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HEROES Abdukadir Elmi

Mojammel Hoq

Abdul Fattah Qasem

Mounir Suleiman

Ahmed Abdel Ghani

Mucad Ibrahim

Ali Elmadani

Lilik Abdul Hamid

Amjad Hamid

Abdus Samad

Ansi Alibava

Musa Nur Awale

Ashraf Ali

Naeem Rashid

Ashraf Al-Masri

Osama Adnan Abu Kweik

Ashraf Morsi

Ozair Kadir

Asif Vora

Ramiz Vora

Atta Elayyan

Sayyad Milne

Daoud Nabi

Sohail Shahid

Farhaj Ahsan

Syed Areeb Ahmed

Ghulam Husain

Syed Jahandad Ali

Hafiz Musa Vali Patel

Talha Rashid

Hamza Mustafa

Tariq Omar

Haroon Mehmood

Zakaria Bhuiya

Hosne Ahmed

Zeeshan Raza

pi

Hussain al-Umari

Muhammad Haziq bin Mohd Tarmizi

Hussein Moustafa

Mohamad Moosi Mohamedhosen

Junaid Kara/Ismail Kamel Mohamad Kamel Darweesh Karam Bibi Khaled Mustafa Linda Armstrong Maheboob Khokhar Matiullah Safi Mohammed Imran Khan Omar Faruk Mohsen Mohammed Al Harbi

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Issue: 132

April 2019 - ÂŁ1


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I COMMENT

thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I April 2019

By Abu Ahmed

Guest PI Editor

RSE: Education not Sexualisation

In February 2019’s issue of PI, we discussed the impact of the proposed Relationship Sex education was going to have on schools across the UK after September 2020. In a nutshell, the Children and Social Work Act 2017 placed a duty on the Secretary of State for Education to make the new subjects of Relationships Education at primary and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at secondary compulsory through regulations. The government has argued that ‘modern society’ has changed dramatically in recent years and modern families are no longer ‘traditional’ anymore where you have one male father and one female mother and their offspring. Now, we live in a world where there are various types of relationships where there some children have two mummies and daddies as to speak. Using this rationale, the government has said children in schools need to know different types of families

exist in order to reduce homophobic violence, abuse and prejudiceagainst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoplein today’s society. At present, any parent can withdraw their child from sex education classes under s.405 of the Education Act 1996. Parents for decades have had the right to withdraw their children from sex education classes but very few have exercised that right due to lack of knowledge or ignorance as per say.At present many schools have exposed their pupils to graphic images and bought in services to teach alternative lifestyles without many children and parents realising what is being taught in classrooms up and down the country. The new law that will come into force next September does not allow any parent to withdraw from Relationship Education at primary level and Relationship and Sex Education at Secondary level. What

is concerning to parents is the fact that the state and not the parent now dictates as to what is best for children. ‘Parental rights’ nolonger to all intents and purposes matter which very muchfly in the face of secularism. The secular framework promotes the view that the state does not interfere in the private lives of individuals and more importantly does not dictate to them in terms of how they lead their lives. The Equality Act 2010 has a number of ‘protected characteristics’ that included sex, sexual orientation and religion. It seems on the surface that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) have greater protection than people who belong to a faith groups whether it be Jewish, Christian and Muslim in relation to exposure to alternative lifestyles in the classroom. ‘Religion’ it seems despite the fact it is also a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 has no bearing or influence and consequently been superseded by sexual orientation in terms of the delivery of the RSE curriculum post September 2020. The government may have very good intentions as discussed earlier in making RSE compulsory, but they have wilfully neglected the views and wishes of people who see faith as an integral part of their lives. In recent weeks, many people belonging to religious denominations have been accused of being ‘anti-LGBT and homophobic for simply defending their religious beliefs, values and traditions. These kinds of attacks are quite cheap and offensive and only fuel the fires of resentment and hate. Our position is quite simple in

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that at present the delivery of SRE is haphazard so far as some schools have been quite reluctant to use highly sexual and explicit material as not to offend children who are from a faith background. On the other hand, some schools have used deeply offensive sexual graphic content to teach children young as four about sex and relationships, which is highly problematic, especially when schools claim that age appropriate content is being delivered which is untrue in the cases that we have analysed in recent months. The problem with the RSE curriculum post 2020 is that children from the age from the age of four onwards will have their heart, mind and souls sexualised, a prospect which is deeply concerning and

troubling in the grand scheme of things. We can ask the question that whyis the government devoting so much time to this when for nine years schools have been starved of cash and some educational establishments cannot buy books and pencils and are wholly reliant on parents’ donations? Surely, the whole point of the education system is to educate and not sexualise the next generation of people. We are of the view that the government need to recognise that it is parents and not the state that know what is best for their child. They also need to realise the overwhelming unease felt by many people across the country, thus use it to reconsider their position on RSE

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and allow parents to be in driving seat in deciding what is best for their offspring. Today, the government could start by making a provision and allow parents to withdraw from RE/RSE curriculum come September 2020as is the case with s.405 of the Education Act 1996.

