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Pogba performs Umrah The Islamic Caliphate ahead of World Cup

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June 2018

EXCLUSIVE

PI’s investigative team has uncovered evidence of local authorities across the United Kingdom conducting surveillance on members of the Muslim community using social media applications. The social media application WhatsApp has been extensively used to gather intelligence on ‘persons of interest’

via a variety of sophisticated means in several communities where there is a significant Muslim minority. Several cases involve WhatsApp groups with tens if not hundreds of people being added by the administrators without their knowledge in many cases leaving them highly

vulnerable and exposed to being reported to the authorities. Furthermore, many of the administrators or better known as ‘admins’ have also added individuals who are used to provoke discussion by making controversial statements to draw out views and comments from members

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thePassion

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By Sam Grant

Advocacy and Policy Officer @ Liberty

Sajid Javid can’t just change Home Office language

New Home Secretary Sajid Javid says he does not like the word ‘hostile’. He called the phrase incorrect, unhelpful and not representative of “our values as a country”. But he’s going to have to do more than change the language of the Home Office if he is to reverse the effects of the department’s hostile environment policies. Until these toxic policies are scrapped, they will continue to make border guards of us all, facilitating discrimination against BAME citizens and settled migrants, and pushing undocumented people further into exploitation and destitution. And no number of resignations will change it. The hostile environment is made up a sprawling web of immigration controls which have invaded every aspect of life in the UK. Successive governments obsessed with deportations no matter the human cost have caused parents to fear sending their children to school and people who are sick to avoid medical care. Migrant families who have fallen

on hard times dare not ask for support from social services because their children may be taken away from them. British citizens who have been here for more than 40 years have been told they are no longer welcome. And privacy rights for all of us are being undermined as the Home Office is increasingly allowed to hoover up data from trusted services like schools and hospitals, and hand it to immigration enforcement officers. The hostile environment is firmly embedded at the Home Office – it has been official policy since 2012. Only last week Amber Rudd said the culture must change. This should now be Sajid Javid’s top priority. Fortunately, there’s plenty of evidence out there to help him get to grips with his new brief. As a start he could have a flick through Liberty’s guide to the hostile environment. After that he should brush up on the damage that the dangerous and discriminatory immigration control exemption in the Data Protection Bill will cause – and then remove it before it can become law.

The new Home Secretary will also do well to read up on black and minority ethnic drivers being disproportionately targeted by police for road traffic stops. He can pore over Liberty’s and StopWatch’s Driving While Black report to get to grips with that. We’re sure Sajid Javid will have a lot of invitations in his inbox. Two that we recommend he accepts are from the women on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre – and then one from the Joint Committee on Human Rights to discuss how he plans to protect the rights of those locked up in immigration detention without release dates. It is telling that – as far as we know – no serving Home Secretary has ever visited a detention centre. We’d place our latest submission on immigration detention on his ministerial reading list before he goes before the Committee. The culture at the Home Office is toxic. If Sajid Javid’s commitment to move away from the hostile environment of his predecessors is to go deeper than tweaking soundbites, he must challenge it head-on. The political and public appetite is there. He must seize this opportunity. There’s never been a more pivotal time to show what “our values as a country” are, rebuild trust in the immigration system and protect the human rights of all.

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

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of the groups which are then passed to Prevent teams across the country. PI has also uncovered evidence of ‘admins’ being recruited by Prevent teams across the country to store and pass on information on ‘persons of interest’ and report anyone who makes comments that may be deemed to be in violation of the Home Office definition of ‘extremism’. PI has also been informed that a prominent Muslim activist and his family were subjected to a terrifying raid few months ago because of false intelligence being passed to one Prevent team via a WhatsApp group. The activist in question who has actively spoken out against Prevent was falsely accused of bullying a local authority official. He was also accused of calling the official a ‘munafiq’ (hypocrite) and a sell-out spying and working for Prevent. The official then proceeded to go off on sick and contacted the police claiming that the activist was engaged in a campaign of victimisation, bullying and harassment. The activist said that several armed counter-terror officers smashed his door down early in the morning but found no one at the property. Heavily armed counterterror officers visited his parents’ house and conducted a full-scale search of the property and even searched the neighbour’s house but found nothing of interest. The activist was informed by his parents that he was being asked to report to a

local police station and duly did so accompanied by a solicitor. The activist asked whether the police authorised this operation and they claimed that they had no information or knowledge about who had conducted it. During questioning, the activist and the solicitor were shown print outs of WhatsApp screenshots passed to the complainant by another member of the WhatsApp group whose name appeared at the top. In response, the activist categorically denied making these comments in question. PI was told by the activist that he had been targeted to intimidate and silence him into submissionin response to an activity airing legitimate concerns and grievances against Prevent locally. The activist was released without charge and was told that his activities would be monitored for the foreseeable future. The Muslim community are asking themselves where does this leave them, The answer is that the government and local authorities in an age of austerity are engaging in ‘snooping on the cheap’ saving money but at the same time encouraging Muslims to engage in acts of betrayal and outright treachery by reporting on their fellow people. Prevent it could be said now has encouraged irresponsible behaviour by encouraging people to make malicious and false allegations against one another to settle petty feuds which means the whole strategy now has nothing to do with safeguarding or protecting vulnerable

people from extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. PI contacted various Councils but they would not confirm or deny that WhattsApp was a tool they were using to recruit or spy on individuals or groups. Last month’s edition of PI discussed the harrowing case of a family subjected to a terrifying raid because of false information being passed to Prevent via a WhatsApp group with false and malicious reporting by Muslims on fellow Muslims have traumatised and destroyed the lives of an innocent family who are left to pick up the pieces yet again. Prevent to all intents and purposes even today are still overwhelmingly and disproportionately targeting Muslims despite the demise of the so-called threat of ISIS/Daesh. Far-right White extremism now represents the biggest threat to national security but the government and Prevent practitioners have been in utmost denial about this and choose to magnify the ‘Muslim threat’ to suit their agendas. Brown faces with a beard and a hijab it can be said are certainly more of an attractive funding proposition for councils tendering for Home Office Prevent money.


