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Muslims Most Generous

Issue: 65 - www.pi-media.co.uk - August 2013

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Muslim donors are the most generous religious group in the UK, giving an average of £371 per head in 2012, according to research into giving habits by religion. Research among 4,036 UK residents, carried out by ICM Research in 2012 and based on data from JustGiving, showed that the next most generous group was Jewish donors, who gave £270 per head, followed by Protestants,

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who gave £202, Catholics, who gave £178, and Hindus, who gave £171. Atheists, who made up a quarter of the total, were the least generous, giving £116 on average. The average donor gave £165 over the course of the year, researchers found. The research found that 65 per cent of people gave to charity in 2012. Protestants were the most likely

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Charity average per head 1.Muslims £371 2.Jews £270 3.Protestants £202 4.Catholics £178 5.Hindus £171 to donate, with 74 per cent making donations. Jewish people were least likely to give, with 57 per cent making donations.

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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I August 2013

By Dr Abdul B Shaikh

Lecturer in Islamic Studies @ Leeds University

The Plight of New Muslim Reverts in the UK

This month’s article has been prompted by a moving and enlightening conversation I had with a revert Muslim brother in a local mosque about the plight and suffering faced by Muslim brothers and sisters who have come into the fold of Islam. A number of issues raised in conversation provided food for thought in respect of the attitudes within the Muslim community towards those who have reverted to the faith. One particular issue highlighted during the conversation was the plight of new Muslim reverts that have been thrown out of their family homes simply for embracing a new faith! This situation one is led to believe has affected a dozen or more individuals in our local community and as a direct consequence they have basically been left destitute with no guarantee or food, water and shelter in the fourth richest country in the world! These brothers and sisters have made a huge sacrifice and commitment by entering the fold of Islam only to find that their decision to revert has brought a new set of difficult circumstances that they have to face. As Muslims, we are aware that the community

(Ummah) is one body and when one part of the body is suffering then the rest have a duty to assist and support the less fortunate. By the grace of Allah, Muslims across the UK contribute year on year to many worthwhile causes home and abroad but how many of us including myself remember to assist those closest to home. There is an old saying which many of us will be familiar with the saying ‘charity begins at home’ One makes an appeal to all the Muslim brothers and sisters in the UK to assist our brothers and sisters who have come into the fold of Islam from a financial, spiritual and moral perspective in the coming days, months and years. Islam is a faith that transcends all boundaries and it is not surprising to find that just over 20 per cent of the world’s population is Muslim. Despite this amazing fact, we should ask ourselves how many of us truly possess an open minded approach towards Muslim reverts. One should remember that Islam was not defined by race or nationality but by the notion of brotherhood. Therefore, we have a duty to treat Muslim reverts as our own

family members whether it be in the mosque or any other cultural or social setting. Returning back to the conversation, one was disturbed to find that some reverts had come to the mosque to fulfil their religious obligations to find that they had been told it is unlawful to wear trousers and shirt and that the adornment of Islamic clothing was necessary for the prayer to be valid. This incident one of a few has had a devastating effect on new Muslim reverts to such an extent that they are reluctant to come to the mosque and instead feel more comfortable to offer their prayers at home. As Muslims, we have a duty to show compassion, love and mercy towards those who have embraced the faith and ensure their journey to Islam is made comfortable as possible. One is quite sure that the Muslim community does not want to alienate the people who need our support and encouragement the most. One hopes that the Muslim community will pause and reflect on this article and do its utmost best to alleviate the difficulties experienced by Muslim reverts.

Write to: Editor, PI Media, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk www.pi-media.co.uk This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -

Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not necessarily of Passion Islam.


I August 2013

UK First Muslim MP now Gov of Punjab www.pi-media.co.uk

Former Glasgow MP Mohammed Sarwar has been appointed the governor of Punjab and will lead more than 90million people in Pakistan’s largest province. Mr Sarwar has given up his British citizenship to take up the role. Pakistan Prime Minister Nazaz Sharif has sent a summary of Mr Sarwar’s appointment to President Asif Ali Sardar with the official swearing in ceremony to take place in due course. Mr Sarwar’s son, Anas Sarwar, who succeeded his father as the MP for Glasgow Central in 2010 and later

became deputy leader of Scottish Labour, said: “I am an extremely proud son and we are an extremely proud family. “The opportunity for my father to go back to the place where he was born and to give something back to the country is a massive one. “The opportunity for him to improve the life chances of 90m people was too big for him to refuse.” On his son congratulating him on his appointment, Mr Sarwar Snr said: “I’m ready son.” Mohammed Sarwar is well connected to Pakistan’s political elite and played a key role in the election campaign that returned Mr Sharif to power last month, helping deliver more than a dozen seats in Faisalabad region. Mr Sarwar has to give up his British citizenship because no dualnationals can hold public office in Pakistan.

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Ex-UK PM faces criticism over Iraq war Tony Blair is likely to face condemnation over his promises to former US President George W Bush of Britain backing the US in the invasion of Iraq. The report from the investigation team into the Iraq war, led by former senior civil servant Sir John Chilcot, is expected to be published and Chilcot has informed David Cameron that it may contain criticism of Blair. Chilcot has written to inform Cameron that the inquiry will warn Blair of the criticism, before it publishes its report, over his promises to Bush about backing the US in the Iraq war, while negotiations were still taking place at the United Nations (UN). Chilcot wrote in his letter to Cameron that “there are areas in which some aspect of the part they [Blair and Bush] played means the inquiry is likely to make a criticism”.