Be a Guest Editor for a month Send in your article, no more than 600 words to: info@pi-media.co.uk


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British MP to press with parliament bill to recognize Palestine In Case Y Missed ou It

A member of the British parliament is pushing ahead with legislation in the chamber to recognize the state of Palestine. Layla Moran, a Lib Dem Party member, has announced she will do her utmost to secure the government’s recognition of the Palestinian state during a historic debate in the House of Commons. Moran, the first Commons

member of Palestinian descent, said in an article published in parliament’s in-house magazine that she felt a responsibility toward Palestine, where she still had relatives, and that the misery inflicted on Palestinians by the Israeli regime was extremely painful. She mentioned her previous attempts to have the government recognize the Palestinian state,

saying violence against Palestinians had increased since she was elected in May 2017 general elections. “I have laid bills before, but this is one of the most personal and poignant. I am the first MP of Palestinian descent and have been in Parliament during a time of extreme violence and hardship in the region,” said Moran. The 36-year-old MP whom many see as the future leader of the Lib Dem Party, also criticized US President Donald Trump for his decision to move US embassy to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. “Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem was another stark reminder of the inequality between Israel and Palestine,” said Moran, adding that Britain had a role to restore the peace talks in the Middle East which she said have suffered as a result of Washington’s unilateral moves on the Israeli-Palestinian case. “There is a Palestinian state, and it is time for the UK to recognize that,” said Moran. www.pi-media.co.uk

UK Muslims could be target of mass shooting: Minister

Britain’s Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace has warned Muslims in the country could become victims of high-profile terrorist attacks like those that killed 50 worshipers in two mosques in New Zealand. Speaking to the BBC Radio, Wallace said the government was hugely concerned about the mushroom growth of far-right extremist groups in the UK which he said could be a serious threat to the safety of around three million Muslims living in the country.

Wallace said a mass shooting of Muslims seen in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand “absolutely could happen” in Britain, adding that police and other security officials have been busy over the past days hunting down suspects that could have been inspired by the massacre. “The government has been concerned about the growing group of people crossing into the extremist mindset on the far right, and the neo-Nazis,” said the minister, adding that police in London and Wales

have made arrests in connection to attacks and operations that are believed to have been terrorist or related to far-right activity. Right after the attack in New Zealand, police in east London rushed to respond to an attack on a Muslim man outside a mosque in the area. Muslims across the UK have suffered numerous hate attacks over the past years with many blaming the surge on an Islamophobic discourse existing in the media and supported by the politicians of the country.

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UK govt citizenship stripping practice racist: says analyst

A senior political analyst from London believes the British government’s way of handling citizenship cases related to nationals involved in the war in Syria could lead to massive discrimination against UK nationals who are from different ethnic backgrounds. Rodney Shakespeare said that UK government’s recent decisions to revoke citizenship of nationals suspected of having a second passport, including a girl of Bangladeshi origin who had joined militants in Syria four years ago, would pose a risk to millions

more whose parents are from other countries. Shakespeare said the UK has been practicing double standards when it comes to the definition of terrorism in Syria where it has supported armed groups like the White Helmets while simultaneously punishing its own citizens for joining other militant groups. Shakespeare said UK has not only deprived its own citizens from their right to having a nationality, but it has also supported the practice of revoking citizenship in countries with grim record of suppression of the

dissent. “The UK government condones the withdrawal of nationality from other citizens of other countries with whom it is in a sinister, corrupt alliance,” he said, adding that London has supported the practice in Bahrain where an autocratic regime has been stripping many people of their citizenship only because they are standing for democracy. The comments come amid an uproar about London’s handling of the citizenship case of Shamima Begum, a 19-year-old woman who was left stateless following a decision by interior minister Sajid Javid earlier to revoke her citizenship. Sajid has faced increasing criticism since Begum’s third and only remaining child died of pneumonia in a camp in northeastern Syria. The opposition and activists have been slamming the government’s “inhuman” and “callous” handling of the case of British citizens involved in war zones like Syria, saying London should allow the UK nationals to return to the country to face prosecution rather than leaving them stranded in those areas.

UK troops accused of training child soldiers in Yemen In Case You Missed It

UK Foreign Office minister Mark Field has promised to get to the bottom of “very serious and well sourced” allegations that British special forces have been training child soldiers in the Saudi-led war against Yemen. He was answering an urgent question asked in the Commons by the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, who suggested the British troops may have been witnesses to war crimes. She claimed as many as 40 percent of the soldiers in the Saudi coalition were children, a breach of

international humanitarian law. Field also said he would be making inquiries with the UK Ministry of Defence in light of a report that British Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers were injured in a firefight with the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen. The UK government has a general policy of not discussing the operations of its special forces but Field seemed determined to provide an explanation to members of Parliament. There had been social media reports from Yemen in February

suggesting that British soldiers had been injured in a firefight, and the Daily Express newspaper claimed two SAS members had been injured during a “humanitarian” operation. However, it was claimed in The Mail on Sunday, that UK special forces were not just involved in so-called humanitarian operations, but providing mentoring teams inside Yemen, including medics, translators and forward air controllers, whose job is to request air support from the Saudis. It claimed five special forces soldiers have been injured.


