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Girl, 8, Shaken in Terror Raid

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May 2018


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By Islamic Human Rights Commission

London mayor’s failure to act against extremists could lead to terror attack

IHRC has written to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan accusing him of facilitating another potential far right terror attack against Muslims on the streets of London similar to that carried out by Darren Osborne against Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park last year. The letter was prompted by the failure of Khan to respond to a previous communication of 16 October in which he was asked to explain why he wrote to the Home Secretary supporting a call by Zionist groups to proscribe the political wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, a move which would impede UK diplomatic relations in the Lebanon and prevent people in Britain showing support for a legitimate political organisation. Pro-Israel advocates have been applying pressure on Khan to ban the annual Al-Quds day march in London which highlights the continuing oppression of the Palestinians. A feature of the peaceful protest is the carrying of Hezbollah flags by participants. Last year’s Al-Quds Day demonstration in London on 18

June was subjected to a concerted smear campaign in the pro-Israel and mainstream media aimed at pressurising the London mayor to ban it. The far right threw its weight behind the campaign demonising and vilifying the event on social media. It is now established that the campaign was responsible for inciting Darren Osborne to drive a van into worshippers leaving late night Ramadan prayers in the Finsbury Park area of north London on 19 June 2017. Osborne’s intended target had been the Al-Quds day protest that took place the day before, but he was unable to reach it. IHRC believes that in supporting calls for a ban on Hezbollah flags the mayor was giving oxygen to extremists who wanted to sabotage and/or attack the Al-Quds Day protest. Police have already confirmed to IHRC that 2018’s counter demonstration will consist of a coalition of Zionists, far-right extremists and neo-Nazi groups. Our fear is that the mayor’s continued support for the campaign led by pro-Israel advocates will lead

to a repeat attack this year, and innocent people will be killed or injured on the streets of London. “Your office failed to defend the rights of Londoners to peaceful political free speech last year, and after the event officials from your team met with the counter demonstrators whose campaigns incited hate, while deliberately ignoring those who were the original target of OsborneÕs violence,” states the letter. “I hope that you will abandon this divisive politics you have adopted and protect the rights and freedoms of all Londoners. If you cannot tolerate any criticism of Israel, I would request you refrain from inciting Zionists and neo-Nazis to attack us by falsely equating the event and its attendees with extremism. Not facilitating incitement to murder on the streets of London is the very least we can expect from our elected officials.”

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I May 2018



Times ‘distorted’ front page story on Muslim foster-care girl

The Times has been admonished by the press regulator over a ‘distorted’ story about a girl fostered by Muslims. The newspaper claimed that the child’s carers stopped her eating pork and took away a crucifix, among other breaches. The girl made front-page headlines when she was removed from her mother’s care by Tower Hamlets Council, east London, in August 2017. The council complained to the press regulator about the Times’ stories, which they said included “inaccuracies in the reporting” of the case. Ian Brunskill, the paper’s assistant editor, spoke to the Commons Home Affairs Committee investigation of the reporting of minorities. He admitted

the paper had caused “an enormous amount of trouble for us, for other people “in their coverage of the story, and had “caused enormous offence, it’s caused enormous upset.” Articles published in the paper on August 28 and 29 reported a number of concerns about the cultural appropriateness of the child’s fostering placements. Sources for the story included a social services supervisor, and friends of the child’s mother. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) Complaints Committee found that the Times article, “Judge rules child must leave Muslim foster home,” published on 30 August 2017, gave the impression that the judge had found that the placement with a

Muslim family was a “failure” by the council; and that this was why she was “removing” the child from her current foster carers, and placing the child with the grandmother. The article prompted an investigation by a senior social worker at the council, who conducted supervised interviews with the child and her maternal grandmother, both of which formed the basis of the investigation. The child was temporarily placed in two Muslim households in succession, while her maternal grandmother awaited approval of her request for custody. Tower Hamlets Council argued that it had always intended to place the child with a relative. Tower Hamlets Council Chief Executive Will Tuckley said it had complained about the stories because it wanted to defend its foster carers. “From the start, we had concerns about the validity of the allegations about the foster carers. For example, one allegation was that they did not speak English, even though that is a prerequisite for any foster carer. “The allegation that the foster placement was a bad choice by the council was also found by IPSO to be distorted information.”

High Court orders London coroner to prioritise Jewish, Muslim burials Britain’s High Court has ordered a London coroner to respect the religious beliefs of the deceased’s family when determining the order in which bodies can be buried. Senior coroner Mary Hassell had announced that she would not prioritize Jewish and Muslim burials over others, despite the fact that Jewish and Islamic law requires bodies of the deceased to be buried as soon as possible after death, ideally on the same day. The High Court called Hassell’s “cab-rank rule” policy “unlawful, irrational” and “discriminatory,” according to the London-based Jewish Chronicle. Hassell is the senior coroner at

the St. Pancras Coroner’s Office in central London. Her jurisdiction covers the largest concentration of haredi Orthodox Jews in Europe and the United Kingdom’s biggest Muslim community. The London-based Adath Yisrael Burial Society took Hassell to court alleging “widespread distress” among the two faith communities. “The fundamental flaw in the present policy adopted by the defendant is that it fails to strike any balance at all, let alone a fair balance,” Lord Justice Singh wrote in his majority opinion. “What on its face looks like a general policy which applies to everyone equally may in fact have

an unequal impact on a minority. In other words, to treat everyone in the same way is not necessarily to treat them equally. Uniformity is not the same thing as equality,” the decision said. The Jewish Chronicle reported in December that one woman made 210 phone calls to the St. Pancras Coroner’s Office before being assured that her father would be buried four days after his death. Another family was told it would have to wait two weeks for an autopsy to be performed before a funeral could be held. Following a meeting with Hassell in January, Jewish and Muslim leaders called for her removal.




I May 2018

UK govt ordered to hand over police file on Libya torture www.pi-media.co.uk

The High Court has ordered the Government to hand over a top secret Metropolitan Police file that recommended charges against a senior MI6 officer for his role in the illegal rendition and torture of opponents of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. The victims of the operation included a pregnant woman and a six year old child. The 400 page report was the

result of a more than four-year investigation codenamed ‘Operation Lydd’. Government lawyers have been resisting its disclosure in the ongoing legal claim by Abdul-Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar who were kidnapped, tortured by the CIA , and rendered to Libya with the knowledge and assistance of MI6 in 2004. Fatima was pregnant at the

The Charity Commission has launched its annual safer giving campaign to help British Muslims continue giving generously to registered charities this Ramadan. As Muslims in the UK enter Ramadan, the Charity Commission says there are simple steps people can take to check before they give, to ensure their zakat goes where it is intended this Ramadan. We want to help you to continue giving safely, confident that your donation is going to those who need it most. Check before you give by going to gov.uk/find-charityinformation and make sure that your zakat gets to the people you want to help.

