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UK court recognises Palestinian soccer The Islamic Sharia law marriages chief to appeal ban Caliphate

Shame On You Tories News and Sport

Issue: 125


September 2018

As Brexit looms over the horizon, the Muslim community last month found itself at the centre of attention once again after the intervention of the former foreign secretary Boris Pfeffel Johnson on the issue of whether Muslim women should adorn the niqab in public.

It is said that Johnson was rather aggrieved at Muslim women adorning the niqab and went as far as claiming that they looked like ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letterboxes’. Johnson also added that the niqab has no place in British civic society and that he would refuse to meet

a constituent dressed in this attireturning up at a weekly constituency surgery. One wonders why Johnson having been foreign secretary until recently having met wealthy Arab and Muslim rulers in the Middle East would make such an outburst of this magnitude.

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

By Dr Irfan Raja

British-Pakistani volunteer, campaigner and writer

The Idea of New Pakistan: Youth and Minorities PART ONE

A twenty two years long struggle of dreaming, changing and building a new Pakistan has come true. Yeah the Dawn of a new Pakistan- a prosperous and just Pakistan where everyone will be an equal-we wish! Austerity, reforms and Rule of law, was the key ingredients of Imran Khan’s maiden speech that is well received at home and in abroad- He is right to say that changing our mindset will change Pakistan because that is our way of life. For many critics,the #change or #tabdeeli discourse is debatable and contested one but for several others it has brought a beacon of light for millions of Pakistanis at home and in abroad. Fairly speaking it is too early to speculate that whether or not Imran Khan will supervise his team to deliver his gigantic promises? So far it seems not less then to conquer K-2 in extreme weather conditions. The big question is that whether or not Khan will be able to do justice and foster equality in a society that is heavily influenced under the strong grip of feudalism and industrialism. This comes to mind when you think of cabinet ministers mostly old faces, rich and privileged. We can ask the

question that where are the youth, unprivileged and minorities’ in this new government? For example, will there be a youth affairs ministry? for that we will have to wait and see! For many years, Imran Khan had wowed to bring change and being impressed by the Medina model that guarantees justice, equality and humanity. The world waits with eagernessto see how Khan delivers hispledgewhat he described as, “I want to see… look, my inspiration is the Prophet Muhammad, the city of Medina that he founded, how it was based on humanity”. Agreed! It’s a full package that assures the rights of women and children, minorities’ protection and freedom to follow their religion, equality, justice and peace. Looking at present day UK or the Canadian model it makes no surprise to many like Imran Khan that the system of governance resembles with early Muslims periods that were based on Medina model. Evidently, long before the creation of present day Canada there are now more Sikhs at the highest levels of government (Canada has now has the world’s most Sikh cabinet,) the Umayyad Muslim rulers of Spain, the

Ottomans Sultans of three continents and the Mughals Emperors in the Indian sub-continent had appointed Jews, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus on high ranks in their governments. A successfully tried and tested practice that could enhance confidence among minority groups and alsobinds our society togetherShouldn’t we have a Sikh or a Christian deputy foreign minister and how about a non-Muslim trade or a cultural minister in the cabinet? Go for change go for it. Next, think of the Pakistani youth and think of PTI- Junoon or say passion is a word that describes millions of young people of Pakistan. Yeah that’s right- Of all the total 16.8 million votes held by the PTI in 2018 elections that is almost double than its 7.6 million in 2013 elections majority votes are of youth age between 18-30. The Sun newspaper memorable front page headline It’s The Sun Wot Won It(11 April 1992) that marked the victory of the Conservatives in 1992 general elections perfectly fits in case of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insafvictory in 2018 as if by a little modification as: “It’s The Youth Wot Won It” (No Offense to The Sun). Today many leading European countries are struggling to raise their young population by offering various incentives to their masses, Pakistan is fortunate to have more than half of its total population that is 63% consists of youth under the age of 25. Of course these young individuals are our national potential. According to the World Bank report Pakistan is now the 6th most populous country on Earth, with half of population younger than 24. What about female population that is more than half of the males? To be continued next month

Email the Editor at PI Media : info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk

Shame on you Tories


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Continued from front page

We would have assumed that Johnson would have had a greater level of cultural and religious literacythan most on these shores, especially when analysing his background and experience in the world of journalism and in the confines of the upper echelons of society before making these illadvised comments about Muslim women, but this was not to be the case on this occasion. The answer lies in the fact that since 9/11 and 7/7, the Muslim community has been an easy target for unjustified comments by certain elements in the media and the political establishment. Having resigned as foreign secretary, it seems that Johnson has suddenly decided to embrace elements of Bannonism and come to the view that if he were to attack Muslims in a belligerent manner then this would very much endear him to elements on the right and far-right with the aim of securing their support in a potential future election contest down the line. Steve Bannon who was widely credited with US President Donald J Trump’s successful election campaign that saw him enter the White House in 2016 against all odds is known to be actively seeking to influence British politics with the aim of planting Boris Johnson in 10 Downing Street. It seems that Bannon has somehow convinced Johnson to scapegoat the Muslim community in a rather discourteous mannerthus engineering a shameless grab for political support. Johnson is no amateur when it

comes to history and the derogatory comments made against Muslim women were not accidental by nature but deliberately designed in a desperate attempt to promote himself as a 21st century statesman. Johnson’s outburst is certainly not a one-off, but the Conservatives have a rich history of promoting hostility against Islam and Muslims. Sir Winston Churchill in his book published in 1899 ‘The River War’ had the following to say about the Islamic tradition, ‘How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live’. It seems on the surface that Johnson is attempting to reinvent himself after his surprise resignation from the cabinet albeit in the Churchillian mould andmany in the Conservative party who could not care less about Muslims or other ethnic minorities are prepared to back him all the way. The fusion of Churchillian xenophobia and Bannonism could prove to be disastrous for the Muslim community, especially if Johnson becomes the next Conservative leader and a future Prime Minister. In recent times, the Conservatives

have faced accusations of promoting ‘Islamophobia’ and many members, councillors and MP’s have been party to this on a variety of platforms. The party is very much refusing to acknowledge the existence of ‘Islamophobia’ and this probably explains why the party has taken little or no action to kick out the purveyors of hate from the party. Furthermore, many high-profile Muslims in the Conservative party have called for a wide-ranging inquiry into ‘Islamophobia’ in the party, but these calls have very much fallen on deaf ears. The irony of the situation becomes apparent when we find high profile Tory politicians lambasting Jeremy Corbyn for failing to tackle anti-Semitism but go all out to deny the existence of ‘Islamophobia’ in the rank and file of the party across the country. As many Jews in the United Kingdom are contemplating whether the Labour Party is their natural political home, many Muslims who have voted Conservative or are part of the party machinery may reconsider their positions or voting allegiances if anti-Muslim outbursts become more prominent in the coming days, months and years. We feel that it is high time that the party acknowledge the existence of ‘Islamophobia’ and anti-Muslim hatred and take decisive action to eliminate this problem. If the party fails to tackle this problem in the long term and kicks it into the grass then the idea of a ‘One nation Toryism’ will remain a forlorn ideal devoid of any substance.




