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New evidence shows of All in a day’s work The Night UK role in US drone strikes for SA Rugby ace of Power


Muslim graves targeted after Tunisia attack Issue: 87

July 2015

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An investigation has been launched by police after Muslim graves were damaged at a cemetery in Bulwell, Nottingham. At least 10 graves have been targeted with huge damage to name plaques and decorative lights being ruined, some graves were also showed to have been dug up. y rtified b

The attack happened after upto 15 British tourist were killed by a gunmen in Tunisia. Ch Supt Mark Holland confirmed that the focus of the damage appeared to be on Muslim graves, and said the incident was very upsetting for families affected. “This type of offence is taken very


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seriously and a thorough investigation is being conducted. “Nottinghamshire Police has been liaising closely with the Muslim community in the county since the events in Tunisia and we have been in close contact following the reports of these events.” Police are now increasing patrols in the area and at other cemeteries. Graham Chapman, deputy leader at Nottingham City Council, said: “We totally condemn what has taken place. “This act is designed simply to try and divide communities in our city. “This irresponsible act of hatred achieves absolutely nothing.” follow us on You Tube

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www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2015

By Islamic Human Rights Commission

PM should look closer to home for reasons for IS’ rise

The PM would be better served by looking at Britain’s own and wider western policy in the region which gave birth to IS. The Prime Minister David Cameron should look closer to home when trying to identify causes for the rise of IS and its attraction to some British Muslims. Speaking at a security conference in Slovakia, the PM warned of the dangers posed by those who “quietly condone” Islamic State militants’ extremist ideology and stressed the importance of tackling radicalisation at its source. “There are people who hold some of these views who don’t go as far as advocating violence but who do

buy into some of these prejudices giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims ‘you are part of this’. This paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent,” he said. IHRC deplores the suggestion that British Muslims harbour a latent sympathy for IS on the basis that they are fellow Muslims. This only deflects the blame for the rise of groups like IS away from western foreign policy with the aim of pressurising Muslims into conforming with government policy, both towards IS and for draconian anti-terrorism measures at home. The PM would be better served

by looking at Britain’s own and wider western policy in the region which gave birth to IS. IS was not created by a few thousand misguided western youths looking to establish a utopia but by the cumulative impact of years of neo-colonial meddling. IHRC Massoud Shadjareh said: “The PM should start thinking about those who are quietly supporting and financing IS instead of employing a rhetoric of collective blame. The recent collapse of the prosecution of Bherlin Gildo shows just how deeply British intelligence services have been involved in helping Muslims go to fight in Syria.” www.pi-media.co.uk

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

Lord Falconer admits Iraq war ‘mistake’ www.pi-media.co.uk

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In Case Y o Missed It u

A senior British lawmaker admits his country’s participation in the US-led war on Iraq in 2003 was a mistake. Charles Leslie Falconer, a life peer in the House of Lords and one of Ex-PM Tony Blair’s staunchest allies, has said the Iraq war was a mistake and that British forces should not have gone into Iraq in 2003. Falconer, who shared a flat with the former prime minister in Edinburgh during the 1970s, became

a minister under Blair’s government and a close political adviser. Falconer made regular television appearances defending both Tony Blair and the Iraq war. But now he has come out, saying that he believes, “We didn’t find weapons of mass destruction there and that was the basis by which we went in…so on that basis, we weren’t right to go in…I think the Iraq war damaged Labour [party] everywhere,

and I think that the Iraq war is perceived to be a mistake.” Former UK PM Tony Blair with British troops in Iraq in 2003 Blair had tried to convince the British public that the imminent invasion of Iraq was necessary and urgent, alleging that Iraq’s ex-dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Labour lost a great number of its supporters, many of whom were disillusioned and angry at Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq. Weeks before the Iraq invasion, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Britain against the planned war. Only in London, a massive protest march saw a reported number of some two million people on the streets. The US-led invasion of Iraq left a huge trail of death and destruction.

Egypt military regime head Sisi invited to UK 4



The head of Egypt’s military-led regime, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, has been given an official invitation to London on behalf of British Prime Minister David Cameron, an official spokeswoman of 10 Downing Street announced. According to local British media reports quoting the spokeswoman, Cameron invited el-Sisi for bilateral talks, who would be expected in the U.K. sometime later this year. The news of the visit drew criticism from several non-


governmental organizations and associations in the U.K. as it came shortly after the Egyptian military regime handed down death and life sentences to the first democraticallyelected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi. Muhammed Kozbar, vice president of the Muslim Association of Britain, told Anadolu Agency that the decision came as a surprise. “Instead of putting pressure on Sisi and trying to boycott him, they invited him to come to the U.K.,”

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Kozbar said. “Unfortunately, this is again the hypocrisy of the West. Trade is more important than democracy and human rights in the U.K. now,” he added. Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui also expressed surprise over the invitation. “We want to see David Cameron personally raise human rights issues in any face-to-face talks with President Sisi, and we also want to see these issues addressed in public,” Sahraoui said. Morsi was sentenced on charges of espionage as well as on charges related to a mass jailbreak incident in 2011 during demonstrations that removed then Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Apart from the death penalty, Morsi was also given a life sentence. Five other Muslim Brotherhood officials were also given similar sentences.

Muslims warned about sham hajj travel agents British Muslims have been warned about phony travel agencies attempting to con them out of money, as thousands of pilgrims prepare to journey to the holy city of Makkah in September for the Hajj. Each year an estimated 25,000 British Muslims travel to Makkah, spending a total of £125 million. In 2014, 87 people reported to

Action Fraud they had been a victim of Hajj fraud, with losses totaling £237,995. Police say the actual figure may be far higher, as victims are often too embarrassed to consult the authorities. Muslims caught by scams often arrive in Saudi Arabia to find their accommodation is either low quality or completely non-existent, while

others find they are unable to leave Britain as their entire trip has been planned by a sham agency. City of London Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence of tourism fraud, which has been backed by the Council of British Hajjis, Get Safe Online, ABTA, ATOL and Trading Standards.


