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Snoopers’ clears first Al Ahli links up with The Islamic hurdle at parliament La Liga in intriguing deal Caliphate

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Right Wing Lobby Target Gazan Orphan Fundraiser Issue: 96

April 2016

Approved by

World Charity Organisation (WCO) found itself under intense media scrutiny following a concerted effort led by the right wing lobby comprising of individuals from mainstream political and media d by Certifie

outlets to sabotage a keynote charity fundraising event to be held in Dewsbury UK on the 30th of April 2016. Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff who had agreed to be the guest speaker

BRITISH MIDDLE EAST follow us on fb pimedia LIBRARY PRESS CORP

for the event headlined ‘A Gazan Cry: Voices from Palestine pulled out of the event after allegedly hearing that WCO would be imposing segregation policy at the event due to be held on the 30th of Continued on page 4

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I COMMENT

thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2016

By Silkie Carlo

Policy Officer @ Liberty (Technology and Surveillance)

The IP Bill: the good, the bad and the downright scary Last month saw the draft version came in for severe criticism from no less than three cross-party committees – the Home Office published its Investigatory Powers Bill. In an accompanying statement, Theresa May said she was “pleased to say that the revised Bill, along with the supporting material that we are publishing alongside it, give effect to the vast majority of the recommendations made by the three Committees”. Hooray, you might say! Parliamentary scrutiny in action! Except that’s not the case. The Home Office didn’t even take the time to give the bill a proper facelift, let alone implement many of the committees’ 123 recommended changes. Here are the good, the bad and the downright scary revisions that have – and haven’t – been made. What’s better Nothing. What’s worse The “revised” Bill has actually extended its already widely condemned plans to gather and store our internet browsing histories. Under the new Bill, police will be able to access the full history of internet connections, rather than just those relating to illegal sites and social media. There are new plans for communications at immigration detention centres to be intercepted as a matter of routine. And, in an extraordinary move with potentially ruinous repercussions for lawyer-client confidentiality, it extends police hacking powers to cover immigration and nationality offences. What’s frightening

Powers to hack thousands or even millions of devices en masse remain – in spite of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) recommendations that they be removed. Bulk hacking is an incredibly intrusive and potentially dangerous power that could seriously threaten everybody’s data security– yet the Home Office remains bent on legalising it despite admitting the Home Secretary can’t fully assess “the necessity and proportionality” of each hack before issuing a warrant for it. The state will still be able to access bulk personal datasets - massive files of highly personal information (everything from political views to medical records) on thousands of innocent people. Despite the committees’ protests, the intelligence agencies still wouldn’t even need a specific warrant to collect each dataset. The intelligence agencies will still be able to gather and analyse the internet histories of the entire population. The ISC gave the draft bill’s pitiful privacy protections a slating, and said robust safeguards should form “an integral part of the legislation”. So the Home Office changed the title of the “General Protections” section to “General Privacy Protections”. Nothing else in the section has been changed. This astonishingly superficial change does absolutely nothing to protect the privacy of every person in Britain, which is compromised beyond reason by this Bill. MPs, journalists and lawyers still stand to have their communications spied on: If the authorities want to look at MPs’ communications relating to constituency matters (but not national, personal or any other issues), the Prime Minister must give

the nod Lawyers’ communications can be obtained so long as there is an “exceptional and compelling” reason. “Exceptional and compelling” are not defined. Journalists have no protection from hacking or interception. Their only safeguard is that a judge must sign off any plans to gather their communications data if the stated intention is to identify a source. Targeted surveillance warrants could still be ‘thematic’ – which means they could cover thousands of people who “share a common purpose” or “carry out a particular activity” – and breach human rights. Both the ISC and the Joint Committee on the Bill warned against this. The Home Office ignored recommendations for an independent Intelligence and Surveillance Commission – sticking instead with its plans for Judicial Commissioners, appointed by the Prime Minister and funded by the Home Secretary, to both authorise and oversee the use of surveillance powers – i.e. to mark their own homework. Judicial Commissioners are still not required (and might not be able to) make merits-based decisions on whether to approve the Home Secretary’s surveillance warrants. As before, they only have the power to rubber stamp. In short, this Bill still needs a huge amount of work. In fact it is so fundamentally flawed in its current form that it cannot be allowed to pass into law. In the coming months, Liberty will be campaigning for mass surveillance provisions to be stripped out, and strong privacy safeguards to be introduced. By joining Liberty today, and signing up to our Safe and Sound 8 Point Plan, you can help us ensure surveillance is proportionate, transparent and targeted.

Write to: Editor, PI Media, c/o PKWA, Off Manor Way, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 7BX or email: info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk - mob: 07506 466 385


I April 2016

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UK arrested record number of child terror suspects in 2015 www.pi-media.co.uk

Britain has arrested a record number of teenagers on suspicion of terrorism offenses, according to new government figures. The U.K. Home Office announced

NEWS

sixteen people under the age of 18 had been arrested in 2015, an increase of 60% on the previous year and the highest since records began in 2001.

There was also an increase in the number of women arrested, although the overall number of terror arrests across the country fell slightly to 280. The Home Office bulletin, which is updated once every three months, said the overall fall in arrests was driven by a drop in the numbers held on suspicion of domestic terrorism offenses. The statistics appeared to harmonize with U.K. authorities’ fears that Muslims and young people are being drawn into extremist activities. In January, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his government would fund free English language lessons for vulnerable Muslim women in a bid a curb extremism. “But if you’re not able to speak English, not able to integrate, you may find therefore you have challenges understanding what your identity is and therefore you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from ISIL,” he said at the time.


