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News Terror payout cases in UK to be secret


Rhinos Rule Out Dubai Switch


The Beauty Within


Issue: 44

November 2011


Palestine has been admitted as a full member of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) despite strong opposition from Washington.

Palestinians won the UNESCO seat in a Paris vote. The membership bid required twothirds approval and was passed with 107 countries out of 173 voting in favour and 14 against the bid. Fifty-two abstained from vote. “The general assembly decides to admit Palestine as a member of

UNESCO,” said the resolution adopted by 107 countries. Israel, the US, Canada, Australia and Germany were among the countries that voted against the bid while Japan and Britain were among those abstaining from vote. Huge applause broke out in the room after the result was announced. UNESCO is the first UN body the Palestinian Authority (AP) has sought to join since acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas applied for full recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly. “This vote will help erase a tiny part

of the injustice done to the Palestinian people,” PA Foreign Minister Riyad alMalki told the assembly. Granting membership to Palestine, however, could be costly for UNESCO. The UN body might lose its US funding over the move. Currently Washington supplies over 20 percent of the agency’s budget. US lawmakers have repeatedly urged the UN body to reject the membership request since its submission by Palestinian leaders earlier this month. According to a US law passed in the 1990s, Washington is prevented from funding any UN-affiliated body that accepts Palestinian membership. The Israeli representative called the decision “a tragedy for UNESCO” and “a great disservice to international law.” passionislam.com



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I November 2011

By Andy Worthington Journalist & Author

Prevent Babar Ahmad Extradition to the US

Sign the Petition to the British Government

Please sign the petition! 100,000 signatures needed (current total: 52,000 on 20th October 2011). On August 11, the family of Babar Ahmad launched an e-petition, calling on the UK government to put him on trial in the UK, and bring to an end his seven years of imprisonment without charge or trial in the UK, pending extradition to the US under the controversial Extradition Act of 2003, whereby the US government can demand the extradition of British citizens to face trials in the US without having to provide any evidence that there is a case to answer. 100,000 signatures are needed by November 10, to trigger an official request that Babar Ahmad be tried in the UK. As the petition explains: “In June 2011, the Houses of Parliament, Joint Committee on Human Rights urged the UK government to change the law so that Babar Ahmad’s perpetual threat of extradition is ended without further delay. Since all of the allegations against Babar Ahmad are said to have taken place in the UK, we call upon the British Government to put him on trial in the UK and support British Justice for British Citizens.” For Babar Ahmad, accused of being involved, in the 1990s, with a website supporting fighters in Chechnya, the great irony is that the Americans’ case is based on the same allegations that failed to stand up to scrutiny in the UK. Ahmad was first arrested at his home in Tooting in December 2003, but was later

released without charge, although he suffered 73 injuries as a result of the brutal treatment to which he was subjected at the time of his arrest, and was awarded £60,000 in damages in March 2009, when, as the Daily Telegraph reported: Babar Ahmad offered no resistance when officers came to arrest him at his home in Tooting, south west London, in December 2003 but he was placed in a lifethreatening neck hold, had his testicles pulled and was forced into a praying position while an officer shouted: “Where is your god now?” The arresting officers had been briefed that Ahmad, a 34-year-old married IT support analyst who had worked at Imperial College for six years, was believed to be connected to al-Qaeda and was the head of a south London terrorist group. By the time he was awarded the damages, however, Ahmad had already been imprisoned, pending extradition to the US, for four years and seven months, as he was seized on behalf of the US government in August 2004, and has been held in Long Lartin prison ever since. Almost five years ago, on November 30, 2006, he lost his appeal against extradition at the High Court, and on June 4, 2007,

the Law Lords refused to grant him leave to appeal. A week later, on June 10, 2007, the European Court of Human Rights accepted his appeal, and ordered the British government not to extradite him until that appeal had been considered. In July 2010, the ECHR halted the extradition of Babar Ahmad and three other men — Abu Hamza al-Masri, Haroon Rashid Aswat and Talha Ahsan — and called for further submissions, after lawyers argued that, if they were convicted in the US, their conditions of confinement would be so severe that they would amount to a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (PDF), which guarantees that no one will be “subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Lawyers for the men argued that they would face life without parole (except Aswat, who faced a 50-year sentence), and that holding them in a “Supermax” prison, would contravene their rights, because prolonged isolation is a form of torture. A ruling is expected by the end of the year, but for now, please sign the petition if you have not already done so, and please circulate the information widely, as, despite the considerable achievement to date, 48,000 more signatures are needed in the next two weeks. As the campaigner Maryam Hassan has noted, “We are not asking you to affirm his innocence or guilt, but simply to put him on trial in the UK.” And that, surely, cannot be too much to ask.

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

I November 2011


Salah to consider appeal against deportation ruling Passion Islam

Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah is considering appealing against an Immigration Tribunal ruling that he could be forcibly removed from Britain. The tribunal found in favour of Home Secretary Theresa May’s order to ban the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel on the basis that his presence in the UK ‘would not be conducive to the public good’. Last month the High Court in London ruled that Salah was wrongfully detained during the early part of his detention in the UK and was entitled to damages because he was not given ‘proper and sufficient reasons’ for his arrest on June 28. He arrived in the UK on June 25 and held meetings and several engagements, including with MPs in parliament, until his arrest, when he was handcuffed at his hotel and


taken to Paddington Green police station in west London. May subsequently confirmed that he should have been subjected to an exclusion order and launched an inquiry on why he was allowed to enter the UK. Middle East Monitor (MEMO) which invited Salah to London, told IRNA that the sheikh was currently taking advice from his legal team on this and was “considering all of his options” after losing the tribunal case. The Palestinian leader, who has frequently visited Britain, was unaware of the exclusion order against him, which he has blamed on a campaign by Jewish groups to smear him. Despite the ruling, the tribunal acknowledged that the Palestinian leader had ‘behaved lawfully throughout this matter, and that he has been the victim of unfairness

and procedural irregularity and was detained unlawfully for a period of time’. It also said that a poem, claimed to be antisemitic and written by Salah, was not racist and was not ‘directed at the Jewish people as a whole’.

BBC’s Arab Spring coverage review




The BBC Trust has launched a review of the corporation’s coverage of the Arab Spring, the Corporation announced. Edward Mortimer, a journalist and former Director of Communications

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for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will lead the review which will examine the impartiality of reporting across television, radio and online. Alison Hastings, chairman of

I November 2011

the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee, said “the events that came to be known as the Arab Spring were extremely fast-moving and complex.” “That makes it a difficult story to cover,” adding “the challenge for the BBC, as with all controversial areas, is to ensure that it maintains the high standards of impartiality and accuracy that audiences expect, both in the UK and around the world, where many rely on the BBC’s international news services”. Previous reviews examining the impartiality of BBC output have looked at its coverage of business and science. Mortimer, an expert in Middle East affairs, said “Events in the Middle East during 2011 up-ended many widely accepted notions about the region. “Such stories are always the most exciting for journalists to cover, but also present many challenges,” he added. The review, which will be published in autumn 2012, will look at coverage in countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.

