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Halal meat demand offers Super Bowl champ Demonising British farmers opportunities embraces Islam of a community
Parliament demand release of Shaker Aamer
MPs joined the calls for the US authorities to release the last remaining British detainee at Guantanamo Bay. Shaker Aamer has been held without charge for 13 years, MPs want Shaker Aamer- who was born in Saudi Arabia, lived in America and was granted leave to remain in the UK in 1996 - to be returned to his wife and four children in
Battersea, London, urgently due to his deteriorating health. A number of senior MPs, including former ministers David Davis and Andrew Mitchell voiced their concerns over Mr Aamer’s continuing detention during the debate in the House of Commons last month. Mr Davis said that Britain and
the US’s handling of detainees at the notorious detention centre, was increasing the risk of terrorism and added that the standards for which millions died to protect in the 20th century have been betrayed since the 9/11 terror attacks. “We are betraying the standards which millions died to protect in the last
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By Tony Calderbank
British Council Director Bahrain
Why Arabic should be taught in UK schools Arabic is one of the world’s great languages. Spoken by more than 400 million people, it has been the vehicle of many significant contributions to the development of science and culture, from the earliest odes of the preIslamic poets through to the cuttingedge research of the philosophers and mathematicians of Islam’s golden age, to the novels of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Arabic is also one of the official languages of the United Nations and was recently identified as one of the ten most important languages for the UK’s future. My introduction to Arabic took place at secondary school, where I studied French, German and Latin. When it came to planning my university studies, I thought I’d branch out and do Italian. Then, in one of the most important pieces of advice I have ever received in my life, my Alevel French teacher said: ‘Why don’t you do something completely different like Arabic or Chinese?’ This recommendation coincided with me seeing a television programme about Arabic calligraphy that was being shown at the time. An old Turkish calligrapher was cutting the nib of his reed pen and making letters on a large blank sheet of parchment. I was smitten from that moment and, shortly after, went to read Arabic and Persian at The University of Manchester. I have never looked back. Since then, Arabic has been a major part of my life. After graduating, I lived in Cairo for 15 years, taught at a primary school in a Cairo slum and learned to speak the language. I have spent most of the last 30 years in the Arab world. I have taught Arabic, translated its works of literature into English and I can cut the nib of my
own reed pen and make beautiful letters on a sheet of parchment. Learning Arabic is much more interesting than learning French or Spanish. Arabic has whole words made up of sounds your mouth has never made before; its grammar and morphology function in a completely different way from Indo-European languages. And, of course, it is written from right to left so that your hand (if you’re right-handed) must learn to push the pen across the paper rather than pull. Imagine the buzz of deciphering the mind-boggling beauty of Arabic calligraphy or the satisfaction of articulating a newspaper headline that to others is just a series of squiggles. It takes time to speak Arabic correctly – the dream of nativespeaker competency shimmering like a mirage in a trackless desert, always just out of reach. ‘The first 20 years are the hardest’, James Craig, celebrated Arabist and former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, used to say. Most important of all though is that I have met and got to know thousands of Arabs. I have laughed and cried with them, argued and joked with them, fallen out and made up with them. I have made lifelong friends and have come to understand a bit about the Arab world and its culture. At the same time, I have also learned a lot about colonialism, the media and the nature of modern, global power relations. That’s why I think more people should learn Arabic. A study of Arabic opens up endless possibilities and opportunities for those who embark upon it. A rich and sophisticated language, spoken in many varieties throughout the Middle East and North Africa, it is both challenging and rewarding to learn. A
knowledge of Arabic is instrumental to gaining a real understanding of the peoples, societies and politics of the Arab world, and accessing a range of employment opportunities in the region’s finance, media and commercial sectors. As its social, political and commercial importance increases, demand to learn Arabic is set to grow. Knowledge of Arabic among young people in the UK also brings wider benefits, including a deeper mutual understanding between our communities and the chance to restore much of the trust that has been erased over the last decades as a result of political circumstance and military interventionism. Those who learn Arabic will move beyond the shallow media stereotypes to a fuller, more authentic awareness of the Arab world. There are lots of good practical reasons why Arabic is a good choice for UK schools. A good understanding of Arabic can lead to a job in the diplomatic service or security forces, media and communications, finance and banking, the oil and gas sectors. It can improve the UK’s understanding of a complex and volatile region, whose stability has increasing resonance in western Europe as the repercussions of colonial adventurism in the Arab world continue to pan out. Or it could just lead to the discovery that the Arab world, despite the consonant clusters, is a great place to get to know. It is both essential and timely that the learning of Arabic in the UK should be expanded and that more children in our schools should have the opportunity to learn the language and become more familiar with the cultures and peoples of the Arab world.
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I April 2015
Muslim man receives bravery award for rescuing vicar www.pi-media.co.uk
In Case You Missed It
A have a go hero who helped to rescue a vicar pinned under a car after a collision received a bravery award at the Houses of Parliament. Zulfiqar Afsar was part of a group of men who rushed to the aid of Reverend Mike Jones when he was crushed by a car last May while
cycling. The Reverend avoided serious injury and doctors said he was the ‘luckiest man in the country’. Since the incident, Mr Afsar says he has a received a number of awards for his part in the rescue. He said: “I did not think I would
get them and I was not expecting them. I’m surprised about it. “As a Muslim it’s something I would do regardless of faith. Our core teachings are for Muslims to help anybody and everybody. “It’s something I would expect anybody else to have done.”
I April 2015
Foreign students banned from scientific studies in UK 4
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Foreign students have been banned from learning about nuclear, biological and chemical warfare at UK universities over security concerns, it has been revealed. Some 739 international students have been prevented from taking certain university courses over fears they may use the knowledge to orchestrate terrorist attacks under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme.
The scheme was launched by the government in 2007 to vet students from outside the EU when they apply to certain science courses which could be used to make weapons of mass destruction. But MPs have criticised the limits of the measure which does not extend to British-born students. Speaking to the Sun on Sunday, the chairman of the Committee on Arms Exports Controls, Sir John
Stanley MP, said: “The fact 739 students have had to be barred indicates this is grounds for serious concern. “It is extraordinary given the threat we face for the Government to go on refusing to extend this to those in the UK. “We have made the recommendation for at least two years but it has been consistently rejected.” According to the Foreign Office, 20,000 applications were made under the scheme by would-be foreign students last year. Tobias Ellwood, the Coalition’s minister for counter proliferation, said: “The UK’s higher education sector is important to the British economy and it is important that we get the balance right between meeting our international security commitments and supporting our higher education institutions.”