Right Wing lobby target Gazan orphan fundraiser

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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

Continued from front page April 2016 at the Orchid banqueting suite in Dewsbury. Furthermore, Ms Sherriff described as an ‘avowed feminist’ in some media circles claimed that she was not in a position to share a platform with ‘extremists’ seemingly a reference directed to the esteemed and honourable scholar Shaykh Suliman Gani. PI Media has been informed that the account given by the Office of Paula Sherriff MP to the Independent newspaper does not concur with the real official version of events. It transpires that Ms Sherriff was asked by the organisation concerned whether she would be prepared to share a platform with Shaykh Suliman Gani at the event and the former failed to raise any objections or concerns in relation to the staging of the event. Furthermore, in relation to the issue of segregation, the Dewsbury MP was invited and attended a previous event in the run-up to the 2015 General Election as the Labour PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate). Incidentally, the guests at the event were not forced to sit in segregation by the event organisers. Shaykh Suliman Gani told PI

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Media that he strenuously denies being ‘an extremist’ and vehemently rejected all accusations that he has links with extremist groups. In addition to this, the Shaykh has expressed his horror at being associated with the scourge of terrorism and is currently discussing his options at this moment in time in respect of the accusations levelled at him. The Muslim community in Dewsbury has also reacted unfavourably to the words used by the Dewsbury MP in direct reference to Shaykh Suliman Gani which many commentators in the town have argued puts in peril her chances of re-election at the next general election due to be held in May 2020. World Charity Organisation issued a statement in the aftermath of the decision of Paula Sherriff MP to pull out of the charity fundraiser and stated that the event scheduled to take place at the end of April would still be going ahead despite calls being made by several individuals and groups to scrap the event. The charity has claimed that the targeting of Paula Sheriff MP for Dewsbury was a smokescreen

I April 2016

and the real intended target was the organisation itself for the sterling work it is doing in Gaza Palestine. World Charity Organisation (WCO) is a charity that was founded in 2012 by Mr Yusuf Patel who has visited Gaza eight times was greatly moved by the experience and in terms of what he saw concerning the plight of the people of Gaza. WCO in 2015 embarked on the biggest project to date which entails the construction of a purpose built state of the art orphanage and medical centre in Jabaliiyah refugee camp in Gaza costing in the region of £450,000. The charity hopes that once the orphanage is built it will house and cater for the needs of approximately 7,000 out of an estimated 16,000 orphans currently awaiting permanent care and shelter in the Gaza Strip. WCO encourages PI readers all across the globe to show solidarity with the people of Gaza Palestine by digging deep into their pockets donating monies to WCO or buying tickets for the event being held in Dewsbury on the 30th of April 2016. www.pi-media.co.uk

UK sends more troops to train Iraqi’s fighting IS Britain said it was sending more troops to Iraq to bolster its mission training up the armed forces taking on ISIL. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said a further 30 troops would be deployed to provide training in logistics and bridge-building, as well as specialist medical staff. The move would take the total number of British personnel on training missions inside Iraq to 300. The additional troops are expected to be deployed to training camps at Bismayah and Taji outside Baghdad. Fallon said “solid progress” has been made in the fight against ISIL. “Now is the time to step up our training of Iraqi forces, as they

prepare for operations in key cities such as Fallujah and Mosul,” he said. “Along with the trebling of UK air strikes, this underlines the crucial role our armed forces are playing in the fight against Daesh.” British jets have been striking ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria. British Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted four attacks in northern and western Iraq. The day after they carried out five attacks in the

same area, destroying a weapons cache and several ISIL fighting positions, the ministry of defence said.

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I April 2016

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Muslim man saves baby’s life www.pi-media.co.uk

I April 2016

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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In Case You Missed It

A man who saved a baby’s life while shopping in Primark says he has been blown away by the public’s reaction after he was hailed a ‘hero’. Mohammed Sakandar performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the baby after he heard the child’s mother screaming while in the shop in the city centre. The baby was pale and had stopped breathing but he revived the child thanks to his quick-thinking actions. The 31-year-old taxi driver from Oldham has been praised by hundreds of people - and also given special recognition from the head of North West Ambulance Service . Steve Hynes, NWAS Head of Service for Greater Manchester, said: “When someone stops breathing

in a public place it can be a very worrying moment, especially when the patient is as young as this. As a father myself, I can’t imagine how frightening this must have been to both the parents and those witnessing the scene. “On behalf of the Trust I would like to say a huge thank you and well done to the gentleman who administered CPR, there is no doubt that his quick actions helped save this child’s life before our crew arrived on the scene and I’m sure the parents will be forever thankful.” Hundreds took to Facebook to send their praise to Mohammed. Kylie Smyth wrote: “Well done to him. A real hero! Thank goodness he was there terrible to think what could of been if he wasn’t.”

Sarah McNorton wrote: “Wow what an achievement and special moment to know you have saved someone’s life. A baby’s life too!! If I was the mother of that baby you would forever be welcome in my home! Brilliant role model. This is the kind of inspiring headlines I love to see.” Su Stringer wrote: “Well done Mohammed you are truly an Angel. I am sure the little girl’s family are indebted to you for saving their baby’s life. There should be more people like you.” Vicky Smith wrote: “You can only hope that when shock sets in and your unable to help your own child, there is someone like him around to help!! That little girls mum will never forget what he did.” Speaking about the comments, Mohammed told the M.E.N. “I can’t believe the response. It’s been incredible. I never expected this. I have been getting so many Facebook friend requests and people telling me I’m a hero. It’s nice to hear that but I just did what I had to do.” Primark were contacted regarding the man’s actions but refused to comment.

UK sign €2bn combat drone deal

France and Britain inked a deal to invest more than two billion euros in the development of combat drones, Paris said in a statement. Following a two-year feasibility study begun in 2014, “we hope to proceed to the next phase in 2017 to prepare for the fullfledged development of operational demonstrators of air combat drones by 2025,” the statement said. “This test programme, the most advanced in Europe, will be based on a platform of multi-purpose

drones that could provide the basis for future operational capacity beyond 2030,” it said. “We plan to invest more than two billion euros in this programme,” it said, adding that work would be submitted to a technical review around 2020. The British and French governments tasked BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation with the feasibility study in November 2014. The ultimate aim is to have combat drones capable of carrying

out surveillance and observation missions, identifying targets and launching strikes in enemy territory, according to the British defence ministry. Such a drone would be tasked with entering hostile territory ahead of standard manned warplanes. In addition to the two main groups, Rolls-Royce and Safran were assigned to work on propulsion systems while Selex ES and Thales was put in charge of electronics and sensors.


