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UK soldiers mistreated Sheikh to address opening World Cup Iraqis Inquiry finds
Rights and Responsibilities
U.S. ordered to release memo on Al-Awlaki killing Issue: 74
A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government’s targeted killing of people linked to terrorism, including Americans. In a case pitting executive power against the public’s right to know what its government does, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling preserving the secrecy of the legal rationale for the killings, such as the death of U.S. citizen Anwar alAwlaki in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen. Ruling for the New York Times, a unanimous threejudge panel said the government waived its right to secrecy by making repeated public statements justifying
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By Dr Abdul B Shaikh
Lecturer at Leeds University & Deputy Editor of PI Magazine
The Future of Muslim Schools in the UK
The UK national media in recent days has inevitably gone into meltdown as a result of the emergence of the now infamous ‘Trojan Horse’ letter. There has been much conjecture regarding the authenticity of this letter in recent days centring upon the view that a number of Muslim ‘hardliners’ were allegedly attempting to take over Muslim schools in predominantly Asian Muslim areas of Birmingham with the aim of spreading the so called infamous ‘revolution’ to other towns and cities across the UK. It is not the intention of the writer to attempt to ascertain the authenticity of this letter or whether such a plot really existed, but this article wishes to explore the way forward for Muslim schools in the coming years. Muslim schools by in large have done very well over the last 30 years with some outstanding establishments leading the way in respect of educational excellence. However, this does not mean that the Muslim community can rest on its laurels and assume that
problems and tensions do not exist in a minority of schools. One should also remember that it is not just Muslim educational establishments that have success and failure stories and by virtue can be extended to schools belonging to other religious denominations. Today, there are many Muslim educational establishments that are offering a curriculum that covers the sacred and secular. This formula is essential in order to ensure that Muslim students are able to survive in the world of higher education and the workplace in years to come. Furthermore, it is very important that our children learn about other faiths, cultures and ideologies so that they become well rounded personalities who are equipped to make an immense contribution to British society as a whole. If we look at a minority of Muslim educational establishments in the UK, we find that they have failed to provide a balance between the secular and the sacred with excessive emphasis being placed
on the latter. Many of these establishments are providing a narrow yet restricted menu of subjects such as Arabic, Urdu, Maths, English and Science but fail to expose their students to the wide breadth of subjects that are part of arts and humanities subject group such as history, classics and philosophy to name a few. The problem with a restricted curriculum being taught in Muslim schools is that it restricts creativity and prevents young individuals from becoming well-cultured and educated individuals. Speaking from experience, one has taught many students over the years who have graduated from these establishments and recognised that they are struggling to survive in the world of higher education as a result of a restricted educational diet served over many years. These students have to had to work very hard in order to make up for lost time when in reality these skills should have acquired during the early formative period of
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their educational lives. Hence, we are doing our community a great disservice if we fail to equip our younger citizens with the tools to survive in a world where globalisation has drastically shrunk the world into a localised community. One understands the concerns of Muslim parents educationalists and community leaders in that they wish to preserve the religious and cultural environment of their children in the UK but this cannot be done at the expense of self imposed educational curriculum apartheid. As Muslims, we have a duty to preserve our faith, identity and culture and at the same time learn and appreciate the contribution of other ideologies, faiths and cultures. We should remember that this country will only be successful where people of all faiths and cultures work together rather than against one another with respect and tolerance being at the heart of it. If Muslim educational establishments fail to follow the middle path in respect of the delivery of the educational curriculum then
there is an acute risk that our children in the future will inevitably acquire an ‘inward’ attitude that is less tolerant of other people in this country. Our children need to be exposed to a balanced curriculum as this is the key to reducing intra and inter-community tensions as well as dampening down of the dangers of extremism and radicalisation. Radical and extremist sympathies do not appear overnight but rather they grow over many years as a result of possessing an inward and ‘us and them’ mentality which is undeniably present in all communities across the UK. Faith schools have had a major pivotal part to play in the British educational scene and have in recent times delivered enormous success despite the air of negativity that has surrounded them in recent times. These schools which include Muslim educational establishments have a lot to offer in terms of demonstrating and implementing human values in the classroom that are fundamentally vital in terms of ensuring that today’s children become the leaders of
tomorrow in every sense of the word. There is a huge gulf between the Muslims in the US as compared to the UK in that the former has embraced the fabric of the nation but not at the expense of religion and culture. Muslims in the UK on the other hand have found it difficult to embrace a ‘British identity’ largely in fear of losing their cultural and religious identity. Secularism it can be said is a real anathema as far the Muslim in the UK is concerned 70 years on from when the first migrants came to these shores. In conclusion, it would be safe to say that in the last 70 years Muslims in every aspect of their lives have worked extremely hard to preserve their faith and culture. Now the question arises has this effort made Muslims more open minded and tolerant or has it made them insular and furthermore has this filtered down the rungs of the Asian Muslim establishment. Muslims will have to wait to find out the answer to this question in the coming days, months and years. www.pi-media.co.uk
Rights group welcomes citizenship plans 4
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I May 2014
In Case You Missed It
Islamic Human Rights Commision (IHRC) welcomed the decision by the House of Lords to reject government proposals to make it easier to strip British nationals of their citizenship. Under the proposed amendments to The British Nationality Act 1981 contained in the Immigration Bill 2013-2014 naturalised British citizens could have been divested of their nationality without being
charged, tried or convicted, even if it rendered them stateless. The only test the Home Secretary would have had to apply is that the naturalised citizen had behaved in a manner seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK. IHRC had opposed the power on the grounds that it was too wideranging and prone to abuse. It would also have placed Britain in breach of
Haroon extradition postponed until June Home Secretary Theresa May has been given until June to seek assurances from the US about how a terror suspect will be treated if he is extradited. Briton Haroon Aswat is accused by the US of conspiring with cleric Abu Hamza to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon. The European Court of Human Rights blocked his extradition due to fears about his mental health. The High Court said the US had until 13 June to make assurances to the UK.
