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Issue: 109

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May 2017

Last month, the Peace Institute based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire announced that they were holding a conference to show solidarity with the British people and demonstrate that society was united in its condemnation of these heinous actions played out on the streets of Westminster. The planned event caught many in the Muslim community by surprise with some prominent activists expressing their opposition to the holding of such an event using the premise that why are Muslims condemning and even apologising for the actions of a man that they are not responsible or accountable for that matter. However, by the same virtue there were Muslims who argued rightly or wrongly that the Muslim community ought to engage in an orgy of self-vilification and personal gratification that involved condemning and apologising for the actions of a man who can be described as being cold-blooded and sadistic in nature. Since 9/11 and 7/7, Muslims

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I COMMENT

thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I May 2017

By Martha Spurrier

Director @ Liberty

Every manifesto must commit to human rights

So there it is – a General Election on Thursday 8 June. As manifestos are frantically drawn up, Liberty calls on all political parties to take this chance to take a stand for the principles and laws that protect the rights of ordinary people across the UK, day in, day out. We urge them to commit to protecting our Human Rights Act and maintaining our membership of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Convention is one of our country’s proudest achievements. Drafted by UK lawyers and politicians in the aftermath of the Second World War, it is a list of essential rights that the powerful must respect and protect, defending each and every

one of us from abuses of State power. For 60 years, it has been crucial in supporting democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights in Europe and around the world. It provides a beacon of hope and inspiration for others still fighting for the most basic freedoms the world over. Since 1998, the Convention has been incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act – meaning we can have our rights protected here, in UK courts. The Human Rights Act’s impact has been felt across society in the 15 years since it came into force. It has made life in our country better and fairer. Not just for those – like the

Hillsborough families – who have used it to overcome whitewashing and seemingly insurmountable odds to find truth and justice. But for the millions of people who benefit from the improvements in our laws, policies and practice that have emerged from living in a country where our human rights are directly enforceable and public bodies are obliged to protect and uphold them. The Human Rights Act cannot undo some of the worst mistakes or intentional harm caused by others, or by the State, but it can offer answers and help identify systemic problems that need to be remedied so that others’ suffering can be avoided in the future. It is also a vital component of the devolution settlements with the different nations of the UK. Its repeal would risk breaching the Good Friday Agreement. Challenging unfairness and choosing equality over discrimination – we need to back these principles now more than ever. And that’s exactly what the Human Rights Act and the Convention do. They make sure our Government treats everyone fairly. Human rights are not a commodity to be negotiated away – be it our membership of the Convention, our Human Rights Act, or the rights currently protected by the European Union legal framework. If it wants to build a fair, thriving, united country, our next Government must place respect for our rights and freedoms at the heart of its vision for the UK. We urge all political parties to take this chance – show the people we can trust you with our rights. www.pi-media.co.uk

Write to: Editor, PI Media, c/o PKWA, Off Manor Way, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 7BX or email: info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk - mob: 07506 466 385


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I May 2017

NEWS

I3

By Abdul B Shaikh

Continued from front page

in some quarters have repeatedly condemned and apologised for acts of terrorism that they are not responsible for. In terms of self-reflection, we should explore our consciences and ask ourselves the question to what extent has this type of engagement has gone to mitigate the effects of accusations bordering on the lines that all Muslims are extremists, Islam is a violent religion and that the faith is synonymous with terrorism as per say? We should also ask ourselves the question that have the twin acts of condemnation and apologia made us Muslims being accepted for who we are in the current age or not? At this point, it should be said that the Peace Institute managed to deflect usual criticism over the merits of holding such an event until a poster was circulated across social media and beyond that included the term ‘PREVENT’. Amongst the Muslim community across the UK there was bewildering consternation as to why two mainstream Deobandi Muslim scholars sharing a ‘platform’ with Kirklees Council’s Prevent hub at Dewsbury Town Hall and Labour MP’s. PI was informed by a local source that only earlier this year the Peace Institute had held an event in Batley allegedly condemning the ‘PREVENT’ strategy. It seems on reflection that the scholars at the Peace Institute had a Damascene conversion akin to St Paul all in the course of a few weeks one might add! One wonders why the Peace Institute suddenly shifted its stance on PREVENT and only the organisation can tell the wider public why this was the case. PREVENT has been described by academics, politicians and grassroots activists as being ‘toxic’ in nature especially in light of its approach aimed at criminalising legitimate dissent and free speech under the guise of ‘safeguarding’. The organisation received stinging criticism from many Muslims across the UK for attempting to ‘share’ a platform with those who wholeheartedly support the PREVENT agenda in its current form. Many Muslims expressed their outrage through various platforms and even PI was inundated by messages stating that it was not long ago that an innocent five-year-old was questioned

in West Yorkshire over her religious and personal beliefs and views by the authorities at the behest of the local authority. PI was also informed by a local source that a number of local Muslim councillors have disseminated messages via social media that they support PREVENT and asked people for their co-operation on this matter. Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACK) led a grassroots campaign in the country encouraging Muslims to contact the Peace Institute to cancel the event that was described as ‘ProPREVENT’ in nature. An eminent third scholar pulled out of the event after coming under sustained pressure not to share a platform with the PREVENT lobby. The Peace Institute to the surprise of many in the Muslim community pulled the plug on the event a few hours before it was scheduled to take place. One has to ask the question where does this leave the Muslim community and the PREVENT strategy? Very few Muslims have confidence in PREVENT as the policy has been used to demonise Muslims and to criminalise legitimate free speech and political grievances since 2005. Muslims are at the crossroads as far as the PREVENT strategy is concerned as there are Muslims including MP’s, councillors and leaders that have been lured by money and other favours in return for their support over this policy. On the other hand, there are some Muslims who oppose their fellow counterparts for allegedly ‘selling out’ as to speak. The end result is that the UK Muslim community is hopelessly divided as usual and cannot form a united front

that will fight for their interests. Protecting our children’s welfare and interests is of paramount importance but it must be done in a sensitive manner with the appropriate checks and balances. If this approach is not used then we run the risk for further alienating core Muslim constituencies and playing into the hands of Jihadist organisations who continue to prey on vulnerable young Muslims with the aim of winning their hearts and minds. Those who occupy the corridors of power should note that targeting Muslims in the name of ‘safeguarding’ in a variety of settings will not build trust and confidence in communities up and down the country. We should remember that there is overwhelming evidence pointing to the phenomenal rise of suspected far-right extremists being referred to CHANNEL through the PREVENT framework but this has been largely ignored by the media and the powers that be perhaps because they don’t want to talk about it maybe because Asian Muslim or Islamic extremism is a far more attractive proposition to sell to the masses at large. It is with this in mind that the government would be advised to scrap the ‘PREVENT’ strategy and launch a consultation with various stakeholders to devise and enact a new framework that has the support of everyone in the fight against extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. If we wish to have a prosperous and fairer Britain in a post-Brexit era then we ought to seize the moment pause and reflect and aim to create a better society for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.