The Commission’s ongoing safer giving campaign encourages people giving at key times of the year, such as Christmas, Ramadan, during emergencies and humanitarian crises, to make sure their donations go to registered charities.

time. The investigating officers recommended Sir Mark Allen of MI6 be charged with misconduct in public office but the Crown Prosecution Service declined to follow that advice. Prosecutors’ decision not to charge Sir Mark is subject to a separate legal challenge by Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar. Along with the report, the Government has also been ordered to hand over evidence given by 75 witnesses, mostly other government officials interviewed by the police Cori Crider, attorney for Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar at Reprieve, said: “Piece by piece the government’s attempt to withhold evidence is crumbling. Ministers have fought for years to deny Abdul-Hakim and Fatima justice by using every legal trick in the book. This thorough police report will be important evidence of MI6’s involvement in illegal torture and rendition. One wonders how long the government will continue to defend the indefensible in this case.”

Check before you give to charities this Ramadan Check before you give - Charity Commission advice: * Before giving, check for a charity registration number - you can verify this at gov.uk/find-charity-information * Be more cautious about people collecting for general charitable causes, such as ‘for sick children’ make sure you’re giving to a genuine registered charit * When approached by

collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed and undamaged * If in doubt, ask the collector for more information - a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work of the charit * Never feel under pressure by a fundraiser into making a donation immediatel * Be careful when responding to emails or clicking links within them - don’t click-through from suspicious looking email * If you want to donate online, type in the charity’s website address from your internet browser.


I May 2018




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Israel, UK engaged in secret arms deals


I May 2018

A recent report has revealed that the United Kingdom has licensed the sale of arms to Israel worth $445 million since the 2014 war in occupied Palestinian territories. The Middle East Eye online news service reported that figures compiled by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) indicating that the arms included components for drones, combat aircraft and helicopters along with spare parts for sniper rifles.



The report has raised fresh concerns that the weapons made by Britain are being used by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank, amid fears that components in sniper rifles used to kill scores of Palestinian civilians last month could have been made in the UK. New Department for International Trade figures show that Arms export licenses to Israel increased to £216 million or $300 million at current exchange rates, last year from £20

million ($28 million) in the wake of the Gaza war. They include a major £183 million ($255 million ) license covering “technology for military radars.” Ministers have also approved the sale for export of grenades, bombs, missiles, armored vehicles, assault rifles, small arms ammunition, sniper rifles and components for sniper rifles, arguing that Israel has a right to defend itself from military assault and “terrorist attacks.” “The appalling scenes we have seen over recent weeks are yet another stark reminder of the repression and abuse that Palestinians are living under every day. The response to protests hasn’t just been heavy handed, it has been a massacre,” Andrew Smith, a spokesman for CAAT said. “By continuing to arm Israeli forces the UK isn’t just making itself complicit in future attacks, it is sending a message of support for the collective punishment that has been inflicted,” Smith added. www.pi-media.co.uk

Asked whether they would prefer to see a more centrist party, 43 percent said they would “definitely” or “potentially” consider backing it versus 35 percent who said they would not or would be “unlikely” to. Considering that the number of eligible voters in last year’s general election fell shy of 47 million people, it is safe to assume that almost 20 million voters would prefer voting for a new group rather than voting Labour or Tory. “This poll reveals the collective exasperation of the public when it comes to Westminster politics at this

time. A whopping six in 10 people who identify themselves as in the center-ground of British politics, say that they are not very, or not at all, represented by the current crop of UK parties,” said Michael Turner, the head of research at BMG. “It is no surprise then that ‘centrists’ are most likely to say they would consider switching to something new, with 45 per cent saying they are likely to do so, should a new party pitch itself somewhere between Labour and the Conservatives,” he added. www.pi-media.co.uk

UK voters feel politically homeless: survey Millions of British voters feel they are “politically homeless” because none of the country’s major parties represent their interests, a new poll has found. The BMG poll, commissioned by The Independent, found that 41 percent of the voters were “not very well” or “not” at all represented by neither the ruling Conservative nor the Labour Party as the main opposition. In contrast, 40 percent thought they were “very” or “fairly” well represented by at least one party and 19 percent said they did not know.

Girl, 8, Shaken in Terror Raid




I May 2018

Continued from front page

Last month Dewsbury was once again in the media spotlight after counter-terror police launched a dramatic terror raid on a Muslim family on ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ (April 3rd, 2018). Members of the family were arrested on suspicion of alleged terror offences but were duly released without charge after the allegations could not be substantiated. The father of the family agreed to give an exclusive interview to PI and, in the process, provide a vivid account of the ordeal he and his family faced in April. The father of the family told PI that he was stopped by police on the motorway around 10pm and few hours later his sons recalls a huge bang coming from the direction of the front door and realised that stun grenades had been used to gain entry to the property. During the operation, the father said that his family recalled that his eight-year old daughter who was sleeping at the

time was handcuffed and pushed down the stairs. Furthermore, the father’s son who was playing ‘Fortnight’ on his games console was mocked by one of the officers who said “You know how it feels like in real life now’’. By this time, the entire family were completely bewildered as to why they were experiencing this terrifying ordeal. The father and son were questioned by police after being arrested only to find that they duly realised as the allegations could not be proven after intense questioning. PI was told by the father that an unidentified individual had made a phone call to counter-terror police making a series of allegations against the family in question. This then led to the police mounting a surveillance operation that lasted approximately two weeks. Counter-terror police mounted a defence of the tactics used during the operation saying they had to

act as the situation was at a ‘critical stage’. After the family was released without charge, Kirklees District Commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, said: “I’d like to thank local residents for their support and patience over the last few days, which have understandably caused some concern within our communities. Public safety remains our utmost priority and I want to offer my reassurance that we will continue to serve and protect the public of Kirklees. “As always, we would encourage people to come forward if they have concerns about suspicious activity. We work very closely with our colleagues at Counter Terrorism Policing North East and are committed to ensuring that any information we receive continues to be acted upon quickly and efficiently.” (North East Counter-Terror Police). The family said that their pet cat which always slept near the front


