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Childline sees surge in calls from bullied Muslim children

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Children as young as nine have been branded terrorists by other pupils because they are Muslims, a charity has said. d by Certifie

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Recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London have seen a significant spike in calls from distraught youngsters bullied about their race and

religion. The NSPCC says its Childline service had 128 calls on racial or faith issues after March’s Westminster terror Continued on page 3

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I COMMENT

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By Islamic Human Rights Commission

UK: Police have to start taking seriously the threat faced by Muslim communities

The terrorist attack last month in the Finsbury park area of London highlights major deficiencies in the provision of security to Muslims and also a culture of hate that currently pervades Britain and legitimises hate crimes against Muslims. Since the recent atrocities in London and Manchester authorities have done little to address the increased vulnerability of the Muslim community despite repeated calls by the IHRC. Neither the government nor the Mayor of London has heeded our recommendations based on our own historical recording of the rise of antiMuslim hate speech and hate crimes. Our most recent survey looking at the incidence of anti-Muslim hate crime and its causes found that between 2010 - 2014 verbal abuse of Muslims went up from 32% to 56% while almost one in every five had experienced physical violence. It should be remembered that Muslims are the biggest victims of terrorism, being at the same time targets of extremist groups like

Daesh and their supporters but also victims of those who exploit these terrorist acts to ply their vile Islamophobia across popular and social media. In reality, Islamophobia has become a high-paying vocation with ever more column inches and airtime being given to people like Melanie Phillips, Katie Hopkins, Douglas Murray, Maajid Nawaaz and Piers Morgan who have instrumentalised the threat from Muslim extremism to incite hatred day in day out against Islam and Muslims. This hate speech, which fans the Islamophobia of the far right, part of a disturbing trend that has seen a recent rise in hostility and discrimination against Muslims. According to our survey 2010 and 2014 the number of people who reported seeing Islamophobia spiked from 50% to 82%. In the same period the number of people stating they had witnessed negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims jumped from 69% to 93.3% suggesting that the feeling of being

victims of an environment of hate has become almost universal for Muslims. These statistics make clear that the government should be focussing the same energy and resources on weeding out and eradicating Islamophobic hate preachers as it is doing in the fight against Muslim extremism. IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “It should not take a tragedy like this for the police to start taking seriously the threat faced by the Muslim community. The authorities should make every effort to have a visible and very public policy that protects Muslims from hate crime, one that is both effective and which also sends the signal to wider society that Muslims are just as if not more vulnerable to terrorism as other communities.” “We must also see wider action from our politicians to reverse the march of a political culture in which the promotion of Islamophobia has become a race to the bottom that is both instigated and exacerbated by the popular press.” he added.

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


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I July 2017

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Childline sees surge in calls from bullied Muslim children

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attack – up from 71 the previous month. Furthermore, the charity gave nearly 300 counselling sessions to children after the Manchester Arena attack last month. One 12-year-old boy told a Childline counsellor: “I’m upset because people are making racist comments to me today and talking about the Manchester attack. “It’s annoying and unfair because I have nothing to do with the attack. People shouldn’t jump to conclusions and assume that just because someone is a Muslim, they are a terrorist.” Counsellors also heard from youngsters who said they have selfharmed because of “constant abuse and negative stereotyping”. Another caller, a 15-year-old girl, said boys were “always calling me a terrorist” and that her teachers did nothing about it.

She told a Childline counsellor: “It makes me so angry and upset that I’ve started to cut myself. It numbs the pain.” Muslim children have endured constant name-calling, been accused of being associated with terror group Isis, and been threatened with violence, the charity said. Young girls were frequently victimised when they wore a hijab or headscarf, it added. Childline President and founder, Dame Esther Rantzen, said: “When these events happen we adults are so often overwhelmed with horror we sometimes forget about the children watching too. Childline is in a unique position to be able to hear from children who may be ignored or overlooked when there are major events, like terror attacks. “It’s crucial adults are aware of this issue and protect those who may be targeted.”

Spikes in Childline counselling sessions following terror attacks After the Westminster bridge attack on 22 March 2017, Childline received 128 calls about the issue in April, almost double compared to 71 contacts the previous month. After the Paris terror attack on 13 November 2015, Childline held 119 counselling sessions about race and faith-based bullying in that month, a 16% increase from the previous month, which held 102. After the Brussels attack on March 22, 2016, Childline was contacted 99 times on racial and faith based bullying in the same month, a rise of almost 50 per cent from February 2016, where it held 67 sessions. Childline (0800 1111) runs a confidential helpline for children and young people across the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School wins award for exceptional 2016 results

Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School has been nationally recognised for its exceptional 2016 performance by the Schools, Students and Teachers network (SSAT). Educational Outcomes data analysis from SSAT has shown that the school is in the top 10% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment and progress.

The school’s SSAT Educational Outcomes awards will be presented at a regional celebration event held to draw attention to the work of highachieving, improving and innovating schools and teachers. Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said: “It’s my great pleasure to commend Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School on their excellent

2016 performance, and to have the opportunity to highlight and share their great work at an SSAT Educational Outcomes celebration event. We know how hard teachers work to ensure the success of every child. SSAT’s Educational Outcomes award recognise the professionalism, commitment and hard work of the leaders, teachers and students at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School . A big thak you and well done to the pupils, staff and governors. Mubaaruck Ibrahim, Principal and Chief Executive at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School said: ” To be recognised as being amongst the best nationally is a tremendous accolade. This award is a recognition of the tireless work of our staff, students, parents/carers and governors.”


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I July 2017

Muslim worker ordered to change hijab due to ‘terrorist affiliation’

A Muslim woman is suing her employer for discrimination after she was allegedly ordered to remove her black hijab because of its “terrorist affiliation”. The estate agent, who has not been named, worked at Harvey Dean in Bury, Greater Manchester, for around a year. Her managers took issue with her hijab when she was moved to a public facing office. A complaint filed at the Manchester Employment Tribunal, said that the woman was told that moving from a back office into public view meant “that it would be in the best interest of the business for her to change the colour of her hijab, due to the supposed terrorist affiliation with the colour black” – The Independent reports. A colleague allegedly claimed that the predominantly non-Muslim community would “feel intimidated

and scared if they saw the claimant”. The woman, who wore a black headscarf that left her face uncovered since starting at the estate agent, was quoted as saying that she was not prepared to change her attire for the reasons given. She refused in a phone call and a meeting held the following day with her male manager, who allegedly brought in coloured hijabs for her. Hours after the meeting, she said she was reprimanded for sending a text message on her lunch break, according to the complaint. Her manager then “went on a tirade accusing the claimant of not working. The claimant informed him that she was on her lunch break but he told her that he did not care (and) then proceeded to tell her to: ‘Get the f*** out of here’.” The former housing sales negotiator left the office and heard

nothing from her employer. The following week, she submitted a letter of resignation. She told The Independent that her objections to the order “fell on deaf ears” and she was shocked at the reasons her employer gave. The former housing sales negotiator said she felt “singled out” as the only Muslim woman in the office and claims the company discriminated against her on the basis of both religion and gender. The tribunal complaint argues that Harvey Dean’s treatment of her created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment”, and is seeking a written admission that she was subjected to unlawful discrimination. The case could result in Harvey Dean paying “aggravated damages” and compensation covering loss of earnings, holiday pay and legal fees, according to the report. A European Court of Justice ruling states that companies can ban employees from wearing the Islamic headscarf - only as part of prohibitions including other religious and political symbols. However, the court ruled that: “In the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer’s services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination.” The complaint alleges that the company had no such rule in place, and the staff handbook stated that it “does not seek to inhibit individual choice as regards appearance.”