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British court recognises Sharia law marriages for the first time

For the first time in the UK, a British court has recognised Sharia law after a judge made a landmark divorce ruling which could change the way Islamic marriage and divorce works in the country. The high court ruled that an estranged couple’s nikah falls under British matrimonial law despite it not being legally recognised as such, reported The Telegraph. This means Nasreen Akhtar will be free to bring her case to the divorce court and claim her share of the assets of her marriage. She previously would not have been able to do this. In the high-profile case, Akhtar and her businessman husband Mohammed Shabaz Khan were

deemed to have had a valid marriage. The judge said the union should be recognised because the couple, who took their vows in 1998, lived as man and wife, introduced each other as such and had expectations similar to a British marriage contract. The case will have significant implications for women who marry under Sharia law but not UK law and could give them the right to divorce their husbands and split the assets related to the union, as well as securing a divorce more easily. A report commissioned by British Prime Minister Theresa May when she was home secretary revealed earlier this year that many women in Islamic marriages do not realise they

have no legal protection under UK law unless they have a second civil ceremony alongside the nikah. Under Sharia law women often have to appeal to Sharia councils, largely made up of men, in order to be released from their union and some have to make concessions in order to do so. Men are not obligated to do the same. In the high court case Akhtar’s husband sought to block her application for divorce in the UK court on the basis that they were never legally married. But Justice Williams decided that the marriage was “entered into in disregard of certain requirements as to the formation of marriage”. He said the marriage was therefore “void” and that Akhtar is entitled to a decree of nullity. If he had ruled it was a non-marriage she would not have been able to make a case in the British divorce court. The judge heard that the couple, who have a Pakistani background, had lived in London, Birmingham and Dubai. They had taken part in a nikah ceremony at a restaurant in Southall, west London, nearly 20 years ago. Akhtar said the ceremony was conducted by an imam before about 150 guests. www.pi-media.co.uk

Review of UK Torture policy launched in U-turn from PM

A public consultation has been launched into changes to the UK’s torture policy or “Consolidated Guidance”, which tells UK personnel how far they can go in participating in the interrogation suspects held by a foreign country or receiving intelligence that could have been obtained through torture. This move follows a leaked Foreign Office memo which revealed that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, was planning to ignore a recommendation to hold a consultation and instead

have only a “light-touch” review of the policy. This will be the first public review of the guidance since its publication in 2010. The Consultation is being overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO), the regulator for the intelligence services. It comes shortly after a report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee revealed systemic UK involvement in mistreatment and just three months after the Prime Minister issued an unprecedented apology to

former Libyan dissident Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar over the Government’s role in their torture and rendition. Last December, the Intelligence Services Commissioner revealed that in a single year GCHQ had wrongly failed to apply the Guidance in a total of 35 cases, and that in 8 of those cases the Guidance would have blocked information being shared as the risk of torture and mistreatment was too great. www.pi-media.co.uk


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

Government urged to clarify slaughter policy


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BVA seeks clarity on whether lamb for export to Saudi Arabia is stunned before slaughter in accordance with the UK’s high animal welfare legislation. The BVA is calling on the Government to urgently clarify whether UK lamb exported under a new trade deal In a statement, the association said: “The BVA believes all exported meat should come from animals that have been stunned before slaughter,

but there is ambiguity around the details of the deal, which UK halal certification bodies it will involve and whether the meat that will be exported will come from stun or nonstun sources. “Defra has not yet clarified these points and, in April 2018, stated it did not hold data on what percentage of meat from non-stun religious slaughter is exported.” The statement continued: “In the UK and Europe, all animals must be



stunned before slaughter, but there is a derogation for animals killed for religious purposes. The BVA strongly believes this derogation should only apply to meet the needs of the local community. “In Germany, the law states produce from non-stun slaughter cannot be exported.” BVA president John Fishwick said: “We welcome new trade deals that demonstrate the quality of UK agriculture, but we absolutely must not compromise on animal welfare. Animals slaughtered without stunning suffer unnecessary pain at the time of death. “If non-stun slaughter is permitted under the derogation in the UK, it should only be available for local communities and not for export. “We have raised these issues directly with the secretary of state, Michael Gove, and asked for clarity on whether meat for export is stunned in accordance with the UK’s high animal welfare legislation. “The BVA is calling for an end to all non-stun slaughter, but, while it is still permitted, we would like to see new laws to ban export of non-stun meat, such as those in Germany.” www.pi-media.co.uk

New project explores how Islamophobia In Case You echoes historic anti-Semitism Missed It Academics at Birmingham City University have examined how the play’s treatment of Jewish character Shylock mirrors modern responses to Muslims in Western society. The article titled ‘Certainly the Muslim is the very devil incarnation’: Islamophobia and The Merchant of Venice, follows comments from former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson which compared burqa wearers to letterboxes and bank robbers, and evidence from anti hate-crime group Tell MAMA which

shows Islamophobia is on the rise. The report, which has been published in the The Muslim World journal, argues that the way Shylock is treated and referenced throughout the play bears stark similarities to the hate crimes and discrimination faced by followers of Islam today. In a unique collaboration between Criminilogy and Literature Dr Imran Awan, Associate Professor in Criminology at Birmingham City University and Dr Islam Issa, Senior

Lecturer in English Literature at Birmingham City University, have analysed the text. The researchers found a variety of instances in which Shylock is subjected to treatment which would now be categorised as hate crime. The paper includes a comparison of how Jews are portrayed as being extremists in the play, while newspaper coverage and headlines about British Muslims today continue to describe them as terrorists.

Some Call it Biased News - We Call it Real News




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Islamic treasures and their stories revealed at Emery Walker’s house

New research has uncovered the fascinating details of engraver and photographer Emery Walker’s interest in Islamic art and culture, inspired by his travels to Moorish Spain and Morocco. Published on the Emery Walker’s House website, it illustrates how Emery, who lived from 1851 to 1933, a close friend of William Morris (1834-

96) and a Master of The Art Workers’ Guild, travelled to Spain and Morocco and encouraged his family to follow in his footsteps. One of the most intriguing items that the Walkers owned was a miniature Qur’an, the holy book of Islam containing the revelations sent from God to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.

