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India Decides

The Muslim Vote 2014 Read the full stor y on page 2 & 3

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I Editorial

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thePassion

By Dr Abdul B Shaikh

Lecturer at Leeds University & Deputy Editor of PI Magazine

India Decides: The Muslim Vote 2014

India is widely known as the world’s largest democracy coupled with diversity spread across its 29 states that is at best unrivalled and unparalleled. Independence from the old colonial master Britain in 1947 gave the nation a new sense of identity and belonging putting it on course to become a true superpower. If we fast forward 70 years ,the India of today is unrecognisable and the pace of progress has been truly remarkable. The recent census shows that there are approximately 177 million Muslims in India which equates to it being the third largest group within the global Muslim diaspora and is deemed to be the largest minority Muslim group on the planet. These figures clearly demonstrate the sheer power that the Muslim vote bank hold in the world’s largest democracy. However, as the 2014 Indian elections approach, the Muslims of India have some serious and stark choices to make in terms to who will form the next government. Congress has undoubtedly dominated the

political landscape of India since 1947 but is now finding itself under real pressure from none other than in the form of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by the ever popular and charismatic Arvind Kejriwal. This upcoming election will be one of the closest and exciting races in living memory but where does this leave the Muslim vote nationally. The Muslim vote had been described as a ‘banker’ for the ruling Congress party (INC) for several decades but in recent times the BJP and less so the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have made great strides to appeal to the Muslim vote bank. Indeed, it should be said that the typical Muslim voter is very much in tune with current political trends in India compared to the past where all concerned voted Congress partly due to a lack of genuine political parties on the horizon. If we look at the voting patterns across several Indian states with sizeable Muslim populations such as Bihar, Uttar

Pradesh and Gujarat to name a few, a distinct pattern has emerged whereby the Muslim voters have demonstrated their tactical acumen culminating in depriving the ruling Congress party of seats at a local and national level. The inevitable question that will now arise concerns the view that have Indian Muslims truly recognised the power they hold through the possession of the dread weapon of choice namely the ‘tactical vote’ that threatens to truly transform the political landscape of India? If we analyse the internal politics of India through the critical eye, one finds that Indian Muslims have now found themselves at the bottom rung of the social mobility ladder. The Sachar Committee Report published in 2006 marked a watershed in highlighting the plight of Indian Muslims who now found themselves at the bottom of every socioeconomic group indicator indicating large scale deprivation. It would be rather unfair to put the entire blame on the political establishment for the woes of the Muslims in India

Write to: Editor, PI Media, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk - mob: 07506 466 385 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.


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over the last 70 years as the latter shares responsibility for its current predicament in the general scheme of things. The Indian political establishment also has to look at itself in terms of whether they have genuinely attempted to provide meaningful assistance to its 177 million Indian Muslim inhabitants. Undoubtedly, India will only thrive for years to come once all its citizens Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists and Christians share the prosperity and the wealth that is at the nation’s doorstep. If we are to look long term, it would be true to say that Muslims in India certainly need to look to empower themselves in order to rise from the bottom and aspire to be at the top of every socio-economic indicator. If we take a closer look at the manifestos of the respective political parties, one comes to the conclusion that each is serving up a distinctive brand of politics aimed at capturing the hearts and minds of the Indian voter. Congress has in recent days offered a distinct progressive reformminded socio-economic plan with the sole aim of capturing the voter’s

Editorial

imagination. Proposals to create pensions and state funded benefits for the masses are truly visionary and groundbreaking and may well prove to be the major difference in winning the forthcoming election. The opposition BJP has recently been rejuvenated and for the first time since 1996 poses a substantial threat to the governing Congress party. The BJP lead by the Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi is aiming to become Prime Minister through the promotion of its much vaunted Hindutva (Hindu Nationalism) policy. However, it remains to be seen whether the promotion of Hindutva with its secularist flavour sits well the Indian Muslim minority who may well feel even more marginalised in the coming years. There is a distinct possibility that the a significant number of affluent Muslims may well vote for the BJP due to their pro-business agenda aiming to create wealth and prosperity for all. PM designate Modi has already declared that if he becomes PM he will make Uttar Pradesh state that contains a largest concentration of Muslims the new

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Gujarat promising fresh and huge investment. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has in many observers eyes taken Indian politics by storm in recent times campaigning to secure the passage of the Lokpal Bill through parliament aimed at eliminating all vestiges of corruption in public life. The charismatic and evergreen leader of the AAP Arvind Kejriwal has created a ‘third front’ that has captured the imagination of the Indian public and publicly declared he will contest the Varanasi seat that CM Narendra Modi is vying for in the coming days. AAP may well spring a surprise in this year’s election especially in Gujarat where they are fielding a candidate in every single constituency. Election year one predicts will be a fascinating and has the potential to deliver a number of sensational results. It has never been a better time to be an Indian Muslim especially when they hold the key in several states as to who forms the next government and becomes Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. The world awaits the result of Election 2014 India Decides.


Islamic wills adopted into UK legal system

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solicitors assist their clients and go some way to forming an idea of good practice when it comes to applying Sharia succession rules within the legal profession.’ The Law Society will also host a free introductory course in June to help small firms develop services for Muslim clients.”

Islamic law has been effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up ‘Sharia compliant’ wills. Under groundbreaking guidance, produced by The Law Society. Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, said the guidance would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system. Some lawyers, however, described the guidance as “astonishing”, while campaigners warned it represented a major

step on the road to a “parallel legal system” for Britain’s Muslim communities. The guidance published last month and distributed to solicitors in England and Wales, details how wills should be drafted to fit Islamic traditions while being valid under British law. Nicholas Fluck said: ‘There is a wide variety of spiritual, religious and cultural beliefs within our population, and the Law Society wants to support its members so they can help clients from all backgrounds. ‘We hope this guidance will help

Human Rights Org welcomes Schedule 7 judical review decision Cage have welcomed news that the IPCC has been granted permission at the High Court to bring a judicial review against the Metropolitan police. The IPCC had taken the Metropolitan police to the High Court back in October after the Metropolitan police refused to hand over complaints made by CAGE about young Muslims being harassed by police at airports known as Schedule 7.

Primark to pay $10 Million to Bangladesh factory collapse victims

British clothes retailer Primark will pay a further $10 million in compensation to victims of the collapse of a Bangladeshi factory last year that killed more than 1,100 people. The disaster has galvanised most of the clothing industry’s big names to work together to improve safety standards but many brands have shunned a fund that is trying to raise $40 million for the over 2,000 people injured and the families of the dead. Campaigners are demanding that 27 brands linked to factories in the Rana Plaza complex should contribute to the fund run by the International

Labour Organisation (ILO) by the first anniversary of the April 24 collapse. Primark has already paid $2 million in short-term financial support and food distribution. It said it would pay out the extra $10 million in long-term compensation — $9 million directly to the 580 workers of its supplier in Rana Plaza or their dependants, and another $1 million to the fund. It said cash payments to the workers of its supplier, New Wave Bottoms, would begin, with the amount to be paid based on estimates of lost earnings for the dependants of those killed and on the level of disability for those injured.