Parliament demand release of Shaker Aamer
Continued from front page
century and two world wars, and we are actually increasing the risk of terrorism because this legitimises the sort of barbarous behaviour we’ve seen too much of in the last few years,” he told MPs. Conservative former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell said: “Justice is colour blind, it is creed blind, it should apply to everyone - universal justice - and it is not applying to Shaker Aamer and it is up to the House of Commons to give voice to this view. “And the House of Commons must stand up today for justice of all
citizens, wherever they are from, and never more so in this particular debate.” Earlier Mr Davis asked for the Government to outline the reason given by the US for not releasing Mr Aamer. The former shadow home secretary said: “If it is that he will embarrass them then that is again a doubling up of the guilt on their part. “Because frankly this is going to come out into the open at some point.” Foreign and Commonwealth
Office minister Tobias Ellwood said he had spoken at length with the US embassy on the matter. He said: “The UK Government is committed to bringing Mr Aamer back to the UK and we have made our position very very clear to the US Government. We want him released as a matter of urgency and we know that they fully understand this request.” The Commons debate was held after an Amnesty petition with more than 32,000 signatures demanding the release of Mr Aamer was delivered to Downing Street. ITVNews
I April 2015
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I April 2015
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Halal meat demand offers British farmers opportunities
though Saudi Arabia and Kuwait could be new destinations once export approval is granted. But in the Middle East and Asia the UK struggles to compete on price with New Zealand and Australia, so exporters have to focus either on high-value cuts or fifth quarter products.
British sheep farmers can tap into a large and growing halal market without even selling beyond Europe, a seminar heard. According to fwi.co.uk, Eblex export manager Jean-Pierre Garnier told the levy board’s halal seminar how Britain produced 43% of Europe’s lamb, so was ready to feed the expanding Muslim population. Britain’s exports can target a big section of Europe’s 44 million Muslim shoppers, particularly in France and Germany, Garnier said. The halal market could represent about 45,000 of sheepmeat demand
each year and, by rough estimates, could be growing about 5% annually. “As the population of the world is growing, it means the halal market is growing as well,” Garnier said. “But we don’t necessarily need to go all around the world when around the corner [in the EU] we have a target market of 15.4 million people.” Garnier also said there was also potential outside the EU, but only with smart marketing. China is one of the fastest growing halal markets, due to the country’s sheer size. Demand from the UAE is smaller,
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UK government delays Muslim Brotherhood review
The British government has postponed publishing a report into the Muslim Brotherhood, which was due last month. In a written statement sent to the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron said that a report into the main findings of the Muslim Brotherhood would be published alongside the government’s new counter-extremism strategy. “As we consider broader policy questions emerging from the review and the wider strategy, it is clear that further, more comprehensive measures will be required in the next
Parliament to tackle the threat from extremism in the U.K., and to support communities to challenge those who oppose British values,” Cameron said. Cameron had commissioned an investigation into the movement last April, and had appointed Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia to lead the review. The report into the activities of the organization in the U.K. had been expected since summer of 2014. Several media outlets in the U.K. have said that the long-awaited report has been delayed several
times so as not to damage relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates. The report was apparently leaning towards not designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, and hence, not banning it. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The British government has denied such claims, and said that the review has been postponed only because it took time to collect data.
I April 2015
I April 2015
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
‘Tony Blair’s bloody crusades led to radicalisation of Brits’ John Prescott
Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has reportedly taken aim at his previous boss Tony Blair – allegedly suggesting that the “bloody crusades” in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to the radicalisation of a generation of young British Muslims. Speaking at a fundraising event in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, Lord Prescott is reported to have said that Mr Blair “wants to invade everywhere” and is “still into that” notion of regime change in the
Middle East. He is also believed to have suggested that young Muslims are turning to extremism after seeing grisly images on the television - including people being murdered and rockets fired, according to The Telegraph. His comments come amid a growing anxiety surrounding a number of young Britons fleeing to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State.
He said: “I was with Tony Blair on Iraq. We were wrong. “They told us it wasn’t regime change. It was. And that’s exactly what the Americans have had. “Now Tony, unfortunately is still into that. I mean the way he’s going now, he now wants to invade everywhere. “He should put a white coat on with a red cross and let’s start the bloody crusades again.” He added: “When I hear people talking about how people are radicalised, young Muslims. I’ll tell you how they are radicalised. “Every time they watch the television where their families are worried, their kids are being killed and murdered and rockets firing on all these people, that’s what radicalises them.” The event came just days before is was announced that Lord Prescott was to become Labour leader Ed Miliband’s special adviser on climate change. In relation to his comments at the fundraiser, a Labour Party spokesman told the newspaper: “John’s views on this do not represent the views of the Labour Party.” www.pi-media.co.uk
RHS Chelsea Flower Show aims to change people’s perception of Islam The show garden designs have been revealed for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 and there is a new woman on Main Avenue. Making her Chelsea debut, Kamelia Bin Zaal will be the first Emirati landscape designer to appear at Chelsea and she is bringing her heritage to the forefront, the Telegraph reported. The show garden, titled ‘The Beauty of Islam’, aims to meld modern and classic materials with planting from countries influenced by Arabic and Islamic culture. It is an ambitious attempt to bridge Middle Eastern and Western cultures.
Bin Zaal said, “In my family I have grown up seeing Islam as a religion of tolerance, peace, and love, with respect for humanity, and the world around us. I am continuously inspired by our heritage and wanted to creatively translate my interpretation of our peaceful religion and culture into a beautiful garden design.” Besides changing the negative perceptions of Islam, the garden aims to reflect the diversity of the Islamic culture. “I wanted to show how as a culture we have touched so many other societies and vice versa, from Europe to China and even
Madagascar,” Bin Zaal said. Along with representing the Arabic and Islamic designs, the garden reflects other cultures. “I think I’m more influenced by contemporary architecture and interiors from all over the world,” Bin Zaal said Using plants from the Middle Eastern climate in Britain was a challenge facing the Islam garden. “We are being practical and have backups just in case certain plants don’t look good or, for some reason, probably the weather, don’t make it at all,” she added. www.pi-media.co.uk
I April 2015
I April 2015
UK-Iraq abuse inquiry refuses to consider CIA torture report
The body tasked with investigating British abuses in Iraq has said it will not request as evidence the US Senate’s report on CIA torture, in the case of two Pakistani men tortured and rendered by the UK and the US. The men, Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali, were captured and tortured by British operatives in Iraq in 2004, before being rendered to the US-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan. They were held incommunicado at Bagram for a further decade, before their release to Pakistan in 2014. The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which is investigating the men’s allegations, has refused a request from the human rights organisation Reprieve that it obtain a
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
full copy of the US Senate’s report on CIA torture. Mr Rahmatullah and Mr Ali were rendered on a CIA flight, and it is believed that the full report would contain evidence of the two men’s physical condition after UK troops handed them over to US forces, as well as the timing of their rendition; information that could corroborate the men’s claims. IHAT has claimed that its decision not to request a copy of the CIA report is a private ‘operational’ matter. Reprieve, which is assisting the two men, has initiated a challenge to that decision, amid concerns that the body is failing properly to investigate the men’s ordeal. The controversial executive
Smear campaign against anti-Israel activists in UK
A recent government report in the UK attempts to smear the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions as “anti-Jewish.” The report includes a list of supposed government action on addressing “anti-Semitism.” A closer examination reveals that the report conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel. It also misrepresents a 2004
call made by various Palestinian organizations for an academic boycott of Israel. Other problematic aspects of the government report are the portrayal of sympathy and solidarity with Palestinian victims of the Israeli war machine by local authorities in Britain as somehow equating to antiSemitism. www.pi-media.co.uk
summary of the CIA torture report, published late last year, revealed wide-ranging torture and rendition activities by the US and its allies in the initial years of the ‘War on Terror’. Kat Craig, legal director at Reprieve, which is assisting the two men, said:“Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali suffered a horrific, 10-year ordeal of torture and detention at the hands of the UK and US. These men deserve answers and justice – and the CIA torture report is a crucial piece of evidence in that effort. IHAT’s refusal to request a copy of that report is therefore inexplicable. Who should the victims of torture and rendition look to for accountability, if they are let down like this at every turn?”