I May 2018

entrance of the house has not been seen and the family now fear that it had been killed on the night of the raid. PI asked the father how do you and your family feel now after being subjected to such a terrifying ordeal? The father replied that ‘’Muslims living in the UK cannot trust the police and that if it can happen to me then it can happen to anyone’’. The family in the last few weeks have been given a lot of support by all sections of the community and have said that the police were wrong to engage with them in this manner and that no family should be treated in this inhumane and rather discerning manner. PI was told by the father of the family that they will never forget the events that took place on ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ and that ‘he, his family and the whole Muslim community were punished on that day’’. This case raises issues of concern about the tactics of counterterror police in the run up to the operation that led to an innocent family lives being turned upside


down forever. Firstly, counterterrorism police have a duty to explain to the public that why they launched an operation that was right out of an action movie based on flimsy evidence? We should stress that government and law enforcement agencies since 9/11 and 7/7 have created an Orwellian state where everyone is encouraged to spy and snoop on each other and even make false allegations in the name of fighting terror. False information being passed onto the police has inevitably ruined the lives of the family, left them severely traumatised and will have to pick up the pieces without any support in the coming months and years. It is said that the police decided to mount this movie style operation after conducting a surveillance operation for only two weeks. A surveillance operation lasting 14 days cannot provide a definitive picture of whether a family or an individual is involved in so called terrorist activity.


The brevity of the operation goes to prove that when Muslims come under suspicion then it is case of ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ and innocent until proven guilty’. If the suspects had been white and had links to the far-right, then it is safe to say that this type of operation would not have been launched after two weeks of surveillance. In conclusion, we can say that no Muslim is safe in the UK and that they are open to being accused of criminal offences based on false and unsubstantiated claims. The PREVENT strategy has unfortunately brainwashed people into thinking that brown skinned Muslims with beards and hijabs who go about their daily lives are suspects who should be treated with extreme suspicion. The authorities have done an amazing job in pitting people against one another and fuelling suspicion in the last 17 years. It should be said that the events that have destroyed the lives of one family will not be the exception but will become the norm in the coming months and years in the UK.




I May 2018

The first ever charity, diabetes hospital opens in Islamabad

2,599 cases of Islamophobia occur in the US every year

The first ever specialized diabetes hospital in Pakistan has been inaugurated in Islamabad. The Diabetes Center (TDC) which has 50 medical and administrative staff, and can cater to 700 patients daily — was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Its cost was mainly covered by zakat and donations from Pakistani expats in the Gulf. Covering 72,000 square feet, the TDC has 16 clinics and is the first paperless hospital in the country. Its story began five years ago in Abu Dhabi, where diabetologist Dr. Asjad Hameed provided free medical advice and support to blue-collar workers, who were often unaware of the disease. “Every evening, taxi drivers and other workers used to come and see me to discuss their health issues. I realized most of them were suffering from diabetes, and they had no idea. Hence this was kind of a wakeup call for me,” said Hameed, TDC founder and director. “I realized that not just in my country but across South Asia, we need a specialized diabetes hospital that can provide world-class treatment, including to those who can’t afford it,” he added. “Today, with the support of my friends in the UAE, we’re

hours away from inaugurating the hospital.” More than 10 friends formed a team to realize the project. “We expatriates always wanted to do something for our country, and often, despite our will, we never got the opportunity. When Dr. Hameed told me about the TDC, I didn’t give it a second thought and said, ‘your wish is my command’,” said Ehtesham Uddin, an engineer working in Abu Dhabi. For the next five years, “every Friday morning we’d have a breakfast meeting at Dr. Hameed’s house,” said Uddin, a TDC board member. “Every alternate weekend, two of us would visit the site in Pakistan and supervise construction.” Hameed said: “Initially, me and my friends put all our savings into the project, but considering the size and ambition, we needed support. He added: “We feel so proud that the Pakistani community, especially in the Gulf, came forward and supported us in a way we never imagined. We’re extremely thankful to them.” He and his team have been running a mobile clinic at the hospital site for more than two years, serving hundreds of poor patients daily. A quarter of Pakistan’s adult population is diabetic.

A recent report issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) mentions the rise of anti-Islam events by 17 percent globally last year. Within a year, at least 2,599 suspected incidents of Islamophobic cases have occurred in almost all states in the United States, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier which reached 2,213 events, the KCBD media reported. Meanwhile, a clear case of assault on anti-Islam action in the land of Uncle Sam increased 15 percent during the early days of Donald Trump’s administration. From 2016 that reached 260 cases, last year the incidence of Islamophobia increased to 300 incidents. CAIR grouped, the most frequent case in California reaching 871, and Texas, which reached 395 cases in second place. The most common form of discrimination is harassment, which covers 14 percent of cases, while anti-Islam crimes reach 12 percent. In addition, discrimination at Customs and the US border also includes 13 percent of the most frequent cases. While one-fifth of cases of discrimination occur in transport terminals such as airports or train stations. Groups at this location were allegedly affected by Trump’s order that forbade Muslim immigration from entering the United States.


I May 2018



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Anti-Islam ‘manifesto’ sparks outrage in France


I May 2018

A letter calling on “Muslim authorities” to reject parts of Islam’s holy book of Qur’an and signed by 300 French public figures – including an ex-president, three former premiers and several MPs – has sparked reaction across France. “Vile, racist, contemptible, Islamophobic, provocative,” were among the huge responses describing the letter, titled “Manifesto against the new anti-Semitism,” following its publication in French daily Le Parisien and release of a book in which 16 French “intellectuals” censure “the new antiSemitism,” UK-based online news outlet Middle East Eye reported. Signatories of the controversial letter, which was also signed by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, equated Islam with “anti-Semitism” and demanded that “Muslim authorities… strike with obsolescence” verses in the Qur’an calling for “the murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and non-believers.” They further warned against “Islamist radicalization” and “a surreptitious ethnic purge” allegedly targeting the Jewish community in the Paris region. Muslim clerics at mosques from across France were quick to respond to the “manifesto,” warning that it could inflame relations between religious communities in the European nation. Head of the Great Mosque of Bordeaux, Tareq Obrou, expressed outrage at the divisive letter, pointing


out that “attributing anti-Semitism to Islam almost constitutes blasphemy, as two-thirds of the Qur’an’s prophets are Jewish”. “This makes no sense,” he added, further insisting: “The Qur’an does not call for murder, it calls for fighting back against hostile people. This is the same misinterpretation made by a number of ignorant Muslims, delinquents who pick and choose texts depriving them of their historical context.” Oubrou is also a signatory of a response column, which was written by nearly 30 French imam published in another major French daily Le Monde, which condemns terrorism and anti-Semitism, and further discards the conflations made by the now scandalous “new anti-Semitism” manifesto. “We call on our other fellow citizens, particularly intellectuals and politicians, to be more discerning. Because these criminal practices claimed to be in the name of Islam could in effect confirm clichés already burned into people’s minds,” read the Le Monde column. It further added, “Some have already seen (in this manifesto) a long awaited opportunity to incriminate an entire religion. They no longer hesitate to publicly propagate, including in the media, that the Qur’an itself calls for murder. This pernicious idea is incredibly violent.” Chief cleric at the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, also reacted to the manifesto by