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I April 2016

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Snoopers’ Charter clears first hurdle at UK parliament www.pi-media.co.uk

A bill controversially extending British authorities’ reach into people’s private lives in the UK has cleared the first major hurdle facing it in the country’s lower house of parliament. The House of Commons lent its blessing 281-15 to the Investigatory Powers Bill, derided as Snoopers’ Charter. In order for the bill to become law, it must now clear the House of Lords. If passed into law, something

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

many British politicians wish to happen by year end, the measure would let law enforcement officials obtain a list of the websites, apps, and messaging services used by the people they deem to be suspects. It stops short of providing a peek into the individual Internet pages someone has visited or the messages they have sent, but requires telecommunications companies to keep records of

customers’ Web histories for up to a year. As per the proposed law, the companies should also provide the authorities with access to suspects’ electronic devices upon request. Defending the bill, British Home Secretary Theresa May said that criminals and terrorists were taking utmost advantage of technology. “We must ensure that those charged with keeping us safe are able to keep pace,” she said. The opposition Labour Party and Scottish National Party, however, abstained in the voting, saying the legislation should be amended before being signed into law. The Guardian published a letter in which more than 200 senior lawyers and law professors had protested that the bill “compromises the essence of the fundamental right to privacy and may be illegal.” Experts also fear that the measure might weaken encryption, which is key to ensuring that online shopping and other activities can be conducted securely. www.pi-media.co.uk

Four-year-old boy’s cucumber picture sparks terrorism row

A mother of four from Luton has told ITV News Anglia of her anger and disbelief after her 4-year-old son’s nursery school tried to refer him to a counter-extremism programme. Staff at the nursery in Luton thought that the child’s drawing of his dad chopping up a cucumber was actually a picture of an improvised explosive. When asked what he had drawn, the youngster struggled to pronounce the name of the vegetable and staff thought he said ‘cooker bomb’. After being called in for a meeting about the drawings, the boy’s mother was told that the case had already been referred to Channel - an initiative that assesses people

at risk of radicalisation as part of the Government’s wider ‘Prevent’ strategy. She said she tried to reassure staff at the nursery that her son had not been radicalised, even telling them she would stop him from watching television cartoons. She recorded a video of her son mispronouncing the word ‘cucumber’ as proof that it wasn’t a one off. The nursery have confirmed that they’ve now dropped the referral after seeking advice from Luton Council. A spokesperson for the nursery said: “We can confirm that no referral has been made. “Under statutory guidance, as reflected by our own safeguarding

policies, early years providers are required to record – and if necessary, report – any incidents that they feel may warrant further attention or discussion. “In this instance, after seeking advice from the appropriate agencies, we concluded that no referral was necessary.” When we make teachers the state enforcers – this is completely wrong. This is the job of the police service who are fully trained. The boy’s mother told ITV News Anglia that rather than protected, she feels as though her family has been targeted. www.pi-media.co.uk


Muslim women within UK face job barriers 10

I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

Research about the U.K. has claimed that Muslim women face serious disadvantages in the British labor market. Anadolu Agency spoke to Nabil Khattab, an associate professor at the Qatar-based Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Prof. Khattab said that British Muslim women were six times more likely to be unemployed compared to their non-Muslim white British counter parts. “Muslim women’s barriers in the labor market are complex. It consists of religious, ethnic, physical but also gender penalties. “They are not only Muslim but they are also women who compete with men which makes them less advantaged than even Muslim men,” Khattab told Anadolu Agency. As a result of his studies on performance and patterns of participation in the U.K. labor market, Khattab found that the percentage

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of Muslim women working in professional and managerial jobs varies between 8.3 to 23 percent according to their different ethnic background. This figure rises to 32 percent among mainstream white non-Muslim women. “Even white British Muslim women, who are mostly converts … our recent study has shown that, they face penalties. Convergence is perceived as a shift from being one hundred percent white to less-white women,” Khattab said. According to his findings, firstgeneration Bangladeshi Muslim women are six times more likely to be unemployed than non-Muslim British white women with the same background. Khattab said that the physical appearance or “cultural visibility” in public spaces was a significant factor in facing penalties.

I April 2016

He also said that not only the appearance but also factors that guide Muslim women to look for certain jobs, played a role in this situation. “For example they do not prefer working in places where alcohol is served”, he said adding that they are competing for a lower number of employment opportunities. “While they are competing they face stereotyping, Islamophobia and perceptions of employers who have prejudices towards Muslims and women,” he added. Khattab has been studying Muslims in the U.K labor market for the past six years. The research data in Dr. Khattab’s studies was taken from labor force data from years between 2002 and 2013. The study focused on samples of more than 245,000 individuals, among which more than 8,000 were Muslim women.

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I April 2016

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PM Cameron attacks Corbyn over Labour party member www.pi-media.co.uk

Labour Party has expelled a party member after PM David Cameron called him a “9/11 sympathizer”. Party member Gerry Downing had written that the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S. “must never be condemned” in a column on a website that appeared to sympathize with ISIL in its fight against the West. The blog was quoted to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during an exchange in parliament with Cameron, who said Downing should be expelled.

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

“I was completely appalled to see that the Labour party have readmitted someone to their party who says that the 9/11 suicide bombers, and I quote, ‘must never be condemned’, and belongs to an organization that says ‘we defend the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq’,” Cameron said during the exchange. “These are appalling views and I hope that the leader of the opposition will throw this person out of the party rather than welcome him in.” Labour’s main decision-making

body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), later announced that it had excluded Downing from party membership after “further evidence” came to light, although it did not specify what that evidence was. Speaking to the BBC, Downing said: “I don’t support the politics of IS [ISIL], they are vile barbarians. But I don’t support American imperialist bombing either.” He said he did not support ISIL “militarily or politically” but does believe in “tactical support” for the group against U.S. bombing. He added: “The ambition to overthrow capitalism is a very legitimate political ambition.” A Labour spokeswoman said: “Following further evidence that has come to light Gerry Downing has now been excluded from the Labour Party by the NEC panel.”

already resettling 20,000.” The U.K. will accept up to 20,000 refugees from Syria until 2020. So far the country has taken in only hundreds of Syrian refugees. Official statistics show that 252 people were resettled in the U.K. by the end of September 2015. On Dec. 16, 2015, the British premier announced that the government had met its commitment to resettle 1,000 Syrians in the U.K. before the end of the year. Lidington said the U.K has “agreed to pay £250 million [$355.76 million] share” of the 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) payment meant for Turkey’s refugee program. When asked about U.K’s position on Turkey’s accession to EU, he said the administration continues to support Turkey’s membership but “that is not going to be happening in near future.”