If no assurances were received in that time, extradition would be blocked, the judges said. US authorities allege Mr Aswat, 39, was involved in a plot to establish a terrorist training camp at Bly, in Oregon, with Abu Hamza, who was sent for trial in the US in 2012. Batley born Mr Aswat, who denies any terrorism involvement, was arrested in 2005 by UK authorities following a request from the US for his extradition. Source: Various
its human rights obligations. In 1961, the UK was one of the founding parties to the UN Convention on Reduction of Statelessness and one of the first countries to ratify the treaty in 1966. The House of Lords voted 242180 to reject the amendments saying citizenship deprivation was an approach used by “tyrants and dictators”. Members also criticised the government for attempting to smuggle the amendments into the Immigration Bill. The proposals had only been added to the Bill in recent weeks and were not included in the original text of the legislation when it was first published last year. IHRC had sent Lords a briefing outlining its opposition to the proposals saying they were draconian, unnecessary and would be discriminatory in their application. The Home Secretary already has the ability to deprive a person of their citizenship if they have obtained it through fraudulent means or where it is deemed to be ‘conducive to the public good’, on the condition that the individual is not left stateless. IHRC was also concerned that the proposed powers would be used against minorities and political opponents of the government. Most known cases of those already deprived of their British citizenship are of non-whites and Muslims, under the cover of the war on terror.
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UK Islamic school ranked ‘outstanding’ www.pi-media.co.uk
I May 2014
Setting an example for religious education, a British Islamic high school has been ranked as the highest-achieving learning institute in Britain after receiving its third “outstanding” inspection in a row by Ofsted. Inspecting Tauheedul Islam Girls’ School, inspectors from Ofsted, which oversees state and independent schools and colleges, hailed the high level of academic achievement in the Islamic school, listing the school in the country’s top one per cent for improving students’ outcomes. Inspectors added that the Islamic school was led by a “strong sense of moral purpose”. This achievement is not the first for Islamic schools in UK.
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
In February 2013, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School was rated as the highest-achieving learning institute in Britain In March, the school was shortlisted for ‘Secondary School of the Year’ by the Times Educational Supplement annual awards In May, the school was rated as “outstanding” following an Ofsted inspection, the first and only secondary school in the Borough to receive such an award In London, the Tayyibah Girls’ School topped 22 schools in Hackney with a whopping 100 percent of all students achieving 5 + GCSEs at grades A*-C (including English and Maths) a 17 percent improvement on its 2011 results In Tauheedul Islam school
glowing report, Ofsted said that school’s spiritual focus was one of the major factors that maintained school progress over the past years. Inspectors also hailed Tauheedil Islam strategies that focus on helping needy people. “It is the framework within which all else takes place and there are very many examples of students’ outstanding outcomes in these areas,” McKenna said. “They act to help those less fortunate than they are and have well-developed views on a wide range of ethical and moral issues.” According to the report, since 2011 the Islamic school has been in the top one percent schools the develop students’ level and skills. www.pi-media.co.uk
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UKIP candidates caught in racist Twitter posts www.pi-media.co.uk
I May 2014
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
Food Standards agency gets tough on takeaways
Ukip election candidate in London who called Islam a ‘pathetic Satanic religion’ and said Ed Miliband wasn’t ‘a real Brit’ has been suspended by the party. Its leader Nigel Farage branded Andre Lampitt’s racist and antiIslamic views on social media ‘repellent’. But he admitted ‘something went wrong’ with its vetting process after Mr Lampitt was featured in Ukip’s latest election broadcast the day before his Twitter postings were flagged up The account has since been deleted, but a party spokesman said it was aware of at least six posts expressing ‘various extreme racist views’ including anti-Islamic sentiments. One message expressed a desire to create a website named Islamoutofuk.co.uk, and a claim that ‘most Nigerians are generally bad people’. Mr Lampitt had hoped to stand
as the Ukip candidate for Merton in south London in May’s local election, but Mr Farage confirmed he will not represent the party. Mr Lampitt appeared in a builder’s hard hat in the Ukip film complaining about ‘the lads from Eastern Europe’ undercutting him, saying he had found it a ‘real struggle’ to provide for his family. The UKIP disaster campaign has continued, William Henwood a local election UKIP candidate has suggested that British comedian Lenny Henry should emigrate to a “black country” and according to his Facebook page, he said: “Islam is organised crime under religious camouflage. Any Muslim who is not involved in organised crime is not a ‘true believer’, practising Islam as Mohammed commanded.” Farage has pledged to root out individuals guilty of ‘real extremism and nastiness’ in the party, but has been forced to deal with a string of embarrassments.
Military operations cost UK £34 billion
Britain has spent £34 billion on overseas military operations since the end of the Cold War in 1990, a new study shows. According to the research, published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the bulk of the money, 84 percent of it, has been spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The study, entitled “Wars in Peace,” also found that a further
£30 billion may have to be allocated to long-term care for injured British veterans. The research challenged the spending on the UK’s military interventions, adding that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were later judged to be “strategic failures.” Moreover, the RUSI report concluded that, “Far from reducing international terrorism… the 2003 invasion [of Iraq] had the effect of
A new testing programme is to be introduced to UK takeaways after the Food Standards agency found 43 out of 145 lamb takeaways were wrongly described. Takeaway shop owners have also been warned that they face fines of up to £5,000 if food is found to be mislabelled. In its investigation, the FSA studied 145 lamb takeaways and found that 25 contained only beef (which is cheaper), according to the BBC. Others contained chicken and turkey. The watchdog has now said that local authorities must test 300 samples of lamb from takeaways, from May onwards. The results come after consumer firm Which? conducted tests in London and Birmingham, and found that up to 40% of lamb takeaways contained other meats. In Birmingham, 16 of 30 samples contained meat other than lamb, while in London this was true for eight samples. Which? has now launched a “Stop Food Fraud” campaign, calling on the government to take further action, including enforcing recommendations made in the wake of last year’s horsemeat scandal. None of the samples tested in this investigation were found to contain horsemeat, however. By Hannah Thompson
promoting it.” UK forces participated in the US-led invasion of Iraq in a blatant violation of international law in 2003 under the pretext that the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq. Britain also joined the United States in an invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism.
