EID Issue: 30
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I September 2010
Life After Death THE LIVING AND THE DEAD From the teachings of our Holy Prophet Muhammad it becomes clear that after the demise of a person we apparently take him/ her to be lifeless, but that person remains alive, although his/her life is different from our lives. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that the act of breaking a bone of the dead body causes the deceased as much pain as is felt by a living person. When a person dies, he/she is consigned from this world to Barzakh. Regardless of the fact whether the dead body is laid in the grave or cremated, the demised retains power of understanding and comprehension. THE LIFE IN THE GRAVE: BARZAKH The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that when the corpse is put in the bier and the people carry the dead body to the graveyard, if the deceased is a pious person, he/she requests them to carry him/ her as fast as they can and if the deceased is a wrong-doer, he/she curses the wretchedness in store for him/her and asks where he/she is being led to. The Holy Prophet is also reported to have said that except human beings everything else hears the cries of the dead body. If a person were to hear the cries of the dead body, they would faint. The interval between death and the Day of Resurrection is called Barzakh. WHERE NEXT ? Although such descriptions as ultimate destruction of the material worlds are mentioned in the Holy Quraan, yet there is also a separate chapter on the Day of Resurrection, which is named by the same. These are short verses, full of eloquence, admirably unfolding the true picture
of the Day of Judgement.
QIYAMAH: DOOMSDAY On the Day of Qiyamah, the feet of the human being will not be able to move till he/she is questioned about five matters (and gives a reasonable account): 1. On what they spent their life, 2. In what pursuits they passed their youth, 3. From where did they earn wealth, 4. On what they spent it, 5. How much they acted upon the knowledge they required. Almighty Allah states in the Holy Qur’aan: I swear by the Day of Resurrection; and I swear by the self reproaching person (a believer. does man (a disbeliver) think that We shall not assemble his bones? Yes, we are able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers. Nay! man denies reserruction and Reckoning. So he desires to continue commiting sins. He asks: “When will be this Day of Resurrection? So, when the sight is dazed, and the moon will be eclipsed, and sun and moon are united(by going one into the other or folded up or deprived of their light etc). On that day man will cry: Where (is the refuge) to flee!” No! there is no refuge! Unto your Lord alone will be the place of rest that Day. On that day man will be informed of what he sent forward (of his eivil or good deeds), and what he left behind (of his good or evil traditions). Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands, legs etc.) will speak about his deeds] Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds). (Surah AlQiyamah:1-15)
IN FAVOUR OF THE DAY OF QIYAMAH The Holy Qur’aan has put forward excellent topics in favour of the Day of Resurrection. It states that the creation of the universe and the world we live in becomes meaningless if there is no conception of the final responsibility and if there is no difference between the rewards of those who lead a chaste life and those who do otherwise in this world. Almighty Allah states in the holy Qur’aan: “ So do you think that We created you but, for naught, and that ye would not be returned unto Us (for account)?” (Surah AlMominoon:115) A UNIQUE DIFFERENCE The Holy Quraan states clearly relating belief that Allah is just and His justice demands that there must be difference between the rewards of those who do good deeds and that punishment must be emended to those who live an evil life. Since it is not always necessary that good deeds are attended by good results in this life, it is necessary that somehow and somewhere man should get full reward for his good deeds and should be punished for his evil deeds. Almighty Allah says: “Shall We treat those who believe and do good deeds of righteousness, the same as those who spread corruption (do mischief) on earth? Shall We treat those who guard against evil (pious), the same as those who turn aside from the right (wicked)? (Surah Saad:28) Another simile stated in the Holy Quraan is that of the dried land which comes to life after a few showers. It stands to reason that Lord Almighty who has created the entire universe can certainly recreate it if He so desires.
Write to: Editor, Passion Islam, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: email@example.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
Viva Palestina sails for Gaza again
I September 2010
A new Viva Palestina aid convoy will leave for the besieged Gaza Strip on September 18, a member of the organizing committee of the aid group has announced. In a written article published by the Morning Star, George Galloway says the convoy will leave in three coordinated legs to deliver aid to Gaza from London, Casablanca and Doha. Referring to the objectives behind the move, Galloway said it aims to sustain the momentum to list the siege on Gaza, at a crucial time when the siege is condemned by the EU, UN, many governments and every major international aid convoy. Since June 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, Israeli regime has imposed a tight blockade on the area. Israeli authorities claim that the objective of the siege is to bring down the Hamas government. The siege thus constitutes collective punishment of the civilian population, and as such it is unlawful. A first Freedom Flotilla to Gaza
was intercepted and boarded by Israeli army troops three months ago while sailing in the international waters off the coast of the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops indiscriminately killed nine peace activists onboard a Turkish aid ship and wounded several others in an attack that drew international condemnation. The former British MP referred to Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent speech in Turkey, saying that Cameron’s description of Gaza as a ‘prison camp’ was a timely indication of just how isolated Israel has become in its illegal siege on the people of Gaza. George Galloway said the direct challenge to Israel’s criminal siege policy is also generating a far wider base of support for isolating the regime in the way that apartheid South Africa was isolated. He also announced: “There will be further initiatives this autumn, building on the work done by established campaigns, trade unions, churches, mosques and others aimed at breaking the inhuman siege”.
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Council turn to Mosques in search for Adoptive Families Council staff are to visit Mosques as part of a drive to find more people to adopt Muslim children of mixed ethnic backgrounds. Birmingham City Council is taking the step after its adoption and fostering service reported a growing number of children from what it calls ‘super diverse’ backgrounds coming into care. They say the trend is a reflection of the way cultures within the city are merging and of Birmingham’s evolving demographic. They want potential parents to come forward to adopt children who, according to officials, are being overlooked by families who are interested in adoption. Helen French, the Council’s operations manager for adoption said the city was becoming increasingly diverse and added: “This diversity is one of the city’s strengths, but it also presents challenges for the Council’s adoption and fostering service. Children we increasingly have difficulty matching applicants to are Muslim children of mixed ethnicity.” Officers from the adoption and fostering service will be visiting Mosques and community groups across the city as part of the recruitment drive.