Former MP says ‘Israel must return Palestinians land’ Former MP Baroness Jenny Tonge has said that the Israelis must give back Palestinian people’s land in order to solve the Palestinian issue. “They (the Israelis) really must solve this huge problem that they have made for themselves, entirely their fault, they have made this problem and they have got to solve it by giving the Palestinians their land back and creating a secure and prosperous day to Palestine,” Tonge said on Press TV’s program ‘Remember Palestine’. Baroness Tonge said people are furious about the plight of the Palestinians and it is a problem that

we have to solve for the future of our children and grandchildren. Commenting on a recent prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel, she called the deal a wonderful success for the Palestinian resistance movement. On October 18, 477 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli jails as the first part of a deal to release 1,027 Palestinian inmates in exchange for Hamas-captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. She said the release of prisoners made her quite emotional to think about the joy in all those hundreds of families being reunited.

Tonge, who was sacked on January 23, 2004 from the Liberal Democrat frontbench by the party over her pro-Palestinian remarks, termed the Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid at the United Nations “a brilliant move, brilliant publicity for Palestine, a great thing to do.” Addressing the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign rally in London in January 2004, she said, the daily “killings and the bulldozing and all the other horrible things” by Israeli forces in the occupied territories made her understand why some people become bombers. passionislam.com



Once the beating heart of the Muslim Ummah, Iraq is now seen as a symbol of suffering. A legacy of sanctions, conflict and neglect has led to a situation where at least a million women have no husbands, millions of children have no fathers, and countless mothers have no sons. In a time when people have forgotten about this poor nation, UWT asks you to extend your hand once again and help the people of Iraq. ‘If a dog dies hungry on the banks of the River Euphrates, Umar will be responsible for dereliction of duty.’ - Umar (Radiallahu’anh) WIDOW SPONSORSHIP (And her children)

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I November 2011


Plans for ‘secret justice’ face rebellion in House of Lords Passion Islam

Ken Clarke has been warned that his plan to allow secret evidence in civil court cases and inquests faces a revolt in the House of Lords – unless he can show that the purpose of the measure is to protect the public. The Justice Secretary wants the Government to have the power to rule that evidence based on information from intelligence sources can be introduced in secret in cases like that of the former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, who was one of 16 former prisoners paid damages by the Government to avoid court battles.


Officials claim privately that the Government could have won some or all of those cases in court if it had been able to produce all the evidence it held, but much of it was highly sensitive intelligence material. Still, some lawyers believe the Government would have lost the cases anyway, and that the proposed changes are being brought in to protect the intelligence services rather than the public. Ken Macdonald, a Liberal Democrat peer and former Director of Public Prosecutions, predicted a rough ride for the proposals when they reach

the Lords, with its high proportion of lawyers. “Parliament will want to scrutinise this very, very carefully,” he said. “The main thing is going to be whether evidence is being presented in secret to protect the public, or because it would be embarrassing to the security services and the Government is trying to save its blushes. “The thing is to produce legislation that clearly distinguish between the two and that whatever the Government does falls on the right side of that line.” - independent

Exeter mosque opens costing £1.7million

Devon County Council said the mosque, which took three years to build, was needed because of the city’s growing Muslim population. It has been paid for with money raised by trustees and the Muslim community. Those behind the project said they hoped the mosque, which received planning permission in 2000, will help raise awareness of the religion and attract thousands of visitors. There are currently mosques in Plymouth and Torbay, but this is the first to be built using the traditional

Islamic minarets. A spokesperson from the board of trustees said: “Planning permission was granted in 2000 and with strenuous efforts by the trustees and the Muslim community, funds were raised and the work was started in 2008. About 3,000 Muslims live in the city, with thousands more across the South West. Imam Mohammed Abrar said he hoped it would attract thousands of Muslims and increase the understanding of Islam in the wider community

Jonathan Marshall, of the Centre of Faiths and Cultural Diversity in Plymouth, said: “This particular development enriches us all because it brings an opportunity for everyone, and particularly young people, to encounter the Muslim faith community. “There is still a very significant misunderstanding and a stereotype of the faith often connected with negative imagery. “Having a mosque is a wonderful opportunity for people to encounter the true heart and true faith of Islam.” Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Stephen Otter, who was at the official opening, said it was “extremely important” for the city. He said: “What’s very interesting is that mosques in the South West have a very strong tradition of being very much part of the wider community; and, with churches as well, they’re very important in bringing people together.” The mosque includes an elaborate dome, minaret and hall for daily prayers and Friday sermons. The building also contains a large community hall which will be available for local events and activities. BBC


Terror payout cases in UK to be secret

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I November 2011

Terror compensation cases will be held behind closed doors under the UK government plans to stop payouts to terrorists, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said. Rules covering civil court cases mean claimants can demand access to all of the intelligence gathered by the Security Services about them and officials have little choice but to risk disclosing secret techniques and details about live operations or pay up. The proposals, outlined in a green paper on justice and security, come after secret multimillionpound payouts were made to 16 terror suspects, including former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, last November after they claimed they had been mistreated by security and intelligence officials. Clarke told MPS: “The Government is clear that under the current system, justice is not being served and our national security


is being put at risk. “For justice to be done and the rule of law to be upheld, courts should be able to consider all of the facts of the case. “At the moment, we are not always getting at the truth because some evidence is too sensitive to disclose in open court. “The current system is failing to serve the public interest. Government cannot defend its actions. The security and intelligence agencies are unable to defend their reputations and get on with the vital job of keeping us safe.” An impartial and independent judge will have the power to review the Government’s statement that national security would be damaged if evidence were openly disclosed, helping to “ensure that closed procedures are only used where absolutely necessary”, he said. “Without such procedures, our sensitive techniques and methodologies could be put at risk,


along with the lives and safety of individuals and the vital overseas relationships we depend on to protect UK national security,” he said. “Damage to intelligencesharing relationships has a direct impact on the Government’s ability to safeguard the public and to keep the country safe.” The green paper also includes a review of the future oversight of the security and intelligence services.

Oxford Uni funds cluster-bomb trade

New revelations show Oxford University has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in a US arms giant involved in production of cluster bombs despite Britain’s membership in a treaty that bans the weapon. Britain is one of the more than 100 countries that have signed the Cluster Munitions Convention, which prohibits the use, production,

stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs. However, documents obtained by the Independent based on Freedom of Information regulations show Oxford University Endowment Management (OUEM) has invested £630,000 in Lockheed Martin, one of the only three arms producers in the US that still make cluster bombs.

The British law only bans companies from direct investment in cluster munitions, which means the university can stick to its funding of Lockheed Martin projects. The OUEM said they have not breached any law by funneling their money to the US firm as Lockheed Martin is not blacklisted by a supervisory committee at the university in charge of ensuring the lawfulness of such contracts. The revelations could severely damage the image of Oxford University as one of the two major cultural and educational hubs in the UK. In August, it emerged that three banking giants Barclays, HSBC and the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have used the same loophole in the British law to invest millions of pounds in US arms producers including Lockheed Martin.



Passion Islam

I November 2011

Citi named ‘Most Innovative Islamic Investment Bank’

Citi was named “Most Innovative Bank for Foreign Exchange” and “Most Innovative Islamic Investment Bank” in the annual Investment Banking Awards competition held by The Banker magazine. The awards, presented at a dinner in London, recognise the key role innovation plays in helping the financial services industry evolve to meet new challenges.