Leading Islamic fashion store to open in London One of the world’s leading modest and Islamic fashion brands for women is to open its first retail store in London. Aab has announced that it is to launch a boutique format shop in East London to compliment its online offering. The store will offer a full range of clothing and accessories alongside a bespoke and limitededition collection exclusively for its clients. The boutique store will be located in a 600 sq ft unit across two levels in the new East Shopping Centre and is expected to open to the public in Mid-March with a launch event with clients, guest bloggers and stylists. Aab said the opening of a retail store was the first phase of a longterm growth plan which includes boutiques in key international financial and fashion hubs over the next three years including the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia.
I WORLD NEWS
I April 2015
Stereotyping Muslim names in German textbooks draws concerns
Muslim religious leaders and Members of Parliament of Turkish origin in Germany have voiced concern following government research that school textbooks emphasize frictions and conflicts between German society and immigrants. Islamic Council of Germany Secretary-General Burhan Kesici, The Left party’s Berlin State Assembly member Hakan Tas and The Greens party Federal Assembly member Ozcan Mutlu spoke about the issue with The Anadolu Agency. Kesici, who also gives Islamic lessons in capital Berlin, told AA that textbooks typically contained
prejudice against migrants and in some cases even denigrated them. Some books even contained examples of stealing using characters with traditional Muslim names like Ahmad etc. Kesici said: “They (textbooks) impose on little children ideas that foreigners are bad and are involved in theft and violence. “This lingers in their minds and becomes part of daily conversations and discussions at school,” he added. Also, he said that there was already a general lack of knowledge about foreigners and Muslims in the country, which was compounded by
Muslim dentist opens free clinic in California
When he immigrated to America about 30 years ago, Makbul Patel experienced something he hadn’t in his native India – a bone-chilling winter. Patel, who lives in Riverside with his wife, Nasim, said his first stop when he came to the United States to continue practicing dentistry was Chicago. “It was amazing,” he said. “When I came to Chicago, I saw my first winter. I didn’t have any exposure to snow.” In an article in The Press Enterprise, Patel explains how who lived in California called him and urged him to come to a warmer climat which he did six months later. Thirty years later he has been
serving patients in the Inland Empire and helping the community through his work and volunteer efforts. Patel, 57, earned recognition from the city in late 2014 for his service when he received a Riverside Heroes Award. Patel also founded Al-Shifa Dental Clinic, a free clinic in San Bernardino that provides care to patients regardless of their income, social background, religion, race or ethnicity. Patel, a devout Muslim, sees his mission to help people in need as a duty, he said. “In my faith, medicine is a noble profession,” he said. “So serving the community is one of the noble things to do.”
negative comments and judgments in textbooks. “If this was done against other minorities, all hell would have broken loose,” he said. “But when it’s specifically about foreigners coming from Muslim countries, when it’s (about examples using Muslim names such as) Ahmad and Aisha, then nobody reacts,” he added. Tas called on German authorities to work towards teaching the last 50 years of migration in German history. “For example, Ahmad will not play with Jurgen in the playground because Jurgen will be prejudiced on account of the textbooks. We need to say stop to racism by starting the struggle at schools to prevent prejudice and xenophobia from taking root,” he said.
Tunisia closes airspace to western Libya
Tunisia has again closed its airspace for flights from western Libya, an official said, just days after allowing Libyan planes from Tripoli back for the first time in around six months. The moves come after militants killed 20 foreign tourists in an attack on the national museum in Tunis. Tunisian officials say the two gunmen had been trained at a camp in Libya, where ISIL has made inroads. Tunisia is worried violence will spill over from Libya, where two rival governments fight for control four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. Libyan airlines had been allowed only recently to resume flights to Tunis from Tripoli and other airports inwestern Libya outside the control of the official government. Tunisia is the lifeline for many Libyans seeking to escape violence or travel abroad. Foreign airlines and embassies have mostly withdrawn from Libya for security reasons.
Saudi Arabia launches airstrikes in Yemen www.pi-media.co.uk
I April 2015
Saudi Arabia has launched a military operations including airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen. Saudi ambassador in Washington Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said that the operation was part of a 10member coalition. “Saudi Arabia has launched military operations in Yemen, as part of a coalition of over 10 countries in
response to a direct request from the legitimate government of Yemen,” Saudi ambassador in Washington Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir told at a press conference at the Saudi embassy. The operation followed the request of Yemeni President AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi. “Based on the appeal from
President Hadi, and based on the Kingdom’s responsibility to Yemen and its people, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with its allies within the GCC and outside the GCC, launched military operations in support of the people of Yemen and their legitimate government,” said al-Jubeir, using the acronym for the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said President Barack Obama has authorized “logistical and intelligence support” to the GCC’s military operations, and the U.S. is establishing “a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support.” The Saudi army was deployed along its border with Yemen due to the advance of Houthi rebels near the boundary.