I May 2014
I May 2014
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
UK soldiers mistreated Iraqis: Inquiry
A public inquiry in the UK has heard that British soldiers tortured Iraqi civilians and committed other crimes during operations in southern Iraq in 2004. Lawyers representing the Iraqi victims and their families at the Al-Sweady Inquiry accused British soldiers of “inhumane and degrading treatment of wounded and broken
young men.” However, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the accusations were “products of lies.” Bitter claims and counter claims were exchanged on the final day of the year-long hearing looking into conduct of British personnel at the Battle of Danny Boy in Iraq’s Maysan Province in May 2004. The inquiry, named after a 19-
year-old killed by British troops, was set up in 2009 to examine allegations of mistreatment. It has seen thousands of official documents and heard from over 600 witnesses. The MoD was forced to authorize the inquiry following a High Court ruling that the ministry seriously breached obligations under the Human Rights Act to investigate the matter while hiding evidence that could lead to the convictions of UK troops linked with the killing and maltreatment. With a bill of some £20 million, the probe has been an expensive affair for the British government. Sir Thayne Forbes, the inquiry’s chairman is expected to report the result by the end of the year. UK forces participated in the US-led invasion of Iraq in a blatant violation of international law in 2003 under the pretext that the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq.
Consultation begins on ‘Shariah-Compliant’ student loans In Case You Missed It
UK government is to examine the introduction of a university tuition loan system which will conform to Islamic finance principles. The country’s University and Sciences Minister David Willetts announced plans to develop the Sharia-law compliant student loan during a speech. The proposed system will allow those who hold religious beliefs forbidding them from accumulating interest to be able to access student loans. Speaking at a Universities U.K. conference, David Willetts said: “Sharia-compliant student loans will also give universities access to a wider pool of talent and help the U.K. get the higher level skills we need to secure long-term economic growth.” The proposed system has been opened up to consultation; the U.K. government wants to hear views on whether this is an acceptable alternative to the conventional
system of student borrowing. The proposed loans will not only be open to Muslim students but to anyone who holds similar financial principles on interest. This is not the first time Sharia-compliant financial services have been on offer in the U.K.; some banks offer Shariacompliant mortgages as well as other
loans. The intention to develop Shariacompliant student loans was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last year. When speaking at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, he said he wanted to make the U.K. one of the “great capitals of Islamic finance.”
U.S. ordered to release memo on Al-Awlaki killing
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targeted killings. These included a Justice Department “white paper,” as well as speeches or statements by officials like Attorney General Eric Holder and former Obama administration counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, endorsing the practice. The Times and two reporters, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane, sought the memorandum under the federal Freedom of Information Act,
I May 2014
logical or plausible to argue that disclosing the legal analysis could jeopardize military plans, intelligence activities or foreign relations. The court redacted a portion of the memorandum on intelligence gathering. It is unclear whether the government will appeal, or when the memorandum might be made public. The Justice Department had no immediate comment.
saying it authorized the targeting of al-Awlaki, a cleric who allegedly joined al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate. “Whatever protection the legal analysis might once have had has been lost by virtue of public statements of public officials at the highest levels and official disclosure of the DOJ White Paper,” Circuit Judge Jon Newman wrote for the appeals court panel in New York. He said it was no longer
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Son of distributor of Anti-Islam film Fitna accepts Islam In Case You Missed It
The son of Arnoud van Doorn, the famous Dutch policy maker and distributor of an anti-Islam film Fitna that caused unrest in 2008, surprised the audiences at the three-day Dubai International Peace Convention by embracing Islam. Arnoud’s son, Iskander Amien De Vrie, was one of the 37 people who converted to Islam during the convention. Arnoud van Doorn shot to fame in 2008 as one of the names associated with the anti-Muslim film Fitna, which was released in 2008. The film promoted misconceptions about Islam and Arnoud was one of the film’s distributors. Five years later, Arnoud was a changed man having learned more about Islam, which he today calls as
‘a religion of peace’. He converted to Islam after learning more about the religion and his decision shocked the world. “I saw my father become more peaceful after converting to Islam. That’s when I realized there is something good in this religion and it made me change my perception of Muslims. I started studying the Holy Quran and going through lectures of important scholars,” said Iskander. Iskander, 22, credited his college friend Younis for setting a good example of what Muslims really are and how they live their life. “My friend Younis is a good practicing Muslim who taught me something new every day. He was patient with me and there was no way I could be rude to him,” said Iskander.
Iskander also drew inspiration from his father’s life and how he underwent a transformation to become a more peaceful person. Talking about the anti-Islamic movie Fitna, Arnoud called it a “mistake”, which he deeply regretted. “There is a misconception among people that I produced the movie Fitna, but I wasn’t involved in it. I was only responsible for distributing the movie. Today, it is something that I deeply regret.” Arnoud hopes to produce a movie about the righteousness preached in Islam and correct his earlier “mistakes”. Iskander now plans to take a trip to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and hopes his mother would also embrace Islam soon.
Hamas, Fatah agree to form Palestinian unity government
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Turkey, Malaysia sign free trade deal
Rival Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and Gaza Strip agreed to form a unity government. It is not the first time that the rival sides have announced a deal to end seven years of separate Palestinians administrations in the West Bank and Gaza. The agreement was reached in talks in Gaza City with Hamas leaders and a Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) delegation headed by Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior figure in President Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah movement. The two sides expected to focus on the holding of fresh presidential and parliamentary elections across the Palestinian territories, as well as Hamas’s admission to the PLO.
According to Barghouti, the government will be formed within five weeks and the elections will be held in six months. Barghouti had earlier said that the two rival groups had made tangible progress during their first reconciliation meeting in Gaza. In 2011, the two factions hammered out a reconciliation deal under Egyptian sponsorship. The following year, the two sides agreed to form a unity government - to be headed up by Abbas – to pave the way for parliamentary polls. The terms of the agreement, however, were never implemented. Analysts expressed scepticism that this time would be any different.
Haniyeh hails Qatar’s generous support for Palestinian people Head of Palestinian deposed government Ismail Haniyeh has highlighted Qatar’s generous support for the Palestinian people, stressing that projects established by the Qatari donation has transformed the Gaza Strip, especially as it continues to be sieged. Speaking during a press conference after touring the projects, Haniyeh thanked Qatar for its support for the Palestinian people, voicing his appreciation to the stance of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin
Hamad Al Thani and HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. “The execution of these projects is a message from the people of Gaza Strip that they are capable of building and getting freed, and that Gaza has beat the blockade thanks to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, and its supporters,” said Haniyeh. Haniyeh was accompanied during the tour by a group of ministers, officials and members of parliament.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak that a free trade agreement with Malaysia had been signed. Erdogan said that the two leaders had reached the idea of a “Strategic Partnership” between the two states on his visit to Malaysia in January. This partnership aims to generate trade volume between the two countries worth around $5 billion over the next five years and the free trade agreement will help them meet this target. Najib added that joint economic commission meetings following the signing of a free trade agreement would be held within the shortest possible time. Noting that the two countries would deepen their academic, economic and commercial cooperation, Erdogan said that Turkey is ready for admission of more Malaysian students to Turkish universities. Also discussed in the meeting were international and regional issues as well as cooperation between the two states in international organizations such as the U.N., Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and the D-8. Najib vowed that Malaysia would support Turkey’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2015 and 2016.