About establishing safe havens inside Syria, Lidington said: “The possibility was not ruled out.” “This point about safe havens, those are a possibility, the possibility was discussed in EU- Turkey Summit but there are many political, legal and military complications to that particular steps, so we have not ruled it out, but there is no agreement yet,” he said. The European Union leaders agreed on a wide range of proposals by Turkey to solve the migration crisis, including the return of all irregular migrants, accelerating visa liberalization process for Turkish citizens and sharing the work of hosting Syrian refugees. Ankara has requested visa-free travel for its citizens by end of June and an additional 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Turkish citizens to require visas for UK despite EU deal

Turkish citizens will still require visas for the U.K. despite an agreement between EU and Turkey at a recent summit in Brussels, British Minister for Europe David Lidington said. In remarks made at the House of Commons in London, Lidington said that since the U.K. is not a part of the Schengen agreement, Turkish citizens will still require the visa. “Because we are not members of the Schengen area, we are able to maintain our own border controls and make our own decisions on asylum. We will not be part of the process of liberalization of visas, that would be a concern of Schengen countries,” he said. The minister also said the U.K. will not resettle any more refugees. “The agreement would not impose any new obligations on U.K., in respect of either resettlement or relocation,” he said, adding: “We are


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Parliament Investigates the disruption of aid to Islamic charities in Syria

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The House of Commons International Development Committee opened an investigation regarding the way in which UK counter-terrorism laws are hampering and affecting the humanitarian work of British Islamic charities operating inside Syria. Andrew Mitchell and Clare Short, two former international development ministers, raised this issue with senior officials in government and questioned whether government aid is being diverted from Islamic charities. Nearly a fifth of government aid goes to charities. Mitchell, who was the Secretary of State for International Development

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from 2010 to 2012, and Short, who held the same post from 1997 to 2003, urged the government to open an inquiry into growing complaints by Islamic charities. The affected charities, including Islamic Relief, one of the largest Muslim charities that was praised by David Cameron during the 2010 election campaign, say their urgent humanitarian work is being disrupted either by banks nervous of falling foul of counter-terror legislation or by civil servants anxious that some of the funding may fall into the wrong hands. The government has set up an

interdepartmental working party to look into the issue after complaints were made. Mitchell and Short visited southern Turkey to see some of the work being undertaken by the Muslim Charities Forum to get aid into Syria, and returned full of praise for their work. It is claimed that banks, many fearful of US legislation, are either closing the charities’ accounts or blocking money transfers due to the organisations being put on a risk register, often solely on the basis of newspaper reports. Others have reported that their Paypal accounts have been closed. Banks say they fear swingeing fines and reputational risk if they are seen to be facilitating terrorism. Yet international law stipulates that, in a civil war such as the one raging in Syria, the consent of the faction or factions controlling territory is necessary for the delivery of aid. That requires interaction between charities and non-state groups controlling territory in which people require humanitarian relief. Factions often demand a fee or tax to allow right to pass, but this may fall foul of UK bribery legislation. There is also a prohibition against meeting members of proscribed organisations.

Tube racist attacks on the rise British police have on average tackled four racist incidents on London’s trains and Tube every week over the past three years. The incidents on London’s rail network include racist attacks, abuse and graffiti. Figures show over 650 racist incidents have been reported to police since 2013, but only 13 arrests were made following

investigations. The figures were released to London Evening Standard, under the Freedom of Information Act. London Travel Watch says the city’s next mayor will need to tackle racism as a priority, considering the scale of the problem. British Transport Police said the only way to deal with the issue was to understand its “true scale.”

The report also noted that excluding incidents where the race of the victim was not stated, more than three-quarters of incidents recorded in 2015 involved nonwhite victims: 36% were perpetrated against black victims, 33% against those of Asian origin, 3% involved mixed-race victims and 3.5% were against those of another race. www.pi-media.co.uk


PM David Cameron to delay Iraq inquiry again www.pi-media.co.uk

I April 2016

British Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly planning to further delay a long-awaited British inquiry into the Iraq war, which was first announced seven years ago. The Daily Telegraph reported that Cameron wants to push back

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

the results of Sir John Chilcot’s independent inquiry until after June’s EU membership referendum. The public inquiry was originally commissioned by then-Prime Minster Gordon Brown to examine Britain’s involvement in Iraq between 2001

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and 2009. It took evidence in public from a wide range of key figures, including Brown and Tony Blair, who as prime minister ordered British troops into Iraq in 2003, but has since been hampered by lengthy factchecking and a process known as Maxwellization, where individuals are given the opportunity to respond to criticism in the report. That process was due to be completed in the middle of April. But the Telegraph quoted unnamed government sources as confirming the report would not be published until after the EU referendum on June 23. Cameron had previously said he would want to release Chilcot’s report no later than two weeks after the Maxwellization was complete. www.pi-media.co.uk

UK suppresses documents on Gitmo ‘torture collusion’

The British government is withholding key documents which could shed light on allegations of UK’s involvement in the torture of detainees in Guantanamo prison, according to a new report. A number of files have been recently found which reveal confidential exchanges between top former US and UK authorities on the torture and rendition of detainees. Based on a lawsuit by a British parliamentary group, the US administration is obliged to make public documents which relate to Britain’s involvement. Former Guantanamo detainees have previously said British officials have either been present at, or submitted questions for, “extreme” interrogation by US officials, according to the Independent. The documents indicate that former UK prime minister Tony Blair

and former US president George W. Bush had been in consultation about the treatment of detainees at the USrun prison in Cuba. Now, the US State Department is said to have reported that all related documents have been withheld from public disclosure. At least 12 documents, found in the US State Department’s search, relate to interventions by British politicians and officials over the treatment of detainees and torture techniques. The State Department has reported, “After reviewing the documents, the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested that all 12 documents be withheld in full from public disclosure.” Guantanamo was established by former president Bush in 2002 as a prison for alleged foreign terrorism

suspects following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US. As many as 775 suspects are said to have been brought to the facility ever since its establishment. US President Barack Obama had promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in his 2008 election campaign, citing its damage to America’s reputation abroad. However, he has so far failed to deliver on that pledge due to stiff opposition from Congress. A US Senate report in December 2014 revealed that the CIA used a wide array of torture as part of its interrogation methods against Guantanamo prisoners.