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underlining, “The unjust and delirious accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against French citizens of Muslim faith and against Islam in this column presents the risk of pitting religious communities against one another.” This is while French author and Journalist Dominique Vida -- who recently published a book titled AntiZionism = Anti-Semitism? Response to Emmanuel Macron -- also reacted to the manifesto, writing that “to hold radical Islam as the sole cause of anti-Jewish violence is to ignore an important part of the phenomenon.” Pointing to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the “the great omission of the manifesto,” he wrote: “This cowardice, while probably necessary to bring together such a disparate group (of signatories), is absurd. Who would dare deny it?”

Christie’s sell islamic text for £596,790

Christie’s sold the palimpsest of a Quran copied on to a Christian text for £596,790 during the ongoing Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction. Lot 1 of the sale was a remarkable manuscript dating to the earliest period of Islam. The leaves from these folios derive from an earlier Coptic manuscript containing passages from the Book of Deuteronomy, which is part of the Torah and the Christian Old Testament. It was probably produced in Egypt, home to the Coptic community, at the time of the Arab conquest, the auction house said. This appears to be the only recorded example of a Quran written and as such was an invaluable piece from the earliest centuries of Islam. Christie’s is honoured to have offered it at auction in London, the auction house said.



HRW urges UN to adopt resolution on Myanmar

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the United Nations Security Council to issue a resolution to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the Rohingya crisis, days ahead of a visit by a UN delegation to the Asian country. Kenneth Roth, executive director of the HRW, warned that Myanmar should be referred to the ICC or else no one will be held accountable. “The lack of a UN Security Council resolution has left the Myanmar government convinced that it has literally gotten away with mass murder,” Roth told reporters in Myanmar’s city of Yangon. He also called for targeted sanctions on perpetrators and an arms embargo. Myanmar has come under intense pressure since the military

launched yet another heavy-handed crackdown against the Muslim minority in Rakhine state on August 25, 2017, using a number of armed attacks on military posts as the pretext. About 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the predominantly-Buddhist Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh since August last year, bringing with them horrifying stories of massacres, gang rape and arson by Myanmar’s military forces and Buddhist mobs. The UN delegation will speak to refugees in Bangladesh before they head to Myanmar to visit Rohingyamajority Rakhine. They will also meet Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has come under global scrutiny for backing an ethnic cleansing campaign against the country’s Muslim population.

I May 2018 Myanmar has denied widespread accounts of violence against the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine. It took months for Myanmar to agree to the delegation’s visit after the UN leveled accusations of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine. The visiting delegation is led by Britain, Peru and Kuwait, whose ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi has stressed the trip is not about “naming and shaming” Myanmar, but rather to show the country that the “international community is following the situation and has great interest in resolving it.” The UN Security Council strongly condemned government-sanctioned violence against Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority in a unanimously-backed statement released in November last year. The UNSC, however, failed to adopt an enforceable resolution due to opposition by Myanmar’s ally China. But Roth said this should not be assumed. “If China wants to veto it should pay the price of turning its back on the crimes against humanity committed against Rohingya.” Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement late last year to repatriate the Rohingya Muslim refugees who have crossed the border since August 2017. The repatriation was delayed due to a lack of preparation as well as protests staged by Rohingya refugees against the plan to send them back to Myanmar while conditions were not safe for their return. The Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations but are denied citizenship and are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise denies them citizenship. www.pi-media.co.uk

New York City, Muslim groups reach settlement in police spying case Muslim leaders and their lawyers said a settlement has been reached about legal claims that the New York City Police Department illegally spied on Muslims empowers them to prevent future abuse. The deal was announced by the city and the Islamic community. Center for Constitutional Rights

legal director Baher Azmy told a news conference that the agreement ensures the NYPD will act legally as an increasingly empowered Muslim community asserts its rights. The agreement resolved a 2012 suit in Newark, New Jersey, after The Associated Press revealed how the NYPD infiltrated Muslim

student groups and put informants in mosques to try to prevent terrorist attacks. The AP reported that the effort crossed into New Jersey, where the department collected intelligence on ordinary people at mosques, restaurants and schools starting in 2002.

Japanese railway launches prayer rooms at station


I May 2018

A railway company has set up Muslim prayer rooms in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. The rooms opened on April 1 at Tobu Railway Co.’s Tobu Nikko Station in hopes of attracting more Muslim travelers from Southeast Asian countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. “To lure Muslim tourists, it’s vital to prepare prayer rooms and foods that accommodate their needs,” an official of Tokyo-based Food


Diversity Co. said. The company, which is headed by Akihiro Shugo and provides information about Islam, teamed up with Tobu Railway in Nikko to open the first railway station prayer rooms in Tochigi Prefecture. The two prayer rooms, one for men and one for women, are each 2 meters by 4 meters and are located on the second floor of Tobu Nikko Station. The area was previously used as office space for a Tobu Railway

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group company. The prayer rooms are equipped with warm water features that allow Muslims to perform the “wudu” (ablution) washing ritual before they pray. The rooms are open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A newly established concierge at the ticket window on the first floor of the station manages the prayer rooms. Tobu Railway also caters to Muslim guests at its group accommodation facilities in the tourist hotspot: Nikko Kanaya Hotel and Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel. The hotels offer breakfast and dinner menus that do not contain pork or alcohol, data-xitems forbidden in Muslim diets. Reservations for the Muslim dishes must be made at least five days in advance. The company has also issued tourist maps and upgraded its website to help travelers easily find Muslim-friendly places. The list includes 15 restaurants and accommodation facilities that provide menus for Muslims as well as venues that house prayer rooms. www.pi-media.co.uk

US approves $5B in weapons sales to 3 EU countries The State Department has approved $4.7 billion of potential weapons sales to Slovakia, Spain and the U.K., according to a Pentagon agency. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement that Slovakia was approved to purchase $2.9 billion in F-16 fighter jets and weapons. “The proposed sale will support Slovakia’s needs for its own selfdefense and support NATO defense goals,” the statement said, adding that the sale would help foreign

policy and national security of the U.S. and ensure peace and stability in Europe. Spain was given to go ahead for $1.3 billion for CH-47F cargo aircraft and other equipment the agency said would improve that country’s ability to maintain political stability and economic progress in Europe. “The proposed sale of the CH47F aircraft will improve Spain’s heavy lift capability,” it said. “Spain will use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.”

