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UK lobbied US to hide Boxing champion Voices of Young role in CIA torture to open Dubai gym British Muslims
‘Threat to UK Exaggerated’
The level of threat from international terrorism to Britain has been raised from substantial to severe, Theresa May, the home secretary, has announced. This means that an attack is “highly likely”, though May said there is no evidence to suggest an attack is imminent. She said the decision to raise the official threat level is “related to developments in Syria and Iraq, where terrorist groups are planning y rtified b
attacks against the west”. David Cameron and Nick Clegg were in intensive negotiations to try to agree a fresh round of measures to tackle the threat posed by terror suspects in Britain. But a new report says no empirical evidence to support notion that UK nationals fighting in Syria are threat on return. The report - “Blowback – Foreign fighters and the threat they pose” by an UK-based campaign group claims
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that the British government has greatly exaggerated the threat posed to the country by foreign fighters taking part in the Syrian civil war. British government policy is “confused and dangerous” and has “created a climate of fear,” says CAGE, which campaigns on behalf of the victims of “The War on Terror.” It accuses authorities of being “inconsistent” in how they treat those supporting rebels and foreign fighters in Syria. follow us on You Tube
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Shaker Aamer ‘beaten’ in Guantanamo In Case You Missed It
In evidence of a new crackdown on prisoners protesting their detention without charge
British resident Shaker Aamer has reportedly been beaten at Guantánamo Bay, in evidence of a new crackdown on prisoners protesting their detention without charge. In new letters received by the legal charity Reprieve, detainees reveal what one calls a new “standard procedure” of abuses at the prison. Emad Hassan, a Yemeni detained without charge since 2002, wrote that “an FCE [Forcible Cell Extraction] team has been brought in to beat the detainees, Shaker ISN 239 was beaten when the medical people wanted to draw blood.” Mr Hassan adds that guards had beaten another detainee for nearly two hours. ‘Forcible Cell Extraction’ or ‘FCEing’ is the process by which a
detainee is forced out of his cell by a group of armed guards, often before being taken to the force-feeding chair. Mr Aamer has previously described being beaten by the FCE team up to eight times a day. Mr Aamer, who has been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations, has been held for long periods of solitary confinement since 2005 and is in extremely poor health. An independent medical examination conducted earlier this year diagnosed him with severe posttraumatic stress, and recommended urgent psychiatric treatment and “reintegration into his family.” In June, former Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reprieve that UK officials were confident Mr Aamer had access to a “detainee
welfare package” and that his health “remain[ed] stable.” In a letter sent this week, Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith urged Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond to raise urgent questions with the US Government about these latest reports of mistreatment. Cori Crider, Strategic Director at Reprieve and a lawyer for Mr Aamer, said: “Just weeks ago, the UK Government dismissed our concerns about Shaker Aamer’s wellbeing, relying on US assurances about a so-called Guantanamo ‘welfare package.’ Now we hear that Shaker, already a seriously ill man, has been beaten. Phillip Hammond should seek answers from the US without delay about why, instead of simply releasing Shaker, it prefers to detain and abuse him.”
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I September 2014
US intervention in Iraq highlights failed foreign policy In Case You Missed It
Claims by the US that military intervention is essential to protect the fate of Iraq’s Christians and Yazidis do not bear up to any serious scrutiny and if anything the minor relief air strikes have brought for these oppressed communities is simply a consequence, not an intended outcome, of US policy. The resort to military action also highlights the abject failure of US foreign policy in a country which it invaded and occupied in order to topple Saddam Hussein and install a compliant regime. Instead of helping to solve Iraq’s problems US policy has been instrumental
in exacerbating divisions and sectarianism in Iraq. IHRC believes that if Washington is genuine about helping ethnic and religious minorities it would have intervened long ago against ISIS in Syria where the group has taken advantage of the uprising against President Assad to grow strong. However Washington has stubbornly resisted calls to target ISIS in Syria and also to arm the more moderate rebels fighting to topple Assad who could be expected to provide an effective counterweight to ISIS extremists. Earlier this year When ISIS pushed in from Syria to take over huge swathes of Iraq the US government decided not to intervene despite the fact that the integrity of the nation and the future of many ethnic/religious groups were under threat. In Syria the US has failed to support in any meaningful way the country’s religious minorities
and ethnic Kurds who have found themselves targeted by ISIS. It is telling that US chose to intervene militarily only after ISIS had attacked and overrun several Kurdish positions in the north of Iraq. Iraq’s Kurds are staunch US allies in Iraq and any threat to their autonomous region, formed with Washington’s blessing after the ousting of Saddam Hussein, is a direct threat to US attempts to maintain regional hegemony. US policy aganst ISIS, it seems, is only to treat it as a threat when it jeopardises US interests but to tolerate it insofar as it serves US purposes by weakening US enemies such as Assad’s Syria and Iran. IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “The experience of US military intervention in the region has historically been one of more death, destruction, divisions and instability. It is equally hard to see any ethical principles underlying this latest intervention.”