UNRWA concerned about Palestine refugees
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has expressed concern about the situation of Palestinian refugees. The spokesperson for the UN agency tasked with providing aid for Palestinians, Christopher Gunness, made the remarks in a statement issued after it was revealed that nine Palestinians were among as many as 50 migrants who drowned in a boat-wreckage incident off the Italian coast near the island of Sicily early in March. “The fact that this group reportedly consisted of Palestine refugees from Syria, as well as from Gaza and Lebanon, is a clear and tragic sign that Palestine refugees are finding life in Syria and beyond increasingly untenable,” Gunness said in the statement. “These tragedies... stem not only from armed conflict, occupation and a lack of protection of human
rights, but more fundamentally from the failure to resolve the Palestine refugee problem,” he said. Palestinians are facing the Israeli occupation and atrocities in the occupied territories. The Palestinian refugees are also encountering a deadly crisis in Syria and severe living conditions in neighboring countries such as Lebanon. “At a time of rising extremism in the Middle East region, the failure of the international community to resolve the Palestinian issue takes on an added significance,” Gunness further noted. Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the territory from the outside world, has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis in the densely-populated enclave. Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on
the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of alQuds. According to the information on the website of UNRWA on March 21, there are as many as 526,744 registered Palestine refugees in nine camps in Syria. The data also show that 1,258,559 registered Palestine refugees are living in eight camps in the besieged Gaza Strip and there are 762,288 registered Palestine refugees in 19 camps in the occupied West Bank. It also shows that as many as 449,957 registered Palestine refugees are residing in 12 camps in Lebanon and a total number of 2,097,338 registered Palestine refugees in ten camps in Jordan.
I April 2015
France new ‘anti-terror’ bill attacked
Pro-democracy campaigners have attacked a controversial draft “antiterror” law which grants more power to intelligence services in France. The criticism came after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls unveiled the bill, which allows intelligence agents to directly monitor citizens’ personal phone and Internet information. Valls told a press conference in Paris that he had presented the draft law to the Council of Ministers and it would be submitted “soon” to the parliament. He said the bill, which can
force communication companies to sift through clients’ phone and Internet data, would not allow “mass surveillance and will not be a French Patriot Act”. The bill gives Intelligence agencies the power to have real time access to connection data, content of emails, key loggers and phone or mobile geo-location without seeking permission from a judge. The bill calls also for the creation of a new administrative body, the National Committee of Intelligence Technical Control (CNCTR), composed of nine
members, including four judges, four MPs and a specialist in electronic communication, which will be particularly responsible for verifying the compliance of monitoring measures with law. But French Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net, a French non-profit association which defends the rights and freedom of citizens on the Internet, said the draft law was a threat to fundamental civil rights. The group said in a statement: “The French parliament should do their duty of controlling, reasoning and of defending the civil rights of citizens against this dangerous bill, and calls citizens on to mobilize against it.” The association said experience worldwide proved that mass surveillance did not lower the risk of violent crimes. “The path taken by the French government is bound to establish a new era of general suspicion, marking an historical withdrawal from the separation of powers and fundamental rights,” it said. La Quadrature du Net said that if the bill is adopted by the French parliament “the conditions for a correct exercise of democracy in France will no longer be met”.
New Zealand hotel and tourism operators are being urged to step up efforts to grab a slice of the US $137 billion a year global halal tourism market. Associate Professor Asad Mohsin, an expert in tourism at the University of Waikato, is the co-founder and chair of New Zealand’s only Halal Tourism Symposium. This one-day event aims to help tourism operators understand how to promote New Zealand as a more favorable ‘halal friendly’ destination for Muslim holidaymakers and business travelers; by making it easier for them to comply with Islamic religious beliefs during their stay in New Zealand. The tourism sector already
contributes around $15 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP, and the economic potential of halal tourism to add to our national income is huge, says Dr Mohsin. “The intention is simply to make these tourists feel more relaxed and welcome in our country.” “It’s important for New Zealand’s tourism industry to continuously explore new and emerging markets to create value and sustain profits,” says Dr Mohsin. “For example, Indonesia is home to around 220 million Muslims and is one of the world’s fastest growing economies – Indonesia’s citizens spent $7.2 billion on tourism in 2012 alone, but few of them ever visit New Zealand.” Muslim travelers from the Middle
East currently favour Europe and the UK for their family holidays. “At least four international hotel chains in Europe have started to advertise that they cater specifically for halal tourists, and their business has increased as a result.” New Zealand could market itself as the next exciting hotspot on their itinerary. “We need to raise local awareness about halal tourism in New Zealand and try to catch up.” However, there are many misconceptions around what halal tourism is. One of the biggest challenges will be educating New Zealand tourism operators on how easy it can be to serve the needs of Muslim visitors without having to spend thousands of dollars, he says.
NZ urged to go the extra mile to attract halal tourists
I April 2015
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Muslims who saved Jews in WW2 honored at exhibition 16
There’s a little-known story about Muslims and Jews in World War II that helped to create a code of honour that still exists today. A new exhibition launching at Melbourne’s Jewish Holocaust Centre will paint a picture of how Muslims saved the lives of many Jewish people in Albania during World War II. The article in the New Daily, it explains how the exhibition is in part an attempt to combat the rising
Islamophobia in the Western world, as well are recent incidences of antiSemitism – such as the recent attack on a Jewish kosher supermarket in Paris just days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. “The exhibition aims to show the common humanity we all share and to counter the paranoia of Islam,” Mr Gershman says. While other occupied European countries folded under the Nazi Party’s power and had their Jewish
Copenhagen modern Mosque approved Copenhagen municipality has approved plans for a new mosque, to be designed by a renowned Danish architect, offering the Muslim community a modern-looking house of worship. “With the proposal being designed by Henning Larsen Architects, the mosque will become more accessible to the city, while one of Copenhagen’s slightly forgotten districts receives a new architectonic pearl,” Morten Kabell, the city’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental issues, told the Copenhagen Post. Proposed by the Muslim faith group, Islamisk Trossamfund, the new mosque will replace a current mosque located on the corner of Dortheavej and Tomsgårdsvej in the Nordvest district of the city. According to the application, it will be designed by the renowned
architect firm Henning Larsen Architects. A local planning proposal is expected to be ready in August, after which it will be sent to a hearing before being sent to the citizenry representation, which is expected to take place in February 2016. ”It shows the younger generation that they are welcome here, while still respecting the older generation,” Imran Shah, a spokesperson for Islamisk Trossamfund, told TV2. “There are so many lovely underlying signals in this project.” Islam is Denmark’s second largest religion after the Lutheran Protestant Church, which is actively followed by four-fifths of the country’s population. Denmark is home to a Muslim minority of 200,000, making three percent of the country’s 5.4 million population.
I April 2015
population systematically sent to concentration camps, Albania resisted Adolf Hitler’s orders and refused to hand over their Jewish citizens. This move helped to found a sort of ethical code in Albania, called “Besa” that still survives today. Besa, meaning ‘to keep the promise’ comes from the notion that you can trust someone to protect your life and keep a secret. It spurred the mainly Muslim population of Albania to protect their persecuted countrymen and women as well as Jewish refugees that arrived in Albania. The Albanian government provided many Jewish families with false papers so they would not have to live in hiding and opened their borders to Jewish refugees. Not a single Jew was taken from Albania to a concentration camp. Albania was the only European country that experienced a growth in its Jewish population during World War II, with up to 1800 Jews moving to Albania during the period.