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I September 2010
Complaints rise against UK police
At least 2,000 police officers were subject to three or more complaints by members of the public in the last year, figures have shown. The statistics from 43 out of 52 UK forces show more than 5,000 complaints made against officers in 2009-10. The figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request show 2,073 officers had three or more complaints against them, and there were a total of 5,069 allegations against officers. Most complaints were about rudeness, assault or failure of duty.
The force with the most officers with three or more allegations against
them, regardless of the size of the force, was the Police Service of Northern Ireland with 376. The Metropolitan Police was second with 273 officers, from a total of 1,719 allegations, followed by Greater Manchester with 160, Kent with 130 and West Mercia with 117. The Met did not provide any information on the outcome of the complaints, saying the figures were not available. The 3,500 allegations were an increase of 14% on the previous year.
Extraordinary rendition under review
The coalition government creates a panel to review the 2003 Extradition Act, largely criticised for indiscriminately extraditing British citizens to the US. The Act, which was passed after the 9/11 attacks, was drawn up by US authorities to help fight terrorism. It allows for the speedy extradition of suspects to the US without any requirements to provide evidence. The Telegraph has disclosed that last year, more than 1,000 people were extradited from Britain under the Act. Overall, however, only one terrorism suspect has been extradited under the legislation since taking effect in 2003. The law has allegedly been used to target businessmen accused of fraud or minor offences. Last month, the chairman and president of the Kent County Golf Union, Christopher Tappin, was accused of selling missile parts to Iran and is currently
facing extradition to the US, but claims that he had been lied to and entrapped by CIA agents, the Daily Mail reported. A panel comprised of a judge, lawyers and international experts will lead the review and consider whether other countries should be obliged to produce evidence against an accused and whether the Home Secretary and judges should be able to use their discretion to block extraditions. Additionally, an independent judicial investigation is under way, chaired by Appeal Court Judge Sir Peter Gibson, which will examine the roles that Tony Blair and other high ranking Cabinet officials, such
as Jack Straw and David Miliband, had in â€˜extraordinary renditionsâ€™ of terrorism suspects which led to human rights abuses. British citizen Benyam Mohammed has alleged to have been tortured after being extradited to Guantanamo Bay prison in 2004 from Pakistan, eventually being released back to Britain in 2009 following international pressure.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I September 2010
Scottish police officer attains Islam degree
A Kilmarnock cop who helped train Iraqi police officers was so impressed by his charges he decided to learn more about their religion. Now Inspector Jon Herd has an MA in Islamic Studies, which makes him a unique police officer in the UK. Jon, who has 25 years service with Strathclyde Police, jumped at the chance to go to Jordan for the training expedition in 2004. He explained: “Applications were sought for police officers with training experience to train the new Iraqi police force after the second Gulf War. “There was a chance we could have gone to Hungary for the training, but in the end it was Jordan. So if it had been Hungary I certainly wouldn’t have a masters in Islamic studies.” Jon, 48, who also has five years service with the merchant navy, spent almost a year in the country, with the backing of his employers and the support of his wife, training Iraqis. Jon, who is a patrol inspector at
Kilmarnock, admitted it took a few weeks for the Iraqis to trust him and his fellow trainers. “I was in Jordan which is a Muslim country, and working alongside the Iraqis, who are also Muslim. “But I soon realised there were differences. Jordanians are Suni Muslims and Iraqis are Shia Muslims, which is a bit like being a Protestant or Catholic here, so I began to learn about the stereotypes too.” After more than nine months in Jordan, Jon, who is a native of Ayr, picked up some Arabic too and found that stood him in good stead too. Jon said: “Family is so important to Muslim families and when they found out I had twin girls, they would get really animated and would pull out pictured of their own families. “Quite often I would try to pay for taxis and they’d let me away with it, because I had spoken to them in Arabic about my family.” After his rewarding experience in Jordan, Jon returned home and began to read voraciously on the
subject of Islam, which ultimately led to him starting a distance learning MA in Islamic Studies at the University of Wales. Jon said: “It is very unusual for a white, middle-aged man to achieve this qualification, and as far as I know I am the only police officer in the UK to have this MA. “It has opened up so many doors for me and I have spoken off-duty to several groups about my experiences. “These talks always go down well and it is always interesting to hear the questions at the end. “In this country we have many misconceptions about Islam and we only really hear about the radical fundamentalists, but just like we are embarrassed by homegrown terrorists, ordinary Muslims are embarrassed by the radical terrorists in Islam. “If my having this qualification helps to break down barriers and dispel a few myths, then all the hard work will be worth it.”