“With the first anniversary of Rana Plaza fast approaching, we are determined to meet this responsibility to workers in our supply chain. We are therefore pleased to be in a position to now press ahead with payments,” a spokesman said in a statement.


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Charity Commission quizzes Military charities over use of funds In Case Y o Missed It u

Army of Angels and Families of the Brave both face questions from the regulator about their involvement with the fundraising agency Sterling Support. The Charity Commission has “raised a number of questions” with the trustees of two military charities over issues that include unspent charitable funds and fundraising arrangements. A spokeswoman for the regulator said it had contacted trustees of Army of Angels, which registered with the commission in August 2011, and Families of the Brave, which registered in May 2013. Families of the Brave has also removed the official armed forces logos from its website, which it did not have permission to use, after receiving a request from the Ministry of Defence. The commission spokeswoman said the regulator’s involvement with Families of the Brave began in

February. “We have raised a number of questions with them relating to the charity’s fundraising arrangements,” she said. The commission has been in contact with Army of Angels since January. “We have put a number of questions to the trustees, including those relating to unspent charitable funds,” the spokeswoman said. Both charities have worked with the fundraising and merchandising agency Sterling Support. The terms and conditions for two campaigns run for Families of the Brave, posted on Sterling Support’s website, say that a minimum of 20 per cent of the funds raised go to the charity. Army of Angel’s annual accounts for the year ending 28 February 2013 show it spent £70 on generating voluntary income of £142,220 in the year 2012/13. This was down from £45,700 spent on generating £255,123 in the previous year.

Jack Sklenar, fundraising manager of Army of Angels, said the charity had stopped working with Sterling more than two years ago. He said he had not heard of the concerns raised with the trustees. Families of the Brave has yet to file annual accounts. Nobody was available to answer either of the listed telephone numbers on the commission website. The client page of Sterling’s website shows the logos of both charities, along with the note “This page is currently being updated. Sorry for any inconvenience”. Nobody from Sterling answered calls from Third Sector. Families of the Brave is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board. Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said: “We have not been made aware of any issue with regard to these charities, nor have we referred any issues to them.

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UK Party suspends member for Insulting Muslim women

A council member in the London borough of Enfield has been expelled from his party after he compared Muslim womens’ burkas to black dustbin liners. Chris Johannides, who is of Greek Cypriot origin, was banned by the Conservative Party

after making the offensive statement on his Facebook profile. Johannides, who became the party’s youngest council member when he was elected at the age of 26 in 2006, has been suspended for one year.


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No public consent over UK drones use in Africa www.pi-media.co.uk

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The UN’s special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson QC, has revealed that the Ministry of Defense is planning to deploy British Reaper drones to Africa and the Middle East after British forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan at the end of the year. He told the Guardian: “My understanding is that the plan is to deploy them to parts of Africa and the Middle East where they can be used for surveillance … over a wide range of territory [in conflicts] where one party is a jihadist group.” This will no doubt come as shock to many. There has been no discussion or debate about a new military intervention, either in parliament or among the public. Indeed, after last summer’s vote against possible military intervention in Syria it has been forecast that the withdrawal from Afghanistan would bring to an end more than a century of warfare by British forces around the globe. Unmanned drones help

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enormously with this problem as they can be operated via satellite from thousands of miles away and dramatically lower the risk to British forces. Drones are also leading to much more secrecy. Despite more than five years of UK drone operations in Afghanistan there is very little public information about the impact of their use. While the MoD shows selected

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journalists around RAF Waddington, parliamentary questions and Freedom of Information requests aimed at informing public debate on the matter are simply refused. Perhaps acknowledging this lack of public debate, the defense select committee is holding an inquiry into the use of drones by British forces. However, I was informed recently that there are to be no public hearings on the issue. PTV

Sky News wins Supreme court challenge order based on secret evidence In Case You Missed It

Sky News has won a test case in the Supreme Court dismissing a request by the Metropolitan Police to hand over journalistic material to help with a criminal investigation. The court ruled that any judge dealing with a police request to obtain material from a news organisation or journalist must not hear any of the evidence in secret. The case arose after the Metropolitan Police arrested two army officers in March 2011 on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act 1989 by having leaked top secret information from meetings of the COBRA Cabinet security

committee to Sky News security editor, Sam Kiley. The investigation has since been dropped, and the officers have been told that no action is to be taken against them. But after arresting the pair, police told Sky News that they were mounting a criminal investigation and sought disclosure of various documents, including copies of all e-mails between Kiley and the two officers since October 2010. In April 2011 the police sought a production order under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. The application was heard at the Old Bailey and during the hearing the judge agreed to hear further evidence from the police in secret, with BSkyB and its lawyers excluded.

Sky sought a judicial review of the decision to grant a production order, on the grounds that the procedure adopted at the hearing was unlawful, and that in any event there was an insufficient basis for the order to be made. The Supreme Court rejected the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s appeal against the decision to overturn the production order. Lord Toulson in the Supreme Court said that it was not permissible for the judge to adopt the procedure he had used. He said in the ruling: “Compulsory disclosure of journalistic material is a highly sensitive and potentially difficult area. It is likely to involve questions of the journalist’s substantive rights.” - Press Gazette


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London firm launches of UK’s only Sharia compliant residential fund

With Muslims comprising 25% of the world’s population today and 450,000 Muslim millionaires in the Middle East alone, Islamic investment options are becoming increasingly important. In Britain, Muslims already contribute £31 billion pa to the UK economy and there are 10,000 British Muslim millionaires, according to the Ethical Media Group. London Central Portfolio (LCP) has seen a growing demand amongst Muslim consumers for Sharia compliant investment products. They are the only company offering this Muslim investors the opportunity to access the hugely sought after Private Rented Sector in Central London. Having launched the first ever Sharia compliant residential property fund in the UK last year,

LCP were delighted by the Islamic uptake, which saw 1/3 of its total subscriptions snapped up by Muslim investors. In response to increasingly demand, last week LCP announced the launch of a new Sharia compliant offering, which will once again focus on the globally desirable Private Rented Sector in Central London. “LCP are providing access to a unique and attractive asset class. As a bricks and mortar product, often preferred by Muslim investors, their funds are a perfect recipe for us. The projected returns are excellent and LCP provide a strong track record. As such, many of our clients will be investing in this proposition” explains Faizal Karbani, CEO of Simply Sharia. The mandate for the new fund, London Central Apartments II

Westminster University holds conference on Palestine

Westminster University hosted an international academic conference themed “Europe and Palestine, past, present and future.” The Palestinian Return Center in London organized the conference in partnership with the department of politics and international relations at

Westminster University. Noted academics, international experts and policy makers addressed the European role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and discussed strategic plans in order for Europe to play a more central role in ending the Palestinian plight. In an opening speech, head of the Return Center Mohamed Hamed talked about the goals of the conference, and Europe’s historical connection with Palestine, its current position on key issue and how it could emerge as a stronger player in any future resolution to the conflict.