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I April 2016

Israel razing Palestinian buildings at ‘alarming’ rate 14

WORLD NEWS

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Israel is razing Palestinian homes and other buildings constructed with international aid at an “alarming” rate, the UN says, with more demolitions so far this year than in all of 2015. In total 121 structures funded partly or fully by international donors were demolished in the occupied West Bank between January 1 and March 2, overtaking the 108 from all of 2015, according to UN figures. The projects include homes for Palestinians and at least one school, as well as temporary structures such as pens for animals and sheds. Robert Piper, humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said that the demolitions were “alarming”. “We have already surpassed the total number of humanitarian aid items destroyed or confiscated in all of 2015, in just the first 10 weeks of

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2016,” Piper said. “We will be protesting to the Israeli authorities of course, as are many in the diplomatic community.” Israel says the projects are built illegally so can be demolished, but aid groups argue that obtaining necessary permits is nearly impossible. COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for implementing government policies in the Palestinian territories, declined to comment on the number of demolitions, saying only that it takes “enforcement steps against any illegal construction” after issuing demolition orders. Moti Yogev, an MP from the farright Jewish Home party who heads an Israeli parliament sub-committee on the West Bank, said the rise in demolitions was likely in response

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to European Union measures on imports of goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. “I have no doubt that the government’s firm stance is in part a result of the unilateral measures taken by Europe,” said Yogev, whose party has ministers in cabinet. In November, new EU guidelines were issued forcing member countries to label imported produce from the settlements, sparking condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The UN’s Piper said a number of factors may have contributed to the increase in demolitions, including the EU decision, growing domestic pressure on the government amid a wave of ongoing violence and a “renewed push to advance settlement expansion plans in these areas”. www.pi-media.co.uk

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Ex-refugee wins $1m global teacher award www.pi-media.co.uk

I April 2016

A Palestinian teacher’s efforts to promote non-violence won her international recognition last month when she was awarded a prestigious global teaching award. Hanan al-Hroub, 43, won $1 million as part of the Global Teacher Prize awarded by U.K.-based education charity Varkey Foundation. “In a society torn apart by conflict where children are regularly exposed to violence, Hanan is building trust and supporting children suffering

WORLD NEWS

psychological trauma – from the heart of her classroom,” said the Varkey Foundation as it announced the prize on social media. In her victory speech Hroub, who grew up in a Bethlehem refugee camp, said that her and the other teachers who made the top 10 shortlist have the power to “change the future.” Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah praised Hroub in a statement, saying her victory was a source of hope

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and optimism as well as an example of what Palestinians can achieve despite the occupation. Hroub, who works in primary education, told Anadolu Agency in February that she promotes nonviolence through playing. “The Israeli occupation has caused many behavioral problems among our children,” she said. “By using this teaching method, I have managed to solve these behavioral problems and have created a new peaceful and cooperative generation.” The idea of the non-violent teaching method came to Hroub after her husband was shot by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem during the al-Aqsa intifada, which erupted in 2000. “My husband was injured. The Israeli soldiers laughed at him and left him [to bleed to death],” she recalled. “This incident has left my children in shock. This teaching technique, however, has helped them recover and regain their self-confidence.”

US lawmakers call for louder Muslim voice in politics

In Case You Missed It

The only two Muslim representatives in Congress called on their religious community to participate further in politics in the U.S. Democratic lawmakers, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana, addressed a panel at Washington-based Diyanet Center of America, organized by the U.S. branch of Independent Businessman Association (MUSIAD USA) and non-profit Prince George’s County Muslim Council. “Despite everything Republicans say, the story of the American Muslim community is quite positive,”

Minnesota Rep. Ellison said. He said that Muslims had contributed to America in many different sectors such as health, education and security sectors. However, he added, despite its significant contributions to society, the voice of the Muslim community remained politically weak. “We want each of you to run for politics,” he said, suggesting that the best way to do that was to get involved at the state or county level. He also said that, as Muslim members of Congress, they also had a responsibility to voice

the contributions of the Muslim community. Indiana representative Carson called on Muslims not to hide their identity. Rather, he suggested expressing it more openly in order to show that Muslims are a constitutive part of America. Carson added that some Muslims considered it “haram” (forbidden, in the Islamic faith) to get involved in American politics. “But after 9/11 we had no Muslim to represent us,” he said. “Then we realized how important it was to have some people who could voice our concerns, or problems.”

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White House downplays Gitmo detainees returning to fight 16

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Less than 5 percent of detainees released from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay have returned to the battlefield, the White House said. The announcement closely follows a release of an intelligence report that claimed the number of released detainees who are suspected of returning to the fight

has doubled from six to 12 during the past six months. White House spokesman Josh Earnest emphasized that the overall confirmed recidivism rate has remained low. “The fact that that number is below 5 percent for people who have confirmed to reengage is I think

is a pretty good indication of how successful those policies have been,” he said. Regarding those suspected of reengaging in the fight, Earnest added, “the only reason that we can suspect that they’ve reengaged in the process is because we have a lot of insight into what they’re doing, and we’re taking a close look, based on those security measures, at their activities and their actions and their engagements with other people.” The biannual report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was released just weeks after President Barack Obama presented Congress with a new plan to close Gitmo. Republican lawmakers have said that the congressionally mandated plan is “dead on arrival“, jeopardizing Obama’s ability to fulfill a campaign pledge he made when he first ran for office in 2008.

U.S. senators have questioned the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, which they called an “uncertain ally” of the United States, but in the end they upheld the deal. The Senate voted 71-24 against a resolution that would have blocked the $700 million deal with Lockhead Martin Corp. Senator Rand Paul, the resolution’s sponsor and a former GOP presidential candidate, got a sympathetic response in dubbing Pakistan a “frenemy” of the United States, however, coaxing Republican leaders to agree to bar U.S. financing for the deal. “Though the government of Pakistan has been considered America’s ally in the fight on terrorism, Pakistan’s behavior would suggest otherwise,” Paul said. “While we give them billions of dollars in aid, we are simultaneously aware of their intelligence and military apparatus assisting the Afghan Taliban.”

The United States has been striving to get Pakistan to use its influence to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table in peace talks with the Afghan government. While providing a locale for the talks in Islamabad, Pakistan has not succeeded in influencing the Taliban to join them, to the frustration of Washington and Kabul. Moreover, Washington has openly accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), of supporting the Haqqani network, a Taliban faction that is a U.S.-declared terrorist group. The ISI has denied the allegations. That Senator Paul’s resolution to block the jet sale secured support from nearly a quarter of the Senate shows how fractured the relationship between the two countries has become. The Obama administration last month approved the F-16 sale to Pakistan, yet several allied Democrats, including Senators

Chris Murphy, Mark Warner, and Joe Manchin voted to block the sale. India has also vigorously protested the sale of such sophisticated warplanes to its nuclear-armed rival. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker urged his colleagues to allow the sale to proceed, however, even though Pakistan has been what he called “duplicitous” with the United States. Corker said rejecting the sale would have publicly embarrassed Islamabad and led Pakistan to buy fighters from Russia or France. The sale also gives the U.S. leverage with Islamabad, Corker said, as the deal provides the F-16s with 30 years of maintenance, which Corker said could be withdrawn at any time. That would leave Pakistan without the parts and expertise to keep the high-tech aircraft in the air. But Corker and other supporters of the deal agreed to bar U.S. financing to help Pakistan pay for the fighters. www.pi-media.co.uk

US sells F-16 to Pakistan


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WORLD NEWS

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Modi party vows to strip Indian Muslim Immigrants of vote

Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party has pledged to strip millions of Muslim immigrants of vote in the upcoming provincial elections in the eastern state of Assam. In a series of recent campaign rallies in the remote state of Assam, officials of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised that the party would try to bar Muslims of Bangladeshi origin from voting, which is scheduled to be held in April. Meanwhile, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the BJP’s campaign manager in Assam, has stressed that the plan would include those Muslims who entered India from neighboring Bangladesh between 1951 and 1971.