The agency said $500 million in military sales would help the U.K. provide continued support to the MQ-9 Reaper, better known as the Predator drone program. The sale includes contractor logistics support, technical support, maintenance, modifications and upgrades. The purchases do not alter the basic military balance in the region, according to the agency. The proposed sales are pending approval by Congress. www.pi-media.co.uk

Wars killed 12.5M Muslims in last 25 years 16





I May 2018

In Case You Missed It

Around 12.5 million Muslims have been killed in wars during the last 25 years, a Turkish scholar said. Speaking at a conference in Istanbul, Refit Turan, head of the Turkish Historical Society, said that throughout history humans have

fought and war is an inevitable fact of life. “Usually war is between two states, but there are wars within the country as well. The results of a war cannot be predicted. Wars are a fact of our lives,” he said at the “World

Wars, Turkey and Syria on Unending Struggles for Power” conference. “According to a recent research, the number of Muslims who died in the fights and wars in the world in the last 25 years have reached 12.5 million. This almost accounts to the losses in a World War.” Turan also said that the U.S., Russia, and Iran do not want peace in Syria, and the result is evident. “Turkey addresses 80 percent [of problems] in Syria. No one has this sort of potential. After the terrorists are cleared from Manbij, the ray [of hope] will light up all of Syria.” Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on prodemocracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN. www.pi-media.co.uk

German bill seeks Saudi, UAE arms sales ban

Germany’s democratic socialist political party Die Linke has proposed a draft bill aimed at banning weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their role in the three-yearold Yemen war, which has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians in the impoverished Arab country. The bill seeks to prevent weapons exports and all other related goods and services to the two countries over their human rights abuses in Yemen. The proposed law, if approved, would not only stop future transactions from being made but would also retroactively recall deals already made. There are reports that Germanmade patrol boats bought by Saudi Arabia were used to blockade

Yemeni ports from receiving aid and basic commodities , which consequently exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation in the conflictplagued country. The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015. The UAE is Saudi Arabia’s key partner in its deadly military campaign against Yemen. The United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. A high-ranking UN aid official recently warned against the “catastrophic” living conditions in Yemen, stating that there was a growing risk of famine and cholera

there. Norway suspends arms exports to the United Arab Emirates over concerns that the weapons could be used in the deadly war against Yemen. “After three years of conflict, conditions in Yemen are catastrophic,” John Ging, UN director of aid operations, told the UN Security Council on February 27. He added, “People’s lives have continued unraveling. Conflict has escalated since November driving an estimated 100,000 people from their homes.” Ging said cholera had infected 1.1 million people in Yemen since last April, and a new outbreak of diphtheria had occurred in the warravaged Arab country since 1982. www.pi-media.co.uk


I May 2018


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200,000 roses, brochures describing Islam handed out to European citizens

The Islamic Community Milli Gorus (ICMG), a religio-political movement distributed more than 200,000 roses and brochures describing Islam and Muslims to citizens at 200 places across Europe. This was the fourth annual ‘Hello, I am a Muslim’ event organized by

the ICMG. The event was held simultaneously in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Norway as well as Australia and Canada. In Germany, the event was held

at 120 places in 15 regions, the group said. In Austria, the activities were organized at 25 places across nine states. In the Netherlands, 27,000 roses and brochures were distributed by 250 volunteers in 17 cities. “We aimed to break down the prejudices against Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands by giving roses to people,” a volunteer Idris Erdogan said. Petra Warmerdar, a Dutch said: “There are some things that are misunderstood. People do not usually know each other. I think it’s important to bring people close to each other.” Tunahan Kuzu, the leader of Netherland’s Denk, a party founded by ethnic Turkish lawmakers, said: “I have attended this event for four years. As Muslims in Europe, we should do everything we can to eliminate the bad image created especially in the western World.”

French MPs move to pass contentious refugee bill The lower house of France’s parliament has approved a controversial immigration bill, which critics say will worsen the conditions for miserable refugees by tightening the country’s asylum rules. Lawmakers at the National Assembly approved the bill with 228 votes in favor, 139 against and 24 abstentions following 61 hours of debate and more than 1,000 amendments proposed by lawmakers. The bill, which also created rifts

in President Emmanuel Macron’s young centrist party Republic On The Move (LREM), shortens asylum application deadlines, doubles the time for which illegal refugees can be detained, and introduces a one-year prison sentence for entering France illegally. One deputy from the LREM party, Jean-Michel Clement, voted against the legislation, while 14 other members abstained. “I am not sure we’re sending to world citizens the universal

message that has always been ours,” Clement said after the vote, adding that he was going to quit the president’s party. Meanwhile, opposition groups and human rights activists say the new measures are too tough on the refugees, who mainly arrive in the European country from conflict zones. Human Rights Watch also warned that shortening the asylum processing time could have a detrimental impact. www.pi-media.co.uk

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European nations complicit in US drone killings



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

In Case You Missed It

Amnesty International has warned that the European countries assisting the United States with its lethal drone program could be held accountable for the unlawful and indiscriminate massacre it perpetrated. The London-based rights organization issued the warning in a report, addressing long-held concerns over the use of UAVs by the US to kill people throughout the world. The report said the killer drone program had led to numerous civilian deaths, some of which may amount to war crimes or extrajudicial executions, as the controversial move lacked a clear legal justification and was shrouded in secrecy. The European countries that contribute essential assistance to the program should evaluate whether

their help makes them complicit in such killings and work to make the program more transparent to public scrutiny, according to Amnesty. The assistance, as the report indicated, includes providing data for authorities in Washington to choose targets, and hosting essential infrastructure required for conducting drone attacks. “The USA relies heavily on assistance from many States, including European States. The United Kingdom (UK), Germany, the Netherlands and Italy have played a significant role in supporting the US’s lethal operations, including its drone program,” Amnesty International said. The rights group warned that the four nations could be made responsible under international law