World Bank suspends Yemen projects
A World Bank official in Yemen said “The World Bank will suspend funding projects in Yemen due to the dangerous political and security situation”. Yemen’s political situation has deteriorated markedly since the powerful Shiite Houthi group took over government institutions in capital Sanaa last month. The takeover prompted embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to declare a temporary capital in the southern city of Aden, from which he hopes to reinstate his administration. The World Bank recently pledged $400 million to support three new development projects in Yemen. The fractious country has been roiled by chaos since last September, when the Houthis took over Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their control to other parts of the country.
I April 2015
Germany to have Islamic bank www.pi-media.co.uk
Germany is about to grant license to the first fully operational Islamic bank in the European country, which will operate under the guidelines of Islamic laws. “Our market research has shown, that 21 percent of Muslims in this country would see an Islamic bank as their natural household bank,” Kemal Ozan, managing director of Kuveyt Turk Bank AG, told the Handelsblatt newspaper. Ozan added that the Kuveyt Turk hoped to tap into a wealth of potential customers in Germany, particularly among the four million Muslims who reside in the country, OnIslam.net reported.
The new bank will be called KT Bank AG and use Frankfurt as its base, aiming to tap Europe’s secondlargest Muslim community, many of whose members are of Turkish descent. Kuveyt Turk, the largest Islamic bank in Turkey and 62 percent owned by Kuwait Finance House, set up a financial services branch in Mannheim in 2010 and applied for a full banking license in 2012. At the time, the lender said it would invest initial capital of 45 million euros ($48.7 million) in the planned German unit. Islam forbids Muslims from usury, receiving or paying interest on loans.
Turkey slams collaboration with PKK
The Turkish military high command has rubbished claims that its armed forces recently collaborated with outlawed separatist Kurdish organizations. In a statement released on its official website, the Turkish General Staff dismissed allegations that the Turkish Armed Forces, or the TSK, collaborated with terrorist organizations such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK, and the Democratic Union Party, or the PYD. “We strongly condemn media outlets and persons making such baseless allegations against the honorable, dignified and proud National Army of Turkey in front of our Turkish nation,” the statement said. The statement was released in the aftermath of PKK jailed leader’s Newroz message on March 21 that
said: “The PKK must convene a congress to end the 40-year armed conflict with Turkey.” The TSK statement also said that it was out of question for the armed forces to cooperate with terrorist organizations. Upon instructions and orders by the Turkish government, the Turkish Armed Forces would continue to fight against all forms of terrorism which target the Turkish state and nation, the statement added. The Turkish government launched an initiative in early 2013, known as the “solution process,” to end the decades-old conflict with the outlawed PKK, which has to date claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people. Turkey as well as the U.S. and EU list PKK as a terrorist organization. www.pi-media.co.uk
Shari`ah-compliant financing deals resemble lease-to-own arrangements, layaway plans, joint purchase and sale agreements, or partnerships. Investors have a right to know how their funds are being used, and the sector is overseen by dedicated supervisory boards as well as the usual national regulatory authorities. Over the past years, Islamic finance has been slow to gain a foothold in Europe. Britain remains Europe’s main Islamic finance hub, with five full-fledged Islamic banks, with a Luxembourg venture also planning to launch an Islamic lender of its own. In 2004, the German state of Saxony-Anhalt raised 100 million euros via Islamic bonds, with Munich-based FWU Group tapping the market in 2012 and 2013.
Buddhist scholar from India embraces Islam A Buddhist scholar from India has converted to Islam in Turkey. According to trt.turk website, 33-year-old Shilendra Sing embraced Islam following extensive research on the religion. His interest in Islam began when he was studying for MA in a Malaysian university. “In Malaysia, when I looked at my Arab friends saying prayers, I felt a void in my life. I felt I was too distant from God. That is why I started to do research on Islam”. Sing then went to Turkey to get his PhD at Hacettepe University in Ankara. It was there that he finally took the decision to become a Muslim. “I studied for ten years to fill the spiritual emptiness I felt in me and now I think the best thing to do fill this void is reading verses from the Holy Quran,” he says. Sing has chosen the name Ali as his new first name due to his great devotion to Imam Ali (AS). He says he has been really inspired by the great character of the Imam (AS).
I WORLD NEWS
www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2015
34,000 Gazan women displaced since Israeli onslaught In Case You Missed It
Last year’s Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip has led to the displacement of 34,697 Palestinian women, while 791 others lost their spouses, a Palestinian NGO said. “Israel committed war crimes against Gazan women,” Al-Mezan
Center for Human Rights said in a statement marking International Women’s Day. “According to the monitoring and documentation operations carried out by the center, last summer’s Israeli war on the strip has left 293 women
dead,” the NGO said. “Moreover, 34,697 women have been displaced after their homes were destroyed, while Israeli forces razed 2,604 other homes owned by women,” the NGO added. The center added that “791 Gazan women have lost their husbands because of the war, and 600 others suffered abortions.” Women in Gaza are living under dire conditions due to the Israeli blockade on the strip, which has been imposed since 2007, coupled with destruction caused by the 51-day onslaught on the strip last year, which left over 2,000 dead and thousands injured, the NGO noted. The center urged international rights group to support Gazan women and protect them against the continuous Israeli violations they’re forced to endure.
Rome tries to stop ‘Anti Mosque laws’ in Lombardy
Italy moved to block new building regulations in one of its provinces that would make it much harder for Muslims to build mosques there. The regulations, passed by a right-wing-led local council in January, are possible because Islam is the only major faith that is not an established religion in Italy. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s centrist-left government said it would refer the new rules passed in Lombardy, a northern Italian province bordering Switzerland, to the Constitutional Court for review. The decision elicited a harsh response from Matteo Salvini, an outspoken, up-and-coming anti-Islam politician who heads the right-wing Northern League, according to Agence France-Presse. Salvini’s party, which often pillories immigrants and the eurozone as being responsible for Italy’s economic problems, controls a majority stake in the ruling political
coalition in Lombardy, a region of 10 million people. The controversial rules apply to the posh fashion capital of the province, Milan, the country’s second-largest city, which has a sizable Muslim population. The regulations that went into effect in January say that any group that wants to build a house of worship of a faith not recognized by the state, “would be subject to an extensive list of special restrictions,” ranging from the size of associated parking facilities, to the outward appearance of the buildings, according to Al Jazeera. The primary religion in Italy is Roman Catholicism, and about 80 percent of the population identifies as Roman Catholic or as a member of another Christian faith. But the country also has significant religious minorities of Jews, Sikhs and Muslims. About 1 million Italians identify as Muslim. Since the early 1980s, Italy
has given taxpayer revenue to religious faiths the government recognizes. The funds are used largely for the upkeep of religious structures, including Jewish and Buddhist temples, Greek Orthodox churches, and Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations.But mosques aren’t on the list. The Mosque (or Masjid) of Rome -- completed in 1995 as a goodwill gesture to help diminish a long history of animosity between Catholics and Muslims -- is the only Islamic structure that has received government recognition, and funds, in Italy. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found that Italians -- at 63 percent of respondents -- lead Western Europe in holding “unfavorable” views of Muslims. Greeks came in second, at 53 percent, while a majority of French, British and Germans viewed Muslims favorably.