TV Cameras in Crown Court move closer

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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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some cases it will not be in the interests of justice to broadcast footage.” Unlike in US-style televised trials, victims, witnesses and defendants will not be filmed. A No 10 source said: “This is an important step in opening up the court process. Allowing the public to watch justice in action will help build trust in our judicial system. Hearing why verdicts have been given and watching the sentencing process will add to public confidence in the courts.” Proceedings in the

The prospect of TV cameras being allowed to film judges sentencing murderers, rapists and other criminals has moved a step closer under new Government plans. Proceedings in the Court of Appeal will be televised later this year, with cameras set to be allowed into Crown Courts in future. Viewers will be able to watch lawyers’ arguments and the rulings of appeal court judges under the plan, which could be in place by October.

The Ministry of Justice is working with the judiciary and broadcasters to then extend this to Crown Courts, in an effort to “bring a new openness” to the system in England and Wales, a Government source said. Cameras will be placed at the Royal Courts of Justice, where they will be able to film criminal and civil appeals. Broadcasters will determine which cases are covered, subject to necessary judicial checks. The source said: “In

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Supreme Court can already be filmed, but this new initiative will extend that principle. In January the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, raised concerns about sentencing being shown on television amid fears that members of the judiciary would be booed. He told the Lords Constitution Committee that filming a sentencing could encourage hecklers to yell abuse or even cheer, adding: “I’m very troubled about having cameras just swanning around.”

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I August 2013

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Human rights organisation wants Schedule 7 changes

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I August 2013

Human rights organisation CagePrisoners welcomed the news that Home Secretary Theresa May will be overhauling stop and search powers amid claims black and minority ethnic communities have been discriminated against. Evidence shows there are approximately 1.2 million stop and searches per year with asian

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people stopped and searched at twice the rate of white people and black people at seven times the rate. However, Schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorism Act, which allows the detention of people for up to nine hours at ports of exit and entry, will not be affected by these reforms. Though the government

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had indicated results of a public review of Schedule 7 powers would be published in spring, nothing has yet been made available. Reforming Schedule 7 remains a matter of urgency; its implementation surpasses even stop and search in its trespassing upon fundamental civil liberties: - There is no need for reasonable suspicion. - One does not have the right to remain silent - One can be examined and questioned for up to 9 hours without charge or access to legal advice - One can be strip searched and have DNA take - An individual suspected of a crime in a police station has more rights than someone who is not suspected but detained under Schedule 7 Anecdotal evidence gathered by CagePrisoners and available at www. schedule7stories.com suggests that Muslims are being specifically targeted by these measures.

New curriculum revised to include Islam history

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced his national curriculum after revising it to include a module on the history of Islam. The changes were made after an early draft of the new history curriculum sparked widespread criticism for failing to make

any reference to Islam. Muslims were outraged with the draft and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which represents some 500 Islamic institutes in Britain, said it was “deeply disappointed” that the curriculum made no reference to Muslims and Islam.

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I August 2013

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I August 2013

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Bolton Muslim Girls School among best schools in country

A school in Bolton is one of the best in the country. Bolton Muslim Girls School has been officially recognised as being in the top 20 per cent of the country for the numbers of pupils who achieve high grades in their GCSE exams. The SSAT — the representative body for schools — congratulated the school for its achievement, which it calculated by counting students’ best eight GCSE subjects. Headteacher Mubaaruck Ibrahim

said: “We are delighted to be recognised as being amongst one of the top performing schools in the country for the amount of value that we add to our learners and our performance in national exams. “It is a testament to the culture of high expectation and learning that we have created at Bolton Muslim Girls School. “It is also a testament to the hard work and dedication of our learners, parents, staff, governors and senior

leadership team without whom all this would not have been possible.” The school was ranked the third best state school in Bolton with 69 per cent of its students achieving five or more A* to C GCSEs including English and maths last summer. Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT, said: “Bolton Muslim Girls School should be congratulated for their stunning achievement in securing some of the best GCSE results in the country. “These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at Bolton Muslim Girls School and a vindication of their belief in high expectations, good teaching and ambition for every young person. “Successful schools like Bolton Muslim Girls School understand the value of data, such as these attainment measures, in helping to ensure all young people perform to the very best of their ability.”

Stop the government from stealing citizenship! Sign the petition

Since 2010, Theresa May has taken UK citizenship away from 16 people. Two of these men were later killed in American drone attacks and others have been kidnapped, held in secret and rendered to America. At least five of these people were born right here in the UK, and one man had been living in Britain for almost fifty years. Some young children born in Britain have essentially been prevented from growing up here because now neither of their parents have the legal right to remain. The 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship, which the Nazis claimed would help safeguard the German nation. These laws were important

because they formalized the inferior status of Jews and served as a necessary prelude to the atrocities of the Holocaust. Today in Britain, those who hail from an ethnic minority are at risk of having their citizenship revoked if the Home Secretary arbitrarily decides someone is not “conducive to the public good” and claims they hold citizenship elsewhere. These laws create two classes of citizenship – one for people whose lineage is “indigenously” British, and an inferior citizenship for the rest. The British government should

be protecting the human rights of its citizens, not treating these rights as inconveniences they can sign away! Join us and sign the petition to end the racist citizenship deprivation laws. Link can be found http://tiny. cc/vnoyzw