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Sunday Telegraph pays damages to mosque chief over Corbyn article

The Sunday Telegraph has paid “substantial damages” to the general secretary of Finsbury Park mosque after it falsely portrayed him as a supporter of violent lslamist extremism as part of a botched attempt to criticise the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In March 2016 the newspaper published an article headlined: “Corbyn and the mosque leader who blames the UK for Isil.” The story tried to connect the Labour leader to extremist views allegedly held by Mohammed Kozbar, who runs the mosque in Corbyn’s Islington North constituency and is also vice-chair of the Muslim Association of Britain. Kozbar successfully argued that the article was defamatory and the Sunday Telegraph has now removed the article from its website, published a ruling accepting the article was defamatory, and paid damages

understood to be in the region of £30,000 to settle the case. This does not include the newspaper’s costs. “It was not just myself who was the target of this article, it was Jeremy Corbyn,” said Kozbar after the verdict. “The aim was to damage the reputation of Jeremy and make his progress with the Labour party more difficult.” The piece, by the journalist Andrew Gilligan, claimed the mosque administrator supported the use of violence in the IsraelPalestine conflict and blamed the UK government for the rise of Islamic State. It appeared alongside a picture of Corbyn shaking hands with Kozbar, detailed regular meetings between the two men, and quoted the Labour leader as calling the mosque leader “fantastic”. Finsbury Park mosque became

infamous for hosting the preacher Abu Hamza before it was shut down by the authorities in 2003 over an alleged plot to produce the poison ricin. Kozbar says he has since fought hard to rebuild the mosque’s reputation and standing in the community and he was forced to fight the case against the Sunday Telegraph in order to take a stand against “Islamophopic media coverage”. He insisted the article was “not just an attack on me but also my faith community”. “This mosque went through very difficult times in the past and we managed to change the atmosphere from a hostile atmosphere to a welcoming community,” said Kozbar. “We will not accept anyone who wants to destroy the reputation and the hard work that has been done with the community here at Finsbury Park mosque.” Corbyn appeared alongside Kozbar last summer following the far-right terrorist attack near the mosque, which resulted in the death of Makram Ali. Jonathan Coad of Keystone Law, who took up the case after Kozbar was unsatisfied with a ruling by the press regulator Ipso, said: “While there are many responsible elements of the press, the demonising of Muslims in some parts of it is immensely destructive. “These legal proceedings should never have been necessary. The article should not have been published.”

“Future of Muslim Studies in the UK” event planned Cardiff University, the most leading research center in Wales, the United Kingdom, is going to host a one-day conference on “the future of British Muslim Studies.” The organizer of the event is the Muslims in Britain Research Network, which holds the meeting in partnership with the Center of the Study of Islam in the UK on April 24, 2019. The conference on the future of the British Muslims is held at the

time when concerns –in academic circles as well as wider society- about security and terrorism have drawn attentions to the Muslim communities in the West in general and in Britain in particular. According to the organizers, British Muslims under such circumstances are facing difficulty regarding their positioning, politics, and struggle to have their voices heard. The organizers say the one-day

conference is meant to convene those from within and outside academic circles to discuss and debate challenges Britain’s Muslim communities face. Participants have also been asked to send an abstract of their papers about topics that include the field of British Muslim Studies in the West, Partnership between Muslim groups and academia in the UK and the study of Muslims and Islam in the UK’s educational system, etc.


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Leadsom implies British as foreigners over Islamophobia remark

Andrea Leadsom has come under fire for suggesting that Islamophobia should be treated as a Foreign Office issue. Labour frontbencher Naz Shah said she was “shocked” by the Commons Leader’s “baffling” comments. The shadow women and equalities minister added that Mrs Leadsom’s response “horrifically alludes to British Muslims as foreigners”. Tory ex-minister Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in the Cabinet, said: “What is wrong with some of my colleagues?” Mrs Leadsom made the remarks

in response to Ms Shah’s call for a Commons debate after Lady Warsi slammed the Conservatives over Islamophobia within the party. Ms Shah added that the allparty parliamentary group on British Muslims recently published a definition of Islamophobia. The Commons Leader said: “The Conservative party is taking very strong action in any cases of Islamophobia that we identify. “We have been extremely robust and urgent in our response to this.” On a definition of Islamophobia, Mrs Leadsom suggested “she can discuss with Foreign Office ministers whether that would be a useful way

forward”. Ms Shah said: “I was shocked by what Andrea Leadsom said in response to my genuine call for a debate on Islamophobia. “To say that British Muslims facing Islamophobia here in the UK is a ‘Foreign Office’ issue is truly baffling and horrifically alludes to British Muslims as foreigners. “It just goes to show how out of touch the Tories are with a problem that their politicians and councillors are exacerbating. “Perhaps she doesn’t want a debate as it will expose her party’s failing on the problem? “The Tories have been skirting around this big issue for years and have not addressed the elephant in the room. “Everyday Muslims face appalling abuse on the streets and online, and it’s time things changed. Islamophobia has become normalised, and we need our politicians and society to understand how and why it is so wrong, and that we need to eradicate it in all its forms.” Lady Warsi said “British Muslims are ... British”, and suggested to Mrs Leadsom that the Conservatives were “in a hole” and should “stop digging”.