(LCA II), repeats the proven and successful model of LCP’s previous funds. It will acquire a diversified portfolio of 1 and 2 bedroomed properties in all the prime postcodes surrounding Hyde Park which will be renovated and interior designed to add value and appeal to blue-chip tenants. The 5 year fund is projecting an IRR in excess of 14% pa and will be regulated and approved by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. The minimum subscription for investors applying in their own name is set at £85,000 but reduces to £25,000 if invested through regulated entities such as SIPPs, ISAs and offshore portfolio bonds. Whilst performance figures have yet to be posted for their third fund, LCP’s first two funds, closed in 2007 and 2010, have demonstrated exceptionally strong results. Since acquisition, these funds are estimated to have shown increases in capital value in excess of 50% to date. Whilst past performance is not a guide to the future, they are both on track to achieve significant returns.

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Japanese Bank Group launches Islamic Finance in Malaysia

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp will fully launch Syariahcompliant Islamic finance in Malaysia, Japan’s Jiji Press has learned. The core banking unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. has obtained a license for foreign currency-based Islamic finance

services in the Southeast Asian country, which promotes Islamic finance under a national policy, Jiji Press quoting informed sources as saying. SMBC hopes to use a fully owned local subsidiary as a key operational base for the whole of Southeast Asia, where fund demand is strong

thanks to growth in the economy and population, the sources said. The local subsidiary, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp Malaysia Bhd, is starting financial services in dollar and other currencies that are fully compliant with Syariah (Sharia law), which bans financial transactions involving interest payments and acceptance. The Japanese bank group aims to find clients among local companies and Japanese firms participating in natural resources and infrastructure development projects, according to the sources. Japanese banks are able to handle Islamic finance following a 2008 law revision. A British unit of SMBC in 2012 led the formation of a Syariah-compliant US$750 million (RM2.46 billion) syndicated loan programme for an airport project in Saudi Arabia. SMBC will be the first Japanese bank to have an Islamic finance operational base both in Europe and Asia.

U.S. Muslim groups to launch new council with political census

Eight major national American Muslim organizations have announced the formation of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). US Council of Muslim Organizations will be an umbrella group that will serve as a representative voice for Muslims as that faith community seeks to enhance its positive impact on society. The new national council’s first priority will be to build on Muslim citizenship rights by conducting a census of American Muslims to create a database that will be used to enhance political participation in upcoming elections. In a statement USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal said: “A national council unifying Muslims in

the United States has long been a dream of our community. The goal of the US Council of Muslim Organizations is to help strengthen relationships among the member organizations in order to better serve members of the Muslim community and all Americans. “A detailed census will allow the larger Muslim community to better participate in our nation’s political process.” Organizations involved: The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam

W. Deen Mohammed) , Muslim American Society (MAS), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) and Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA).


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Syrian regime committing war crimes by starving people to death - Amnesty The Syrian regime carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity against Palestinian and Syrian civilians in Yarmouk, in the outskirts of Damascus, an Amnesty International report revealed. In the report entitled “Squeezing the life out of Yarmouk” the international human rights organisation affirmed that the refugee camp has been under a “brutal” siege by Syrian regime forces. It said that since July 2013, nearly 200 individuals died and access to crucial food and medical supplies was cut off. At least, 128 of those who died starved to death in the “catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has emerged”. Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, said: “Life in Yarmouk has grown increasingly unbearable for desperate civilians who find themselves starving and trapped in a downward cycle of suffering with no means of escape. “Civilians are being treated like pawns in a deadly game in which they have no control.” According to the report, Syrian regime forces and their allies, including the Popular Front for the

Liberation of Palestine – General Command, have repeatedly carried out attacks against the camp. The attacks included air strikes and shelling with heavy weapons. It said that the attacks targeted civilian buildings such as schools, hospitals and a mosque in Yarmouk. Some of the areas attacked had served as shelters for people who have been internally displaced by the conflict. Doctors and medical staff have also been targeted. The report said that at least 60 per cent of the people remaining in Yarmouk are suffering from malnutrition. It reported residents

Pakistan to normalise trade ties with India: Report

Pakistani government is set to grant Most-Favored Nation (MFN) status to India with a condition of receiving substantial concessions in trade from New Delhi, a media report says. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a special Cabinet meeting to discuss trade normalization with India, the daily Dawn newspaper reported. This comes as the country’s Commerce & Textile Industry Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan and some other officials are pushing hard for granting the status, now also referred to as Non-Discriminatory Market Access, to India.

The trade normalization process between the two neighbors started in 2011. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s agricultural group and textile and automobile industries fear India would flood their markets, rendering them jobless. Senior Indian and Pakistani officials have recently held several rounds of fresh talks aimed at resolving long-standing disputes including the Kashmir issue. Reports, however, say no major breakthroughs were made on controversial issues such as the Kashmir dispute and terrorism. www.pi-media.co.uk

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speaking to Amnesty International saying that they had not eaten fruit or vegetables for several months. They said that prices have skyrocketed with a kilo of rice costing up to $100. “Syrian forces are committing war crimes by using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war. The harrowing accounts of families having to resort to eating cats and dogs and civilians attacked by snipers as they forage for food, have become all too familiar details of the horror story that has materialised in Yarmouk,” Luther said. The camp has also had its electricity power supply cut.

Serbian Army opens prayer room for Muslim soldiers

The Serbian military has opened its first masjid [prayer room] for Muslim soldiers in its Belgrade headquarters. Chief of General Staff Ljubisa Dikovic, the head of Serbia’s Islamic community Adem Zilkic and the mufti of Belgrade Muhamed Jusufspahić participated in an opening ceremony in the General Staff building. “This is a sign that shows Serbia is on the democratic path”, Zilkic said. Another masjid was previously opened for Muslim soldiers serving in Serbian Army in the city of Novi Pazar. Nearly 3.1 percent (220,828) of Serbia’s 7.1 million population is thought to be Muslim.


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Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood denies terrorist listing in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Sharjah to spend $400m on Islamic projects

Mubarak Fahd Al-DuwaylaMubarak Fahd Al-DuwaylaA senior member of the Islamic Constitutional Movement, a Sunni Islamist party in Kuwait affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and known in Arabic by the acronym Hadas, denied claims that the authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE had officially informed the party’s members that Hadas is now included on the terrorist list in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. The senior official told Kuwait’s Al-Watan newspaper that rumours in this regard are untrue and unrealistic because the Muslim Brotherhood in

Kuwait has no members list. International media reported that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had arrested two members of the Muslim Brotherhood after the Egyptian authorities put out an international arrest warrant for them on charges of inciting violence in Port Said, following the Egyptian authorities fierce crackdown against anti-coup protesters that killed hundreds. Since the coup that deposed the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt last July, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have declared the movement a terrorist organisation.