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I August 2013


A Dignified Departure

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I August 2013

The voluntary departure from Britain of Omar Othman, better known as Abu Qatada, is a triumph for the independence of the judiciary over this and previous governments’ highprofile attempts to send him to face a trial in Jordan, where the evidence against him was obtained by torture. Our judiciary has safeguarded a prominent political refugee who our society chose to persecute in a disgraceful way. Since 2007 as many as 12 senior British judges in various courts have recognised the torture origins of the evidence against him. The US, aided by the UK, on behalf of its key ally Jordan, went so far as to kidnap UK residents Jamil el-Banna and Bisher al-Rawi on a business trip in Africa, torture them in Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, and take them to Guantánamo Bay in order to interrogate them about Othman. When those men sued the British authorities for what they had done, parliament was persuaded to create secret courts to adjudicate on secret defences. The British judges’ success is that the Jordanian government has now made a change in its law that applies only to Othman and no one else. In his case the burden of proof is now on the prosecutor to show that any statement made against him in court was not produced by torture or any other form of ill-treatment – a reversal of the previous situation. In addition, his safety in Jordan is enormously enhanced by the new conditions agreed, which include his detention in a civilian facility, the exclusion of the Jordanian intelligence service from any access to him,

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monitoring by an independent human rights body, and a commitment that Britain will be contacted if there are concerns. But the most recent phase of this 12-year saga has left poison in our society. The home secretary, prime minister, mayor of London and countless MPs – including senior Labour party figures – have led the media in reckless and prejudiced comments, making Othman the most demonised individual in Britain. This state-sanctioned hatred of one man is encapsulated by David Cameron’s words: “I am completely fed up with the fact that this man is still at large in our country.” MPs suggested that, as the courts had failed to remove him, the home secretary should just put him on a plane – even if that broke the law. For 12 years Othman has been the subject of immigration measures, which have seen him imprisoned in high-risk units for longer than any other non-convicted person in modern British history. Mr Justice Mitting in the special appeals immigration commission, who was then responsible for granting him bail against the government’s wishes, described the period he had been held as “lamentable … extraordinary … hardly, if at all, acceptable”. All this began with Othman’s detention in Belmarsh prison among a dozen Muslim refugees arrested post-9/11 and held without charge for over two years. He and his family supported others through the stress of indefinite detention, which took a heavy toll on the mental health of many of the men and their families, leading to suicide attempts and

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confinement in hospitals. These men’s lives were destroyed by the response of the American and British governments to 9/11 with arbitrary arrests and measures that have broken innocent families. After the House of Lords declared their detention illegal, the men were put under house arrest with rigorous conditions, which some have broken. However, even that restricted family life could be enjoyed for only 15 months by Othman, whose bail was revoked three times – in hearings that relied mainly on secret evidence and the allegation that he would attempt to leave the country. Given the extraordinary level of surveillance he was under and his own code of honour eloquently expressed to the judge, the prospect of absconding could not be taken seriously. The mantra of the home secretary, Theresa May, that “this is a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist”, has been repeated so often that the facts have been forgotten. No one suggests Othman is physically dangerous himself. No one has charged him with anything, except the Jordanians with the torturetainted evidence. No one has pointed to anything controversial that he is alleged to have said since the mid1990s. At that time he aligned himself with Islamic revolutionary movements opposing regimes that have now fallen, or which barely cling to power. Our security services and politicians turned this man into an Islamic counter-terrorism myth. If instead they had chosen to talk to him, as I have many times, they would have found that the man behind the myth is a scholar with wide intellectual and cultural interests. He wrote books while he was in prison. His home is filled with books. His children have excelled at school, with help and encouragement from his daily phone calls from prison. I have been a friend of Othman’s wife and daughters for some years, and have had many opportunities to talk to him in prison, as well as some when he was at home on bail. I’ve been struck by his dignity and lack of bitterness over the treatment he and his family have suffered and I believe that, rather than being scapegoated, his moral standards could have been useful in engaging Muslim youth and healing the wounds in our divided society. Written by Victoria Brittain


Israel establishes ‘virtual’ Gulf embassy

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The Israeli foreign ministry has opened its first “virtual embassy” – a Twitter account targeting citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the hope of opening channels for dialogue with the people of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. The new Twitter page is called ‘Israel in the GCC’ and it hopes to “open lines of dialogue” with Gulf states. The official responsible for operating it is Yoram Morad — Director of the Department of Digital Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, according to the

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Israeli daily Haaretz. He is primarily involved with cultural affairs at the ministry and is not involved in highlevel policy-making diplomacy. The page appears to be detached from any other clandestine talks that may be taking place between Israel and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Israel currently does not have official diplomatic relations with any Gulf state. However, it was revealed in May that the country had secretly opened a diplomatic mission in a Gulf state. The revelation was made when an economic plan submitted by the country’s finance ministry listed an office in a Gulf state as one of 11

I August 2013

new diplomatic missions established in 2012. Israel refused to comment on the matter. This Twitter gesture is part of an outreach campaign towards Gulf states, and was launched ahead of a possible round of Israeli-Palestinian talks in the coming days. While this public page will mostly run a low-level cultural platform aimed at people-topeople relations, efforts to reach out to the GCC governments are likely to be made behind closed doors and through clandestine meetings — with the talks presumably highlighting mutual security concerns relating to Iran, which is perceived to be a common threat to Israel and the GCC. WikiLeaks cables released in 2010 reveal snippets of that relationship through references to secret meetings held between Israeli diplomats and high-level Gulf officials, including those that had severed ties to the country. Qatar and Oman had established relations with Israel in the mid-1990s. Oman broke off those relations during the Second Palestinian Indtifada in 2000, and Qatar broke them during Israel’s war on Gaza in 2009.