Among the innovations The Banker noted within Citi’s FX business were the launch of CitiFX Wire, an FX newswire for Citi clients, and the creation of the Positive Alert Indicator, or PAIN, indices, which quantify market sentiment. “The FX market is developing so rapidly that innovation has to be at the core of our business,” said Anil Prasad, Global Head of Foreign Exchange and Local Markets at Citi. “We look at innovation in two ways: the first is to try and improve things which are already out there and the second is to innovate to plug any gaps in our services, or spot gaps in those of others.” In Islamic finance, The Banker pointed to Citi having led the first ever exchange, tender and consent solicitation ever executed in the Sukuk market. The Banker also cited that Citi led the first Islamic deal ever done in Turkey, a US$100 million

Eid al-Adha is a time of rejoicing and feasting for most Muslims. But for tens of millions of people around the world the day will be spent much the same as any other, without food, shelter or security. Nowhere is the suffering more acute than in the disaster-stricken Horn of Africa and Pakistan, where millions continue to stare in the face of starvation and disease. That’s why for this year’s Qurbani Project, Ummah Welfare Trust is focussing its efforts on these two regions to ensure as many Muslims as possible are provided with meat so that they can enjoy the days of Eid. While donors will still have the choice of having their Qurbani performed in up to a dozen countries, the charity is urging people to direct their donations to Somalia where the worst drought in 60 years has displaced millions, and to Pakistan where heavy rains have inundated much of the country for the second year in succession.

UWT is operating in both areas, including those parts of Somalia considered too insecure by other agencies. In Somalia a small animal will cost £40 this year while in Pakistan the same price will ensure one share in a large animal. UWT will also be carrying out Qurbani in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Burma, Ghana, India, Iraq, Kashmir, Malawi and Palestine. The principle of sacrifice is the very essence of Eid al-Adha. On this day Allah commanded the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to offer up his beloved son Ismail in the ultimate act of obedience. In His infinite mercy Allah then told Ibrahim to replace Ismail with a ram and the festival of Eid al-Adha was born. UWT trustee, Muhammad Ahmad said: “Last year our donors’ sacrifices helped over 380,000 people enjoy the days of Eid. This year we hope our donors can make an even bigger difference.” For more information please visit www.uwt.org or call 0800 4 0800 11

issue for Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank. “Citi remains focused on innovation and developing both the geographic as well as product aspects in the Islamic finance industry,” said Samad Sirohey, Chief Executive Officer of Citi Islamic Investment Bank and Head of Global Islamic Banking. “Citi has consistently played a pioneering and leading role in the development of Islamic Finance globally, having successfully arranged several billion dollars of Islamic transactions for Citi’s clients in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Latin America.” An independent panel of industry experts select the winners of The Banker’s Investment Banking Awards. This year’s panel consisted of institutional investors, CEOs, CFOs, investment bankers, finance ministers and central bank governors.

UWT Qurbani project focus Terror stop and search on Somalia and Pakistan

down by 90% Police use of stop and search powers under terrorism laws fell by more than 90% last year, figures have showed. Just 9,652 stops and searches were made under terrorism laws in 2010/11, compared with 102,504 in 2009/10, the Home Office figures showed. The significant fall comes after the relevant sections of the Terrorism Act 2000 were repealed and replaced by much more limited powers in March following concerns from human rights campaigners. The stops led to a total of 77 arrests, less than one in every 100 searches, and none of these were terror-related. This compared with a total of 509 arrests using the powers the previous year, two of which were related to terrorism

UK courts ‘not bound by Strasbourg’ Passion Islam

I November 2011


In Case You Missed It

British courts do not need to abide by the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, the most senior judge in England and Wales has said. The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said that while courts should always take the rulings of the Strasbourg-based court into account, they were not bound by them. His comments will fuel the controversial debate over the Human Rights Act as a commission set up by David Cameron looks at the case for a British Bill of Rights. But in giving evidence to the Lords Constitution Committee, a split

over the issue emerged between two of Britain’s most senior judges. Lord Phillips, the president of the Supreme Court and a former Lord Chief Justice, told the peers: “In the end, Strasbourg is going to win so long as we have the Human Rights Act and the Human Rights Act is designed to give effect to that part of the rule of law which says we must comply with the convention. If we have Strasbourg saying, ‘You can’t do that’, it raises some very real problems.” But Lord Judge said: “I would like to say that maybe Strasbourg

shouldn’t win and doesn’t need to win.” He went on: “For Strasbourg there is a debate yet to happen, it will have to happen in the Supreme Court, about what we really do mean in the Human Rights Act, what Parliament means in the Human Rights Act, when it said that courts in this country must ‘take account’ of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). “I myself think it’s at least arguable that, having taken account of the decision of the court in Strasbourg, our courts are not bound by them. We have to give them due weight, and in most cases obviously we would follow them, but not I think necessarily.” The Prime Minister’s decision to set up a commission to consider a British Bill of Rights came after the Government lost a legal challenge to the ECHR ruling that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoners voting was unlawful. passionislam.com

Police investigate hate mail campaign against Muslims

Police are investigating a hate mail campaign in which racist material has been posted to Muslim community groups. The threatening letter and a series of offensive drawings specifically ridiculing Islam were sent to at least nine organisations, chiefly in the Highfields and Spinney Hills area of Leicester. The final line of the letter contains the sinister message: “You will expect to receive a box from Pandora and a bright sun shall light up your organisation.” The sender claims to be a representative of the infamous racehate organisation the Ku Klux Klan. The material was also sent to the

Leicester Mercury’s headquarters. Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Leicestershire Federation of Muslim Organisations, said: “We are working closely with the police to help them find the person responsible for this hate mail. “We have passed on all the information that we can, and we sincerely hope the police catch the perpetrators of this crime, which has caused deep upset.” Mr Nagdi said the targeted groups were all members of the federation, which is an umbrella body for mosques and other Muslim groups in the city and county. Detective Inspector Rob Widdowson said: “Early indications

are that the letters have been sent by one person. “We recognise the seriousness of these offences and are committed to identifying the offender.” He said it was important that recipients of the documents handled them as little as possible to give police a better chance of obtaining forensic evidence. “If people identify what they believe to be an offensive letter, please put it to one side and contact us immediately.” Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Con Widdowson on 0116 222 2222, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or send information via the police’s website:

Germans view Obama as ‘pro-Israeli’



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I November 2011

In Case You Missed It

A majority of people in Germany believe that US President Barack Obama supports Israel more than Palestine, a new survey has indicated.

Magaar Mochot Poll found out that 54 percent of respondents said Obama put his weight behind Israel, while 19 percent said the US president supports Palestine.

According to the poll, 27 percent of voters said that they do not know about Obama’s support. On September 23, acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas presented UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with the statehood proposal during the UN General Assembly’s annual session in New York. The PA has reportedly secured the support of ten of the UN Security Council’s membership with India, Nigeria, Gabon, and Bosnia most recently siding with the Palestinians on the issue. However, the US, among the Security Council’s five permanent members, which have veto powers, has vowed to thwart the bid. The latest poll was conducted by telephone on September 19-21 among 1040 German adults and was released on October 10.