4

I UK NEWS

www.pi-media.co.uk

I May 2017

Muslim lifestyle: UK SMEs at the heart of trillion dollar market UK talks of nukes ‘as a first strike’

It is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world – and the UK is at the heart of it. The trillion dollar Muslim lifestyle sector has grown rapidly in a short space of time and is set to grow even further over the next few years. According to a recent report by Thomson Reuters & Dinar Standard, the industry grew 9.5 per cent to $1.8 trillion at 2014 and projected to reach $3 trillion by 2021. The UK is seen as a key market globally with brands and businesses keen to connect with Muslims consumers as well as a strong community of entrepreneurs and startups. London are hosting the UK’s biggest B2B Muslim lifestyle event called MLE Connect 2017 for the second successive year. The event brought together business owners, brands, entrepreneurs and start-ups from across the world to learn, network and explore market opportunities.

“The UK is seen as a key target market for brands across the world,” said Tahir Mirza, founder of the Expo. “We are seen as being at the forefront of trends and this is why brands from the Middle East and South East Asia are keen to speak and engage with this consumer base. “If you look at the demographics, the Muslim population is younger, professional, social media savvy and have a higher disposable income. These are the key reasons why this market is so attractive and continues to grow rapidly.” MLE Connect 2017 had industry experts host a series of seminars and panel discussions across a number of industries within the Muslim lifestyle sectors including halal food, modest fashion, marketing, media, branding, finance, and international trade. Last year’s inaugural event saw over 160 delegates attend, including brands such as Tesco and Asda, and connect with potential business partners.

Prime Minister Theresa May will use nuclear weapons “as a first strike” against UK’s enemies, even if the country is not directly attacked, says Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. “In the most extreme circumstances we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike,” Fallon told BBC. Asked what the circumstances would be, the British Defense chief said, “They are better not specified or described, which would only give comfort to our enemies and make the deterrent less credible.” He further argued that “The whole point about the deterrent is that you have got to leave uncertainty in the mind of anyone who might be thinking of using weapons against this country.” Fallon’s spokesman asserted that there was “no reason to disagree with what the defense secretary said.” Last year, a vote in the House of Commons saw MPs vote for Trident’s renewal, which would cost billions of pounds. Activists oppose the renewal of Trident, describing it as a violation of international commitments, unsafe and ill-suited for contemporary warfare.


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Islamophobia up after Westminster attack, say police

6I UK NEWS

www.pi-media.co.uk I May 2017

In Case You Missed It

Hate crime against Muslims has increased in the wake of the terrorist attack in Westminster on March 22, according to the Metropolitan Police acting Commissioner for London. But Islamophobia monitoring group TellMAMA says it’s seen no such evidence. The Met suggested it had seen a “slight uplift” in Islamophobic attacks in the wake of the attack perpetrated by Muslim convert Khalid Massod. “We began tracking [Islamophobic activity] straight away and we keep that tracking in progress as we speak

today. We saw a slight uplift in what we call ‘Islamophobic incidents’ the day after the event, but small, and far smaller than we have seen in previous events,” DC Craig Mackey told a London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee hearing. He added that the quick response from the British Muslim community helped curb a bigger rise in hate crimes. “I think the strength of all the faith leaders and the communities coming together and putting out a very strong message – that

would’ve helped. People met within 24 hours of the incident, those messages went to Friday prayers and other gatherings that weekend and religious events, so I think that would’ve helped,” Mckey said. TellMAMA founder Fiyaz Mughal told the Independent the charity had only noticed a “measurable minispike” in Islamophobic incidents. “After Westminster, we did not see what was expected and there was no major peak in antiMuslim hatred picked up across the country. If there was, our work within TellMAMA would have immediately been alerted to this,” the charity said in a statement. “I also want to extend our solidarity to the many Muslims and migrants who at this time will be especially fearful of racism and abuse,” said National Union of Student (NUS) president Malia Bouattia said in a statement after the terrorist attack. “We must stand firm against all attempts to stoke up Islamophobia or intolerance against migrants of any nationality, especially at a time of increased hate crime against many communities across society.”

The Express website has accepted that it was wrong to publish a headline suggesting Muslims wanted to ban the new plastic £5 notes. But press regulator IPSO has ruled that the mistake was not a significant inaccuracy so there was no breach of the Editors’ Code. Miqdaad Versi complained over a story headlined “New £5 notes could be BANNED by religious groups as Bank CAN’T promise they’re Halal” which was published on 2 December 2016. The sub-headline said that because traces of animal fat had been found in the notes, “religious leaders

are considering banning £5 notes from their places of worship”. Versi said the article was inaccurate because there are no Muslim religious groups who want to ban the £5 notes. He said that given that the article focused on the views of Hindu religious leaders, the headline was not supported by the text because the term ‘Halal’ is not a term used by Hindus. Express.co.uk accepted that the headline drew a link between “religious groups” banning the note and the Muslim term “Halal”, and therefore the newspaper said that the term “Halal”

was used in an incorrect context. It changed the headline in the online version to read: “New £5 note could be BANNED by religious groups as Bank CAN’T promise what note is made of”. It also added a correction to the story. The IPSO committee said: “Taken in isolation, the headline carried the suggestion that the ‘religious groups’ were Muslim. “However, read in context, the Committee was satisfied that this was used as a shorthand for concerns relevant to a number of faith groups. In that context, the reference to Halal was not significantly misleading.”

IPSO rules no breach of code on Express story


Extremists to be separated from mainstream prison

www.pi-media.co.uk

I May 2017

Three separation centres are being created and will form part of the wider government strategy to tackle extremism in prisons. Dangerous extremists will be separated from the mainstream prison population and placed into specialist centres, under new rules published by Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah. Three separation centres are being created and will form part of the wider government strategy to tackle extremism in prisons, holding up to 28 of the most subversive offenders, preventing their influence over others. An amendment to prison rules laid before Parliament means prisoners can be placed in a separation centre if they are involved in planning terrorism or are considered to pose a risk to national security.