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Hate crimes surge 500% in Manchester after bombing

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Police figures show that Islamophobic hate crimes in the British city of Manchester have soared by more than 500 percent following the terrorist attack that claimed 22 lives there. The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) revealed a 505-percent rise in Islamophobic incidents in the northwestern city, with a total of 224 cases of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in the month after the May 22 bombing attack, compared with 37 in the same period in 2016. Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said hate crime reports in Manchester had returned in recent days to similar levels as before the attack but warned that the true number of incidents could be even

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higher due to under-reporting. “Greater Manchester has a diverse population, with people from different faiths and backgrounds, and this is something that we are proud of. It’s what makes us the city we are. We will not tolerate hatred or discrimination of any kind,” he said. “When a major tragedy occurs such as the attacks in Manchester and London, it is sadly not unusual for there to be a spike in the amount of hate crimes, specifically against race and religion, but thankfully they do decrease again quickly,” Potts noted. Other types of hate crime also increased with a 61-percent rise in race-related crimes and incidents, a 41-percent growth in those targeted

at disabled people, and a 9-percent rise related to sexual orientation, according to police figures. “We continue to monitor the levels of hate crimes that are reported and it is essential that we remind people about the importance of reporting when a hate crime happens to you, or you see it happening,” Potts continued. “Hate crime is often underreported for a number of reasons, but we want people to have the confidence in coming forward as no one should be the subject of hate and intolerance.” At least 22 people lost their lives and dozens more sustained injuries when 22-year-old Salman Abedi allegedly detonated his explosives at a concert hall in Manchester last month. Last month 48-year-old male driver rammed his vehicle into worshipers coming out of a mosque in the Finsbury Park area of north London, leaving at least one person dead and ten others injured, in an attack described by Britain’s largest Muslim organization as a “violent manifestation of Islamophobia.” Police officials recently announced that terrorist alert has been set at “severe” in Britain, meaning any attack is highly likely. www.pi-media.co.uk

Dewsbury feeds the homeless Dewsbury with the homeless is a volunteer led project to help those that are homeless and less fortunate. The project was created by a group of local people from Batley, after they were inspired by a similar project in Leeds. After volunteering and attending the events in Leeds, the volunteers felt it would be much more rewarding and satisfying to start a similar project closer to home. The project aims to help and support the homeless and less fortunate people or those who want

extra help, by providing food and acting as a counsel. The volunteers also aim to boost the morale of the homeless and less fortunate people to try and give them hope which they have lost due to their circumstances. It provides a great opportunity to meet and talk to local people. The project involves the wider community coming together on the last Sunday of each month to help and support the homeless, the less fortunate people of Dewsbury and the surrounding areas as well as those

who want extra help. The project does not have a criteria on who is eligible for a free meal or toiletries; all are welcome. The next event will take place on the Sunday 30th July from 5:30pm6:30pm. Volunteers bring a meal, toiletries or even both and help distribute these items on the day. All leftovers are distributed to the food banks, local hostels and homeless shelters, by the volunteers. www.pi-media.co.uk


Migration from EU to UK falls sharply in 2017: Study 8

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I July 2017

A study carried out in Britain suggests that the country is receiving far fewer numbers of migrants from European Union countries this year. The results of the study released on Wednesday by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said migration from EU countries to Britain had fallen sharply in 2016, adding that the number of people arriving from Eastern European countries for work

in Britain had fallen by about a third since the Brexit vote in June 2016. The study said a fall in allocations of National Insurance numbers, required by people looking to work or claim social welfare in Britain, showed a significant decline in the number of people arriving from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. It found that the figure fell to the lowest level since the countries

became part of the EU in 2004, adding that about 26,000 nationals of those states had registered with authorities in the first three months of this year, about a third lower than the first quarter of 2016. The study said a plunge in the pound, which came after the Brexit vote, could be to blame for the fall in migration from EU states to Britain. “The referendum result led to a wave of concern in global financial markets about the UK economy, which immediately resulted in a decline in the value of the pound against other major currencies, reducing the relative value of wages for foreign workers,” said the study. Estimates suggest that about 3.6 million EU citizens were living in Britain in 2016, one million of them from Poland. A third of those migrants live in London and most of them are employed in farming, catering and the state-run National Health Service. Carlos Vargas-Silva, the acting director of the Migration Observatory, said Britain was no longer an attractive country for workers. He said migrants are also becoming increasingly irritated by the uncertainty surrounding their long-term legal status in Britain and also an increase in highly-publicized xenophobic attacks.

European Network Against Racism says EU must challenge hatred and discourses fueling Islamophobia. A European anti-discrimination network on Monday called on EU member states to take “urgent” action against growing Islamophobia across Europe following a recent attack on a London mosque. In a statement, the director of the Brussels-based European Network Against Racism (ENAR) strongly condemned the attack that killed at least one and injured 10 others outside a north London mosque last month.

The attack, in which the van driver seemed to deliberately ram the vehicle into a crowd of Muslim worshipers near Finsbury Park Mosque shortly after midnight, is being treated as a terrorist incident. “This seems to be the latest and extremely violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Europe as we have been witnessing an increase in racist incidents and speech targeting Muslims across Europe,” Michael Privot said. “Action to address Islamophobia is now urgent, especially in a context of growing securitization of Muslims,” he

added. ENAR director said that the EU and its member states had to challenge hatred and the discourses fueling Islamophobia across the continent. He also urged the European governments to ensure that Muslim communities were not profiled as potential terrorists. “They need to ensure hate crimes are sanctioned; support victims; and guarantee the safety of all citizens and residents,” Privot said, warning that “failing to act will mean more causalities and more divisions”.

London Mosque attack requires ‘Urgent’ Action


UK school offers uniform hijabs for Muslim pupils

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I July 2017

A secondary school in north-west England has become the first in the UK to offer hijabs or headscarves worn by Muslims as part of the uniform for pupils. Sir John Thursby Community College in Burnley, Lancashire, reacted to concerns that some hijabs were being worn incorrectly by introducing a uniform version. However, the move has come under fire from some Muslim parents and pupils, who feel the uniform hijabs are uncomfortable and not modest enough. They have launched an online petition, signed by 150 people,

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protesting against the lack of consultation over the new uniformed hijab. “Unfortunately, there was very little consultation by parents or the girls attending the school. Consequently, a scarf designed by the school has been created. It is very tight and in some cases too short as some of the girls have long hair and so it defeats the object to wear it,” the petition reads. It also questions the “real agenda” behind the move and if it is to “put girls off” wearing a headscarf. Headmaster David Burton has written to parents to defend the

policy and dismiss suggestions that the school is against headscarves as untrue. “We are sorry that there have been suggestions that the school is against headscarves. This is not true. We respect fully the wishes of girls to wear a headscarf and we always have done,” he said. “Students, staff and parents had expressed some concerns that some students were not wearing headscarves correctly although the rules had not changed on headscarves,” Burton said. “We looked towards changing the uniform policy to include a uniform headscarf as we were aware that a change is needed to be considered. We started a consultation process in September and we are still collecting the views of parents. Once we have collected these views we will be discussing them with governors,” he added. Before the new policy, schoolgirls wanting to wear a headscarf were permitted to choose their own style as long as it was black. The same rule applies at other secondary schools in the Lancashire area, which has a significant Muslim population.