First Muslim college in America accredited
I April 2015
WORLD NEWS I 19
In a historic first for the United States, an American Muslim college has now joined the nation’s community of accredited institutions of higher education. Last month the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) granted Zaytuna College accreditation. WASC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and accredits institutions in several Western states, including Zaytuna’s
neighbors such as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. Accreditation from WASC is a mark of credibility, and after extensive collaboration they passed on the decision to grant Zaytuna College accreditation. This effectively affirms Zaytuna’s strong educational mission and organization as well as its commitment to institutional quality, financial stability and
accountability. It helps ensure that Zaytuna successfully fulfills the objectives outlined in its curriculum, which grounds its students in both the Islamic and Western scholarly traditions. Zaytuna College takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of humanities and social sciences. The College’s liberal arts program consists of subjects like American history, ethics, philosophy, literature and logic. As a Liberal Arts institution, Zaytuna believes in the need to equip its students with the basic tools for the acquisition of knowledge, along with a broad understanding of American and Islamic culture and history. It is with this grounding in the Islamic scholarly tradition and understanding of American society and history which will allow Zaytuna College students to establish Islam as a healthy feature of American society. Zaytuna College courses on Islam include Islamic History, English Composition, Islamic Theology, Islamic Law and Arabic.
India’s BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that mosque is not a religious place but is just a building that can be demolished any time. His remarks in Guwahati, the state of Assam, have triggered protests in the state and led to slapping of a criminal case against him, The Hindustan Times reported. Swamy cited the “example” of mosques demolished for construction of roads in Saudi Arabia. “A mosque is not a religious place. It is just a building. It can be demolished any time. If anyone disagrees with me on this, I am ready to have a debate on the issue, I got this information from people of Saudi Arabia,” he said at a religious event. The BJP leader then went on to claim that all Indian Muslims were
Hindus. He repeated the controversial comments at another function in Guwahati. Protesting Swamy’s comments, a number of organizations in the state burnt the effigies of the BJP national executive member. The police also registered an FIR under IPC sections 120 (B) [criminal conspiracy] and 153 (A) [promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion] against Swamy following a complaint by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS). “Ahead of Assembly elections, the BJP is trying to create communal disturbance in the state. The controversial statement made by Swamy against Muslims is part of this conspiracy. We condemn it and
demand Assam government to ban the entry of Subramanian Swamy into the state,” said Akhil Gogoi, KMSS president. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi also slammed Swamy and his party, saying “BJP will have to pay a heavy price for hurting Assamese sentiments”. Sensing people’s anger, the state BJP tried to distance itself from the remarks. “These are Swamy’s personal statements, not of our party’s. But we will write to our central leadership over this issue,” said Assam BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharyya. Assam Wakf Board, All Assam Minority Students Union and other Muslim organizations have sought action against Swamy.
BJP leader claims Mosque Is not a religious place
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WORLD NEWS I 21
German high court overturns headscarf ban for teachers
Germany’s highest court struck down a state law banning teachers from wearing headscarves as unconstitutional, saying it violates the right to religious freedom. The Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling came in the case of two female Muslim teachers from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, but will also apply to the several other German states that have headscarf bans. It
came after more than 12 years of legal battles, and the issue already made it to the high court in Karlsruhe in 2003, when judges ruled that headscarves were allowed unless banned by specific laws. That prompted several states to pass those laws. “A blanket ban on religious expression in public schools based upon the outward appearance of
Australian Muslims launch TV channel
Taking a step forward towards defending their true faith, Sydney Muslims have launched a $1 million television studio to counter wrong depiction of Islam in mainstream media. “This is a time where there is a lot of pressure on the Muslim community,” the head of the network, Malaz Majanni, told ABC news. “Unfortunately, you do find that with the mainstream media, sometimes we are misrepresented, lost in translation and here we are able to make sure that a clear message is sent out,” he said. Majanni said the studio was funded by community donations and
staffed by a team of more than 20 volunteers. The project was endorsed by a wide range of prominent Muslim figures, including the grand mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, and Associate Professor Mohamad Abdalla from Griffith University who appeared in a promotional video. Known as a dawah initiative, the studio aims to spread the word of Islam among Muslims and nonMuslims alike. Covering Muslim news in Australia, the new studio follows major events to provide its own take on them, including the Sydney siege. www.pi-media.co.uk
educators is not compatible with their religious freedoms,” the court said in a statement. The North Rhine-Westphalia state law banned headscarves on grounds they could call into question a teacher’s neutrality and cause classroom disruptions. But the court ruled a school would need to show “not only an abstract but a sufficiently specific risk” to justify a ban. The court also said a clause excepting “Christian and Western educational and cultural values or traditions” from the state’s ban violated the constitution’s protection against discrimination on religious grounds. Following the ruling, the state said it would re-examine its law and make the necessary changes.
Georgia Muslims Launch online TV The Muslims affairs department in the Republic of Georgia has inaugurated an online television. It is aimed at developing religious teachings and disseminating information to Muslims in the country, islam.az website reported. Sheikh Ramin Igidov, head of the department, said the online TV will serve the religion and the Muslim society. Georgia is a predominantly Christian country in the Caucasus region. Islam in Georgia was introduced in the early years after the advent of the religion. Currently, Muslims constitute approximately ten percent of the country’s population.
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German footballer says Islam changed his life for better
German footballer Danny Blum who has recently announced his reversion to Islam says the religion has changed his life for the better. last month, he took the decision to revert to Islam, joining the world’s fastest growing religion, IINA
reported. “Living in the lap of luxury. Every weekend make alarm. No responsibility for anything. And what actually comes after retirement?” the questions came to Blum as he sat at home.
“I learned about Islam via my friends and later studied books about the religion and did some online research. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that this is what I have been looking for,” he stated. “I accepted Islam as my faith and I am certain that it is the best way of life,” the FC Nürnberg player stressed. Blum further described Islam as a religion of hope and strength, saying “Islam gave me strength. Pray calms my soul.” Blum joined FC Nürnberg in Bavaria last July. The team plays in the he Second Division of professional football in Germany, the Bundesliga. Ever since, he prays five times a day and eat halal food. Informing his parents with his decision, the 24year-old player said they were scared at first. “They are devout Christians. But soon they said that I have to go that route if I believe that it is right,” he said.