Turkey’s culture and tourism minister suggested that China’s Muslim can study Islam at universities in his country. “We can send Chinese copies of Quran and books of hadith [record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad]. Chinese Muslims who want to study Islam can enroll in graduate and postgraduate programs at faculties of theology in Turkey,” Numan Kurtulmus said in

Shanghai during a meeting with the city’s mufti, Musa Cin. “We are the members of a family of more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. We should speak to each other more, we should have more grasp of our respective cultures and heritage,” Kurtulmus told Cin at Xiaotaoyuan Mosque. The Shanghai mufti, for his part, underlined close relations between the two countries.

for whatever violations the US has committed with their help. “Given the well-known and serious concerns regarding the US lethal drone program’s compliance with international law, providing material or intelligence support to US strikes could mean that the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy are responsible for assisting in potentially unlawful US drone operations and may have violated their own obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” the report said. The United States carries out drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Washington claims the strikes target militants. Facts on the ground, however, indicate that civilians are the main victims of such attacks. The number of civilian deaths has increased 215-percent from 2016 to 2017. The increase in numbers has occurred while it is often difficult to confirm the circumstances or death tolls in war-torn areas. US armed forces and intelligence services have been accused of hiding details and manipulating numbers to make drone strikes appear more accurate. There has been a sharp rise in the number of US drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia since Donald Trump took office, according to a report published in December by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Chinese Muslims urged to study in Turkey There are eight mosques and around 200,000 Muslims in the city, he said. Muslims comprise 10 of around 56 ethnic minorities in China. Hui (Chinese Muslims), Uyghurs, Kyrgyzs, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Tatars, Uzbeks, Salars, Bao’ans, and Dongshiangs mostly live in northern and northwestern China.


I May 2018


Swedish activist continues walking for Palestine


A 25-year-old Swedish activist who commenced a long walk from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness about human rights violations in the occupied territory, has reached Turkey’s northwestern Duzce province. Benjamin Ladraa crossed Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria to reach Istanbul. Ladraa was in Duzce, he will


continue to walk through Syria and Lebanon to reach Palestine. “If I can’t get into the Palestine, I will try to inform the media about it,” he said. Ladraa pointed out that he was so moved by a three-week trip to Palestine last year in April that he decided to “tell the world about the situation in Palestine.” “I was shocked by what I saw


there […] soldiers walking along the streets carrying M-16 machine guns. After three weeks I returned and wanted to do something to raise awareness about human rights violations in Palestine,” said Ladraa, who was born to Jewish parents. “Palestine issue is not a religious. The main problem is human rights. Not just Gazans but all Palestinians are under pressure and they all suffer. That’s why I’m trying to catch the world’s attention towards the pain of the people,” he added, according to Anadolu Agency. Now almost eight months in to a journey, his aim has been to draw attention to the occupation of Palestine and inspire more people to campaign for change. He posts pictures of his journey on his Facebook and Instagram accounts with a hashtag #WalkToPalestine. Ladraa will arrive in Turkey’s capital Ankara in a week. He is expected to complete his journey by June or July. www.pi-media.co.uk

Newspaper journalist gets jail for terror charges In Case You Missed It

An Istanbul court on sentenced 14 journalists from Cumhuriyet daily to various prison terms over terrorismrelated charges. Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, CEO Akin Atalay, and Orhan Erinc, plus journalists Ahmet Sik, Aydin Engin, and Hikmet Cetinkaya, got prison terms of six to eight years on charges of acting on behalf of a terrorist group without being members. Atalay, however, was released in light of his time already served. Eight journalists -- Bulent Utku, Kadri Gursel, Guray Tekin Oz, Haci Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Onder Celik, and

Yusuf Emre Iper -- were given up to four years in prison on the same charges. At the first hearing in the case in July 2016, the suspects were indicted for sponsoring the PKK, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and leftist DHKP/C terrorist groups. The court also sentenced Twitter user Ahmet Kemal Aydogdu, who used to handle @JeansBiri, to 10 years in prison. Aydogdu was detained in October 2016 on charges of spreading disinformation through the Internet. Aydogdu, said to be a teacher at a local school, was charged with

armed terrorist group membership. During the course of their investigation, authorities also found a large sum of money at his home. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. Its over three-decade terror campaign against Turkey has taken more than 40,000 lives. FETO is responsible for the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt which martyred 250 people, and left nearly 2,200 injured. The terror group is also accused of a yearslong infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary. www.pi-media.co.uk

US blocks UN statement on probe into Gaza bloodshed 20I WORLD NEWS

For the second consecutive week, the US blocked a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) statement calling for an investigation into Israel’s recent killing of the Gazans and supporting the Palestinians’ right to demonstrate peacefully. Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said that 14 out of the 15 UNSC member states had agreed to the Kuwait-proposed statement, but the US rejected it. Mansour also described the US stance as “very irresponsible,” saying it gives the Israelis “the green light to continue with their onslaught against the civilian population” in Gaza, Press TV reported. The Palestinian UN envoy further stressed that the world body

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

would keep all its options open, including seeking a Security Council presidential statement or resolution, going to the UN General Assembly or the Human Rights Council, and urging UN chief to establish an independent investigation into the Gaza bloodshed. “We will not give up,” he said, adding, “We will continue knocking on doors.” On March 30, Palestinians marched to the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories at the start of a six-week protest, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland. The demonstrations turned violent after Israeli forces used tear gas and

live fire against the protesters. Similar anti-occupation mass rallies hit Gaza, with Palestinians burning tires and throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who responded with firing live ammunition and tear gas. Over 30 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military over the past weeks. The Return rallies culminate on May 15, the day Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out of their homes in 1948 and Israel was created. The statement brought by Kuwait to the UNSC was similar to the one it submitted last week. It was also blocked by Washington. In addition to calling for an independent and transparent probe into the Gaza carnage, the statement reaffirmed the Palestinians’ right to peaceful protests and called on all sides to practice restraint. Kuwait’s UN Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, condemned in the strongest terms Israeli forces’ “killing and injuring of Palestinians protesting for their inalienable right.” “Once again, we echo the call of the secretary general for the need of an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents. We also reaffirm the importance of providing international protection for Palestinians,” he added.