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
I September 2014
UK police posted threats, and racist comments on social media
UK police officers and civilian staff made racist and threatening comments on Facebook and Twitter, friend-requested victims of crime and uploaded “compromising” images of colleagues, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show. Documents obtained by the Press Association show a total of 828 police employees were investigated over a five-year period for breaching police social media guidelines at forces across England and Wales. One in seven investigations resulted in no further action or the personnel having no case to answer, but one in 10 resulted in an officer resigning, being dismissed or taking retirement. In one instance, a civilian officer posted a comment on a Facebook account regarding the actions of
Muslims in central London failing to observe two minutes’ silence. It was alleged the language used “could be regarded as offensive/inappropriate likely to cause offence to other persons,” police said. Various forces also said there were investigations into comments that were deemed homophobic, racist or “religiously aggressive”. A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) with Devon and Cornwall Police received a final written warning for posting photos on Facebook of themselves with weapons. A sergeant with the same force received a written warning after publishing remarks on Facebook showing disloyalty to the force and remarks about senior officers. According to Gwent Police, a constable acted inappropriately while attending a member of the public’s
home and asked her to become a friend on Facebook, later sending a message through the site. He received a written warning. Another sent a message to a member of the public which was of an “abusive nature”. An employee with Dyfed Powys was accused of being “threatening, bullying and intimidating towards a complainant by sending private messages via Facebook”, while two special constables in Northampton resigned after being pictured on the social media site in a “compromising position”. Nottinghamshire Police cited an instance of a constable posting “confidential information concerning an upcoming police operation” while another posted comments “regarding their dissatisfaction at having to work on an upcoming police operation”. Other instances of professional malpractice include a constable with the Lancashire force making inappropriate remarks on Facebook regarding someone’s wife. A colleague received counseling after an investigation into a Facebook photo of the staff member asleep whilst on duty in the Control Room. With 88 investigations, Greater Manchester Police reported the most guideline breaches, followed by West Midlands on 74 and the London Metropolitan Police on 69. Just 13 forces reported having 10 or fewer investigations between January 2009 and February 2014.
Faith groups criticise campaign Muslim and Jewish communities in Scotland have hit out at a campaign set up by vets which calls for all animals to be stunned before slaughter to avert suffering. Both the Muslim Council for Scotland and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities have criticised the British Veterinary Association (BVA) publicity drive. The campaign - which was stepped up when letters were sent
to Scotland’s political leaders - is at odds with Muslim and Jewish beliefs over halal and kosher practices. It has led to claims by the Muslim Council that a change could diminish Islamic observance. However, claims over reduced animal suffering are at odds with the views of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which believes the cut to the neck causes “significant pain and distress”.
It also claims there is a delay to the animal becoming insensible - five to 10 seconds for sheep and 22 to 40 seconds for cows. More than 80 per cent of halal meat in the UK is stunned, while all kosher meat is unstunned. Very little non-stunning takes place in Scotland, but the BVA has raised concerns meat produced this way may be on supermarket shelves north of the Border without consumers knowing.