Newly-appointed head coach Shakeel Ahmad wants to advance Pakistan rugby and put it to road of success. Talking to The Nation, former rugby team captain Shakeel, who recently returned home after completing his coaching courses from New Zealand, said: “I have learnt advance rugby while doing coaching courses from New Zealand. I want to implement those modern and advance techniques to Pakistan rugby which will ultimately help the national team produce better results while playing against the best in the business.” “Sheer love for my country brought me here to serve it in the best possible manner. I am very
thankful to PRU president Fawzi Khawaja, secretary Arif Saeed and the team mismanagement for providing me opportunity to serve my country. I want to improve standard of Pakistan rugby by utilizing all my skills and experience,” he asserted. About his first assignment of three-nation 15-aside tournament in Tashkent in May, the head coach said: “I am very positive about my team’s performance in the upcoming international event which is my first assignment as a head coach. I hope the boys will play quality rugby and produce 100 per cent results during the three-nation event in Tashkent.” About progress of rugby in Pakistan, Shakeel said: “Pakistan has great potential as far as the
game of rugby is concerned but there is a dire need to hunt and groom fresh talent. If provided with latest and advance facilities under proper coaching and guidance, they can be a precious rugby asset for the country.” Lauding the services of Pakistan Rugby Union (PRU), he said: “Pakistan rugby is progressing fast under its dynamic leadership as it president Fawzi Khawaja, secretary Arif Saeed and the team management are committed to promote the game across the country and have been providing each and every facility to the players. I hope the boys will utilize all their energies under my coaching and win more and more laurels for the country.”
New head coach wants to advance Pakistan Rugby
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I April 2015
Super Bowl champ Dominique Easley embraces Islam www.pi-media.co.uk
In Case You Missed It
The American footballer Dominique Easley has revealed his reversion to Islam on social networks a few days ago, drawing praise from his fans who showered him with messages of support. “Many things happened in my life, and I’ve been lost for 22 yrs. Today I’ve found my guidance to paradise. #AllahuAkbar,” Dominique Easley wrote on Twitter. The New England Patriots’ player announced his decision on Twitter, sparking a wave of praise on social media. His Twitter post has been retweeted more than 5,150 times and generated hundreds of comments since its release. “@DominiqueEasley Alhamdullilah! May Almighty make this journey a beautiful one, may he add more blessings into your life and grant you Jannah,” a twitter user commented on Easley’s post. “All my respect brother! May Allah bless you inshaAllah!” another one wrote. The Patriots’ defense interior player shared his reversion to Islam
on Instagram too, attracting more than 1,200 likes and dozens of encouraging comments. Born in April 1992, Easley has signed a four-year-contract with the New England Patriots in 2014. The contract is believed to worth $7.3 million. The population of the US Muslims is estimated between 6-8 million. A US survey has revealed that the
Aqeel leads Pakistan to Davis Cup win over Kuwait
Pakistan’s longest serving number 1 tennis player once again came to the rescue of Pakistan as he won the 5th reverse singles match to ensure Pakistan beat Kuwait 3-2 in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II match being played at the neutral venue of SLTA Tennis Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka last month. Pakistan’s premier player Aisamul-Haq Qurehi was un available for the reverse singles due to getting ill
and his replacement Abid Ali Akbar lost against Kuwait’s M Ghareeb 3-2 in a 3 hour and 58 minute match and Kuwait leveled the tie at 2-2. It was all left on Aqeel to carve out victory for Pakistan, in which Aqeel like in the number of occasions in the past did not disappoint the nation and rose up to the occasion to win the match and tie for Pakistan. Now Pakistan would take on Indonesia in the next round in July.
majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith. A Gallup poll also found that the majority of US Muslims are patriot and loyal to their country and are optimistic about their future. An Economist/YouGov poll found that a large majority of Americans believe that US Muslims are victims of discrimination amid recent attacks against the community.
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Media: Demonising of a community
In the last decade, best academic studies reveal horrific statistics suggesting that since the 9/11, in Britain nearly 700 mosques that are almost half of the British mosques have been attacked or vandalised. What is that mosques to do with political issues are yet a significant question to answer? Professor Nigel Copsey and his associates at the University of Teesside furnished a report; “AntiMuslim Hate Crime and the Far Right” was published in June 2013 and disclosed a few disturbing facts for instance a record increase in hate crime aimed at British Muslims coupled with religiously motivated attacks on Muslims. Further, it carries one of the several ill-minded perceptions grounded in the society about Islam. Take a look at a popular BNP leaflet entitled ‘The Truth about I.S.L.A.M’ with I.S.L.A.M supposedly an acronym for “Intolerance, Slaughter, Looting, Arson and Moletastation of women”. All this is an indication of what the press and its partners like politicians, pressure groups, police and public bodies an alliance of ‘Ps’ frequently says about Islam brainwashing the public that every social-ill is an outcome of Islam and Muslims
www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2015
presence here. According to a Mori-Poll survey published on 29 October 2014, for the ordinary British people NHS, economy and the unemployment are most pressing issues facing Britain today. But newspapers pages and television screens 24/7 suggesting a reverse scenario that it is the Islam and Muslims that are a nuisance. Historically, the British media has a defined enemy at all times: war or peace, home and abroad, it is apolitical tactics to keep people busy thinking and feeling fearful of unknown so that they could pay little attention to people in powers corruptions. This is why most sections of the British media often busy in demonizing, stigmatizing and stereotyping certain groups of people both home and abroad. Surprisingly, this pre-World War trend still continues today, it is indeed not a secret the way migrant Jews were portrayed at first during the 1940s. Later on, the British media turned its cannons towards incoming Irish and Scottish migrants to Britain. Surely, it is because of such negative and unconstructive image of these communities that has aided to contrast anti-Irish atmosphere and put them in dangerous situations.