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New survey finds Image of Muslims improving in Europe www.pi-media.co.uk

Despite the surge of Islamophobic attacks across Europe, a new survey revealed that the favorable views of Muslims are on the rise in France and UK. “There has been no backlash against Muslims in French public opinion,” said the author of the research, Richard Wike, France 24 reported. According to a Pew Research Center survey, positive views of Muslims have steadily increased over the past year. Remaining unchanged after Charlie Hebdo attacks, favorable views of French Muslims have increased by 4% points higher than 2014, with 76% of French saying they have a positive view of Muslims.


Moreover, very favorable view of Muslims has increased from 14% last year to 25% among French over the past five months. Based on telephone interviews of adults with a sample size of 1,001 people, the Pew survey found that positive views of Muslims are higher among France’s political left than the right. The author of the research believes that the widespread calls for national unity after Paris attacks, besides official statements that aimed to disassociate Islam from terror attacks, have contributed in improving the image of Muslims in the country. Main stream French media may have also helped in shaping

positive view of Muslims by criticizing stereotyping and bias, according to the author. France is home to a Muslim minority of seven million, Europe’s largest. The situation for French Muslims has been deteriorating recently, especially after Paris attacks killed 17 civilians. Following the attacks, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said over 100 incidents have been reported to the police since the Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 7-9. The observatory also noted that more than 222 separate acts of anti-Muslim behavior were recorded in the first month after the January attacks. A similar rise in the pro-Muslim views among Britons was shown by the survey. Positive views of Muslims have increased from 64% in 2014 to 72% in 2015, according to a survey by Pew Research Center. Favorable views of Jews have also increased by 3% in the UK. Across Europe, bigoted and xenophobic views have actually decreased over the past year, the poll found. On the other hand, Italy and Poland remained the countries with most negative views of Muslims and Jews.

New evidence shows of UK role in US drone strikes

The Guardian and the New York Times revealed the existence of documents showing the contribution made by UK intelligence agency GCHQ to US drone strikes in Yemen. The British Government has to date refused to comment on its role in such strikes, describing them consistently as “a matter for the Yemeni and US Governments.” However, the human rights organisation Reprieve has previously raised concerns over European complicity in covert drone strikes – considered by many experts to

be in violation of international law – through the sharing of intelligence and the provision of infrastructure. In Germany, Reprieve has helped civilian drone strike victim Faisal bin ali Jaber to bring a case against the Government over the role played in Yemen strikes by the military base at Ramstein. Meanwhile, in the UK, Reprieve unearthed a contract showing that a high-tech data link had been provided between RAF Croughton – a base leased by the US in Lincolnshire – and Camp Lemonnier

in Djibouti, from where US strikes against Yemen have reportedly been launched. Commenting, Reprieve’s legal director Kat Craig said: “This is yet more damning evidence of the key role played by the UK in the illegal US drone war. This campaign has taken place in the shadows, killing hundreds of civilians while leaving their families with no access to justice. It is time Europe came clean on the support it provides to this misguided campaign.”




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I July 2015



Belfast University refuses praying space to students

Muslim students at a Northern Ireland university have to pray in corridors, classrooms and forgotten corners of the campus because the college will not provide a dedicated space for prayer. Students at Queen’s University Belfast are campaigning for the university to set aside a private area where they can pray – a move that would end constant struggles to find privacy while on campus, the Guardian reported. Ahmed Amer from the QUB Muslim society stressed that most other universities in England and in the Republic of Ireland have dedicated rooms for prayer – as does

the University of Ulster. Nadira Nazir, a Queen’s student from Malaysia, said the situation was particularly difficult for women: “Sometimes you get students already coming into the class and they see us praying. I am glad for their understanding as they have to wait for us to finish [before] they start their lecture, because we are literally using their class.” The campaign for dedicated prayer space is being backed by the Right Rev Dónal McKeown, the bishop of Derry. However, Bob McCartney – former leader of the UK Unionist party – opposed the move: “The

Muslim religion has this very strict requirement of a number of set prayers during the day which have to be carried out at times that are not always appropriate.” Adding that the university had a strict non-denominational policy, he said: “This is in no way about the right of Muslims to exercise their right to prayer. “It is about the university’s responsibility to provide the facilities to exercise such a right and who is to pay for such facilities?” In a statement, the university said: “A key priority in the Vision 2020 strategy for Queen’s University Belfast is to increase the number of international students studying at the university. “Accordingly, the university is currently reviewing all amenities in the context of its charter and statutes to ensure that staff and students from all backgrounds have access to appropriate facilities.” It said a “quiet room” has been created at the Queen’s Elms halls of residence which is about a ten minute walk from the main university building in south Belfast. There are currently about 1,200 international students from more than 80 countries studying at the university, with at least 400 thought to be from the Islamic faith.

Attackers rip hijab off muslim woman Attackers ripped the hijab off a Muslim woman while picking up her children after school in London. After asking if it was hot wearing hijab, “they pulled my headscarf off and started punching and kicking me,” RT quoted the young woman as saying in a report. The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, said she suffered whiplash and clumps of her hair were pulled out during the attack. “One was dragging my head down while the others were hitting me. They were being so racist and

using derogatory terms,” she said. “We take any offense seriously. We have made two arrests in connection with our ongoing investigation,” said a Metropolitan Police spokesman. The two women responsible for the attack were released on bail after being questioned by police. Muslims have been the main targets of racist attacks in the UK and other European countries since the rise of the ISIL Takfiri militants and anti-immigration atmosphere created by right-wing and mainstream

political parties. The Muslim Council of Britain has censured the spike in such hate crimes which has risen from a total of 15,249 incidents in 2012 to 17,605 in 2014. “With racist bullying in schools attributed to Islamophobia on the rise according to ChildLine, job discrimination against Muslims commonplace and regular attacks against Muslims, there is a serious concern that needs to be both acknowledged and tackled,” said Dr. Shuja Shafi of MCB