Human rights group outlines anti-terror strategy Human rights group demands that Coalition Government moves “From ‘War’ to Law” in anti-terror strategy. Liberty published “From ‘War’ to Law”, its 137 page response to the Government counter-terror review. When the Home Secretary launched the review in the House of Commons in June, she also announced that Liberty had accepted her express invitation to contribute to what the organisation described as a ‘once in a generation opportunity for reform’. Liberty also introduced two new clients who are facing potential charges for doing their jobs as filmmakers covering security policy. Isabella Sankey, Director of Policy, said: “After years of fighting unjust and counterproductive postures, Liberty welcomes this new opportunity for reflection and correction in security policy. UnBritish scandals like punishment without charge and blanket erosion of privacy must now be replaced with effective targeted surveillance and prosecution within the law.” The response, submitted to the
Home Office on 11 August 2010 and released to the public few days after, urges the Home Secretary to: - Scrap the unfair and unsafe control order house arrest regime which has not enhanced national security but cost the taxpayer £13 million over three years. - Revise the Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime so that it no longer targets those who have never been arrested, charged or convicted in relation to a terrorism offence. - Overhaul Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 so that exceptional stop and search powers without reasonable suspicion may be justified only in very limited circumstances. - Thoroughly review RIPA surveillance powers and look at restricting their use to law enforcement agencies. - Respect the rule against torture in deportation policy and urge countries in receipt of British aid,
trade and security cooperation to refrain from torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. - Define restrictions on free speech and association (aimed at terrorist organisations) more tightly. - Reduce the pre-charge detention period for terror suspects - Make intercept evidence admissible in criminal proceedings so that terror suspects can face firm but fair criminal prosecution.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I September 2010
Liberty warns MP who refuses to see veiled constituents
Liberty lawyers have written to Philip Hollobone MP warning him of potential legal action if he refuses to meet with constituents on the basis of their religious dress. In earlier and well- publicised remarks, the MP for Kettering stated that he would not meet with any constituent who refused to remove a niqab or burka. The warning letter advises that “as an MP providing a service… the obligation under the Equality Act not to discriminate… applies to you” and makes clear that Liberty “will be happy to represent any of your constituents that you refuse to meet because they are veiled.” James Welch, Legal Director for Liberty, said: “Religion is a perfectly legitimate subject for debate but in the UK at least, it is not a lawful basis for discrimination. Here the struggle for religious freedom was vital to the struggle for democracy itself.
Common sense and decency suggest that neither freedom nor integration is achieved by cutting people off from their elected representatives or arresting them for walking down the street.” “We have written to Mr Hollobone to advise him of the law as enacted by Parliament and feel confident that no well-advised Honourable Member would seek to breach it by meeting with Constituents on a discriminatory basis.” Article 9 of the ECHR states that everyone has the freedom to manifest their religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance. Any interferences with
this right must be both necessary (e.g. to protect other people) and proportionate. The Equality Act 2006 prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of a person’s religion or belief. This prohibition applies to, amongst others, those providing a service or who have functions of a public nature.
Deputy PM praises Muslim community
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has expressed his admiration of Muslim generosity and compassion during the fasting month of Ramadan as an “example to all”, particularly in responding to Pakistans worst-ever floods. Clegg suggested that it may be because “so much of the misery is difficult to see on our television screens” why the world was not yet responding with urgency to the disaster-afflicted 20 million or a third of Pakistans population. “I am full of adoration for Islamic Relief (an international Muslim
Charity and development organisation here) because the call is one that so uniquely captured the spirit with which you all acted in great urgency and compassion in so many places around the world of this country,” he said in a speech to the charity. International aid agencies have also expressed concern about the unbalanced response to the UN aid appeal, which comes after Prime Minister David Cameron accused Pakistan of exporting terrorism. Clegg, who is currently deputising for Cameron while on holiday, insisted in his remarks highlighted by the Islamic publication, Muslim News, that Britain “will be doing our bit as a government to support you and your work and also to encourage others to follow your example”. “It is also important to represent you and to represent our country at the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York in September,”
he said. “If we do not help the poorest and wretched wherever they find themselves, the consequences are what we all have to live with. Whether its deprivation of the environment, whether its mass displacement of people, whether its conflict or extremism.” “We have a moral vocation to maintain our reputation as a country of compassion and commitment to the cause of development one which you at Islamic Relief has done so well and it is in our interest to do so now and in the future,” the deputy premier said. He said “the rich world collectedly has a duty to show the promises that the promises we have made will not be forgotten at a time when we have plenty of domestic issues to deal with”. There are around 1.6 million Muslims in the UK, the majority from the Indian sub-continent.
I September 2010
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Court rules against unauthorised police surveillance At Inner London Crown Court, three activists were cleared of charges of obstructing the police as they attempted to film and photograph those attending two London NoBorders meetings in south London in June 2008. The three campaigners were arrested after protesting at the surveillance being carried out by police officers from the Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) - which take photographs or video people at demonstrations and at political meetings. The court ruled that police surveillance of a public political meeting had not been proved to be lawful and that the police had failed to provide any evidence that they were pursuing a ‘legitimate aim’. During the trial, one witness involved in London NoBorders, who had been followed by police armed with cameras around the area
before the meeting, was asked by the prosecution if he did not think that he was ‘exactly the kind of person the state should be watching’. The prosecution also asked the witness, who stated that he felt intimidated by the police presence, ‘Why don’t you stay at home when you are concerned about being filmed?’ Thomas Haberg of London NoBorders commented: ‘The fact that the police could not show that their surveillance was authorised in any way is worrying and shows that the Forward Intelligence Team appears to work outside the law. The purpose of the police presence was clearly to intimidate and keep people from organising around political issues. It also shows that it is important for the future to continue to challenge the Forward Intelligence Team wherever they turn up.’
UK to abolish mixed-sex hospitals British officials have promised that they will end most of the mixed-sex hospital accommodations in England this year. “It’s really difficult for people in wards where they feel they don’t have the privacy they need, it’s uncomfortable,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, adding that many patients are embarrassed as they are forced to share bathrooms and toilets with the opposite sex. Eliminating mixed-sex hospitals was one of the programs proposed by the Labour Committee when it won power in 1997; the plan, however, failed to be implemented due to the additional costs imposed on the hospitals. “I have made clear repeatedly my deep frustration at the fact that mixed-sex accommodation has not been eliminated from the NHS,” said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, adding that one in 10 hospital wards
are still mixed. Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, however, claimed earlier that 95 percent of the UK hospitals already provide single sex accommodations. He stressed that Lansley only aims “to claim credit for something Labour has done and the media shouldn’t fall for it”. According to a statement recently released by the British government, patients would soon be sharing sleeping, bathroom and toilet facilities only with individuals of the same sex in all wards except intensive care and A&E by the end of this year. Emergency cases, however, would be considered as an exception
as treating as many people as possible in the shortest time is the priority in the medicine. Based on the statement whose details will be announced in the coming week, using a curtain as a divider to split men and women on a ward is not acceptable. Mixed wards, on the other hand, may continue their existence in case separated bays or rooms would be available for men and women.