I September 2014
www.pi-media.co.uk I September 2014
UK lobbied US to hide role in CIA torture www.pi-media.co.uk
I September 2014
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
In Case Y o Missed It u
The British government has been lobbying US officials to conceal the UK’s role in the CIA’s torture and rendition program in an upcoming US Senate report. Newly-released data, published under the UK’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, revealed that London’s Ambassador to Washington Peter Westmacott engaged in at least 21 separate meetings with members of the US Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) prior to its publication of the report, deepening existing allegations that the Britain may be seeking to sanitize the document. Westmacott met with key Democrats and Republicans on the SSCI throughout the body’s investigation of the CIA program, records obtained by the UK legal charity Reprieve reveal. Of particular note are two separate meetings with Senator Diane Feinstein in the immediate aftermath of the US government’s decision to publish what is expected to be a damning report on torture, interrogation and rendition by the CIA. Multiple leaks concerning the Senate’s findings have thus far indicated that the document will unveil new information relating to
Britain’s collaborative role in the program, particularly with respect to the CIA’s use of British foreign territory Diego Garcia, which was used to transfer detainees in the rendition process. Following the revelations, several human rights groups have publicly said Diego Garcia played a crucial role in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition – a program of moving terrorist suspects to covert US prisons around the world in the absence of legislative oversight. Former Foreign Secretary William Hague previously conceded that the British government had discussed the issue of “UK material” in the SSCI’s
torture report with US officials. Following recent revelations pertaining to Westmacott’s regular meetings with SCCI members, Reprieve’s executive director, Clare Algar, warned the logs uncovered further evidence of “desperate attempts” carried out by the British government to “censor the Senate’s report on CIA torture.” The UK government was “up to its neck in the CIA’s program of rendition and torture – making it highly likely that the Senate’s report will contain information that is deeply embarrassing for them,” Algar emphasized. www.pi-media.co.uk
UK Muslim urged to tap into Halal tourism Businesses who supply products and services to Muslims are being urged to tap into the global boom in halal tourism. Tourism experts say the rise of Muslim travellers across the world could be worth millions for UK companies and create a route to do business on an international level. Europe is hosting the Halal Tourism Conference 2014 this month to look at how the industry can capitalise on one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. It is the first-ever international conference on
halal tourism. According to the latest figures, the halal tourism sector was worth £84 billion in 2013 representing around 13% of global travel expenditures. This figure is expected to reach £116 billion by 2020. Tasneem Mahmood, Director of CM Media, who are organising the event, said halal tourism provides excellent opportunities for UK businesses especially those who are in food and drink, tourism and finance. In the UK alone the halal food industry is worth £1 billion while
the global Halal food industry is worth £399 billion. The Halal Tourism Conference is being held on 22 and 23 September 2014, hosted in Andalucia, Spain. The two-day event, which is being sponsored by Turkish Airlines, will host around 500 delegates and exhibitors from the Middle East, Far East and Europe including those currently active in halal tourism and countries looking for help to break into this sector. For more information on the event visit www.htc2014.com
I September 2014
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I September 2014
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
UK denies delaying Muslim Brotherhood report over fears
The British government denied a media report that it had delayed publication of an investigation into Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood because of disagreements among ministers over its findings. In April Prime Minister David Cameron asked Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia to conduct an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood, including allegations of links to extremism and its impact on British national security. The Financial Times newspaper, citing official sources, said the report had found that the Brotherhood should not be labelled a terrorist organisation and had found little evidence its members were involved in terrorist activities. However, ministers afraid of a backlash from allies in the Middle East have stalled the publication of the report for several weeks, the newspaper added. “The review into the Muslim Brotherhood hasn’t been delayed. The main findings were completed
by July, as per the Prime Minister’s request, and work is now underway across government to consider the implications of these findings,” a government spokeswoman said. A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said the government would make the findings public “in due course” but that it had never set out a timeframe for doing so.
The Muslim Brotherhood, once Egypt’s oldest, best organised and most successful political movement, has seen hundreds of its members killed and thousands detained since then-army chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi overthrew elected president and Brotherhood member Mohamed Mursi 13 months ago, following weeks of protest.
Leading UK department store to sell school hijabs
Retailer John Lewis is to offer the hijab in its school uniform range for the first time in stores in London and Liverpool. John Lewis has signed contracts
with two schools, one of which is in northwest London and was set up to educate Muslim girls only, while the other is in Liverpool and welcomes students from any religious or non-religious community. The Islamia Girls’ School in northwest London was set up in 1983 by Yusuf Islam, better known as the singer Cat Stevens before his conversion to Islam in 1977. The Belvedere Academy in
Liverpool was founded 130 years ago and is a non-denominational school for girls. It was the first school in the UK to become an independent academy in 2007.It was recently judged by Ofsted, the UK schools watchdog, as “outstanding”. In London the hijab will be sold for £9 with a teal blazer retailing at £65 and an ankle length grey skirt for £40. In Liverpool the hijab will be sold more cheaply, at £6, and will be available in navy or back alongside a formal uniform with a blazer for £40. The fact that a mainstream, upmarket UK retailer such as John Lewis has started to supply the hijab will likely be welcomed by Muslim parents who until now have relied on specialist shops.