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British government provokes anti-muslim sentiment www.pi-media.co.uk

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In Case You Missed It

Addressing the soaring anti-Muslim sentiments in UK, a Muslim rights group has criticized government’s approach to fight “extremism”, accusing it of fueling Islamophobia by enforcing the anti-radicalization program. The “Prevent Violent Extremism” initiative has eroded human rights especially for the Muslim community who have been “subjected to intrusive monitoring” for any form of criticism of UK foreign policy, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said in a statement. The IHRC along with the Campaign Against Criminalizing Communities and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers organized a conference to tackle

government’s prevent program. The government’s new antiextremist strategy which will ban Britons from traveling to conflict zones, targets Shari`ah courts, and makes it harder to obtain citizenship, calling it a “toxic brand.” With an annual budget of £40m, the Prevent program is one of four strands of Contest, the acronym given to the government’s multipronged counter-terrorism strategy. “Muslims in Britain have been subjected to intrusive monitoring for evidence of ‘extremist ideas’, these have always been loosely defined but have increasingly come to be set in opposition to an assumed core of ‘British values’,” the statement added. Britain’s 2.7 million Muslims have

taken full brunt of anti-terror laws since the 7/7 attacks in 2005. They have repeatedly complained of maltreatment by police for no apparent reason other than being Muslim. For many critics, the Prevent strategy has stigmatized the Muslim community by trying to present Islamic faith as opposite to “British values.” “Police remain at the service of a determined sector, which is the rich and the white,” said one of the conference’s speakers, the retired police officer Leroy Logan. The former officers stated that implementation of the antiradicalization program has “disrupted” the police from being able to work with all sectors of the community. On his part, British writer Arun Kundani urged all the communities and institutions of civil society to oppose the “Prevent Violent Extremism” program, which was created after the London attacks of July 7, 2005. Arun Kundnani, currently of New York University, who has written extensively on government antiterrorism strategy and Marie-Breen Smith of the University of Surrey were also among the keynote speakers of the conference.

University of Leeds New Cert HE in Arabic, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Building on the success of our Certificate of Higher Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies we are pleased to launch the new Certificate of Higher Education in Arabic, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. This new Certificate has been developed to act as a pathway into all four degree programmes offered by the Department of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds. The Certificate is a two year part-time programme, providing intensive support to enable students to develop their knowledge and academic skills. T opics range from theology and

philosophy to politics, history, culture and law, as well as the gender issues prevalent in Middle Eastern and Islamic societies. The wide breadth of modules on offer allows students to engage in the art of critical thinking and become the thinkers of tomorrow. The programme also provides students with a better understanding of the multi-cultural society we live in today. Students will acquire basic skills in the Arabic language during their first year, and there is an optional, more advanced language module in the second year. Teaching on the programme is imaginative and supportive so that

students are intellectually stretched and helped through any sticking points in their learning. Group sizes are small enough for individuals to actively engage in debates and discussions. Year-on-year student feedback on the Certificate of Higher Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies has been very positive and encouraging. Our graduates have had access to a wide range of careers ranging from teaching, translation and interpreting to business and the civil service. We are currently recruiting our first cohort of students, who will commence their studies in September 2015. See page 8




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Russian Muslims’ request for separate beaches supported

The suggestion of Russia’s Muslim community to organize separate beaches for men and women has been supported by representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, Jewish and Buddhist religions. The request to the Moscow City Hall has been prepared and filed by Albir Krganov who is a deputy chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Russia and also a member of the Public Chamber’s Commission for Harmonization of Relations between Ethnic and Religious Groups. The activist claimed that “hundreds of thousands” of religious residents of Moscow were deprived of ability to visit city beaches that are currently shared by men and women. “As not everyone can afford a trip abroad, and we consider it necessary

to open additional recreation zones for the residents of the capital city who cannot stay on common beaches for religious or moral reasons,” Krganov wrote in his letter. The activist added that countries like Turkey and Germany have separate beaches for men and women and that the effect from this is positive. In the Russian Federation such beaches exist in the city of Kazan, the capital of predominantly Muslim republic of Tatarstan. The letter was signed by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s department for relations with the society, Vsevolod Chaplin, President of the Association of Russian Jewish Communities Aleksey Boroda and representative of the Traditional Buddhist Community of Russia Andrey Balzhirov, Izvestia reported.

A member of the Public Chamber’s commission for family women and children, Sultan Khamzayev, said in comments with Izvestia daily that the initiative was necessary as it was in the interest of not only religion but also secular morals. Vice President of the Russian Union of Tourist Industry, Yuri Barzykin also threw support behind the plan, saying that separate beaches could help members of all confessions find a comfortable place for themselves. However, State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin (Communist Party) urged caution in putting the separate beaches project into reality. “I am convinced that the society must not adjust itself in accordance with some religious or moral values of its separate members. There are dedicated places – like churches and mosques where people can unite in accordance with their ideas about the world and the rules of life. We should limit ourselves to these sites,” Rashkin told Izvestia. There is no precise data on the number of religious people in Moscow but last year the City Hall estimated that there were about 2 million migrant workers in the city – the overwhelming majority of which come from traditionally Muslim exSoviet Republics in Central Asia.

Germany calls for removal of Gaza blockade

German Foreign Minister FrankWalter Steinmeier called for the removal of Israel’s eight-year-long blockade on the Gaza Strip. More action to rebuild and improve Gaza’s troubled economy “requires the opening of crossing points,” said Steinmeier during a rare visit to Gaza. Removing the blockade will also decrease the risk of renewed escalation in the region, he noted. “The troubled situation in Gaza demands of us to think about concrete steps to improve daily life

there — without which, I am afraid, the situation is escalating,” he added. During his trip, Steinmeier visited areas destroyed by Israeli fire in eastern Gaza and inaugurated an expansion at a UN school. Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. The 1.8 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are living in what is called the world’s largest open-air

prison as Israel retains full control of the airspace, territorial waters, and border crossings of the territory. Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in Israel’s 50-day onslaught. Over 11,100 others -- including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people -- were also injured. Israel started its latest war on the Gaza Strip in early July last year. The offensive ended on August 26, 2014 with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.