Muslim school attacked, Quran desecrated in Newcastle In Case You Missed It

A Muslim school in Newcastle, Britain, was attacked by sick vandals who ripped up copies of the Quran, smashed windows and sprayed graffiti. The Bahr Academy in Newcastle was ransacked last month – marking the second time it had been targeted in three months. Imam Abdul Muheet, head of the school, said a ladder had been used to smash a window and that copies of the Quran had been vandalized and “thrown on the floor”. “Neighbours near the school had called to say there were people inside

and that windows had been smashed,” he said, the Sun reported. “We arrived there at 9.20pm to find the individuals still there”. The imam added: “We had just got tidied up after the last time. We feel angry, afraid and scared now. Anything could happen.” Muheet arrived at the building at the same time as cops. “There was paraffin and spirits on the floor, he said, adding, “I saw them in the chapel and heard them talking about ‘Muslims’ and ‘terrorists’.” “I just think it’s pathetic, but it is disappointing to hear young people

saying things like that. But what can you do?” The incident in Newcastle comes days after five mosques had their windows smashed in Birmingham. Two men have been arrested in relation to the attacks which came less than a week after a Far Right gunman shot 50 worshippers dead at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Bahr Academy, once the set of popular BBC kids drama Byker Grove, was also targeted in January with thugs spraying the words “Moslem terrorists” and on walls.


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Muslim Lives Don’t Matter

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Friday the15th of March was one of the darkest days in New Zealand’s history when an Australian White far-right supremacist Brenton Tarrant used semi-automatic weapons killing at least fifty Muslims and leaving countless injured leaving many fighting for their lives. Many of the victims regarded the masjid as a safe sanctuary and New Zealand as the safest place on earth only for everything to change in a few moments of complete madness on the part of the terrorist who will go down in history as one of the most evil people to have walked the earth. None of the congregation ever believed that something so reprehensible could ever take place in the house of Allah. Muslim men,

women and children had gathered on Friday (Jumu’ah) the holiest day of the week to listen to the sermon (khutbah) and to perform the prayer. Harrowing tales emerging from the massacre tell us that many in the congregation at the Al-Noor masjid were gunned down whilst in prayer, some were killed whilst reciting the Qur’an, some died whilst heroically trying to save their nearest and dearest. The most harrowing story that emerged from the heroic survivors was the fact that the despicable, callous and barbaric ‘terrorist’ did not even spare young children in the ensuing chaos. The terrorist it should be said was hell bent on massacring innocent Muslim with callous intent. The authorities

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in New Zealand stated that the ‘terrorist’ was not flagged up on any watchlist and hence was not known to them. To this date we are unaware of how the ‘terrorist’ was radicalised and whether he had a network of supporters who were helping him over a long period of time. The individual in question is known to have travelled to many countries around the world including Turkey, Israel andPakistan seem have to been very positive about the latter in terms of the people and the culture. In the aftermath of the massacre, police uncovered that that the semiautomatic weapons found in the boot of the ‘terrorists’ car had references to places like Rotherham, Acre 1189


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and Vienna 1683. Furthermore, the assailant had written the names of victims of so-called Islamist terror in recent times. The terrorist it seems was trying to evoke a clash of civilizations by getting Muslims and non-Muslims to kill one another in an orgy of violence. We can argue that the selfstyled White supremacist crusader exacted revenge on helpless Muslims in a masjid in Christchurch as Muslim grooming gangs had abused white young girls for decades in Rotherham where the authorities and politicians turned a blind eye to it for decades. We can also argue that the terrorist tried to present himself as a ‘crusader’ in a similar vein to King Guy of Jerusalem who sought to take back territory lost to Salahuddin al-Ayyubiin 1189. We can also make the case that the terrorist tried to emulate the Austrian forces that defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 that many historians argue stopped the advance of the latter towards the heart of Europe. We must not forget that the ‘terrorist’ was first and foremost inspired by none other than Donald J Trump the President of the United States of America. It is said that the ‘terrorist’ was inspired by Trump’s bigotry towards Blacks and Muslims.

Trump was seen by the ‘terrorist’ as the leader, hero, and saviour of the White race worldwide. It should be said that the ‘terrorist’ was certainly inspired by Trump, especially when he ratcheted up the rhetoric by saying Muslims would not be allowed to enter the country. The world’s media and media platforms have failedto heed the lessons since the Christchurch massacre. Social media companies displayed gross negligence in failing to stop the coverage of the unfolding massacre and the subsequent uploading of the harrowing footage. To rub further salt in the wounds, the media used racist overtones when arguing that the ‘terrorist’ committed these heinous acts because he was mentally ill. Many media outlets have shamefully used this line of argument to say that when a White supremacist commits mass murder then mental health issues are brought into play and used as a cover to excuse criminality. When a ‘Muslim’ commits the same offence, the media seldom uses this angle when discussing the prime motivating fact behind the criminal act. The incessant profiling and the othering of Muslims in the media and at governmental levels reinforces the view that they are ‘double victims’ when these atrocities are carried out. The Prime Minister Jacinda

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Ardern to her credit fired the first salvo in the war against hate and Islamophobia by refusing to mention the assailants name and referred to him as the ‘terrorist’ in parliament. New Zealand a country known for its diversity and for promoting dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding has since the barbaric massacre in Christchurch led the way in fighting Islamophobia since last month. Prime Minister Ardern made a world’s first by announcing the call to prayer (adhan) on national television and telecasting the following week’s Friday (Jumma) prayer. The support given to the Muslims in New Zealand by the Prime Minister has been nothing but inspirational since the tragic events since March 15 2019. The nation has led the way in terms of embracing the multitude of ethnic groups and faiths for seventy years in that most immigrants and the generations that have come after them have called the country home. The country is streets ahead of many countries around the world in terms of fighting bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. On a positive note, Muslims around the world should salute Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her dynamism and respect for the Islamic faith and other countries in the world should use New Zealand as a template for positive change.