Saudi demands Qatar close Al-Jazeera Saudi Arabia demanded that Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera and two think tanks during a recent meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a source close to someone who attended the talks told AFP. Riyadh demanded the closure of the pan-Arab broadcaster as well as the Brookings Doha Centre and the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, the source said on condition of anonymity. After the reportedly heated March 5 GCC meeting, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors from fellow member Qatar, which they accuse of interfering in their

internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. The source said Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al- Faisal had demanded three things of Doha — “to close the (Qatari-owned) Al-Jazeera network, which stirs sedition; close the research centres in Doha, and turn over all outlaws” on its territory. Doha’s foreign minister replied that the demand constituted “interference in Qatar’s internal affairs,” the same source said. Gulf officials do not usually comment on closed-door meetings. Qatar is seen as a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates across the region.

Sharjah has announced it will spend AED1.5 billion ($400m) on 21 projects related to its selection as this year’s Islamic Culture Capital. Funding includes $38m for the 4000-seat Al Majaz Island Amphitheatre, nearly $11m for Islamic parks that will display the cultural aesthetics of Islam and $6m on erecting three heritage villages designed to showcase the spirit of Emirati culture and revive traditional ceremonial practices, according to a statement released on state news agency WAM. The emirate also will build an Islamic university and several libraries to enhance awareness of the identity, culture and history of Islamic civilisation. As the Islamic Culture Capital of 2014, Sharjah is aiming to promote Islamic cultural thought globally, while mirroring the identity of the emirate and its own Islamic culture. “The projects complement the cultural manifestations and human heritage that chronicle Sharjah’s story of knowledge and science, promoting its status and key role in the international cultural system,” Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, chairman of the executive committee for the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital 2014, said. Many of the projects will be completed this month and the launch event will include a theatrical performance, Clusters of Light, at the new amphitheatre. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority chairwoman and head of the Projects Committee for the SICC 2014 celebrations, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, said the emirate expected a boost to its tourism trade during the year, worth a similar value to the $400m in projects. By Courtney Trenwith


UN urges release of CIA torture report

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Egypt destroys 1,370 gaza underground tunnels: army

A United Nations human rights watchdog called on the United States on to release a report on a Bush-era interrogation programme at the heart of a dispute between the CIA and a Senate panel. Critics, including experts on the UN civil and political rights panel, say the CIA programme set up after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States included harsh interrogation methods that constituted torture banned by international law. The UN Human Rights Committee began a two-day examination of the US record, its first scrutiny since 2006, attended by nearly 80 activist groups. “It would appear that a Senator Dianne Feinstein claims that the computers of the Senate have been hacked into in the context of this investigation,”

Victor Manuel Rodriguez-Rescia, a committee member from Costa Rica, told the US delegation. “In the light of this, we would like hear a commitment that this report will be disclosed, will be made public and therefore be de-classified so that we the committee can really analyse what follow-up you have given to these hearings.” Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein said on Monday the CIA may have broken the law by spying on Congress, searching computers used by staffers researching operations including the use of simulated drowning or waterboarding. CIA Director John Brennan denied the agency had engaged in such spying activities on the Senate committee.

Egypt has demolished 1,370 underground tunnels between the country and the besieged Gaza Strip, the Egyptian military says The army in its statement did not say when the tunnels were demolished. The tunnels, under the border town of Rafah, are the only lifeline for Palestinians living under the Israeli siege. Palestinians use the underground tunnels to transfer essential supplies, including food and fuel into Gaza, which has been blockaded by Israel since 2007. Ties between Egypt and the Palestinian movement of Hamas, which rules Gaza, soured after the ouster of former Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, last year. Morsi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, with which Hamas is affiliated. On March 4, an Egyptian court ruled to ban Hamas from operating in Egypt and seize its assets there.

Egypt moves to take control of independent mosques

The measure aims to further tighten the state’s grip on all mosques in the country, deeply polarised since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Morsi’s supporters and his Muslim Brotherhood have been targets of a brutal government crackdown since the army ousted him last July. The military-installed government accuses Islamist groups, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, of using mosques to spread their ideology

and enroll new recruits. Religious Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar tasked his office with bringing all independent mosques under the ministry’s control within a month, MENA said. Egypt has around 130,000 mosques, of which 10,000 are not under the government supervision, ministry official Sabry Ebada told AFP last month. In January, the ministry decided to set a theme topic sent to

preachers around the country for the Friday sermon. Scuffles have often erupted between Morsi’s supporters and opponents during the Friday prayers, particularly when the sermon appears to favors one side over the other. In late 2013, the ministry dismissed 55,000 imams (prayer leaders) who did not graduate from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam.


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Saudi Arabia loans Pakistan $1.5 billion

Canada has ended its military participation in Afghanistan after 12 years, with the last of the country’s troops scheduled to leaving Kabul. The Canadian flag was lowered at the Kabul headquarters of the NATOled International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), DPA reported. The Canadian force of up to 2,500 soldiers was at one time the fourthlargest international contingent in the war-torn country. The country suffered 158 fatalities in the conflict. The United States and its allies

invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country. In early February, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that he “saw no good” in the US presence in Afghanistan, noting that the US-led NATO mission has failed to bring security. The Afghan president also warned that he will not allow continued foreign presence if it means more bombs and civilian killings.

Egypt court bans Hamas activities The court was originally hearing a case to designate Hamas as a “terrorist” group over links with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian authorities had recently labeled as a terrorist organization. An Egyptian court outlawed the activities of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas and ordered the confiscation of its offices in Egypt, a judicial source said. The ruling, which was delivered by the Cairo court of urgent matters,

is not final and can be appealed, the source explained. The court was originally hearing a case to designate Hamas as a “terrorist” group over links with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian authorities had recently labeled as a terrorist organization. In its ruling, the court said the ban on Hamas activities and confiscation of its offices would be temporary until another court trying ousted president Mohamed Morsi

Saudi Arabia loaned $1.5 billion to Pakistan last month to help Islamabad shore up its foreign exchange reserves, meet debtservice obligations and undertake large energy and infrastructure projects, Pakistani officials have told Reuters. The Saudi assistance has contributed to a sharp recovery of the Pakistani rupee, which rose to a nine-month high of 97.40 from 105.40 against the dollar between March 4 and 12, its strongest rally in 30 years. “On a personal guarantee of the prime minister, Saudi Arabia has given $1.5 billion, which has helped bail out the rupee,” one senior Pakistani government official close to the deal told Reuters, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to disclose the source and purpose of the funding. The governor of the Saudi central bank declined to comment, and officials gave no details of the loan terms. Another top official who is based in Lahore said the money went into an account known as the Pakistan Development Fund set up to channel money from “friendly countries” like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. on charges of alleged collaboration with the Palestinian group to carry out “hostile” acts in Egypt delivers its final verdict. A number of Hamas members have been included among the list of defendants in two trials that Morsi – a Brotherhood leader – currently faces for alleged espionage and jailbreak. Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Brotherhood, has repeatedly denied Egyptian accusations. By Islam Mosaad


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WORLD NEWS

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Catholic Church accused of hiding Cordoba Cathedral’s Islamic history