Azerbaijan’s smallest copy of Quran in Ganja Museum

A very small copy of the Quran believed to be the smallest in the Republic of Azerbaijan, is kept in the Ganja Branch of Museum of Miniature Books. According to Azertaj website, the copy weighs only 10 grams and measures 2 by 3 centimeters. Dating back to 1672 AD, it is also

one of the oldest copies of the Holy Book on display at the museum. Despite being very small in size, the copy includes all the Surahs (chapters) and verses of the Quran. The Ganja branch of Baku Museum of Miniature Books was launched in Ganja in March 2016. It has 1068 copies of small books

from 29 countries featuring different subjects. The Baku Museum of Miniature Books is the only museum of miniature books in the world, settled in the old part of Baku, called Inner City. The museum started its operation on April 2, 2002. www.pi-media.co.uk

I May 2018


Brazilian company to expand presence in Muslim countries


Brazilian food company Alibra obtained the halal certification for part of its products and plans to expand its presence in the Arab market from now on. The halal accreditation, which certifies that the production was done under Islamic norms, is a requirement made by many Muslim nations, including importers from Arab countries.

According to information by Alibra’s exporting manager, Debora Lapa, the company obtained the accreditation for 12 of its products from the lines of caseinates, milk powder, whey, powder cream and powder vegetable fat. Alibra produces inputs to the food industry and ready-to-eat food products for the retail, wholesale and fast food sector. With the halal certification, Alibra

plans to carve more space in the countries it already sells to and enter the market of other Arab and Muslim nations. Debora says that, among the Arabs, the company exports to Mauritania and Egypt, selling milk powder and fat milk powder. In the former, they sell to retail and industry and, in the latter, they sell only to the industrial sector. “There are many opportunities in Saudi Arabia,” says Debora, mentioning the difficulties faced by a certification-less company in the country, according to Salaam Gateway. She says that the halal stamp will also be used to sell to domestic clients that export to Islamic countries. With its certification, Alibra plans to invest more in exports to Arab and Islamic markets. According to Debora Lapa, the company plans to promote the achievement of the certification in business expos in the Middle East, such as a trade expo in Iran that the company will soon attend and another in the UAE early next year.

Brunei Sultan urges introducing congregational prayers at schools Congregational prayers should be performed at schools under the Ministry of Education, Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah said. “In Arabic and religious schools, congregational prayer is held, either at the surau (an Islamic assembly building) or the nearby mosque. This is very good to be continued, not only for students but also for parents and guardians who would like to join the prayer,” he said at an event to commemorate the National Level Israk Mikraj Celebration for 1439 Hijrah/2018 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

“Apart from Arabic and religious schools, it is beneficial to extend congregational prayer to schools under the Ministry of Education. For this they can use the surau or any suitable space,” the monarch said. “Lessons on congregational prayers have been taught in religious schools in the country. This is considered necessary, not just to make the students understand what a prayer in congregation is but also to make them passionate and Istiqamah to do it,” he said, according to the Borneo Bulletin. “In Brunei Darussalam, for the

convenience of Muslims to perform prayers, many mosques have been built. We have also set up the Mosque Construction Fund to give opportunity to the public to jointly contribute towards the development and maintenance of mosques and reinforce the relationship between congregants and mosques. Construction and maintenance of mosques are very important, so that they will always be magnificent, safe and comfortable for the worshippers,” the monarch went on to say. www.pi-media.co.uk

Some Call it Biased News - We Call it Real News



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

Amla receives prestigious South African national award

Hashim Amla has become the first cricketer in 10 years to receive South Africa’s Order of Ikhamanga, a national award given out to recognise achievements of those in the fields of arts culture literature music journalism and sport. Amla was named as a silver award recipient by the Chancellor of National Orders, Dr Cassius

Lubisi, who explained Amla is being honoured, “for his contribution to the sport of cricket. He has brought pride to our country with his many batting firsts in the international cricket arena and remains one of the leading batsmen of our time.” Amla is the only South African to have scored a triple-century in Test cricket, is their second-highest

century-maker in Test cricket with 28 hundreds and the country’s leading ODI century-maker with 26 to his name. He is currently ranked 11th on the ICC Test rankings and 12th in ODIs and has captained South Africa in all formats. Prior to Amla receiving the award, Shaun Pollock, South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker, and Makhaya Ntini, the first black African to play Test cricket for South Africa, were named as Order of Ikhamanga recipients in 2008. The trio are the only cricketers to be named for the order during their playing days. Basil D’Oliveira received the award in 2003, when it was first established. Also that year, Eric Majola and Goolam Abed, who were selected for both cricket and rugby for black South African teams during the Apartheid era, were recognised. In 2004, Hassan Howa, after whom the Howa bowl, a cricket tournament for non-white players which ran from the early 1970s until unity in 1991 was named, was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga. www.pi-media.co.uk

Saudi Arabia hosts first marathon for women

Saudi Arabia hosted its first marathon for women local media said, as the conservative kingdom seeks to boost female sports in a far-reaching modernisation drive. Hundreds of women runners, many of them dressed in traditional Islamic attire, raced in eastern AlAhsa region. “The aim of the marathon is to promote running and introduce the concept of sports for all, for a healthier way of life,” Saudiowned Al-Arabiya News quoted the marathon’s supervisor, Malek al-Mousa, as saying.

The event came after Riyadh hosted its first international halfmarathon in late February, which prompted complaints from some Saudis on social media about the notable absence of women. Sports authorities are set to organise another marathon for women in the holy city of Mecca on April 6, pro-government Okaz newspaper reported. Long known for its ultraconservative mores, the kingdom has embarked on a wide-ranging programme of social reforms that includes allowing women to drive

from June. The kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority last month said it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector over the coming decade. But some Saudis have complained on social media of what they called wasteful spending as the kingdom reels from slumping oil revenues, high inflation and unemployment. www.pi-media.co.uk


I May 2018

Salah, third Muslim footballer to win PFA player of the year www.pi-media.co.uk

UAE confirmed as Asia Cup hosts

Mo Salah, the Egyptian King, has claimed the PFA Player of the Year Award ahead of Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. The forward from Nagrig came to England a year ago and conquered it in just a few months. Salah’s talent remained unquestioned during his days in Itlay that made Liverpool splash the cash and bring the Egyptian home. Individually, Salah was miles ahead of almost any forward in the league. Many thought that Kevin De Bruyne would take the award home as he was the architect

of Manchester City’s successful premier league campaign. However, Salah’s individual master class was too much to ignore as he became the first-ever Egyptian to clinch the award. The humbled Egyptian spoke at the ceremony saying: “It’s a big honour. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it”. Salah also became the third Muslim player to claim the award in three years after last year’s winner N’golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez – a year before that. www.pi-media.co.uk