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Canadian group urges reporting of Islamophobic incidents In Case You Missed It

A Canadian Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization announced that it launched a program to report anti-Muslim occurrences, hate speech and crimes. The action by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) follows recent incidents of anti-Muslim violence in Toronto and Calgary, the group’s executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a statement on the organization’s website. In the Toronto area of North York, vandals spray painted derogatory comments about Islam’s Holy Prophet (PBUH) on an apartment building. A Muslim-owned restaurant in Calgary was also spray-painted. “These cowardly acts are unCanadian,” Gardee said. “Canadian Muslims know that such acts do not represent the views of the vast

majority of our fellow citizens.” Muslims who believe they have been victims of discrimination or hate crimes can report the incidents on the NCCM website and they will be contacted by the organization for follow-up action. All information will be kept confidential and not shared without consent, the organization said. The website will also contain updated information on anti-Muslim incidents. “We urge community members to remain vigilant and to immediately report suspicious behavior to the proper authorities, as well as to the NCCM, in order to establish a clear record of such incidents,” Gardee said, News Fulton reported. According to the latest available records from Statistics Canada data, there were 45 hate crimes against

Muslims in 2012, mainly eschewing violence and reflecting mischief including vandalism. But those are the reported incidents and the actual numbers may be higher, said NCCM human rights co-ordinator Amira Elghawaby. “Hate crime is one of the most under-reported crimes in Canada,” Elghawaby told Canada’s largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. “There is often reluctance to go public or to the police, because people do not want to bring attention to themselves or do not think anything will come of it.” In the past, the NCCM has been critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in particular in February when in answering a question about a new anti-terrorism bill, he drew a parallel between radicalization and mosques. At the time, Elghawaby termed the prime minister’s remarks as “extremely divisive”. Following the North York incident, the NCCM has renewed the call for officials to denounce anti-Muslim acts and rhetoric. “In the wake of this latest antiMuslim incident, it is incumbent on our elected leaders, public officials and community partners to demonstrate leadership by speaking out forcefully against Islamophobia and hatred in all its forms,” Gardee said.

One million pilgrims fill Grand Mosque on first Ramadan prayers Nearly one million Muslims attended the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, for the first Friday prayers in the holy month of Ramadan, according to local media. The floors, courtyards and recent expansion of the mosque were filled with worshippers from the kingdom and abroad from before sunrise,

Saudi Gazette reported. Another half-a-million Muslims performed their first Ramadan Friday prayer the second most holy city, Madinah. Ramadan started on June 18 and will last for about 30 days, depending on the moon sighting. Muslims fast between sunrise

and sunset in a period of prayer and devotion to their religion. Several million pilgrims are expected to descend on Makkah during the holy month and the Haj, which follows until the end of September. www.pi-media.co.uk

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UN doesn’t list Israel as child killers





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In Case You Missed It

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decided not to include Israel on a list of countries and organizations that cause harm to children, according to media reports. Ban’s decision was made against his special envoy Leila Zerrougui’s recommendation that Israel should be on the list alongside the likes of ISIL and al-Qaeda for its violations during its 2014 assault on Gaza. The decision also follows media reports that Israel and the U.S. government pressured the UN chief

to drop the Israeli army from the list, also known as the “List of Shame”. In the body of the report, Ban says Israel violated children’s rights in an “unprecedented and unacceptable scale” in 2014, the summer in which a 51-day Israeli assault on Gaza killed 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians. These violations “raises grave concerns about Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law”, according to the report distributed to UN Security Council members and

Indonesian govt to build world Islamic centre

Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla said his government is planning to build an international Islamic study center for the development of Islam. “We will arrange 200 hectares to build the world center for Islamic studies,” the Vice President stated in Tegal, Central Java, on Monday as quoted by Antara news agency. Kalla said Indonesia had the largest Muslim-majority population in the world and that although there were differences, people mostly lived together peacefully. “We are grateful for it. Indonesia should have a major role in the development of Islam in the world,” Kalla remarked.

During a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at the Asian-African Conference 2015 in Bandung recently, all governments requested that Indonesia play a greater role in solving issues in the Islamic world. He added that the international Islamic center would be built regardless of the costs required. Muslims constitute the world’s second largest religious group. Islam has 1.57 billion followers, making up over 23 percent of the world population, according to Antara. Indonesia has some 204.8 million Muslims, accounting for 12.7 percent of the world’s Muslim population.

obtained by Reuters news agency. Speaking to reporters, Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the report is “much more than the list”. “I would encourage everyone to not focus so much on the list but on the report as a whole,” he said. Previously, the UN confirmed that at least 44 Palestinians were killed and 220 injured by Israel’s attacks on seven UN-run schools during Israel’s attacks last July and August. Human Rights Watch urged the UN chief to resist pressure from Israel and its allies to drop the Zionist regime from the list. “Secretary-General Ban can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, not political pressure,” said Philippe Bolopion, UN director for the rights watchdog.

Brussels has a new mosque

A new mosque was launched in the Belgian capital of Brussels. It is located in the city’s SaintJosse-ten-Noode District and includes an Islamic education centre. Attending the opening ceremony were the mayor of the district and a number of other officials as well as Muslims. The mayor in a speech praised the mosque’s architectural design and said it can be a model for future projects. The 5-storey building, whose architecture is a blend of Turkish and European architectural designs, can accommodate 750 worshippers. Islam is the largest minority religion in Belgium, practiced by an estimated 6 percent of the total population.