I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I September 2010
Police officers charged with beating terror suspect 10
Four British riot squad officers have been charged with beating up a Briton now awaiting extradition to the United States to face terrorism charges when they arrested him, prosecutors said. Babar Ahmad, a 36-year-old computer expert, was detained in a dawn raid on his home in Tooting, southwest London, in December 2003. “Mr. Ahmad suffered a number of injuries during that arrest, including heavy bruising to the head, neck, wrists and feet,” said Simon Clements, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime Division. “Our conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge four of the officers involved in the arrest of Mr. Ahmad with causing actual bodily harm to him.” Before the raid, police had been told that Ahmad was the head of a south London terrorist group and was potentially very dangerous. However, he was released
after questioning by counterterrorism detectives. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) initially rejected charging any officers involved, but last year Ahmad won 60,000 pounds ($94,000) in damages at the High Court from London’s Metropolitan Police over the incident. Clements said the CPS had reviewed the case after that ruling and decided it could now take action against police constables Nigel Cowley, John Donohue, Roderick James-Bowen and Mark Jones from the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG). They will appear at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Sept. 22. “I am pleased that the CPS has decided that a jury will hear the evidence in this case and it will now be for the jury to determine whether
any police officer should be punished for the assault upon me in December 2003,” Ahmad said in a statement. Although he has never been charged with any offense in Britain, Ahmad was re-arrested in August 2004 after US officials accused him of running a website that raised funds for militants in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He has spent six years in custody and is still awaiting a ruling on whether his extradition would contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.
HMRC staff sacked over race abuse
Seven Revenue and Customs staff have been sacked for deliberately under-paying benefits to ethnic minorities. It follows an internal investigation into nine men based at the HM Revenue
and Customs call centre in Belfast. Two resigned after it was launched and seven were dismissed. They are believed to have tampered with computer records to
ensure ethnic minorities living across the UK did not receive the benefits they were entitled to. All have now been fully reimbursed. The allegations of racially-motivated gross misconduct were investigated last January when a complaint was lodged by somebody who said that their records had been changed. A detailed audit was carried out and the inquiry then widened it to take in another 16 child benefit cases. It is understood the nine men were suspended once the investigation started, but two quit immediately.
Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC, said the department operates a zero-tolerance policy on racial discrimination. “The vast majority of our people are entirely professional and one of the ways we support that professionalism is by taking decisive action against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling far short of those standards,” he said. The HMRC contact centre is based at Dorchester House, close to the city centre in Belfast’s Great Victoria Street.
I September 2010
ITN opens new bureau in Dubai for ITV News
ITN is opening a new bureau in Dubai for ITV News as the broadcaster reduces its presence in Africa and shuffles its foreign correspondents. The Dubai bureau is ITV News’s first new overseas operation since the opening of its China bureau in 2006. ITV News’s South Africa bureau in Johannesburg will be close; however, the broadcaster will retain production staff and a camera crew in the city. Former ITV News Washington correspondent John Irvine has been appointed as the channel’s new international correspondent and will be based in the Dubai bureau. Robert Moore is to replace Irvine as Washington correspondent – a role that he previously held between 2001 and 2006 – while Africa correspondent Martin Geissler will move from Johannesburg to replaces Moore as Europe correspondent.
Other changes will see John Ray becomes Middle East correspondent, having successfully launched operations in China operations in advance of the Beijing Olympics. He will be replaced by UK editor Angus Walker who will take his first foreign role as China correspondent. Jonathan Munro, deputy editor of ITV News, said: “This new line-up will refresh our on-screen reporting and play to the strengths of our correspondents. “The strategic decision to open the Dubai bureau will improve our longer term newsgathering and ability to get teams on the ground for breaking stories in a wide area from Pakistan to Southern Africa.” By Oliver Luft
Britain’s advertising watchdog said it had banned a police advertisement encouraging people to report neighbours whose activities raised “suspicions”, saying it could offend innocent citizens. The radio advert for the AntiTerrorist Hotline listed as suspicious behaviour activities which could also describe law-abiding people, the Advertising Standards Authority said. “The man at the end of the street doesn’t talk to his neighbours much, because he likes to keep himself to himself,” said the advert which was broadcast on the Talksport radio station. “He pays with cash because he doesn’t have a bank card, and he keeps his curtains closed because his house is on a bus route. “This may mean nothing but together could all add up to you having suspicions.”
A total of 18 listeners complained, arguing the advert for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) could encourage people to report innocent citizens, or harass or victimise their neighbours. London’s Metropolitan Police, responding on ACPO’s behalf, said the behaviours the advert described were based on trends police had identified, and said what sometimes appeared to be insignificant actions could potentially be linked to terrorism. Talksport also said the script avoided stereotyping and made no appeals to prejudice. However, the ASA said the description could match that of a number of law-abiding people and could cause serious offence. “We considered that some listeners, who might identify with the behaviours referred to in the ad,
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
British City pays tribute to Flotilla Victims Campaigners in Bristol promoted the boycott of Israeli goods last month in memory of the nine passengers killed in Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid ship. The protest was staged outside the main supermarket in the south-west England city, Waitrose. The store advertises a “Responsible Sourcing” policy, but failed to reply to a letter suggesting that stocking Israeli produce contradicts this policy, the Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign said. Demonstrators handed out leaflets informing shoppers of the boycott while nine campaigners acted out a scene from the 31 May incident. Dressed in red tshirts printed with photographs of each of the victims, the protesters fell to the ground one-by-one, shot by an 8-foot mock Israeli soldier.