Spanish campaigners accuse the country’s Catholic Church of trying to cover up the Islamic history of Cordoba Cathedral, a world heritage site that was originally a mosque. It is one of the most famous Islamic sites in Europe, but those coming to learn about that are left none the wiser by the information leaflets given out to tourists, critics say. For the citizens of Cordoba, what has hurt our feelings is that they have cut off the name and the memory of the monument,” said Antonio

Manuel Rodriguez, a law professor at Cordoba University. He is a member of a secular group of local campaigners who have gathered 146,000 signatures on a petition demanding that the common Islamic and Christian heritage of the site be recognized. The acclaimed British architect Norman Foster is among the signatories, as well as many Spanish writers and scientists and moderate Catholics. A historical jewel in the southern city that was a capital of Islamic Spain in the Middle Ages, the building

with its cobbled patios and minaret draws more than a million visitors each year. The entry ticket visitors receive bids them “welcome to the Santa Iglesia Cathedral”, but does not mention that the building, now administered by the church, was a mosque for centuries. “Over the past few years, the Diocese of Cordoba has erased the term ‘mosque’ from all the information leaflets of what is recognized worldwide as a symbol of cultural harmony,” the “Save the Cordoba Mosque” petition says. This “offers millions of tourists a distorted historical account, which crudely adulterates the essence of a complex building and an emblem of diversity.” The visitors’ leaflets point out that a mosque was built on the site of a Visigoth church in the eighth century, but skims over its next 500 years as a place of worship for Muslims at the height of the Islamic rule in southern Spain. UNESCO, in its listing of Cordoba’s historic centre as a world heritage site, highlighted its place in the Andalusia region’s golden age, which began with its conquest by the Moors in the eighth century.

French Muslims campaigning to overturn anti-Muslim laws On the 10-year anniversary of France’s ban on the hejab in public schools, Muslims and their supporters have begun a campaign to overturn the country’s steadilyincreasing number of Islamophobic laws. Activists do not expect to get such laws overturned anytime soon, as they have broad political support, but they say the effort can be a rallying point for a Muslim community which is fragmented and often alienated from the political process. There is no political party which attempts to serve the needs of the Muslim community: From the far-right

National front, to the conservative UMP, to the Socialists, to the Left Front and to the Communists, all of France’s political parties are seemingly anti-Muslim or antireligion. During this election season in France, anti-Muslim comments have become so routine that many no longer make headlines. The effective state-sanctioning of Islamophobia has created a climate where Muslims feel that they can be abused or discriminated against with far more prevalence and ease than any other group. Many in France say that laws like

the ban on burqas are designed to protect women, but many French feminists realize that they are yet another attempt to control a woman’s individual freedom and personal expression.


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Turkish Cypriot Education Council Votes against Islamic Studies

The Education Council in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has agreed to push for the lifting of Religious Studies classes from schools as well as the closure of the newly opened Islamic Theology College. In the meeting of a total of 166 representatives and 120 observers, the council also decided to follow in Turkey’s footsteps by removing the obligatory oath of allegiance, as well as the setting of compulsory education to 11 years.

The joint decisions of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTOS), Turkish Cypriot Secondary Education Teachers’ Union (KTOEOS) and the Eastern Mediterranean University Academic Staff Union was protested by the TRNC education minister Mustafa Arabacioglu, who stormed out of the meeting. The Council now has 15 days to notify the Board of Ministers and have their decisions published in the Official Gazette. Religious Studies lessons and the

Islamic Theology College, which was only officially opened in September, have been the target of many protests led by the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union, who deem them to be threats to the country’s secular nature. Summer time Qur’an courses for children have been raided and halted a number of times by the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union a number of times since they began in 2010. While most Turkish Cypriots have expressed no opposition to the courses or the Islamic Theology College, KTOS general secretary Sener Elcil has led his union in many campaigns against them. The TRNC is a predominantly Muslim country which was founded upon strict secular principles in imitation of Turkey. Although Turkey has allowed more freedoms for religious life since reforms both before and after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘democratization packet’, the TRNC is still struggling to overcome many of the systematic restrictions on religious life.

Quran verse greets Harvard University

The US Harvard University, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, has placed a Quran verse at the entrance of its faculty of law. Described by the institution as one of the greatest expressions of justice in history, Verse 135 of Surah Al Nisa (The Women Chapter) is dedicated to humanity as the best expression defending and articulating justice, moroccoworldnews.com said in a report. The verse from Holy Quran is: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just.

And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” Surat An Nisa 4: 135 Justice quotations were selected among 150 contributions from law school faculty, staff and students. Yet, the three unanimously appreciated and displayed at the faculty entrance are quotes taken from St. Augustine, the Holy Quran and the Magna Carta. According to the official website of the university, The Words of Justice exhibition is a clear sign of humanity’s craving for fairness on this earth. At present, visitors to Harvard, researchers in particular, have the chance to identify themselves with the best articulations of justice since time immemorial.

Norwegian film depicts suffering of Palestinian child prisoners A film that depicts suffering of Palestinian child prisoners in Israeli jails and how imprisonment of children impacts their lives is currently displayed in the Austrian capital Vienna. “When the Boys Return,” directed by Norwegian director Tone Andersen, is a documentary addressing the challenges that Palestinian minors face in Israeli jails with a focus on the process of reentering society after their detention. The film presents a detailed view into the lives of 11 children, and how they are affected by their detention. It has won several awards in European film festivals, including Stockholm and al-Jazeera for documentary films.


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FEATURED

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BOOK Review

Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie

Author: Ranya Tabari Idliby

For many Americans, the words ‘American’ and ‘Muslim’ simply do not marry well; for many the combination is an anathema, a contradiction in values, loyalties, and identities. This is the story of one American Muslim family—the story of how, through their lives, their schools, their friends, and their neighbours, they end up living the challenges, myths, fears, hopes, and dreams of all Americans. They are challenged by both Muslims who speak for them and by Americans who reject them. In this moving memoir, Idliby discusses not only coming to terms with what it means to be Muslim

today, but how to raise and teach her children about their heritage and religious legacy. She explores life as a Muslim in a world where hostility towards Muslims runs rampant, where there is an entire industry financed and supported by think tanks, authors, film makers, and individual vigilantes whose sole purpose is to vilify and spread fear about all things Muslim. Her story is quintessentially American, a story of the struggles of assimilation and acceptance in a climate of confusion and prejudice—a story for anyone who has experienced being an “outsider” inside your own home country.