Birmingham hosts largest Eid al-Fitr celebration in Europe Record numbers of Muslim worshippers from around the world came together at Small Heath Park for Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. Organizers estimate that as many as 106,000 people were at this year’s event. Families, some of whom had travelled from as far as the US, prayed in unison at 9am to mark the start of the holy day. They then enjoyed the many stalls and activities available, which included fairground rides, miniature golf and

laser clay pigeon shooting. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims spend a month fasting every day from dawn until dusk. They do it for many reasons, one of which is to empathize with those who cannot eat through poverty or famine. The Celebrate Eid event, hosted by Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre, is now in its seventh year. It has seen growing numbers since its first major event in 2012, when 12,000 people attended. A spokesperson for the Masjid

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said: ‘This celebration is one of the most important in the Islamic religious calendar and it’s an opportunity for us all to come together in peace and unity. ‘We’re all overwhelmed that so many people from different faiths and from across the world have travelled to Birmingham for this year’s Celebrate Eid. ‘We’ve been working for months with five local mosques and our charity partner, Human Appeal, to organize the community for a memorable day of prayer, games and fun.’


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Danish man who desecrated Quran not to be punished

Danish legislators scrapped the country’s more than 150-years-old blasphemy law, which forbids public insults of a religion, such as the burning of holy books. A man who burned a copy of the Quran and was the first person to be charged under the law since 1970s has now walked free. Denmark’s parliament repealed the controversial law on Friday, with the overwhelming majority of legislators voting for decriminalizing insults toward religion, RT reported. “Anyone who publicly destroys or desecrates in this country anything

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related to lawfully existing religious communities’ doctrines or worships is punished with a fine or imprisonment for up to 4 months,” the nowabolished clause 140 of Danish penal law stated. The law had been in place for at least 151 years, according to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, while other sources claim that it has been active in other redactions since 17th century. Denmark was the only Scandinavian country to have a blasphemy law. Despite its longevity, the law was used only a handful of times over the

past century. In 1938, four people were sentenced for displaying antiSemitic posters and in 1946 two people were fined after acting out a “baptism” at a ball in Copenhagen. Another prosecution attempt came 46 years ago in 1971, when two Denmark Radio producers aired a song mocking Christianity. They were eventually acquitted of all charges. The law was brought to light earlier this year, when a 42-year-old man from northern Jutland posted a video of himself burning a Quran on an anti-Islamic Facebook page dubbed, ‘Yes to freedom – no to Islam.’ A criminal investigation into the incident has been opened, but with the law scrapped, the charges against the man are to be dropped. “The legislature decided to repeal the Penal Code blasphemy clause on public mockery or scorn against a religion. Blasphemy was exactly the core of the charges against the 42-yearold. With his actions no longer being a criminal offense we cannot carry out the planned criminal proceedings, which are therefore canceled. The accused will not be punished,” said Attorney General Jan Reckendorff in a statement.

French activists urge arms embargo on Israel French activists have staged a protest outside the stall of Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems at the Paris Airshow, holding the firm accountable for the war crimes committed by the regime against Palestinians. Pro-Palestinian campaigners from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and Les Désobeissants (the disobedient) held the sit-in to express their solidarity with the Palestinians. The activists called for an immediate arms embargo on Tel Aviv until it ends it occupation of the Palestinian territories and complies

with the international law. They also urged the prosecution of Elbit Systems’ officials at the International Criminal Court for Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians. The Haifa-based Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest publicly traded arms company that manufactures 85 percent of the drones used by the Israeli military. It supplied arms to the Israeli military during the 2014 war on the Gaza Strip, which left almost 2,200 Palestinians and over 11,100 others wounded. At the Paris Airshow, Elbit

Systems unveiled a new remotelyoperated, “long-loitering munition” drone. Dubbed SkyStriker, the unmanned aerial vehicle can fly for hours while sending back data and is capable of being guided onto a target to deliver explosives. It further offers a “kill” function that allows an operator to abort the strike at the last minute. Thousands of volunteers, trade unions, NGOs, academic and business societies, as well as cultural figures worldwide have joined the boycott campaign to help promote the Palestinian cause.


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US Supreme Court allows most of Trump’s Muslim travel ban

The US Supreme Court on Monday revived parts of a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries that he said is needed for national security but that opponents decry as discriminatory. The justices narrowed the scope of lower court rulings that had completely blocked key parts of a March 6 executive order that Trump had said was needed to prevent terrorism attacks, allowing his temporary ban to go into effect for people with no strong ties to the

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United States. The court issued its order on the last day of its current term and agreed to hear oral arguments during its next term starting in October so it can decide finally whether the ban is lawful in a major test of presidential powers. In a statement, Trump called the high court’s action “a clear victory for our national security,” saying the justices allowed the travel suspension to become largely effective, Reuters reported.

“As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive,” Trump added. Trump’s March 6 order called for a blanket 90-day ban on people from Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees while the government implemented stronger vetting procedures. The court allowed a limited version of the refugee ban, which had also been blocked by courts, to go into effect. Trump issued the order amid rising international concern about attacks carried out by militants like those in Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin and other cities. But challengers said no one from the affected countries had carried out attacks in the United States. Federal courts said the travel ban violated federal immigration law and was discriminatory against Muslims in violation of the US Constitution. Critics called it a discriminatory “Muslim ban.” www.pi-media.co.uk

Over 200 anti-Muslim attacks recorded in Germany in 3 months A total of 208 Islamophobic attacks took place during the first quarter of 2017 in Germany, according to the German government’s data. Over 200 Anti-Muslim Attacks Recorded in First Quarter of 2017 in Germany. German “Neue Osnabürcker Zeitung” reported that the German government, in response to a parliamentary question, told the Left Party that two people had been injured as a result of Islamophobic attacks, and that the perpetrators were mostly ultra-right attackers. German officials also said that

they had started to record “antiMuslim” crimes this year and could not conclude whether there had been an uptick in crimes due to the lack of data from previous years. The attacks against Muslims include sending threat letters, attacking individuals on the streets because of their Muslim appearance, damaging properties of Muslims and drawing Nazi symbols on the buildings. The data revealed that 15 mosques had been attacked in the first three months of 2017, while this number was 27 for the same period

of 2016. The Left Party lawmaker Ulla Jelpke said, “I assume the recorded crimes are only the tip of the iceberg as many victims do not report the attacks to the police out of fear of retaliation.” Germany has witnessed growing Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiments in the past years, triggered by propaganda from farright and populist parties, which have exploited fears of outsiders and refugees. www.pi-media.co.uk


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US Muslims launch mobile app to report hate crimes

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Hoping to get an accurate count of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States, the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations (CAIR) launched a mobile app allowing victims to report bias incidents. The group launched its Making Democracy Work for Everyone app a month after it reported a 44 percent surge in the number of hate crimes reported by US Muslims last year.