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Oslo on its way to set up first Islamic school 14
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This fall, Oslo may get its first Islamic primary school. The Association Mothers for Muslim Primary School has fought for several years to have their application approved to open up a school with up to 200 students. The association’s proposal has been rejected several times, but now the Directorate of Education has approved the application, and the new school may be accepting
students already this fall. The association states in its application that the children will receive an education based on Islamic values. They will also have a separate subject on religion, as well as Arabic. The purpose of the new curriculum will also be to give an education that aims to ensure successful integration into the Norwegian society. The Oslo City Council, however,
I May 2014
is skeptical towards the new school. The council points to another Islamic school, Urtehagen, which only remained open from 2001 to 2004. The controversial school was eventually shut down by the County Governor as a result of several complaints and unrest. “In principle we support new private schools, but it is important to us that they are serious and able to secure a good education for the children,” says school council Anniken Hauglie (Høyre/The Conservative Party). She thinks that the school has a lot to prove, and asks that it will be monitored closely. Many of the same people who were involved in the opening of the other Islamic school project, Urtehagen, are also involved in this initiative. At the same time, she trusts the Directorate’s decision. “As far as we can tell, this is the same application as last time, but with changes to the board. We are unsure if this is good enough, but we assume that the Directorate has processed the application thoroughly, and that they feel confident that the same thing won’t happen again,” Hauglie says.
Woman’s headscarf pulled off by Sweden airport staff A Muslim woman has said that she was attacked by airport staff in Sweden and forced to remove her headscarf in public. Saama Sarsour was travelling from the Arvidsjaur airport in northern Sweden when she aroused suspicion after she caused a metal detector to beep. “The female guard asked me ‘What’s on your head’,” she told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.
She was then told to remove her headscarf, to which she replied that she would do so in a private room. “Then the woman grabbed the scarf and started yanking it,” she said, “I was totally shocked.” She then informed the police about what happened but they refused to investigate the attack as a hate crime. According to a report in The Local, the aiport CEO Ralf Lundberg defended the staff member’s actions,
saying “all have gone through thorough education and training to make sure no one takes dangerous objects through security.” However, Sweden’s penal code states that frisking should take place in seclusion and airports have separate rooms to do this, airport company Swedavia‘s spokesman Klas Nilsson told SvD. Sweden has seen an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes recently, with 300 odd cases reported in 2013.
Kenya’s Muslims decry ‘collective criminalization’ www.pi-media.co.uk
I May 2014
New Mosque to be built in Sevastopol
Muslims are complaining of the perceived “criminalization” of their entire community within the context of Kenya’s ongoing fight against terrorism, with thousands of Muslims rounded up in recent days. “Without [the] slightest proof, people suspected to be terrorists have been detained illegally,” Siraj Mahmoud, 36, told Anadolu Agency outside a Nairobi mosque. “Where is the law here?” he asked. Following a recent spate of attacks in Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenyan authorities have launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at restoring public security. The operation has seen thousands of people detained for
screening, mostly thought to be Muslims from the capital’s Eastleigh district, which is home to an estimated 50,000 Somali refugees. At least 3600 people had been detained for screening and interrogation at Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium. “It is painful to see my fellow Muslims being detained for long [periods] without the process of law being followed,” Mohamed Ali, a 28year-old businessman, told AA. “They are being illegally detained,” he said, not without emotion. “Some people detained aren’t terrorists. They simply forgot to carry their ID cards.” He added: “It’s illegal to detain people without trial.” By James Shimanyula
Ramzan Kadyrov has written on his official page in one of the social networks that the Regional Public Foundation (REF) named after Akhmad Kadyrov will sponsor construction of a mosque in Sevastopol. Chechen leader explained that this decision was taken after the local Muslim community asked for help in repairing of an old mosque. The request was met, and moreover it was decided to build big new mosque. In late February, it was reported that a new mosque will be built in the Crimea, which will be named after Akhmad Kadyrov. It is worth to notice that in 2010, a mosque of 200 people capacity was erected on funds of the public fund named after Akhmad Kadyrov. The mosque is located in the village of Voinka Krasnoperekopsky district in Crimea.
Iraq closes Abu Ghraib Prison
Iraq has closed the Abu Ghraib jail made infamous by Saddam Hussein’s regime and later US forces after a mass breakout last year, the justice ministry said in a statement. Iraq is suffering a protracted surge in violence that has claimed more than 2,550 lives so far this year, and the area west of Baghdad where the prison is located is particularly insecure. All 2,400 inmates arrested or sentenced for terrorism-related offences have been transferred to other facilities in central and northern Iraq. “The ministry of justice announced the complete closure of Baghdad central prison, previously Abu Ghraib,
and the removal of the inmates in co-operation with the ministries of defence and justice,” it said in an online statement. The justice minister Hassan alShammari said the Iraqi government had taken the decision as a precautionary measure since Abu Ghraib prison was “in a hot area”. It was not immediately clear whether the closure was temporary or final. The prison is located between Baghdad and Falluja, which has been held by anti-government fighters since early January. The prison served as a notorious torture centre under the nowexecuted dictator Saddam Hussein,
with an estimated 4,000 detainees dying there. Abu Ghraib later became a byword for abuses carried out by US forces following the 2003 invasion when photographs surfaced the following year showing Iraqi detainees being humiliated by US guards, igniting worldwide outrage. In July 2013, militants assaulted Abu Ghraib prison and another in Taji, north of Baghdad. Officials said hundreds of inmates had escaped and more than 50 prisoners and members of the security forces had been killed in the assaults, which were claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, a powerful jihadist group.
Egyptian court jails 119 Morsi supporters 16
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An Egyptian court sentenced 119 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood of former president Mohamed Morsi to three years each in prison in connection with protests last October against his overthrow, judicial sources said.