This Qur’an, measuring just 2.5cm in height, was produced by miniature book specialist David Bryce at the turn of the 20th century. Styled after Ottoman and Mughal examples, this production was enabled through the discovery of the lithography print method, allowing wider circulation of printed books. The Qur’an is encased within a silver locket embossed with a swirling pattern and designed with a circular magnifying glass portal to the front. The small script would have otherwise been difficult for everyday reading, but encased as it was, and designed to be hung from a chain, it served a very practical purpose. These miniature Qur’ans were supplied to Muslim soldiers serving in the First World War, providing spiritual support. Emery Walker House is the most authentic Arts & Crafts home in Britain Photo shows: The miniature Qur’an, measuring just 2.5cm in height

Abuse of Muslim women spikes after Johnson outburst A watchdog monitoring hate crimes in Britain has announced that several Muslim women have been attacked since former foreign minister Boris Johnson wrote a controversial article and compared women wearing burqa to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers.” Tell Mama said that at least five women had been subject to Islamophobic insults by men in London and Luton since Johnson triggered a public row over wearing burqa in his opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph on August 5. The watchdog said all women who had been insulted wore niqab, a veil used to cover face as recommended by religion. It said the verbal attacks were directly linked to Johnson’s description in the article of women wearing burqa, a full-body veil, to letter boxes.

One such attack happened on August 8 in London before two women were targeted the next day in the capital. Another women experienced verbal abuse because of her niqab while there had been another incident on August 9 in Luton, a town around 50 kilometers from London. One of the victims said she had been called letter box when she was boarding a train in London’s Tower Hamlets neighborhood. “I went on a trip with a group of women and a male passenger allowed us to board the train first ... One of the women was wearing a niqab and she was the last one to get on the train. The man laughed and said: ‘Hold on, you forgot the letterbox’” wrote Rabina Khan in the Independent newspaper. Tell Mama said it had recorded no

case involving Muslim women being insulted for their veil in the week before Johnson wrote his opinion piece. Johnson has refused to apologize for the comments which many say were part of his deliberate attempt to reach to the British far-right. The former mayor of London is believed to be seeking to replace incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May if she fails to reach a deal with the European Union on the United Kingdom’s departure from the bloc. British authorities have ignored recurrent calls from the Muslim community and the public to punish Johnson for spreading hate. Police have said that his comments do not meet the threshold for a hate crime investigation. www.pi-media.co.uk

UK asylum grant drops by over a quarter: Report 10


UK has granted asylum to fewer people over the past year, a new reports suggests, as activists point to the country’s unrealistic high standard of proof as a main reason for people being repeatedly turned away. A report published on the website of the Independent newspaper showed that the number of people granted asylum in the UK had plummeted by 26 per cent in the past year while the government rejected more than half of applications for

refuge. The report cited data from the Home Office (UK interior ministry) showing that authorities had granted asylum to 4,981 people in the year to June 2018, a 26-percent decrease compared to the previous 12-month period. The data also showed that less than a fifth (18 per cent) of applications were granted in 2017, compared with 25 per cent the year before and 39 per cent in 2014/15. Rights activists told the


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Independent that a main reason for increased rate of asylum cases is the fact that the applicants are expected to obtain “impossible” proof such as evidence documenting torture and sexual violence. “The Home Office applies an unrealistically high standard of proof expecting applicants to obtain impossible proof – like birth certificates they may have left behind in the middle of the night when fleeing violence, or evidence documenting graphic details of sexual violence,” said Ciaran Price, the public affairs officer at Asylum Aid, a refugee rights campaigning group. The report comes just months after former Home Secretary Amber Rudd was forced to resign over allegations her department was pursuing reduced asylum targets. The case, which became known as the Windrush scandal, showed that many from a generation of Jamaican refugees who had been admitted to Britain decades ago had been left destitute because they had failed to provide enough evidence to substantiate their refugee status.

Conference in Bradford to look at health inequalities among British Muslims

Born in Bradford (BiB) is to host a conference which will look at why British Muslims suffer from chronic diseases and childhood obesity at a higher rate than the wider population. The event, which will be held at the University of Bradford on September 12, is hoping to attract leading researchers from across the UK. The academics, clinicians and representatives from the British Muslim community will discuss and debate the reasons for health inequalities and explore the roles of low levels of physical activity, diet, migration, deprivation, gender

stereotypes and even myths have on people’s wellbeing. Professor John Wright, Director of Bradford Institute for Health research, where the BiB project is based, said: “British Muslims face major health threats from diabetes and heart disease. In Born in Bradford we have shown that this risks starts in early life. “Religious settings provide a key setting for health promotion for these children and our work with mosques has demonstrated how we can develop culturally sensitive approaches to healthy living.” The conference is being organised in partnership with

the Muslims in Britain Research Network and University of Bradford. The conference will also find out about the latest news from BiB, the UK’s largest medical study of its kind, which is tracking the health of 13,500 children growing up in the city The project looks at why some children stay healthy while others get ill and what helps children do well at school. BiB is also exploring how mosques and madrassas in Bradford can be used for preventing childhood obesity and general health promotion. www.pi-media.co.uk


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UN warns of ‘collapse of critical life-saving services’ in Gaza

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jamie McGoldrick, has warned of the “collapse of critical life-saving services” in Gaza as UN emergency fuel runs out. With no mains electricity for 16-20 hours per day, hospitals in Gaza are reliant on backup generators to keep essential services running. UN-donated fuel to keep these lifesaving services running is expected to be used up very soon unless emergency funding is secured. Mr McGoldrick called on the international community to urgently prevent essential services from shutting down: “Life-saving services

in the Gaza Strip rely heavily on donor-funded emergency fuel. We have now run out of funds and are delivering the final supplies in the next few days. Without funds to enable ongoing deliveries, service providers will be forced to suspend, or heavily reduce, operations from early September, with potentially grave consequences.” The severe shortage of emergency fuel endangers patients’ lives, including newborn babies in intensive care – a service supported by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in Gaza. This was emphasised by the UN: “Among the most vulnerable to shortages are

4,800 patients in Gaza’s hospitals, who rely each day on electrical devices in intensive care units, including newborns, and those on dialysis or in trauma departments. Medical services for over 1.6 million other Palestinians will suffer from reduction or cessation of services, due to lack of emergency fuel at the main health facilities, and over half the population face the risk of possible sewage overflow, if fuel runs out for the 41 main sewage pumping stations in the Gaza Strip. Overall, the reduced functioning of water and sanitation facilities risks an increase of waterborne disease and outbreaks in a densely-populated, urban area.” MAP says it is vital that international donors, including the UK, step in immediately to keep Gaza’s health system running. In the long-term, they must also work towards sustainable solutions to the electricity crisis, including through a lifting of Israel’s 11-year illegal closure. The UN estimates that US$4.5 million is required to cover humanitarian fuel costs until the end of 2018. The crisis affecting the provision of health services in Gaza is further compounded by the mass trauma casualties which have entered hospitals in the context of Israel’s use of force against protesters taking part in the ‘Great March of Return’ since 30 March.