UK may deploy 100s more troops to Afghanistan 4

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Britain’s military is reportedly considering to substantially increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan following demands by US President Donald Trump for NATO members to “pay their fair share” for the US-led military alliance. The Times reported that UK’s Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson is believed to have asked PM Theresa May for deployment of 400 additional military forces to purportedly assist in the battle against the Taliban insurgents, on top of the 600 British soldiers already in the war-torn Afghanistan. Trump declared last August that the US will deploy 3,500 more troops to the Asian nation in efforts to secure areas that had fallen into

Taliban control, after repeatedly warning that NATO members need to fulfill their commitments for funding the Western military alliance. “Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense,” Trump said during leaders summit of NATO member countries last year at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. According to the report, May is scheduled to make an announcement about the additional troop deployment at a NATO summit next July, where it is expected Trump will press members even further for more contributions. Britain’s Ministry of Defense

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(MoD), meanwhile, declared that it remained “committed to NATO’s ...mission, in which we play an important role, and keep our contribution under constant review.” Former commander of Britain’s Joint Forces Command Richard Barrons has also stated in an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today program that the UK needed to acknowledge that challenges still remained in Afghanistan. “When we left, it was not the case that the Afghan national army and the air force were strong enough to tip the balance against the Taliban -- and that now has to be reset,” he said. The development came after Taliban militants attacked the capital city of western Farah Province in an attempt to capture the city, killing over 30 police and military officers, but failed advance in face of fierce resistance by Afghan forces. Local provincial council member Jamila Amini declared that the insurgents had attacked the city around midnight, capturing one district and parts of another. Amini further stated that government airstrikes had been called to assist ground forces. “Heavy fighting continues inside the city, and aircraft have just started bombarding Taliban positions,” she said. Reinforcements, including commando units, have also been deployed to the region, she added.

MI6 to recruit children of immigrants for first time Britain’s foreign spy agency will allow the children of immigrants to join the organization for the first time. Alex Younger, the chief of MI6 known as “C”, is scrapping a rule that new recruits must have two

British-born parents and they will now only need to be British born. The service is on a recruitment drive aimed at women with children and black and minority ethnic candidates to bolster the service’s diversity.

The change comes as MI6, whose greatest fictional agent is James Bond, launched the first TV advert in its 109-year history. The advert shows a mother and her young child watching a shark in an aquarium.


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British MPs want Myanmar government referred to ICC

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A British parliamentary committee says the government must support efforts to refer Myanmar’s government to the international criminal court over evidence of state-sanctioned “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. The lawmakers on the international development select committee said that the UK should still seek to gather “support for the UN security council to refer Burma to the international criminal court and to apply targeted financial sanctions at all identifiable key figures”. The lawmakers welcome a move by the ICC prosecutor Fatou

Bensouda to seek a ruling whether she can investigate the deportation of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh, the committee added. The committee has accused Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of a “longstanding approach of denying human rights abuses have taken place and seeking to obstruct moves towards justice and accountability [and] failing to counter hate speech through positive speech and messages of tolerance and restraint”. But the British parliamentary committee says the former Nobel

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prize winner has become part of the problem. The committee also called for a complete review of UK aid to Myanmar. The MPs point out that, since the last British aid program was prepared, “there has been ethnic cleansing, the breaking of ceasefires, a closing of civil society space, including restrictions on media freedoms and the persecution of journalists, and a reduction in religious freedom”. Following this bleak assessment, the committee said the UK’s government’s language and actions towards Myanmar needed to change dramatically, including by imposing targeted sanctions. The committee says, “[Myanmar] must realize that there is a bill to pay for the actions of its army and the inaction its government and society. The dramatic changes to the situation in Burma must drive dramatic change in UK policy.” The committee’s chair, Stephen Twigg, said, “British taxpayers must be assured that their money is not being used to subsidize a government accused of crimes against humanity. If there is nothing to report, we recommend suspending these programmes.” The lawmakers said that they are now deeply concerned by the threat to the Rohingya’s fraught and fragile foothold in Bangladesh as the monsoon season approaches.

Fire chiefs issue safety advice for Ramadan

People observing the holy period of Ramadan are being urged to be vigilant and guard against fire risks in the home. Fire chiefs say that with fasting being observed during daylight hours, cooking takes place before sunrise and after sunset, when tiredness can have an impact. Chris Kirby, the West Yorkshire brigade’s area manager for fire safety, said: “Ramadan is a time of great importance for Muslims but it is also a time during which everyone should be

extra vigilant when cooking, especially if they’re feeling fatigued by the end of a full day of fasting. “By following safety advice and taking a few simple precautions, you can make sure you and your family stay safe throughout this holy period.” Tips include: * Never leave cooking unattended * Be careful when wearing loose clothing. Ensure items such as head scarves don’t come into contact with a naked flame

* Take extra care when cooking with oil, as it can easily set alight * When cooking with hot oils, do not allow the oil to fill more than one third of a pan * If a pan is smoking excessively, turn off the heat * Never throw water on a burning pan. Turn off the heat if safe to do so, exit the kitchen and call 999 * Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home. www.pi-media.co.uk


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UK abstention from UN vote on Gaza violence ‘disgusting,’ says Labour

The UK shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, has criticized the UK government for abstaining on a UN Human Rights Council vote on Israeli violence in Gaza, calling it “disgusting.” The UN’s top human rights body voted in favour of a resolution, demanding that an independent commission be “urgently” sent to investigate Israeli deadly attacks on

peaceful Palestinian protesters, killing more than 100 people. The resolution was adopted by 29 votes. Only two of the council’s 47 members, the United States and Australia, voted against it, while 14 abstained, including Britain, Switzerland and Germany. The UK said it “could not support a resolution that was partial and

imbalanced. Such investigations heightened the risk on both sides,” calling on Israel to conduct its own independent inquiry into the atrocities instead. Thornberry’s tweeted criticism also came after two Palestinians in Gaza, Mo’in al-Sa’y, 58, and Muhammad Alian, 20, both succumbed to their wound. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also urged the government of Prime Minister Theresa May to take action against Israel’s “slaughter” of Palestinians. The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017 announced Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.” At least 65 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others wounded near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds. www.pi-media.co.uk

on 2016, with most of those incidents involving London, the West Midlands and Manchester, according to figures released on April 30. But police and Action Fraud said the 17 reports are just the “tip of the iceberg, with many victims feeling too embarrassed, ashamed or frightened to report what has happened”. The average age of the fraud victims is 42. “Many victims will have saved for years to be able to afford to travel to Saudi Arabia and as a result will be absolutely devastated when they find out that they have in fact been conned by fraudsters,” City of London Detective Sergeant Kevin Ives said. Up to 25,000 British Muslims will

book trips to Makkah to perform this year’s pilgrimage. Authorities advise travellers to check online to ensure their travel agent is a member of a reputable organisation such as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). Tourists booking flight-based travel packages should check that travel arrangements are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (Atol). That body ensures customers do not get stranded abroad or lose money, and provides assistance in the event of a travel company failure. Travellers should also get everything in writing, keep all travel receipts, report any problems to Action Fraud online or phone 0300 123 2040 within the UK.