Over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims need aid: UN www.pi-media.co.uk

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The United Nations says nearly half a million members of the persecuted Rohingya community in Myanmar are in need of humanitarian aid as the plight of Muslim minorities in the Asian state continues unabated. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said on Friday that three years into the outbreak of a fresh wave of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, more than 416,000 people in the community still need humanitarian assistance.


This includes over 140,000 displaced people still living in dire conditions in camps and many others without citizenship in isolated villages, UNOCHA spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “Access to adequate healthcare and livelihoods remains a major concern for displaced people and vulnerable communities in Rakhine State,” he said. The UNOCHA official also warned that more than 40,000 displaced Rohingya Muslims live in camps within 500 meters of coastline, where

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weather conditions are expected to deteriorate amid the monsoon season. “Restrictions on the freedom of movement of hundreds of thousands of people in Rakhine State severely compromise their basic rights to food, healthcare, education, livelihoods and other basic services, leaving them dependent on humanitarian aid,” he added. Over 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar face discrimination, including controls on their movements, family size and access to jobs. In recent years, a large number of Rohingya Muslims have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists, especially in Rakhine State. Myanmar denies citizenship to most of Rohingya population in the country. According to the United Nations (UN), Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has triggered an influx of refugees into neighboring countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Rights groups call to probe CIA torture Three major rights groups called on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the CIA for alleged torture and other rights violations of prisoners in the agency’s custody. In a letter to Lynch, the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International noted the December 2014 release of a scathing Senate report that catalogued grisly details of the agency’s interrogation practices. The groups said that while the Justice Department had previously investigated some aspects of the CIA’s controversial detention and interrogation program, the report includes “significant new information”. “With the Senate torture report now final and in the Justice Department’s possession, we

strongly urge you to appoint a career prosecutor as a special prosecutor to review it,” the groups wrote. The more than 6,000-page report, of which a 500 page executive summary was made public, found that the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” under the George W. Bush administration were more brutal and extensive than initially thought. “If our laws have meaning, we can’t accept that some of our country’s most senior officials authorized criminal conduct and were never held accountable. Torture is a crime,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “We know it happened. The Senate torture report documented it in excruciating detail.

It’s up to Attorney General Lynch to uphold the laws of our land and ensure that a criminal investigation of the U.S. torture program is conducted.” It’s unlikely, however, that the Justice Department will reinvestigate the agency’s program, as it previously said the Senate report contained no new information than a previous four-year investigation into the program had uncovered. Should the department opt not to investigate it “would contribute to the notion that torture remains a permissible policy option for future administrations; undermine the ability of the United States to advocate for human rights abroad; and compromise Americans’ faith in the rule of law at home,” according to the letter to Lynch.

High-Tech Hijab



www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2015

revolutionize, and change the way people see the hijab,” Ghanem said. “These women are the strongest and [steadfast], and they deserve everything. The hate and verbal abuse many of them receive is wrong and unfair. “I hope my brand can inspire them to go out and become what they want to be.”

Spy program targeted American mobiles

Following footsteps of inventors of fight fire gears and sweating gym suits, a Muslim entrepreneur has fulfilled a dream of many Muslim women by developing self-cooling, water proof and wrinkle free hijab. “No matter how hot it is outside, they wear it — and they wear it with pride,” 22-year-old entrepreneur Ahmad Ghanem said on his Kickstarter video, Buzz Feed reported. “It’s up to us to make their lives a little more comfortable.” Donned by Muslim women all year long, hot summer days were tortuous for some. That’s why Ghanem decided to step-in and invent this veil, the first-ever line of

climate-adaptive hijabs. The new Veil, or hijab, was inspired by performance-wear companies like Nike and Under Armour. The Veil “Cool Dry” hijab is made of a special fabric that keeps wearers 7 to 10 degrees cooler than the standard hijab. Trying hundreds of different options over the course of two years, Ghanem found a nylon material which blocks 80% of heat, offers UV protection, and is completely waterproof. The new material has already seen its fair share of changes over the years. “I want to continue to innovate,

Evidence is mounting that the United States government tested mobile phone spying technology that monitors the information of thousands of phones in an area, according to a new report. In a letter released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican and Democrat leaders claim they have new information that the Justice Department tested technology that searches for a targeted mobile phone by capturing data from thousands of phones in an area and sifting through the information. The gadgets, often called “dirtboxes” or “IMSI grabbers,” are flown around in a small airplane and intercept information from tens of thousands of phones. By mimicking signals sent out by mobile phone towers, the devices can require all phones in range to reveal positioning and other information. When a targeted phone is identified, location information is forwarded to law enforcement in order to make an arrest.

No link between Islam, extremism: French PM

Islam is here to stay in France, Prime Minister Manuel Valls told a half-day conference on relations with the Muslim community. He stressed there was no link between extremism and Islam, as he opened the conference aimed at improving ties with France’s large Muslim community. Leaders of Muslim groups called on the government to tackle Islamophobe attacks, that have

risen since January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks, the RFI reported. “Islam is here to stay in France. It’s the second largest religious group in our country,” Valls said. About 150 Muslim community leaders attended the meeting with top government officials and ministers. Muslim groups refused to attend a meeting of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s Républicains party formerly the UMP - on the “question

of Islam” in France, saying that it “stigmatised” the religion. There are about 2,500 mosques in France and another 300 projects under way. The meeting was to discuss the construction and running mosques, as well as their security and Islam’s image in the media. The government hopes to establish forums for regular discussion.