UK NEWS

Those who are spreading views that might encourage or influence others to commit terrorism crimes, or anyone whose views are being used in a way which undermines good order and security in prisons, may also be placed in one of the centres. The first centre will be up and running at HMP Frankland in the coming weeks, with 2 further units to follow at other establishments. A prisoner will be considered for one of the centres if their behaviour behind bars meets one of the criteria included in the new prison rule and the level of risk they present can only be managed through separation. Once in a centre, they will be reviewed by experts every 3 months and will only be returned to the mainstream prison population if it is considered that the risk they present has reduced to a level that can be

I7

effectively managed there. The introduction of the centres was one of the principal recommendations of a governmentcommissioned independent review into extremism in prisons. The vast majority of the recommendations are being implemented. The government takes the threat of radicalisation and extremism in prisons extremely seriously and has built on the recommendations in the review to further boost efforts to tackle extremism. The centres form part of the wider strategy to tackle extremism, which includes: The formation of a new directorate for Security, Order and Counter-Terrorism - responsible for monitoring and dealing with the evolving threat of extremism. A launch of a new unit that will analyse intelligence and advise prisons in England and Wales on how to deal with specific threats, as well as instruct and train prison and probation staff on how best to deter offenders from being lured into extremism. Extremist literature being banned from prisons and the removal of anyone from communal worship who is promoting dangerous views. A new training package to identify, report and combat extremism being rolled out to all prison officers and new pre-employment vetting check for chaplains and imams being introduced.

UK’s HSBC bank wins mandate on $100bln Saudi Aramco IPO- CEO

HSBC Holdings Plc has been formally mandated as an adviser on the initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s national oil giant Aramco , expected to be the world’s largest ever IPO, HSBC’s chief executive said. Europe’s biggest bank joins peers including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley on the deal, which is expected to raise some $100 billion and is the centrepiece of the Saudi government’s ambitious strategy to diversify away from oil.

HSBC’s Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver announced the bank’s appointment on the deal at a shareholders’ meeting in Hong Kong, confirming a Reuters report in February that the bank was close to being mandated on the hottest investment banking ticket in the world. Gulliver also said HSBC is confident it can maintain dividend payouts in the foreseeable future and expects to exceed risk-weighted asset and cost-saving targets.

Despite earnings pressure, HSBC has retained its dividend payout ratio at a higher level in the last few years, at a time when some of its peers, including Standard Chartered , withheld dividend payments for 2016. The bank may have to move “some thousand roles” from Britain to Paris depending on how the country’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union unfold, chairman Douglas Flint added, reiterating the bank’s previous estimates of staff moves.


8

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UK NEWS

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British airstrikes kill over 1,300 IS fighters in one year

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British airstrikes are believed to have killed more than 1,300 Islamic State fighters in a 12-month period, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence. The figures were released after a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron: “How many Daesh militants have been killed or wounded by British forces in Iraq?” Mike Penning, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, said in response:

“During the period in question it is assessed that there were a total of 111 enemy wounded in action and a total of 1,306 enemy killed in action as a result of UK airstrikes. The UK cannot visit strike sites and conduct detailed investigations on the ground in Iraq. Therefore the number of combatants killed and/or wounded is an estimated figure only.” In December 2016, it was reported that the Royal Air Force is operating

at its most intense for 25 years in a single theatre of operation which far outstripped the UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan – RAF jets have dropped 11 times more bombs (1,276 strikes) on Syria and Iraq in the preceding 12 months than they had in the busiest year of action in Afghanistan a decade previously. The cost of the operations against Islamic State and other details of the campaign were revealed in a briefing paper. In March 2015 the MoD confirmed that the net additional costs of the military air operation would be met from the Treasury Special Reserve; while the costs of training and equipping the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, and the provision of key enablers, would be met from the MOD’s Deployed Military Activity Pool (DMAP). In answer to a parliamentary question in September 2016 the MoD set the costs of the operation, between August 2014 and the 31st of March 2016, at £265 million (£45 million in the 2014-15 financial year, and £220 million in the 2015-16 financial year).

An ambitious £1 million plan to create a new mosque in Perth, Scotland, has been lodged with the city’s council. The Perth Islamic Society has submitted the proposal for the site in Jeanfield Road, stating its present premises in a flat in Glasgow Road is too small for the burgeoning local Muslim population. Arif Minhas, a committee member of the Islamic Society, said the new mosque will be built in the traditional style and will include a minaret and a community hall. He said: “The Muslim community is growing quite fast – there are more than 600 around Perthshire and we need a new mosque. The one we have now is not big enough

for our Friday prayers, especially on Eid.” He continued: “We have paid £225,000 for the land, and the purpose-built mosque will cost around £800,000 to £900,000. We have applied for planning permission in principal to move to 43-51 Jeanfield Road, Perth. “The community is obviously going to grow more and more, so we are not just building it for the community today; we are planning it for another 50 to 60 years. It needs to be big enough for Perth’s Muslim community in 60 years’ time – we obviously need a bigger space.” Mr Minhas also stated that the redeveloped building will incorporate a hall, which will be available for the

Perth community. “The hall will be built next to the new mosque and can be used for anything,” he added. “We know of a lot of other Asian communities in Perth who are always looking for places for entertainment – and places to celebrate their own days and cultural things. We’ll be able to offer them somewhere to go. “When we have a bigger place we can invite people in to explain the Muslim religion and educate other people as well. We don’t have the facilities to introduce ourselves to other people at the moment. Once we have a bigger place we can do quite a bit more.” www.pi-media.co.uk

Growing Muslim community leads to plan for new Mosque in Perth


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New Zealand considering extra security on Middle East flights

New Zealand is considering additional security checks on flights from some countries in the Middle East, its transport minister said. The new rules would follow similar measures introduced last month by the US, Britain and Australia. New Zealand’s civil aviation authority “is assessing the evidence to determine what is appropriate,” Transport Minister Simon Bridges said in an interview in Dubai.