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Concerned that the 260 hate crimes CAIR learned of last year represent just a fraction of the actual total, the group intends the app to increase reporting. “In a moment of trauma, you’re not thinking that I need to go online and enter something, but your phone will always be in your hand,” said Corey Saylor, who runs the group’s anti-Islamophobia efforts, Reuters

reported. The application allows a user to file a description of an alleged incident, which CAIR staff will then investigate. If the group concludes the incident was the result religious bias, it will include it in its reporting, and if it believes the incident was criminal, it will share the details with local police. The app offers advice about what rights are protected by the US Constitution and contains contact information for CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington and chapters elsewhere in the country. The group this year resumed tracking anti-Muslim incidents, following a surge in bias cases last year. While the group saw an increase in anti-Muslim incidents prior to Donald Trump’s stunning rise in last year’s presidential primaries and November election victory, it said the acceleration in bias incidents was due in part to Trump’s focus on militant groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Trump has said his policies do not reflect religious discrimination but rather efforts to improve national security, following a series of attacks. It is not the first time a US advocacy group has used an app to try to track bias incidents. The Sikh Coalition Organization launched a similar app in 2012 to report bias incidents in US airports.

US Muslims outraged by billboard insulting Holy Prophet (PBUH) An anti-Muslim billboard disparaging the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Indianapolis, US state of Indiana, is drawing concern from local Muslims. Now, Islamic leaders in Indianapolis are challenging those responsible for what they say are offensive and untrue statements to stand by their words, shed

their anonymity and explain their motivations. “It is a horrible billboard. I’m outraged by it, but saddened at the same time … and I would like to know who is behind it,” said Rima Shahid, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. “It seems very cowardly to me. If you have some kind of stance, you

should want to stand up next to your statement. I didn’t think there was any room for hate in our city. This billboard tells me otherwise. “This kind of rhetoric just furthers division in our state and makes a neighbor question a neighbour, just like I am today.” www.pi-media.co.uk


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UN: Record 65.6M people forcibly displaced worldwide 14

Turkey, for the third consecutive year, has hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, a new UN report has said. Turkey was also the world’s fourth-largest recipient of individual asylum claims in 2016, according to the UNHCR. A record 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced across the world and the global refugee population was also the highest on record -- 22.5 million -- at the end of 2016,

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according to the agency. The UNHCR’s new Global Trends report on displacement said at the end of last year 300,000 more people than the preceding year had been displaced. Out of the 65.6 million worldwide total, 22.5 million are refugees, 40.3 million are internally displaced and 2.8 million are asylum seekers. The main country of origin for refugees in 2016 was Syria, accounting for 5.5 million refugees.

Afghanistan was second with 2.5 million and South Sudan was third with 1.4 million. After Turkey, Pakistan hosted the second-largest number of refugees (1.4 million) followed by Lebanon with one million. Syria continued to have the largest forcibly displaced population -- 12 million -- including 5.5 million refugees, 6.3 million internally displaced people and 185,000 asylum seekers. Colombia was second with 7.7 million people forcibly displaced and Afghanistan with 4.7 million. During last year, 10.3 million people were newly displaced by conflict or persecution, creating 20 new displacements worldwide every minute. The UNHCR also estimated that at least 10 million people were stateless or at risk of statelessness in 2016. The number of new asylum claims remained high at two million. With 722,400 claims, Germany was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications, followed by the U.S. with 262,000, Italy with 123,000 and Turkey with 78,600.

South Africa school make u turn on headscarf rule amid protest A top public school in South Africa’s largest city of Johannesburg on withdrew the issuing of concession cards to allow headscarved Muslim students access into the school after a public outrage. Gauteng province’s Education Minister Panyaza Lesufi confirmed that Northcliff High School decided to cancel its decision after parents and activists complained to him about the practice calling it “discriminatory”. Panyaza Lesufi said in a short statement that he had called the school principal who in turn agreed to withdraw the concession cards.

He said for the past 20 years the school had been issuing concession cards for any deviation from its school uniform which includes students wearing beards, sneakers trainers or those with health problems. “I explained to him [the principal] how negative and divisive it now reflects in the public eye,” Lesufi said. Social cohesion activist Yusuf Abramjee said that he had raised the issue with the minister after it was brought to his attention by parents. He said there was no need in the first place for students to carry

a concession card. Abramjee and other parents have welcomed the decision and thanked the Education Minister for acting fast on the matter. Efforts to get a comment from the principal of Northcliff High school were futile. South Africa’s constitution respects freedom of worship and prohibits any form of discrimination based on religious practice. Muslims account for roughly two percent of South Africa’s over 50 million population. Muslims are involved in all sectors of South Africa’s economy.


Israel cuts back Gaza electricity supplies

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Israel began reducing electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, despite warnings the move could increase suffering and tensions in the Palestinian enclave. The decision came after the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is based in the occupied West Bank, told Israel it would no longer foot the bill for electricity supplies to Gaza. It raises concerns of rising tensions and a collapse of vital services in an impoverished and overcrowded territory that has been devastated by three wars with Israel since 2008. Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it seized the strip in a near civil war from the Fatah party

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of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, in a dispute over general elections won by the Islamist movement. Multiple attempts at reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have failed, but the PA had continued to pay Israel for some electricity delivered to Gaza until this month. Israel “began to reduce electricity flow by eight megawatts” into the enclave, Gaza’s energy authority said. The state-run Israel Electricity Corporation confirmed it had diminished power supplies “in accordance with a government directive”. Until last month Israel supplied

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120 megawatts of electricity to Gaza a month, which made up about one quarter of the enclave’s needs, with the PA paying the 11.3 million euros ($12.65 million) monthly bill. Since the sole power station in Gaza ran out of fuel and stopped working in April, the 120 megawatts represent 80 percent of available power in the strip. The Israel Electric Corporation said power supply would “effectively be reduced on two lines out of 10 every day, until the reduction applies to all 10 lines”. The power reductions come despite stark warnings of the humanitarian implications for Gazan civilians, who already suffer from critical shortages of power -- with most homes receiving only a few hours even before the cut. Israeli human rights group Gisha said in a statement on Monday that by reducing supplies “Israel is knowingly aggravating an already dangerous situation in which the strip is teetering on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.” Robert Piper, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, warned that the Palestinians were being “held hostage to this longstanding internal Palestinian dispute.” www.pi-media.co.uk

Hamas to create buffer zone with Egypt to improve ties Hamas says bulldozers in Gaza are creating a 100-metre-wide (330foot) buffer zone along the Egyptian border as part of the Islamic group’s efforts to combat extremists and improve ties with Cairo. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the creation of a 12-kilometre-

long (7.5-mile) corridor was agreed upon in recent face-to-face negotiations with Egyptian officials. It expressed hope that Egypt would reopen the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on a regular basis once the buffer zone is complete. Egypt has long accused

Gaza’s Hamas rulers of aiding an insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula, allegations denied by Hamas. Egypt and Israel have imposed a blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized power in 2007.

