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I COMMENT

thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I October 2016

By Ibrahim Al Mustafa PI Guest Editor

PREVENT: The existential threat to the UK Muslim community

The case of the 5 year old Muslim schoolgirl being questioned by PREVENT officials in a West Yorkshire mill town has left the UK Muslim community in utter shock and disbelief. Since 2005, the PREVENT strategy has evolved from a well intentioned strategy attempting to deal with the threat of terrorism into a mass surveillance programme that threatens the very fabric and existence of the Muslim community. The clouds of despondency currently hang over the Muslim community in the wake of these revelations and many Muslims are asking the question if an innocent 5 year old Muslim schoolgirl can be targeted in this fashion then hunting season is well and truly open on the rest of the Muslim community. The modus operandi used to interrogate an innocent Muslim schoolgirl paints a troubling picture that faces each and every person in the Muslim community at this very juncture. Many Muslims practice their faith in diverse ways but to ask a child whether her parents pray or not smacks of the deeply unfair intrusive methods used by the practitioners and agent provocateurs of the much discredited PREVENT policy. It

appears that the powers behind PREVENT are trying to claim that if a Muslim that offers five daily prayers is a terrorist or an extremist by default for that matter. This assertion is very much erroneous as most Muslims will tell you that their fellow brethren from Birmingham, Leeds or Manchester have not become terrorists on the basis of performing one of the fundamental tenets of Islam. If state institutions such as the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Home Office subscribe to this worldview then they would be advised to undertake research and disseminate findings indicating a link between Muslim religious observance and radicalisation, extremism and terrorism. The victim of this overzealous questioning is then asked not to believe in Almighty and disobey her parents. Again, we need to ask the question what anecdotal evidence is there to indicate that atheism will somehow stop a person from becoming a terrorist. History tells us that people like Hitler and Anders Brevik carried out heinous crimes yet do we find Christians and atheists being subjected to state intrusion into their personal lives. The answer is a

resounding no so why is it acceptable for the state to subject Muslims to this discriminatory framework? Are the PREVENT policymakers and agent provocateurs attempting to claim that people of faith are more likely to become terrorists and extremists than those who have no religious affiliation? On the question of obedience towards one’s parents it should be said that the PREVENT practitioners are indeed encouraging rebellion and disobedience amongst younger members of the Muslim community. Superficially, it seems on this account that the agent provocateurs have been influenced by the philosophy and ethos of the anarchist lobby. One was under the impression that the much vaunted British values project supposedly promoted respect, equality, freedom and justice. It should be said that Muslims have been accused of not conforming to British values for the last 15 years by the much maligned neo-conservative lobby who view Islam and Muslims as the proverbial problem as to speak. If PREVENT practitioners and policymakers want Muslims to be part of wider British society adhering to so called British values then why promote disobedience when questioning a five year Muslim girl in a school? This incident is the latest example in a catalogue of cases that has stigmatised the Muslim community since 2005. PREVENT in our view has become a national scandal in that it now polices thought and has indeed in effect criminalised Islam and Muslims. We recommend that policy makers at the heart of the Whitehall machinery should scrap this policy immediately and give an undertaking that individuals belonging to the Muslim community in the UK will not be subjected to a systematic witchunt ever again.

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


Aleppo: “Worse than a slaughterhouse”

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I October 2016

NEWS

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Ban Ki Moon -UN

Syrian government forces and their allies began a major ground offensive to retake the opposition-held east of Aleppo, the biggest ground assault yet in a massive new campaign that has destroyed a US-backed ceasefire. More than 275,000 civilians are

believed to be trapped inside the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo, where intensive bombing over the past weerks has killed thousands of people, many trapped under buildings brought down by bunkerbusting bombs. Only about 30 doctors are left

in rebel-held Aleppo, coping with hundreds of wounded each day who are being treated on the floors of hospitals that are bereft of supplies. The World Health Organization called for the “immediate establishment of humanitarian routes to evacuate sick and wounded” from the besieged eastern part of the city. UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon says those using “ever-more destructive weapons in Syria” are committing war crimes. He described the situation in Aleppo as “worse than a slaughterhouse.” “Imagine the destruction – people with limbs blown off, children in terrible pain with no relief, infected, suffering, dying, with nowhere to go, and no end in sight.” “Imagine a slaughterhouse. This is worse. Even a slaughterhouse is more humane,” Ban told a UN Security Council meeting.


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I UK NEWS

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I October 2016

UK Muslims no longer trust police due to discrimination: Burnham The UK government’s so-called “Prevent” policy has alienated Muslims across Britain to a point that they no longer trust the British law enforcement, says prominent Labour MP Andy Burnham. Speaking at a conference organized by a non-profit organisation Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), Burnham called for a “root and branch review” of the government’s constant monitoring of Muslim communities so that the real extent of Islamophobic crimes in the country could be measured. “If people have a feeling that the bodies that they would go to are also simultaneously being asked to monitor them there’s a possible conflict of interest there isn’t there?” the shadow home secretary said. “Then people won’t feel able to come forward and say exactly what’s happening to them and their family if

they also feel they’re being monitored in some way,” he noted before proposing a third-party agency that would allow Muslims to bypass police when reporting a crime. Last year, the UK Parliament passed the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, which introduced the so-called Prevent program as a strategy to keep people from becoming “radicalized.” The over-exaggerated image of radicalism that was painted in the bill resulted in a wave of maltreatment against Muslims and prevented Muslim students from voicing their opinions in lectures and seminars for fear of being accused of extremism. According to a study by MEND, a company that aims to enhance the engagement of British Muslims in national life, 61 percent of the Muslim participants said they had not reported workplace discrimination to anyone.