Attacks on Muslims drop in Germany in first half of 2018 The number of attacks on Muslims and mosques has fallen significantly in Germany, new figures show. But lawmakers warn the country is still failing to include its Muslim community in society. In the first six months of 2018, there were 320 offenses committed against Muslims, mosques and other institutions associated with Islam in Germany, according to information from the Interior Ministry. That’s significantly lower than the nearly 500 cases reported during the same period in 2017. The attacks range from assaults and verbal slurs to threatening letters

and property damage. The government figures were released as part of a response to a parliamentary question by the Left party and reported by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper. The bulk of attacks could be attributed to right-wing extremists, the newspaper said. Bundestag member for the Left party Ulla Jelpke said the decline was a promising sign, but warned against complacency. “Social solidarity with fellow Muslim citizens is still missing,” she said. “Those who continue to declare Muslims foreigners are just stirring

up mistrust that ultimately leads to these kinds of crimes.” Although the overall number of incidents went down, there was an increase in the number of people wounded in anti-Muslim attacks — up from 18 in the first half of 2017 to 25 in the first six months of 2018. In 2017, there were more than 950 attacks on Muslims and Muslim institutions in Germany. However, the country’s Central Council of Muslims said it was unlikely the statistics covered the full extent of xenophobic crimes because many attacks simply go unreported. www.pi-media.co.uk


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US Muslim org to challenge federal govt over terror watch list system

A US Muslim civil rights organization said it plans to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s terror watch list system, including a newly disclosed program in which air marshals have secretly monitored air passengers with no known terrorism links. Gadeir Abbas, senior litigation attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the group will file the lawsuit in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, on behalf of more than 10 Muslim travelers who allege they faced harassment at airports and suffered

other consequences because of being placed on a terror watch list. The plaintiffs are from Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Kansas, New Jersey and Washington, DC. Abbas said the defendants named in the lawsuit will include the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and other government agencies, AP reportd. The suit claims the travelers’ due process rights were violated and asks the court to grant an injunction to “prevent the federal government from putting innocent people, people who have not been charged, arrested

or convicted of any crime, on any type of watch list,” Abbas said. Abbas said the lawsuit will underscore both travel-related and non-travel related consequences of being on a watch list, including being subjected to searches and interrogations at airports, having electronics seized, not being able to get a license to transport hazardous materials or not being allowed to enter a military base. The TSA, created after the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, recently acknowledged a program called “Quiet Skies” in which air marshals conduct secret observations of passengers for behavior including using the plane restroom repeatedly or displaying nervousness. Michelle Negron, a spokeswoman for TSA, said the agency is unable to comment on the pending litigation. “However, any traveler who believes he or she has been unfairly or incorrectly delayed or denied boarding can work though the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program to resolve the issue,” Negron said in a written statement. The DHS said that as a matter of policy, it does not comment on pending litigation.

Canada announced it will scrap the lottery system for reuniting immigrant families and is raising the number of sponsor applications it will accept in 2019. Rather than use the random luck selection method, applications to sponsor parents and grandparents to join relatives in Canada will be processed in the order they are received. As well, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the number of parent and grandparent applications will be increased to 20,500 in 2019, up from the current cap of 17,000. Reverting to the first-come first-

serve system from random selection instituted in 2018 reflects criticism who felt the draw was not fair. Canadians “did express some concerns about the lottery, the random selection process,” Hussen said. “What I am announcing … is feedback that we got from Canadians that they would like to see changes in the selection process. “This is a fairer first-in system that will benefit all those who are interested.” The Canadian attitude is a far cry from that of the American immigration system, where U.S.

President Donald Trump said family-based immigration is “chain migration.” “A single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives,” he has often stated. Actually, U.S. citizens and legal residents can sponsor only limited close relatives. But it is difficult to sponsor close relatives in either country because of a cap on the numbers. In Canada more than 95,000 completed online sponsorship forms in 2018 and from those applications, 10,000 potential sponsors were selected at random.

Canada adopts first-come family immigration system




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Los Angeles turns down funding for program targeting Muslims

The office of the mayor of Los Angeles turned down a $425,000 grant from the federal government for a program intended to counter violent extremism that has been criticized for targeting and vilifying Muslims, the mayor’s office said. Mayor Eric Garcetti had been close to administering the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant to various organizations, only needing approval from the City Council, but he decided to turn down the funding, citing misinformation and delays in the program’s performance cycle. “Unfortunately, a significant amount of misinformation has led to delays in the program that have stretched past the halfway point in the grant’s performance cycle,” the

mayor’s spokesman, Alex Comisar, told Anadolu Agency. “That leaves too little time for the community organizations we have engaged to bring their plans to life. For that reason, it has become impractical to move forward, so we have notified DHS that Los Angeles will no longer accept the grant funds,” he said. The decision made Los Angeles the first city to turn down a grant for its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Several groups opposed to the CVE program applauded the decision by the mayor’s office but they remain disappointed because of the failure of the city to address the unnecessary monitoring of Muslim communities. “As American Muslims we


are relieved that the city of Los Angeles, which is one of America’s most progressive cities, is no longer partnered by the Trump administration, in a program that targets American Muslims,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. The CVE program was established in 2011 under the administration of former President Barack Obama to thwart efforts by extremist groups to recruit would-be terrorists. It focused on working with nongovernmental organizations, academia, mental health institutes, the private sector and local communities. Under the program, a Strategic Implementation Plan was also announced by the DHS to enhance engagement with local communities that may be targeted by violent extremists, build government and law enforcement expertise to prevent violent extremism and counter violent extremist propaganda. “The whole program is based on false premises that American Muslims are more susceptible to terrorism than other groups,” Ayloush further added. The mayor’s office said it would continue to work with various organizations to curb extremism and provide specialized services for people in need of help.