The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

Author: Fawaz A. Gerges

Books & Nasheed Reviews can be sent to PI Review, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD

In this concise and fascinating book, Fawaz A. Gerges argues that Al-Qaeda has degenerated into a fractured, marginal body kept alive largely by the self-serving antiterrorist bureaucracy it helped to spawn. In The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, Gerges, a public intellectual known widely for his expertise on radical ideologies, including jihadism, argues that the Western powers have become mired in a ”terrorism narrative,” stemming from the mistaken belief that America is in danger of a devastating attack by a crippled al-Qaeda. To explain why al-Qaeda is no longer a threat, he provides a briskly written history of the organization, showing its emergence from the disintegrating local jihadist movements of the mid-1990s-not just the Afghan resistance of the 1980s, as many believe-in ”a desperate effort to rescue a sinking ship by altering its course.” During this period, Gerges interviewed many jihadis, gaining a first-hand view of the movement

that bin Laden tried to reshape by internationalizing it. Gerges reveals that transnational jihad has attracted but a small minority within the Arab world and possesses no viable social and popular base. Furthermore, he shows that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were a major miscalculation—no ”river” of fighters flooded from Arab countries to defend al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, as bin Laden expected. The democratic revolutions that swept the Middle East in early 2011 show that al-Qaeda today is a nonentity which exercises no influence over Arabs’ political life. Gerges shows that there is a link between the new phenomenon of homegrown extremism in Western societies and the war on terror, particularly in Afghanistan-Pakistan, and that homegrown terror exposes the structural weakness, not strength, of bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. Gerges concludes that the movement has splintered into feuding factions, neutralizing itself more effectively than any Predator drone. www.pi-media.co.uk

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SPORT

www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2014

Exclusive: In-Depth Inter view

Kolo Toure of Liverpool FC talks Religion and Football

PI: What were your earliest memories playing football? Kolo: I was lucky to join one of the best academy back in Africa with a great coach Jean Marc Guillou, the president of ASEC Mimosas, both guys developed me to where I am now and then I came to Arsenal and everything changed. PI: Who discovered your talent? Kolo: Few guys but you have to thank God first for giving me this quality and this luck to find those people, there’s a few guys firstly my president which I call every time, this guy has been amazing for me and after that Jean Marc Guillou and have few other coaches and then Arsene Wenger who brought me to the next level. PI: You have played for many clubs, how does Liverpool experience rate? Kolo: Yeah it’s fantastic to play for one the best clubs in the world for me because Liverpool has won so many trophies the history of the club is amazing now the club is doing better and we have alot of fantastic young players

and I am enjoying every single minute I have here. PI: How much does your religion play a part in shaping your game? Kolo: For sure my religion has been my power because for my religion comes first Allah (God) is the most important part of my life and I think of everything Allah (God) has done for me and I do not think I would have been here living this life because my life has been up and down but the trust I put in my God just helped me to work hard and believe in me. PI: How difficult is it to practice Islam whilst playing? Kolo: It is easy, very easy my religion comes first then my family and then my football, my job is very important but if I was not blessed by God I don’t think I would have been playing football. PI: Do you get chance to do your daily prayers? Kolo: For sure, always it takes just five minutes to do every 2/3 hours and you have to do five times a day in 24 hours it is very easy to do, you got 25 minutes to spend


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and think about God, it is very important. PI: Every club you been to, are they helpful in providing you a place to pray? Kolo: Great, with Arsenal and City I always had a place to pray and when I came here the manager made a place to pray not only for Muslims but for Christian, Jewish and that is great and that shows the football world respects all religion and for me my religion is key and I am not the only one praying in this place their is Aly Cissoko he is praying there and that is great for us, Brendon Rogers been amazing to give us a place to pray. PI: Do you meet up with other Muslim players outside football? Kolo: Yes of course, Demba Ba his a great guy, big respect to him, Kanoute, my brother Yahya Toure, Sami Nasri everyone believes in God but everyone have limits some believe more than others but as time goes by and you get older more people start believing in God lot more. PI: How difficult is it to fit in Ramadan /Fasting and football? Kolo: I think you need to be very strong in your head, it is difficult honestly, going without eating throughout the day and spending alot of energy running around with strikers like Sturridge and Suarez in training but I just try to adapt and do my best for my God, but no one is perfect. PI: How do you celebrate Eid? Kolo: Because I am far from my family so it is more difficult but I get on with my brother we have a nice meal go to the mosque. PI: What makes you happy? (Football & Personal life) Kolo: Football: Football has been my life and everything I have I thank God who gave me this talent, I enjoy playing football. Personal: God first (Allah) when God is happy I am very happy, as only God can make everything right or everything bad it don’t matter what quality you have and what you got in life, God can end all that. PI: What makes you unhappy? (Football & Personal life) Kolo: Football: Nothing really, football is great, with everything comes good and bad. Personal: My relation with Allah (God) is very important and if I do my salaat (prayer) a bit later I get sad with that. PI: Once you have hanged up your boots, what would you like to do? Kolo: I left my country when I was very young with my wife when 22/23, I am very big African guy, I will just try to go back to my country, I have sacrificed alot and just

SPORT I 21 want to be with my family enjoy the time with them and make few things back in the country help them, I think Africa needs the best people the best guys to go back there to bring them the knowledge. Why not set up an academy, be a coach there but always have one foot in Europe especially England as it is my second home. PI: What message would you give out to youngsters from the Muslim community who wants to play football professionally? Kolo: When u play football that does not mean you can’t be a good Muslim, nobody is perfect, don’t wait until you’re perfect to start doing your religion, religion comes first then family then football, I find people thinking you have to be perfect before to go into religion, you have to try to do your best in everything that you do, don’t think that you are Muslim you can’t do anything, religion is very simple you just have to follow the five principles as long as you are doing them you are fine, I think some time we make religion more complicated than it is. PI: How good is this Liverpool Team? Kolo: It’s amazing, it’s fantastic alot young players fighting everyday in training really, really hard, this team is amazing the manager is great even the staff the people who work at the club very professional, it’s a great club honestly a great experience for me to be here. PI: Do other non Muslim players at Liverpool ask about Islam? Kolo: Yes of course because theirs alot of Christians, theirs alot Muslims and the most important thing is we need to respect each other, we can’t make everyone believe in one thing the world is different, everybody is different and we have to accept that. PI: Do you believe Liverpool can win the title? Kolo: Inshaallah (God willing) PI: What have you learnt this season playing with Liverpool FC? Kolo: What I have learnt is never give up, never ever give up in anything that you do, you will go through hard times but hard times come just to make you better person, I remember when I was at Manchester city people were talking that Kolo Toure is finished and Mr Brendon Rogers had me on the phone and I spoke to him and I came here and had my preparation very well, this season I am playing doing my best for my club and everyone was talking his finished they can see a different face, they make you think what you are not, you have to show that what you are capable of doing believe in yourself give 100%. Interviewed by Shakir Ahmed www.passionislam.com

Kolo Toure Extra - Full Interview and photos can be found at

www.passionislam.com/articles.php?articles_id=345 Full TV Interview can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tO7TE94CUs


I SPORT

www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2014

Reda Johnson wins PFA Player in the Community Award

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In Case You Missed It

Sheffield Wednesday’s Reda Johnson has won the PFA Player in the Community Award at The Football League Awards 2014. This year a total of 36 clubs were shortlisted for 17 awards and Johnson beat competition from Milton Keynes Dons’ David Martin and Leyton Orient’s Elliot Omozusi to claim the PFA Player in the Community Award. Having made over 100 community appearances over the last three seasons and made a substantial donation to allow a local school to purchase a computer system for the less physically able, Johnson has thrown himself into the club’s community programme. On winning the award, Johnson said: “I think (helping the community) is very important. It is part of the job. We play football, we are very happy, football gives us a lot and we have a

chance to do a sport we enjoy. “Sometimes you have to think about other people and try to help people who need it. Sometimes it is not only about money, it is just a smile, you go to see people and try to make their lives a bit easier. “I love it. It’s like when fans ask me for pictures or autographs, some people are shy but I don’t think they have to be shy. We are paid for that. It is not only 90 minutes on a Saturday, it is a full week and we are well paid to do that.” John Hudson, the PFA’s Director for Corporate Social Responsibility, said: “The PFA are fully committed to Community Player Engagement and are proud to support the award, which Reda in particular deserves for his outstanding contributions in the Community. “His empathy and support for young people with disabilities

should be applauded and highlighted for all the right reasons.”