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Bangladesh to relocate Rohingya Muslims to remote Islet

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Bangladesh will relocate over 100,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote islet by mid-April, a government minister confirmed, but there are fears the chosen site is less than ideal. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed completion of the relocation of 23,000 Rohingya families to Bhashan Char by April 15,” local media quoted Md Enamur Rahman, state minister for disaster and relief management. To make the islet habitable, all facilities — including housing, power, communication, healthcare, storm surge protection, and cyclone shelter centers — have been provided, Rahman added. International groups and rights

bodies including the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, however, have repeatedly warned the move could be risky and urged Bangladesh to go through the project with Rohingya refugees on a voluntary basis and with due clarification. Rahman said a meeting had been held at the prime minister’s office to address the concerns. Under the government plan, he said, over 103,000 Rohingya out of over a million who fled Myanmar will be moved to Bhashan Char at an estimated cost of over $275.3 million (23.12 billion Bangladeshi taka), fully managed by Bangladesh’s government. Until the Rohingya resettlement

project began one year ago, the islet was apparently uninhabited, mostly used for cattle grazing and as a hub for pirates. The islet emerged from the Bay of Bengal in 2006 and is about 30 kilometers from the mainland, and 52 km from the southern Noakhali district. In 2013, the area was declared a forest reserve. Motorboats are the only mode of travel to the island. Around 1,350 acres of land — 432 acres occupied and 918 acres vacant — were proposed for the Rohingya rehabilitation project. However, the journey to Bhasan Char is a difficult and during bad weather can be a dangerous trip. The average elevation of Bhasan Char is 2.84 metres above mean sea level, according to Bangladesh Naval sources. Some local and international media reported it takes around oneand-a-half hours to reach Bhasan Char from the nearest land, Noakhali, or the nearest inhabited island, Hatia, via trawler or motorboat. The island is also prone to river erosion. But last fall Anadolu Agency found it took more than two hours to reach the island by motorboat from either Hatia or Noakhali. According to Forest Department data and available information, a part of the island disappears into the sea every year due to erosion. www.pi-media.co.uk

Iraq slams Trump’s statement on Golan Heights In Case You Missed It

Iraq slammed US President Donald Trump’s statement on the Golan Heights. The US president’s statement “contravenes international law,” the Iraqi foreign ministry said on Twitter, Reuters reported. Trump’s statement last month

marked a dramatic shift in US policy over the status of the Syrian territory. The Zionist regime has long pushed Washington to recognize its claim over the territory it seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel occupies roughly twothirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 -- an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council. www.pi-media.co.uk


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US Muslims face more discrimination than followers of other faiths: Poll

Muslims face more discrimination than any other religious group in the United States, according to a poll of registered voters published. Conducted by political website The Hill and market research and consulting services company HarrisX, it found that 85 percent of respondents believe Muslims face discrimination while 79 percent said Jews are discriminated against. Some 61 percent of respondents said Christians face discrimination,

while 55 percent said atheists face discrimination. The poll’s release comes during a week in which an anti-hate resolution was passed in Congress to condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry. All three Congressional Muslims hailed its passage, calling it “historic on many fronts”. “It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history,” Reps.

Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Andre Carson said in a statement. The resolution made its way onto the House floor in the wake of comments made by Omar criticizing Israel, sparking outrage among critics, who claimed the remarks were antiSemitic. “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said at a town hall last week, referring to Israel. While many in Congress slammed her comments, including Rep. Eliot Engel, who called them “unacceptable and deeply offensive”, some lawmakers came to her defense. “One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx other communities,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted March 1-2 among 1,003 registered voters. The sampling’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

40 Palestinian Kids among martyrs in Gaza fence protests The UN children’s agency said around 40 children have been killed in one year of demonstrations along the fence that separates the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israelioccupied territories. According to UNICEF, almost 3,000 others have been hospitalized with injuries since the start of the protests one year ago, many leading to life-long disabilities. UNICEF’s Middle East Director Geert Cappelaere voiced anger at

the growing number of casualties, calling for an end to violence against children in Gaza and elsewhere across the occupied territories. “UNICEF reiterates its outrage at the very high numbers of children who have been killed and injured as a result of armed conflict 2018,” Cappelaere said, Press TV reported. Cappelaere also expressed sorrow over the killing of Palestinian teenage boys by Israeli gunfire in

the Gaza Strip. Israeli troops have shot and killed dozens of Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip in recent months. Israel has launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure. www.pi-media.co.uk