More than 50 people were killed in the Oct. 6 protests called by Morsi supporters, one of the bloodiest days since his overthrow by the military on July 3. Judge Hazem Hashad acquitted six people in the case. They faced charges including
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unlawful assembly and thuggery. The army-backed authorities have banned the Muslim Brotherhood and driven it underground, killing hundreds of its supporters in the weeks after Morsi was toppled and arresting thousands more. In another case, a court in southern Egypt sentenced 529 Morsi supporters to death last month. The ruling has drawn criticism from rights groups and Western governments. The Brotherhood was Egypt’s best organized political party until last year but the government has declared it a terrorist group and accused it of turning to violence since Morsi was overthrown following mass protests against his rule. The Brotherhood says the group remains committed to peacefully resisting what it views as a military coup.
New York Police scrap Muslim spy unit New York’s police department has disbanded an undercover spying operation against Muslims which rights groups said was baseless and unfairly targeted people solely because of their religion. Civil liberty groups welcomed the disbandment of the “Demographics Unit” while the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, said the disbandment would allow police more opportunity to “go after the real bad guys.” The surveillance program sent detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and watch day-today activities. Police also infiltrated mosques and student groups. The program was revealed in a series of articles by the Associated Press news agency, which reported that officers had infiltrated Muslim organizations following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The disbandment comes after a federal judge, sitting in New Jersey,
threw out a lawsuit last month brought by several New Jersey Muslims who claimed police illegally targeted them solely because of their religion. The judge said the city persuasively argued that its surveillance was intended as an anti-terrorism, not an anti-Muslim, measure. However, a New York Times report quoted Stephen Davis, the department’s chief spokesman, as saying that the police department was changing its tactics. “Understanding certain local demographics can be a useful factor when assessing the threat information that comes into New York City virtually on a daily basis,” he said. “In the future, we will gather that information, if necessary, through direct contact between the police precincts and the representatives of the communities they serve.”
Police officials and the former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who left office in January, had defended the program as vital to antiterrorism efforts. Mayor De Blasio, who criticized the unit while running for office, said the disbandment was a “critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys.’’ Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the disbanded unit was only one part of “a huge, discriminatory surveillance program.” “We look forward to an end to all aspects of the bias-based policing that has stigmatized New York’s Muslim communities and done them such great harm,” she said. A lawsuit in New York, similar to that brought in New Jersey, is pending.
1,300 Muslims evacuated from Bangui, CAR www.pi-media.co.uk
I May 2014
In Case You Missed It
Nearly 1,300 Muslims were evacuated from the PK12 district in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), to the towns of Sido and Kabo in the northwestern part of Ouham state, according to Anadolu Agency. The evacuation was supervised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) despite the opposition of the Central African government. The 1,300 Muslim residents were moved in 23 buses under
heavy protection from African peacekeepers. The district has been completely emptied of its Muslim residents. The evacuation was followed by wide-spread looting, eyewitnesses said, without identifying the looters. The evacuation of Muslims residents from PK12 started on April 20 with the relocation of 93 people to places in Bambari, around 400 kilometers to the north of Bangui. The mineral-rich Central African Republic descended into anarchy
one year ago when Muslim Seleka rebels ousted Christian president Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup. Since last December, thousands, mostly Muslims, have been killed in sectarian bloodletting throughout the country blamed on the anti-balaka militia, which is mainly made up of Christians. The residents of PK5, the largest Muslim neighborhood in Bangui, hope to be relocated next. “We live as captives here,” to Haroun Gaye, a Muslim diamond trader, told AA by phone. “Life becomes more difficult day after day,” he added, describing relocation as the lesser of two evils. Gaye said the bodies of dead Muslims have started to decay because people cannot dare to venture out to bury them in the cemetery located outside the area. He added that Muslims who work outside the district risk their lives every day just to go to work. “This is why we hope to be next on the list of the IOM evacuation plans,” Gaye said. By Sylvestre Krock
Srebrenica massacre survivors sue Dutch government In Case You Missed It
Survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia have opened a civil suit against the Dutch government, saying the country’s UN peacekeepers failed to protect them. A group of grieving widows and mothers calling themselves, The Mothers of Srebrenica, brought the suit before a court in The Hague. The group alleges that Dutch peacekeepers serving under the UN failed to prevent the killings, which left thousands of Muslims dead. “They did not prevent the murder of thousands of civilians,” Marco Gerritsen, the group’s lawyer, told the court. The Netherlands, however, argues that it had no direct control
over the Dutchbat troops during the peacekeeping operation with Dutch government lawyer Bert-Jan Houtzagers telling the court that “Dutchbat did what it could with a handful of men.” “They tried to protect as many refugees as possible,” he added. The Muslim enclave of Srebrenica in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina was under UN protection when it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces under the command of General Ratko Mladic in July 1995. Over 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered over the subsequent days and their bodies dumped in mass graves in Europe’s worst
massacre since the Second World War. A case against the UN at the European Court for Human Rights last year brought by the Mothers of Srebrenica was unsuccessful after it ruled the UN have immunity from prosecution. The families of victims and Srebrenica genocide survivors say granting immunity to the UN was disappointing to them. The proceedings against the Dutch government, heard on Monday, had been put on hold pending the outcome of the case against the UN.
I WORLD NEWS
www.pi-media.co.uk I May 2014
New plan to build synagogue at the Al Aqsa Mosque edge closer
The Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that Jewish fanatic organizations were planning to build a Jewish synagogue at Al-Aqsa Mosque as a key step towards the construction of the alleged temple. The foundation said in a statement that a scheme has recently been charted by the “Yishai Association”, led by a number of “Rabanims” who have recently sent a letter to the head of the Israeli government, Benjamin
Netanyahu, urging him to build a synagogue at Al-Aqsa Mosque. According to the foundation, a mapped description was handed by a right-wing journalist and activist in “alleged temple” organizations, aiming at establishing a synagogue in the western part of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The activist outlined his vision, which he published on an online blog of his own, to build a synagogue that extends over a large area of Al-Aqsa
Mosque along with other neighboring areas. The scheme reveals attempts to open a new door via the western wall of the mosque to ensure the smooth entry of Jews into the synagogue and the overall control of the Buraq Mosque intended to become the synagogue’s main entrance. The activist also recommended the construction of a glass wall that detaches the projected synagogue from the rest of AlAqsa and separates Jewish and Muslim worshippers performing their religious rituals. He further insisted that the wall has to be built in such a way as to allow the synagogue’s congregation to supervise the rest of Al-Aqsa area. The Aqsa Foundation has spoken out against the move calling for an urgent reaction against the potential execution of such dangerous plans which coincide with demands for immediate construction approvals from Netanyahu.