Anti-terrorist radio adverts banned by watchdog following complaints
could find the implication that their behaviour was suspicious, offensive,” ASA said in its ruling. “We are also considered that some listeners might be offended by the suggestion that they report members of the community for acting in the way described.” The watchdog accepted the advert had a measured and reasonable tone, and so rejected complaints that it could lead to harassment or provoke undue fear. ACPO separately said the advert had only been designed for a month-long campaign to be run on Talksport. “The Association of Chief Police Officers acknowledges the decision of the Advertising Standards Authority and apologises to the small number of people who were offended by the advert,” a spokeswoman said. passionislam.com
I WORLD NEWS
I September 2010
Athens holds demo against Israeli PM
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in the Greek capital to protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit. Protesters held two separate rallies in central Athens to protest Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla as well as Israeli policies in the Middle East. Protesters held up banners reading “Freedom to Palestine” and “neither earth nor water to the murderers of nations.” The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish-flagged M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy. Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries who were on board the ships of the flotilla, which
was attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the territory. Dozens of riot police surrounded the Israeli Embassy as protesters marched past the area. Netanyahu is the first Israeli premier to visit Greece. His visit comes a month after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou visited Israel. The two leaders discussed the Middle East conflict as well as bilateral cooperation. Greece has sought to play an active role in Middle East negotiations and Papandreou pledged that Greece would help to
Quran Copies in Braille Distributed in Morocco
Morocco’s Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Ministry distributes Quran copies in Braille in the country’s mosques, Moheet website reports. The plan was conducted in the holy month of Ramadan in cooperation with Morocco’s Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 62000 copies of the holy Quran in Braille have been printed and distribution of the copies had been underway since the first day of the holy month.
Each copy of the Quran in Braille is printed in six volumes and each volume contains 20 Hizbs (subdivision of the parts of the Quran). Also on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, the Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Ministry of Morocco had sent Quran reciters, preachers and imams (prayer leaders) to a number of European countries in order to serve Moroccan communities in these countries.
restart the stalled Middle East peace talks. But the Palestinian Authority (PA) has repeatedly said it would only join talks of any kind after Tel Aviv ends its expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank and agrees to a full withdrawal to the borders of 1967. However, Netanyahu has rejected any preconditions and asked acting PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to come to the negotiating table “right now.”
Spain to Investigate Islamic Laws and Multiculturalism The University of Zaragoza in Spain plans to host an international congress featuring Islamic laws and multiculturalism. According to IQNA’s ICRO branch, the event is slated to be held on September 23-24. It will be attended by experts and scholars from different countries as well as Spanish officials. Islam in Spain and Europe, unbiased and scientific analysis of new challenges in the region, and finding ways for boosting multicultural coexistence are among the themes of the congress. Five specialized forums will also be held during the two-day congress featuring “Islam and laws in Europe”, “Inter-cultural conflicts and the family law”, “Islam, law and politics in Spain”, “Islam and security”, and “Islam and European institutions”. There are some one million Muslims living in Spain making up two percent of the country’s population.
Concerns mount over French halal meat
I September 2010
The lack of a central body in France to oversee the authenticity of halal meat has made some experts doubt that animals have been slaughtered following the correct Islamic procedures. Estimates of the amount of meat labeled halal that does not meet the strict religious standards range from 40 to as high as 80 percent. France has Western Europe’s biggest Muslim population and producers are battling for a piece of the $7.05 billion (5.5 billion euro) halal meat market. Ala’a Gafouri of the Halal Institute of Food Management Industry (HIFMI) in Paris estimated that up to 80 percent of meat and other products labeled as halal may not meet these criteria. “They’re self-certified,” Gafouri, who trains halal butchers and inspectors, said. Kamel Kabtane, rector of the Grand Mosque of Lyon, estimates about 40-50 percent of halal products sold in France have not been rigorously verified.
There is no central body to check the authenticity of halal products and no single standard that all Muslims agree on, making it difficult to determine the authenticity of halal products. The government has authorized only the grand mosques in Paris, Lyon and Evry to oversee ritual halal slaughter and certification, but unofficial groups around the country have emerged to issue their own stamps of approval. “What we are witnessing is a purely market-driven drift because some have seen a potential for profit,” said sociologist Dounia Bouzar, who said a growing number of Muslims in France believed “if they don’t eat halal, they’ll go to hell”. France’s official Muslim council (CFCM) wants the country’s mosques and Islamic groups to come together to agree on a national charter that lays out clear guidelines
for halal meat to help French Muslims when they are making purchases. The halal market is twice as large as that for organic foods in France, where five million Muslims live, and is expected to grow by 20 percent annually as the Muslim middle class expands. A recent poll found 60 percent of French Muslims regularly buy halal products, a category that includes canned meals and cosmetics certified free of meat-based ingredients.
Harvard says it’s not ditching Israel
Harvard University has demystified the proPalestinian interpretations of its recent move to sell
millions of its shares in Israeli companies. The university associated the move with
monetary footwork rather than sympathy for the suffering Palestinians, the British daily The Guardian reported. Harvard spokesman John Longbrake said, “The university has not divested from Israel.” He added, “We have holdings in developed markets, including Israel, through outside managers in commingled accounts and indexes, which are not reported in the filing in question.” The coordinator of the Palestinian Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions
National Committee, Hind Awwad, had earlier said, “We welcome Harvard’s decision and encourage all academic institutions in the US and elsewhere to follow its lead, to invest in socially responsible investments, and divest from Israeli war crimes.” The five-year-old anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign says it will continue its activities until Tel Aviv complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. passionislam.com
I WORLD NEWS
I September 2010
Malaysian state introduces Islamic currency
Malaysia: A Malaysian state’s attempt to revive use of gold and silver coins common in early Islamic societies has run afoul of the country’s central bank, which said that local governments have no authority to issue their own currency. The gold dinar and silver dirham coins provide an alternative to Malaysia’s currency, the ringgit, in the northeastern state Kelantan, which is governed by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, a conservative opposition group that promotes religious policies in its rule. The gold dinar was the official currency of Muslim societies for centuries. The value of the coins used in Kelantan can fluctuate according to market prices, but officials say it remains a better alternative to currency affected by the US dollar and other foreign currency. Kelantan authorities also say the use of such coins is encouraged in
One million copies of the Quran in Haram As part of its efforts to provide complete comfort to pilgrims and worshippers, the General Presidency of Holy Mosques Affairs has made available more than a million copies of the Holy Qur’an inside the Grand Mosque. The presidency said all the copies, of different sizes, were printed at King Fahd Qur’an Printing Complex in Madinah. It added that the copies are being kept in 2,200 copper and 850 wooden safes and 733 wooden shelves all over the Grand Mosque. According to the presidency, the Holy Book has been translated into more than 12 languages, including English, French, Urdu, Turkish and Spanish. It added that special copies of the Qur’an are also printed in Braille for the blind.