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Halal holiday in demand www.pi-media.co.uk

I April 2019

Halal travel, catering for Muslim requirements, is undergoing a boom. Worth $177bn (£136bn) in 2017, the market is expected to reach $274bn by 2023, according to the most recent state of the Islamic economy report. Driven by a rapidly expanding global population and a burgeoning middle class, overall Muslim lifestyle spending – including food, fashion, cosmetics, media and recreation – was worth an estimated $2.1tn in 2017. The report – produced annually by analyst Thomson Reuters – says that the halal travel sector is “spreading its wings through offering cultural, historical, religious and beach tourism. Muslim-friendly

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beach resorts are proving particularly popular.” Muslim spending power has never been stronger – and hoteliers on the Turquoise Coast have been quick to respond. Some have converted existing hotels to be halalfriendly; other purpose-built resorts are springing up. Their restaurants serve halal food. The premises are alcohol-free. They provide prayer rooms and mosques, and broadcast the call to prayer over public address systems. Most resorts have screened-off women-only pools and beach areas, in which women can sunbathe in bikinis without fear of being seen by men. Boys over the age of five or six are banned, along with cameras and

mobile phones. Spas and gyms have separate opening times for men and women. Organized entertainment is “family-friendly”. According to Ufuk Secgin of HalalBooking.com, which caters for Muslim tourists, “absolutely there is a boom in this sector; we see it and feel it every day. There is a growing Muslim middle class. The first generation [of immigrants to the UK] tended to work in low-skilled jobs, but in the second and third generations we see more doctors, lawyers, people working in finance and so on. Muslim tourism is still largely focused on the Persian Gulf, with Saudi Arabia the top destination because of its custodianship of the Muslim holy sites, Mecca and Medina, which attract millions of pilgrims each year. The kingdom accounted for $21bn of Muslim travel spending in 2017, with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait next on the league table. Other countries attracting large numbers of Muslim travelers were Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Russia and Nigeria. But, increasingly, countries with small Muslim populations are waking up to the potential of the halal travel market. Two hotels on the Costa del Sol in Spain serve only halal food and are alcohol-free. A handful of small hotels in London and other European cities have similar policies.

of the missiles had been intercepted by the Arab country’s air defense, and those that hit their targets only caused material damage. Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims the airstrikes have targeted an arms depot in Aleppo airport, causing huge explosions. The attacks have also caused a massive blackout in Aleppo, according to the Syrian TV. The Israeli regime launches airstrikes on the Syrian territory from time to time. Such aggressive moves are usually viewed as

attempts to prop up terrorist groups suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces. Israel used to be very careful with its operations over Syria after Russia equipped Damascus with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles in October 2018. However, US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize the “Israeli sovereignty” over the Syrian territories of Golan Heights has seemingly emboldened Tel Aviv to launch new aggression on the Arab country. www.pi-media.co.uk

Israel attacks Aleppo The Syrian air defense system has responded to multiple missiles fired by Israeli jets on the northwestern city of Aleppo, intercepting the majority of them according to Syrian media. The Israeli regime launched the attacks on Shaykh Najjar industrial city located 10 km northeast of Aleppo last month, the official Syrian news agency SANA reported. SANA quoted a military source as saying that the Syrian air defense has “downed a number of the hostile missiles”. The Syrian TV said the majority


Israel a state of robbers: Malaysia PM

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Agency reported. His remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump said it was time for the US to recognize the Zionist regime’s control of the occupied Golan Heights. Israel has long pushed Washington to recognize its claim over the territory it seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 -- an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

Dubbing Israel as “a state of robbers”, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his country enjoys friendly relations with every country in the world except for Israel. “We are not against Jews but we cannot recognize Israel because of

(its) occupation of Palestinian land,” Mahathir said in his remarks, aired by local broadcasters, during his three-day visit to Pakistan. “You cannot seize others’ lands, and form a state. It’s like a state of robbers”, he went on to say, Anadolu

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Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia to become Mosque: Erdogan

Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum will be called a mosque from now on, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “Hagia Sophia will no longer be called a museum. Its status will change. We will call it a mosque,” Erdogan said during a live televised program. Tourists who will come to visit mosques in Istanbul will visit “Hagia Sophia not as a museum, but as a mosque,” the Turkish president said. Slamming criticism of the decision by foreign officials, Erdogan recalled their silence over the attacks on Jerusalem’s (Quds) Al Aqsa Mosque. “Those who remain silent

when Masjid Al Aqsa is attacked, trampled, its windows smashed, cannot tell us what to do about the status of Hagia Sofia,” he said. Hagia Sophia, dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by some historians, is one of the most visited places in the world in terms of art and architecture history. Built in 537 CE, it was famous for its massive dome. It was an engineering marvel, the world’s largest building at the time. Historians consider it the high point of Byzantine architecture. From 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when the Fourth

Crusaders converted it to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. It functioned as a Christian church for 916 years. When the Ottomans took the city, Fatih Sultan Mehmet converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque in 1453. It had that status for 482 years until 1935, when the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, converted it to a museum. Following restoration work during the Ottoman era and the adding of minarets by architect Mimar Sinan, Hagia Sophia became one of the most important monuments of world architecture. With Erdogan’s edict, it will again be converted to a mosque.