I September 2014
I September 2014
LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS
700,000 immigrants to UK can’t speak English – report
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the UK are unable to get professional help learning English because of government cuts, a think tank says. While government support for English courses for migrants is falling, the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises, according to a report released by the think tank Demos. It has been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25 percent and 43 percent of the population by 2056. Only 150,000 migrants are currently registered in English classes – meaning that as many as 700,000 are being “left voiceless,”
the report warns. Using a freedom of information request, the think tank Demos found that government funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages courses has reduced by 40 percent in the past five years, from £212 million in 2008-09 down to £128 million in 2012-13. Ally Paget, researcher at Demos and author of the report, said, “It is essential that we get as many newcomers as possible using English with confidence. This will unlock migrants’ potential and benefit the whole country. Unfortunately, our current ESOL system is not up to the task. Current policy suffers from fragmentation, lack of clarity about
the aims and intended outcomes of learning, and the tendency to take a short-term view.” According to Demos, there are large waiting lists around the country, which “points to a paradox: an identifiable ESOL need and withdrawal of state support.” One survey found that four out of five classes were full and had waiting lists – some with more than 1,000 names on them. “Currently around 700,000 people are left in limbo and it is unlikely their English will improve without sustained learning,” Paget added. Immigrants who know the language are more likely to integrate and “become part of civic life because they have the necessary capabilities to navigate British society,” Demos said. ESOL provision is currently the responsibility of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, though the Demos report claims this leads the government to focus primarily on employment at the expense of other outcomes.
Two arrested and £400k seized in Hajj fraud investigation Two men were arrested and an estimated £400,000 was seized a travel agencies in East London as part of an ongoing investigation into Hajj fraud. The investigation by Birmingham City Council Trading Standards and City of London Police, saw searches on two travel agencies suspected of selling Hajj packages with false or no travel protection. The tour operators are suspected of selling
package holidays, including Hajj pilgrimages, by either falsely claiming to have Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) protection or selling unlicensed packages with no ATOL protection, leaving customers exposed if something went wrong with their trips. The two men, aged 37 and 42, were taken to a local police station for questioning and were later released on bail. All travel companies selling packages involving
flights and accommodation must be ATOL accredited to ensure people are
protected and insured against unforeseen circumstances.
I September 2014
US supplies fresh batch of weapons to Lebanon www.pi-media.co.uk
I September 2014
U.S. Ambassador in Beirut David Hale said the U.S. was working to provide all the weapons and ammunition requested by the Lebanese army to allow the latter to secure the borders and defeat extremist groups. The Lebanese army received a consignment of weapons from the U.S. for the ostensible purpose of securing the country’s borders and confronting extremist groups, U.S. Ambassador in Beirut David Hale has said. Hale told a press conference, held on the occasion of the arrival of the arms shipment to Beirut Airport’s military airbase, that the U.S. was working to provide all the weapons and ammunition requested by the
Lebanese army to allow the latter to secure the borders and defeat extremist groups. He added that arms shipment was the last of three to be delivered in response to requests by Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Sallam, it included 1,000 M-16 assault rifles, according to Hale, while an earlier batch – included 480 anti-tank missile launchers and 500 M-16 rifles. Other consignments of heavy ammunition will be provided by the U.S. to Lebanon within the coming few weeks, Hale affirmed. In early August, Arsal – from which the so-called “Islamic State” militant group recently captured a number of Lebanese soldiers – saw
LA to embark on major wide Islamic arts initiative
A series of exhibitions are scheduled to land in Los Angeles starting in September as part of a major Islamic Arts initiative. The Los Angeles / Islam Arts Initiative (LA/IAI) is the first-of-its-kind citywide initiative showcasing Islamic arts to take place anywhere. The initiative will bring together nearly 30 cultural institutions in the L.A. area to stage exhibitions and events that will tell the story of Islamic art around the world. This should offer some perspective on the culture of a region whose politics and traditions are often oversimplified, when they aren’t serving as a source of outright caricature. “One of the things that we were talking about when we were planning this initiative was the huge role that
Hollywood has in creating a picture of what is and isn’t Muslim,” says Amitis Motavelli, who is overseeing the program for DCA. “This image is spread internationally. So I think it behooves the city of L.A. to look at multiple views — not just that of constant victim or constant terrorist. We want to show the multiple perspectives that exist in any culture. It humanizes people.” The initiative will consist of dozens of exhibitions, screenings, lectures and symposia covering topics as varied as decorative objects, contemporary art, folk traditions and architectural photography. The LA/IAI effort focuses on art throughout the Islamic world, from the Middle East to other parts of Asia, to Europe and the U.S.