Hajj fraud on the increase

Britain’s Muslims have lost almost £1 million to bogus travel agents who target families booking once-ina-lifetime trips to perform the Hajj. Victims lost £988,743 between 2013 and 2017, anywhere between £1,000 to £33,000 per person, Action Fraud, the City of London Police operation which works with The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said in a press release. Some scams involve accommodation in Saudi Arabia that does not exist. Other travellers found their entire trip was a fraud set up by illegitimate travel operators who have disappeared with thousands of pounds. There were 17 Hajj-related complaints to Action Fraud in 2017, a 143 per cent increase


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London Mosque becomes the UK’s first to accept cryptocurrency

The Shacklewell Lane Mosque, also referred to as Masjid Ramadan, has announced that it will accept donations in cryptocurrency. The move would make the Hackney mosque in East London the first in the UK to take payments in digital currency. The chairman of the Shacklewell Lane Mosque told the UK’s news publications about the move to accept both Bitcoin and Ether for donations. According to 51-year-old Erkin Guney, these contributions would be spent on structural repair work at the mosque, helping poor members of the community with funeral costs, and feeding less welloff Muslim families.

“It’s new money. It’s moving with the times. It’s no different from transferring money from the bank,” he said. The mosque’s leaders have been advised about how the intricacies of using digital currency work by the founder of Combo Innovation, Gurmit Singh. Islamic finance is the focus of the London-based blockchain technology company. Guney went on to speak to the publication about the religious contributions Muslims make towards their community. These are known as Zakat: “The total market cap on cryptocurrencies is £290bn, with Bitcoin accounting for £104bn. If

The government has “dismally failed” to protect Afghans who worked as interpreters for the British army and are now at risk from the Taliban and Islamic State, according to a Commons defence select committee report. The study criticises the Home Office and Ministry of Defence for not fulfilling obligations towards thousands of Afghans who worked

for British forces, many of them on the frontline. The Conservative-led committee says the interpreters were often exposed to extremely dangerous situations. “There is a broad consensus that the UK owes them a great debt of gratitude,” the report, Lost in Translation? Afghan Interpreters and Other Locally Employed

Muslims, who make up a quarter of the world’s population, hold just 1% of Bitcoins, or £1.04bn, then £26 million in Zakat contributions is due… It’s likely the actual figure is much higher. Currently hardly any mosques or Islamic charities accept Zakat in cryptocurrency. They are potentially losing out on millions of pounds.” However, some may remember earlier reports NewsBTC have penned about various Islamic nations discussing internally whether or not cryptocurrency should be deemed as being halal (permissible) or not. At the start of the year, the Mufti of Egypt expressed his feeling that Islam forbade the financial innovation. He stated: “…it is a cryptographic form of money that is vague and gives namelessness to crooks.” Despite this, a religious adviser to the mosque stated that these claims were unfounded. Zayd al Khair said that people spoke in a similar way about paper money when they initially moved from a gold-based economy. He went on to state in a meeting that he felt other mosques would soon open up to accepting cryptocurrency payments too. “Any money or currency is neither halal – permissible – nor haram – impermissible. Guidance is about the value which it represents. If money is transacted in a lawful manner, then it is halal. We do not always know the source of cash donations, but we take these in good faith too.” - Independent

Afghan interpreters working for UK army ‘failed’ by govt

Civilians, says. “The government must abandon its policy of leaving former interpreters and other loyal personnel dangerously exposed.” The home secretary, Sajid Javid, bowed to pressure last month over 150 interpreters seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK, including waiving a £2,389 application fee. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Mother Jailed in landmark UK case over forced marriage

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A mother who tricked her teenage daughter into traveling to Pakistan to marry an older man was jailed for four and a half years after becoming the first person in England to be convicted of forced marriage. Campaigners said the landmark conviction sent a strong message to families planning to coerce their daughters into marriage, and would empower girls to speak out. The jury at Birmingham Crown Court in central England heard the girl appeared to have been betrothed to a man 16 years her senior on a visit to Pakistan when she was 13.

The man had sex with her and the girl underwent an abortion on her return to Britain, prosecutors said. The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, took her daughter back to Pakistan in 2016 under the guise of a holiday, but after they arrived the girl was told she would be married. When she protested, her mother assaulted her and threatened to burn her passport, the court heard. On the day of the wedding — just after her 18th birthday — an Islamic ceremony was performed and the girl was made to sign a certificate

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proving the marriage had occurred. When a High Court judge in Britain ordered the girl’s return from Pakistan, her mother threatened her with black magic if she told anyone what had happened, prosecutors said. Britain banned forced marriage in 2014. The maximum penalty is seven years. The woman, in her 40s, received two concurrent three-and-a-half year jail sentences for duping her daughter into leaving Britain to get married and for forcing her into marriage. She was jailed for a further year for committing perjury at the High Court. Karma Nirvana, a charity supporting forced marriage victims, hailed the verdict as “very significant.” The government’s Forced Marriage Unit received reports of nearly 2,000 possible cases last year, many involving girls from South Asian backgrounds. But campaigners say the figure is just the tip of the iceberg. www.pi-media.co.uk

US places travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats Pakistan confirmed that the U.S. has imposed travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats. “The restrictions on our diplomats were implemented from May 11, and these will be on a reciprocal basis,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal told reporters at a briefing. But negotiations are ongoing between the two sides on the matter, Faisal added. Under the new plan, Pakistani diplomats in Washington and at consulates in other U.S. cities will

be barred from traveling more than 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) from their posts without prior permission, the local Dawn daily reported. U.S. authorities have complained that Pakistan’s government has imposed travel restrictions on their diplomats. “Our diplomats are under restrictions and they can travel farther [than the capital Islamabad], but they have to notify the government of Pakistan. So we’ve taken reciprocal steps,” Under Secretary for Political Affairs

Thomas Shannon told U.S. state-run media Voice of America. Pakistani authorities have said that such measures have been adopted to ensure the security of foreign missions and their employees and the country has no other motives. Relations between the two allies in the war against terrorism have been tense since President Donald Trump assumed office in January last year, mainly due to a clash of interests in war-torn Afghanistan. www.pi-media.co.uk


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US Muslim org files lawsuit on behalf of Inmates in Alaska