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Aussie troops could soon fight extremists in Asia 16

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Australian troops could join more than 80,000 US marines in SouthEast Asia fighting against “violent extremist organisations”, according to Lieutenant General David Berger. The commander of more than 80,000 US marines in the Pacific is urging Australia to join operations against Islamic State (IS) militants in

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South-East Asia. Lieutenant General David Berger is visiting Australia to check on readiness for the Talisman Sabre military exercises off the Queensland and Northern Territory coasts. He told the ABC the “movement of violent extremist organisations” was a “very real problem” for countries

like the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Hawaii-based commanding general of US Marine Corps Forces Pacific said he expected Australian forces could soon join American personnel fighting Islamic extremists in this region. The visiting US general warned that Australia’s neighbours would need assistance if they were to successfully stop the threat posed by IS-inspired militants. “I think the potential for it to spread is there, we should not underestimate it,” he cautioned. “It’s a different kind of a threat than North Korea but it’s also a threat that moves in order to survive — it doesn’t own a state so it’s mobile. “Absolutely it should be of very much concern to countries in the region — including Australia and the US.” The Australian Government announced RAAF spy planes would soon start flying over the southern Philippines to help fight against ISaffiliated groups.

Over 8,000 migrants rescued in Mediterranean in 48 hours

More than 8,000 migrants have been rescued in waters off Libya during the past 48 hours in difficult weather conditions, Italy’s coastguard said. “We rescued about 5,000 people from four large boats, one smaller one and 18 rubber dinghies,” a spokesman told AFP. People were pulled to safety by coastguard vessels, military ships operating under the EU’s border agency Frontex and aid boats run by privately funded organizations. Their efforts were coordinated by the coastguard. “Together with Sea Watch and Sea Eye our crew was able to save more people last night under bad weather

conditions,” the German NGO Jugend Rettet tweeted on Tuesday, referring to two other nonprofit groups. It said that “three people died”, though it was not clear whether the victims were found dead or died during the rescue. Spain’s Civil Guard said one of its vessels serving under Frontex’s anti-trafficking Operation Triton had rescued 133 people found on an inflatable dinghy off Libya. Those rescued included 17 minors, two babies and 23 women, seven of whom were pregnant, it said. Traffickers on the North African coast take advantage of periods of good weather to set large numbers of

migrants seeking passage to Europe out to sea, a notoriously dangerous crossing. Over 3,300 people were rescued in 31 separate operations, while two bodies were recovered. The record for migrants rescued on a single day stands at 7,000, plucked from their unseaworthy vessels on August 29, 2016. Over 73,300 migrants have landed in Italy since January, a 14 % increase from the same period last year. Just over 2,000 people have died attempting the crossing or are missing feared drowned since the beginning of 2017, according to the UN’s refugee agency.


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Dutch state liable for deaths of 350 Muslims in Bosnia war

A Dutch appeals court has ruled that the state was partly responsible for the deaths of some 350 Bosnian Muslim men in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. The court declared the ruling in The Hague, ordering the Dutch state to pay some 30 percent of any damages to the victims. “The court finds that the Dutch state acted unlawfully,” Judge Gepke Dulek said in the ruling, which upholds a 2014 ruling by a lower court. “The conclusion is that the Dutchbat (Dutch peacekeepers) knew that during the evacuations by

the Bosnian Serbs to separate the Muslim men and boys there was a real risk they could face inhumane treatment or execution,” she said. The ruling confirmed that the Dutch soldiers had also facilitated the separation of the men and the boys among the refugees. The 350 deaths were part of the July 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II, in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed and between 25,000 and 30,000 Muslim women were forcibly transferred and abused. On July 13, 1995, Dutch UN peacekeepers, tasked with protecting

tens of thousands of refugees who had flooded to their base in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica, were overrun by Bosnian Serb forces in what was supposed to be a UN safe haven. The Dutch troops, overwhelmed by the number of refugees, first shut the gates to new arrivals and then allowed the Bosnian Serbs to separate the men and boys and take them in buses to their deaths. In 2014, a Dutch lower court had ruled that the state was liable for the deaths of some 350 men taken from their base along with other refugees. The controversy still continues in the Netherlands over the role of the Dutch peacekeepers in the incident. A lawyer for 206 former Dutch peacekeepers said they were suing the government for dispatching them to an “impossible” mission. In 2016, Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert admitted that the battalion had been dispatched to defend Srebrenica “without adequate preparation... without the proper means, with little information, to protect a peace that no longer existed.” She described the measure as “an unrealistic mission, in impossible circumstances.”

Albania Socialists win election Albania’s left-wing Socialist Party has secured a second mandate in a general election, winning a majority of seats in parliament, nearly complete results showed. The election is seen as a key benchmark to the country’s bid to launch membership negotiations with the European Union. The Central Election Commission said that with more than 95 percent of the ballots counted, the governing Socialists of Prime Minister Edi Rama had won about 48 percent of the votes, or 74 places in the 140-

seat parliament. The previous government was a coalition of the Socialists and the Socialist Movement for Integration, or LSI, often creating problems for Rama. The opposition Democratic Party of Lulzim Basha won 29 percent, or 43 seats. The LSI is third with 19 seats. Turnout in Sunday’s election fell to 46.6 percent, 7 points lower than in 2013. International observers who monitored the polling hailed the generally calm campaign and voting,

but also noted the continued political fight that has negative impacts on the country’s democracy. Federica Mogherini, EU’s foreign policy chief, and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn urged the new Cabinet to continue the reform process. The governing Socialists had agreed in May to give the opposition Democrats a greater role in oversight on election transparency. The two parties also pledged to work together toward eventually joining the European Union.

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Canada: Anti-terror law beefs up cyber threat powers In Case You Missed It

New anti-terror laws introduced include a beefed-up security force that would be able to launch cyber attacks against terrorist groups and other governments. Currently, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) does not have the power to act outside Canadian government networks to combat cyber threats, Global News reported. It is just one measure in the new legislation that is designed to protect the privacy rights of Canadians while enhancing national security, the

government said on its website. The changes come after the federal government solicited opinions from the public. “Canadians were clear in the consultation that they expect their rights and freedoms to be protected at the same time as their security,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a written statement. “The measures introduced today reflect that expectation and strengthen Canada’s ability to address evolving threats.” The legislation creates the

National Security and Intelligence Review Agency that will oversee Canada’s security and intelligence services to ensure citizen’s rights are protected from unnecessary harassment under the banner of terror investigations. The legislation also more clearly defines “terrorist propaganda” – a vague term coined in legislation passed by the previous Conservative government. Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan said the new powers for the CSE improves its ability to fight cyber threats and is of particular importance. “CSE operates in a rapidly changing technological world,” he said in a written statement. “The proposed CSE Act will maintain CSE’s ability to provide the Government of Canada with essential intelligence necessary to protect Canadians and will help strengthen our national cyber defenses, while at the same time increasing transparency, accountability and oversight of these activities.” Also included by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a promise to review the Anti-terrorism Act every three years, the CBC reported.