EU ministers agree to blacklist Hezbollah’s armed wing In Case You Missed It

The European Union declared that the military wing of Lebanese party Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Diplomats said the decision was made following concerns over the group’s activities in Europe. Blacklisting Hezbollah means imposing visa bans on individuals and It will now become illegal for Hezbollah sympathisers in Europe to send the group money, and enables the freezing of the group’s assets there. However, implementation would be complicated since officials would have to unravel the links between

the different wings within Hezbollah’s organizational network, and see who could be targeted for belonging to its military. EU foreign ministers had been working for months to blacklist Hezbollah, after the group was accused of involvement in last year’s attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria. Hezbollah has denied involvement in the incident. The decision to put its military wing on the EU list of terrorist groups required approval by all 28 member states.

However, some fear that such a move will destabilize Lebanon further. The US applauds the EU’s designation of Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ group. Hezbollah has been already blacklisted in several countries, including the United States, Israel, Canada and Australia. The Gulf Cooperation Council - whose members are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates - also agreed last week to blacklist the group.


Number of converts to Islam increase in Turkey

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I August 2013

Over 8 thousand people convert to Islam in Turkey between 2000-2013. Over 8 thousand people most of whom were Christian women converted to Islam in Turkey between 2000-2013. Those who adopted Islam are mostly German, French, and English citizens as well as people from former Soviet republics, according

WORLD NEWS

to the data gathered by Anadolu Agency from Presidency of Religious Affairs. In the first 5 months of 2013, the number of people who decided to become Muslim is 410. Nimetullah Erdogmus, mufti of Diyarbakir province, said people had been searching for the divine truth in light of the holy Qur’an after holy

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Prophet Mohammed, who he said invited the people to Tawheed (the Oneness of God), belief that there is no God except Allah. “In today’s world, where people have many problems, and moral crisis, they keep on that search for the divine truth which increases the interest in religions,” he said, “That is why people find themselves looking and searching for all the divine religions. We believe all that search will end in Islam as Qor’an has not been changed at all, not falsified, and is still same as the original version.” More and more people are converting to Islam all around the world especially in the West, said Erdogmus reminding the researches in the field.

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Israel test-fires nuclear capable ballistic missile

The Israeli military has test-fired a new long-range ballistic missile reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear, chemical or biological warhead. The military described the launch from a base on the Mediterranean coast as the test of the propulsion system of a missile on which it declined to elaborate, AFP reported. “Israel conducted a launching test from the Palmachim base of a rocket propulsion system,” the Israeli ministry for military affairs said in a brief statement. “The scheduled test was pre-

planned… and was carried out as expected,” it added. Israeli media, citing analysts, said the test was very likely related to Israel’s Jericho ballistic missile system. Aalysts say the most modern version of the system, the Jericho III, has a range of between 5,000 and 11,000 kilometers, and can carry a warhead of up to one ton. The last test of a Jericho III missile was conducted in November 2011. In 2008, the Israeli military testfired another long-range ballistic

missile, threatening to strike Iran. The Israeli regime is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The regime reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads, but under its policy of socalled nuclear ambiguity, it has never denied nor confirmed its possession of the weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the Israeli regime has never allowed any inspection of its nuclear facilities and continues to defy international calls to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).


World-class pilgrim city in Makkah soon

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A full-fledged pilgrim city with state-of-the-art facilities will be set up in Makkah, similar to the one planned for Madinah, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to extend world-class services to the millions of pilgrims who come for Haj and

Qatar to launch World Innovation Summit

Practical and innovative solutions to global health care challenges will be the focus of the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health to be held in Doha later this year. The high-profile event, the successor to last year’s Global Health Policy Summit in London, will by organised by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development on December 1-11 and will bring together heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and thinkers, as well as some of the world’s most influential business leaders. “Qatar Foundation has launched a number of crucial initiatives within medical research and health care that benefit people both nationally and internationally,” Mohammad Fathy Saoud, president of Qatar Foundation, said

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I August 2013

Umrah from around the world. Haj Minister Bandar Hajar has presented a proposal to Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal for establishing a massive city in Makkah to receive and see off pilgrims.

The city will have offices for all foreign Haj missions in addition to various services required by pilgrims. It will also have housing units, offices of Umrah companies, museums, exhibition centers and heritage markets. A committee comprising representatives of government departments has been set up to study all aspects of the project. The ministry is currently looking for a suitable place for the project, said Hajar. The final plan will be presented to the governor after the completion of studies, he said. The government recently unveiled plans to establish a pilgrim city in Madinah on an area of 1.6 million square meters along Hijrah Road with modern facilities and public transport systems to house 200,000 people.