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed suit against Alaska Department of Corrections officials on behalf of two plaintiffs who are Muslim inmates at the Anchorage Correctional Complex. The suit accuses officials of violating the inmates’ constitutional rights and engaging in discriminatory behavior by denying them appropriate meals and necessary calories during Ramadan, a policy that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. When observing the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are permitted to eat only between sundown and sunrise. Lena Masri, national litigation director for CAIR, said in a release that the Constitution forbids prisons from “compelling inmates to choose between their faith and food.” “We hope that a court will do what Anchorage Correctional Complex

officials will not: ensure that Muslim inmates are not starved or forced to violate the principles of their faith during the holy month of Ramadan,” Masri said, according to The Hill. The plaintiffs had requested special meals and mealtimes, but the lawsuit says that the meals they were given were substantially lower in calories than those given to other inmates. The Ramadan meals are “cold meals” ranging from 500 to 1,100 calories, according to the lawsuit. State policy requires that prisoners are given at least two hot meals a day, and those meals typically range between 2,600 to 2,800 calories. The lawsuit says the plaintiffs’ meals sometimes contained pork products, a violation of Muslim dietary restrictions that forced the inmates to go with even less food. Megan Edge, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of

Corrections (DOC), said that the department cannot comment on ongoing litigation, but said that the department provides two “sack meals” for inmates observing Ramadan, which they can eat at “the time that best facilitates their fasting.” “DOC accommodates many different faiths inside of our facilities – including those who identify as Muslim,” Edge said. “To the best of our ability, in accordance with Islamic Law, we are providing our Muslim residents the opportunity to succeed during Ramadan by being able to abstain totally from food and drink between dawn and dusk.” She added that her agency currently accommodates inmates from 28 different religions. “We do not limit the religions these are currently what we have in the facilities,” she said. “If someone comes along that wishes to practice a different religion we will accommodate them within the confines of the safety and security of all our residents and staff.” The lawsuit asks a court to require the Department of Corrections to provide a “balanced nutritional diet” for Muslim inmates observing Ramadan, and seeks an unspecified amount of damages. The organization also filed an emergency motion requesting that a court order officials to immediately provide Muslim prisoners with “adequate nutrition, free of pork products.”

Mosques in a southern Swedish town have been allowed to use loudspeakers for the call to prayer, local media reported. Police in Vaxjo district of Kronoberg County gave the permission for Friday prayers, according to state radio SR. Fredrik Modeus, district

bishop, welcomed the decision in a statement, adding that Sweden guarantees religious freedom to its citizens. In 2013, the first call to prayer was broadcast on a loudspeaker in Fittja Ulu Mosque, linked to Turkey’s religious authority Diyanet, in Botkyrka district in Stockholm. The

Friday tradition continues to this day. Last year, a mosque in Karlskrona municipality, Blekinge County, was allowed to broadcast the call to prayer five times a day. In Islamic tradition, mosques call the faithful to prayer five times a day, however Friday prayers hold special importance.

Swedish town allows Muslim prayer call from speakers


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All Mosques in China should raise national flag In Case You Missed It

Flags should be hung in a “prominent position” in all mosque courtyards for the places of worship to become “a solid platform for the study of the party and the country’s laws and policies,” the China Islamic Association said. All Chinese mosques should raise the national flag to “promote a spirit of patriotism” among Muslims, the country’s top Islamic regulatory body has declared, as the Communist Party seeks to tighten its grip on religion. Flags should be hung in a “prominent position” in all mosque courtyards, the China Islamic Association said in a letter published on its website. This would “further strengthen the understanding of national and civic ideals, and promote a spirit

of patriotism among Muslims of all ethnic groups”, it read, according to AFP. Mosques should also publicly display information on the party’s “core socialist values”, and explain them to devotees via Islamic scripture so that they will be “deeply rooted in people’s hearts”, it said. The China Islamic Association is a government-affiliated body and has the sole power to accredit imams. The letter comes on the heels of China’s newly revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, which came into effect in February and prompted rights groups to voice concern for religious freedoms. The new regulations intensified punishments for unsanctioned religious activities and increased state supervision of religion in a bid

to “block extremism” and tackle what Beijing sees as internal threats. Mosque staff should organize study of the Chinese constitution and other relevant laws —particularly the new religious regulations, the letter said. They should also study Chinese classics and set up courses on traditional Chinese culture, while being sure to focus only on Muslim sages of Chinese rather than foreign origin, it added. The goal, it said, was for mosques to become “a solid platform for the study of the party and the country’s laws and policies” in addition to houses of worship, and thereby develop among Muslims “an understanding of a common Chinese identity” with the majority Han. Islam is one of the five religions officially recognized by the atheist Communist party. The country is home to some 23 million Muslims. But restrictions on them are intensifying, particularly in the northwestern province of Xinjiang which is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority, where there are bans on beards and public prayers. Tens of thousands of Uighurs have been sent to shadowy detention and re-education centers for perceived offences and can be held indefinitely without due process. Authorities say the restrictions and heavy police presence in Xinjiang are intended to control the spread of militancy and separatist movements, but analysts say the region is becoming an open-air prison.

The Iraqi government condemned the killing of an Iraqi refugee baby by Belgian police. “We denounce the incident… involving police in Belgium, which resulted in the death of a two-yearold child,” Minister of Migration and Displacement, Jassim al-Jaff said in

a statement. He called for bringing those responsible for the incident to accountability, going on to urge international organizations to ensure the safety of Iraqi refugees. Belgian media outlets reported that a two-year-old Iraqi baby girl

was shot by police while chasing a vehicle carrying illegal migrants. The injured baby lost her life on the way to a hospital. Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said an investigation has been launched into the incident. www.pi-media.co.uk

Iraq slams Belgian police over refugee baby’s death


School in Southern Thailand lifts hijab ban

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In Case You Missed It

Thailand’s Education Ministry has defused a dress-code row at a school in Pattani province by giving the green light for Muslim students there to wear the hijab and long trousers in line with their religious rules. Muslim students at the Anuban Pattani School can wear hijab and long trousers. “It’s just that they also must respect school rules by wearing only the colors allowed by the school. For example, hijab should be in white color or the color of their uniform

skirt,” Deputy Education Minister LtGeneral Surachet Chaiwong said. Tension was rising at the Anuban Pattani School over what Muslim students should wear. About 20 teachers went on leave amid the standoff. Although the school is located in the predominantly Muslim province, its students had never worn Islamic dress to class until last month. Some students, backed by their parents and the Muslim for Peace Foundation, reported to the new semester wearing hijab and long

trousers. The school initially expressed acceptance but later backtracked. On May 16, the school’s director Prajak Chusri said the school would have no objection if students came to class in Muslim-style clothes. But two days later, the school’s committee convened a meeting and shot down the suggestion that Muslim students should be able to dress in accordance with religious rules. Parents and human rights activists, however, have refused to give up. They have vowed to take the case further to defend students’ rights. Before the row could escalate further, the secretary-general of the Office of Basic Education Commission, Boonrux Yodpheth, met with the executives of Pattani’s Primary Educational Service Area 1 Office and concluded that students at the Anuban Pattani School would be able to dress in accordance with their religious beliefs. Normally, the school’s dress code does not include a hijab and long trousers. A source said the exclusion was very likely because the school was built on a plot of land belonging to a temple and thus had to comply with the temple’s rules. wwww.pi-media.co.uk