Burnham, who is Labour’s mayoral candidate for Greater Manchester, drew a comparison between the Prevent and France’s ban on the so-called burkini swimsuits, warning against falling “into the trap into which the French have fallen.” Rights groups say the ban violates basic freedoms of dress, religious expression and movement and foments religious tensions in France. “Our equivalent here, you might say, is Prevent: an approach to policy that singles out one community for different treatment. That is highly problematic, I would say,” Burnham noted. “In the midst of all these figures we’ve seen, we know that it is Islamophobia that is absolutely the most virulent strand of this hate that is coming forward,” he continued. www.pi-media.co.uk

Have you or your family been affected by PREVENT ? If you have, then get intouch with PI by emailing us at info@pi-media.co.uk or calling: 07506 466 385


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I October 2016

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British Muslim charity takes Israel to court www.pi-media.co.uk

I October 2016

A UK-based Muslim charity is taking legal action against the Israeli government after it was barred from operating in the West Bank, the Jewish News has reported. Islamic Relief Worldwide – which works on health and education programmes in 40 countries and responds to disasters worldwide – was placed on a banned list by former defence minister Moshe Yaalon two years ago amid claims of funds being funnelled to Hamas. Islamic Relief strongly denied the claims and a subsequent independent audit of its work in the territories was said to have found

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“absolutely no evidence” of money being passed to Hamas or of any link to terrorism. The charity has now confirmed to the Jewish News that it is bringing court action to overturn the ban, although it’s understood a date for a hearing has yet to be set. A statement from the charity said: “Islamic Relief Worldwide commenced legal proceedings in 2014. We are bringing a court action against the State of Israel to overturn its designation of us as an ‘unauthorised association’ by the Defence Ministry. We do not wish to prejudice legal proceedings and will

be making no further comment at this time”. Israel has not elaborated on its allegations over the past two years but Shin Bet said at the time the banning order was “based on information that has been accumulated over years, that the fund is a central player in financing of Hamas… [and] on accumulated knowledge and experience in fighting terror and financing of terror organisations”. Islamic Relief is the largest Muslim charity in the UK and has received millions in support from the Department for International Development. The government said back in 2014 that it saw no reason not to continue its association with the charity. The ban was announced weeks before the start of the last conflict between Hamas and Israel. Following the conflict, IRW said it would not use funds raised under the auspices of the Disasters Emergency Appeal while Israel’s claims were probed. The charity has from time to time worked with UK Jewish charities and individuals, and was one of the key players in interfaith climate change event just

Majority of UK CEOs considering moving operations abroad post-Brexit: survey

Three-quarters of British company bosses are considering moving operations abroad following the vote to leave the European Union, according to a survey published. The KPMG survey of 100 UK chief executives, from companies with revenues between 100 million pounds and 1 billion pounds ($130 million-$1.30 billion), found 86 percent were confident about their company’s growth prospects and 69 percent were confident about the British economy’s growth prospects

over the next three years. However, 76 percent said they were considering moving either their headquarters or their operations outside Britain because of the June 23 “Brexit” vote. “CEOs are reacting to the prevailing uncertainty with contingency planning,” said Simon Collins, KPMG UK chairman. “Over half believe the UK’s ability to do business will be disrupted once we Brexit and therefore, for many CEOs, it is important that they plan

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different scenarios to hedge against future disruption.” The June vote has created uncertainty over Britain’s future economic and trade relationship with the European Union. More than 20 European business associations and companies interviewed by Reuters said they backed their governments’ position that Britain’s banking sector can only enjoy EU market access post-Brexit if the country still follows the bloc’s rules.


Pregnant woman loses child in UK hate attack 8

I UK NEWS

A “Middle Eastern” pregnant woman in Britain has lost her unborn child after being brutally beaten in an apparent racist attack. The attack took place in Milton Keyes, Buckinghamshire, when a 34year-old woman was racially abused by a man in a supermarket on August 6, police said. The man followed the woman into a parking lot and kicked her in the stomach. The pregnant woman collapsed in agony and was rushed to the hospital, where she was told

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her baby could not be saved. The attacker also smashed a bottle and a bag of ice to the head of a 40-year-old man who tried to prevent him from kicking the lady. The woman, according to witnesses, was “Middle Eastern in appearance” and wore a headscarf -most probably a Muslim -- but police refused to comment on her ethnic background. Thames Valley Police announced Wednesday that they had arrested a 37-year-old man with relation to the

I October 2016

attack, but it was not clear if he was the assailant. The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the attack, with Secretary General Harun Khan calling for strong action to curb the growing trend of hate crimes against minorities in the UK. “We need strong action now from the authorities to show that they are taking all hate crimes seriously, including Islamophobia, which findings show has increased in recent times, especially post-Brexit,” he said. According to the UK’s National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), hate crime rates in the UK have surged by 500-percent following the vote. The NPCC’s latest report in July said the organization had registered a staggering 500-percent increase in hate crime incidents, most of which were related to anti-immigrant abuses. UK police saw an increase of 42 percent in hate crime claims in the weeks before and after the polling day, with some 3,198 filed between June 16 and 30.

IHRC calls on UK to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia after report A draft report by the cross party Committee on Arms Exports Control leaked to the press said it was likely British weapons had been used to violate international law. Islamic Human Rights Commision (IHRC) has written to the British PM demanding she stops arms sales to Riyadh following a damning report accusing the Middle Eastern regime of using the weapons to commit human rights abuses in Yemen. The government insists on supplying arms to Saudi Arabia despite an increasing acceptance that those weapons are being used to kill and maim innocent civilians in the kingdom’s

military campaign in Yemen. It said: “The weight of evidence of violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition is now so great, that it is very difficult to continue to support Saudi Arabia.” The conclusion adds to a growing body of evidence that Riyadh is routinely violating international law in its military involvement with Yemen. The UN has accused Riyadh of perpetrating human rights violations in Yemen and both the European Parliament and the House of Commons International Development Committee have recommended an arms export ban.

The charity Medecins Sans Frontiere says the Saudi-led coalition has bombed numerous hospitals it runs in Yemen. Schools and wedding parties have also not been spared. IHRC’s letter also draws attention to Britain’s cosy relationship with the Saudi regime which is providing Riyadh with a fig leaf to cover its conduct, in particular secret negotiations conducted with Saudi Arabia in 2015 (exposed by Wikileaks) to secure that country’s election to the United Nations Human Rights Council, a position that it should never hold given its appalling human rights record particularly in relation to executions and political prisoners.


UK seizes Syrian activists’ passport

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I October 2016

A Syrian journalist accused the UK of playing into the hands of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, following the confiscation of her passport at London’s Heathrow airport after it was apparently reported stolen by Damascus. Zaina Erhaim, winner of the 2015 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) award, had travelled to the UK to speak at a “Women on the Frontline” event alongside BBC journalist Kate Adie. Erhaim said her passport was confiscated by British border police when she arrived at Heathrow.