He also said they can stay but would have to re-apply for citizenship. “There are about 2 million immigrants (who came before 1971) and their descendents. Let them grow economically and educationally,” said Sarma, adding, however, that “their status should be refugee and, on the basis of individual application, if someone becomes an Indian citizen that’s a different issue.” Assam has the second highest percentage of Muslims in India. Muslims, including those who migrated since the partition of the country in 1947, make up some 35 percent of the state’s population.

Reacting to the developments, local Muslim leaders have accused the BJP of polarizing the electioncampaign in a bid to form the provincial government. The BJP has also been denounced for not targeting millions of Hindus who emigrated from East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh, and gained Indian citizenship. Critics say the BJP’s plan risks re-igniting communal tensions that have led to deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslims in the past. Opponents have accused Premier Modi’s Hindu nationalist government of exploiting religious divisions. They say the tactic helped the BJP secure the largest election victory in three decades in May 2014. Modi had told Muslim immigrants during the 2014 campaign in states bordering Bangladesh to have their “bags packed” ready to be sent home should he win. The developments come as several incidents of anti-Muslim violence have fueled concerns as religious intolerance has beengrowing in recent years. India, which has a population of1.2billion, is a country of diversity, where Hindus form the majority. India is also home to a large Muslim population, and sizable Christian and Buddhist minorities.

The archbishop of Bologna, Italy is calling for the construction of a mosque in the city At a conference last month organized by the local Muslim community, Abp. Matteo Maria Zuppi, recently appointed to head the archdiocese, seized the opportunity to express his sympathy toward the Muslim community by calling for a mosque to be built in Bologna. He also asked for the accommodation of Muslim festivities in Italian schools. Quoting Cdl.

Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan a cleric with similar sympathies Zuppi said, “I really think it’s time for a mosque in Bologna. Some people think otherwise but they are wrong.” “I also wish Islamic celebrations to be welcomed in schools,” he added, “as already requested by archbishop of Milan Angelo Scola.” Paraphrasing Pope Francis’ controversial remarks regarding US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his stance on immigration, Zuppi added, “Those

who say they stand for security usually create more problems. ... To build walls only creates the illusion of security. Walls are not equivalent to security.” Zuppi also asked for “the construction of bridges between cultures to love our communal house means to love it and leave it open to others, to integrate them.” He continued, “We shouldn’t be carried away by hateful generalizations, like the comparison between Muslims and terrorists.”

Italian Archbishop calling for construction of Mosque


Rising islamophobia in Europe goes unpunished

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www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2016

he said, adding that certain new legal arrangements for such crimes should be made. Azra Junuzovic, who is the deputy chief of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Unit under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said on Feb. 19 that intolerance and discrimination against Muslims posed a serious problem. Junuzovic also said discrimination against Muslims is on the rise, according to recent research. More than 40 million Muslims are estimated to live in Europe.

The Muslim population in Europe not only faces an increase in number of Islamophobic hate crimes since the recent attacks in Paris, but they also suffer due to legal loopholes that allow such offenses to go unpunished, experts say. Discrimination against Muslims in Europe has increased since the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people and injured many others, Bekir Gunes, head of Belgium-based think tank Thinkout,

said. Gunes said security policies in Europe were making a direct impact on rights of Muslims, adding: “Our rights should not be restricted on the pretext of terrorist incidents.” He added there were certain legal loopholes in Europe that did not punish people who commit Islamophobic crimes. “In most places you cannot open a case personally [over a complaint of Islamophobic crime],”

Zionist regime raids Palestinian TV station Israeli forces raided the West Bank offices of Palestine television overnight and arrested its manager over allegations of inciting violence. The operation targeting the station’s Ramallah offices was the latest attempt to silence Palestinian broadcasters. The Zionist regime’s Shin Bet agency charged that the channel “broadcasts on behalf of the Islamic Jihad” armed group and said it had closed it in a joint operation with the army. Israeli forces also arrested Palestine Today manager, Farooq Aliat, 34, of Bir Zeit, north of

Ramallah, “an Islamic Jihad operative who had been imprisoned in Israel for his activities,” it added. Cameraman Mohammed Amr and technician Shabib Shabib were also arrested, the Palestinian Journalists Union said. The channel continues to broadcast from the Gaza Strip. A wave of Israeli violence has killed 188 Palestinians, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese since October 1. In November, the Tel Aviv regime shut down two radio stations in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron -- Al-Hurria and Al-Khalil.

Unique Mosque in China

The Great Mosque of Xi’an in China is the only mosque in the world on whose walls all verses of the Holy Quran have been inscribed. Located in the East Asian country’s Shaanxi province, it is one of China’s oldest and most renowned mosques. It was founded in 762 A.D. during the Tang dynasty and was renovated and developed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Occupying an area of over 12,000 square meters, the Great Mosque is divided into four courtyards, 250 meters long and 47 meters wide with a well-arranged layout. It looks more like a Chinese temple from outside but its multiple courtyards have clearly been built for Muslims. Moreover, unlike other Chinese temples, the building is facing the holy city of Mecca like all other mosques around the world. The mosque remains a popular tourist site of Xi’an for its beauties and its architectural and historical significance, and is still used by Chinese Muslims today as a place of worship.