Fox News condemns host over hijab comments

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I April 2019

American pay television conservative news channel Fox News condemned its host Jeanine Pirro after she questioned whether a Muslim congresswoman’s wearing of a headscarf stood in conflict to the US Constitution. In a rare rebuke of one of its star presenters, the network said: “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.” Pirro suggested on her show that Omar’s religious beliefs may run counter to the US Constitution, saying: “Think about it: Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover

so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” Omar, who is a Somali-American and one of the first Muslim women elected to US Congress in November, has been at the center of a furious row over anti-Semitism after controversial comments she made about Israel. Omar, who has already been once rebuked by Democrat leadership over her comments on Israel in the two months she has been in office, triggered this new row with a tweet. She wrote: “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge

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support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee” Pirro, also known as Judge Jeanine, opened her weekend program criticizing Omar for “antiIsrael sentiment” and questioned whether it was rooted in the representative for Minnesota’s Islamic beliefs. “She’s not getting this antiIsrael sentiment doctrine from the Democrat Party. So if it’s not rooted in the party, where is she getting it from?” Pirro said on her “Justice with Judge Jeanine” show. The comments drew criticism from her own colleagues. Hufsa Kamal, a producer on Fox’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” tweeted: “@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself.” Responding to the furor, Pirro said her intention “was to ask a question and start a debate.” “Of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.” www.pi-media.co.uk

PM Khan has announced a Rs162 billion package for Karachi

Chairing a meeting in Karachi, he said a water conservation drive will be started in the city. Seven projects will be started to resolve the city’s sewerage issues. Without the development of Karachi, the country cannot progress, said the premier. Karachi’s is the country’s economic hub, he said, announcing that to save space in the city, the

government will be allowing the construction of high-rise buildings. The spread of population in Karachi has led to a strain on available resources and facilities, he said. To resolve these issues, we need a new master plan for the city, said PM Khan. Fixing Karachi was the Sindh government’s job, he said, adding

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that the Centre is also worried about the state of the city. No one in Pakistan ever thought about storing water, he said. He slammed the PPP-ruled Sindh government by saying they won from rural Sindh and didn’t take care of Karachi. We are bringing in projects for the supply of clean water and a good transport system to the city, he announced.


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Williams uses his platform for change afer terror attacks

It was unlike any media stand-up Sonny Bill Williams had fronted. The throng of microphones Williams, a headline-magnet since his teens, was accustomed to. The role was one he was not. A self-described “shy” Polynesian man, Williams stepped towards the cameras assembled on the northern edge of Christchurch’s Hagley Park. In the aftermath of the country’s darkest day, Williams had found his voice, using his unique platform as an All Black and as a Muslim, to speak of faith, dignity, inclusiveness and the power to change as a nation. “Now it’s time for the conversation to start,” he said. Earlier, 20,000 people had gathered in the park to honour the

victims of horrifying attacks on the city’s Muslim community in a Call to Prayer that echoed around the nation. Across the road loomed the light of the golden dome of Masjid Al Noor, where a lone gunman driven by a hateful ideology started a rampage that would leave 50 dead, dozens more seriously injured and a country permanently changed. It was also where Williams worshipped during his short stint in the city with the Crusaders in 2011. Soon after the shootings, a distressed Williams posted a video message expressing his devastation that such an act of extreme violence - targeted at the very people that had welcomed him so openly - had

come to pass. For him it was deeply personal. He arrived in the city a few days later to comfort the survivors and reach out to the wider Muslim community with his message of hope. He had a message for the wider New Zealand public as well. Williams told NZStuff he hoped the outpouring of emotion following the terror attacks would pave the way for “a fight against racism and hate speech”. “We’re not consciously aware of what Islam is, what it really is. As a society, collectively, Muslims have been painted with the same brush and I guess that’s seeped into people’s consciousness, whether they’ve known it or not,” Williams said. “It sows the seeds for these rightwing extremists to act upon, so it’s very sad. But with sadness comes hope, and that’s what we’re trying to bring about.” Under the relentless glare of the media spotlight, Williams missteps have always been amplified. There was a risk too, that in speaking out on behalf of the Muslim community his motivations would be misconstrued. But in the face of racism and hatred, the damage done by staying silent is greater. “I knew I had to be vulnerable and step up.”

UAE’s first female boxers

Doors will open for more Emirati women to compete after the creation of the UAE’s first women’s boxing team, according one of the two fighters Fahima Falaknaz. Prompted by February’s ruling by world amateur boxing sanctioning body AIBA, which now allows Muslim female fighters to wear the hijab, two Emiratis started a first UAE women’s national team training camp in Abu Dhabi at Zayed Sports City.

Last year’s appointment of Emirati sports administrator Anas Al Otaiba as president of the Asian Boxing Confederation and a member of the AIBA executive committee has no doubt helped the rise of women’s boxing in the region, as he had made gender equality and the hijab rule his main mandate. The 56-kg category fighter, who has only been boxing for a year and a half, but hasn’t yet fought

competitively, said: “Hopefully we can inspire other Emirati women and open doors for them to follow us. Falaknaz says her ability to step into the ring is also thanks to changing attitudes in her culture. Falaknaz, 35, from Dubai and Hanan Al Zeyoudi, 24, from Sharjah, are preparing ahead of the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships in Thailand from April 16.