First woman fined in Denmark for wearing full-face veil In Case You Missed It

A 28-year-old woman wearing a niqab became the first person in Denmark to be fined for violating a new controversial law banning full-face Islamic veils in public places, media reported. Police were called to a shopping centre in Horsholm, in the northeastern region of Nordsjaelland, where the woman had become involved in a scuffle with another woman who had tried to tear her niqab off, police duty officer David Borchersen told the Ritzau news

agency. “During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again,” Borchersen said. The woman was informed she would receive a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156, 134 euros) in the post, and was told to either remove her veil or leave the public space. “She chose the latter,” Borchersen said. As of August 1, wearing a burqa, which covers a person’s entire face,

or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public carries a fine of 1,000 kroner. Repeated violations are fined up to 10,000 kroner. The ban also targets other accessories that hide the face such as balaclavas, masks and false beards. Human rights campaigners have slammed the ban as a violation of women’s rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.


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One million Muslim Uighurs held in secret China camps: UN

More than one million Uighur Muslims are estimated to be in detention in “counter-extremism centers” in China’s far west, the vice chairperson of a United Nations antidiscrimination committee said, citing credible reports. Gay McDougall made the comments as the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination started reviewing China’s record over recent years in the Swiss city of Geneva. Members were “deeply concerned” about reported detentions of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, which have “turned the [Xinjiang] Uighur Autonomous Region into something that resembles a massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy - a sort of ‘no rights zone’,” McDougall said at the start of the two-day

hearing. “Another two million have been forced into so-called re-education camps for political and cultural indoctrination,” she added. A Chinese delegation of some 50 officials made no comment. China says Xinjiang faces a serious threat from rebels and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority. Yu Jianhua, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said it was working towards equality and solidarity among all ethnic groups. The Chinese delegation leader also highlighted economic progress and rising living standards among other things. In her remarks, McDougall said

that most of these people have never been properly charged with a crime or tried in court. While McDougall did not cite her sources, the numbers of people forced into detention and into reeducation matched a report that the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders submitted to the committee. A submission by the Human Rights Watch advocacy group said there were “at least tens of thousands” in political education centers. Amnesty International wrote that “at a minimum, tens of thousands, with some sources estimating hundreds of thousands” of Uighurs have been detained. But UN’s McDougall said that members of the Uighur community and others Muslims were being treated as “enemies of the state” solely on the basis of their ethnoreligious identity. More than 100 Uighur students who returned to China from countries including Egypt and Turkey had been detained, with some dying in custody, she said. McDougall also cited reports suggesting that Chinese authorities are persecuting people for using Muslim greetings, possessing halal food, or for having long beards or headscarves. In addition, she pointed to reports of mass surveillance and the broad collection of DNA samples and iris scans in the Xinjiang.

Egypt retrieves centuries old Islamic manuscript Egypt’s national library said it has retrieved a 500-year-old Islamic manuscript that was lost in 1970s. Hesham Azmi, the head of the National Library and Archives, told

a press conference the manuscript, titled “The Summary of the Science of History,” is the first known Islamic study of historical theory. He said the national library

reclaimed the manuscript on July 13 after it was spotted at an auction in London in April. www.pi-media.co.uk

Latest Podcast & Video online


US to announce rejection of Palestinians’ right of return



Washington is set to announce that it will no longer recognize millions of Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” to the Israel occupied territories, media reports said. According to Israel’s Hadashot News, the administration of US President Donald Trump will make the announcement in which it will claim that only around one million Palestinians are eligible for refugee status. The claim will contradict UN statistics which classify over five million Palestinians as refugees.

last month, the American magazine Foreign Policy obtained emails written by Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-inlaw, to senior US officials in which he pressured Jordan to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians in a bid to disrupt UNRWA’s work. Washington has on multiple occasions voiced opposition over treating the descendants of Palestinian refugees as refugees themselves. In January, the US government

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

announced that it would withhold $65 million of a $125 million aid installment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The United States also canceled over $200 million in funds for the Palestinian Authority. The UNRWA head suggested that the US had slashed the agency’s budget to punish the Palestinians for their criticism of Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.” “I can say with a great degree of confidence that the decision was not related to UNRWA’s performance because in November I had received very constructive and openly positive feedback on those issues,” Pierre Kraehenbuehl told the Associated Press. “Tensions increased around the question of Jerusalem [al-Quds],” he added. “It appears that the humanitarian funding to UNRWA got caught up in the deep polarization around that question.” US-Palestine ties deteriorated last December, when Trump declared Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and announced plans to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

New exchange seeks to host Islamic finance A new digital exchange aims to attract listings from sharia compliant financial technology startups, its chief executive said, part of a growing number of firms looking to modernize Islamic finance. The exchange, known as Huulk, has applied for a digital exchange license in Malta and hopes to partner with several European exchanges in the coming weeks, Huulk chief executive Ibrahim Mohammed said in a telephone interview from Dubai. This would allow the exchange, part of the OneGram Group of companies, to host trades of digital assets as well as stocks

and commodities. Malta’s Bianchi Holdings Limited would be an equity partner in the exchange, Mohammed said. Cryptocurrency firms are increasingly teaming up with traditional exchanges to attract more business, but Huulk is also trying to tap into religiously-sensitive Muslim investors. The exchange is aiming to list around 20 Islamic fintech firms, some of which operate in Muslim-majority countries like Turkey and Malaysia, Mohammed said. OneGram also plans to list its own sharia-compliant cryptocurrency

on the exchange by mid-September. OneGram has sold around $400 million in gold-backed tokens over the past year. Several financial technology firms, or fintechs, have developed sharia-compliant products to help broaden their footprint to include growth markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Last year, New York-based Wahed Invest launched a sharia compliant robo-advisor and in July California-based Stellar received certification from Islamic scholars for its blockchain platform and related cryptocurrency.


I September 2018




Indonesia Ministry issues guidelines on adhan in Mosques In Case You Missed It

Except for the Adhan (Islamic call to prayers), mosques in Indonesia have been asked not to broadcast sounds when most people are likely to be sleeping, resting, and praying. They have also been asked not to raise sound levels while conducting a prayer. Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs has issued a circular on Adhan, with guidelines on when

and how it ought to be broadcast by mosques across the country, amid an outcry over the jailing of a woman who had griped about adhan volumes to a neighbor. Titled “The use of loudspeakers in Mosques, Langgar, and Musholla”, the circular released urges religious institutions to follow the instructions of the director-general of Muslim guidance, Langgar and Musholla are

terms used in Indonesia for Muslim prayer houses. The religious affairs ministry’s instructions on Adhan runs over six points according to Tempo: Loudspeakers in mosques should be handled by experienced personnel to avoid droning sounds, humming, and other noises that would potentially arouse antipathy towards mosques. Those issuing the Adhan must possess a melodious and good voice. Do not raise sound levels while conducting a prayer. Except for the Adhan, do not broadcast sounds when most people are likely to be sleeping, resting, and praying. Adhan must fulfil basic requirements including being melodious and easy on the ears. Adhan should be broadcast at appropriate times like during the subuh prayer at dawn. Activities such as Quran reciting should utilise only indoor speakers.