Zionist regime blocks visit of UN Human Rights envoy www.pi-media.co.uk

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The Zionist regime of Israel has blocked a visit to the Palestinian territories by a UN rights envoy, an official said, just ahead of the publication of a United Nations report on last year’s Gaza war. It was the second time Makarim Wibisono, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, had been barred entry, AFP reported. The UN Human Rights Council, to which Wibisono reports, has been conducting an investigation into the


Zionist crimes during last year’s conflict. The UN’s human rights chief, speaking at the opening of the council’s 29th session in Geneva confirmed the publication was imminent. “It is my hope the report will pave the way for justice to be done to all civilians who fell victim to the fighting last year, by holding to account those alleged to have committed grave and other serious violations of international humanitarian law,” High

Personality of the year named by Dubai Int’l Quran award The Dubai International Holy Quran Award has declared that UAE’s Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has been named the Islamic personality of the year on the Award’s 19th session. Sheikha Fatima is the first woman to win the annual prestigious award which has been given to 18 different personalities and institutions from around the world in appreciation for their outstanding role in the service of Islam and the Holy Quran since

1997. In a press conference, Ibrahim Mohammed Bu Melha, head of the award organising committee, who is also an adviser to the ruler of Dubai for cultural and humanitarian affairs, said Sheikha Fatima was not satisfied with a limited role, even if it was noble. “She has dedicated herself to the service of her society.” “She bears in mind the state of women, whether they are mothers, workers, students or housewives. Children also have a special place in her heart, which proves that she is not merely witnessing the country’s development, but is an active partner in building it as well.”

Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said. The war killed 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians including 500 children, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers. While Wibisono reports to the council, his visit was for a separate, annual assessment in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Israel barred him from entering last year for a similar visit.The UN has said Israel was responsible for the deadly bombing of several UN institutions, including schools, in which displaced Palestinian civilians were sheltering. Israel has long had a stormy relationship with the UNHRC and fiercely opposed the Gaza probe from the start.

Bosnian muslims celebrate 505 years of Islam One of the most important symbols of Bosnian Muslims is the remembrance of the Ayvaz Dede memory where the celebrations of the 505th year have come to an end. With the longest journey being the most important part of the festivities, many horseback riders have now reached Prusats having travelled from various cities in Bosnia. The celebrations have been attended by a large number of people, including attendees from Turkey. The President of the Islamic Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina Hussain Kavazovich explained the importance of preserving tradition saying that “Our grandfathers and fathers were able to maintain this tradition in the most difficult of times”.


www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2015



I July 2015


China bans Ramadan fast for Uyghurs

Adding to Uighur Muslims’ concerns, some parts of the far western Xinjiang district have banned Muslim party members, civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, reviving every year’s religious restrictions. “China is increasing its bans and monitoring as Ramadan approaches. The faith of the Uighurs has been highly politicized, and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance,” Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exiled Uighur group, the World Uighur Congress, said in a statement. Raxit decried Chinese authorities’ calls on Uighur civil servants not to observe fasting in Ramadan, seeing it as aimed at controlling the Islamic faith. According to the government’s website, halal restaurants in Jinghe County, near the Kazakh border, were encouraged by food safety officials to stay open during day hours in Ramadan. Halal restaurants that will keep its doors open in Ramadan will be rewarded by fewer visits from food safety inspectors, the website stated. Tougher religious restrictions have been introduced in Maralbexi county where party officials are forced to give verbal as well as written assurances “guaranteeing they have no faith, will not attend religious

activities and will lead the way in not fasting over Ramadan,” state media reported. Every year, Chinese authorities have repeatedly imposed restrictions on Uighur Muslim in the northwestern region of Xinjiang every Ramadan. Earlier in December, China banned the wearing of Islamic veiled robes in public in Urumqi, the capital of the province of Xinjiang. The law in the predominantly Muslim region came as Beijing intensified its so-called campaign against “religious extremism” that it blames for recent violence. Uighur Muslims are a Turkishspeaking minority of eight million in the northwestern Xinjiang region. Xinjiang, which activists call East

Turkestan, has been autonomous since 1955 but continues to be the subject of massive security crackdowns by Chinese authorities. Rights groups accuse Chinese authorities of religious repression against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang in the name of counter terrorism. Earlier in 2014, Xinjiang banned the practicing of religion in government buildings, as well as wearing clothes or logos associated with religious extremism. Last May, Muslim shops and restaurants in a Chinese village in northwestern Xinjiang have been ordered to sell cigarettes and alcohol or face closure. www.pi-media.co.uk

Muslim campaign urging Americans to “Discover Muhammad [PBUH] A Muslim campaign urging Americans to “Discover Muhammad [PBUH]” is trying to reverse negative perceptions of the religion by giving a platform for positive messages. With terrorist attacks providing much of the backdrop for media discussion of their faith, the mainstream Islamic Circle of North America, is sponsoring billboards to talk about peace and love and put belief into context, Euronews reported. “We thought a proper approach would be to actually educate the larger public about his personality, which exemplifies love and

brotherhood,” said Waqas Syed, ICNA Deputy Secretary General. The billboard campaign is not the first high-profile bid by a Muslim group to correct Islam’s image in America. But it is the largest such effort by ICNA, the group most closely identified with billboard campaigns in recent years. A previous billboard campaign by ICNA two years ago invited Americans to see similarities between Christianity and Islam, which views Jesus (AS) as a prophet. The latest campaign, paid for by local ICNA chapters, will eventually include about 100 billboards from

Philadelphia to Baltimore, Atlanta and Miami. Some signs, like those in Sacramento, are clearly invitations to know the Muslim faith while others introduce Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] as a supporter of women’s rights and religious tolerance. “Kindness is a mark of faith,” a billboard in Elizabeth, New Jersey, reads. In Miami, another offers, “Muhammad [PBUH] believed in peace, social justice, women’s rights.” Muslims make up 0.9 percent of the US population, but the number is expected to double by 2050.