Israel advances plans for further 1,500 settler homes Israel has advanced plans for a further 1,500 homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Peace Now said the second such announcement. Israel advanced 1,500 units, with the potential to add around another 900, Peace Now said. Those 900 were confirmed on Wednesday by an Israeli defence ministry planning committee, it added.

In a separate process, 688 homes were advanced by the committee and will now go out for a 60-day public comment period during which objections can be filed. Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told AFP a total of 3,178 units were advanced. The plans are at various stages in the process and the units are located in a number of settlements

across the West Bank. Israeli authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment. More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, which are seen as a major obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. They live alongside some three million Palestinians.


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UN: More than 1,000 children killed in Iraq in 3 years

Three years after violence in Iraq intensified, 1,075 children have been killed, including 152 in the first six months of 2017, UNICEF said Thursday. “Since 2014, in Iraq, 1,130 children have been maimed and injured, 255 in the first six months of 2017, over 4,650 children have become separated or unaccompanied by their families,” according to the agency’s assessment detailed in a new report,

of them children. “In west Mosul, children are being deliberately targeted and killed to punish families and deter them from fleeing the violence. In less than two months, at least 23 children have been killed and 123 have been injured in that part of the city alone,” UNICEF said. The agency said more than 5 million children are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. “Across Iraq, children continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence,” UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq, Peter Hawkins, said in a statement. “They have been killed, injured, abducted and forced to shoot and kill in one Nowhere to Go. of the most brutal wars in recent There have been 138 attacks on history.” schools and 58 on hospitals; more Iraq has been roiled by violence than 3 million children do not attend since Daesh seized vast swathes of school on a regular basis while 1.2 million children are out of school and, territory in northern and western Iraq one in every four children comes from in 2014. Iraqi forces, backed by air a poor household, UNICEF said. cover from a U.S.-led coalition, are “In Iraq, children are trapped in currently engaged in a wide-scale an endless cycle of violence and offensive aimed at dislodging Daesh increasing poverty, the Children’s agency said, while noting the conflict from Mosul, the terrorist group’s last stronghold in northern Iraq. has displaced 3 million people - half www.pi-media.co.uk

$12K stolen from Want to 6 Canadian mosques Advertise

Canadian police have arrested a male suspect who allegedly stole $12,000 from donation boxes in six mosques in the city of Mississauga, just outside of Toronto, Canadian media reported. Police said the man entered the religious buildings on separate occasions in early to mid-June and either grabbed the boxes containing cash and removed them, or broke into the boxes and pocketed the money. Director Ez Alwi of Jamia Islamia Canada, established in 1992, said that about $3,500 was taken from the mosque donation box. “This is the first time it has

happened,” he said. When arrested, police told the mosque director the suspect had only about $100 in his pocket, so Alwi said it was unlikely the $3,500 would be recovered. “No, I don’t think so,” he said, adding that the congregation had earlier aided the suspect. “He was hungry… (we) helped him out.” Alwi said he thought theft was the only motive for the crime. Police said the suspect entered mosques during open hours, but in two of the six cases, he gained entry after hours. Ashraf Awad, 58, is charged with nine counts related to the crimes, Global News reported.

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Zionist has killed 3,000 Palestinian minors since second Intifada: PA

Palestinian officials said Israeli military forces have killed 3,000 Palestinian minors and injured many more since the Second Intifada (uprising), also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, took place in September 2000. In a report published on the occasion of the International Day for Protection of Children marked on June 1, the Palestinian Ministry of Information, announced that 13,000 children have sustained injuries ever

since. The report noted that as many as 72 Palestinian minors have lost their lives since October 2015, when a new wave of tensions broke out in the occupied territories in the wake of Israeli forces’ restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds. The youngest victim was identified as eight-month-old Ramadan Mohammad Faisal

Thawabta, who died on October 30, 2015 due to inhaling excessive tear gas fired by Israeli military forces during clashes with Palestinian protesters in Beit Fajjar town south of Bethlehem. The Palestinian Ministry of Information added that some 12,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israeli troopers over the past 17 years, adding that an overwhelming majority of them have been beaten or tortured while in Israeli custody, handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to confess in the absence of a lawyer or guardian. According to Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer, Israeli forces have imprisoned 300 Palestinian minors since April. Moreover, Palestinians, including minors, could face severe penalties, including up to 20 years in prison, if charged with throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles and a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli settler. Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported earlier this year that between 2005 and 2010, “93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months.”

Libyan militia frees Gaddafi’s son from jail A Libyan armed militia released Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the militia group announced last month. Saif al-Islam had been in custody since November 2011 after his father was ousted and subsequently killed in an uprising in the North African country. In a statement, the Abu Bakr al-Seddiq Brigade, which controls the western town of Zintan, said Gaddafi’s son had been released

from prison and left the town. The statement said Seif al-Islam had been freed under an amnesty promulgated by the East Libyabased parliament. There was no comment from the Tripoli-based national unity government on the claim. During Gaddafi’s rule, Saif alIslam had been his heir apparent. When the uprising against Gaddafi broke out in 2011, he returned to Tripoli to support his father. After Gaddafi was killed in

August of 2011, Saif al-Islam was captured in the Sahara Desert while trying to flee to Niger. In 2014, he was put on trial for war crimes and sentenced to death, but human rights groups and the UN said there was a lack of due process at his trial. Since Gaddafi’s departure, Libya has remained in a state of turmoil with the country’s stark political divisions yielding at least three different seats of government and a host of rival militia groups.


Attending Religious Services Boosts Health, Prolongs Life: Study

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A new study shows that attending religious services like those at mosques, churches or synagogues may help you live longer. “We found in our study that actually attending church is actually good for your health, particularly for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65,” said Marino Bruce, the associate director of

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Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” was published in thePlos One journal in May. “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said. For the study a total of 5,449 participants of both sexes and races were recorded. The researchers used publicly available data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. “I’m ordained clergy so I’m always about what do we mean by our spiritual health. Does spiritual health Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on matter with respect to biological Men’s Health, in a video posted on outcomes?” Bruce added. Vanderbilt University’s website. The study focused on the The study showed reduced participants’ survey results, analyzing mortality risk by 55% for those their worship attendance, mortality middle-aged adults who go to and allostatic load, which is a churches, synagogues, mosques physiological measurement, and or other houses of worship, Muslim social support. Press reported. www.pi-media.co.uk The study on “Church Attendance,

Malawian Muslim women allowed to wear hijabs on license photos Officials from Malawi’s department of the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) and the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) have put to bed wrangles that ensued between the two over the handling of female Muslims. The media and social media were awash with reports of disagreements over DTRSS procedure which requested the women of faith to remove their head gear in order to have their ID’ captured.