intense fighting between militants and Lebanese troops. The violence has largely destroyed a number of refugee camps that cater to thousands of Syrian refugees, prompting many to flee. Along with the influx of hundreds of thousands of war-weary refugees, Lebanon has been hard hit by the conflict in neighboring Syria. The country has also witnessed a recent surge in militant attacks in response to Hezbollah’s role in Syria, where the Shiite faction has continued to fight alongside Syrian regime troops against heavily-armed opposition forces.
By Gad Yateem
A new Mosque rises in Alaska
Alaska’s small but growing Muslim community is building the state’s first newly constructed mosque. “This is our future,” said Osama Obeidi, one of the MuslimAmericans leading the building effort for the Islamic Community Center of Anchorage. “We have second-generation Alaskans now, and new people coming all the time. We need a place to call home.” The 15,000-square-foot mosque, taking shape near a Sons of Norway Viking Hall, will eventually include a Sunday school and a community center with twin minarets. The mosque is perhaps the clearest sign yet that Islam in the US is rapidly pushing beyond traditional population centers such as Detroit and Los Angeles. American Muslims grow through immigration as well as birthrates and conversions. The Muslim population in the US is expected to more than double by 2030, to 6.2 million, according to a 2011 Pew Research Center study.
I September 2014
I September 2014
Kuwait detains Muslim cleric suspected of funding militants www.pi-media.co.uk
Kuwait detained a prominent Sunni Muslim cleric at the Gulf state’s airport after the United States included him on a sanctions list on suspicion that he is funnelling money to militants in Iraq and Syria, a security source told Reuters. Hajjaj al-Ajmi was detained at the airport on his arrival from Qatar, whose leadership supports Islamist groups such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and gives refuge to prominent figures from Hamas and the Taliban but does not back the militant Islamists operating in Iraq and Syria. The security source gave no further details about the detention. Nobody at Kuwait’s Interior Ministry was immediately available for comment. In their push to crack down on financing of militants in Syria and Iraq, Kuwaiti authorities also briefly detained another prominent Muslim cleric on Sunday, Shafi al-Ajmi, who belongs to the same extended tribe as Hajjaj al-Ajmi. Shafi al-Ajmi was later released without charge.
Kuwait has been one of the biggest humanitarian donors to Syrian refugees through the United Nations, but it has also struggled to control unofficial fund-raising for opposition groups in Syria by private individuals. The Kuwaiti government, an ally of the United States, has stepped up its monitoring of individuals and charities suspected of collecting donations for militants linked to al
Gaza war costs Israel $2.5 billion Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip has reportedly cost Tel Aviv USD 2.5 billion over the past 41 days, creating a colossal budget deficit for the regime. So far, Israel has incurred an average daily cost of USD 60 million per day. This is while so far, Israel’s Iron Dome missile system has intercepted nearly 600 rockets fired by the Palestinian resistance forces. Each Iron Dome Tamir missile costs at least USD 50,000 for Israel and in most of the cases the regime has to fire two missiles at each Palestinian rocket. Pundits contend that continuation of the present conflict will not be
economically viable for Israel. At least 2,095 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have lost their lives and over 10,200 have been injured despite pressure from the international community on the Tel Aviv regime to end aggression against Palestinians. Palestinian resistance movements say they have killed more than 150 Israelis in the conflict. Israel confirms 64 were killed. In mid-August Hamas announced that Tel Aviv is misinforming Israeli people about the number of Israeli soldiers killed in the latest Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip. www.pi-media.co.uk
Qaeda in Syria and in Iraq. The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on six people suspected of financing Islamist militants, including two Kuwaitis, in a move aimed at weakening Islamic State and al Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Nusra Front.