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WORLD NEWS I 19

Córdoba rejects Catholic Church’s claim to own Mosque

Local authorities in Córdoba have dealt a blow to the Catholic church’s claim of legal ownership of the Spanish city’s mosque-cathedral, declaring that “religious consecration is not the way to acquire property”. The report, written by the city council’s secretary general, Valeriano Lavela, marks a significant intervention in a long-running row over the building, which lies on the site of a Visigothic Christian church built in the early 9th century and was

given to the local bishop by Fernando III in 1236 when the city fell to Christian forces. In 2006 the diocese of Córdoba paid €30 to register ownership of what it calls the cathedral-mosque or sometimes just the cathedral. The council’s approved name is the mosque-cathedral of Córdoba. But the council’s report says the building does not belong to the church nor to any other organisation or individual. Lavela writes that the

church’s acquisition has no legal basis and cannot confer ownership. This, he adds, is not just because the site has since 1984 been a Unesco world heritage site “of exceptional universal value” and therefore cannot be owned by anyone. Citing Roman law, Lavela argues that the site’s true owners “are each and every citizen of the world from whatever epoch and regardless of people, nation, culture or race”. The church has not yet responded to the report. In 2013, hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition for the building to be managed by the local authority rather than the church in order to conserve its cultural heritage. It was in response to an inquiry into whether the city of Córdoba could ever claim ownership that the report was published. While mass is held in the building, the local bishop has banned Muslims from praying there. In 2010 fighting broke out when a group of Muslim visitors knelt to pray.

Indian minister denies no-Muslim hire policy

India’s Hindu nationalist BJP-led government does not recruit Muslims in the Ayush ministry as a policy, a news report said quoting an official Right to Information (RTI) reply. The report by the Milli Gazette, an influential fortnightly newspaper highlighting issues of the minority community, could give the opposition more ammunition to target the Narendra Modi-led government which it accuses of running an agenda of turning India into a “Hindu nation”. Sripad Naik, the minister in charge of Ayush, condemned the report as being “false”, and said that it was “an attempt to defame us.” The admission by the ministry – formed to promote ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy – came in response to a series of RTI applications by

journalist Pushp Sharma who had sought the number of Muslim yoga teachers and trainers hired for foreign assignments during the first World Yoga Day on June 21, 2015. “As per government policy - No Muslim candidate was invited, selected or sent abroad,” the ministry was quoted as saying. The online version of the Milli Gazette report also carried images of the RTI replies. HT could not independently verify the authenticity of the documents. The ministry said that 711 Muslims had applied for the shortterm overseas assignment as yoga trainers though none was selected. A list of 26 selected trainers, all Hindus, was also provided by the ministry. The ministry also rejected till October, 2015 the applications of 3,841 Muslim candidates who had

applied to be yoga trainers, apart from the yoga day assignments outside the country.After the United Nations declared June 21 as the World Yoga Day, Modi said that the recognition was proof that “the world is curious to know about India and we must tell the world about our culture, we have to be proud of our culture.” In stinging comments at the end of the report, the Milli Gazette said, “Here we have for the first time in the life of this government, a written, blunt RTI reply in our hands which unashamedly says that it’s Modi government policy to not recruit Muslims in government jobs”. The Opposition accuses the Modi of pursuing an overtly anti-minority agenda and of failing to reign in fringe groups from targeting minority institutions.


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WORLD NEWS I 21

US Muslim women learn to fight back as anti-Islam tone rises

Muslim women in the US need to learn self-defense amid concerns over rising anti-Islam rhetoric,an influential Muslim advocacy group says. “There really is a need for Muslim women to protect themselves in this society,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to Hooper, attacks on Muslims in America have tripled in recent months and that 80% of the victims are female. He said anti-Muslim bias crimes have sharply risen since the deadly Paris attacks by the Daesh Takfiri

terrorist group in November and San Bernardino shootings in California, in December. Hooper noted that the “flood gates really opened” after US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested a ban on Muslims entering the country. “Even after 9/11, Islamophobia was there but it was on the fringe of society. Now thanks to Donald Trump and Ben Carson and others, Islamophobia is firmly in the mainstream,…, People who attack Muslims on the local level - they view it as almost their patriotic duty based on this kind of extremist, bigoted

rhetoric.” Another advocacy group, the Bridge Initiative, says FBI figures show Muslims in the US are five times more likely to experience hate crimes than they were before September 11 attacks. Engy Abdelkader, the group’s Assistant Director, said she found it “disturbing” that Muslim women now feel “compelled” to learn how to protect themselves. Rana Abdelhamid, a self-defense instructor, said the headscarves and hijabs worn by Muslim women can sometimes turn them into “walking targets”. “You can be attacked at any point, you can be pushed off… a subway ledge,” she said. “All these different things that go through these young women’s minds… increases their vulnerability and increases their sense of fear,” she added. Trump, who has never held elected office, is still leading the Republican presidential primary field, despite the fact that his campaign has been marked by controversial statements, including with disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants and Muslims. www.pi-media.co.uk

Three German universities close prayer rooms used by Muslims

The Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), Technical University of Dortmund (TU Dortmund) and the University of Essen Duisburg have all closed prayer rooms. It is difficult for German universities to know how many Muslims study in their institutions, as they are not allowed to ask students about religion,The Local reports. TU Berlin closed its two separate prayer rooms for male and female students. University Christian Thomsen told local news site Suddeutsche Zeitung the decision”boiled down to the fundamental question: do we want

religious facilities at our universities? I think higher education and religion should be kept separate. He added: “Previously Muslims didn’t have much opportunity to practice their religion in Berlin. But now there are enough prayer rooms the students can use – perhaps not within walking distance, but a few stops away by bus. A prayer room at the university is no longer necessary.” A room for Muslim students which had been used for more than 20 years was also closed at the university of Essen-Duisburg. Officials stated in an official letter

the room has been closed due to “matters of space for the students to study”. “With more than 130 nations at our university, we can’t offer a room for every religion or culture,” the university added. “The room was installed in a time in which there were no places for Muslims to go nearby. This has changed in the past two decades.” The Technical University of Dortmund also permanently closed its prayer room - intended for people of all faiths The trend to close prayer rooms comes amid a of anti-Islam protests.