www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2015

All in a day’s work for South African Rugby ace Nizaam Carr entered the fray on an empty stomach. He had been up before dawn to down a protein shake and some steak and pasta but by the time he ran out onto the field at Newlands in South Africa, he had not eaten for several hours. Over the next few weeks, he is likely to lose between 8kg and 12kg. Ramadan started last month and that poses a challenge for one of the players on whom South Africa relys on. Nizaam Carr has become the first Muslim to have captained a Super Rugby team in South Africa. It is tough, he says, but manageable. He doesn’t feel that it affects his performance. His faith provides all the push he needs. It is hard to believe that Carr is just 24. Rugby has both brought him fantastic opportunity and required exceptional emotional adaptability and resilience. His was not the usual path to the high road via a traditional rugby school. He grew up in Mitchell’s Plain. His family later moved to Crawford and he attended Alexander Sinton High, a good state school but not one that offered rugby. He played on Saturdays for the Primrose club and, at the age of 15, he was spotted by a scout from Bishops and offered a bursary. Bishops, the home of Anglicanism and old money, was worlds away from what he was used to and at first he struggled to fit in. But over the four years he was there, he learnt to take advantage of the fantastic facilities on offer. At Alexander Sinton, there would be 45 kids in a class, whereas at Bishops, there might be 10. More than that, he told me, “they opened up my eyes to how successful you could be if you just worked hard”. After school, he sailed into the University of Cape Town, where he played for the Ikey Tigers in the Varsity Cup. From there, he was recruited into the Western Province Under-19s and Under-21s and, eventually the Currie Cup and Super Rugby teams. Throughout, he has had to perform the difficult balancing act of

remaining true to his religious beliefs while proving himself a team player in a very different culture. At Bishops, he says, he had to explain why he could eat only halaal food. Another challenge he has had to grapple with is the drinking culture in rugby. It was hard at first, he says, and he felt he didn’t fit in. But he learnt to adapt and now happily sits through team dinners nursing a coke while his teammates get merry. He recognises that it is part of team building, he says, and he can’t slink away. His teammates ensure he doesn’t feel the odd man out. After they won the Currie Cup last year, he took them all to a mosque and then to a halaal restaurant. What he is desperate for now, like every other player in Super Rugby, is a spot in the Rugby World Cup squad. Carr, who last year became the first Muslim in the democratic era to pull on a Springbok jersey, is competing against a plethora of excellent loose forwards. Carr’s articulate and confident defence of his religious rights highlights the question of freedom of religion. Christianity is central to South African rugby. Most teams pray before games. Players and coaches have told

me that prayers are about asking for protection from injury for both sides. And it promotes team spirit. That’s all fine as long as it is acknowledged that the supreme being appears in different forms to different people — if they believe in one at all — and conformity to a particular religion doesn’t become a prerequisite for inclusion. As far as openness in religion goes, I’d say that young Nizaam Carr offers a good example. He doesn’t proselytise but he does try to educate people about Islam: for instance, that the impression created by some media that it is a religion of extremists who yearn to join groups such as Islamic State is wrong. This year, he and a partner opened a sports academy in Lansdowne, it offers only Grades 8 and 9 and there are just 45 pupils. The academic curriculum runs from 8am to 3pm. After that there is intensive training in rugby, soccer and cricket. He is in charge of the rugby. Talented kids from poor backgrounds get scholarships and his own sponsor provides all the kit for free. It’s about giving back, he says. His academy, the Cape Sports Academy, is not only for Muslims and has pupils from all faith and backgrounds

Pakistan in danger of Fifa ban over interference



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Pakistan’s football federation was mired in turmoil after its president was suspended by a faction reportedly linked to the country’s governing political party. A special Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) congress suspended Faisal Saleh Hayat, the body’s president of 12 years, accusing him of corruption and mismanagement. The move was led by rebel PFF officials, who said a new election for president would be held. The rebels are reported by local media to have links to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N (PMLN) party, raising the prospect of a possible ban under Fifa rules against political interference in football.

The upheaval follows huge controversy during elections for the Punjab Football Association in April, which led to the PFF banning 20 officials for forming a parallel provincial body to rival the official one. Hayat, a member of Fifa’s Strategic Committee and a veteran politician in Pakistan, blasted the action of the parallel body, calling them a “mafia.” “We reject the illegal interference in PFF’s business,” Hayat told AFP. “This mafia is damaging Pakistani football, which is on a strong footing, and through their actions ultimately we could face a Fifa ban — but I will ensure such a situation does not happen.”

FA publishes Ramadan and football factsheet The Football Association (FA) has published a factsheet for the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Thursday 18 June. The factsheet explains how the holy month affects Muslims who will be observing Ramadan with reference to football activities prior to and during pre-season. The factsheet offers guidance on how Ramadan is observed including information on fasting, praying, and guidance around training and fixtures.

One footballer who will be observing the holy month of Ramadan is Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure. Yaya recently won the Laurie Cunningham award from Kick It Out, which recognises the contribution from someone within the professional game to tackling discrimination and promoting equality. You can download the factsheet at www.kickitout.org/wp-content/ uploads/2015/06/FA-Ramadan-andfootball-factsheet-2015.pdf

Pakistan was briefly banned by Fifa in 1994 over government interference. Hayat said the PMLN government had to accept defeat in their campaign to form their own Pakistan Olympic Association after intervention by the International Olympic Committee. “The government is still licking its wounds after having being forced to take a complete U-turn in its ill-conceived and unconstitutional attempt to install an illegal parallel POA. The same illegal attempt is now being made on the internationally-recognised PFF,” said Hayat. Pakistan narrowly avoided an Olympic ban last year after a parallel Olympic Association was formed by a government-backed group, rejected by the IOC. Pakistan were among the top Asian teams until the 1960s, before lack of facilities and government support saw them slide. They are now 170 in world rankings and 34th in Asia. The administration of virtually every sport in Pakistan has long been dogged by political interference, with plum jobs often handed out by politicians as rewards to loyal supporters.

