to be tested. For every test, there is a result at the end. If the results and the outcome is good then there is a reward for us. But if the results and the outcome is not good then there is punishment. For this great test, the reward in the hereafter is also great and similarly the punishment is also very severe. And for this punishment, those that fail will have to spend the rest of their time in Jahannam (Hell). THE COLOUR OF HELL This is a place of grief and sorrow. Its torments and troubles are far beyond imagination. It was fanned for a thousand years till it became quite red, then it was fanned for a further thousand years till it became
white, and again it was fanned for a thousand years till it became black. Now it is quite black and dark. THE SIZE OF HELL Distress, dismay and destruction will await one who is thrown here. Joy and happiness will be unknown. Death will have been sacrificed in the form of a Ram, so there will be no hope of that either. This place is vast. If a stone were to be thrown into its depth, it would take approximately seventy years to reach the surface. The fire, which awaits the dwellers, is seventy times more severe than anything similar to it in this world. It is mentioned in the Qur’an: “The day we will ask Jahannam: “Are you full?” It will say: “Are there any more (to come).” (Qur’an 50:30)
From this verse we understand how big Jahannam is that it will never be full and it will always ask for more people. The depth of Jahannam is so great that if a rock was dropped into Jahannam, it will remain plummeting for 70 years before touching the bottom. THE MINIMAL PUNISHMENT FOR THE DWELLERS No one would like to come here. It is a dreadful place. When it will be brought forth, it will have seventy thousand reigns, each one pulled by seventy thousand Angels. Imagine the sky! What chances of escaping! This is a place of punishments. All wrongs will be dealt with. Punishments will be in various categories. The person who will be subjected to the least punishment
I November 2010
here shall have two shoes of fire on his/her feet. And by their heat, his/ her brain will be boiling like a kettle on fire. The person will feel that his/her punishment is the severest and no one else is under more punishment than he or she. There will be fierce looking angels inflicting various types of punishment for the different sins committed by the people. The Qur’an and Hadith have mentioned the different types of punishments. For example, boiling water will be poured over the heads, lips will be cut with scissors of fire and so on. The fire of Jahannam has turned black because of its heat. There is no light and it will be pitch black. The food will be poisonous thorny trees and the drink will be the blood and pus from the washing of wounds.
Who will be the inhabitants of Hell? By looking at the Qur’an and Hadith, we understand that people who preach without practice, those who use utensils of gold and silver, those who are arrogant and those who take pictures are to be amongst the
HOW TO AVOID HELL People will want to stay many miles away from here. And why not? Many fortunate ones won’t even have to go near, many others will have no choice! However, the greatest news for us is that the Creator of this horrible place has indeed informed us of all things to be careful of to avoid this place through His Holy Quraan and His Noble Messenger Muhammad. We must not ascribe partners to Him, which is called Shirk. We must not be careless at times of Salaah and we must offer salaah punctually. No fit and healthy person should miss out the Fasts in Ramadhan. Also, whoever has the means should give zakaah and perform the Haj. There are many other things as well, small things and big ones - They may be prohibited actions or words - Intentional or unintentional. Any one could lead to this wicked place. Swearing, slandering, backbiting, stealing, drinking wine, drugs,
haraam food, unlawful actions, e.t.c. Any of these could lead to destruction. As you will have gathered by now, we have been talking about Jahannam (Hell). It is most important that we study the Holy Quraan and Seerah - Lifestyle of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to know how to lead our lives in this temporary material world, to be successful in the Hereafter, and to be able to safeguard ourselves from Jahannam! ‘Oh Allah! Save us all from Jahannam - Ameen!’ ‘Truly Hell is a place of ambush. For the transgressors a place of dwelling. They will abide therein for ages. Nothing cool shall they taste therein, Nor any drink. Except boiling water, and dirty wound discharges. An exact recompense (according to their crimes). For that they used not to look for any account. But they (impudently) treated Our signs as false. And all things have We preserved on record. So taste ye (the fruits of your deeds); For no increase shall We grant you; Except in Chastisement.’ (Surah An-Nabaa: 21-30)
Hadhrat Umar (R.A) has said that the children of shaitaan are many from which nine are prominent : Zaleetoon, Watheen, Laqoos, Ra’waan, Haffaaf, Murrah, Mussawwit, Daasim, Walhaan. Each of their occupations and methods of leading people astray are different. 1) Zaleetoon’s occupation is to sit in the streets and at shops with his fellow companions, spreading mischief and evil, leading Allah’s people astray so that in the hereafter they may be used as fuel for the fire of hell. 2) Watheen’s work is to influence people in such a way that his own actions lead him to calamities, thus, driving him away from the Lord. 3) Laqoos’ task is to make the actions of fire-worshippers appear more decorative and to prevent
mthem from discontinuing this form of worship, so that due to fire worshipping they themselves will become the prey of the fire of hell. 4) Ra’waan’s victims are people who possess power and money. His aim is to induce them towards insolence and evil so that they make decisions without consulting Allah’s guidance. Thus, in this way they themselves will fulfill Ra’awaan’s needs and accomplish his tasks, whilst this cursed sits back calmly. This reality can be witnessed today in the world where decisions are made merely by strength and leadership. 5) Haffaaf has been allocated the job of creating mischief by tempting people towards the drinking of wine and spirits. 6) Murrah’s responsibility is
to attract people towards musical instruments due to which they will become negligent of their compulsions of life,and that no-one is saved from this wicked sin is his constant worry. 7)Al-Mussawit spread’s false and dangerous rumours amongst people which creates arguments and evil. 8)Daasim enters homes especially when the head of the house enters without uttering salaam and remembering the Almighty.He causes conflict between man, his wife and the family. On occasions it leads to violence and divorce between a couple. 9)Walhaan’s duty is to distract man when carrying out ablution and wavers his intent when performing salaah, consequently corrupting salaah.