Israel approve 2,500 new settler homes Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said an approval from the planning committee for the building of 2,500 new homes in 30 West Bank settlements has been accepted. “The 2,500 new units werel approved in the planning committee are for immediate construction in 2018,” Lieberman said in a statement, adding he also seeked the committee’s approval for a further

1,400 settlement units for later construction. “We committed to advancing construction in Judaea and Samaria and we’re keeping our word,” Lieberman said, using the biblical terms for the West Bank. “In the coming months we will bring forward thousands more units for approval.” In an appeal to the International

Criminal Court, the Palestinian foreign ministry called Israeli settlements “the single most dangerous threat to Palestinian lives and livelihoods”. While Israel would expect to retain certain settlements in any two-state peace deal, longstanding international consensus has been that their status must be negotiated. wwww.pi-media.co.uk


Preliminary investigation on Israel continues www.pi-media.co.uk

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In Case You Missed It

The International Criminal Court (ICC) responded to a request by the Palestinian foreign minister asking them to investigate Israeli settlement building and alleged war crimes. “Since 16 January 2015, the situation in Palestine has been subject to a preliminary examination in order to ascertain whether the criteria for opening an investigation

are met,” Fatou Bensuda, the Netherlands-based ICC’s chief prosecutor, said in a statement. “This preliminary examination has seen important progress and will continue to follow its normal course,” she said. Bensuda said that her office evaluates and analyzes all information received independently

regardless of who it was referred by. “A referral or an article 12(3) declaration does not automatically lead to the opening of an investigation. “There should be no doubt that in this and any other situation before my Office, I will always take the decision warranted by my mandate under the Rome Statute.” The Rome Statute allows ICC to investigate if genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression have been committed in a state, which either unable or unwilling to do so itself. On May 14, at least 65 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza were martyred -- and thousands more injured -- by intense Israeli army gunfire. The protests had coincided with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 -- an event Palestinians refer to as the “The Catastrophe” -- and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which took place the same day.

French Muslim student in media storm over headscarf A Muslim student at one of France’s top universities has found herself at the centre of a media storm after she appeared in a documentary wearing a headscarf. Maryam Pougetoux had appeared in the film to talk about student protests in the country, which have been ongoing since April this year. The student activist is the president of the student union at Paris-Sorbonne IV University in the French capital.

It was not her thoughts on the protests that drew controversy, instead, it was the headscarf she wore while being filmed. Since the interview, she has been criticised by French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who said the appearance was “shocking” and accused Pougetoux of wanting to proselytise her religion. French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa also weighed in, calling Pougetoux’s choice of headwear a “manifestation of political Islam”.

The student defended her decision to wear the scarf in an interview with Buzzfeed, in which she said her headscarf had “no political function” and that her religion did not affect her ability to perform her duties as the union president. “When I defend students, I do not ask myself about their skin colour, their sexual orientation, their philosophy of life,” she told the news outlet. www.pi-media.co.uk

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Tensions soar between India, Pakistan along volatile Kashmir frontier

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Tensions soared along the volatile frontier between India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, as rival soldiers shelled dozens of villages and border posts for a sixth straight day. A total of five civilians and a soldier were killed on both sides, officials from the two countries said, in escalating violence in the disputed region that both countries blame the other for initiating. Indian police said Pakistani soldiers continued targeting dozens of Indian border posts and villages with mortars and automatic gunfire in the Jammu region. At least four civilians were killed and 30 others

injured on the Indian side, said a top police officer, S.D. Singh. In Pakistan, two security officials said Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire near the country’s Sialkot city in eastern Punjab province. They said the two sides traded fire over the past 48 hours, killing a civilian and a soldier. The officials said several people were also wounded, including three border guards. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. As in the past, each country accused the other of initiating the latest border skirmishes and violating

Four cadets from the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, Canada’s Quebec province, have been accused of desecrating a Quran with bacon and bodily fluids during the Easter long weekend The alleged incident is said to have occurred during a cottage party and largely involved first-year students from the military college,

who reportedly recorded the acts on video. Lt.-Gen. Charles Lamarre, the chief of military personnel, says other students at the college reported the incident to their commanders after being shown the videos. An investigation subsequently launched by the college

www.pi-media.co.uk I June 2018

the 2003 ceasefire agreement. Last month fighting follows days of confrontations that left four civilians on each side and an Indian soldier dead. The fighting has sent tens of thousands of villagers fleeing from their homes in dozens of affected villages along the border to government buildings converted into temporary shelters or to the houses of friends and relatives living in safer places. Dozens of schools in villages along the frontier have been closed and authorities advised residents to stay indoors as shells and bullets rained down. Some damage to houses was also reported on the Indian side. This year, soldiers from the two nations have engaged in fierce border skirmishes along the rugged and mountainous Line of Control, as well as a lower-altitude 200-kilometer boundary separating Indiancontrolled Kashmir and the Pakistani province of Punjab, where the latest fighting occurred. India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir, which both claim. They have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over their competing claims to the region.

Canadian military cadets accused of desecrating Quran commandant found reason to believe that the four cadets broke the military’s rules, but two have since appealed. Lamarre says his office is currently reviewing the case, while adding that the desecration of any religious symbol by a member of the Canadian Forces will not be tolerated.


Bosnian leader asks Turks to help Erdogan

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500-year-old Quran returns to Topkapi Palace

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina praised the Turkish president urging Turks to support him. “Today you have a person whom Almighty has bestowed upon you. This person is Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Help him, support him,” said Izetbegovic, speaking at the sixth general assembly of the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) in capital Sarajevo. Izetbegovic said that Turkey is struggling through many challenges but continues to progress. “Turkey is struggling with millions of refugees and dealing with enemies, both on the inside and outside. However, in spite of everything it continues to progress.”