Saudi Al-Wehda FC have FIFA suspension lifted Saudi Arabia’s Football Federation chief Adel bin Mohammed Ezzat has thanked the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Sports Authority Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al-Sheikh for his support for Al-Wehda Football Club and his contribution to lifting a ban imposed by FIFA. The ban on the club from football’s governing body was imposed because the management did not pay a sum of money that

was due to Uruguayan footballer Adolfo Lima during the 2016-2017 season. Ezzat stressed that this support from Al-Sheikh is an extension of the support from the Saudi football federation to all clubs. Al-Wehda have won promotion back to the Saudi Pro League after finishing as champions of this season’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman league, Saudi Arabia’s second tier of professional football.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will take part. Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, has expressed his pride after the UAE was confirmed as the host venue for the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) 2018 Asia Cup One Day International tournament. International teams including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will take part in the tournament to be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from September 13 to 28, 2018. Shaikh Nahyan said: “Emirates Cricket is very proud for the UAE to be chosen as the host venue of the ACC Asia Cup. Our board has very close relationships with our Asian Cricket counterparts and, with the full support of our national sports councils and the Emirates Cricket Board members.” “This is a very important tournament in the ACC calendar, and one we are extremely pleased to secure, especially during the auspicious ‘Year of Zayed’. We extend our sincere thanks to the ACC, Asia Cup hosts BCCI, and all Member Unions for their trust and unanimous support.”


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

Syria chemical attack: US tensions and Russia warns of ‘grave repercussions

The world reacted with horror at reports of a chemical attack in the town of Douma, Syria on the 7th of April 2018. Fingers were immediately pointed towards the regime of Bashar Al-Assad as he was known to have used these weapons previously. The OPCW and the United Nations have frequently accused the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons on non-combatants. Human Rights Watch has documented 85 chemical weapons attacks in Syria since 2013. Douma was controlled by Jaysh al-Islam rebel coalition, AlRahman Legion and Tahrir al-Sham rebel groups until recently. Syrian opposition groups have bombarded social media with images claiming to show the aftermath of the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Douma, Syria. Assad is said to have “ killed’’ more than 1,700 people in the battle for Eastern Ghouta, of which Douma is the largest city.

Russian military police entered Douma to act as “guarantors of law and order in the town,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Russian news agencies. Russian troops had arrived under the terms of a surrender deal reached with the rebels after the suspected chemical attack. Who controls Syria: Assad or Putin? On the 13th March 2018, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, claimed that the Russian military had intelligence indicated that the rebels holding Eastern Ghouta were planning to stage a chemical weapons attack against civilians and wanted to blame it on the Syrians. This plan also would encourage the Americans to enter the fray again Assad’s regime. The White House and US State

department announced that the US had “a high level of confidence” about the regime’s culpability for the use of poisonous gas in Douma, The US said it had proof that the Syrian regime carried out a chemical weapon attack on the outskirts of Damascus. He said Russia would respond militarily to the U.S. attack on Syria “against both the rockets, and the platforms from which they’re fired” even if the lives of Russian servicemen were threatened. Moscow had previously said there was no traces of any chemical attack in Douma. Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were due to visit the scene .On 11 April, President Trump threatened Russia by stating that to “get ready” for “nice and new and ‘smart’ missiles,” adding that “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Vasily


I May 2018

Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, said that the United States would “bear responsibility” for any “illegal military adventure” conducted on Syrian territory. US-led operation against Syria The US-led operation against Syria, which included the contribution of four RAF Tornados, was a relatively limited a short, sharp campaign against targets that included chemical weapons production facilities and factories that were involved in the manufacturing of precursors for chemical weapons. President Donald Trump said the US was prepared to sustain economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, until he ends what he called the criminal pattern of killing his own people with chemical weapons. In response to the US air campaign, the Russian President Vladimir Putin in a statement called the US-led airstrikes against Syria an “act of aggression” and that


Russia would convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the “aggressive actions of the United States and its allies.” Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,said “I clearly declare that the US president, the French president and the UK prime minister are criminals and have committed a crime,” he said on Saturday, state agencies reported. British PM Theresa May, said that she authorized targeted strikes to “degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use”. Taking a swipe at Russia, she said: “We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons – within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world. We would have preferred an alternative path but we dont have chance, also “the aggression is a flagrant violation of international law and a disregard of Syria’s right to national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Iranian media reported. Recent events have raised the specter of World War III on the



horizon pitting Russia and the US and we should ask ourselves a few fundamental questions such as Is U.S. policy toward Syria prioritizing counterterrorism or is she seeking to influence the Middle East from a military and political point of view. How will Russia maintain its influence in Syria? How is Iran responding to an anticipated harder-line adopted by the U.S.UK and France? By Miral AlAshry Assistant professor at school of Mass Communication department of journalism Canadian international college ( CIC) Egypt, Media Advisor at International Federation of African Women & Media Advisor at World Federation of United Nations in Cairo - Egypt . Views expressed in this article or any articles in PI magazine do not represent the view or opinion of PI

The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context




I May 2018

Part 24

The assassination of the third caliph Uthman Ibn Affan under tragic circumstances set in stone major upheaval in the Islamic empire to such an extent that it shaped the destinies of the Arabs and Muslims for the next 350 years. Before we look at the repercussions of the assassination of Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan, one needs to look at the issues that arose from this tragic and brutal murder. Naila bin al-Furfaisa, the wife of Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan managed to survive the attack launched by the rebels and according to some historical accounts lost several fingers whilst trying to save the Caliph. The widow of Uthman retired from public life after the tragic events that had destroyed the lives of

many. Mua’wiyah who later became the first caliph of the Ummayad empire offered to marry Naila on two occasions, but she refused outright. In Arabian society, it is said that it was customary practice to marry widows and it is for this reason Muawaiyah offered to marry Naila who had become a widow in the process. The question on the lips of many after the death of Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan was establishing the identities of the murderer or murderers. During the siege that was an intense and fiery affair it was difficult to establish and pinpoint the main agitators that had entered the house and went onto murder the caliph in the process. Aishah, the wife of the prophet along with Talha and Zubayr were overwhelmingly distraught at

hearing about the death of Uthman Ibn Affan and demanded that the murders be apprehended and be brought to justice. Muwaiyah, the cousin of Uthman Ibn Affan also sought justice for his kinsman and demanded that justice prevail. Momentum began to build amid growing clamour to bring to justice those who had committed a heinous act. The tragic murder of Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan and his murderers being at large created a major political headache for the incoming caliph who was under pressure to deliver justice to pacifiy the Ummayads who were naturally baying for blood in response to the brutal murder of their kinsman. www.pi-media.co.uk


I May 2018

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