We are looking for volunteer sport journalist who can go to sporting venues across the UK


Then email us at info@pi-media.co.uk or visit our website pi-media.co.uk for further details


www.pi-media.co.uk I July 2015

The Night of Power 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 by Almighty’s permission, on every errand: Peace!...This until the rise of morn! (97:1-5)

The Night of Power in His infinite wisdom is encouraged to be searched during the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Since over fourteen centuries Muslims are


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striving diligently to benefit greatly from it. A rare trade indeed - pure profit and thousand times more! Interestingly we have embraced the night for its mathematical magic but seemingly misplaced the very essence of the night. In fact, it was just another dark night. But it became the Night of Power because of what was revealed in the darkness. It is now known to us, a night better than a thousand months. The dark night is illuminating the world and the Quran is guiding the humanity ever since. The Night of Power is celebrated powerfully. Masajid and communities celebrate the night by staying up all night, listening to lectures, reading Quran, etc. What seems to be missing though is to reflect on the Divine Words and to act upon it. Unless that is done, the real power will not be received from the Night of Power. Ramadan visits us every year and offers us a reason to reflect on all aspect of our lives. The objects of our wants and fears far surpass the limits of human genius, energy, and mortal life. The sum of all that we need and desire .. spiritual or material, essential or superfluous .. simply exceeds our ability to attain it. What, then, is one to do? The believer turns to his or her Creator in prayer. The response is natural. Whether moved by need or hope, or faced with misfortune or danger, people instinctively call upon God. Prayer is at the center of our very being and the marrow of the Muslim way of life. For many in the English speaking world, however, this face of Islam is virtually unknown. Dua - Supplication - Prayer is


Muslim’s hope for everything at all times. Let us submit ourselves and plead and plead and plead ... as He alone can relieve us of our anxieties and sufferings. (the following is an excerpt from Dua Kumayl that was often recited by Imam Ali (may Almighty be pleased with him)) by Thy majesty against which nothing can stand up by Thy grandeur which prevails upon all things by Thy authority which is exercised over all things by Thy knowledge which pervades all things O Almighty! Forgive us of sins that would hinder our supplications O Almighty! Forgive us of sins that would suppress hope O Almighty! Forgive all sins that we have committed and every error that we have erred O Almighty! Accept our apologies and have pity on our intense sufferings and set us free from my heavy fetters (of evil deeds) O Almighty! You are aware of my weakness to bear even a minor affliction of this world and its consequence and adversity affecting the denizen of this earth, although such afflictions are momentary, shortlived and transient How then can I bear the retributions and the punishments of the Hereafter which are enormous and of intensive sufferings, of prolonged period and perpetual duration, and which shall never be alleviated for those who deserve the same as those retributions will be the result of Your wrath; and Your punishment which neither the

heavens nor the earth can withstand and bear! My Lord! How can I, a weak, insignificant, humble, poor and destitute creature of Yours be able to bear them? O’ my God! My Lord! My King! And Master! Which of the matters shall I complain to You and for which of them shall I bewail and weep? Shall I bewail for the pains and pangs of the punishment and their intensity or for the length of sufferings and their duration? Therefore (my Lord!) If You will subject me to the penalties (of hell) in company of Your enemies and cast me with those who merited my punishments and tear me apart from Your friends and those who will be near to You, then my God, my Lord and my Master, though I may patiently bear Your punishments, how can I calmly accept being kept away from You? I reckon that though I may patiently endure the scorching fire of the hell, yet how can I resign myself to the denial of Your pity and clemency? How can I remain in the fire while I have hopes of Your forgiveness? So, my Lord! I look earnestly towards You and towards You, my Lord! I have stretched forth my hands therefore, by Your honor, respond to my supplication and let me attain my prayers and, by Your bounty, frustrate not my hopes and protect me from the evils of my enemies and O’ My Lord! have mercy on me whose only asset is hope and whose only weapon is lamentation. Ameen-Ya Rabb-Ameen-Ameen

Passionate about writing featured articles? Why not send them to us at info@pi-media. co.uk

Anyone can become smart



We use to believe that being smart was fixed, and that it came to you at birth; but for the very first time in our lives, researchers are now disproving those earlier ideas, and informing us that if we learn with the right techniques we can get smarter even if your are ill. And how can Psychologist not scan the brain before treating those ill? Those earlier barriers of thinking can be removed. We can make our brains smarter, sharper and faster – and this is not science fiction – but science faction. Being smart is more than having a high IQ – it’s being ingenious, creative, insightful, and resourceful and much, much more. So you study and study and study. The more you rote learn, the more the advanced reasoning skills diminish. Concentrate on one thing, or risk your mind getting ill. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the internet are intrusive because they stop the mind from concentrating on one task – that is study – making your mind ill as you get dragged down.


Our brain doesn’t like at chores. Our brain looks for fun ways of learning. If you had an image of a snail and a door, what is the link between them? There is no link. So how would you remember these images? You can image that you open the door, and behind the door is a huge snail and it’s all slimy and sticky. And make sure you think it in a 3-D way with all your senses engaged – and see how your memory improves if you use these fun ways of learning.

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behind everything we do. About the Author Danny Webster is our Educational Consultant who researches and improves the tutoring practices of online add tutoring, online add tutor, online add tutors, is delivered worldwide.

What about those children with all sorts of psychological problems? We all know when an organ needs treating, medics will scan it to enable effective treatment. But when it comes to psychologist, rarely look at the organ that is being treated. This can lead to mistreatment of the brain, and the consequence can be catastrophic. Rehabilitating the brain by using SPEC imaging is vital before psychologist offer treatment. After all our brains are the power source



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Really enjoyed reading your latest issue, some very interesting news stories and highlighted very well Rob Wales

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Hi, I am writing from California and wondered would it be possible we can work together, we are Christians but we feel that a joint working relationship regarding issues which concern us all, as a devoted Christian I am appalled by the way Muslims have been targeted because of a minority who have hijacked the religion, hope we can work together, peace and blessings. Mary C Jones California US Nice to meet you last month in Dublin, great to see PI doing an amazing job, keep up the good work. Aleena Gray Dublin We would love to hear what you think of our magazine, please email us your comments to info@pi-media.co.uk or WattsApp it to 07506 466 385

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Pi Magazine July 2015  

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Pi Magazine July 2015  

passion islam july 2015, islam magazine, muslim magazine, muslim tv, muslim channel, islam channel, islam news