the Qur’an. State officials have produced coins worth about $630,000 for use at about 1,000 outlets in Kelantan’s capital, said Nik Mahani Mohamad, executive director of Kelantan Golden Trade, which mints the coins. “It’s a great, great moment for Muslims,” Nik Mahani said. “We are providing an alternative means for the people to trade with.” The coins came into circulation Thursday and can be purchased at various locations in Kelantan. Their worth is currently about $180 per dinar and $4 per dirham. But the plan hit a snag when Malaysia’s central bank said in a statement later Friday that the ringgit remained “the only currency that is the legal tender for payment of goods and services in Malaysia.” The bank said it “has the sole right under the
law to issue currency in Malaysia.” It was not immediately clear how the bank planned to block the use of the coins for transactions. The state government also plans to give employees the option of receiving part of their salary in this currency, as well as introduce gold bars for large investments. Muslim alms can also be paid with the coins. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party has governed Kelantan since 1990. Some of its policies over the years include banning gambling, nightclubs and rock concerts, and requiring Muslim female state employees to wear headscarves at work.
Israeli fighter jets target Gaza Strip Israeli fighter jets attacked several targets in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources told the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), that Israeli fighter F16 jets bombarded two smuggling tunnels beneath Gaza’s southern border with Egypt. Israeli raids resulted with
the injury of two Palestinians, whom were transferred to Martyr Abu Yousif Al-Najjar Hospital to receive medical care. Sources added that the Israeli strikes destroyed several tunnels in addition to several Palestinian homes close to the site. Israeli fighter jets also targeted a Hamas military
site in Khan Younis, sources added, no causing any human casualties, but a building was totally destroyed. On the other hand, the Israeli army said that those raids “come in response to a Palestinian attack by mortar shells which led to the injury of two Israeli soldier.” passionislam.com
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I WORLD NEWS
I September 2010
India warns Pakistan on terror
Delivering his seventh successive Independence Day address from the ramparts of the 17th century Red Fort - where the flag of free India was unfurled by the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on Aug 15, 1947 - Manmohan Singh also called for an end to violence in Jammu and Kashmir saying it was achieving no purpose. ‘I once again appeal to Naxalites to abjure violence, come for talks with the government and join hands with us to accelerate social and economic development,’ he said in a 40-minute speech in Hindi that was heard by foreign diplomats, his ministers and officials and thousands of school children and ordinary people and was nationally telecast. But he made it clear that his Congress-led government would deal firmly with violence, and called for close coordination between the central and state governments to meet the Maoist challenge, which he has called the country’s biggest internal security threat. The prime minister’s carrotand-stick approach follows a surge in Maoist violence that has seen hundreds of security personnel die, mostly in the sprawling forested Bastar region in the heart of India. Manmohan Singh, who began
his second five-year stint last year, made no reference to any country in his speech except Pakistan while underlining New Delhi’s desire to live in peace with neighbouring countries. ‘As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India,’ he said, a month after talks between foreign ministers of the two countries in Islamabad collapsed amid acrimony. ‘We have been emphasizing this in all our discussions with the Pakistan government. If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with Pakistan.’ Describing Jammu and Kashmir, whose ownership is disputed by Pakistan, as an integral part of India, he said that within this framework ‘we are ready to move forward in any talks which would increase the partnership of the common man in governance and also enhance their welfare’. He made no reference to calls for autonomy in Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. He appealed to people in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast to ‘adopt democratic means’ to make their point. Describing himself as the ‘first servant of India’, Manmohan Singh said his government was building
‘a new India in which every citizen would have a stake’. Known to be candid, Manmohan Singh made no efforts to hide the country’s weak points. ‘A large part of our population still suffers from persistent poverty, hunger and disease.’ He said the need of the hour was to implement welfare programmes effectively while eliminating corruption. Admitting that Indian roads, ports and airports were not of world standards, he said the private sector had to be mobilized to better them as the government would not be able to raise the required resources. He also called for cleanliness and good sanitation in villages, towns and cities. ‘The truth is that our country lags behind in this area.’ Lamenting that India was divided in the name of religion, state, caste and language, he called upon Indians to become modern and progressive in their outlook. He vowed to protect the minorities and improve the quality of education and health. He said the successful organization of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October ‘would be another signal to the world that India is rapidly marching ahead with confidence’. passionislam.com
World’s biggest clock begins ticking in Makkah A giant clock on a skyscraper in Islam’s holiest city Makkah began ticking at the start of Ramadan, amid hopes it will become the Muslim world’s official timekeeper. The Makkah Clock, which Riyadh says is the world’s largest, has four faces measuring 43 meters in diameter. It sits 400 meters up what will be the world’s second-tallest skyscraper and largest hotel, overlooking the city’s Holy Grand Mosque, which Muslims around the world turn to five times a day for prayer. “The Makkah Clock started with the order of King Abdullah ... one minute after midnight on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan,” the Saudi Press Agency said. Over 90 million pieces of colored glass mosaic embellish the sides of the clock, which has four faces each bearing a large inscription of the name “Allah”. It is visible from all corners of the city, the state news
agency said. The clock tower is the landmark feature of the seven-tower King Abdulaziz Endowment hotel complex, being built by the Saudi Binladin Group, which will have the largest floor area of any building in the world when it is complete. Local media have said the clock tower project cost $3 billion. The clock is positioned on a 601-meter tower, which will become the second tallest inhabited building in the world when it is completed in three months’ time. “Because it based in front of the holy mosque the whole Islamic world will refer to Makkah time instead of Greenwich. The Makkah clock will become a symbol to all Muslims,” said Hashim Adnan, a resident of Jeddah. The project is part of efforts to modernize the holy city and make it more capable of catering to pilgrims. Around 2 million Muslims visit the
city each year for the annual Haj pilgrimage, a once-in-a-lifetime requirement for able-bodied Muslims, and 3.5 million pilgrims visit Makkah at other times of the year.