Halal food is seeing double-digit growth the world over and even in Italy - due to rising interest by companies in the sector - it could soon become normal to find ‘’Islamically correct’’ labelled products on supermarket shelves. ‘’The development potential of this market,’’ said Hamid Roberto Distefano, the managing director of Halal Italia, an agency authorising Islamic certification of firms and products, ‘’is around 4 or 5 billion euros.’’ Since the label was brought in a year ago on the initiative of Co.re. is. (Islamic Religious Community), sponsored by the Foreign, Economic Development, Health and Agricultural Policies ministries, 30 small and

large enterprises have been certified and the same number are undergoing the procedure to do so. ‘’It is a move,’’ Distefano said at a meeting organised by Promos today at the Milan Chamber of Commerce,’’ that many are making especially in relation to exports, even though enterprises are discovering a domestic market made up of 1.5 million Muslim citizens, Today, if they want to eat strictly halal food they stock up for the most part in small shops which often become ghettos. In this sense certification can aid integration by fostering the sharing of space and a shared consumption

culture.’’ The phenomenon does not only concern tortellini and sausages. To the contrary: ‘’We have begun to certify also cosmetics and pharmaceutical enterprises,’’ said the managing director, ‘’a sector which is growing internationally by 30%, double that of halal food.’’

Halal food market worth 5 billion euro in Italy

‘Ice mosque’ to be built in Sweden

Passion Islam

I November 2011

The highly popular church built near the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden might soon be joined by an ice mosque by next winter, if all goes according to plan. “We are open to everything and we practice freedom of religion here in Jukkasjärvi,” said Yngve Bergqvist, CEO of Icehotel, to local paper Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD). Every year the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, builds a church in pure ice that is later gifted to the Church of Sweden during a service on Boxing Day. The ice church has proved a successful way to reach out to the community and draw in a new crowd. According to NSD, 150 couples from all over the world are married at the


church yearly. Imam Mahmoud Aldebe told the paper he is now hoping that an ice mosque could have the same effect on Islam in the country. “It’s not actually such a controversial idea. It has been received well with everyone we have spoken to,” Aldebe said. That the mosque would be placed in the same area as the church does not constitute a problem, according to Aldebe. “It would be a new way of seeking dialogue between different cultures and religions. Perhaps an imam could be there and tell tourists and other visitors what it means to be Muslim,” Aldebe told NSD. According to Bergqvist, the

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project would not be aimed at drawing in a new crowd of visitors, but rather to increase the value of the experience for the existing target audience. “We have visitors from all over the world and many come from places like London or Saudi Arabia. We thought it might be a fun idea, seeing as we already have an ice church,” he told the paper. It was hoped at first that the project could get underway this year, but according to Bergqvist the ice mosque would see the light of day by next winter at the earliest. “We are looking into it and it was overly ambitious to believe we could get the project underway this year. We shall see what the future will bring,” Bergqvist told the paper.

HSBC’s Islamic unit says funds to exceed $10bn

HSBC Amanah Securities Services, part of HSBC Holdings, will more than double the value of the Islamic funds it services to exceed $10bn after it helps to set up funds in the next 12 to 18 months. Demand for Islamic funds has risen in the past three to six months as the global economic slowdown prompted investors to seek alternative investments to help manage risk, according to Germain Birgen, Luxembourg-based global head of HSBC Amanah Securities. The unit will help set up more than 30 Sharia-compliant funds globally. About $10 trillion was wiped from the value of global equities in the third quarter amid concern a worsening European debt crisis will derail global growth. Sharia law forbids gambling, investments in alcohol and receipt of interest, so fund managers have to select investments deemed halal, or permissible. “Islamic funds are not exposed

to the same level of derivative techniques as conventional funds,” he said in a telephone interview from Luxembourg. “Conventional institutional managers, targeting institutional investors such as pension funds or insurance companies, are investing in socially responsible investments, which in most markets, Islamic funds fall under that category,” he said. HSBC Amanah Securities has received a growing number of queries for Islamic funds from clients in countries, such as Australia, South Africa and Brazil, HSBC Amanah Securities services 90 funds in 12 domiciles valued at about $5bn, a tenth of

the Sharia-complaint fund industry, mature fund markets, such as Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, target mainly local investors. The new funds will help attract “large, conventional players” worldwide.

Haqqanis seek Taliban role in Afghan talks

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I November 2011

The Afghan Haqqani militant group will not take part individually in any peace talks with the United States and negotiations must be led by the Taliban, a senior commander said. “They [the Americans] would not


be able to find a possible solution to the Afghan conflict until and unless they hold talks with the Taliban shura,” said the Haqqani group commander, referring to the Taliban leadership council. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Islamabad with a heavyweight team of US military and intelligence leaders, urged Pakistan to persuade the Haqqanis to pursue peace. She also warned that tough action would have to be taken against Afghan and Pakistani militants if they did not cooperate in efforts to stabilise Afghanistan. The Haqqani commander, speaking on condition of anonymity,

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viewed her efforts with scepticism. “This is not the first time the US has approached us for peace talks. The Americans had made several such attempts for talks which we rejected as we are an integral part of the Taliban led by Mullah Mohammad Omar,” he said by telephone from an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. “We are united and our goal is to liberate our homeland Afghanistan from the clutches of occupying forces.” Clinton said the United States had held preliminary meetings with the Haqqanis — arguably the most dangerous Afghan insurgent faction — and was working with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

France to Host Islamic Embracing World Int’l Exhibition Islam in An international exhibition titled the Islamic World is set to be held in the French capital of Paris on December 17-19. Muslims from all over the world are to attend the event, whose theme is “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), A Blessing for the World”. The French Union of Islamic Organization, the event’s organizer, has invited Muslims as well as nonMuslims from European countries to visit the exhibit. It will feature exhibiting Islamic books and photos, organizing forums with the presence of eminent Muslim scholars, holding Quran recitation and memorization competitions for the youth and teenagers, and a poetry reading contest with the theme of “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”. The exhibition had been planned

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to be mounted in late December, concurrent with Christmas holidays, but the organizers received suggestions from Muslims and nonMuslims to change the timing.

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Head of Kenya’s Muslims Supreme Council said more people embrace Islam in Africa every day. Abdul Ghafur Bu Saeedi told reporters that many in African tribes are converting to Islam. Predicting a bright future for Islam in Africa, he said Islam is going to be the first religion in the continent. “People show amazing interest in reading, reciting and memorizing the Quran,” he added. Bu Saeedi also noted that the number of institutes promulgating Islam in Africa has been on the rise. “On Fridays, you can see people coming into mosques all across Kenya to say the Shahadatayn (testimony of faith) and learn how to say prayers and read the Quran.” While the predominant religion in Kenya is Christianity, conversion to Islam is a growing phenomenon in the country.