A Saudi court sentenced 18 men, some of them foreigners, to jail terms of between seven months and 15 years after convicting them of fighting in foreign conflicts on behalf of Sunni Muslim extremist groups, state media reported. The official SPA news agency did not specify which foreign conflicts they were found guilty of participating in but in recent months Saudi officials have expressed growing concern about Saudi volunteers fighting in the war in Syria, and Saudis have also been active in Iraq. The 18 men were found guilty of “adopting a Takfiri ideology, and breaking away from the rule of the ruler by travelling to the lands of sedition to take part in fighting”, the news agency said. Takfiri is a term used to refer to those who brand Muslims who do not follow their own teachings as being apostates.

Some of the accused were also convicted of “forging identification papers and sheltering fugitives wanted by the security services”, it added. Some were found guilty of possessing weapons and plotting to kill a Saudi policeman. Other charges included “collecting funds to support fighters in Iraq” and posting recruitment videos on the internet. The statement did not detail the nationalities of the foreigners among those convicted. It said 13 of the 18 had lodged appeals. Saudi officials have issued increasingly stern warnings against volunteers from the conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom heading off to fight alongside the mainly Sunni rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Saudi court jails 18 for fighting abroad


Former judge admits flaws in US secret court

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I August 2013

A former federal judge who served on a secret court overseeing the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs said the panel is independent but flawed because only the government’s side is represented effectively in its deliberations. “Anyone who has been a judge will tell you a judge needs to hear both sides of a case,” said James Robertson, a former federal district judge based in Washington who served on the secret Foreign

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Intelligence Surveillance Act court for three years between 2002 and 2005. Robertson spoke during a hearing of a federal oversight board directed by President Barack Obama to scrutinize government spying. Robertson questioned whether the secret FISA court should provide overall legal approval for the surveillance programs, saying the court “has turned into something like an administrative agency.” He is one of several judges with FISA experience who have spoken

out recently to affirm the court’s independence. But Robertson is the first to publicly air concerns about how the court grapples with the government’s vast secret data collection programs. Much of the NSA’s surveillance is overseen by the FISA court, which meets in secret and renders rulings that are classified. Some of these rulings also likely been disclosed by Edward Snowden, the NSA systems analyst who leaked significant information about the spying program. American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer warned the oversight board that the government’s massive sweeps of cellphone and telephone call logs and other data on phone and Internet communications erode privacy protections guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

consider Arabic their first language, while hundreds of millions more are familiar with it through Islam’s holy book, the Quran. Yet only 0.9 percent of websites use Arabic, placing it 13th overall behind the likes of Polish and Dutch, according to the analysts W3techs. “For a language with a great heritage and culture, that is very modest,” said the effervescent Ghazaleh, who says his company has spent more than $10 million developing Tagipedia over the past five years, and will fund its running costs, keeping it free of advertising. TAG-Org, which has its headquarters in Jordan and 80 offices around the world, began as an accounting firm and has diversified into other sectors including

education, information technology, intellectual property and legal services. Ghazaleh describes the website as an act of philanthropy. Unlike Wikipedia, whose content is created by users, Tagipedia will have a more traditional form, with all entries vetted for accuracy and relevance before publication. Ghazaleh expects it to have 1 million entries by launch, compared to Wikipedia’s 235,000 or so articles in Arabic: “Tagipedia is a library, no one has the right to post any information without verification. The content is vetted for data to be correct, useful and non-offensive to any person, authority, religion, culture or community,” he said. www.pi-media.co.uk

Palestinian to launch $10m Arabic online encyclopedia A 75-year-old Palestinian businessman is on a $10m mission to boost Arabic on the internet, where it accounts for less than 1 percent of websites despite being spoken by one in 20 people worldwide. If Talal Abu Ghazaleh, owner of the education and professional services firm Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), has his way, the end of this year will see the launch of Tagipedia, a free online Arabic encyclopedia with a million entries. “I see it as a means of building an Arab knowledge society, which is my mission in life ... to contribute to the economic and social development of the Arab world,” he told Reuters. About 350 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population,


Hamas rejects reconciliation deadline

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I August 2013

In Case You Missed It

Tunisia’s New Mufti Appointed

Hamas rejected Fatah’s deadline for reconciliation and criticized its rival’s “selectivity” in implementing national unity. Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh said Aug. 14 was Hamas’ “last chance” for reconciliation. Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas is set to reform the Palestinian Authority government on Aug. 14, following the resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in June. Yousef Rizqa, the political adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, swiftly dismissed the deadline. “Shtayyeh’s statements on reconciliation are worthless,” Rizqa told Ma’an. Rizqa said there had been no communication between the leaders of Hamas and Fatah, noting that Abbas is “busy in meetings with US

Secretary of State John Kerry” and has not been available to discuss national unity. At a meeting in Cairo on May 14, Fatah and Hamas agreed on a threemonth deadline for establishing a unity government of technocrats and setting an elections date. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Fatah had not met its obligations in the latest reconciliation deal. “August 14 is meaningless unless Fatah takes the initiative and really commits to doing its part in all the files,” Abu Zuhri said. Abbas dissolved the last unity government in June 2007. Since then, Fatah has dominated the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas has led a separate government in Gaza. www.pi-media.co.uk

Tunisia’s president has appointed Hamda Saeed as the country’s new Mufti. President al Munsif al Marzuki in a decree appointed Saeed, who is an Islamic sciences professor in Tunisia’s universities as the new Mufti, kapitalis website reported. He also thanked the former Mufti Othman Batikh for his services to the country. 73-year-old Saeed is the prayers leader of Bani Khayr Mosque and head of the Quranic Society in the city of Nabeul. He also teaches in several universities. He has represented Tunisia in various international seminars and conferences, clarifying the views of the government of Tunisia about Muslim world issues. Since its independence in 1957, Tunisia has seen 7 Muftis and Hamda Saeed is the 8th Mufti of the country.

Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, has launched a centre for Islamic studies. According to a report by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organizations, the centre was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by Chancellor of the University Matias Bakhmas. Addressing the function, he said he was very happy to see the opening of the centre in the

university, adding that Goethe University has high potential for running the centre given its long experience and scientific background. The centre will be jointly run by the Goethe University and the Justus Liebig University Giessen. Professor Omer Ozsoy will chair the centre. The 50-year old scholar who is originally from Turkey has served as an Islamic

sciences instructor at the Evangelical Theology department of Goethe University. The center for Islamic studies at Goethe University will present courses on Islamic theology, history of Islamic thought and Islamic education. It will also offer a major in Islamic Faith. It has the capacity for admitting as many as 400 students in this field.

Islamic studies Centre founded in German University


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I August 2013

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Moin Khan appointed Pakistan chief selector

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I SPORT

Pakistan’s cricket bosses appointed former captain Moin Khan as chief selector, a post he said he took on as a challenge. The 41-year-old takes over from Iqbal Qasim, who stepped aside earlier this month in a move seen as a reaction to the team’s miserable performance in the Champions Trophy in England The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Khan held discussion with interim chairman Najam Sethi and accepted the role. “Former captain and wicketkeeper Khan will take over as chief selector while the rest of the members of the committee will remain the same,” a PCB release

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said. Former left-arm paceman Salim Jaffer, Test batsman Azhar Khan, Farrukh Zaman and Asif Baloch are the other selectors. Moin Khan said he accepted the

role as a challenge. Khan played 69 Tests and 219 one-day internationals for Pakistan in 1990s and was also a member of World Cup winning team in 1992. www.pi-media.co.uk

Wimbledon Grand Slam Champ Murray confirmed for Abu Dhabi

Flash Entertainment has confirmed that newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, will return to Abu Dhabi for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in December. Murray joins current world number one Novak Djokovic, whom he beat in the 2013 Wimbledon final on Sunday, as the second star in the world-class player line-up for the 2013 event on December 26-28. Murray became the first British

male to win the singles event at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 and the stage is set as Abu Dhabi prepares to welcome back the world’s most in-form players at the peak of their powers. Although neither player has come face to face at Zayed Sports City in two previous appearances, fans will be hoping for third time lucky and a dream re-match between the world number one and number two.

Djokovic currently holds the Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown and will be aiming for his third straight win at the tournament this year. Murray took home the inaugural title in 2009 and returned to Abu Dhabi again in 2012 when he suffered a shock first round exit to Serbian Janko Tipsarevic. Speaking after his historic victory in Wimbledon, Murray said: “To have won Wimbledon is an incredible feeling. This tournament is very special and I’m extremely proud to have been able to lift the trophy in front of my home fans, who helped me through the last two weeks.” He added: “I’ve always received great support when I’ve played in Abu Dhabi and I’m looking forward to getting back on the court and trying to win the title again - like I first did back in 2009.” The annual tournament sees six of the world’s top players battle it out across three days of tennis at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City.


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I August 2013

Mohammed Farah smashes Steve Cram’s British record

Double Olympic champion Mohammed Farah broke Steve Cram’s 28-year 1500m British record at the Diamond League in Monaco. The Briton is remarkably the sixth fastest man over the distance, clocking three minutes and 28.81 seconds to also become the European record holder. Farah, the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic champion, was second behind Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop who

recorded a world-leading time of 3:27.72. “I’m pleased, it was weird competing in a new event,” said the 30-year-old. Former world-record holder Cram, whose time of 3:29.67 secs had stood as a British record since 16 July 1985, said he was shocked after witnessing Farah’s “unbelievable” run. www.pi-media.co.uk

Inter swoop Parma’s Algerian striker

Young Algerian striker Ishak Belfodil has joined Inter Milan from Serie A rivals Parma for an undisclosed fee. “Ishak Belfodil has ... signed a five-year contract that will keep him at the club until 2018,” the 2010 European champions said

on their website (www.inter. it) The 21-year-old scored eight goals in 34 league appearances last season. Inter finished ninth in Serie A after a poor second half of the campaign during which they suffered a rash of injuries.

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Dynamo Kiev sign Morocco playmaker Belhanda

Dynamo Kiev signed Morocco midfielder Younes Belhanda from French side Montpellier for an undisclosed fee, the Ukrainian club said. “Welcome to Kiev, Younes,” Dynamo wrote in French on their website (www.fcdynamo.kiev.ua) to greet the player who was presented during a pre-season match against Russian side Zenit St Petersburg along with other new signings Jeremain Lens and Dieumerci Mbokani. The 23-year-old played a key role when Montpellier clinched their first French league title in 2012, scoring 12 goals and setting up four others in 28 matches. He was named Ligue 1 best young player at the end of that season. Belhanda, who has 21 Morocco caps and can play in all midfield positions, has played 127 league games and found the net 26 times in four seasons with Montpellier.


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FEATURED

Where other religions get it wrong, Islam is correct [5:3] Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My blessing upon you, and chosen Islam as Deen (religion and a way of life) for you..