Additional security measures would affect passengers flying from Dubai in the UAE and Doha, Qatar, where carriers Emirates and Qatar Airways, respectively, fly direct to New Zealand. Bridges said a decision to add new checks would be made independent of the government by the aviation authority . He declined to say when a decision could be made. He did

not say what measures were being considered. On March 25, the US banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from passenger cabins of direct flights from eight countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, including Qatar and the UAE. Britain followed the same day with similar measures, including banning larger electronics on flights from some Middle East countries but not Qatar and the UAE where it instead requested additional security checks. Australia’s additional checks on passengers and baggage apply to Qatar and the UAE as they are the only Middle East countries with which it has direct air links. The additional security measures were made based on intelligence suggesting flights could be targeted for attack. Emirates said it was cutting flights to the United States after new restrictions weakened demand. Emirates flies to New Zealand cities Auckland and Christchurch, mostly via Australia, although it operates a direct daily flight to Auckland. Qatar Airways only flies direct to Auckland. www.pi-media.co.uk

German intelligence spied on Interpol Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency spied on the Interpol international police agency for years and on the group’s country liaison offices in dozens of countries such as Austria, Greece and the United States, a German magazine said. No comment was immediately available from the BND, Interpol or Europol. Der Spiegel magazine, citing documents it had seen, said the BND had added the e-mail addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers of the police investigators to its sector surveillance list. In addition, the German spy agency also monitored the Europol

police agency Europol which is based in The Hague, the magazine said. Der Spiegel reported in February that the BND also spied on the phones, faxes and e-mails of several news organizations, including the New York Times and Reuters. The BND’s activities have come under intense scrutiny during a German parliamentary investigation into allegations that the US National Security Agency conducted mass surveillance outside of the United States, including a cellphone used by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Konstantin von Notz, a Greens

party member who serves on the investigative committee, described the latest report about the BND’s spying activities as “scandalous and unfathomable.” “We now know that parliaments, various companies and even journalists and publishers have been targeted, as well as allied countries,” von Notz said in a statement. He said the latest reports showed how ineffective parliamentary controls had been thus far, despite new legislation aimed at reforming the BND. “It represents a danger to our rule of law,” he said.


Germany ‘rejects most Afghan asylum requests

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Germany has in the span of two months rejected the asylum requests of more than half of the Afghan refugees who had traveled 7,000 kilometers in search of a better life in the European country. Citing Interior Ministry figures, the German Passauer Neue Presse newspaper reported that less than 48 percent of the asylum requests by people from Afghanistan had been accepted in the first two months of 2017. The newspaper said that

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in January and February, the government rejected 14,403 of the 27,639 Afghan asylum applications processed. The report came shortly after another German publication said that thousands of former Taliban militants might have entered Germany over the past two years among an influx of more than a million refugees, including tens of thousands of Afghans. German news magazine Der Spiegel said in its report that a large

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number of counter-terrorism and criminal investigations had been launched in 2016, with a number of Afghan refugees being held in investigatory detention. It added that preliminary court hearings involving several other Afghans had started German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has been under fire by some political quarters in the country for allowing in large numbers of refugees, especially after several criminal attacks last year by rejected Afghan asylum seekers. Berlin reached a deal with the Afghan government in October 2016 to have rejected asylum seekers returned to Afghanistan. Afghan refugees are the second largest group of asylum seekers in Germany after Syrians.

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Palestine ministry suspends UNRWA ties amid school row

The Palestinian education ministry on announced it is suspending contact with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). According to a ministry statement the suspension was in protest at UNRWA’s intention to amend the Palestinian curriculum in West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip schools. The UNRWA’s decision -- which teaches the curriculum of the host country in its schools -- was taken

following repeated accusations by Israel that the Palestinian curriculum contains materials that incite violence, something denied by the Palestinian ministry. “Any distortion of the Palestinian curriculum is a flagrant violation of the laws of the host country,” the ministry said in the statement. “Changing any character to appease any party is a betrayal of the Palestinian narrative and the right of the Palestinian people, which is under Israeli occupation, to preserve

its identity,” it added. Palestinian Education Minister Sabri Sidem said Palestine would not surrender to anyone. “We will not accept giving up our dignity, history and decades of struggle to protect the Palestinian narrative,” he said. In March, the Palestinian ministry warned UNRWA against any amendments to the Palestinian curriculum, noting that it had not received any official correspondence from the international agency.


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The first branch of a Palestinian bank was inaugurated in Israel-held East Jerusalem, in the first such move in the occupied territory in decades. The National Bank (TNB) opened its branch in Jerusalem’s Dahiat AlBarid district to offer banking services to the city’s residents.

This is the first time for a Palestinian bank to operate in Jerusalem since 1967 when Israel captured the city during the 1967 Middle East war. Israel has never allowed Palestinian or Arab banks to operate in East Jerusalem since its

occupation. The TNB seems to have used a “legal loophole” to open its branch in Dahiat Al-Barid, which Israel considers a part of the West Bank, not East Jerusalem. Describing the move as a “milestone”, TNB chairman Talal Nasereddin said the new branch had been delayed for two years due to multiple obstacles and red tape. He said the new branch will help provide banking services to Jerusalem’s residents without the need to cross Israeli checkpoints and barriers. The new branch in Jerusalem, Nasereddin said, bodes well for the economic and social prosperity of the area. Two banks, the Bank of Palestine and Bank of Jordan, are currently planning to open branches in East Jerusalem.

Several Turkish families in northwestern Bruhl town have received anonymous letters telling them to leave Germany, according to residents. The letters come at a time when there is a heated public debate in the country about Turkey’s constitutional referendum that proposes a transition to a presidential system. The letters attacked Turkish expats who backed the constitutional changes which were also advocated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Do yourself and your president a favor, and return to your country,” the letter read, claiming that those who voted in favor of the presidential system in Turkey were not well-integrated into Germany. Halis Ozdogan, a German citizen

of Turkish origin who has been living in the country since 1974, told Anadolu Agency the letter left the families in shock. “The message to us here is that ‘either you will be like us, or you will leave the county’. This is frightening, this is unacceptable,” he said. The letter accused Turkish migrants who backed Erdogan and voted for the presidential system of not supposedly respecting democracy and freedoms. Ozdogan said such prejudices and generalizations about Turkish expats were not true, and was a sign of growing racism. Germany is home to nearly 3 million Turkish immigrants, and Turkey’s referendum was widely debated in the country. More than 50 percent of Turkish citizens voted Yes to a presidential

system. In Germany, the Yes campaign had received stronger support. Among the 700,000 Turkish expats who casted their ballots in election centers across Germany, 63 percent of them voted in favor of a presidential system in Turkey, while 39 percent voted against. German politicians who backed the No campaign argued that big support for Erdogan and his proposal for a presidential system among the expats was a sign that they were not well-integrated. Several far-right politicians called on Turks who backed the Yes campaign to leave Europe and return to Turkey. Turkish community leaders had sharply criticized such calls and warned against growing racism in Germany.