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76,000 People Visit Islamic Arts Exhibition in Los Angeles

Turkish Culture & Tourism Ministry stated that the exhibition, displaying 200 objects about Islamic culture, took place in Los Angeles Art

Museum. A total of 76,000 people visited “Gifts of the Sultan” exhibition in Los Angeles between June 5 and September 5. Turkish Culture & Tourism Ministry stated that the exhibition, displaying 200 objects about Islamic culture, took place in Los Angeles Art Museum. The exhibition, also including 19 pieces from Turkey, will be shown in Houston Fine Arts Museum between October 23, 2011 and January, 16, 2012. “Gifts of the Sultan” includes collections like carpets, wooden furniture, jewelry, weapons and books from America, Europe and Middle East. The exhibition aims to introduce Islamic art and culture to U.S. people.

Spain denounces Israeli settlement plans Spain condemned Israeli government’s decision to construct 2,600 new housing units in Givat Hamatos in occupied east Jerusalem. Spain considered in a statement released by the Foreign Ministry that the decision was an obstacle in the road to a peaceful future agreement since the new settlement project affects the geographical continuity between Bethlehem, Beit Safafa and Jerusalem, saying that the land is part of the occupied Palestinian territories and Israeli settlements is illegal under international law. It also warned that these decisions ran counter to the efforts of both the European Union and the Quartet -- comprising the US, the UN, Russia and the European Union -- to reach a solution to the crisis to demand Israel

to reconsider such decisions and put an end to all settlement activity. Furthermore, the statement said it believed that latest announcement as well as prior ones of building new settlements in occupied East Jerusalem would disrupt international efforts to resume direct negotiations between both parties to achieve a just peace, and peace in the Middle East based on the basis of two states living in peace and security. It also confirmed that Spain will continue to work with the parties within the timetable set by the Quartet in order to reach a peaceful agreement that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state according to the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital of two states.

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Muslim woman removed from plane to sue airline A Muslim woman is to sue an ariline in America after she was removed from a plane by security agents. Irum Abbasi of San Diego, who was wearing a headscarf claimed she was told to leave Southwest Airlines plane after an attendant became suspicious over her behaviour. Abbasi has lived in the U.S. ten years and was on a flight from San Diego to San Jose. Abbassi, told someone on her mobile phone, “I have to go” because the plane was about to depart but the attendant thought she said, “It’s a go.” She was placed on the next flight and the airline has since apologised.

All Hajj Pilgrims fingerprinted All Hajj pilgrims were fingerprinted on their arrival in Saudi Arabia, said Brigadier Ayed Bin Taghalib Al-Harbi, Commander of the Hajj Passports Department Force. Al-Harbi, who is working under Director General Lieutenant General Salim Al-Bulaihid, said staff has been trained and advanced computers installed to ease the entry of pilgrims, according to a report in Al-Madina newspaper. Al-Harbi added that domestic pilgrims must make sure they have Hajj permits and should not attempt to transport illegal people and overstayers. Any such violation will be punished. All entrances to Makkah and Madinah will have trained officers to deal with such attempts. Makkah entrances will have women officers to search women, he said.

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Indian bomb probes wrongly target Muslims: judge A recently retired judge from the Indian Supreme Court has launched a blistering attack on the country’s police, accusing them of falsely implicating local Muslims in bomb attacks. Markandey Katju, who retired from the top court last month, said Indian police were poorly trained in forensic investigations which meant they were unable to crack terror attack cases. “The point is that they cannot catch the real culprits, so whomever they think may have committed the crime they catch hold of them,” he said in an interview with cable news network NDTV. Training and equipment to conduct scientific investigations “is absent in India so it is done by suspicion. Some bomb blast takes place, they catch hold of the local Muslims and young people and implicate them,” he added. A string of bombings over the last two years have gone unsolved, including attacks on the IT hub of

Bangalore, the holy city of Varanasi, the western city of Pune, commercial capital Mumbai and most recently New Delhi. Katju said torture was regularly used to extract confessions, particularly in rural areas where local police inspectors needed to show quick results after a crime. In the most recent miscarriage of justice highlighted in the Indian media, Imran Kirmani, a Kashmiri Muslim, was released after four and half years in jail after being falsely accused of plotting a major terror strike in 2006.

Katju, who is now head of the Press Council of India, said he was still in favour of the death penalty despite the problems in catching the real culprits. During his time in the top court, he argued in favour of the death penalty for policemen found to have executed suspects, as well as perpetrators of so-called “honour killings” and murders motivated by dowry payments. Capital punishment can be handed down by an Indian judge as a sentence for the “rarest of rare” crimes.

US not behind Arab Spring: Hezbollah “What is happening today are genuine national movements, such as in Tunisia and other Arab countries … and were not part of a US project,” Nasrallah said during a interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television. However, he said the Hezbollah leader, the US, is making efforts to exploit the changed scenario to its benefit, Lebanese English language newspaper The Daily Star reported. Nasrallah stated that the Americans want to boost their plunging image in the Arab and Islamic world, which have rejected wrong US policies. He predicted that the US and Western states will attempt to incite sedition in the newly liberated states if they are convinced that the potential governments in Tunisia,

Egypt and Libya are would not be subservient to them. The Lebanese resistance leader cautioned the new leaders in these countries to “realize that the achievements of their revolutions must be preserved.” Referring to the situation in Syria, Nasrallah said, “The Syrian government is being attacked because it does not abide by the rules of the Americans.” Nasrallah emphasized, however, that the Syrian government is largely “out of the danger zone” despite a seven-month-old onslaught against President Bashar al-Assad. Hezbollah secretary general reiterated that Syria is a partner of resistance movements in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq and has played a decisive role in their victories.

He also described the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq as a historic defeat for the Americans and a major victory for Iraqis. Nasrallah said Iraqis owe this victory to resistance groups, adding that US troops would have stayed in the country if they felt secure. He also compared the upcoming total pull-out of US forces from Iraq to the withdrawal of Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon. Elsewhere in his remarks, Hezbollah leader said the resistance movement opposes the (foreign) financing of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), calling for a vote within the Lebanese cabinet if agreement on the issue is not reached among ministers. passionislam.com

UN calls on Israel to stop harassing kids



UN has criticized Israeli violence against Palestinian children, urging the international community to scale up its protective measures for minors living under Israeli occupation. Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, said on that ‘’settlers’ violence and vandalism and night time raids and detentions by Israeli occupation forces, house demolitions, threatened expulsions, and a host of other practices’’, have deprived Palestinian children of safety and a sense of security. He also said that long-term Israeli occupation has alarming affects on children’s health and well-being. ‘’Prolonged occupation deforms the development of children through pervasive deprivations affecting health, education, and overall security,’’ Falk told the General Assembly’s human rights committee.