In this article we show that every single non-Islamic religion has a fatal flaw that essentially shows the falsity of that religion. This flaw relates to joining of mutually exclusive and contradictory claims when it comes to God, His Essence and His Attributes. We may concentrate on a certain religion (Christianity for example), but for all non-Islamic religions, the basic premise stands: These religions are claiming mutually exclusive and contradictory claims with respect to God and His Nature, Attributes and Essence. Taken a whole[1], their claims are invalid and should be rejected by every sane human being. It is best if we focus on showing how the different non-Muslim ideologies are faulty and flawed as religious systems, rather than slowly comb through the books of our opponents trying to find some or the other piece of truth in their religions. Thus, in the case of the Christian Bible, we will not try to show that the Bible has prophecies showing the truth of Islam, because such a

situation is somewhat far-fetched when one considers the totality of the Bible. Rather, what we are trying to show is that the Bible and the Christian religion adopt a series of stances that when taken together show that they do not have any intelligible positions regarding God, and that their religion at the very core is totally inconsistent within itself and should be rejected outright. Now, one of the matters we commonly hear among the nonMuslims is how their knowledge of “God” is wrapped in mystery, or how “God” does not and cannot conform to our standards of logic and rationale. As Muslims, we indeed do say that full comprehension of God is not possible for any human being to attain. However, what our non-Muslim opponent is advancing by means of his reasoning is not only that “Full knowledge of God is incomprehensible by human beings”, but that “no intelligible statement can be made about God at all”. We explain this as follows:

What our opponent is positing is that it is possible for there to subsist mutually exclusive attributes - that is, totally contradictory attributes- within God Himself. If we take the matter of God’s existence, our opponents are saying that the phrase “God exists” also accepts its opposite “God does not exist” as being true. So for them Existence and Non-Existence can both be true descriptions of His Self, and the position of the atheists who say that “God does not exist” is also potentially true. The same goes with the statement “there is only One God”. Since our opponent cannot make recourse to any logic at all in describing God, then He is saying that the statement “there are multiple Gods” can also be true according to him. So if someone says “there are 20 Supreme Gods”[2], our opponent cannot object, since for him 1= 20 is a potentially correct statement when it comes to describing God and His Essence. With respect to the statements


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I August 2013

made in the “Holy Books” of our opponents we have the same issue at work in here, since our opponent holds that truth and falsehood are the same, and that God could reveal and inspire truth as well as falsehood in the bible. Moreover, since for our opponent knowledge is the same as ignorance, then it is possible for his “God” to have inspired some things to be written in the “Holy Books” that were in accordance with God’s knowledge, but other things could have also been written in the “Holy Books” which “God” was not fully aware of. Thus, our opponent cannot fall back and say that such-andsuch doctrine is true because it is mentioned in the “Holy Books”, since in his worldview God transcends rationality, truth is the same as falsehood, and it is possible for both to be mentioned in the “Holy Books” without us human beings being able to differentiate between them at all, even if God supposedly assures that this is the case - because to our opponent, “God” can assure humans of the “truth” of a false statement, or He may not even know whether a statement is true or false so “God” may unknowingly assure us of the truth of a false statement. So it is clear that our opponent is in a quandary. Even if our opponent says “God is beyond the laws of logic” one would need to use logic itself in order for this proposition to have any meaning. Why? Because the person is making a proposition and is presenting this proposition as being true. That is, they are saying that the statement: “God is beyond the laws of logic” is true and not false, which is based on rational reasoning. If they totally reject rational reasoning, then they cannot even say that the statement “God is beyond the laws of logic” is true and not false, since it could be both true and false at the same time as per their rationale, a rationale which allows fallacies and incongruence with respect to discussions about God. As another example, the believer in God –even the one who says that rationale has no role to play in understanding God- says that there exists only One Supreme God. This person knows that the phrase “there is no God” is false and not true. This is why he would do his utmost to

FEATURED

try to refute the statements of the atheists in this respect, since he acknowledges that most certainly God does exist and His NonExistence is logically unacceptable and impossible. If he did not take logic into consideration at all, then he and other believers in God would have never written thousands of works refuting atheists, nor spent decades upon decades doing their utmost to show that the arguments of the atheists are false and invalid. No. He would have simply said that the statements “God exists” and “God does not exist” are both equally valid possibilities and both can be accepted as true descriptions about God’s existence. The steadfastness of such “believers in God” in arguing and refuting the atheists is ample proof that they do consider that rationality has a prime role to play in describing and understanding God and His Attributes. However, these same “believers in God” then explicitly state that human rationale has no role to play in understanding or describing anything about God whenever they are cornered by their own propositions which show obvious and clear conjunction of mutually contradictory attributes with respect to God.[3] Here is where Islam differs from all other religions, since the primary texts of Islam constantly urge humanity at large to use their intellects in arriving at the truth of Islam. For example, the Holy Qur’an says: And what is there after truth but error? To where, then, are you being diverted (by your whims)? (Holy Quran 10:32) The blind and the sighted are not equal, nor are darkness and light, nor shade and heat of the sun. And the living and the dead are not alike. (Holy Quran 35:19-22) Notice that the Qur’an categorically states that there are certain things which completely oppose one another, and that if a thing is established to have some characteristic, its opposite characteristic cannot simultaneously subsist within that thing. The Quran also states: Do they not, then, ponder about the Qur’an? Had it been from