Brazil, tops exporter of halal meat Brazil is the world’s top exporter of meat, including the halal or “religiously permissible” meat deemed suitable for consumption by nearly 2 billion Muslims across the globe. Islam has specific guidelines on what kind of food its adherents should consume, and Salaam Gateway, a Dubai-based website devoted to Islamic culture and lifestyle, estimated the halal-certified food and beverage industry to be worth $415 billion in 2015. Far from the Middle East and any majority-Muslim country, Brazil tops the list of nations exporting food to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which includes 57 Muslim-majority countries, with a value of $15.9 billion. A major scandal, however, may have disrupted trade between the Latin American nation and the top halal market abroad. Citing figures from the Brazilian Animal Protein Association the website found a

20.97 percent plunge in Saudi imports of Brazilian halal poultry meat in 2017, a year in which Brazil’s lucrative meat industry was wracked by a major safety scare. Brazil has the largest Muslim population in Latin America, but its domestic consumption of halal food is comparatively small. Nevertheless, as the top-line international beef exporter, Islamic countries make up a significant chunk of the Brazilian customer base and companies must go through special procedures to ensure that products are suitable for Muslim consumers. In March, Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Executive Director Eumar Novacki met with the director of a standards organization in Saudi Arabia to discuss new, tighter regulations on halal meat imports. According to a news release posted by Novacki’s ministry, “Saudi officials and importers have

expressed concern about local production” in Brazil, particularly the way in which the animals were slaughtered. Despite these uncertainties, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service attributed the loss of over one-fifth of Brazilian halal poultry meat exports to Saudi Arabia “to the departure of several hundred thousand expatriates from the Kingdom, increased Brazilian export prices in the second half of this year, and the increase in the local broiler meat production” in a Sept 17 report. After Brazil, the top halal meat exporters to the Organization of Islamic Countries were Australia, India, France, China, Sudan and South Sudan, the Netherlands, Spain, Somalia and Turkey as detailed in Nov17 by Al Jazeera, which cited Salaam Gateway, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center and Reuters.


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

Muslim woman who refused handshake wins court case

A Swedish labor court has ruled that a translation company must pay a Muslim woman 40,000 kronor, or around $4,500, in discrimination compensation, after her job interview was shut down upon her explaining she would not shake a male worker’s hand for religious reasons. Farah Alhajeh said she placed her hand over her heart instead of extending it to a male representative of Semantix at their offices in her hometown of Uppsala. The 24-yearold told the New York Times that she explained to him she avoided physical contact because of her Muslim faith. Alhajeh had been hoping to land a job as an interpreter with the company when she went in for

the May 2016 interview. Instead, she said she was escorted to the elevator, the interview abruptly over. “As soon as I got to the elevator, I cried,” she told Swedish news channel SVT. “It had never happened to me before.” For its part, Semantix argued that it is a defender of gender equality — and it says it could not hire anyone who would discriminate based on the gender of the person seeking a handshake. Attorney Lars Bäckström, who represented Semantix at court, told NPR in a statement that it was actually the male worker who had his dignity violated, when Alhajeh rejected his handshake. “He was very upset and felt

offended by her refusal,” he said. Bäckström said the law should have protected the man in this instance. “According to the Swedish Discrimination Act, it is the victim’s experience that determines whether or not a violation has taken place, as long as the reaction is not disproportionate,” Bäckström said. Because the court did not take the man’s dignity into account, Bäckström said, it failed to strike a balance between gender equality and religious freedom. The labor court said in a statement, that Alhajeh “adheres to an interpretation of Islam that prohibits handshaking with the opposite sex unless it is a close member of the family.” Sweden’s Equality Ombudsman, which defended Alhajeh, told the BBC that the ruling properly weighed “the employer’s interests, the individual’s right to bodily integrity, and the importance of the state to maintain protection for religious freedom.” In that case, however, education officials ruled that the significance of the Swiss custom outweighed the boys’ religious objections, and the boys were required to shake their teachers’ hands.

Sri Lanka Buddhist Monk gets 6 years’ jail for inciting anti-Muslim violence A Sri Lankan court handed a sixyear jail term to a Buddhist monk accused of inciting violence against Muslims, holding him guilty of contempt just months after he was convicted of intimidating the wife of a missing journalist. The monk, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, leads the hardline Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or “Buddhist Power Force”, which government ministers and Muslims have accused of stirring up violence against Muslims and Christians, allegations he has

denied. The court sentenced him to six years’ rigorous imprisonment over a 2016 incident when Gnanasara interrupted a court hearing on the abduction of the journalist, Prageeth Eknaligoda, in which military intelligence officials were accused. He shouted at the judge and lawyers because the military officials had not been given bail, and threatened Eknaligoda’s wife. “The convict intentionally committed the offence to undermine

the judiciary,” Preethi Padman Surasena, the president of the court of appeal, said in delivering judgment, adding, “Found guilty of all charges beyond reasonable doubt.” The monk was convicted on four counts of contempt of court, receiving terms of four years each on the first and the second counts, six years on the third and five for the fourth, all to run concurrently. A BBS official told Reuters the group would appeal against ruling. www.pi-media.co.uk

US Muslims hold register to vote events


I September 2018


In Case You Missed It

For the first time ever, Muslims mobilized a national effort to register people to vote in the upcoming US elections. Colorado was one of 30 US states that took part in National Muslim Voter Registration Day on August 24. National Muslim Voter Registration Day is a nationallycoordinated effort of grassroots Muslim organizations to reach and

register thousands of Muslim voters. There were 20 volunteers speaking 10 different languages in nine mosques around the state registering Muslims to vote in Colorado. Iman Jodeh, the spokeswoman for the Colorado Muslim Society, says the state is home to over 75,000 Muslims, 9news.com reported. “In the 90s there were probably

about 30,000 to 35,000 Muslims in Colorado and there were probably under 10 mosques to serve those Muslims,” she said. “In 2018, we are over 75,000 Muslims pushing 30 mosques up along the Front Range.” This growing community has been doing a big push for civic engagement. Jodeh says 60 percent of Muslims in Colorado are immigrants or refugees. They come from countries where voting was banned or dangerous. At the voter registration tables outside the mosque, volunteers had people fill out posters that said, “my Muslim vote counts because…” One of the answers was, “… because I was born and raised here, and my family is military who proudly served and protected this country.” “It’s so cool to show that Muslims are not only Americans, but we also love and care about this country as well,” Jodeh said.