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Special Olympics athletes return to Saudi with record medals haul

Victorious athletes from Saudi Arabia’s Special Olympics team are returning home with a record haul of medals. With the Games in Abu Dhabi having drawn to a close, the Kingdom’s triumphant sporting heroes were heading back with a bumper collection of 40 gold, silver

and bronze medals. And the star performers are rightly proud of their achievements against competitors from around the world. Basketball player Maan Alkhidhr, from the city of Sakaka in northwestern Saudi Arabia, won a silver medal with his team and said

taking part in the Special Olympics had been the best experience of his life. He was one of 50 representatives, including 21 women, from Saudi Arabia who joined more than 7,500 athletes from 190 nations taking part in the Games. It was the first time in the sporting event’s 50-year history that it had been held in the Middle East and North Africa. The Saudi team’s trophy tally included 18 gold, nine silver, and 13 bronze medals, a record for the Kingdom. The squad won seven golds, one silver, and three bronzes in athletics; one undefeated gold in women’s unified basketball; one silver in men’s basketball; three golds, three silvers, and four bronzes in bocce; one silver and one bronze in bowling; three golds, one silver, and one bronze in powerlifting; one gold in roller skating; two golds, one silver, and three bronzes in swimming; one gold and one silver in table tennis; and one bronze in triathlon. www.pi-media.co.uk

Iraq football team will play world cup qualifiers in Basra Iraq’s football association has announced that 2022 World Cup qualification matches will take place in Basra, Iraq, after international games were played overseas due to instability. Basra International Stadium’s announcer told the crowd the news on 21 March, during a friendly football match that saw hosts Iraq beat Jordan 3-2. Iraq has been suffering a shortage of international matches on home soil since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, after FIFA issued a ban due to security reasons. It stayed in place after the USled invasion in 2003, which ousted

defunct President Saddam Hussein. It was intermittently lifted, but reimpose, mainly due to war against Islamic State group. Iraq has been playing its home matches in nearby countries, including Iran, Jordan or Doha. The country, however, has held some friendlies, including an exhibition match against Saudi Arabia in Basra on 28 February. In 16 March 2018, FIFA President Gianni Infantino officially announced the ban’s lifting on stadiums in Basra, Karbala and Erbil at the FIFA Council Meeting in Bogota. “In these three cities,

international matches will be allowed to be played as far as FIFA is concerned,” said Infantino. The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim alKhalifa hailed the announcement. “This is a significant moment in shaping the future of football in Iraq,” he said. Construction of Basra International Stadium started in midJuly 2009 and was inaugurated in 2013. It has the capacity of 65,000 spectators - one of the biggest stadiums in the region. www.pi-media.co.uk


I FEATURED

I April 2019

The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context

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Part 36

The annals of history tell us that the Umayyads achieved a tremendous progress and built upon the achievements of the four rightly guided caliphs (khulafah eraashdun). We should remember that the Byzantines and the Sassanids had very effective models of government administration that had all the hallmarks of a modern state. On the other hand, the Arabs and the Muslims had been engrossed in tribal rivalries and being vassals to the Byzantines and Sassanids meant that positive development was thus impeded to a great extent. Mu’awaiyah I set about transforming the economic fortunes of the Arabs and Muslims by ordering the construction and enlargement of existing and new cities. The city of Qayrawan (Kairouan) was built

by in 50 AH/670 AD in Tunisia, North Africa. Later, Sulayman ibn Abdul Malik 97-100AH/715-718 AD built Al-Ramla in Palestine and Al-Hajjaj built All-Wasit in Iraq. Under the Umayyads, the process of urbanisation became more apparent as people moved from the desert to built up conurbations that were in the process of being expanded. Urbanisation involves the process of people moving from rural to urban areas. The Arabs and the Muslims were attracted to the cities due to push and pull factors which we shall discuss in due course. In the desert, the Arabs were accustomed to a nomadic life and there were very little opportunities for people who sought a better life and thus were being pushed out of these areas. On the other hand, the cities attracted and enticed people away

from the desert life as there were plentiful opportunities to gain a better education and better employment prospects were available to those seeking prosperity. Thus, the cities were a far better proposition to the people living under Umayyad rule. During the reign of the Umayyads, existing cities were expanded and new cities such as Fustat and Basrah were born out from military encampments and barracks that had housed the Rashidun infantry prior to 661 AD. These military encampments or barracks that housed military battalions accompanied with their own physicians and accountants transformed into small settlements. It is these settlements that later became villages that transformed into towns and cities as a result of substantial inward migration.


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PI April 2019  

Latest issue of Passion Islam (PI) April 2019 out now, #islam #muslims #news #christchurch #terror #attack #newzealand #sport #sonnybillwill...

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Latest issue of Passion Islam (PI) April 2019 out now, #islam #muslims #news #christchurch #terror #attack #newzealand #sport #sonnybillwill...

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