Smart prayer rug presented in Dagestan This prayer rug is equipped with sensors that help Muslims don’t lose count of rak’at and correctly perform all the movements. “If a believer makes a mistake the sensors start to make vibrating signals, which do not interfere with the process to focus on prayer,” - told the inventors. Using special rugs to perform the obligatory prayers is not obligatory. Muslims use small rugs, turning them towards the Kaaba to be confident in the cleanliness of the place of prayer. The inventors of the smart rug has patented their invention in Russia and are going to get an international patent. They said that the device will be in demand as about 1.6 billion Muslims live around the world.
I WORLD NEWS
I September 2014
Afghan Special Forces in talks with Taliban in Helmand
The commander of Afghan Special Forces in Helmand says he is holding talks with the Taliban militants over a deal aimed at better protecting security in the southern province. General Asadullah Shirzad said that the security situation in Helmand’s Sangin district is “much better” since Afghan forces assumed responsibility for the security of the war-torn country as US-led foreign forces prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.
However, Shirzad stressed that “to have a peaceful province we need more time to talk,” adding, “Based on my contacts with Taliban and tribal elders I have already started talks.” The Afghan military official refused to elaborate on the details of his talks with the Taliban militant group, expressing hope he could extend the negotiations across Helmand once peace had been restored in the Sangin district. This is while Taliban has denied
any negotiations with Afghan security forces in Helmand, saying the militant group does not “have any plan to talk now.” Helmand, which sits on the border with Pakistan, has been a focal point of Taliban activity. Taliban has stepped up its attacks against Afghan government forces, foreign troops and civilians. The group has vowed to escalate the attacks on Afghan forces and USled soldiers, their bases, diplomatic missions and vehicle convoys. The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues across the country despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.
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Qatar ‘refusing to end GCC rift’ Qatar is refusing to agree to a series of conditions that would help end a rift between Gulf states, a senior Gulf diplomat has told Asharq Al Awsat, an Arabic-language newspaper in London. The official said Qatar has refused to sign a final report compiled by the GCC committee monitoring the implementation of the Riyadh agreement on ending the diplomatic dispute, which includes banning GCC states from supporting terrorrelated activities, interfering with the domestic affairs of other GCC states, or adopting foreign policies harmful to the interests of the other state
members. The agreement has been written after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors to Doha on March 5 in protest over what they claim is Qatar’s meddling in their affairs, as well as its support of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia and the UAE have declared a terrorist organisation. The agreement also included a ban on the Qatari government granting citizenship to Bahraini nationals, following reports some Bahraini families were being offered “privileges” to switch nations. The report was compiled by a
technical committee consisting of representatives from the six GCC member states, and is expected to be discussed by the GCC ministerial council on August 30 in Jeddah, Asharq Al Awsat said. Doha has claimed it has “done all that is required of it”, but GCC foreign ministers insist it has been all words, the official claimed. He said the GCC was not yet considering sanctions on Qatar, the world’s richest country. “No such sanctions have been discussed so far,” he was quoted as saying. www.pi-media.co.uk
India plans to buy missile from Israel www.pi-media.co.uk
I September 2014
ndia’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has voted for a motion to purchase 262 Barak-I antiship missiles and spare parts from Tel Aviv, despite the country’s recent vote against Israel for its human rights violations in Gaza. The USD 163 million deal approved was initiated under the former Defense Minister AK Antony in December 2013. The move comes after India voted for a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against Tel Aviv on its Gaza offensive. In late July, the UN agency announced its decision to launch an investigation into the Israeli brutal military campaign in Gaza shortly after its chief Navi Pillay said that there is a “strong possibility” that Tel Aviv was violating international law
in its military operations against the coastal sliver. The Israeli military aggression against Gaza, which began on July 8, has claimed the lives of more than
Saudi Arabia sentences another 18 men over terrorist attacks
Saudi Arabia’s terrorism court has sentenced to jail another 18 men, including foreigners, for up to 25 years for participating in terrorist attacks within the kingdom, according to state media. The men were part of a 50member cell that had carried out attacks since 2003, Saudi Press Agency said. It said the group was “one of the most dangerous” to stand trial in the kingdom. Three other members of the group were sentenced to the death
penalty and 26 men were given jail terms of up to 30 years. The men have been convicted of crimes including bombing cars, government buildings and residential compounds and plotting to assassinate government officials and attack foreign embassies. Some also were charged with the abduction and killing of a foreigner, impersonating police officers, fighting in conflicts abroad, firing at security officers and disobeying King Abdullah. In addition to the prison terms, the 18 men sentenced were fined between SR5000 and SR25,000 and banned from travelling abroad for the same length of their jail term after their release. Representatives of the Human Rights Commission were in the court to hear the verdicts, Saudi Press Agency said.