The Road Traffic Regulations in Malawi of 2000 on acquiring drivers license, states that the applicant is supposed to have their photograph taken showing the head only without any form of head gear. However the arrangement has been working against Muslim Women who by faith are mandated to cover their heads. Reports reveal that the women have been failing to get driving licenses as they were forced to

take off their Hijabs for photos a development that was seen to go against the Islamic faith. According to a statement from the DTRSS, the development led to a series of discussions between the DRTSS and MAM where the two have finally reached a compromise. The two have agreed that women of the veil will not be requested to remove the whole Hijab but ensure that their facial features are visible enough for recognition.


Dubai, a frontrunner for mini edition of IPL

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will soon be launching a mini edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held overseas and the UAE will the be most favoured venue. In an interview with Gulf News during the ICC Champions Trophy in Edgbaston, Rajeev Shukla, the Chairman of the IPL, said: “One concept that we are deliberating and considering is launching a mini edition of the IPL overseas. We have seen that there is huge attraction for

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IPL overseas. Earlier, we used to stage our Champions League T20 abroad and that slot is still vacant. We are thinking of a mini edition in that slot.” When asked whether the UAE, which hosted the first leg of seventh edition of the IPL due to the 2014 general elections in India, will be considered as the venue, Shukla said categorically: “Dubai will be most favoured destination for the mini IPL.” Over 250,000 people had watched

the UAE leg of the IPL in 2014 with all games across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi venues for two weeks being a sellout. Incidentally, the Pakistan Super League, which is being held in Dubai and Sharjah, has been reaping a profit of over $2 million each from its two editions here. The IPL, meanwhile, have retained Vivo, the Chinese mobile company as title sponsors of league for five years from 2018 till 2022. Vivo’s bid of Rs2,199 crores sees a huge increase of 554 per cent from their previous bid. Asked about how he perceives the next 10 years of the IPL, Shukla said: “The next 10 years are going to be interesting. We are changing the revenue sharing model. Earlier franchises took the license fee but now they will be sharing the revenue with the BCCI. Another important thing is about tenders for the broadcasters. In fact, broadcasters’ tenders will be out in July and we are expecting manifold rise in it.” www.pi-media.co.uk

FARE launch guide to discriminatory practices in world football The first global guide on discriminatory practices in football has been launched to provide insight and support action to tackle discrimination and exclusion in world football ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. The Global Guide to Discriminatory Practices in Football lists and provides expertise on discriminatory acts inside football stadiums around the world to help supporters, football governing bodies, governments and others involved in the game to recognise and prevent discriminatory abuse. The guide is the first of its kind in sport and is available in

five languages – English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. It has been produced by the Fare network and combines submissions from leading experts with findings from the Fare/FIFA AntiDiscrimination Monitoring System during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition. Piara Powar, the Executive Director of Fare, said: “This guide is the first of its kind in sport and seeks to highlight the most common discriminatory practices in football across the world, from all six football confederations. The new resource follows the Monitoring Discriminatory

Signs and Symbols Guide, listing discriminatory practices in European football developed by Fare as an educational and awareness-raising tool. The guide is launched as Russia prepares to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, a test tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will see observers present at every match from the Fare network. As part of this system Fare will deploy experts trained on issues of discrimination at international football matches to record data and feed incidents into the FIFA regulatory system.


Rugby legend Ikram seeks to build bridges www.pi-media.co.uk

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The autobiography of England’s first Muslim rugby international has been released free of charge on Amazon in the wake of the recent terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London. Ikram Butt, who played Rugby League for England as well as rugby union for Pakistan, has worked tirelessly over the past 13 years to build bridges between communities through a number of organisations including his own BARA (British Asian Rugby Association). His hard hitting yet entertaining autobiography ‘Tries and Prejudice’, co-authored by Tony Hannan, is

available to download for Kindle without cost. It covers his life in professional sport and challenges faced away from the pitch growing up in Yorkshire. Ikram explained: “As a Muslim living in Britain I was disgusted and saddened by the attacks in Manchester and London. In my work over the years in using sport to unite communities it’s clear that we have to find common ground between ourselves. “Our similarities will always far outweigh our differences and bringing people together of all

backgrounds and faiths using sport does work. I have seen it time and time again and we must persist down this path. “Practical measures must be taken to mitigate the chance of radicalization by getting young people involved in activities that build bridges. “Sport can achieve so much in this respect if the political will is there,” added Ikram, widely recognised as one of the most influential British Asian role models and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University as well as a Fellowship from Bradford College for using sport to change people’s lives. Ikram carries out ambassadorial duties for the British Asian Trust and Mosaic, both founded by HRH Prince Charles, Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, as well as being a leading voice in the White Ribbon Campaign aimed at raising awareness of abuse by men against women and girls. Ikram’s book ‘Tries and Prejudice’ can be downloaded from www. amazon.co.uk

Qatar “may not have met the standards set out in the FIFA code of ethics or the bid rules,” FIFA’s then-chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia said in a report, also stating that there was “no apparent violation” by Russia. “There is no evidence in this record to suggest that the Russia bid committee attempted to exert undue influence on any FIFA executive committee members in order to secure their votes,” Garcia said. On Qatar, Garcia wrote: “To the extent this report identifies conduct

by Qatar 2022 that may not have met the standards set out in the FIFA code of ethics or the bid rules, culpability is mitigated by the fact that these issues were uncovered largely as a result of its cooperation.” Apparently, several FIFA officials accepted lavish gifts such as extravagant hotel accommodations, with three members even being flown out to Brazil on a private jet to meet the emir of Qatar at a party. The report also suggests that former president of Barcelona football club and advisor to Qatar

2022 bid Sandro Rosell was engaged in “questionable behavior,” most notably being accused of transferring £2m into an account held by the then 10-year-old daughter of Ricardo Teixeira, a former FIFA official. The Garcia investigation also revealed that a former FIFA executive committee member received several hundred thousand euros and thanked Qatar via email just after the gulf nation was awarded hosting the 2022 tournament.

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Qatar: Reshaping of international relations in the Middle East, Political meddling and the spectre of Terrorism.