Racist letters tell Turkish families to leave Germany


Refugee waves ripple into children’s books

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Europe’s refugee crisis is moving from newsprint to the pages of children’s books, as writers try to help parents help their kids understand an often disturbing drama shaping their world. Distressing images of African migrants being plucked from heaving seas or the coffin-strewn aftermath of major sinkings have become a regular feature of television news bulletins since the crisis began spiralling out of control four years ago. It is an unavoidable part of a new generation’s digital landscape and

parents and teachers across Europe are having to find ways to enable youngsters to make sense of it. That’s what writers and illustrators are for and the treatment of the issue was a prominent theme last month Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the biggest of its kind in Europe. Author Antonio Ferrara was promoting his new book, “Casa Lampedusa”, a tale set on the Italian island on the frontline of the crisis. “There is a word of eastern origin, ‘abracadabra’, that we think was invented for children playing at magic. In reality, it means, “by

U.S. Special Forces units have arrived at the Ain al-Assad Airbase in Iraq’s western Anbar province to help Iraqi forces recapture cities still held by the Daesh terrorist group, according to a high-ranking Iraqi army officer. “A large number of U.S. Special Forces units reached the Ain al-Assad Airbase in Anbar’s AlBaghdadi district some 90 kilometers west of [provincial capital] Ramadi,” an Iraqi army brigadier-general told Anadolu Agency. The officer, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media, did not provide

an exact figure as to the number of Special Forces units involved. According to the same source, the Special Forces units were brought by military convoy from Baghdad’s AlBakr Airbase to Anbar’s Ain al-Assad. “They arrived fully-equipped to take part in the anticipated liberation of the cities of Anah, Rawa and AlQaim,” he added. In mid-2014, Iraqi security forces withdrew from the three cities, allowing Daesh to swiftly fill the vacuum. Along with the arrival of U.S. Special Forces to the area, Iraqi forces and their local tribal allies have

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speaking, I create,” Ferrara told AFPTV. Ferrara’s book is told through the eyes of a 13-year-old boy who sees the islanders’ lives transformed by the waves of humanity being washed up, sometimes literally, on their shores. French publisher Actes Sud addresses the same subject with a new non-fiction book, “Planete Migrants”, by writer Sophie Lamoureux and illustrator Amelie Fontaine. The book, which won an award in Bologna, seeks to place in a historical context the contemporary arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants in Europe from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Also being promoted in Bologna was the Italian translation of “The Optician of Lampedusa”, a haunting tale for all ages written by BBC journalist Emma-Jane Kirby. The book, which she describes as a “blur of fact and fiction,” emerged from her award-winning reporting on how ordinary Italians were experiencing the migrant crisis.

US Special Forces transferred to Iraq’s Anbar province also begun preparations to retake the cities. U.S.-led coalition forces had already maintained a presence in Anbar -- both at Ain al-Assad and the Al-Habbaniyah Airbase some 30 kilometers east of Ramadi. At least 4,000 U.S. troops are now deployed in Iraq, where they are ostensibly training Iraqi security forces and serving as “advisors” in the war against Daesh. U.S. forces are also providing artillery support to Iraqi troops now fighting for Mosul, regional capital of the northern Nineveh province, which Daesh also overran in mid-2014.


Israeli pesticides damage Gaza crops: NGO 16

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Palestinian farmers have incurred huge losses from Israeli pesticides sprayed along border of the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian NGO said . Israeli aircraft sprayed pesticides

along border with the Gaza Strip. The spraying operations “risk causing Palestinian farmers to lose their source of income,” Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said in a

statement. “The pesticides damage crops and harm livestock and birds feeding on grass in the sprayed area,” it added. The NGO warned that the Israeli spraying operations will have a “disastrous impact” on the future of the agricultural production in the Palestinian territory. Wael Thabet of the Gaza Agriculture Ministry said Palestinian farmers have sustained huge losses in past years because of the Israeli pesticides. According to Israeli Gisha NGO, the Israeli spraying operations aim to get rid of unneeded grass along border with the Palestinian territory. Some 44,000 Palestinians are working in agriculture, making up around 11 percent of the territory’s work force. The Gaza Strip, home to nearly two million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007. www.pi-media.co.uk

Morocco says Algeria expelled 55 refugees across border

Morocco has accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrian refugees across the countries’ shared border, criticising it for “inhumane behaviour” in the latest row between the North African rivals. The refugees were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco’s interior ministry said in a statement. They had reached the area in several groups before being “surrounded” by the Algerian police amid searing heat in the rugged terrain, according to the Moroccan authorities. The expulsion was “contrary to the rules of good neighbourliness advocated by Morocco,” it added. The Moroccan media reported that the Syrians had been left to their

fate in the border region as Morocco prevented them from entering its territory. The ministry’s statement did not say whether they had been allowed to seek asylum in Morocco. “This is not the first time that the Algerian authorities have expelled imrefugees to Moroccan territory,” it said. An NGO official in Figuig, who requested anonymity, said the refugees were still stuck at the border Saturday in two groups, without access to water or food. In mid-March, a Moroccan refugee rights group, GADEM, reported that around 30 sub-Saharan refugees had been arrested in Morocco then left stranded in no man’s land between Morocco and Algeria, having been

deported from both countries. Morocco adopted a new migration policy in 2013. In December it launched a new campaign to regularise the status of clandestine refugees on its territory, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa. Rabat insists its migration policy is “humane and generous” -- in contrast, it says, with the policy of its Algerian rival. In January 2014, Morocco summoned Algeria’s ambassador to protest its alleged expulsion of Syrians across their common border. Algeria responded in kind, saying its border guards had merely refused to allow Syrians deported by Morocco to enter its territory. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Yemeni family say they are targets of extended US drone programme

A family in Yemen is concerned that US drones are trying to assassinate them without charge or trial, international human rights group Reprieve has found. The Tuaiman family from Ma’rib, Yemen, claim they now live under daily drone flights since President Trump took office. Covert drone strikes under the Obama administration already killed three members of their family. Trump’s debut raid on the Yemeni village of Yakla, which killed at least 23 civilians, appears to have signalled the start of a more aggressive

campaign of strikes across the country. The Tuaimans are concerned that they are next in line for assassination, under an expanded, Trump-era drone programme. During the Obama Presidency, in 2015, Muhammed Tuaiman was killed by a US drone strike, aged just 13. His father, Salah, and older brother Jalal (17), were killed by another US drone strike in 2011. Ezzaldeen Tuaiman, then aged 14, was injured in tht strike Ezzaldeen, now 20, still runs and hides whenever he hears a drone, according to his older brother Meqdad

Tuaiman. Meqdad is employed as security for the US-allied Hadi Government. The family are calling on the Yemeni and US governments to reveal any allegations against them. However, they are yet to receive any information on why they are being targeted. Far from combating terrorism, the family say Trump’s policy could be a recruiting sergeant for militants. Kate Higham, Head of the Assassinations Project at Reprieve, said: “It is a grave injustice that civilians in Yemen now live under heightened fear of being blown up by US drones, without charge or trial. No one has presented any evidence against the Tuaiman family who have already lost three members, including a 13-year-old, to US drone strikes. This family, and many more across the Middle East, are terrified by President Trump’s mounting civilian casualties and worry that they will be next in line for assassination. President Trump must urgently review the entire targeting program, and investigate the huge numbers of civilian deaths caused so far.”