FIFA approves religious head covering Amir Khan will fight Collazo in Las Vegas

Provisions allowing male and female soccer players to wear head covers for religious purposes during matches were approved by by FIFA. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) - an umbrella organization of British soccer associations, alongside FIFA, that determines the game’s rule -sanctioned the official use of headwear for women, after a twoyear trial period, as well as for men. “We had a request from the Sikh community to play with headgear and to avoid discrimination against men,

it was decided that what applied to women can apply to men,” said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke. “We will work exactly on the definition on these covers.” The measure had been provisionally approved in July 2012 mainly so that women Muslim players could use the hijab. IFAB, comprising the four British associations and four representatives of FIFA was formed in 1886 and predates the founding of FIFA by some 18 years. www.pi-media.co.uk

Amir Khan will make his welterweight debut against Luis Collazo on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on 3 May. The bout with Collazo will be Khan’s first in 13 months since he struggled to dispatch veteran Julio Díaz in Sheffield last April. Khan clearly hopes victory over the 32-year-old Collazo will propel him closer to a lucrative showdown with Mayweather. Collazo will go into the fight with a record of 35 fights and five defeats and is on a fourfight winning streak, including a second-round stoppage of the former WBC champion Victor Ortiz in January.


UAE set to host Indian Premier League matches www.pia-media.co.uk

SPORT I 23

I April 2014

The UAE will host a number of matches in the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) which is set to start on April 16. The UAE will host “at least 16 matches”, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It said the move away from India was due to the general elections in country, scheduled to take place between April 7 and May 12. Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, said: “BCCI is very grateful to the Emirates Cricket Board, its chairman,

HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, and the government of the UAE for their offer of wholehearted support to host the Pepsi IPL for this period.” Patel said in a statement that for the period from May 1-12, the BCCI has approached the Ministry of Home Affairs to seek permission to play IPL matches in India in cities where the polling has concluded. “BCCI is extremely conscious of the various complexities involved but hopes for a favourable

consideration,” Patel said, adding that if it is not possible, IPL matches will be held in Bangladesh instead. The statement said that from May 13, the remaining league matches plus the playoffs will be played in India. “A detailed match schedule for the Pepsi IPL 2014 season will be sent out soon,” said Patel, but it was understood that Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi would host the matches held in the UAE. It is the second time in seven seasons that the IPL has been forced to find alternative locations because of a clash with elections. In 2009 the whole tournament was played in South Africa. The IPL is the world’s biggest T20 tournament and attracts many of the best cricketers. At this year’s auction, the most sought after players included India’s Yuvraj Singh, England’s Kevin Pietersen and Australian David Warner. A total of 154 players were sold, out of which 50 were from overseas while a total of 178 players will feature in the Pepsi IPL 2014.

Doha to stage 2015 IPC World Athletics Championships The capital of Qatar was chosen for the high-profile tournament, which will run from 19-28 November, after impressing the International Paralympic Committee during a three-day visit. Qatar Sports Club’s 15,000seater Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium, which boasts an eight-lane Mondo track and hosts the first IAAF Diamond League meeting of each year, will host the event. An eight-lane Mondo warm-up track lies adjacent to the stadium, with teams able to use the track facilities at Al Saad Club and Al Arabi Club for training. “We were extremely impressed

with all the facilities we saw during our three-day visit to Doha and were quite frankly spoilt for choice,” said IPC Athletics senior manager Ryan Montgomery. “Doha as a city has a superb track record for staging major international sporting events and the Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium is no stranger to hosting major athletics meetings. “The 2015 World Championships will be the last major global gathering of athletes ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. “There can be few venues in the world with a more spectacular backdrop with the Doha skyline

overlooking the track. “All the facilities athletes will use during the Championships are world class and in close proximity to hotel accommodation.”


The Beauty of Salzburg

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I April 2014

Part Two

From there I climbed up to Salzburg Fortress (Hohensalzburg Fortress) standing high on the mountain top it is perhaps in many ways the symbol of the city and in turn a piece of splendid art. After viewing this remarkable building I asked myself whether the man in ancient times was more powerful in will and physique? I met local journalists Gerhard who was on his morning walk, perhaps he knows what is behind the old saying ‘early to bed and early to rise keeps you healthy, wealthy and wise’. We discussed the construction of castle and I got the answer which was that the slave trade made this incredible task possible. Probably the best is to guide all of you to its website for full details. http://www.

salzburg.info/en/sights/fortress_ palaces/hohensalzburg_fortress Overall the City Centre is full of historic and traditional decorations, exotic food, beverages, old horse wagons, historic buildings and it can be said that the old city centre caters for all tastes. There is a massive big cooper ball that looks like gold mine right at the centre and next to it under museum porch is the statue memoirs in the form of the great work of ‘Anna Chromy’ named ‘Die Pieta’ which means ‘coat of peace’. For those of you who find this interesting can get supplementary information by visiting these websites: www.annachromy.com and www.chromyfoundation.org Walking into the old town of

Salzburg, the ancient buildings by all means display Austrians great respect for keeping their heritage alive similar to the UK in many ways that several buildings have been reserved in their original appearance. Of all those historic buildings in Salzburg a music school and society called “Dommusikverein und Mozarteum” (cathedral music society and Mozarteum) was established in 1841 to keep the musical and cultural heritage of Salzburg and is thus deemed a must place to visit. In 1870 the international Mozart Foundation was created to support young musicians and it become known as “Zentralinstitut für Mozartforschung”, the central institute for Mozart research that publish famously “Neue Mozart


I April 2014 Ausgabe�. Upon my visit to the University of Salzburg in 2009 I noticed a national wave of Uni Brennt movement that began in Vienna, and soon the protest had spread to the entire country bringing in hundreds of activists and campaigners standing alongside the students. This protest against rising fees at the Austrian Universities quickly passed on to neighboring Germany and Hungary. As a Mature Student Officer at the University of Huddersfield, I showed solidarity with those occupying a place at the student union in main campus of Salzburg University. I talked to many undergraduates who essentially were pessimistic about their future. Some of those students had predicted that the same fate would befall British students Britain which was realized when the Coalition government raised tuition fees in Britain. This particular move affected me as well but I had I realized that they had read the notes on the wall in advance. Unsurprisingly, education in modern times has become a commodity and perhaps in future those in power better control masses through this medium. Think of 20 years ahead and conduct a self-