Why are Arab states cutting ties with Qatar? To understand this issue, we need to go back to the birthplace of the Arab Spring which began in Tunisia in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, on December 17, 2010. Mohamed Bouazizi, a twenty-six-year-old produce vender, refused to pay a petty bribe and municipal inspectors tried to confiscate his crates of fruit and his electronic scale, and when he resisted a policewoman slapped him in front of a crowd. Tunisia is the only country to emerge from the Arab revolutions of 2011 as a functioning

democracy in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In contrast, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria have either returned to dictatorship, descended into chaos and anarchy. Why Egypt? Al Qaeda reacted to these dramatic events with near silence on the 25th February 2011 with the exception of a statement from Osama bin Laden’s Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said, “we will use Egypt to be the center for terrorism, but that the Tunisian revolution occurred “against the agent of America and France,” in

an audacious trying to transform the Tunisians’ fight against corruption and repression into a victory for antiWestern jihadists. U.S. politicians quickly moved to claim that the revolutions and Al Qaeda’s muted response were victories in the struggle against terrorism. “This revolution is a repudiation of al Qaeda,” declared Senator John McCain during a visit to Cairo on February 27, 2011. And indeed, looking out from Bin Laden’s cave, the Arab world looks less promising than it did only a few months ago. Although Bin Laden and al Qaeda have been attempting


I July 2017 to overthrow Arab governments for more than 20 years, the toppling of the seemingly solid dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt caught them flat-footed and undermined their message of violent jihad. Nevertheless, Al Qaeda and its allies could ultimately benefit from the unrest. For now, Al Qaeda has greater operational freedom of action, and was said that Bin Laden and his allies will seek to exploit any further unrest in the months and years to come. As far as Egypt was concerned, the Muslim Brotherhood controlled the country after 18 days of protests that spilled out from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, President Hosni Mubarak handed power to military’s ruling body. Mubarak’s former prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, was tipped to lead the cabinet. The constitution was duly suspended and the parliament was disbanded with immediate effect. On May 23rd, 2012, the Presidential Elections began and the first round of voting in presidential elections narrowed a field of 13 candidates down to two finalists: Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, and Ahmed Shafik, the last Prime Minister under Mubarak. Dr Mohammed Morsi, on the 30th of May 2012 became the first Islamist to be elected as head of state and the first civilian leader in Egypt. He promised to be a president to “all Egyptians” and opened his suit jacket to show the cheering crowd that he was not wearing body armor — underscoring the idea that he was not afraid. But the military’s power grab weeks earlier set up a bitter power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the secular military. Egyptian society at this juncture had rejected the idea of the Muslim Brotherhood being in power and there had also been a coup by the military quite unwilling to be governed by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. On Jan. 25 2013, the plan to oust the president changed and protesters returned to Tahrir Sqaure on the two-year anniversary of Mubarak’s ouster, Hundreds of thousands gather in Tahrir Square for another protest against Morsi and what they perceived as his abuse of power.

I 25 armed terrorist activities, and funding linked to Iranian groups designed to create chaos in Bahrain with a view to destroying the fabric of the nation. Moreover, Abu Dhabi gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said “all attempts to stop [Qatar] from supporting terrorist groups failed “ Qatar Fear”, Qatar said there was “no legitimate justification” for the decisions taken by its Arab neighbours. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said it regretted the move, saying that “the measures were unjustified and based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact.” in the same way, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV quoted the ministry as saying that the decisions would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents “. In Tehran, a senior Iranian official said the decision to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar would not help end the crisis in the Middle East. Qatari News Agency reported that President Donald Trump of the USA was the catalyst for this rise in “tension” in the Middle East and that the country would withdraw its ambassadors from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E with immediate effect. The fake article that circulated online which has also contributed to this crisis also quoted Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as saying Iran is an “Islamic power” and that Qatar’s relations with Israel are “good.” In conclusion, the escalating confrontation between Qatar and other Sunni-led Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt) presents a new and unwelcome complication for the United States military, which has made strenuous efforts to forge a broad coalition against the Islamic State to destruction and control of the Middle East. One can argue that exacerbated tensions in the Middle East might have consequences for the GCC, which is the most powerful bloc in the region in the days. Weeks, months and years to come. FEATURED

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Protesters clash with police in Cairo and across Egypt, and more than a 100 were injured in the violence. Sisi appeared on state television to ask Egyptians to take to the streets again in support of the military’s fight against terrorism. On July 25,2013. the Muslim Brotherhood and the military were at loggerheads and a stalemate ensued that led to the security forces moving in and killing at least 600 people and wounding thousands more in the process. Through these events, it should be said that Qatar was the main mastermind in Egypt, which strengthened Sisi’s alliance with Arab countries with a view to countering the cancer of terrorism. “Sisi” decisions: Sisi is the mastermind of these decisions Several Arab nations last month cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing the country’s alleged support for Islamist groups and close relations with Iran. In addition, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) announced on June 5 that they would withdraw their diplomatic staff and sever all contacts with Qatar. Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting ISIS (Islamic State), and Al-Qaeda.” As they seek the destruction the Arab East by using multiple terrorist and sectarian groups...including the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar was accused of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia added that Qatari troops would be removed from the ongoing war in Yemen and that it would “shut its land border with Qatar” effectively cutting the nation off from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. We should add that this is not the first time that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar to protest its support for the Muslim Brotherhood as diplomatic relations broke down three years ago. Yemen’s and the internationally recognized government in Libya followed regional allies in cutting ties with Qatar with immediate effect. Bahrain said this decision was the result of what it called Qatar’s “media incitement, its support for

By Miral Alashry Assistant Professor Canadian international college ( CIC) Department of Journalism www.pi-media.co.uk


The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context

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Part 14

The Bayt ul-Maal (The treasury) an institution set up during the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) time provided the catalyst for providing much needed funds to be spent on the less fortunate in society. Regular payments were provided on a case by case basis to widows, disabled persons and orphans to allow them to make ends meet. The cost of education was entirely met from the state coffers and children from poor backgrounds were seen as priority cases in terms of ensuring that they could acquire literacy and numeracy skills and be highly proficient in these areas. Even young men and women who were struggling to make ends meet received financial assistance from the state. Economic activity was solely not limited to handing out money for those who regarded it as a lifeline. Licences were issued to traders seeking to invest and trade within

the territory administered in the Islamic state deemed to be pivotal in generating revenue for the state and allow the economy to grow at a substantial rate year on year. The state also made provision for money (interest free loans) to be made available to businesses and individuals to allow them to invest in their homes and businesses. This was just one measure amongst others aimed at ensuring sustained economic growth over the medium to long term. Ensuring that loans were interest free reduced the risk of people defaulting on loans and ensuring that more debtors would indeed repay their money back ensuring the state did not get its hands burnt. From time immemorial, the spectre of debt has hung round a millstone around the necks of societies and civilisations and the people living in the Islamic state were no strangers to this. One of

the reforms implemented by Umar Ibn al-Khattab centred upon the state paying the debts of people who could no longer afford to pay them. This was seen by many as a radical step as debt was seen as a means of people remaining trapped in a never ending vicious cycle where interest accumulated on the original capital owed by the debtor to a large extent. The institution of marriage in the Islamic tradition has been a mainstay of the Muslims based on the premise that if one enters into a marriage contract then half of one’s religion is fulfilled. However, during the reign of Umar Ibn al-Khattab there were many young Muslims who could not afford to get married as they lacked the financial means to do so. The Islamic state paid for marriages to be conducted and provided a stipend to pay for the basic upkeep of the home thus alleviating the risk of poverty.


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PI Magazine July 2017  

passion islam, muslim news, islam, news, hate crime, july 2017, childline, ikram butt, ipl 2017, qatar, saudi arabia, uae

PI Magazine July 2017  

passion islam, muslim news, islam, news, hate crime, july 2017, childline, ikram butt, ipl 2017, qatar, saudi arabia, uae

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