Chechen leader signs law allowing schoolgirls to wear hijab Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of the Chechen Republic signed into law a bill of amendments to the law ‘On Education in the Chechen Republic’ that empowers general schools to set requirements for the type of clothes to be worn by students. The law underlines the students’ right to wearing the clothes and/or symbols standing in line with their folk traditions or religious beliefs unless this runs counter to federal legislation or is hazardous to their health or encroaches on freedoms and rights of other individuals. “An educational institution will be expected to endorse appropriate local ancillary regulations that

should take account of opinions of the council of students, the council of parents and the representative board of teachers (if it has one) in order to facilitate observance of the rights of citizens to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion,” the press release said. Chechnya’s legislature endorsed the amendments on March 30 that permit school students to wear the clothes or symbols reflecting their religious views, including headscarves. Russia’s Federal Minister of Education Olga Vassilyeva said in January the students should not emphasize their religious beliefs through clothes. Kadyrov answered

her in social networks, saying she was trying to impose her personal opinion on others. He also said then someone was fanning the problem of headscarves in an unnatural way just to divert public attention from real problems at general schools. Kadyrov also said his own daughters who were school students were wearing traditional Muslim headscarves. The legislature said in a commentary on the amendments the regulations they envision do not run counter to Russia’s federal legislation in any way.

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Ex-BJP MP says he incited mob to destroy India’s Babri Mosque

India’s Former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti said it was he and not former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani who egged a frenzied mob to raze the Babri Masjid (mosque) in 1992. “He had no role in this incident,” Vedanti told the media, referring to Advani, one of the senior most leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “I brought it down and

ensured that it went down.” Vedanti is one of the 13 people accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of conspiring to bring down the 16th century mosque at Ayodhya near here on 6 December, 1992. The Supreme Court directed the special court in Lucknow to proceed with the trial against BJP leaders

Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Minister Uma Bharati and BJP MP Vinay Katiyar among others. Vedanti recalled that when the mosque was being attacked by a mob, he along with the late Ashok Singhal and Mahant Avaidyanth exhorted the VHP activists to ensure that it came down brick by brick, Firstpost.com reported. He said it was vital to raze the mosque to the ground quickly so that a makeshift Ram temple could be raised on its ruins. “It was I who said ‘Ek dhakka aur do, Babri Masjid tod do’.” Ex-BJP MP Says He Incited Mob to Destroy India’s Babri Mosque Vedanti also said that while he and others were inciting the mob, Joshi, Advani and Vijayraje Scindia were trying to calm the ‘kar sevaks’. He demanded that the 67.77 acre acquired land around the disputed site be handed over to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyaas. The mosque razing led to widespread violence against Muslims in India.

Halal food market surging in Canada

A growing Muslim community in Canada has led to swelling sales of halal food, which has some grocers, manufacturers and eateries seeking ways to profit from the boom. “It’s a huge business. It’s an $80billion business around the world. In Canada, it’s about $1 billion and it’s growing ... by 10 to 15 per cent a year, which is quite significant. It’s much more than other categories,” says Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Halal means permissible in Arabic and refers to foods that have been prepared according to Islamic law. Animals must not suffer when they’re slaughtered and must not see another animal be killed. Pork and its byproducts and alcohol are among forbidden items not allowed in the making of halal foods.

While Canadians are increasingly seeing more halal products stocked by the big supermarket chains, the complexity of the supply chain has led to concerns about mislabeled food or fraud. Contamination and traceability were motivating factors for the formation of the Halal Monitoring Authority of Canada, says chief operating officer Imam Omar Subedar. A presentation on malpractices in the halal industry he attended in 2004 was eye-opening. “What we were exposed to was really, really bad. There was just no ethics, no controls, no nothing. It was very sad.” The HMA launched in 2006 with one certified chicken product. Now there are hundreds, with 30 inspectors in Ontario, three

in Alberta, two in Quebec and a representative in B.C. There are plans to start operations in Saskatchewan. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency approved guidelines for halal products just last year. “Halal unfortunately has been heavily abused and this is why CFIA has gotten involved, which is unprecedented. The government doesn’t get involved in religion, but for halal they did because of the malpractices that had been going on,” says Subedar. Meanwhile, big fast-food chains like Pizza Pizza, KFC, Popeyes and Nandos have added halal options to their menus, while The Halal Guys, a fast-casual franchise that started as a food cart in Manhattan with huge lineups, is opening a Toronto location on May 5th


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Rome airport refuses to allow hijab-wearing student on flight

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Swiss MP seeks to stop distribution of Quran

A woman was told by airport security that she was not allowed to board when she tried to get on her plane to London – because she was wearing a hijab. The student refused to remove her headscarf after watching nuns walk through without being asked to remove their habits. Aghnia Adzkia claims she was discriminated against by Italian airport staff. The Indonesian citizen filmed her experience at Ciampino Airport in the Italian capital of Rome. The security official can be heard saying: ‘You are not safe. ‘You could hide something in your hair. If you don’t take it off, we do not know if there’s something inside, okay? You are not safe for us.’ She had refused to take off her hijab on principle saying she was being unfairly targeted. The Goldsmith university student claims a male security officer then ws /PIMe iane d e dia im @p

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dragged her out of the security area in ‘indecent way’ grabbing her bag and shouting at her to be quiet. Speaking to Mail Online, Ms Adzkiasaid: ‘I completely understand about what is going in the world lately. I stand against terrorism and that’s not Islam. Ms Adzkia can be seen repeatedly demanding to see the law stating that the hijab must be removed at an airport security check. ‘Yet, what I’ve experienced in Rome was shocking, the way they treated me indecently has shown discrimination. I understand if it is for security reason, but why did they not give me a second to read the law?’ Ms Adzkia alerted Facebook friends to the incident in a post that went viral, however it has since been taken down. She wrote: ‘I wanted to prove to them that I have nothing to hide and that I am not a terrorist. ‘In the meantime, I saw two nuns wearing headscarves, but they weren’t asked to take them off. ‘Is this what you call fair treatment and respect? Where are my human rights?’