He drew similarities between the two countries. “We have been together for many years, we lived together, we fought together. The last time in the Dardanelles in Turkey, Bosnians were defending Turkey as their country,” Izetbegovic added, referring the 1915 Gallipoli campaign in Turkey’s western Canakkale province. Erdogan arrived in the Bosnian capital on an official visit. He was welcomed by flag-waving Bosnian and Turkish citizens in front of the presidency building. He later addressed more than 20,000 Turkish citizens gathered at the UETD assembly. Erdogan was awarded an honorary doctorate by the International University of Sarajevo.

A 15th century Quran written by calligraphist Sukrullah Khalifah was returned to Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace Museum by a collector. The Quran was written in 1494 in Istanbul and kept in Topkapi Palace Museum until 1964. When it was then transferred to Bursa Archaeology Museum, the Quran was disappeared. It was rediscovered when calligraphist Ziya Aydin bought the Quran from a bibliophile several years ago. The Quran’s new owners, brothers Ali Sami and Ahmet Aydin, decided to return the Quran to the museum after being reached by Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus, according to the chairman of Topkapi Palace Museum, Mustafa Sabri Kucukasci who spoke to reporters. “If this Quran hadn’t been preserved in such a way by calligraphist Ziya Aydin, it would probably be displayed in any library of Europe. We thank the Aydin family so much,” Kucukasci added.

Crane collapses in Makkah A winch crane toppled over onto a construction area in the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The crane operator was injured in the incident that occurred in an isolated area near Gate 160 in the third expansion area, the general presidency for the Masjid Haram in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in

Medina said. There were no worshippers or anyone performing prayers in the incident area. The crane toppled over due to it being overloaded, the presidency added in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). During Ramadan, the most

sacred month for Muslims, the Grand Mosque in Makkah is among the most crowded areas in the world with tens of thousands of Muslims performing Umrah (minor Hajj) or praying there. In September 2015, close to 400 were killed after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque.


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Turkey acts against French studies at uni amid Quran row

Turkey suspended the opening of any new French studies departments at its universities, an education official said, amid a growing row with France over a call there for some passages to be removed from the Quran. An official of Turkey’s Higher Education Board said Turkish universities would not open any new French departments and that 16 existing departments without enrolled students would not be

allowed to admit any new students. The 19 departments which currently have students enrolled will be allowed to admit new students and continue the academic year normally, the official said. The move to impose limitations on French departments was part of a “reciprocity” relationship with France, the official said, adding that there were no bachelor’s programmes offering Turkish literature in France. Relations between Ankara and

Paris - already tense over differences on Syria - have been further strained after an open letter was published in France in which 300 people called for certain verses to be removed from the Muslim holy book. The signatories, who included former President Nicolas Sarkozy, argued the verses “spread violent and antisemitic ideas”. The move drew a scathing response from President Tayyip Erdogan and ministers from his Islamist-rooted ruling AK Party. “Is it your place to make such remarks? We see this only as a reflection of your ignorance. You are no different than Daesh (Islamic State) ... No matter how much you attack what’s sacred to us, we will not do the same. We are not despicable,” Erdogan said in a speech. France has been one of the most vocal critics of Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist organisation. Ankara has said that a French pledge to help stabilise a region controlled by Kurdish-dominated forces amounted to support for terrorism and could make France a “target of Turkey”.

Goldsmith teaches Quran in Skopje

A goldsmith in the Macedonian capital Skopje teaches the holy Quran to students at his shop. Necmedin Bushi gives the reading lessons while moulding gold at his workshop, calling it his second job. Bushi told Anadolu Agency that he comes from a family of artisans and his father, uncle and his brothers are all craftsmen in different fields. He said he was unable to become a hafiz, someone who memorizes the Quran, after he left education at the Alaca Mosque in Skopje midway.

He added that his father wanted one of his children to become a hafiz. Bushi said he views teaching Quran as a debt towards those who invested in his education, and so he began giving lessons to his apprentices. His students grew with time, and he says he teaches four to seven people every year. “The children are 7, 8, and 9 years old and the oldest one was was 59 years old,” he said. He has taught 50 students during his 25-year stint. Sharing a story, he said once a

person came to his workshop and saw 35 to 40 students reading the Quran, and got upset. “When we asked him what happened, he answered that everybody knows to read but he does not. Thanks to God, I took him last year [for education] and he is completing the course this year,” Bushi said. He added that his students come from different occupational groups including politicians, sportspersons and shopkeepers. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Lebanon tells Syria development law could hinder refugees’ return

Lebanon expressed concern to Syria over a new law aimed at redeveloping areas devastated by seven years of war, saying the initiative could hinder the return of many Syrian refugees to their homeland. Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil wrote in a letter to his Syrian counterpart Walid alMoualem that the terms of “Law 10” could make it difficult for refugees to prove property ownership, and in turn

discourage some from returning. The legislation came into effect as the army was on the brink of crushing the last insurgent enclaves near Damascus, consolidating President Bashar al-Assad’s grip over nearly all of western Syria. It allows people to prove they own property in the areas chosen for redevelopment, and to claim compensation. But aid groups say the chaos of war means few will be able to do so in the time specified.

The law has yet to be applied. Bassil, whose country hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, voiced concern over the limited time frame given for refugees to prove possession of their properties. “The inability of the refugees to practically present what proves their possession (of their properties) during the given time limit might lead to them losing their properties and their sense of national identity,” Bassil said in the letter, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. “This would deprive them of one of the main incentives for their come return to Syria,” he added, echoing comments earlier this week by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. Hariri said the law “tells thousands of Syrian families to stay in Lebanon” by threatening them with property confiscation. Bassil sent a similar letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, calling for action to protect the rights of Syrian refugees in maintaining their properties. Reuters

IMF to add Islamic finance to market surveillance in 2019 The International Monetary Fund will incorporate Islamic finance into its financial sector assessments of select countries starting next year, aiming to improve regulation in the growing sector. The IMF has traditionally focused on conventional banking, but it has been increasingly engaging with regulators in countries where Islamic finance is now deemed to be systemically important. Under a proposal by the IMF’s executive board, guidance issued by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB)

would be incorporated into IMF assessments to address the regulation and supervision of Islamic banks. Islamic finance, which bans interest payments and pure monetary speculation, is estimated to have over $2 trillion of assets globally and is offered in over 60 countries, according to the IMF. Business practices, however, can vary across markets spanning the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. The IMF wants to encourage more consistency in applying Islamic

finance rules, having previously warned over the complexity of some sharia-compliant products that could stifle growth and add to financial instability. The industry is important for financial systems in more than a dozen countries, accounting for over 15 percent of total financial assets in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Malaysia. The IMF said it views the growth of Islamic finance as an opportunity to strengthen financial inclusion efforts, deepen financial markets and develop new funding sources.