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Olympics chief confirms refugees to attend Rio Games

prominent role in crisis the world is facing with regard to refugees”. Bach also said: “We will do our best with sports to help, to integrate the migrants and refugees into society [and] to give them hope, and to find ways how they can understand each other better through sports.” www.pi-media.co.uk

We are looking for volunteer sport journalist who can go to sporting venues across the UK International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach confirmed refugees would be able to participate in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. “We will invite highly qualified athletes or refugees to form a team in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. And they will then walk into the stadium behind the Olympic

flag and the Olympic anthem will be played in their honor,” Bach told a press conference in Ankara following a meeting with Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Akif Kilic. “It will be the first time such a team will be present in the Olympic Games,” said Bach. Bach said his visit came at a time “when Turkey plays an important and

FIFA cancelled Kuwait’s Asian World Cup qualifying matches against Laos and South Korea, world football’s governing body said. The Kuwait Football Association were suspended by FIFA in October because of government interference in their local football association. In a statement on its website, FIFA said that due to the ongoing suspension, Kuwait’s World Cup qualifying matches scheduled for 24 and 29 March, against Laos and South Korea respectively, “cannot take place as things stand at the time of writing”. FIFA said it has contacted the

relevant footballing authorities in each of the nations affected, adding that the issue has now been referred to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for its consideration. Further information will follow in due time. Four of Kuwait’s 1982 World Cup heroes are toured the Gulf region lobbying football chiefs in an attempt to have a FIFA ban on the country’s football association overturned. A delegation led by Kuwaiti MP Abdullah al-Maayouf, who played for the country at their only World Cup finals, met senior football officials from Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia to push Kuwait’s case

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FIFA cancels Kuwait World Cup qualifiers

for reinstatement. Maayouf travelled with Saad al-Houthi, Mohammed Karam and Naeem Saad - also members of Kuwait’s only World Cup squad to date -- in the hope of garnering support for their case for reinstatement. Kuwait’s Olympic committee has also been suspended by the International Olympic Committee - its second such ban in five years - over government interference, putting Kuwait’s participation at this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics in doubt. www.pi-media.co.uk


Al Ahli links up with La Liga in intriguing deal www.pi-media.co.uk

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I April 2016

Al Ahli Football Club have unveiled a partnership with La Liga that has been described as a “first of its kind” for both the renowned professional Spanish league and the Arabian Gulf League’s leading side. Al Ahli are the first international club to partner with La Liga on a project that focuses on knowledge sharing between the two organisations, a statement said. La Liga president, Javier Tebas and the Al Ahli chairman, Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, signed an agreement which will see La Liga and Al Ahli work together on joint projects in football management. The signing of the agreement, which was staged at La Liga’s headquarters, marks the beginning of a link-up in

which La Liga’s experience will be used to support the Dubai club’s development. Also present at the presentation ceremony were Fernando Sanz, La Liga’s director for the Middle East and for international projects and La Liga’s first global ambassador, along with key figures from the Al Ahli hierarchy, including the club’s CEO, Ahmad Hammad, Deputy CEO Mohammed Faraj and Commercial Director Budreya Faisal. The partnership encompasses the sharing of expertise through workshops of up to 14 different topics that will run throughout the coming two seasons. Workshops hosted by Al Ahli “will be held in Dubai by experts in all areas of football

management”. Whilst in Spain, a theoretical and practical Academy players and coaching training programme will be implemented to pass on the methodology that is employed in their domestic league. Within the framework provided by the agreement, workshops held will range from institutional aspects such as marketing, stadium security, strategy and legal affairs - to elements more directly related with the sporting side, including injury prevention, nutrition to optimise sporting performance and training for coaches. “In recent history, our football team has continuously set our place as the top contender in Dubai and the UAE. Now with this partnership with La Liga, our club’s thriving management will continue to shine and further solidify our unshakable position in the UAE, from every club-related aspect. We are proud to bring a partnership of this magnitude to the UAE, and to lead in a new standard of football management,” said Al Naboodah. Hammad said: “We look forward to hosting workshops starting in May, the first of which will be an exciting topic that we are thrilled to announce in the coming weeks.” He added: “I would like to thank Eleven Sports Agency for making this partnership possible.”

Jordan pin World Cup hopes on Redknapp Harry Redknapp was hailed as the man to take Jordan to their first ever World Cup finals after his confirmation as the country’s new manager by Prince Ali Bin Hammam. The former Tottenham boss took the post in the same week as he began another job as Championship side Derby’s managerial advisor. Prince Ali, president of the Jordanian football Association,

said: “I’m very proud to be able to announce Harry’s appointment to our national side. “He is a world class manager with an internationally recognised record at the highest level.” This is his first job as a national manager. He missed out on the England manager’s post when he was widely regarded as the favourite to succeed Fabio Capello, but

instead saw Roy Hodgson appointed. Jordan have two World Cup qualifiers this month, against Bangladesh and Australia.


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The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context Part 1

The events of June 2014 will resonate through the annals of history forever in light of the declaration of the Islamic Caliphate by Islamic State (IS) and the extraordinary election of Caliph Ibrahim (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) as the ruler of this new entity that straddles Iraq and Syria today. Muslims around the world displayed mixed reactions ranging from sheer excitement to bewilderment in terms of the repercussions of this momentous declaration. Those who welcomed the declaration of the caliphate saw this as a momentous event in view of the fact that 92 years ago in 1924 the Ottoman Caliphate had been abolished by none other as Kemal Ataturk. This sense of optimism was further reinforced at the prospect of the re-establishment of the caliphate removing the sense of shame and humiliation that pervaded the Muslim community for nine decades. On

the other hand, many Muslims even today are quite puzzled about what the ‘caliphate’ stands for and more importantly is there a need for it in light of the advancements brought about by modernity and scientific and technological advancements. This article shall examine the notion of the caliphate in a historical context over the next few months with a view to unravelling the myths, stereotypes and misconceptions over this particular concept. If we analyse the Qur’an, we find that the term ‘caliphate’ or Khilafah does not make a direct appearance in the scripture. However, there are numerous verses in the Qur’an that discusses the notion of the ‘Caliph’ or Khalifah. For examples Q2;30, Q38:26 and Q24:55 provides the reader with sufficient ammunition that Allah appointed Adam and David (Dawud) as his representatives (viceregents) on earth. If we go deeper into the Qur’anic narrative, one also comes

across Q24:55 that many Muslim scholars have used to argue that the scripture gives legitimate credence to the concept of the ‘caliphate’. A striking feature of this discourse centres upon the fact Muslims have long held the view that the appointment of a ‘caliph’ is incumbent upon them as well as the establishment of the ‘caliphate’ where Muslims reside. If we turn to the traditions (ahadith) of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we find that Ahmed Ibn Hanbal (RA) in his famous Musnad Ahmad gives the following account of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stating that once the line of prophethood ends then the caliphate on the lines or conditions of the latter will commence only to end with the emergence of despotic kings. What is interesting in his prophetic account is that the era of despotic kings and monarchs will end to be replaced by the caliphate once again that will operate along the lines of prophethood.


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