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Walter Wobman, a national councilor and member of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP), seeks to prevent distribution of the Quran in Switzerland, claiming the Holy Book attacks the country’s culture. He told the newspapers Ostschweiz am Sonntag and Zentralschweiz am Sonntag: “It should not be possible to distribute books as extreme as the Quran, which attack our culture and legal system.” Yannick Buttet thinks it is important to exercise caution. “Rather than ban distribution, it is important to target associations and mosques active in recruitment”, he said. Laurence Fehlmann Rielle (PS/SP) agrees: “In itself there is nothing wrong with handing out Qurans. On the other hand, if we see that some are using it as an opportunity to build an (extremist) network, then we need to ban these organizations.” National councilor Lisa Mazzone, from the Green party, condemned the idea. “It is reckless to suggest something like this. It attacks Switzerland’s religious freedom. Once more it is a move applied to a single religion. We repeatedly stigmatize one part of the population, Muslims.” In addition, she pointed out that there are laws against inciting violence which will be bolstered from September 1 when the new Federal intelligence laws come into force, following last year’s referendum. Earlier in 2017, Tribune de Genève reported that some parents in Geneva were upset by unauthorized Bible distribution outside a school in Carouge.


Swedish runner to fight Prejudice against Islam

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A Swedish female runner has taken up the cause of drawing attention to prejudice against Islam in Europe. In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Kristina Palten said she intends to run again through an Islamic country and prove all such prejudices wrong. “I’m fighting against prejudices against Islam. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and all of these 1.6 billion can’t be terrorists,” the 45year-old runner said. In August 2015, Palten undertook

a 183-kilometer (114-mile) long run for 58 days, which took her through Turkey, Iran and finally, Turkmenistan. A video of her unique journey was released on The Guardian’s news website, which was watched by over two million people in just 24 hours. About her 2015 run, Palten said: “I didn’t pay for my accommodation and many things on my journey. It was unbelievable.” Palten said the experience taught her to stop judging Muslims based

The Battle for Mosul is nearing the six-month mark, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced as Iraqi forces continue the fight to retake the city from Islamic State (Isis), which began in October. Months after fleeing the city, a group of young girls have found their feet with football – and gathered in the Kurdish town of Koya to play a match. In a video shared by Unicef Iraq, the girls are seen having a kickabout with young Kurdish locals, while

others gather along the sidelines. “I can play because I have confidence. Football is good for everyone. It’s not just for men, it’s for women, too,” said Mary, a 13-yearold. Mosul is Iraq’s second city and was where Isis declared a caliphate nearly three years ago. Thousands of civilians have fleed the city, with the majority taking refuge in nearby camps and reception centres. The number of people displaced

on the actions of a few fanatics. “I had the opportunity to meet Turks, Arabs, Kurds and Persians along the road to Turkmenistan, and they are all wonderful and nice people. “It’s wrong to judge all Muslims because of some fanatics and extremists within them. There are fanatics and extremists in Christians too. It’s not right to make any discrimination. Muslims are kind and generous people.” Before she began her journey, she said, she too had doubts about Islam and the people who follow the faith. “It’s impossible not to get affected by the negative portrayals [of Islam and Muslims] in the mainstream media,” she said. But now she said: “I haven’t seen anything but friendship, humanity and hospitality from Muslims.” She also had a message for people who feared others based on their faith. “If we want to leave a better world for our children, we must leave our fears about Muslims aside and overcome our prejudices.” She also holds two world records for running on treadmill in 2013 and 2014, according to her website.

Mosul girls who fled IS find confidence with football

from the western side of Mosul has already surpassed 200,000 since operations were launched in February to retake the region, according to the Iraqi government. Hundreds of thousands of people remain in the area, where food and clean drinking water are in very short supply. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that more than one million people could be displaced by the offensive from Iraqi forces to retake the city.


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New Zealand Rugby and the Auckland Blues have given Sonny Bill Williams permission to have advertising from sponsors Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and Investec removed from his Super Rugby training and playing kits on religious grounds. The All Blacks centre, who converted to Islam in 2008, put tape over the “Bank of New Zealand” logos on the collar of his shirt when

he made his return after seven months out injured in a Super Rugby match in Dunedin. The 31-year-old’s decision to cover up the logo was questioned by New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English. “New Zealand Rugby and the Blues have accommodated Sonny Bill Williams’ request to have advertising from the BNZ and Investec removed from his Super

Rugby playing jersey,” the NZR and Blues said in a joint statement. Two-times World Cup winner Williams said he preferred not to wear logos from banks, alcohol brands and gambling sponsors on his team uniform. “I want to be clear that this is nothing personal against the BNZ or Investec,” Williams added. “My objection to wearing clothing that markets banks, alcohol and gambling companies is central to my religious beliefs and it is important to me to have been granted this exemption. “I want to thank the Blues and New Zealand Rugby for working with me through this matter over the last couple of days and respecting my religion and accommodating my request.” However, the ruling does not apply to the removal of Investec from the tournament logo on all Super Rugby team jerseys. Williams has told NZR that he has no objection to sporting advertising from insurance companies but has already been dropped from promotional activities with All Blacks’ sponsor AIG.

A 16-year-old Muslim American boxer, who wants to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, has won the right to wear a hijab and fully cover her arms and legs while boxing in the US. Amaiya Zafar, from Oakdale, Minnesota, no longer will have to choose between her religion or the boxing ring after she recently won a battle that will allow her to wear a hijab and fully cover her arms and legs while taking part in bouts in the US. A new USA Boxing exemption means Zafar can adhere to her religious beliefs rather than to a

mandate that she wear a sleeveless jersey and shorts that cannot go below the knees, The Star Tribune reported. “This is a big step. She’s put a lot of labour into this. She earned the right to showcase her skills, and I’m happy for her,” her coach Nathaniel Haile was quoted as saying. “But it’s just the first step in letting her achieve her dreams,” Haile said. Zafar has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. To get there, she would have to persuade the international boxing organisation - the International Boxing Association (AIBA) - to allow her to box in her

modest attire, the report said. For now, her right to wear the scarf is only with USA Boxing, it said. Zafar will now have the opportunity to fight in local matches and many tournaments throughout the country, Haile said. Zafar, who is relieved she can finally compete, said, “I’m ready”. Over the past couple of years, she thought she was close to jumping into competition. “You get so invested. My weight is in the right place. My head is in the game,” she said. To be turned away -- “it’s exhausting,” Zafar added. www.pi-media.co.uk

Muslim boxer wins the right to fight in hijab


Has the Democratization of Egypt Post-2014 been a success?