Japan Muslims worried by graveyard shortage Passion Islam
I September 2010
Many Muslims in Japan, where space is at a premium, have expressed worry about graveyard shortages, because Islamic principles stipulate deceased Muslims should be buried without cremation. New graveyard sites are difficult to obtain, as local ordinances in many parts of the nation prohibit burial without cremation, as well as due to opposition from local residents. Though national laws do not prohibit burial without cremation, many local governments, including those of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, cite sanitary reasons in prohibiting the practice via ordinances and other forms of regulation. Worries have increased among Muslims about places for eternal rest in Japan. Monjuin, a Buddhist temple belonging to the Sotoshu sect in Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, is one of a limited number of sites that allows burial without cremation. The temple has set aside a 4,800square-meter cemetery section exclusively for Muslims, where about 120 Muslim graves now are located. All the graves accommodate uncremated bodies, and on some of the headstones, names of buried
people are carved in Arabic. The Buddhist temple offered the section of land, which is managed by the Japan Muslim Association, a Shibuya Ward, Tokyo-based religious organization. While Christians in Japan generally are cremated when they die in line with the nation’s custom, Muslims more strictly adhere to religious principles. Generally, bodies of Muslims are buried uncremated in the places where they spent long periods during life. Though the Japan Muslim Association and the Islamic Center Japan, a Setagaya Ward, Tokyobased mutual aid organization for Muslims, searched for places nationwide where Muslims’ bodies could be buried, their requests largely were declined by cemetery managers. Despite such efforts, the two Muslim organizations could find only three sites--in Koshu, Kobe and Yoichicho--where bodies of Muslims could be buried uncremated. However, Kobe’s cemetery is run by the city government and permits only city residents to be laid to rest there. The cemetery in Yoichicho is located in a remote part of Hokkaido, making it inconvenient for relatives to
visit graves. Therefore, many Muslims have chosen the Islamic cemetery in Koshu, in Yamanashi Prefecture west of Tokyo. However, Kazuhiko Furuya, 44, Monjuin’s chief priest, said, “The cemetery will be full in a few years. “Some local residents have said burial without cremation scares them and they oppose the practice. Such conditions make it difficult to build a new cemetery [for Muslims],” he said. Salimur Rahman Khan, 54, an Islamic missionary director of the Islamic Center Japan and a lecturer at Chuo University, said: “The number of Muslims in Japan is estimated at 100,000, and the number likely will increase in the future. Muslims with Japanese nationality have no place to rest after death.”
Germany frees on bail suspected Israeli spy German authorities have released a suspected Israeli spy on bail pending a decision on whether he was involved in the falsification of a German passport linked to the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai. A spokesman for state prosecutors in Cologne said Uri Brodsky had been freed from police custody and that he would not have to stand trial in Germany. “The matter can now be dealt with by written proceedings,” the court spokesman said, adding that Brodsky had not commented on whether he was involved in the falsification of the passport issued in Cologne last year. The spokesman said the court had a range of options it could
pursue against Brodsky and that his lawyers had signaled their agreement to this. The most likely option was a fine of some kind, he added. The spokesman would not say what bail was set at nor where Brodsky was headed. However, he noted that if Brodsky left Germany by land he risked possible arrest in neighboring countries on suspicion of spying. This would also be the case should he return to Germany, where he could not initially face a spying charge because his extradition had only been possible on the grounds that he was suspected of involvement in the falsification of the passport, not spying, the spokesman
said. Brodsky was extradited from Poland on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining a German passport believed to have been used by a member of the hit squad that Dubai says killed Hamas commander Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in a hotel room in January. The hit squad used fraudulent British, French, Irish and Australian as well as German passports, according to Dubai. Mabhouh, born in the Gaza Strip, had lived in Syria since 1989 and Israeli and Palestinian sources have said he played a role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to militants in Gaza.
Muslim employee sues Disneyland over hijab ban
I WORLD NEWS
A Muslim woman is suing Disneyland, accusing the company’s California theme park of discrimination for telling her she could not serve customers if she chose to wear a headscarf. Iman Boudlal, 26, asked her employers at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel several months ago whether they would permit her to wear a headcovering while working as a hostess, a spokeswoman for a worker’s union said. But when no reply was forthcoming, she decided to don the headscarf anyway, timing her decision with the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Leigh Shelton, a spokesman for the UNITE HERE Local 11 union said. “Disney told Boudlal that if she wanted to work as a hostess she had to remove her ‘hijab’ because it did not comply with the ‘Disney Look,’” Shelton said in a statement. “Disney further advised Boudlal that if she refused to remove her ‘hijab’, she could either work a backof-the-house position where any customers would not see her, or else go home.” Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi
Brown said Disney has a policy not to discriminate. The resort offered Boudlal a chance to work with the head covering away from customers while Disneyland tries to find a compromise that would allow Boudlal to cover her head in a way that fits with her hostess uniform, Brown said. “Typically, somebody in an onstage position like hers wouldn’t wear something like that, that’s not part of the costume,” Brown said. “We were trying to accommodate her with a backstage position that would allow her to work. We gave her a couple of different options and she chose not to take those and to go home.” Boudlal refused the compromise and is now bringing Disney before the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that handles claims of workplace discrimination. “Their offer to put me in the back is humiliating,” she said in a statement. “They’re saying because I’m Arab, because I’m Moroccan, because I’m Muslim, they don’t want to see me in the front.” The local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, said it had sent a
Germany urges Middle East parties to make compromise
Germany reiterated the need for the Middle East parties to make compromise in a bid to resume direct peace talks. Speaking at a routine press briefing, new government spokesman Steffen Seibert called on both parties to show their readiness for a compromise. He added direct negotiations were necessary to jump-start the bogged down peace process. Meanwhile, foreign ministry spokesperson Stefan Bredohl urged Israelis and Palestinians to do their utmost to revive direct talks as quickly as possible.