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someone other than Allah, they would have found in it a great deal of discrepancy. (Holy Quran 4:82) Even though the above passage may seem obvious to the lay reader, in it Allah reveals that all other scriptures, and the religions and ways they represent are deficient when it comes to the issue of internal consistency of their beliefs, especially their beliefs regarding the Supreme Lord of the Universe. Thus, in Islam the categorization of matters is done into: 1 “Absolutely Necessary” 2 “Impossible” 3 “Merely Possible” This categorization is found in the beginning of all classical Islamic belief texts, and such categorization is extremely important when it comes to describing Allah and His Essence, since without these categories then nothing at all can be said about Allah the Exalted, not about His Power, nor His Knowledge, nor His Will, not even about His Existence. Thus, in Islam the matters of faith are never spoken off as being contrary to rationality, or of the Muslims having to believe in certain precepts even though they are contrary to the sound mind. Granted, there are matters of the religious practices that cannot be known through reason alone (such as the number of daily prayers and their times), but the core religious beliefs of the Muslims – and especially those related to Allah and His Attributescan very well be defended on the basis of reasoning alone without any explicit reference to scripture. If one were to peruse the various presentations of Islamic belief (such as Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyah, Aqeedah as-Sanussiyah) and their explanations by later scholars (for example, one may read “The Aqidah of Tuan Guru” for an elucidation of Aqeedah as-Sanussiyah[4]), one would see that great pain has been taken to ensure that the explanations provided are totally in nature with sound reasoning, and that the common layman can understand what these explanations mean, since it is incumbent upon the Muslim to know which matters are “absolutely necessary” when talking about Allah and His Attributes, which ones are “impossible” to attribute to Allah, and which ones are “merely possible”.


Crowning Glory

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I FEATURED

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I August 2013

Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power)

Laylatul Qadr is the crowning glory of the holy month of Ramadhaan. It is associated with the sending down of the Qur’an Majeed, the last Book of Allah on His last Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), for the guidance of mankind. The Qur’an Majeed describes this Night. “We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit (Jibraeel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of Morn!” (Surah 97) The Night of Power is the night of spiritual bliss. Our Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said concerning Ramadhaan: “Verily this month has come to you; and therein is a night which is better than a thousand Months. Whosoever is deprived of it, is deprived of all good; and none is deprived of its good except a totally unfortunate person”. (Ibn Majah) “Whosoever stands up (in prayer) at the Night of Power out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.”(Targhib) Better than a thousand months

A thousand months are equivalent to 83 years and 4 months. Fortunate is the person who spends this night in prayer. The man or woman, who prays for the whole night during this Night, will deserve blessings and reward for the period as if he or she had been praying for eighty three years and four months consecutively. Since the Night of Power is better than one thousand months no one can actually measure the extent as to how much better it is. Exclusive The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Laylatul Qadr has been bestowed by Allah to my Ummah (People). It was not given to any people before this.” (Dur-Mansoor). How manifest and replete the special bounties and mercies of Allah Ta’ala are upon this Ummat is quite really beyond imagination. It will therefore be extremely foolish to allow ourselves to be deprived of these great blessings at the expense of sheer laziness and a few hours of extra sleep. Which Night is it? Although there are different reports in different traditions regarding the exact night, it is almost unanimous

that the blessed night occurs in one of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan and more probably in one of the last ten odd nights i.e. 2lst, 23rd, 25th 27th or 29th night. The popular opinion is, however, in favour of the 27th Night of Ramadhaan but that is not absolutely certain. The traditions indicate that it is to be sought in one of the last ten nights and preferably in the last three odd nights. It was therefore the practice of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his companions to make I’tikaaf in the Mosque for the whole time offering Divine service during the last ten days of Ramadhaan. Hazrath Aisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) reported that the Apostle of Allah said: “Search for the Blessed Night in the odd (nights) from the last ten (nights) of Ramadhaan” (Bukhari). Hazrath Aisha has narrated another saying: “I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Tell me if I were to find a Night of Power, what should I recite therein?” Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised her to recite: Al-laa-hum-ma in-na-ka ‘afoowwan tu-hib-bul-’af wa fa-fu ‘an-ni. O Allah! You are Forgiving, You love forgiveness, so forgive me. (Bukhari). Special attention should therefore be given to the excessive recitation of this dua on the blessed night. Furthermore one may engage in lengthy rakaats of Tahajjud salaat, Tilaawat of the Qur’an, Dua, Zikr, etc. The worship and the vigil of the Night of Power are a treat to the soul. The heart tends to melt into tears of heartfelt gratitude. The body is in a state of angelic ecstasy The soul strives to reach nearer to Almighty Allah. In this holy month of Ramadhaan let us strive to seek the Night of Power and its bliss. May Allah reward us with His bountiful blessings. Aameen.


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emailbox - comments Many thanks for sending me the latest issue of the magazine some very interesting articles and very informative, I would like to commend the team on a continued efforts in promoting justice and equality when in this day and age justice voice has been lost in the media, I am not a Muslim so do not believe in the faith of the religion but I am sure the team have acquired paradise in hereafter for the great work been done on this earth.

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One of the best newspapers in the uk to serve our ummah well done all brothers and siters involved in the efforts in supplying the truth. Hawa Batley

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Excellent publication last month really liked the artilce on the passion column on how our muslim organisation need to get with 21st century, somtimes the people who run our muslim organisation need to be less power freaks.

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