Saudi Arabia jails 13 for aiding overseas fighters A Saudi Arabian court jailed 13 men to sentences ranging from one to 10 years for aiding and financing militants fighting abroad, conspiring inside Saudi Arabia and harboring wanted suspects, state news agency SPA reported. Other charges for which the 13 were convicted included money laundering, bribery, possession of illegal weapons. They were all given travel bans to come into force after their sentences finish. Another seven men were acquitted, SPA reported. Saudi courts have sentenced hundreds of convicted militants to prison terms in recent months as they work to overcome a long backlog of cases related to a militant campaign last decade that killed hundreds. The security forces detained thousands of people after the
bombings and shootings started in 2003 who were accused of security offences, including joining militant groups and fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Saudi and international human rights groups have also accused the government of using its crackdown on militants to detain peaceful dissidents in the conservative Islamic kingdom, something the authorities deny. In February King Abdullah issued a royal decree imposing prison terms of three to 20 years on any Saudi who travels overseas to fight, and of five to 30 years on any who gives moral or material support to groups the government considers extremist. The move reflected the government’s fears that the civil war in Syria, where many rebels fighting against the government are militants,
coupled with Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, will inspire radicalism inside the kingdom. The world’s top oil exporter is a leading supporter of both the Syrian rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, and of Egypt’s military rulers.
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Ban on children using Internet cafes proposed in UAE
I May 2014
WORLD NEWS I 19
In Case You Missed It
Children could be banned from visiting internet cafes late at night or in school hours, under proposals being considered by police. Regulating the use of internet cafes across the emirate was raised at a forum led by Abu Dhabi’s Community Police Department. Ibrahim Al Hosani, director of media licensing at the National Media Council, recommended that children’s access to the cafes be restricted, as some games or social-media websites could be detrimental to
them. Lt Col Mubarak bin Muhairom, head of the Community Police Department, stressed the need to educate on appropriate use of the internet, especially among adolescents. The forum was attended by representatives of Abu Dhabi Municipality, the Department of Economic Development, Etisalat, the Ministry of Labour, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the National Media Council.
Sultan Al Saadi, deputy director of the Labour Inspections Department, supported a regulated licensing process. And Lt Col Faisal Mohammed Al Shammari, director of the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Centre, voiced concern about behaviour in internet cafes. The topic of rules for internet cafes has been debated since 2009. Back then some of the agencies that met this week discussed restricting the content of websites that breached UAE law by using proxy programmes with keywords to restrict content. But even then there was concern that this could be circumvented with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), where users access the internet through servers in other countries. In 2012, a proposal to ban those aged under 18 from internet cafes was being investigated by the Ministry of Social Affairs. At the time, the ministry’s child department director, Moza Al Shoomi, said: “We need to protect our children, especially young girls, from any abuse.
Debate surrounds Athens Mosque
Athens today is the only European capital without an official mosque for its Muslim residents, and although there are plans to build one, the issue has attracted much controversy and is still yet to produce a solid project. According to Greece’s To Vima newspaper, so far only one consortium (Aktor, Terna, JP & Avaks) has made an offer but the contract is yet to be signed as the project is still waiting for permission from the authorities. Another issue that is delaying the project is the upcoming local elections in May. Aris Stiliotopulos, the Education and Religious Affairs Minister who is hoping to be elected as the mayor of Athens, has called for a referendum to decide whether or not the mosque should be built.
However, before Stiliotopulos became a minister, he directly said that he approved of plans to build a mosque in the Votanikos district. Regarding this, current Athens mayor Yorgos Kamilis pointed out that Stiliotopulos was contradicting himself and accused him of flirting with far-right groups. Stiliotopulos is reported to have said that issues such as these should be decided by the people, but in classic right-wing rhetoric added that Athens has ‘no more room for asylum seekers’. Athens was once home to many mosques during the Ottoman times, but many of these mosques were closed or used for other purposes after Greece became an independent state, especially after the population exchange between the Christians of
Turkey and Muslims of Greece left many mosques empty. Nonetheless the Ottomans still attempted to negotiate the building of a mosque in Athens but these plans fell through twice in 1851 and 1890. Another plan led by Egypt also collapsed in 1934. Plans to build an Islamic center for the 2000 Olympics, which were held in the city, also failed. This once again became an issue to 2006 but the then Infrastructure Minister Makis Voridis was reluctant to pursue the project. However, in July 2013, bidding to build the mosque was finally initiated, much to the dislike of far-right groups like Golden Dawn, who have participated in a number of violent protests against the plans. Source: WB
www.pi-media.co.uk I May 2014
Al-Azhar Sheikh Invited to address opening of Soccer World Cup
Galatasaray become women’s Euroleague champs
Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff has officially invited the grand imam of al-Azhar to address the opening ceremony of the 2014 Soccer World Cup. She invited Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed al-Tayyeb to deliver a speech on “Peace and the Need for Tackling Prejudice and Violence in the World” at the inauguration of the world’s largest sporting event, Al-Bilad website reported. Brazil’s Ambassador to Cairo Marco Antonio Diniz Brandão conveyed the official invitation in a meeting with the Sheikh of Al-Azhar in his office. Al-Tayyeb in this meeting
elaborated on the activities of Al-Azhar and said it is a scientific institution that seeks to shed light on the teachings of Islam and promote Islamic values such as tolerance. The Brazilian envoy, for his part, presented a report on the status of Muslims in Brazil and the spread of mosques and Islamic circles in the South American country. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will kick off in a ceremony on June 12. The opening match will be between Brazil and Croatia on Friday, June 13. A total of 32 teams split into eight groups will be vying for the coveted World Cup trophy in Brazil.