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In his report, Falk also expressed extreme concerns about the violence against Palestinian children arrested by Israeli military, urging Tel Aviv to adopt guidelines in line with humanitarian law for the detained children. ‘’The arrest procedures documented by UN agencies and reliable human rights organizations include arrests in the middle of the night, removal of child from parents for questioning, abusive treatment at detention and conviction procedures that appear to preclude findings of not guilty,” he said. Falk described an incident in which a three-year old girl was forced out of her home at 3 a.m. and threatened at gunpoint to reveal her brother’s whereabouts. ‘’She was told she would be shot and her family home destroyed unless she revealed the whereabouts of her brother,’’ said Falk, adding that

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‘’and now, her mother explained, she can’t sleep through the night and bedwets’’. According to Falk, the number of the Palestinian children arrested and prosecuted by Israeli authorities has risen in the past four years and most them were arrested over allegations of stone-throwing at Jewish settlers or Israeli soldiers. He also criticized Israeli authorities for their failure to prevent and punish settler violence against Palestinian children, stressing that many Palestinian kids have stopped attending school because of frequent settler harassment. The UN investigator for the Palestinian territories also touched on the situation of Palestinian children living in the Gaza Strip. Falk said in Gaza, children are affected by ‘’traumatizing periodic violent incursions and sonic booms resulting from over- flights, as well as the still unrepaired destruction of refugee camps, residential communities, and public buildings by Israeli forces.” There was no immediate response from Israel to Falk’s report. Falk has previously angered Tel Aviv by comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and accusing it of crimes against humanity because of its treatment of the Palestinians. Falk is currently barred from visiting the Palestinian territories, a situation he described as a “disappointment” that made it difficult for him to do his job.

Pakistan, US agree on Afghan endgame Pakistan and the United States have agreed on an Afghan endgame ‘blueprint’ that seeks a peaceful end to the decade-old war in Afghanistan, it has been reported. During the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the two sides held marathon discussions

on Afghan endgame and as a result agreed on a “blueprint” that seeks a peaceful end Afghan war, citing unnamed Pakistani officials, who are familiar with the discussions held, local daily Express Tribune (ET) reported. ET said that Secretary Clinton

led an unprecedented high-powered delegation, including the American military and intelligence chiefs, but her discussions with Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership were not confined to bilateral relations or a plan on how to deal with the Haqqani network.

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Digital map introduced to ensure safe transportation of Haji’s

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As pilgrims started arriving from all over the world for the annual Haj authorities and agencies concerned are fully geared to extend them the best services. The authorities are making use of the latest means of technology to streamline the process of receiving and dispatching pilgrims to their residences. One of such services, introduced for the first time this year, is a digital map service to monitor buses on the Internet and detect technical glitches, breakdowns, and if buses are abiding by the routes assigned to them. The Cars General Syndicate, which supervises the transportation of pilgrims, is launching the service with the support of Google Earth, said Abdu Bin Ahmad Yamani, assistant head of the syndicate. “This is to keep a check on the performance of 17 transport companies that are providing 19,000 buses during the current Haj season,” he said. Speaking to reporters, Yamani


said that the authorities have approved the plan aimed at ensuring smooth and safe transportation of the pilgrims. Through these measures, the Syndicate aims to reduce bus breakdowns and the time required for repairs, besides streamlining the movement of pilgrims between Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites. The syndicate plans to operate 120,000 trips for pilgrims between the holy sites and Makkah and Madinah during the season. The plan will be put into operation by nearly 30,000 supervisors,

members of administrative and technical committees, drivers and maintenance workers. Referring to the e-services being extended by the syndicate, Yamani said that every pilgrim, on arrival at any of the Kingdom’s airports, seaports or border points, will receive a digital smart card with all information of the pilgrim saved on it. “These cards will enable the officials at the entry points to complete the travel and visa procedures of the pilgrims swiftly,” he said. According to Yamani, the syndicate has readied some 18 full-fledged automobile maintenance centres along the Haj route, such as expressways connecting Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah. “There are mechanics and substitute drivers at these centres. The syndicate also arranged mobile workshops along the major land routes of pilgrims. Buses having engine problems or break downs will be attended to for repair within 50 minutes,” he said.

Wikileaks suspends publications

The whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks announced it was suspending its publishing operations and that it will be “aggressively” launching a new fundraising drive. The website, behind the publication of hundreds of thousands of controversial secret US files and diplomatic cables, announced it was running on cash reserves after “an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade” by the Bank of America, and other financial firms. A statement issued by WikiLeaks said: “The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. “It is without democratic oversight or transparency. “The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. “But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless.”


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Spanish schoolgirl expelled for hijab


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A Spanish schoolgirl has been expelled from school during an exam after refusing to remove her Islamic headdress or hijab, school officials said. “They told me to remove it… they humiliated me in front of my peers,” she told El Mundo newspaper. The 14-year-old girl, who lives in Madrid, decided to wear hijab this summer. Her parents became outraged by the expulsion and described it an “abuse,” reporting the case to judiciary officials. This comes while there are no clear guidelines prohibiting the wearing of headscarves in state schools in Spain. Muslims currently account for just over one million of Spain’s 46-million

population. Muslims in Spain have been witnessing a growing trend of Islamophobia as e hostility towards the expressions of Islamic symbols and practices grows in the European state. The discriminatory policies on the rise in Spain clearly breach the country’s Law of Religious Freedom, as well as the International Human Rights law.

“They told me to remove it… they humiliated me in front of my peers,”

‘US drones fly from secret Kenya bases’

US drones are flown to southern Somalia from secret US bases in neighboring Kenya, Press TV reports, quoting a Somali official. A Somali government official, who

spoke on the condition of unanimity, told Press TV that there are secret US bases in Kenya mainly used for flying American pilotless drone bombers.

He also said that there are secret US jails in Kenya where hundreds of young people, captured in Somalia, are being held. The US has increased the number of its attacks by unmanned surveillance aircraft in Somalia. Many civilians have died as a result. Somalia is the sixth country where the US military has engaged in unauthorized aerial bombing campaigns through the use of its remote-controlled aircraft. The United States has also deployed its drones for aerial attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen. Washington claims the airstrikes target militants, though most of such attacks have largely resulted in civilian casualties.



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I November 2011

UAE’s Sheikh Mansour tops British football rich list Passion Islam

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been rated as the richest man in British football, according to a new survey. UK-based Four Four Two magazine has estimated Sheikh Mansour’s wealth at £20bn ($31bn), 61 percent more than the secondplaced owner. Sheikh Mansour – who is Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister for Presidential Affairs – has invested heavily in Manchester City since the Abu Dhabi United Group took over the club in 2008. He is estimated to have spent as much as $1bn on the takeover, plus new players and salaries. In May, club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said the club was likely to scale back spending on players after announcing a pre-tax loss of £121.3m ($192m) last season, the second-highest loss of any Premier club on record. Despite this, Al Mubarak has said he believed the club is being managed “prudently” and he has no

worries about meeting new financial targets being set by governing body UEFA. In May, Manchester City signed football’s biggest-ever sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, which is worth an estimated $482m over ten years. Another Arab owner, Egypt-born Mohammed Al Fayed, who runs Fulham, made eleventh spot on the list, with an estimated worth of

£1.3bn. Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov was second on the list with £12.4bn, while QPR owner Lakshmi Mittal placed third with £11.8bn. Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich, who has topped the list in the past, was in fourth place, with £10.3bn. Malcolm Glazer, the owner of champions Manchester United, was placed ninth on the list. He is believed to be worth £1.64bn.

Rhinos rule out World Challenge match in Dubai Rugby league champions Leeds Rhinos has dismissed calls for the game’s World Club Challenge match to be played in Dubai next year. Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington ruled out any chance of the match - played annually between the champions of England and Australia - being held in the emirate. But he said taking the game to a neutral venue like Dubai could be looked at in years to come. He was reacting to a proposal by the chairman of Manly, the current Aussie champions, to play the game in Dubai in 2012. Scott Penn, whose club will face English champions Leeds for the 2012 title to be played in England next February, said if handled correctly it would promote the sport on a global scale.