UK NEWS

“They told me my government reported my passport as being stolen and they have to confiscate it. They told me that they are returning the passport to the regime,” Erhaim told AFP, alleging that Damascus requested that the passport be seized in order to harm her. “The regime can’t kill me in the UK, so it’s easier for them to just report me as stealing my own passport and force me to just be floating all over the place,” said the 31-year-old. Erhaim, who is based in Turkey, accused the British government of “helping the (Syrian) regime in

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handicapping activists and human rights defenders”. “The regime is killing us inside Syria and obviously Britain and other countries are helping them to reach us while we are travelling abroad with valid visas and valid passports,” she added. A spokesperson for the UK interior ministry said: “Our first priority is the security of our borders and if a passport is reported as lost or stolen by a foreign government we have no choice but to confiscate it.” Erhaim holds another passport which enabled her to enter the UK, although she remained uncertain about her future travels and whether she would be able to re-enter Turkey as her right to be in the country was stamped in the confiscated document. “Now I only have my old passport that is completely full, so I don’t know really how Turkey is going to be treating me when I’m back,” she said. Erhaim won the Peter Mackler Prize 2015, an MSF prize in collaboration with AFP which recognises courageous and ethical journalism.

Ministry of Defence and the Home Office seeking innovative solutions to defence issues The Ministry of Defence is seeking swarms of drones to achieve military advantage, and autonomous systems to assess hazardous scenes. These 2 areas of innovative work have been outlined by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE). It has 2 themed competitions currently open to bidders. One is asking for innovative ways for an operator to manage more than 20 unmanned air systems (UAS), or drones, across the electromagnetic spectrum in a contested

environment. CDE is looking for open, modular UAS; mission management of UAS swarms; and technological ways to operate the drones. As well as developing technology components, CDE wants suppliers to go on to demonstrate integrated system solutions. The second is a joint Ministry of Defence and Home Office competition, which asks for autonomous systems that can assess hazardous scenes, such as sites contaminated by chemical and biological hazards. It is a pilot for the Defence

Innovation Initiative, launched last week (16 Sep 2016) by the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. The competition’s aim is for suppliers to help remove people from hazardous areas by producing autonomous systems which could indicate the presence of hazardous materials, map where they are, monitor changes in the environment and take samples of material for analysis. Both competitions have up to £1 million available for phase 1 of the competition, with further funding available for phase 2. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Thousands protest UK government’s refugee policy www.pi-media.co.uk

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of London to demand that the British government take in more refugees. MPs, actors and others marched on Downing Street last month, calling for more action on the refugee crisis, as thousands of men, women and children continue to drown in desperate attempts to reach Europe. Marchers chanted “Refugees are welcome here” and waved banners reading “No-one is illegal”, “Let’s help people” and “Stop the drowning.” Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas MP, Labour’s Lord Alf Dubs and Liberal Democrat campaigner Baroness Sheehan delivered

lectures on the crisis. Also, actors Juliet Stevenson, Vanessa Redgrave and Dame Harriet Walter spoke to protesters in Parliament Square and raised concerns about unaccompanied children, who are living in refugee camps in Calais, France. “This seems to be the biggest issue of our time,” said demonstrator Maria Spirova, who came to the UK from Bulgaria in 2011. “Not being involved means not living on this planet.” “It seems there are unrelenting numbers of people for which life means ending up living without prospects in a tent somewhere.

Huge swathes of humanity are being denied a life.” According to organizers Solidarity with Refugees, at least 50 organizations and 200 religious leaders participated in the rally and together asked the UK, in a letter, to take a “fair and proportionate” share of international refugees. The protest came 2 days before UK Prime Minister Theresa May attends a summit on refugees and migration at the United Nations headquarters where US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will also appear. May has been criticized by more than 200 religious leaders as her government has recently announced that it would tighten anti-refugee measures in Calais. Last month, UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill confirmed plans to build a 13 feet (3.9 meters) wall to prevent refugees getting aboard trucks to go to England. May was infamous for her antirefugee policies as home secretary. Under her predecessor, David Cameron, May tried “to create a hostile environment” for illegal migrants. www.pi-media.co.uk

Al Rayan Bank expands into Yorkshire Al Rayan Bank, the UK’s first compliant sharia bank, has opened a new office in Bradford, a city with one of the largest Muslim communities in the UK. Amongst the attendees at the opening event was member of parliament for Bradford East, Imran Hussain. Bradford’s Muslim communities are thriving. In 2001, 16% of the city’s population was Muslim, this proportion had increased to 24.7% by 2011. Al Rayan Bank’s Bradford office, which is located at 218 Lilycroft Road, will serve these communities as well as the wider communities of

West Yorkshire. Imran Hussain, MP said that Al Rayan Bank was a welcome addition to the city, “I am very pleased that Al Rayan Bank has chosen Bradford as the location for its Yorkshire office. “From this office, the Bank will provide valuable banking services to the communities of Bradford and West Yorkshire.” The new Bradford office forms part of Al Rayan Bank’s national branch and office network, which is strategically located throughout major cities in the UK. Rizwan Ali, business development manager, Al Rayan Bank, Bradford said the new office would help

the Bank to better cater for its customers. He said: “We’re delighted to open this new office which shows Al Rayan Bank’s commitment to Bradford. “As a community bank, we strive to make ethical, Sharia compliant banking as widely accessible as possible; the new office will help us to do this for the communities of Bradford and West Yorkshire.” Al Rayan Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, and is a member of Financial Services Compensation Scheme.


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I UK NEWS

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I October 2016

UK admits taking part in Syria airstrikes that killed scores of troops In Case You Missed It

Britain is the latest country to acknowledge its participation in the airstrikes that reportedly killed scores of soldiers in the Syrian city of Dayr al-Zawr. The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on Monday that UK drones participated in the airstrikes against a Syrian military airbase in Dayr al-Zawr. The MoD also said it is cooperating with the US-led coalition

to investigate the incident. “We can confirm that the UK participated in the recent coalition airstrike in Syria, south of Dayr alZawr and we are fully co-operating with the coalition investigation,” an MoD spokesman said. The so-called coalition has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The air raids by the US Air Force

and its allies have already caused a war of words between Russia, Syria and the United States. Russia and Syria accuse Washington of deliberately launching the strikes to help the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group advance in the area. The Syrian General Command referred to the incident as a “serious and blatant aggression” against the Syrian army, adding that it was also “conclusive evidence” that the US-led coalition is supporting Daesh militants. Russia also blasted the attack, with Vitaly Churkin, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, saying that the US airstrikes did not seem to be a mistake. However, the White House has rejected the accusation, saying the air raids were unintentional. Australia and Denmark have also announced their aircraft were among a group of Western warplanes that targeted the Syrian forces. The attack is likely to endanger an already shaky ceasefire deal, which was agreed by the US and Russia and came into effect last month. www.pi-media.co.uk

Police investigating hate crime against Edinburgh mosque

Police in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh have launched a hate crime investigation after a mosque was damaged by fire. The incident happened last month, when an object was thrown at the Central Mosque in Potterrow, causing damage to an entrance door. The attack caused no injuries but burned parts of the garden area surrounding the place of worship. Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, local area commander for southeast Edinburgh, described the move as a “despicable and reckless act” and urged people with knowledge of any suspicious behavior around the mosque or in the Potterrow area to come forward.