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evaluation exercise to ascertain whether your children can make their way into the world of higher education? Probably those protesting student with their slogan Education is not for Sale may be the answer? It is not a surprise to say that anyone can fall in love with this historic and peaceful city instantly. One of the best sight visits I enjoyed was a one day trip to salt mines that I preserved in my diary. My social nature earns me few friends at the Jufa hotel which is adjacent to Radiofabrik and Kultre Centre. At Jufa, I booked a SaltWelten tour for 45 Euros which included the price of a ticket, you could say I was rather lucky to find myself as the sole passenger that day and that the driver was extra friendly who briefed me about Salzburg history, people and culture during the 30 minutes long drive. I sat next to him on the front seat aiming to take pictures since it was his only day-tripper so he turned-off the microphone and preferred to converse in a routine manner. He possessed a remarkable memory of the past and was extraordinarily well versed in international politics. This chainsmoker and passionate guy who has to work long hours to survive told me

FEATUREDI 25 that he was always an optimist and that better days lie ahead. Celtic village adjacent to SalzWelten (Salt-Mine) is another must see attraction that exhibits everyday life of the Celtic people. In total there are 13 units comprising, an entrance, a family dwelling, stable for goats, Celtic barn farm equipment, food storage, pan for salt production, workshop of carpenters and joiners, medieval chambers, mud furnace for cooking and also a visitors hut. Celtic people use of stones and wood to build their huts with roofs made of tree-leaves and coated with mud in two layers so that rain water could run down into the hut. The village shows that the Celts were people of terrific dexterity who chose to station at the mountains nearby to rivers. One of the most prominent features that is visible within the building structure is the health and safety assurance warning of the danger posed by wild-animals possessing a tendency to attack at night. I noticed a dog shed while the village had a wooden boundary and a strong fence protecting the marked area from wild-animals. They are renowned for their use of sheep skin and fur as blankets By: Irfan Raja


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Employment Law

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Rights and Responsibilities of the Employees Part Two

not apply to drivers, self-employed and business owners. Employees aged between 16 and 18 years must not work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours per week.

Children younger than 13 years old are not allowed to work, unless they are employed in the acting or modelling business. 13 and 14 year olds have the right to undertake only part-time work which is between 7am and 7pm and is not longer than 2 hours during the week and 5 hours during the weekend. The position is the same for 15 and 16 years old, however, they are allowed to undertake up to 7 hours any time of the week.

Continuing with our focus on employment law, this section will deal with employees and their rights and responsibilities. The Contract - The rights and responsibilities of employees are governed under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and commonly endorsed by way of an employment contract (“Contract”). This Contract will vary depending on the job title and duties or level of seniority of each employee. For instance a lorry driver would not have the same Contract as someone working in a senior management role such as a director. The Contract would set out the duties of the employee what they can and cannot do, where they will work, pay, holidays and also in senior roles what level of confidential information they can handle and what they can and cannot discuss out of work. The Contract is therefore an important document and forms an integral part of any employment. National Minimum Wage - By law, every employee aged 21 years and over is entitled to receive a national minimum wage which as at October

2013 is £6.31 per hour for an adult. This also includes agency workers, part-time workers, home workers, foreign workers, irrespective of experience. Those under 21 years receive a lower rate depending on their age. for 16-17 year olds this is currently set at £3.72 per hour. There is no National Minimum Wage requirement for children aged under 16 years. If you find that your employer has not paid the minimum wage, you should raise this issue with him first and ask for your payment records. You have the right to make copies of these records. If the employer does not pay the arrears owed to the employee, the HMRC might send him a letter outlining the arrears that need to be paid and a penalty for breaching the law. The employee can also go to the Employment Tribunal and bring a case against the employer. Working Time Regulations – There are rules regarding how many hours an employee can work. Those aged 18 year and over cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours per week unless they agree. This rule does

Right to be treated fairly at work – Every employee, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity has the right to be treated equally and fairly at work. This means they cannot be victimised, bullied, harassed, discriminated against or unfairly prejudiced. If anyone believes they have been subject to any of the above, they are within their rights to file a complaint with their manager or senior member of staff. Where the complaint has not been dealt with by the company we can help bring a claim against the employer. If an employee has been dismissed unfairly or wrongly, or made to resign then we can take legal action against the employer. Most employers will ensure they have safe practices in place and will want to know if there has been any abuse of their procedures. In any case, employees rights are protected by law. Health and Safety Equipment – Every employer is obliged to provide the workers with health and safety equipment that is adequate in the present circumstances unless the risk has been controlled by the employer by other means which are equally or more effective. No charges can be made for the


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I April 2014

protective equipment which the employees use only at work. Selfemployed have to provide their own protective equipment. Failure to provide safety equipment may result in civil claim against the employer in cases of accidents caused by lack of protection. Holiday Leave and Pay – Almost every employee is entitled to receive around 5.6 weeks paid annual leave per year. The leave that each employee receives is calculated on the basis of their working days. Therefore, full time employees are entitled to longer annual leave compared to part time employees. It should be remembered that employers are entitled to include the bank holidays in the annual leave. If an employee believes that they have received less annual leave than their actual entitlement, they should raise this issue with their employer. If the issue is not resolved, we can use mediation or arbitration as an alternative to resolve the problem. If this fails, we can take further legal

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action through the employment tribunal. Sick leave and pay - The employees are entitled to sick leave and must produce a sick note from a doctor if they are off sick for more than 7 days in a row, including the nonworking days. The doctors’ note will help the employer understand why the employee is off and whether any changes need to be made at work to accommodate their medical needs. If the employee has been off to sick leave for less than 7 days, the employer may ask them to fill in a self certification form when they return. This form confirms that the employee has been absent because of illness. Maternity Leave – Employees who are expecting child are entitled to take maternity leave provided they have paid 26 weeks of national insurance contributions. The employee should let the employer know she is pregnant by the 15th week before the baby is due and give the exact date if known when the baby is expected. The employee must also inform the employer when

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she wishes to take maternity leave as that is when the maternity cover will begin. This can start any time on or after the 11th week before the baby is due. Most women employees have the right to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave. However, the employee is not obliged to take the whole leave and may decide to return earlier. During the maternity leave most women employees qualify for the Statutory Maternity Pay, which is paid for up to 39 weeks. In the first 6 weeks you will receive 90% of your weekly income and in the next 33 weeks you will be paid £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly pay, depending on which sum is lower. Some employers offer company maternity schemes, which ensure that the maternity payments are higher. However, the employer cannot pay less than the statutory pay. If he does, discuss this issue with him and require explanation. If your employer has become insolvent and cannot pay your maternity cover contact the HMRC. If you wish to discuss your employment rights or have an issue and need legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at NR Legal Solicitors, Tel: 020 8509 1681


PI Magazine April 2014  

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