Turkey condemns Zionist regime’s move to approve new settlement units Turkey condemned Israel’s approval of the construction of new Jewishonly housing units in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank. “We strongly condemn the approval by Israel to build over 2,000 additional units in the West Bank, which is under Israeli occupation,” a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry said, according to the Daily Sabah. The statement said that the “actions taken in disregard of international law and relevant UN

Resolutions” would damage the ongoing peace process in the region, underlining that Israel’s practices violate the “inalienable rights of Palestinian people.” Turkey also called upon the international community to oppose Israel’s plan to build more illegal settlements in the West Bank. The European Union also slammed Israel on Thursday over its advancement of plans for new homes in the West Bank, saying they threaten the establishment of a “contiguous and viable” Palestinian

state. An Israeli committee responsible for approving settlement construction gave final authorization to build 382 homes, while it also cleared another 620 for a planning stage known as a “deposit.” Over 600,000 Israelis currently live in over 100 Jewish-only housing units. The Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are regarded illegal by the international community. www.pi-media.co.uk

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

Australian ex-football player in hot water over anti-Muslim comments

Australian sports commentator and former Aussie rules football player Sam Newman has been heavily criticised on social media following his comments on Muslim migrants, who he said have “colonized” the continent. Talking on his weekly Australian Football League (AFL) podcast, Newman slammed the league for staging a show of solidarity in response to an inflammatory speech in parliament by Senator Fraser Anning. He had called for a ban on Muslim immigration and a return to the White Australia policy. The AFL’s highestprofile Muslim players Adam Saad

and Bachar Houli hugged each other in a display of multicultural inclusion before the coin toss ahead of the Essendon-Richmond clash in Melbourne. “They [Muslims] don’t generally nationalize, they colonize,” Newman said, adding that the Muslim community doesn’t share common values with Australian society. “There are 600,000 Muslims in Australia, they share no common interest with what we’re on about. They have no common values, they preach to a different, deity, god. This has been a huge problem in Europe and it’s beginning to be a huge problem in America,” he said.

His inflammatory comments triggered public outcry on social media, with many users accusing the former AFL star of racism and discrimination. “That the sight of two Australian #Muslim men hugging on a footy field as a sign of love, unity and peace would be seen as a threat by Sam Newman shows you the underbelly of racism & bigotry in our nation that is alive and well. We remember what he did to Nicky Winmar too. Trash,” wrote Kon Karapanagiotidis on his Twitter account. Some internet users wrote that they “don’t share Newman’s common values,” adding that Newman had “confirmed his bigotry” by attacking Muslim Australians. “Dear Sam Newman, I’m a Muslim Australian & proud Geelong supporter. As a kid I idolised you. I remember watching you run out for your 300th game for .@GeelongCats & I was thrilled. I thought we shared a common interest. Suffice to say I’m saddened for you,” wrote Ahmed Bise. “I’m not a Muslim and I share no common values with Sam Newman and I have no idea what he is on about half the time. He adds no value to the Australian or AFL communities,” read a tweet by Dragonet.

Palestinian soccer chief: ‘I will appeal Messi incitement ban’ The head of Palestinian soccer said on he will appeal FIFA’s year-long ban on him for inciting fans against Argentine superstar Lionel Messi as part of his campaign to stop Argentina’s national team from playing in Israel. Jibril Rajoub said he was consulting with his lawyers and will “use every possible opportunity” to fight the decision. He spoke by phone from China

and said he was planning a press conference upon his return to Ramallah. Rajoub’s Palestine Football Association (FA) has lashed out at the decision by international soccer’s ruling body as biased and “absurd.” FIFA imposed the minimum ban allowed in its disciplinary code for inciting hatred or violence. It prevents Rajoub from attending

matches or engaging with the media at or near stadiums on match days for a year. Rajoub, who is also head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, was fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,300). The ban will apply for the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE, which kicks off in January, and likely include the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifying program.


I September 2018


Liverpool ‘not for sale’ after £2 billion bid from Sheikh Mansour cousin

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group insisted the Premier League club is not for sale after details emerged of a failed £2 billion takeover bid from a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour. Daily Mail newspaper reported that Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan approached the club over several months in late

2017 and into early 2018. He then made the £2 billion offer that would have been the most expensive takeover in the history of the game. Liverpool — 18-times English champions — said the club was still open to new outside investment but is not for sale. Britain’s Press Association said it understood that the interest — one of

a number of approaches FSG have received in recent years — did not get past the vetting stage because it was deemed neither credible nor worthy of being put to the ownership. “FSG have been clear and consistent: the club is not for sale,” said a Liverpool statement. “But what the ownership has said, again clearly and consistently, is that under the right terms and conditions we would consider taking on a minority investor, if such a partnership was to further our commercial interests in specific market places and in line with the continued development and growth of the club and the team.” Malcolm Glazer’s £790 million purchase of Premier League rivals Manchester United in 2005 remains the most expensive football takeover deal. Liverpool, bought by their owners, then known as New England Sports Ventures, for £300 million in 2010, were valued at £1.42 billion by business services group KPMG in May. www.pi-media.co.uk

Saudi Arabia’s special needs football team wins World Cup Saudi Arabia won the INAS World Football Championships in Sweden for the fourth time in a row after beating Argentina 2-0 in the final. The showdown of the competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities saw star man Abdullah Al-Dosari score twice as Saudi Arabia highlighted why they went into the match as favorites. As soon as the captain got the first goal in the 24th minute there was only going to be one winner, he netted the second in the 81st minute to put the result beyond doubt. Al-Dosari and Co. got to the

final thanks to possibly their most impressive performance of the tournament, a 4-1 thrashing of France. Al-Dosari was once again the star in that match as he put on a captain’s display, leading by example, netting the first before Abdullah Adam, Ahmed Bouhlal and Omar Cassar completed the rout. Argentina triumphed 4-2 on penalties in a dramatic semifinal clash with European champions Poland, to make the final but from the start of the final in Tingvalla IP they looked half a yard off the pace.

Saudi Arabia’s dominance of the sport started in 2006, when they beat the Netherlands after extratime. Another victory over the Dutch followed four years later, before a 4-2 win against South Africa in 2014 and yesterday’s victory against the Argentines. To participate in an INASFID event, an athlete must have an intellectual disability that was evident before the age of 18, significant limitations in adaptive behavior, and an IQ score below 75.