“Fortunately no-one was injured as a result of this incident, but the consequences could have been far worse had the fire taken hold and spread,” said Detective Inspector John Kavanagh. Police said their prime suspect was a man believed to be in his early 30s, who reportedly spoke to a group of females in George Square before the attack. Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC) condemned the attack, with chairman Foysol Choudhury calling it an attack against “our freedom of religion and expression.” “Edinburgh cannot tolerate any action that aims to spread hate and

division within its society,” he said, calling on possible eyewitnesses to help with police investigations. According to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), hate crime rates in the UK-- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland -- have surged by 500-percent following the recent vote to leave the European Union (EU). On June 23, nearly 52 percent of the British voters partaking in an EU referendum voted to leave the 28member bloc. UK police saw an increase of 42 percent in hate crime claims in the weeks before and after the polling day, with some 3,198 filed between June 16 and 30.


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PM vows to protect UK troops in Iraq from legal abuse www.pi-media.co.uk

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to protect British troops engaged in the 2003 Iraq war from any instances of legal abuse, defending her country’s eight-year occupation of the Arab country. Addressing a meeting with senior British military commanders, May said “every effort must be made” to prevent any abuse of the legal system against army forces, adding that she is determined to stop “vexatious” claims being brought against UK soldiers who fought in Iraq. Backing UK’s policy regarding conflicts in the world and the Middle

UK NEWS

East, the British PM said, “Our armed forces are the best in the world and with the biggest defense budget in Europe and the second biggest in NATO. We will continue to play our part on the world stage, protecting UK interests across the globe.” The remarks were made amid mounting criticism of the Iraq Historic Allegation Team (IHAT), which is set up to investigate allegations of murder, abuse and torture by British troops. Reports said the soldiers, who were involved in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, claimed they

had been hounded through the courts on unfounded claims. Following the complaints, British soldiers had also called for the IHAT to be shut down. The IHAT is currently examining about 2,000 allegations leveled against troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the cases before the investigating team involves the death of a 15-year-old Iraqi boy in a waterway near the Iraqi southern city of Basra in May 2003. Judicial investigations indicated that Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali had been forced by UK soldiers into the canal and left alone to drown and die. “The soldiers, having detained him for looting, forced him to enter the canal and left him floundering,” a report said, adding that the boy did not know how to swim and therefore, the British soldiers’ failure to help him before drowning was the “plain and certain” cause of his death. A British court tried the soldiers for manslaughter but they were acquitted in 2006. During the US-led invasion of the Arab country, then-UK prime minister Tony Blair’s government sent 120,000 members of the British armed forces and civilians to the country, proving its role as then-US President George W. Bush’s chief military ally.

Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia performs Hajj rituals Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia has performed Hajj rituals after converting to Islam, becoming the first ever British ambassador to do so. Simon Collis, completed the Hajj with his wife Huda al-Mujarkech, a Syrian Muslim, according to Arab media reports. As the first British ambassador to the kingdom, Collis converted to Islam in 2011, after living among

Muslims in various Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Iraq, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, as well as India and Tunisia. “In short, I converted to Islam after spending 30 years in Muslim societies and before getting married to Huda,” the 60-year-old diplomat wrote on his Twitter. Collis, who speaks fluent Arabic, has been serving as an ambassador to Riyadh since 2015. He has also

served as ambassador to Iraq, Syria and Qatar. He was withdrawn from Syria in 2012, amid security concerns caused by foreign-backed militants who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011. Collis is believed to be the first British ambassador to ever carry out the Muslim pilgrimage, although other British ambassadors have converted to Islam before.


Hamas should be dropped from terror list: top EU lawyer 14

I WORLD NEWS

A top EU lawyer said Hamas and Sri Lankan rebel group LTTE should be taken off the bloc’s terror list because procedural mistakes invalidated the decision to put them on it. The European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes against Hamas and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam under 2001 rules. The groups subsequently contested being kept on the bloc’s terrorist black list.

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The General Court, second to the European Court of Justice, found in their favour in 2014 on the grounds the EU had based its decision on publicly available information, not on a finding by a competent authority. The European Council of the 28 member states in turn appealed that finding. Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston of the ECJ said the

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EU “cannot rely on facts and evidence found in press articles and information from the internet, rather than in decisions of competent authorities, to support a decision to maintain a listing.” Given that “some of the reasons advanced could not justify the decision to maintain the listing of LTTE and Hamas,” the General Court was correct to dismiss the EU appeal when it could find no other sufficient reasons for their listing. Accordingly, the ECJ “should annul the measures maintaining Hamas and LTTE on the EU list of terrorist organisations on procedural grounds.” Advocates general of the ECJ are regularly called on to give their view on a case before a final ruling and in most instances their opinions are followed. Officials said they could not comment on Sharpston’s opinion and would wait until the final ruling in the case. For the moment, nothing is changed and Hamas and LTTE remain listed. www.pi-media.co.uk

Georgian Muslims demand recognition The Muslim community in Georgia´s Black Sea resort of Batumi had been asking the authorities to build a second mosque for many years, but to no avail. The city´s only mosque, Orta Djame, was built in 1886 and accommodates over 1,500 believers. But still, during Friday prayers an overspill of hundreds was forced to congregate outside. Frustrated over a perceived lack of interest form the state, a group of Muslims decided to take matters into their own hands. A group founded in January had within a month had collected 12,000 signatures in support of building a new mosque in Batumi, Georgia´s second largest city and capital of the country´s southwestern Adjara Autonomous Republic. The signatures were then forwarded to the president, prime minister and other senior officials. A dedicated fund was also

created, and last month the group purchased a plot of land. They are now awaiting permission to start building a new mosque. Community members say that the issue reflects wider concerns over the status of Muslims in this predominately Christina Orthodox country. According to the Mufti of Georgia, Beglar Kamashidze, the necessity of building a mosque had been under discussion for more than 15 years. “The faithful should have a place so they can pray under a roof,” he said. “This topic has long gone beyond the question of the construction of the mosque as a place of worship,” Tariel Nakaidze, a member of the initiative group and chairman of the Union of Georgian Muslims, told IWPR. “Ignoring the demands of the Muslims for years is already a measurement of democracy in the country,” he said.