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UEFA football and social responsibility report details efforts and achievements

Europe’s football governing body UEFA has launched its latest Football and Social Responsibility (FSR) report looking at their social responsibility achievements, aswell as those of partner bodies, in the fields of diversity and anti- discrimination, inclusion, environment, health, peace building and fan dialogue. The fifth Football and Social Responsibility Report – the final one in a cycle that began in 2012 – summarises efforts made during the 2016/17 football season to integrate social responsibility, including sustainability, in the UEFA business process. The report aims to engage with stakeholders about the role that social responsibility plays at UEFA,

show how social responsibility in football can foster sustainable development, and measure performance with the aim of encouraging progress. Highlights in 2016/17 include the launch of UEFA’s new social responsibility initiative funded by the UEFA HatTrick programme to support Europe’s national associations in their FSR work and the work carried out to promote an active and healthy lifestyle at UEFA Women’s EURO 2017. The work of Fare is featured in the Diversity section detailing the achievements of the 2017 #FootballPeople action weeks, the five-year cycle of the antidiscrimination monitoring system at UEFA Champions League and

Europa League matches, as well as key events and research published over the last five years. With the new 2017–21 funding cycle under way, the report also reflects on present and future challenges in particular, following a recent independent review of UEFA’s FSR policy and a comprehensive consultation process. “By and large, that review resulted in the confirmation of the strategic decisions taken,” says UEFA Executive Committee member and Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee chairman Peter Gilliéron. “It also highlighted the need for increased efforts to tackle Europe’s migration and refugee crises, and address the issue of child safety, and these findings have been taken on board.” Another innovation for the new four-year cycle sees the inclusion of human rights criteria in the bidding process for UEFA competitions. UEFA’s #EqualGame campaign launched last August, Gilliéron adds, is “a further sign of our ambition to maximise the positive impact of football”. #EqualGame aims to ensure that football can continue to grow and flourish, helping more people across Europe to access, play and enjoy the game.” www.pi-media.co.uk

Sania Mirza looks forward to her comeback

Tennis ace Sania Mirza is thrilled to feature on the ESPN’s World Fame 100 list for 2018, and says it motivates her work hard and achieve more. “I am thrilled and excited to be with along side such great athletes of the world and obviously honoured,” Sania said in a statement to IANS.

The tennis ace is suffering from a condition called jumper’s knee, which has kept her off the game for over six months. She even missed the Australian Open earlier this year. Sania, who is married to cricketer Shoaib Malik, is currently expecting their first child. They have decided to give the child the surname Mirza-

Malik, an amalgamation of their own last names. “It motivates me to come back stronger and work harder to achieve more and strive towards being the best I can be. Also, I am excited to be in the list again,” she added. She is ranked at the 100th position. www.pi-media.co.uk


Teen sensation Rashid Khan is the future of IPL cricket www.pi-media.co.uk

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From playing tennis ball cricket in the streets of Nangrahar province in war-torn Afghanistan to bagging a lucrative Indian Premier League deal, the journey has not been short of a fairytale for Rashid Khan. The teen sensation Rashid is nicknamed the ‘million dollar’ baby by his teammates at Sunrisers Hyderabad. Rashid was the second highest wicket-taker in the World Twenty20 in 2016. He claimed 11 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 16.63.

The 18-year-old is supremely excited about sharing the dressing room with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, David Warner, Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan. Once again Khan was at his best in this years IPL but was unlucky on being on the losing side in the final, CSK, led by Dhoni, gave Rashid the respect he deserves to win their third IPL title, chasing 179-run target. “You have the best leg-spinner (Rashid Khan), you answer,” MS Dhoni had told Kane Williamson

when asked about the impact of leg-spinners during the pre-Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 final press conference. “As a bowler you are supposed to bowl 24 deliveries. If a fresh batsman comes in he likes to take the time to really see the variation,” Dhoni said later during the captaincoach media interactions. While Dhoni appreciated Rashid’s prowess, Chennai Super Kings batsmen followed Dhoni’s comment as a piece of advice to tackle Rashid and went on to topple Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. The last two times, before the final, Rashid Khan played against Chennai Super Kings, he conceded merely 36 runs in 48 deliveries, with 24 dot balls and two wickets. While one has to admit that Rashid was not as menacing as he was in Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2 (against Kolkata Knight Riders), CSK’s approach paid dividends as Rashid went wicketless and Shane Watson, hammering unbeaten 117 off 57 balls, and Suresh Raina, scoring 32 runs off 24 balls, led CSK’s charge to complete a comeback fairy-tale. www.pi-media.co.uk

Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba returned to Makkah last month, marking the start of Ramadan with an Umrah pilgrimage. In an Instagram post, Pogba said: “Only the person who comes here, that can understand the feeling. So I hope the people that never been here yet, they all will one day,” “This a beautiful place. I cannot explain my feeling here. Inshallah

[God willing] you all will come here one day.” In an additional video, posted by Saudi Arabia’s government comunication, Pogba said: It’s an amazing place to come; purification of the body, purificaiton of the brain. I have a feeling that I cannot explain. I wish that the people who are watching this video will one day, Insa’Allah, you’re going to come here and do the Umrah or the Hajj.” Pogba, who commanded the

then highest transfer fee in world football (£89m/$120m – now fifth highest) in moving from Juventus to Manchester United, is a key part of French squad ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. The star-studded French squad also includes Kylian Mbappe (£128m/$171m) and Ousmane Dembele (£97m/$130m), both of whom feautre in the top four of the highest-paid transfers. www.pi-media.co.uk

French star Pogba performs Umrah ahead of World Cup

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Turmoil in the Middle East

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US embassy opening: Move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is celebrated in land where ‘The War will start soon’. The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem comes 70 years after the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. The Trump doctrine will help to change the Middle East is seen by many has being a double gift to the Israelis, namely through the US

unilateral exit this month from the Iranian nuclear deal that will in turn reimpose sanctions on Benjamin Netanyahu’s arch-enemy Iran. The US hopes that the economic strangulation of Iran will prevent future clashes between Israel and Iran in Syria. The country is facing the possibility of on-off interstate war.