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‘We work under siege’’


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

The Psychological Impact of Violence on Journalists in Conflict Zones

The risks faced by journalists have never been greater and the number of attacks keeps on rising. During the Arab spring, the press encountered serious challenges that restricted its freedom across the region. A troublesome feature of this violence today is the escalating number of journalists who have been kidnapped for ransom or held as hostages. Reporters confirmed that the highest mortality rate for journalists in the last decade was in the year 2012, when it reached 88 journalists and 879 were arrested. In addition to this in 2017, six media assistants and 47 citizenjournalists were killed, and 144 bloggers and citizens were arrested. While it has been reported thatat least 81 reporters were killed doing their jobs and more than 250 journalists were imprisoned in 2018. Massoud Akko a Syrian journalist said, “We can see this growing global problem threatens the practice of journalism and the ability of news

media to fully inform the public about events occurring in the world. Journalists and media workers are highly vulnerable to kidnapping and sexual violence because they often work in dangerous zones”. Violence against journalists is an important issue that is rarely confronted in a constructive manner. There are at least three different ways in which violence against journalists occurs. One is during the course of reporting dangerous events such as wars and conflict zones where journalists usually stay around. Secondly, state-sponsored violence in the form of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and torture of journalists, including many women, and lastly trolling and other forms of sexualized hate speeches that journalists encounter on the internet. The Psychological Impact of Violence against journalists This year, Dr Miral AlAshry Associate Professor and journalist, collaborated with International

Federation of African Women on a project, to investigate the phenomenon of sexual violence against journalists’ whilst covering conflict in war-zones. Furthermore, fifty journalists from Middle East said that they had experienced sexual violence. She discovered that “Journalists who cover conflict in the Middle East are exposed to range illnesses that include post-traumatic stress disorder to anxiety and depression that has the potential to effect on their emotional and physical wellbeing. Intimidation, assault, mock execution and witnessing death,these genres of sufferings are just some of the occupational hazards that come with the job. These hazards can explain why the lifetime prevalence rate for posttraumatic stress disorder in journalists who have worked for over a decade in zones of conflict is similar to that seen in combat veterans.

I September 2018 As the dangers increase, so do posterior cingulated cortex, the psychological risks as far as Hippocampus involved in processing journalists are concerned. Recent emotional stimuli, episodic memory data obtained from Middle East retrieval, detecting threats in the journalists covering the Syrian and environment, memory encoding, and Libyan war, an intermittent conflict motor programming. in which journalists have covered This combination of activation in indicates that those working in the areas linking memory and emotion field are exposed to long term mental to motor activation suggests that health issues. viewing violence could integrate In addition to this, she developed existing aggression-related thoughts the study to know the impact of and feelings, potentially facilitating Neurology on violence against aggressive behavior by increasing journalists in an interview with the strength or accessibility of Ahmed Gaber, Professor of aggressive behavior scripts in Neurology Ain Shams University he memory. said, “Until very recently research Recent evidence suggests that on the harmful effects upon exposure to violence may be linked journalists highlighted that they to a decrease in the activity of brain experienced high blood pressure and structures needed for regulation of epilepsybecause they were exposed aggressive behavior and increases to trauma that cause psychological in the activity of structures needed disorders. So therefore, Gaber to carry out aggressive plans. The developed a new approach about anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the side effects of the Hippocampus located in the medial frontal lobe, has functions. been linked to aggressive behavior. Hippocampus belongs to the limbic system and plays animportant New Psychological rehabilitation role in the consolidation of program information from short-term memory Journalists around the globe to long-term memory, and in spatial are victims of violence in many memory that enables navigation. cases,the study recommends that we Gaber said that if journalists are should develop new psychological attacked more than once, this rehabilitation program for journalists. will have an impact on their long Firstly, “trauma exposure,” must memories”. be made by exposing journalists Furthermore, the brain regions viewing live footage of conflicts in


I 25 closed four-dimensional rooms that will prepare journalists for the reality of the field, and avoid many risks experienced by those in the past. Exposure to the initial trauma gives signals to the brain of the incidents prior to it being played out in real life. When the reporters go into the field, these events will have been experienced beforehand thus reducing the effect of psychological trauma. Secondly, through psycho-drama, before going to the field, journalists should watch a play demonstrating the various types of violence that they could be exposed to such as assault, threats and harassment and how to deal with those circumstances and face them. Thirdly, in conflict zones, journalists should receive psychological support from trained psychiatrists that are able to deal with stress, pressure, tension and depression in a professional way. Moreover, train them to diagnose the various disorders that are common in such cases, such as anxiety, fears and depression and to avoid injury once more.


By Miral Alashry Assistant Professor Canadian international college ( CIC) Department of Journalism

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The Islamic Caliphate in a Historical Context




I September

Part 29

After Marwan Ibn Hakam revelation that the killers of the former caliph Uthman Ibn Affan had been given them trouble, both the supporters of Ali and Uthman left for Basra to bring a resolution to this issue through negotiation or potential conflict. It should be said that neither party had a desire to shed the blood of fellow Muslims and confirmation of this fact is seen through the words of Ali Ibn Talib that were directed towardsTalhah. “I adjure you by Allah! Didn’t you hear the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said: ‘Whoever I am his mawla, this Ali is his mawla. O God, love whoever loves him, and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him’?” Talha responded “Yes” to Ali, after which Ali asked him, “Then why do you want to fight me?”. Several chieftains from the tribes based in Kufah were concerned about the prospect of blood being shed and therefore decided to

meet Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Aishah respectively and after much deliberation both decided that they would resolve the matter through negotiation and avoid conflict at all costs. Both parties were relieved that conflict would be avoided and felt that now Muslim unity would be preserved despite the difficulties they had encountered until now. However, the killers of Uthman and a group known as the ‘Qurra’ (reciters) who later became known as the Khawarij (Kharijites) were enraged that conflict was no longer inevitable. The Qurraliterally provoked a bloody conflict that became known as the Battle of the Camel by attacking the tents housing the troops of both parties in the dead of the night. This cowardly attack on both camps created hysteria and a sense of disbelief that why had each camp decided to declare war at night

especially when both had decided to resolve all outstanding issues in an amicable fashion. It is at this point that the two parties accused one another of treachery and outright betrayal unbeknown to them that a third party namely the Qurra had deliberately stoked the flames of war with severe consequences. Full scale war was now declared with Ali and his troops engaged in combat with the forces of Talhah, Zubayr and Aishah that led to a great loss of life and many suffered debilitating injuries on the battlefield. It is said that Marwan Ibn Hakam was attempting to manipulate the situation to his advantage saw Talhah leaving the battlefield and ended up shooting him in the leg. It is said that Talhah by leaving the battlefield had betrayed his own contemporaries who had shown greater bravery than the general who was supposedly one of their leaders.


I September 2018

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PI September 2018 issue  

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