According to the 2014 census, every ninth person out of Georgia’s population of 3.7 million is a Muslim. In Adjara, an area of the country occupied by the Ottoman Empire between the 17th and 19th century, the vast majority of Muslims are ethnic Georgians whose ancestors converted to Islam during that time. But while the overall population of Adjara decreased from 376,000 in 2002 to 334,000 in 2014, the number of Muslims living there has increased. In 2002 they made up 30 per cent of the population, which by 2014 had grown to 40 per cent. In 2014, the previous Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili created the State Agency for Religious Affairs for the purpose of better communicating with religious organizations and providing them with assistance. According to the agency´s chairman, Zaza Vashakmadze, the petition is under consideration.


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I October 2016

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California State passes bill barring Israel’s boycott by businesses

The US state of California has passed a bill that would penalize companies engaged in boycotting the Israeli regime, prompting proPalestinian activists to slam the legislation as a breach of free speech. The AB 2844 bill, which was passed this week in the California State Assembly by a 69-1 vote and must be signed or vetoed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown by the end of the month, would prevent companies participating in the Israeli boycott from receiving state contracts worth $100,000 or more, RT reported. The bill requires companies seeking these lucrative contracts “to certify under penalty of perjury that they are not boycotting Israel,” said US-based investigative journalist Max Blumenthal. While the AB 2844 claims that “it is the intent of the Legislature to

ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to do business with or support discriminatory actions against any individuals,” and would also include banning companies with “any policy that they have against any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by the government of the United States” from receiving these contracts, the only entity listed in the version of the bill that passed is the Israeli regime. “The bottom line is that the state should not subsidize discrimination in any form,” claimed the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom from Santa Monica on the Assembly floor. Opponents of AB 2844, however, insist that it unfairly targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Moreover, US-based rights group American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also censured the bill as a “state blacklist” of entities wishing

to engage in a legal activity. “AB 2844 in essence proposes an official state blacklist of persons and corporations that engage in lawful politically-motivated speech and association,” said ACLU Legislative Director Kevin Baker in a letter to Bloom. Baker further noted that the bill may potentially prove more detrimental to the state projects than helpful adding,”the bill does not evaluate or give preference to contractors that are fiscally sound; in fact, it specifically disqualifies businesses that may be the most economically responsible bidder simply because the company participates in a boycott of Israel.” The controversial legislation, however, could also have potential ramifications for the US beyond punishing American businesses that support the BDS movement. “If you look at what’s happening in France,” Blumenthal said, “where individual citizens who campaigned for the boycott movement are being brought to trial and how that was used as a pilot program along with banning protests against Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip for the emergency regulations, which have now barred protests for labor rights.” Blumenthal further observed that the bill has simply been “rewritten to restate California civil rights law, but to apply to Israel.” Similar legislative measuresagainst the BDS movement have also been passed in other US states with large Jewish populations such as New Jersey and New York.

1,000 Palestinian minors detained by Israel Israeli forces have detained around 1,000 Palestinian minors since the beginning of 2016, a Palestinian committee said. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s committee on detainees said some of the minors were held under Israel’s administrative detention, a policy under which prisoners can be held for up to one year without charge of trial. “Some of these minors were held

under administrative detention, while others were sentenced to jail or paid large fine in order to be released,” the committee said in a report. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, committee head Issa Qaraqe said targeting Palestinian minors in Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has significantly increased since October 2015. “Palestinian children were subjected to torture and abuse inside the Israeli jails,” he said,

going on to appeal to international organizations to intervene to “protect Palestinian children from detention”. “This requires a wide and fast action from the international community,” he added. The Israeli army frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns in the occupied territories that ostensibly target Palestinians who are “wanted” by the Israeli occupation authorities. www.pi-media.co.uk


Halal food became a $20 billion hit in America 16

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In an election season dominated by Donald Trump, Muslims haven’t always been made to feel welcome in America. Meanwhile sales of halal food, prepared according to Islamic law, are surging — and not just among the fast-growing US Muslim population: Adventurous millennial foodies are embracing it too. Shahed Amanullah could only find about 200 places that served halal food in 1998, when he launched a website to help Americans find it. Today, he’s tracking 7,600, and

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he says halal is making inroads even among people who are wary of Muslims. “Food is a great medium for cultural sharing,” Amanullah said. There’s a well-trodden path in America’s food culture, leading from ethnic-specialty status to the mainstream. It happened long ago with Italian cuisine, and to some extent with kosher food, which offers a closer parallel to halal. At every level of the US food chain, halal already occupies a small but rapidly expanding niche.

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In grocery and convenience stores and similar outlets, research firm Nielsen estimates that sales reached $1.9 billion in the 12 months through August, a 15 percent increase from 2012. Overall, from restaurants to supermarkets, halal sales are projected at $20 billion this year, up by one-third since 2010, according to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, which certifies halal food and promotes education on the topic Whole Foods Market Inc., which has been among the pioneers, ranks halal among its fastest growing categories, with double-digit sales growth in each of the last five years. It’s been running Ramadan promotions since 2011. For early-adopting retailers, there’s been some flak — especially in the corners of social media where Islam comes under regular criticism. Amanullah said his “where-to-findit” website is often used in such circles as a “who-to-boycott” guide — though he said such efforts typically backfire and end up helping his business.

Spanish Muslim student wins fight to study with veil

A Spanish Muslim student whose ban from a training institute for wearing the headscarf caused controversy said she had finally been allowed to study with the hijab after regional authorities weighed in. While the issue has been a subject of debate in Spain, there is currently no law banning any kind of veil in public places — not even the face-covering burka or niqab like in neighboring France. The exclusion of Takwa Rejeb

from class generated unease in a country where Muslims represent around four percent of the 46.5million-strong population. “I am more than happy because the only thing I wanted was to exercise my right to study,” said Rejeb, 23, born in the eastern city of Valencia from Tunisian parents. “I am not a circus freak, I’m a person like any other, a student,” she said. The anti-discrimination SOS

Racisme association brought Rejeb’s case to light after she was refused access to lessons at the Benlliure professional training institute in Valencia on Sept. 8. According to lawyer Francisco Solans, the association’s regional president, the institute had asked her to apply internal rules that ban any student from coming in “with their head covered,” be it a cap, hat or headscarf. The institute refused to comment.