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During the past months,Trump’s decision to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital was made in stark defiance of long-held international consensus that the status of divided Jerusalem should be negotiated with the Palestinians. On the other hand, the Israeli army has been lambasted internationally for its lethal response to Palestinian protests that have


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not relented for weeks. Millions of Palestinians, who will mark seven decades since the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people who either fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s creation. Although, Israeli snipers have brutally and indiscriminately murdered scores of innocent unarmed Palestinians including children in cold blood. In turn this has provoked Palestinian “rioters” to retaliated by throwing “pipe bombs and grenades” towards Israeli troops. It should be said that no Israeli has been wounded during the six-week movement because Palestinians cannot match the Israeli supremacy on the battlefield. The general international reaction to the Israeli army’s actions: The US decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem mean we have reached the point of no return as far as peace talks between the two sides are concerned. The Trump doctrine is nothing but a miserable and abject disaster that will only fuel hatred and enmity between the Palestinians and Israelis. Last month, Israel accused Iranian forces stationed in Syria of launching a barrage of rockets at its troops in the occupied Golan Heights. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) claimed its missiles hit nearly all key Iranian military targets in Syria during dozens of strikes”. The Israelis thought the embassy move was in Israel’s best interests and they believed that the military’s open-fire policy in Gaza was justified to create a war with the Palestinians because the legal measures coming from Israel will be under the guise of the force of repression On the other hand, the political analyst said”Iran and Israel will fight directly, this is what America wants to eliminate Iran’’ Trump pulls funding & UK may increase aid to Syrian White Helmets Donald Trump decided to pull funding from the group known as the White Helmets, but Britain could increase its funding to the Syrian volunteer rescue group. Since 2011, the UK has provided £2.71bn in aid to the

Syrian humanitarian effortbecause of the war inside Syria. Donald Trump said the aid was enough for Syria because we financed it with approximately a third of the overall funding for the group.On the other hand, Theresa May said “she would consider plugging the gap, acknowledging the important work done by the organization in “horrendous” conditions from both Syrian and Russian airstrikes in the face of “smears and disinformation”. In March, Trump froze a $200m (£148m) package of US aid to Syria, which included money for the White Helmets. and the freeze puts projects such as demining and the restoration of water and power supplies at risk. Why is Trump freezing the fund? The White Helmets have faced accusations of collaborating with alQaeda on the ground and television footage that documented a chemical attack in Ghouta, Damascus was described as a ‘false flag attack’ designed to draw the West into confrontation with the Syrian, Iranian and Russian axis.

New Iraq elections Mosul is rebuilding its shattered society after ISIS’ reign Parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in Iraq on 12 May 2018. The elections decide the 329 members of the Council of Representatives who will in turn elect the Iraqi President and Prime Minister. Iraqis are going to the polls Saturday to vote in their first parliamentary elections since the defeat of ISIS last year, with the economy, jobs, security and corruption high on the list of voters’ concerns.Nearly 7,000 candidates are contesting 329 seats in the parliament, of which a quarter must go to women. More than 24 million Iraqis have registered to vote, according to Iraq’s electoral commission, with more than 55,000 polling stations open across the country. And we think this is a good step to rebuild the county. The next prime minister will then face the daunting task of stabilizing a nation scarred by ISIS’ rise and still plagued by sectarian division at a

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critical juncture in its historybecause many Iraqis are also frustrated by the limited change they’ve seen in their daily lives. Complaints range from a dearth of job opportunities, a struggling economy and crumbling infrastructure, with frequent power cuts. They also lament poor government services and slow reconstruction in areas such as Tikrit, Falluja and Mosul that were devastated in the battle against ISIS. We have to ask ourselves the question?How will parliament succeed in rebuilding the country?Corruption is the major hurdle that threatens to impede Iraq’s economic recovery. There is a risk that Iraq’s natural wealth may well be squandered yet again that will scupper the future prospects of millions of Iraqis in the coming decades. ‘If we don’t rebuild Mosul, maybe ISIS will come back’ ISIS in Iraq during the last three years had controlled five cities and at least one third of Iraq’s territory. Since then several studies have shown that the the city’s renaissance could take a generation. We know that “ISIS (Islamic State) tried very hard to destroy Mosul’s identity by demolishing everything and making it monochrome. Before the war, Mosul was Iraq’s second-largest city that was known for its diversity, religious conservatism and nationalism. After the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, it became a base for al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgency. Since ISIS seized Mosul in 2014 in the face of the Iraqi army’s collapse, the militants have blown up monuments, evicted communities that had lived together for centuries and turned neighbors against each other The rebuilding of Iraq will no doubt take time and corruption remains today the main obstacle that threatens to impede meaningful economic growth which is crucial as far as the prospects of millions of Iraqis are concerned. By Miral Alashry Assistant Professor Canadian international college ( CIC) Department of Journalism


The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context

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Part 25

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke very fondly about his cousin and son in law Ali Ibn Ali Talib (RA) to the following effect ‘’You [Ali] are my brother in this world and the next.”Alī ibn AbīṬālib (601–661 AD) was the cousin and son-in-law of Islamic prophet Muhammad, ruling over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. He was appointed Caliph by the Companions of Muhammad (the Sahaba) in Medina after the assassination of the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan. The annals of history present Ali in a highly favourable manner as a man who was respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, and unbending devotion to Islam. The last of the rightly guided caliphs was known for his deep affection and complete devotion to the Prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, Ali Ibn Ali Talib

stood out amongst many especially due to hisfair treatment of all Muslims andbestowing generosity upon the less fortunate in society and going as far as forgiving some of his staunchest enemies in the process. The reign of Ali Ibn Abi Talib was beset with civil strife and chaos from the start due to the events stemming from the brutal assassination of the third Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan. Ali very reluctantly accepted the mantle of the Caliph after the culmination of the consultation (process) which unanimously elected the former in the backdrop of growing civil strife which was growing day by day. Upon accepting the caliphate, Ali took the threat of civil war very seriously and was forced to implement a series of measures to restore law and order. Executive orders were given to

replace the Ummayad governors of all the provinces of the Islamic empire. It is said that Ali felt that some of the governors had exceeded their mandate and this in turn had caused great resentment amongst the Muslim communities who lived in various parts of the empire. The removal of these governors was to show the wider community that Ali was a decisive leader who would not be swayed by anyone in pursuit of equality, fairness and justice. However, Ali faced a major headache as Mu’awaiyaibn Abi Sufyan refused to relinquish his position as governor of Syria. It should be said that Mu’awaiya was not seeking to remove Ali and make himself caliph in the process, but he wanted the latter to find those who were responsible for the murder of his kinsman Uthman Ibn Affan.


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PI Magazine June 2018  

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PI Magazine June 2018  

Latest news from muslim magazine PI June 2018 issue #muslimnews #islam #muslim #media #newspaper #magazine #london #yorkshire #passionislam...

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