But Hetherington said in comments published on the Leeds Rhinos website: “To take the game to a neutral venue like Dubai should remain an aspiration for the NRL and RFL but this would require at least twelve months lead time. “We were quite prepared to travel to Sydney and we have been contacted by many of our fans who wanted to go too, but we are also delighted to have the opportunity to win back the world title on home soil. “I am sure the RFL will be investigating a number of possible venues and we look forward to further discussions,” added Hetherington. Penn’s comments came after the Australian Football League shifted a pre-season match between Adelaide and Collingwood to Dubai in 2008, a move that provided the AFL with a substantial financial gain.



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pany, m o C d e it im L r, e d ra T le o S Are You A hip? or Limited Liability Partners Now that you have decided to run your own business, it is important to consider what type of business entity best suits your requirements. It is best to explore these options before you write your Business Plan. Knowing what business entity type will assist in forecasting associated costs and creating realistic financial information. The different entity types are available to help ease your way into business. Most people start off as self employed, gradually moving on to forming limited companies. Others jump in at the deep end and form limited companies and take on all the red tape involved. So how is it that people make their choice of a business entity? In this month’s article, we explore the most common types of business entities and discuss key points that will assist you in making your decision. An individual wishing to run their business in their own name or with a ‘trading name’ is called a Sole Trader. Where more people are involved, the business entity becomes that of a Simple Partnership. Under this type of business entity, the owner or owners are personally liable for all business debt incurred. This means that their personal assets are at risk should the business be unable to meet its debts. Equally, all business income can be used as personal income. This applies to either a Sole Trader / Simple Partnership however it is likely that a monthly income has been decided upon by partners. Whilst registration at Companies House is not required, owners must inform the HMRC of their individual intention to become self employed. Income generated under either type of business entity, is taxed on an individual basis. People often set-up business as Sole traders / Simple Partnerships due to the ease in setting up and as such businesses are not required by law to produce annual accounts

A Limited Company is a private company formed either with Directors, or Guarantors. A Limited Company with Directors is ‘limited’ by shares whereas a Limited Company with Guarantors is ‘limited’ by guarantee. Regardless of whether the company is limited by shares or guarantee, the liability of the owners towards any business debt is limited. The articles of association of a company will set out the rights and obligations of shareholders. Where shares have been allocated, liabilities of the owners are limited to any personal guarantees provided to lenders or for the amount of personal investment made in the business or for the amount they have not yet paid on shares owned. In a company limited by guarantee, the owners guarantee to pay a ‘nominal’ amount towards company debts should the company be involved in winding-up proceedings. This nominal amount would have been decided in advance of any problems. People often set-up as a Limited Company to reduce exposure of personal assets towards any unserviceable company debt, to take advantage of various permissible methods of saving taxes, and to avoid being held responsible for any misadventure carried out by a Director. As a Limited Company, should the business make a profit, then Corporation Tax is payable.

A successful company limited by shares can go on to list on various stock markets and become public companies. It is only once a private company becomes a public company that shares can be offered to the public. UK law requires all Limited Companies to register and incorporate with Companies House. Prior to submitting incorporation documents, it is advisable to check if the company name you wish to use is available to avoid unnecessary delays. Upon incorporation, a Company number specific to your business is allocated and must be quoted on all company marketing material. This demonstrates transparency and trustworthiness in today’s competitive market. (Companies in Scotland should refer to Companies House in Scotland for registration.) Limited Companies are required to submit annual returns and accounts which becomes information in the public domain. A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is exactly the same as a Limited Company and also have the same reporting requirements to Companies House, apart from the fact that owners under a LLP are referred to as Members as opposed to Directors. Just like a Limited Company, but unlike a simple partnership, members are ‘not’ liable for each others incompetence or negligence. Having decided to set up business as one of the above business entities, it is recommended to consult with an Accountant and HMRC regards your personal taxation arrangements as well as your taxation responsibilities as a businessperson. Islamic Disclaimer Islamically, it is every Muslim’s duty to ensure that their income is halal and is obtained through halal means. by Aisha Ejaz aisha@passionislam.com

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The Beauty Within

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“Oh Allah make me beautiful within as you have made me without!” “I believe that there is a gorgeous and wonderful person trapped in my body waiting to be released.” “If only I was thinner!” “I hate myself; I’m so fat and ugly!” “My nose is too long!” “Not another spot!” Sound familiar? How many times have you stood in front of the mirror repeating these words? Its so amazing how a human being can be a fountain of kindness and mercy to others while so harsh and judgmental to oneself. So you are bit on the heavier side of the scales (to put more politely) and if you had bit more height it would not hurt, you wish that you were fairer and you had the perfect pearly whites; and the list is limitless. But its your personality that matters more than looks, isn’t it? Or is it? We get bombarded constantly with ultra-thin images of what beautiful is supposed to be. Look at the billboards, glossy magazines and advertisements, the perfect girl


is one who is slim, fair, has straight hair and rosy lips. Surgeons are minting money in bundles; if cosmetic surgery were any cheaper the whole world would be filled with Jennifer Anniston and Sushmita Sen looka-likes! Fad diets are becoming the order of the day, with the youth as young as ten years of age embarking recklessly on a journey of starvation, unaware of the negative impact on their health. It is indeed a sad affair; soon we will have a global pandemic of eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. It all begins, I think, with low selfesteem; when we let society dictate the rules for us. Man is very ungrateful. It is true we don’t value what we have until we lose it. What is beautiful any way? Picture this; an expectant mother is going through labour, the only thought going through her mind at that moment is that she delivers a healthy and bouncy baby, imagine her distress when the baby presented to her has a cleft palate, an open skull and a hole in its heart. Incomplete and imperfect.

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Now look into the mirror again; what do you see? Two lovely eyes, ears that can hear, a fully formed mouth, even your nose does not look so bad anymore! The lovely swan that was the ugly duckling evolves! Beautiful; is you. I used to feel that nature throws an unfair deal to those infants that are born with one of their faculties non-functional, I realize now that they are special and unique, sent by God to teach us a precious lesson; that we are all miracles of His creation. Value yourself; next time you pass by a mirror, look deeper into your soul, do you like who you are within? That is a more substantial question to ask. Only then will you be able to greet your most dreaded enemy (the mirror) with confidence and a smile, you will meet your own eyes, embrace your soul and exclaim; I love me, there is no other me in this entire universe, I am unique and precious. I shall fulfil all my dreams and hopes because I believe in the power of me. Oh Allah make me beautiful within as you have made me without!

Masjid or Musalla



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Part One congregate to perform their prayers. A musalla is also a place that has not been made an endowment or not yet intended to become a permanent masjid until the Last Day. In many cases, it is a temporary place from which the community will transfer once they find a more suitable, convenient, or permanent location. Though Muslims today commonly refer to their “musallâ” as their “masjid,” which the literal meaning of masjid (a place where the prostration is made) allows, a musallâ cannot technically be considered a legal [shar’i] masjid. Likewise the reward for prayer in a musallâ is not the same as in a proper masjid.