Some Call it Biased News - We Call it Real News


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US pays €1m to Italian couple after killing their son in a drone strike

The US government has paid more than €1m to the family of an Italian aid worker killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan last year – the first confirmed example of the US paying relatives of a drone strike victim. An Italian government document outlining the agreement between the US government and the family says the payment is a “donation in the memory of Mr Giovanni Lo Porto”. There have been several reports of the US making payments to families in Yemen through the Yemeni

government. In the past the US has either denied or refused to comment on such reports. The Italian document, dated July 8 2016 and published on September 16 by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, outlines the legal agreement between the US government and Lo Porto’s parents. It names the US official responsible for the transfer. The Intercept first reported in July this year the family had received a payment. The value of the donation remained unknown until now.

The agreement explicitly states the €1.18m donation is an “exgratia payment,” meaning the US government is making the payment voluntarily and accepts no legal liability or obligation as a result. It also states the US government and its officials keep their right to immunity from prosecution for the drone strike itself in an Italian court. The January 15 2015 attack killed Lo Porto while al Qaeda held him captive in a house in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The attack flattened the building and killed another hostage, American aid worker Warren Weinstein. Four al Qaeda fighters were also reported killed in the attack. One of them, Ahmed Farouq, was a US citizen. News of Lo Porto and Weinstein’s death did not emerge until April when President Barack Obama publicly acknowledged the US had conducted the strike -the first time a US official had publicly accepted the US was responsibile for a drone strike in Pakistan.

Rare centuries-old Quran copies on display in Singapore Mosque

Inside a mosque in Singapore, there is a sanctuary of rare Quran copies dating back to the powerful Ottoman Empire in the early 15th century. Meticulously crafted and handwritten in Turkey, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China, the copies of the holy book have been progressively stored in a small room in Masjid Ba’alawie for more than three decades, Habib Hasan Al-Attas, the mosque’s Imam, told Yahoo Singapore. One Quran from Turkey, belonging to Habib Muhammad AlAttas, the Imam’s late father, is 600 years old, with the borders of each sheepskin-made page intricately drawn in gold. The other Quran copies in the mosque at Lewis Road were also made using various unique materials. “It is more than just a display of

the Quran as it also tells the story of the holy book (where it is from). The Quran (copies) were produced using different type of materials, some were written on sheepskin while others were written on mulberry leaves,” said Habib Hasan. The holy books written on mulberry leaves were made in China and Mongolia while those written on sheepskin were mostly from Saudi Arabia, he added. The task of ensuring that the books are carefully preserved in three tall glass cabinets in the mosque is undertaken by a group of curators. “They are doing it pro-bono and each of the display cabinets is treated with chemicals to ensure that the books are well-maintained. They also come down regularly to check on the condition of the books,” said

Habib Hasan. One of the curators, M Razali Mahat, said he has been working with Habib Hassan on the rare Quran collection over the past 10 years. “I hope that the Quran exhibit will benefit the next generation,” he said. Apart from the Quran copies, there is also a collection of Islamic manuscripts housed in the mosque. Habib Hasan pointed to one manuscript from Turkey that was translated from Arabic to Jawi. Another manuscript from Indonesia was written on tree bark and made 350 years ago. Most of the Quran copies and manuscripts were from the private collection of the family of Habib Hasan while the rest were donated by local and overseas visitors to the mosque. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Illegal Zionist settlements expanded during Obama presidency: Data

The Tel Aviv regime has expanded its settlement activities in the occupied territories during the presidency of Barack Obama, Israeli data show. According to the figures, which were released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, over 12,288 new settlement units were launched during Obama’s term from 2009 up to June 30, 2016, the Associated Press reported. The most recent figures showed that in the first half of 2016 alone, work began on 1,195 settlement units, Press TV reported. Based on that pace of

construction, the number could well exceed 13,000 housing units by the time Obama leaves office, according to the report. The surge comes despite Obama’s repeated criticism of Israel for its settlement expansion. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said she was “not surprised at all” by the figures, dismissing the US criticism as mere lip service. “They did nothing to stop it. On the contrary, they looked the other way,” she said.

Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the settlements expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel’s settlement expansion has been among the main reasons behind the collapse of the last round of the so-called Middle East peace talks in 2014.

Serbia discuss enhancement of Quranic institutes in Balkans A conference was held in the Serbian city of Novi Pazar last month to discuss ways for boosting Quranic institutes in the Balkans. The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) held the gathering in cooperation with Serbia’s Islamic Studies College. Directors of Islamic and Quranic institutes in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria

Kosovo, Croatia, and Macedonia will take part at the four-day event. Clarifying the status of Quranic institutes in the Balkans, identifying their problems and offering ways to tackle them, and discussing ways to enhance the level of Quranic education in the institutes are among the objectives of the conference. The participants also considered ways for using new technologies in Quranic education and exchange

their experiences in the field of Quran education. Yosuf Abu Daqqa represented ISESCO at the gathering, the report said. The Balkans is a peninsula in Southeast Europe tking its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the eastern border of Serbia to the Black Sea at the east of Bulgaria. www.pi-media.co.uk


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Hate crimes against Muslims in California skyrocket 122%

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Anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in California rose 122% between 2014 and 2015, according to a recent analysis by Cal State San Bernardino researchers. The increase followed what appeared to be a national surge in anti-Muslim crimes that further accelerated after the San Bernardino terror attack in December 2015, and a call by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to bar Muslims from entering the US, according to researchers. “After the San Bernardino

attack, we saw a marked jump in hate crimes against Muslims within several days,” said Brian Levin, executive director of the Cal State center. Among those incidents was an arson attack on a mosque in Riverside County days after the San Bernardino killings. The report’s conclusions were based on hate crime data from 20 states. Although many states have yet to make public their own crime data, the jurisdictions included in the report account for more than half of the nation’s population, according to

study authors. In 2014, those 20 states reported 110 hate crimes against Muslims,compared with 196 in 2015 —a 78% increase. After Trump’s declaration on Dec. 7, 2015, that Muslims should be banned from entering in the U.S.,researchers documented an 87.5% jump in acts of hate against that community in the five days that followed his remarks, compared with the same period the year before. Dr. Kevin Grisham, the center’s assistant director for research, said, “The study shows statements by political leaders can be followed by distinct changes in hate crime incidents.” Overall hate crimes climbed a little more than 5% —from 4,139 to 4,347 —in the 20 states included in the study. By comparison, California saw a 10% increase,with 758 hate crimes reported in 2014 and 837 reported in 2015, according to the study’s authors. California’s disproportionate representation in overall hate crimes might be explained by better reporting, Levin said. Hate crimes in some states are vastly under reported, he said.