many being punished. The above mentioned are only a few.
I SPECIAL FEATURE
The Hajj Passion Islam
I November 2010
A guide for Pilgrims
NIYYAH The person who intends to perform Hajj must do so with the express niyyah of attaining Allah’s Pleasure, and to fulfil one’s fardh, and also to diligently carry out the Commands of Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam. The rewards for deeds depend greatly on the niyyah that is formed. Sincerity is extremely important. The ‘ibaadah of Hajj has the exclusive status of being fardh only once a lifetime, for those who can afford it. It is therefore important that the sincerity of intention must be given due regard. In other ‘ibaadaat and devotions it is possible to gradually develop ikhlaas, whereas the time available for Hajj is usually limited. The need for ikhlaas is vital because a fardh Hajj can never be repeated. During your journey to Hajj a concerted effort towards developing this all important sincerity must be made. It is important that Hajj should be kept free of ulterior and worldly motives. Joining worldly objectives with religious aims is like adding water to milk. There are three types of adulteration which are possible in the performance of Hajj; To ruin the Hajj even before departing
from home by having a desire to be called a haji, and using haraam or doubtful earnings for this ‘ibaadah. To engage in improper acts while performing Hajj e.g. to commit sins during the time that one is engaged in the performance of Hajj, to have arguments, not to make tawbah (repentance). To complete the Hajj and then to indulge in such deeds that defile the Hajj, e.g. to neglect the fardh salaat, to indulge in sin etc. Perform the Hajj with all its aadaab and requisites, for anything done in keeping with this is well accomplished. While in Hajj do not do things to display to others. Do not announce your Hajj to all and sundry. (To avoid riyaa which is to show off and act to gain fame). On returning from Hajj do not emphasize the difficulties which may have been endured, instead turn your attention towards the eternal benefits and rewards you will receive. One must understand that the difficulties endured during this sacred journey are insignificant compared to the high position one will receive in jannah. TAWBAH Before beginning one’s journey repent sincerely. Perform two rakaats
nafl with the niyyah of tawbah. The effect of sincerely repenting and then proceeding for hajj will be, that one will be favoured by Allah Ta‘ala and blessed with the strength to continually do good deeds. Develop a relationship with the pious person for guidance. This will assist you in making a true and sincere tawbah. FULFILMENT OF DEBT If you have monetary debt or are responsible for any moral transgression, then fulfil your debt or have it waived, and have your moral violations forgiven. It is important that one settles all outstanding matters and transactions, and has his faults and shortcomings forgiven. All amaanaat (trusts) and anything borrowed must be returned. A detailed and final will must be made regarding all important matters. EDUCATION It is compulsory for a person who wishes to perform Hajj to learn the necessary masaail well before the time of Hajj. When a firm intention is made then first learn the necessary masaail, or acquire these from a reliable and recognized aalim (scholar).