What exactly is a masjid? Is there a difference between a masjid, musallâ, and jamât khâna, etc? These are questions which need detailed discussion. Nowadays, in the west, many Islamic Centers being managed include, among other things, a prayer hall, musallâ, or jamât khâna. Some communities rent an industrial unit, a store front, a house, or an apartment in which members of the Muslim community gather to perform congregational prayer (and

in many cases social activities). Many communities actually have purchased property which they consider their masjid. Which of the above can technically be considered a masjid, and what are the related rulings? There is a difference between a masjid and a musallâ (or jamât khâna). A musalla (or jamât khâna) literally means a place where prayer is performed or where congregations are held, or worded differently, any temporary place in which worshippers

The Masjid The masjid is a sanctified area, in which the rewards of prayers in congregation increase 25 to 27 times and where the mercy of Allah descends. It is considered the best of places by the Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace). Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) relates: Masjids are the houses of Allah on the earth. They shine up to the inhabitants of the heavens just as the stars in the sky shine down to the inhabitants of the earth (Tabarânî). A true masjid, in the legal sense, is a place that has been permanently dedicated to Allah for the sake of prayer, recitation, and His remembrance. Any piece of land that has been dedicated permanently for the sake of congregational prayers will also become a proper masjid. The great Hanafî scholar of Egypt ‘Allâma Tahtâwî states: Know that for it [piece of land] to be considered a masjid, a building [or structure] is not necessary. Tahtâwi, Kitâb al-Waqf, Ahkâm al-masjid and Qâdî Khân 4:712). A masjid is normally made into a waqf or endowment (sometimes difficult to establish depending on the legal connotations of endowment in some countries). However, once a masjid is erected, it will always be a masjid and the property of Allah. It

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cannot return to being the property of any person or community even those who may have paid for establishing it. ‘Allâma Haskafî writes, If the inhabitants surrounding the masjid wither away and the masjid becomes desolate, it will still remain a masjid according to Imam Abû Hanîfa and Imam Abû Yûsuf until the Last Day, and the fatwâ is on this opinion (Hâwî al-Qudsî)” (al-Durr alMukhtâr 3:371). The Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace) said, All the earth will disappear on the Day of Judgment with the exception of the masjids for they will join with one another (Suyûtî, Jâmi’ alShaghîr). Designation of a Masjid A masjid (to become a masjid) must be formally designated by the committee or persons in charge. They do this by defining the area it will occupy and its boundaries. Along with this they can designate other adjoining areas to be used as bathrooms, lobby, storage, etc. The latter however will be considered the auxiliary areas of the masjid and, though part of the endowment, will not classify as “masjid” area that was previously defined by the committee. Therefore, it is possible, for example, to designate only the front half of a large hall (i.e. the first 10 rows) as the “masjid,” while the rest of the hall is classified as a musalla. Once the front half has been designated as such, then that part, both above and below it, becomes a shar’i masjid. This means that neither above it nor below it on any floor can be used for anything but as a masjid. Hence, all rulings that apply to a masjid will now apply to the exact same area directly below it on each of the lower floors (including the basement); and likewise on all floors above it. Constructing toilets, bathrooms, or holding any non-suitable activities above or below the “masjid” area will also be impermissible. However, it is permissible to have toilets or bathrooms constructed out of the boundary of the designated masjid area on any of the floors, since those areas will be considered the auxiliary area of the masjid and not technically the masjid itself.


‘Allâma Haskafî writes in his wellaccepted text al-Durr al-Mukhtâr: “It is prohibitively disliked to have sexual intercourse above the masjid. Likewise it is disliked to urinate or defecate above it because it is a masjid to the peaks of the heavens (Ibn ‘Abidîn adds, “Likewise to the recesses of the earth below”) … it is disliked to enter any impurity into it.… [However] these are not disliked above a room which has been just set aside as a masjid [in a person’s home] nor in the room itself, since that is not a shar’i masjid.… It is permitted for those in a seminally defiled state or menstruating women to enter into it [i.e. a musalla or place especially prepared for ‘Id or funeral prayer] just as is permitted into the extended yard of the masjid [i.e. the overflow area].… (al-Durr al-Mukhtâr with Radd al-Muhtâr 1:441-442). Hence, no area of the actual masjid prayer area can be excluded from the masjid once designated as a masjid. However, before the plans are finalized and the area is designated a masjid, portions can be excluded from any of the floors above or below where the masjid will be, to be used for something else that is related to the masjid, for instance, a storage area, office for the imâm, a basement for storing masjid amenities, a shop to bring in income for the masjid, etc. Ibn ‘Abidîn writes in his Radd alMuhtâr, If they build a room above it for the imam then there is nothing wrong with that, because that is part of the welfare of the masjid. However, once the construction [designation] of the masjid is completed then they want to add a room, it will be prohibited [to change the designated masjid area and add a room for something else in it]. If the committee states that we had intended to do such, their statement will not be upheld [in court] (Radd alMuhtâr 3:371). Likewise the Egyptian jurist Ibn Nujaym writes, It states in the Mujtaba that it is not permitted for the guardian of the masjid to build shops in the masjid or in its courtyard [i.e. the courtyard in which salats are performed during summer in hot countries - also known as the external masjid] (al-Bahr al-

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Râ’iq 5:249). Storage Areas and Water Reservoir Above or Below a Masjid A masjid can have a storage area above or below the actual prayer hall. The storage space below the prayer hall however must be used solely for the amenities of the masjid and must have been designated as such in the masjid’s design phase. Likewise, it would be permitted to have constructed a water reservoir underneath the masjid (as in some Muslim countries). It states in the alDurr al-Mukhtâr, If they make a basement beneath the masjid for its welfare [however, ‘Allâma Ibn ‘Abidîn adds here that this should be of limited area], it would be permissible just as is in the Masjid in Jerusalem (al-Durr al-Mukhtâr ma’a ‘l-Radd al-Muhtâr 3:370). A Residence or Bathrooms Above or Below a Masjid Although it is permissible to allocate certain parts of the masjid as a room for the imam and other uses from the original plan, bathrooms or a complete apartment for the imam should not be planned directly above the actual masjid area, even during the masjid’s initial design phase, since it is impermissible to have sexual relations, relieve oneself, etc., above or below a masjid. In any case, adding a residence or office to the existing masjid area will not be permissible after the masjid area is designated. ‘Allâma Ibn ‘Abidîn writes, “It remains [to be ruled], whether it would be permissible if the person making the endowment designates lavatories [bayt li ‘l-khalâ’] to be directly beneath the masjid, as is the case in Masjid Mahallat al-Shahm in Damascus. I have not seen a specific ruling on this. Yes, it states in the Chapter of Endowments [of al-Durr al-Mukhtar] ‘If they make a basement beneath the masjid for its welfare it would be permissible’ so ponder” (Radd al-Muhtar 1:441). Ibn ‘Abidin however only mentions this analogy between a storage basement and bathrooms in passing, stating that it is an issue in need of further deliberation. It is not based on any strong analogy. Continued next month

Passion Islam

I November 2011


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Passion Islam November 2011  

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Passion islam november 2011 issue