Two million people without water in Syria’s Aleppo: UN

Nearly two million civilians were without water in Syria’s second city of Aleppo after regime bombardment damaged one pumping station and rebels shut down another in retaliation last month, the UN said. Rebel-held districts in the east of the city came under intense air and artillery fire for a fifth night as the army prepared a ground offensive to recapture the whole of the divided city. UNICEF said the loss of mains supply posed serious health risks in rebel-held areas as the only alternative source of drinking water

was from highly contaminated wells. It said safer alternatives were available in government-held areas where there were deep groundwater wells. The agency said it would expand emergency water trucking throughout the city, but warned that was only a temporary solution that was unsustainable in the long term. “It is critical for children’s survival that all parties to the conflict stop attacks on water infrastructure, provide access to assess and repair damage to Bab al-Nayrab station,

and switch the water back on at the Suleiman al-Halabi station.” Aleppo was Syria’s pre-war commercial and industrial hub but has been devastated by fighting since the rebels seized eastern districts of the city in 2012, making it a frontline battleground. The denial of access to food, water and medicines has been used repeatedly as a weapon by all sides in Syria’s brutal five-year-old civil war. Nationwide hundreds of thousands of civilians are living under siege. www.pi-media.co.uk


The Beauty of Prayer in Islam 20I FEATURED

Going deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers. Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I

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just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes. A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end. A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for

the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.” The love of Almighty Some people’s relationship with Almighty is limited to following orders


I October 2016 and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Almighty. Almighty says in the Qur’an: “… Almighty will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54) We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Almighty, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Almighty says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Almighty as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Almighty. But those who believe are stronger in love for Almighty.” (Qur’an, 2:165) And those who believe are stronger in love for Almighty. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Almighty. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Almighty, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim) Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Almighty loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Almighty far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari) Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…” Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.” If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would

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never ever end. Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Almighty?’ Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Almighty combines all of these three to the utmost degree. All-embracing beauty We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Almighty be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Almighty was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi) Almighty made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them. And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Almighty is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Almighty’s beauty? Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Almighty’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?” This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Almighty is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Almighty is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses. Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like

Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Almighty. Almighty’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Almighty describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Almighty) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143) Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Almighty and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Almighty), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Almighty’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Almighty’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Almighty: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27) Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Almighty directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi). Remember this in your prayer, and ask Almighty to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise. By Jinan Bastaki

If you have a Question regarding this topic or any other featured articles we have covered please email us at info@pi-media.co.uk and we will forward it onto our team of Scholars to answer.


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Mount & Vatican Cricket teams end the ‘light of faith tour’ at Headingley

From Sir Ian Botham’s Ashes to Geoffrey Boycott’s century of centuries, Headingley has played host to some of the cricket’s most famous moments. On Monday 19th September it hosted a rather different encounter as part of the ‘Light of Faith Tour’ when Mount Cricket Club, a team made up of Muslims players from Batley, took on the Vatican’s St, Peter’s Cricket Club for the Sir John Major ‘Friendship Cup’ and opening up a whole new chapter in the history of the Yorkshire ground and in interfaith contest. Mount CC has been honoured to have taken part in the fixtures and events as part of the ‘Light of Faith Tour’ that gathered players, spectators and journalists in friendship, energy, good competition, in faith and a desire to win hearts

through the medium of cricket in the pioneering inter-faith tour with teams from: Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI and St. Peter’s XI of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican. Mount CC secured a win on the penultimate ball chasing 93 with Abdul Ravat squeezing the final run. Earlier the team from Batley restricted St Peter’s CC to 92 all out with man of match Abdul Ravat taking 4 wickets. The score is now one each. But as Hanif Mayet Chairman and Co-Founder of the Club explained: “The real winner was that the Light of Faith Tour has been a huge success and exceeded everyone’s expectations”. Fr Eamonn O’Higgins, who works as an international seminarian in Rome and Team Manager to St. Peter’s CC explained the significance

of the Tour: “An excellent ‘Light of Faith Tour’, an excellent moment of communion with the Anglican Church and the Muslim community, an ‘alternate fact’ to the sad stories we often hear, and a reminder that the vast majority of ordinary people in this world want, can, and do live in peace with their neighbours. True religious experience of God unites, purifies and inspires all to a greater humanity, and to be individually and in society an image of God”. Abdul A Ravat, Mount’s Development Officer and chief organiser of the tour was delighted and stated: “On behalf of my Chairman Hanif Mayet and from everyone connected with the Mount Family – supporters, contributors (including The Popda Society, Unity Homes & Enterprise, Bardsley Construction Limited, Puma, Regents Parks Mosque and many, many more individuals and local organisations and businesses), volunteers, players as well as the ECB, YCCC MCC and Edgbaston – the pass days have been truly memorable and exceeded all our collective objectives on and off the pitch. We wanted to show the world that religion can unite people and that this type of authentic interaction is a true source of hope for better inter and intra faith relationships. We thank everyone involved in making this Tour a real success and for the wonderful memories and bonds of friendship. This is the power of sport and of cricket”.

Finland gathers in support of man killed by far-right football fan Activists, human rights groups and individuals in Finland gathered last month in Kansalaistori in Helsinki, in support of Jimi Joonas Karttunen, a 28 year-old man, killed by a founding member of a far-right football fan group. The incident happened on Saturday 10 September when members of the far-right organisation Finnish Resistance Movement were distributing propaganda leaflets in front of

Helsinki’s railway station. Karttunen, a passer-by, denied one of the leaflets and spat on the floor as an act of protest, moments after he was assaulted by a leading figure of the Finnish HIFK fan group Stadin Kingit who was campaigning for the far-right Finnish Resistance Movement, Jesse Eppu Torniainen. Karttunen died of his injuries on Friday 16 September in a hospital in the Finnish capital; but the incident caused outraged amongst human

rights activists in Finland and prompted condemnation and action. The initiative in memory of Karttunen was supported by the Fare member Liikkukka – Sports for All alongside the Finnish Athletes Union aims to take a stand against violence, intolerance and discrimination. Over 10,000 people attended the demonstration that saw the participants’ blow whistles in protest.