Shura wants Islam compliant sports education for girls The Saudi Shura Council demanded the Ministry of Education to study adding physical fitness programs for girls in government schools in conformity with shariah. Private schools were allowed last year to start sport classes for girls. The Council called on the ministry to coordinate with the Ministry of Higher Education to lay down suitable training programs for female teachers, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. In a statement following the session, Assistant Chairman of the Shura Council Dr. Fahhad Mu’tad Al-Hamad said the Council listened to several comments supporting
and opposing the recommendation. The supporters of the recommendation said diseases due to obesity are increasing in Saudi society especially among women. The opponents said that many girls schools don’t have enough facilities and infrastructure for sports. However, the Council’s Education Affairs and Scientific Research Committee said approving the recommendation does not go against Shariah. It referred to a previous
Galatasaray won the EuroLeague championship after beating archrivals Fenerbahce in a historic ‘Turkish derby’ in Europe’s highest basketball competition for women. Fenerbahce, last year’s runners-up, succumbed once again in the final, their first loss in this year’s tournament. Galatasaray seemed to have everything going for them on the offensive end early on, which - coupled with a solid defensive effort - gave them a massive lead with 26-7 at the end of the first quarter. Fenerbahce fought back in the second and third quarters to keep the points gap to single digits and managed to reduce Galatasaray’s lead to a mere 2 points with five minutes to go in the game. However, the Lions held their own to become the EuroLeague champion, a first in Turkish women’s basketball. Galatasaray previously won the second-level European competition, FIBA EuroCup Women, in 2008.
fatwa by the late Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baz permitting sports for women as per Shariah conditions. The Council voted with a majority to approve the text of the recommendation.
Egypt and Vietnam Jump up FIFA World Rankings www.pi-media.co.uk
SPORT I 21
I May 2014
With 61 points Egypt is the biggest mover while Vietnam is the biggest mover in rank, up 18 places, in the FIFA’s latest world team rankings released Thursday. Egypt’s friendly victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina (21st, down 4) and the devaluation of last year’s defeat by Qatar have helped them climb 12 positions to 26th. With 224 points Vietnam moved up 18 ranks to 125th position. The March edition of the FIFA world ranking has seen somewhat less movement than last month. Spain
continues as number one team while Germany, Argentina, Portugal and Colombia remaining unchanged in the top four spots. Close behind them are Uruguay (6th, up 1) and Switzerland (7th, down 1), while Belgium (10th, up 1) have jumped up into the top ten at the expense of the Netherlands (11th, down 1). England (12th, up 3) and Russia (19th, up 3) have made good progress in the top 20. Five other teams to climb ten or more places: Comoros (183rd, up 15), Iraq (103rd, up 11), Afghanistan (127th, up 11),
Aruba (162nd, up 10) and the Faroe Islands (162nd, up 10). Afghanistan are not only among the biggest climbers this month, but also together with Panama (29th, up 3) they are the only ones able to celebrate reaching their highest position since the launch of the FIFA world ranking. A look at the top 50 reveals that this month it is actually a ‘top 51’, as Slovakia (50th, up 4) and Cameroon (50th, down 4) are level on points. Two additional teams from UEFA have made it into the top 50, bringing UEFA’s total to 28. This means that South America is down to eight top50 teams, with Paraguay dropping out of the top 50 to 59th position (down 10). The number of top-50 teams from the other confederations is unchanged from last month (CAF with 8, CONCACAF with 5, AFC with 2 and OFC with 0). Of the 67 matches taken into account, 57 were friendlies. The other ten games were AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, which brings the total number of matches evaluated so far this year to 122. (QNA)
Prince Alwaleed gifts 25 cars to winning Saudi football club Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has gifted 25 cars, believed to be Bentleys, to the players and staff of the Nasr football club, which won the Saudi football league. “I congratulate Nasr club for successful comeback in the competition and achieved the title for the league... On this occasion I announce a gift for the manager, players and the whole team, 25 cars for this achievement,” Prince Alwaleed said in Arabic on his personal Twitter account. While the businessman did not state any specific make of car, they
are rumoured to be Bentleys, as in February he gifted a Bentley car to Sami Al Jaber, the coach of the Al Hilal football team, as a thank you for the team’s on-field success. Prince Alwaleed, who topped the Arabian Business Rich List last year with a net worth of $31.2bn, has been a staunch supporter of several Saudi sports and individual clubs. The billionaire businessman, who owns 95 percent of his Kingdom Holding Company, has diverse investment interests, including stakes in hotel management companies including Four Seasons Hotels &
Resorts, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and Fairmont Raffles Holding, as well as shares in Citigroup and News Corp. In 2012 the Prince and Kingdom Holding bought an estimated 3 percent stake in Twitter for $300m.
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The Beauty of Salzburg
I May 2014
They are renowned for their use of sheep skin and fur as blankets and a particular type of dry grass as bedding. The room with pan for salt production thus shows evidence of their expertise for using salt in a variety of ways such as food preservation. Muslims in Salzburg: On the Friday afternoon, I made my way to Salzburg Islamic Centre also known as Islam Kaltur ULU Camii
(Turkish word for Mosque). The centre has a restaurant and it can accommodate few hundred Muslims who can perform their prayers. Currently, Salzburg is home to around 9000 Muslims and nearly 7000 of these are of Turkish origin who are the second largest ethnic minority group residing in Austria. After the Salah people usually sit down and chat over a Turkish coffee and cuisine hence Friday also provides an opportunity for
community cohesion. In an nearby street one finds the presence of a Turkish mosque Turan Camii named after ancient tribal belt in the Alp Mountains. Whilst drinking Turkish coffee at the restaurant that is part of the mosque I also noticed hanging pictures of great sultans and Khans date back to 1th and 13th century. Directly opposite the mosque there is a Pakistani restaurant Bella Vita that sells halal food. During the conference, I had
I May 2014 the chance to discuss Islam and Muslims in Austria with a Linz based community radio journalist, Lupo, who had invited me to visit Radio Fro in Linz. At that time Linz was named European City of the year and was home to thousands of tourists. I had to catch my flight from Linz to Leeds and after hearing a lot about the beauty and history of Linz I duly accepted the invitation. Lupo promised to introduce me to a new Muslimah Monika Mariam Troschl who hostd a radio talk show “Islam im Gespräch” meaning “Conversation in Islam” that covers wide-ranging issues relating to Islam and Muslims not only in the neighboring European continent but also brings to light issues facing Muslims around the globe. Before leaving the conference Lupo provided directions to Linz and advised me to travel by train. Trains to Linz incidentally run every few hours from Salzburg everyday of the week. I booked a room in Jugend Gastehaus Hostel that is not only economical but also fairly convenient to get to from the train station. As soon as the train arrived at Linz I received a text message from Lupo who was waiting at the train station and from there we went straight to Radio Fro studios where I