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DEPARTURE Depart with happiness from home. A Hajj which is performed with a feeling of love and keenness is conducive to religious upliftment. Inconvenience during travel should not hamper this love and keenness. Perform two rakaats nafl before departing. Take care that this salaat is not performed during the makrooh times. Give some sadaqah to the poor before leaving home and also after commencing your journey. Ask your near and dear ones, neighbours and friends to overlook and forgive your shortcomings. Make a request for their du‘aa. Make musafahah (shake hands) using both hands when leaving. Do not make musafahah with non-mahrams (those of the opposite sex whom you can marry). Be at your best behaviour amongst your companions. Assist them in their needs. The person who helps his companions on this journey will be regarded as a mujaahid (one who strives to uplift Islaam). IBAADAH Salaat, Du‘aa, Tawaaf and Tilaawat Take great care and be punctual in the performance of all salaat with jama‘at whilst visiting the sacred places. Do not delay any salaat at all. After every salaat beseech from Allah ta‘aalaa that He grant you a mabroor Hajj (one that is accepted and free from sin). A Hajj which is full of Allah ta‘aalaa’s Blessings and Favours. A haji is fortunate in being present at the various sacred places where du‘aa are assured acceptance. Therefore repeatedly ask Allah ta‘aalaa for your needs of this world and the Hereafter. Your du‘aa must be appropriate and made with respect and humbleness. Do not ask for meaningless and unrighteous things. There are three persons whose du‘aa are assured acceptance; the oppressed, the traveller and the father’s du‘aa for his son, (meaning children). The qadhaa (fulfilment in arrears) of ‘ibaadaat which are owing to Allah ta‘aalaa should be correctly fulfilled or compensated. The reward for one salaat in the Masjidul Haraam (Makkah) is 100,000 fold (with jama‘at 2,700,000). The reward for salaat in
the Masjidun Nabawi (Madeenah) is 50,000 fold. Each good deed done in Makkah is equivalent in reward to 100,000 good deeds done elsewhere. Whenever entering either of the two masjid or any other masjid, form a niyyah for nafl i‘tikaaf. Your stay in the Masjidul Haraam and Masjidun Nabawi must be with utmost dignity and honour. Perform as many tawaaf, umrah and nafl salaat as you can and make du‘aa that the thawaab (reward) of this be presented to Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Complete the Qur’aan at least once in each of the two Holy Masjid, i.e. Makkah and Madeenah. Perform nafl salaat with the niyyah of expressing one’s gratitude to Allah ta‘aalaa. MAKKAH MUKARRAMAH During your stay in Makkah abundantly increase your recital of the Kalimah Tayyibah: Laa’ilaha il lal’lahu·, and istighfar: ‘Astaghfirullah’. If you desire, give an excellent gift to your near dear ones, friends who are living, and especially those who have passed away. The gift of the rewards of tawaaf and umrah will please their souls very much. There will be no reduction from your own reward for these acts. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said that the water of Zamzam will have the desired effect of whatever intention is made at the time of drinking Zamzam. Zamzam should be drunk with the intention of quenching the thirst of the Day of Qiyaamah (resurrection). It should also be taken with the intention of shifaa (cure) from spiritual and physical ailments. It is commendable to drink Zamzam with the niyyah of being granted the tawfeeq of conforming to the sunnah of our beloved Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. MADEENAH MUNAWWARAH It is stated in hadeeth: (i) “Whoever comes with the sole intention of visiting my grave, my intercession will become incumbent for that person”. (ii) “Whoever visits my grave after my death is like the one who has visited me during my lifetime”. Recite durood (salutations) in abundance on Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, on beginning your
SPECIAL FEATURE I 25 journey to and from Madeenah Munawwarah, and during your stay there. To hurt or cause inconvenience to any Muslim and especially the people of Madeenah Munawwarah is a great sin.
GENERAL Choose an able pious companion who will assist you in times of need, and it is better if this companion is a reliable recognized aalim (scholar). Regard the time in Hajj as a blessing. One never knows when one may be favoured with this good fortune again. Since your stay there is a short one, you should value every moment there. Do not waste your time roaming in the bazaars and do not indulge in meaningless things and idle talk. Do not allow your attention to drift towards the decoration and splendour of the buildings, nor indulge in humour and ridicule. One must be extremely cautious with regard to the etiquette of these sacred places. Any disrespect in this regard will be a cause for retribution. Do not criticize the conditions and people there. After all, the local residents are human and are prone to faults just as we are. When noticing the shortcomings of others, special attention must immediately be drawn to one’s own faults and weak points. One must make a concentrated effort to avoid sin, especially casting passionate glances at female who are present at Hajj. One must keep one’s gaze lowered when women gather for tawaaf and salaat-usalaam. Hadhrat ‘Umar radhiyallahu anhu said, “For me to commit a sin in Makkah is worse than committing seventy sins outside Makkah”. Just as the rewards of good deeds are multiplied in Makkah, so too is the retribution of misconduct multiplied. One must show consideration and take care that one does not trouble or inconvenience those who are present for Hajj and ziyaarah. One must not deceive or trick others in buying or selling. To swindle or cheat the residents of Makkah or Madeenah would result in one’s own destruction. One must be extremely cautious in this regard. Transactions must be carried out with honesty.
I November 2010
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Thank you for sending me the magazine I found it very informative and enjoyed reading it, was surprised of so many articles i had missed within the news and not come across, it’s a credit to the team at Passion Islam that you bring these news to the people regardless if they are Muslims or non Muslims, i think this kind of news should be shared with everyone and many people should know how much injustice is going around the world just because of person’s religion. I hope you keep up the good work and keep working hard to achieve a great work for a noble cause, may god reward you. Mary Reighn Wales Excellent issue once again people Natalie London Truly a excellent read on a sunday morning, thanks for sharing the magazine Robert London I am reading your magazine in a cafe bar in Paris and the issues in your magazine are very interesting and to the point, hard hitting and robust magazine, just the way i like it. Keep up the excellent work Pierre Paris France
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