Future of England Cricket Haseeb Hameed www.pi-media.co.uk

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Full name: Haseeb Hameed Born: 17th January 1997, Bolton Age: 19 years

Major teams: England Under15s, England Under-17s, England Under-19s, Lancashire, Lancashire 2nd XI, Lancashire Under-13s, Lancashire Under-14s, Lancashire Under-15s, Lancashire Under-17s Batting style: Right-hand bat Bowling style: Legbreak Education: Bolton School

Lancashire have not produced an England opening batsman since Michael Atherton played his last Test in 2001, but Haseeb Hameed looks set to end that run after he was selected to tour Bangladesh at the age of 19. Such an accolade had long been predicted for the Bolton-

born Hameed, who was tipped for great things from an early age. Hameed is justifiably regarded as one of the outstanding young batsmen in the country after setting records in his first full season of Championship cricket. He became the youngest batsman

Soccer helps young refugees take a shot at new life in the US On a muggy day, dozens of student refugees ran relentlessly after a soccer ball, stopping only to help up a fellow player who had slipped. The focus was on the universal sport that has helped unite these young people - mostly high schoolers - from around the world. Heman Rai, a 21-year-old Bhutanese refugee, came to Baltimore in 2008 not speaking any English but found soccer helped him settle. “It’s easy,” Rai told Reuters on Vanguard Collegiate Middle School campus in Baltimore, Maryland after a recent scrimmage. His neon green shirt read: “PLAYING FOR CHANGE.” “You don’t have to know English or you don’t have to know the other person’s language. You just play.” Rai is one of 100 refugees in Baltimore trying to find their footing through Soccer Without Borders (SWB), a non-profit that serves

refugee youth in both the United States and overseas. “Our mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change,” said Casey Thomas, director of SWB’s Baltimore chapter. The soccer field is one of the few places where youth who have experienced such transitions “immediately feel confident, counted, and like they can express themselves and contribute,” the organization said on its website. SWB, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, serves refugee youth from 40 different countries, including four of the five countries with the most refugee arrivals in the United States: Iraq, Somalia, Bhutan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Young refugees can face a number of difficulties in adapting to a new country, especially in education. In addition to soccer, the SWB program offers afterschool classes in English, art and science.

to score 1000 runs for Lancashire - eclipsing Atherton - the fifthyoungest to score 1000 in a season for the county and the first to score a hundred in each innings of the Roses match. “Hameed is one of the best young players I’ve seen in a long time,” was the verdict of the opposing captain, Yorkshire’s Andrew Gale. Having developed a reputation for prolific scoring with England U-19s, Hameed then blossomed late in the 2015 season when he made an outstanding 91 in only his third Championship match, batting for all but three overs of the final day against Surrey at Old Trafford, leading Ashley Giles, Lancashire’s director of cricket, to compare him to Jonathan Trott.

Qatar appoints Jorge Fossati

Qatar has appointed a new coach to head its national soccer team in a bid to revive fading hopes of qualifying for its first World Cup finals in Russia in 2018. 63-year-old Uruguayan Jorge Fossati will head the national team. He replaces Jose Daniel Carreno, who was sacked on after Qatar lost to Iran and Uzbekistan leaving them bottom of a six-team group in the final round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. Fossati, who has coached in Saudi Arabia and who managed Qatar between 2007 and 2008, is currently manager of Qatari club Al Rayyan.


The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context

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Part 7

The phenomenon of apostasy had become rampant across the Arabian Pennisula compounded with the fact that many Muslims refused to pay alms (Zakat). Abu Bakr al-Siddiq as the caliph was uncompromising in his stance towards the dissenters. He argued that tough action was required to ensure that the pillars of Islam were adhered to in its entirety and had made it clear he would wage war upon those who rejected God’s injunctions detailed in the Qur’an. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Umar Ibn al-Khattab discussed this issue at length in terms of how to deal with the dissenters in question. Umar argued that the dissenters should not be treated with harshness especially in light of the rebellions they were facing across the Arabian Pennisula. However, Abu Bakr took a differing stance altogether

and argued that if leniency were to applied to the dissenters over alms (Zakat) then another group would then make a case for abandoning prayer (Salah) and this process would inevitably continue until Islam was completely diluted rendering it unrecognisable. Abu Bakr made his mind up and declared that anyone who refused to pay the alms (Zakat) would face the impending wrath of the office of the Caliph. Khalid Ibn Walid was dispatched by Abu Bakr to eradicate the rebellions in a systematic fashion. Prior to the military engagement with the forces of Tulayhah, Khalid Ibn Walid and his team attempted to engineer a split amongst the tribes supporting him. Bani Assad and Ghatafan were resolutely steadfast in their support for Tulayhah and his entourage.

However, the Tayy headed by the devout Muslim Adi Ibn Hatim gave his allegiance to the office of the Caliph. Adi Ibn Hatim proved to be vital ally for the Mulsims as he managed to sway the Jadila tribe to support the Muslims. It is at this juncture that Khalid managed to erode the support Tulayhah had enjoyed until now. Khalid by this was confident of making progress against Tulayhah and managed to inflict a comprehensive defeat upon him at the Battle of Buzakah in 632 AD. The forces of Khalid made significant process as many of the tribes surrendered. The next stage in the war on the apostates led to the Banu Saleem tribe being overcome and the stage was set for a showdown in Najd between the Muslims and the rebel tribe of Banu Tamim.


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VERBAL ABUSE

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DAMAGE TO PROPERTY

PHYSICAL ABUSE

GRAFFITI

West Yorkshire Police now recognise that some victims of hate crime are targeted because of their religion ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY FORM OF HATE DIRECTED AT YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR RELIGION, REPORT IT TO THE POLICE, IMMEDIATELY. TELL THEM IT’S AN ANTI-MUSLIM HATE CRIME WHEN YOU CALL.

DON’T ALLOW HATE TO WIN

REPORT IT TO THE POLICE

FACT

If you experience any form of Islamophobia, report it to the police. It is crucial that you report any kind of hate, whether it is physical, damage to property, graffiti or verbal abuse.

of British Muslims surveyed by the British Crime Survey had experienced Islamophobia.

IN AN EMERGENCY CALL: 999

HATE CRIME HELPLINE: �

101

Where can I find out more? Email: admin@mcsf.org.uk or Call (0113) 2773330

MCSF MUSLIM COMMUNITY

SAFETY FORUM (Serving West Yorkshire)

Building Bridges

Building Bridges is a project developed by the Hamara Centre (www.hamara.org.uk), funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (www.jrct.org.uk) to address Islamophobia across Leeds.


26

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