The Zionist regime has refused to accept any pre-conditions for such talks like a complete settlement construction stop in the occupied Palestinians territories, something which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded. Western powers, notably the US, has arm-twisted Abbas to agree to direct talks with Tel Aviv regime. IRNA
I September 2010
letter to Disney demanding that the firm accommodate Boudlal. “There is no justification for Disney’s refusal to allow Ms Boudlal to wear her headscarf at work,” said Ameena Mirza Qazi, deputy executive director and staff attorney at the group. “To say that her headscarf would somehow impact guests is not only insulting to her, but is deeply offensive to the thousands of Muslims who open up their pocket-books at Disney parks and resorts every year,” Qazi added in a statement.
Egypt reopens largest Islamic art Museum The Egyptian capital’s Museum of Islamic Art -- the world’s largest -- was officially reopened after an eight-year restoration project. Among the treasures on show are a gold-inlaid key to the Kaaba, the massive building that houses the black stone in the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, and the oldest Islamic dinar ever found, dating back to the year 697. Rare manuscripts of the Quran can also be seen among exhibits as diverse as Persian carpets, Ottoman-era ceramics and ancient instruments used in the sciences of astronomy, chemistry and architecture. The 1903 building in central Cairo was originally built to house and protect the country’s rich heritage from looters of antiquities.
SPORT I 21
I September 2010
Muslims fans Late night kicks
Muslim football players have been getting their kicks late into the night thanks to an innovative project by Oldham Athletic. A number of local lads toke part in Latics’ Community Trust’s Kickz sessions but have been unable to participate regularly during Ramadan. But Latics launched Midnight Kickz which allows the youngsters to get their football fix late into the night after they have broken their fast. Throughout Ramadan a group of more than 30 youngsters from Coldhurst have been taking advantage of the after-hours training between 10pm and midnight on Tuesday and Saturday evenings at the Grange all weather pitch Project co-ordinator James Mwale said: “The coaches have been excellent and have shown great enthusiasm in delivering sessions at these late hours.”
Historically there have been problems with anti-social behaviour during Ramadan with gangs of youths congregating into the early hours after breaking their fast. “This project aims to tackle those issues by providing activities and keeping the young people off the streets,” James added. “There are a few inclusion projects that go under
the title of ‘midnight leagues’ but they only deliver up until 10pm. “This is actually provision up until midnight which is the first for our sessions. “In the future this will be the way to go for us when delivering through Ramadan as it’s clearly when it’s needed.” Oldham Advertiser
Streatham Croydon reach out to community through rugby Streatham Croydon have become associate members of the British Asian Rugby Association (BARA) as they attempt to forge links with the local Asian community to introduce rugby to a wider demographic. The Thornton Heath-based club has begun working with BARA on a number of new initiatives including beginners’ rugby classes at Frant Road and making the
club facilities available to local community organisations. Streatham have also started to develop links with the South Asian Nations where rugby is one of the major growth sports and have held meetings with the Indian RFU. For more information contact Jeff Greenleaf or Abdul Chowdry at Streathamcroydon@hotmail.com Streatham’s preparations for their 140th season look on
target as they won the Cinque Ports Super Tens tournament last month. They topped their group and beat Tonbridge 3-0 in final. Winger Aaron Brown also took the Player of the Tournament award after scoring 11 tries. The day was tainted by an injury to flanker Patryk Kowalski who suffered a snapped tendon in his knee. Streatham Croydon will also be working with RFL
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Oh Muslim Brother and Sisters Do not forget your creator, Do not forget the one and only saviour, He gave you life and every favour. He gave you eyes to see the truth, To look in the Qur’an is your proof. Gave you ears to listen with, To follow the right path is your gift, Gave you a mouth to speak the good. To give Da’wat and make people understood. He gave you a brain to understand, To control your worldly affairs in your land. He gave you feet to reach the perfect destiny, To follow the right path is to hold on to the Qur’anic memory. He gives you hands to spend plenty of charity, To the poor, weak, needy family. He gave you sense, touch and taste, Or we would be eating garbage waste. He gave you parents to love, teach and cherish you, To save you from calamities that could perish you. He gave you wealth to distribute and invoke Allah’s attributes. He gave you health to practise Islam, To read the Duas and save you from Damn. He gave you children to make them pious, To teach them and save them from the devils, the liars. He gave you comfort and ease, A life with such dignity and peace. He gave you a home so beautiful and spacious, To hymn to praise Allah the most gracious. He gave you wealth to spend in need, A help to a friend in hereafter you will succeed. He gave you fasting to reform, To conquer natural diseases till dawn. He gave you money to go to Hajj, To purify your soul towards your Judge. He gave you abundance food to eat, To give you strength and a prayer to complete. He gave you a partner to share. In loneliness, happiness, sadness and Every situation to care, gave you death as a present, To meet your Lord the Mighty the Most Pleasant! Sent in by Fatima, London
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