Migrant Jews, Irish, Scottish, Afro-Caribbean’s and other Black Africans, Gypsies and various other ethnic as well as white groups for instance white working class mine worker and benefits dependants are all evident that most sections of the British media have for all times a avowed ‘enemy’. Labels like “terrorists”, “criminals”, “illegal”, and “job-seekers”, “benefits cheats”, are most common tags reserved for Tamils, Gurkhas and South Asians who had fought for Britain’s glory on several fronts including World Wars I and II. The racial murders, hate crimes, riots and social disturbances in Britain in the last many decades are a product of bad press. An illustration of this could be recent anti-Polish sentiments in the British public according to The Guardian investigative report 11 June 2014 that says, “Tenfold rise in attacks since 2004 blamed on recession, benefit cuts and stereotyping by politicians”. The dehumanizing descriptions of Irish travelers in the nineteenth century and the discriminations of black Africans mainly Caribbean’s in some ways produce indecent slogans like “No Irish Need Apply” and “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” that are strains on a country forehead
I April 2015
that proudly market itself as promoter of iconic values including human rights and equality. Possibly, not all the media staffers and organizations or politicians could be held responsible for creating anti-immigrant or Muslims feelings in the society but a vast majority of them do involve in malpractices and campaigns to single out Muslims. A glance over tabloids stories could help understand the antiMuslim environment in Britain. An immediate reaction to Norway Massacre in 2011 as appeared in The Sun on 23 July 2011 was a moronic headline: ‘Al-Qaeda Massacre’: Norway’s 9/11 but within hours it became known an act of Christian terrorist who was presented as ‘mad, psycho and ill-mannered’. This situation testifies that for most sections of the British media especially tabloids British Muslims are the most troublesome individuals who are responsible for every social, cultural and economic problem that Britain faces in contemporary periods particularly since the 9/11. These tabloids never miss any opportunity to single out Muslims or attack Islam, famous for their ‘S’ brand stories listing as: sex, scoop, scandals, sports and soap push their reporters to produce fictions stories on Islam. In March 2011, Daily Star reporter, Richard Peppiatt publically confess of producing fictional stories about celebrities and accused his newspaper of inciting racial tensions and Islamophobia in the society. Since the 7/7, Islam and Muslims stories hit front pages with constant intervals. In 2006, Britain plunged over a veil debate whilst the following year in January 2008 Bishop Michael Nazir Ali blamed the British Muslims for creating No-Go-Zones for nonMuslims. Next, in February 2008, the storm of criticism gathered around Muslims because of Rowan Williams Sharia remarks that were taken out of context. People barely came out of these hysterias as on 8 august 2009, The Telegraph claimed in its headline, “Muslim Europe: the demographic time bomb transforming our continent” fuelling hatred and fear of Muslims. Whilst the reality was completely
FEATURED I 25
opposite as exposed in a Pew report “The Future of the Global Muslim Population” published on 27 January 2011. The fact of the matter is media frequently stir hatred and spread panic through random scary stories about Islam and Muslims. Recent years saw a persistent increase in counterfeit stories about Islam such as Trojan Horse scandal. Seems an unending crisis, take for instance, Halal (2010) hysteria based on inapt argument that because Muslims slaughter animals therefore they are cruel in comparison to western way of injecting animals that is less painful. Do we have any scale for measuring animal pains? Or whether the way kosher meat is obtained using ‘Shechita’ (slaughtering) method is healthier because animals can still live after their slaughter/ death? What is the difference between death sentence using a lethal injection or hanging someone since in both ways the person could not be able to survive? Do we have scientific studies backing either sides arguments relating to these issues? Just on the other day someone at the University Leeds told me that [Muslims] have four wives? I said do you have any data that show how many in the Muslims world actually have four wives? Or have you read chapters’ An-Nisa or AL-Talaq in Quran that describes women rights including marriage and divorce issues? Silenced! I probe further and asked her about Adventure and One Night Stands that allows western males ending up sleeping with unlimited women in a year? Reminded her about stories British celebrities’ men and women who had slept with thousand male and females? Is this logical and morally good? As people are celebrating the Easter, it is the best time to recall an historic event that occurred on seaside towns across the South-east like Brighton beaches in the spring of 1964. Two groups of white working class youths ‘Mods and Rockers’ labelled as ‘violent’, drug takers’, and ‘dissolute’ who came to beaches and beat each other to an extent that
press explained it as: “Riot police fly to seaside”. The incident paved the way for the birth of a new sociological concept “Folk Devils and Moral Panics” pioneered by Stanley Cohen who observed and recorded the incidents as a student. A glimpse of headlines relating to the “Mods and Rockers” event in both “redtop tabloids” and mainstream broadsheets press that even proclaim to be carriers of serious and investigative journalism published sensation headlines including: Daily Telegraph, “Day of terror by scooter groups”, Daily Express; “Youngsters beat up town - 97 leather jacket arrests” and Daily Mirror, “Wild Ones invade seaside-97 arrests”. Whilst nasty phrases were used to describe these groups such as : Evening Argus, “Battle of Brighton”; Daily Sketch, “Wildest Ones Yet ”; Sunday Dispatch, “War on Teddy Boys” reminded us that those “Mods and Rockers” have now been replaced with Muslim Youth. In many ways, of course there is no denial of extremism and radicalisation among few young Muslims but surely not on a colossal scale as the press and its co-actors, pressure groups, public bodies, police and frequently highlight in public discussions, press reports and various other forms and places resulting in causing a panic. After 40 years The Independent investigative journalist Robin Stummer on 4 April 2004 revealed that the incident was staged more by the press that paid exaggerated the event, quoting, David Cooke, a Brighton-based mod who disclosed that, “There are famous photographs taken in Brighton where the photographer paid the lads a few shillings” At the heights of conflicting atmosphere worldwide, sections of the British media honestly ask itself what sort of service it is offering to a multicultural society. Once again, are we not indirectly forcing one set of people namely Muslims to leave Britain like ‘Mods and Rockers’ many of whom ended up in India resulting from notorious labelling and being marginalised? By: Irfan Raja Independent Journalist
I I FEATURED - EDUCATION FOCUS
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needed. Critical thinking skills are evaluating the quality of sources of information, developing a strong line of reasoning based on sound evidence, interpretation material, data and theories. Creative problem-solving and synthesis means drawing on diverse knowledge and skills to create new ways of looking at an issue or to find new solutions. Understanding is making sense of complex and - difficult data and concepts, including problems without clear- cut answers. Tutors at Improve Tuition develop all these skills at the learners own pace. Learners are aided in developing good written and communication skills by their tutors. Precision is using words and data accurately and succinctly, and keeping to word limits. Structure and clarity are important a learner must be able to organise his/ ideas
I April 2015
and use clear line of reasoning. Particularly a leaner must be aware of style and format for specific kind of tasks such as essays, reports and problem solving. Tutors teach learners to cite and reference sources correctly and appropriately. Subject discipline is essential a learner must know how to use the style and format and conventions used in his/her subject. John Ware â€œAfter a short time joining Improve Tuition Iâ€™m much more aware of study skills that I need to succeed and I am developing my written communication skills wellâ€?. Faheem Hussain Head of online tutoring USA, online tutors Canada . Online tutor UK www.improvetuition.org
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in this issue, shaker aamer, last Guantanamo detainee, halal, British farmers, NFL, Pakistan tennis,