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The relationship between religion and politics is complicated enough to develop a constitutional and legal framework for the postrevolution Egyptian state. During different stages of the transitional phase between 2014 and 2016, the government amendment the constitution with new laws which presented advantages and diadvantages.

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In the past, there was an acute relationship between religion and politics. In 2011, from the 25th January revolution that toppled Egypt’s former regime and until the military coup that took place in July 2013, the relationship between religion and politics dominated debates in Egyptian society. This second transitional phase presented a very difficult journey towards

democracy in Egypt. In 2012, the constitution was an important example of these interim results. Article 4 of the 2012 constitution, the legislative referred to shariah law from the perspective that it should be addressed in consultation with the official religious institution like al Azhar, and therefore during the period between 2011 and 2013, several constitutional and legal


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results emerged. New laws on the exercise of political rights, election procedures and political parties did not stipulate a ban on the use of religion for political, electoral, or partisan purposes and in turn this provided a legal loophole for the use of religious slogans in politics and prevented the imposition of penalties on groups exploiting religious spaces for electoral campaigning and other political purposes. This situation runs contrary to inclusive, citizenship-based politics. It also leaves society vulnerable to serious risks related to political and partisan affiliations as well as to electoral behaviour based on religious identity instead of ideas and goals common to all citizens, regardless of religion. There are also amendments for issues such as citizenship, laws against discrimination and sectarian violence, standardizing the establishment and the maintenance of houses of worship. There has been a concerted effort to remove indication of a person’s religion from identification cards, which would constitute a symbolic victory for citizenship. But in the middle of January 2014, interim president Adly Mansour invited the Egyptian people to participate in a referendum on the new constitution, which would replace the constitution of 2012 that was suspended on the 3rd of July 2013. In addition to the contradictions between the constitutional and legal results of the transitional phase and the principles of democracy and citizenship resulting from sustained meddling and interference from state apparatuses. The first contradiction was linked to the growing importance of religious identity, issues related

to values and ethics, in the period between 2014 and 2016. direction of religious speech, the trend towards democracy, and the development of the economy were also affected to a large extent. On the other hand, the citizens acceptance or rejection of policies on religious considerations rather than rational ones predicated on information and personal preferences through media promotion to influence political contentment, economic and social interests, rights and personal freedoms. Towards the end of 2016, according to “The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information” the Democratic Path in Egypt during January 2017 declared after analyzing the reports upto January 25th 2016,that 133 protests were organized and 39 collective death sentences were issued. The military trials of civilians did not stop, 52 defendants appeared before military tribunals in 4 trials out of the 44 trials that took place during this month. The severe crackdown on freedom of expression and media freedoms has continued, with 16 violations this month. According to reports. in total six terrorist operations were carried out on Egyptian soil . On the other hand, many civil society groups organized 2 protest events, which were both attacked by the security forces. On the contrary, the pro Sisi-regime protests did not face any kind of intervention from the security forces. Pro-government demonstrations both coincided with the anniversary of the January revolution and to celebrate Police day. The following chart shows the percentage of protest events according to the organizing powers Egyptian citizens in my view

should have the right to put forward non-traditional ideas that are in line with international freedom and expression. In this article, we have imposed a hard test on the effects of forms of development for our society in support for democracy. The ‘usual suspects’ proclaim their usual support for democratic ideals, but do religious parties have a real say or influence? And, more specifically in the case of the Egyptian revolution, do new social media genres have positive (or negative) effects on mainstream society? One cannot cover this issue in mainstream society but all hope is not lost as the emergence new social media platforms will in the long term be detrimental to government media apparatuses. At present, the state has the capacity to control the editing and distribution channels of these respective media. media, which tend to be paper-based and filtered through editors are easier for the state to control than say social media. In conclusion, according to the main question about the democratization of Egypt, we find that the transition to democracy has been achieved in light of the raft of political changes but there is a still a long way to go to achieving full democratization .The end result was a move away from the foundations necessary to build democracy and the principles of social freedom without which we were moving away from achieving citizenship or devolution of power. Miral AlAshry ph.D Assistant Professor, Canadian international college ( CIC) Department of Journalism & Director of Quality Assurance Cairo, Egypt

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The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context

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Part 14

Umar Ibn al-Khattab it can be said was one of the greatest reforming caliphs in Islamic history. During his brief tenure, many of the measures implemented by him laid the foundations that facilitated the growth of the Islamic state with efficiency being at its very heart. During the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) time, the Bayt al-Mal (public treasury) was an institution set up to meet the expenditure of the fledgling Islamic state. The revenues came from multiple avenues such as war booty collected as a consequence of successful military expeditions against a host of enemies in and around Madinah. Ushr was another form of taxation in early Islam through which revenue was raised. This process entailed a 10 percent levy being levied on crops being cultivated on irrigated lands or 20 percent for produce originating on non-irrigated lands.

Umar Ibn al-Khattab set about expanding revenue streams that had been somewhat limited in scope during the time of his predecessors. Identifying alternative streams for revenue generation was vital as the needs of the ever-growing population meant that if the state could not fund vital services then bankruptcy became an unattractive proposition. Hence, Umar Ibn al-Khattab ordered that customs duties be levied on goods coming into the territory via land and sea under the jurisdiction of the state. However, it was all and well devising and putting measures forward to raise additional revenues but this raised further questions in terms of who would decide what level of duties would be imposed and whether they would vary with primary consideration being afforded to goods being ranked by their worth. Umar Ibn al-Khattab addressed

these pressing questions by ordering officials to train intelligent individuals to calculate the value of goods and furthermore work out the rate that was to be levied on goods coming into the state. The creation of this alterative revenue stream allowed the state to meet its financial responsibilities such as funding social welfare which we shall discuss in due course. For the first time, Imams and Muezzins were given a salary in return for the highly valuable services they provided to various Muslim communities across the Islamic state. Such benefits would have been seen as lavish or unnecessary had Umar Ibnal-Khattab had not have created alternative fundraising revenues as those described above. The Caliph certainly demonstrated how he valued those performing religious duties which were seen as essential in maintaining the religiosity of the state.


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