met Mariam and other colleagues. The building, decor and staff all suggest to me a place where radical thoughts prevail and in just a few minutes I learnt that they have the passion to take on board alternative issues that are often ignored and missed out in the mainstream media. I arranged the interview time with Mariam for the next morning and later left for my hotel before the weather got progressively worse. Next morning Mariam came to the hostel and we talked for about an hour discussing Islam and Muslims in Europe. Linz is home to several festivals, historic buildings, museums, markets, beautiful restaurants and monuments that I cherished as we stared our tour. Mariam showed me Linz Castle that is located in Old Town on a high rock from where one can see government buildings and ships in the Danube River making Linz a stunning place. From there we went on to see the traditional market in the city center. Before Zohar Salah (afternoon time) in just few hours Mariam showed me around the city and then took me to Turkish Atip Mosque in Humboldt Street where after praying zohar I sat down for a meal. The showcase at the front of this small restaurant which forms part of
the mosque had a variety of dishes that meant I was spoilt for choice. Perhaps, a Young Turk thought I may calculate the price and then he asked the waiter to put a little bit of everything in one big dish that I enjoyed to a great extent. In fact, whilst I was eating all this sumptuous food he remained drinking coffee at lunchtime. Upon finishing my food I approached the counter for payment and learnt that he had paid my bill even without knowing me. I wish I could find him and tell him that I had the money and why he had sacrificed his lunch for me? It was almost 3pm and Mariam drove me to the airport but I couldn’t help but notice the unique hospitality bestowed upon me by none other than people who were at best total strangers. After I boarded my flight, I recalled Mariam’s journey to Islam that was quite intriguing to a great extent and in turn helped me to conclude that ever since the emergence of Islam 1400 years ago it continues to appeal to so many people. What is perhaps more fascinating is that it always attracts support within the bastions of the opposition which brings to mind Lauren Booth and Tony Blair? By: Irfan Raja
I May 2014
Rights and Responsibilities of the Employees Part Three
Continuing with our focus on employment law, this section will deal with the termination of the employment relationship and bringing the employment contract to an end. Procedure for termination of the contract – In order to dismiss an employee correctly, the employer must first have a valid reason. Valid reasons include the employees’ capability or conduct, change in circumstances which prevents them from working, redundancies, or other substantial reasons. The second requirement of the fair dismissal is to follow the correct procedure and to act reasonably. To assess whether the employer has acted reasonably, the employment tribunal will consider whether he genuinely believed that the reason was fair and carried out proper investigation. Additionally the employer should have told the employee why they were being considered for dismissal and listen to their views. The employee has
the right to bring someone with them to the dismissal hearing and also has the right to appeal against the employer’s decision. Unfair dismissal – This is when the employer dismisses someone without giving them a valid lawful reason or acts unreasonably in the dismissal proceeding by, for example, not giving the employee sufficient warning about the dismissal. Reasons for dismissal which are automatically considered as unfair include pregnancy, family matters, discrimination, whistle blowing, and the fact that the employee has become union representative, occupational pension scheme trustee, trade union member or is representing other employees. Employee who believes that he has been unfairly dismissed should raise this issue with the employer first and use the internal proceedings to appeal against the dismissal decision. If this method proves insufficient, we might help
the employee to use alternative methods such as arbitration or mediation in order to avoid costly and prolonged court proceedings. As a final resort, a claim can be brought in an employment tribunal against the employer. If the court agrees that the employee has been unfairly dismissed, it can order the employer to reinstate the employee on the same position or re-engage them by employing them on an alternative vacancy. The employer might also be obliged to pay the employee a compensation, the sum of which will depend on the employee’s age, gross weekly pay and length of service. Wrongful dismissal – This is where the employer breaks the terms of the employee`s contract during the dismissal process, for example, by dismissing the employee without giving them the proper notice which has been set out in the contract. In order to have a valid claim, the employee must not only show
www.pi-media.co.uk I May 2014 that the employer has breached the employment contract when dismissing the employee, but also that as a result the employee has suffered loss. An employee can bring claim for wrongful dismissal together with a claim for unfair dismissal. However, this does not mean that he is allowed to receive separate compensation for both claims. If awarded, damages will take account of both claims and the employee will not be overcompensated. The amount of the damages will depend on the employees pay and other benefits, such as bonuses and additional payments. The amount is generally assessed on the basis of contract principles, so if the employee finds another employment during the notice period, the amount of his new salary should be taken into account by the court, as double recovery is prohibited. Additionally, the employee should take all reasonable steps to mitigate his loss and failure to do so may result in decrease of the damages that the employer will be ordered to pay.
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If the employment contract does not prohibit payments in lieu, the employer might be allowed to pay the employee their wage at the beginning of the notice period and not require them to carry out any work during that time. In these circumstances, such payments are sometimes considered as damages and the employee cannot claim wrongful dismissal. However, if the contract prohibits such conduct, payments in lieu do not extinguish the employer’s rights and they might still be liable for infringing the employees’ contractual rights. Constructive dismissal – Constructive dismissal occurs when the employee resigns because the employer has committed a serious breach of the employment contract and the employee cannot reasonably be expected to continue. The employee can claim constructive dismissal if the employer cuts their wages without agreement, unlawfully demotes them, allows them to be harassed, bullied or discriminated against, unfairly increases their workload, or make them work in dangerous conditions. Constructive
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LEGAL / PUBLIC NOTICE I 27 dismissal is rather difficult to claim. The employee should be able to show that there has been a fundamental rather than a minor breach, that he has acted in response of the breach and that he has used the complaints procedure before resigning. Constructive dismissal is not a claim in its own right, rather it gives rise to a claim of unfair or wrongful dismissal. If such claim is successful the employee can be re-instated or more likely awarded damages. Summary dismissal – Summary dismissal is when the employer dismisses someone instantly without notice or pays in lieu of notice, because of gross misconduct such as theft, fraud or violence. Employers should be careful with these dismissals as the tribunals might consider them as procedurally unfair, because employees have the right to receive full pay during their notice period. They will lose this right if their employment contract states otherwise.
If you are employer or employee and want to discuss your employment matter, please do not hesitate to contact our Siyana on firstname.lastname@example.org