1,900 Palestinians, including at least 400 children, and wounded over 9,500 others. Palestinian resistance movements have retaliated by launching rockets into Israel.
Syria death toll to reach 200,000 More than 191,000 people have been killed in over three years of fighting in war-ravaged Syria, says the United Nations. In a report released, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announced the death toll, the first issued since July 2013 with a figure standing at 100,000. The Geneva-based OHCHR said the death figure documented between March 2011 and the end of April 2014 amounted to 191,369 people. There were nearly 52,000 other reported killings, not included due to the lack of ample information. Around 9.3 percent of the documented victims are women in the list, which also includes 8,803 minors, with 2,165 of them children under the age of ten.
No burial place for Muslims in Finland
I WORLD NEWS
www.pi-media.co.uk I September 2014
Islam growing in Swaziland
Muslims in Finland are facing a dilemma regarding the burial of their dead after a fruitless six-year search for land that could be used as a cemetery in the Uusimaa region. Since 2008, Muslims living in the region have been looking for a suitable location for a cemetery, having made do with small ‘Muslim section’ in Lutheran church cemeteries, worldbulletin website reported. “You would certainly think that we would find an area in Uusimaa that could be rezoned for cemetery use,” deputy chair of the Finnish Islamic Council Pia Jardi told Yle Finnish website. According to OnIslam, over the past six years, Finnish Muslims have submitted enquiries in 16 different
cities and towns in the Uusimaa region in southern Finland, yet none of these bids have proven successful. “Perhaps it has to do with a lack of political will. If you even scan web forums they are extremely antiMuslim,” Jardi said, noting that they have been told that there is a lack of suitable land. “I know of cases where the dead have been buried abroad even though the families couldn’t afford it, because there wasn’t a suitable burial ground in their own town. People’s last wish is to have an Islamic burial,” she added. There are between 40,000 to 45,000 Muslims among Finland’s 5.2 million population, including native Baltic Tatars.
Islam is a rapidly growing religion in the African country of Swaziland. At first there was only one mosque in the country, but mosques are now mushrooming in almost all the corners of the country with Swazis joining the religion in their numbers, the country’s Observer newspaper reports. Today there are mosques in Ezulwini, Mbabane, Manzini and almost all the other towns where Muslims go to worship God. The latest mosque to under construction is in Manzini and has already gained popularity amongst many locals. Swaziland is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Muslims make up around 12 percent of the country’s population.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society, known as ADAMS, has announced the plans to build a mosque in the Nokesville area in Virginia, USA. ADAMS’ strategy is to integrate mosque with existing facility for an optimum use of space with special consideration to efficiency of longterm operation and maintenance,
providing sufficient gathering areas inside and outside- lobbies, foyers, and a stand alone minaret. ADAMS informed that the total estimated construction cost is $5.5 – $6 million. The current construction account balance is only $1.125 million. All site plans are completed and
all land development permits are issued and construction documents are at 95% completion. We plan to submit for construction permit once 50% of the construction cost is secured. Nokesville is in Prince William County, Virginia, United States. www.pi-media.co.uk
Muslim Society plans new Mosque in Nokesville
More mosques to be built in UAE this year
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WORLD NEWS I 19
With at least one mosque located in every area, the UAE currently has 5,036 mosques across its seven emirates, and is aiming to build 215 more. Known for its traditionally built mosques and Islamic architecture, one can hear the call for prayer anywhere, as some areas have more than three mosques located along the same street. Gulf News talked to the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments that confirmed that statistics released in June showed that the number of mosques stands at 5,036 to date.
“There are plans to build more mosques during this year, and the number of mosques that are due to come into operation until the end of 2014 stands at 215,” said Dr Mohammad Mattar Al Ka’abi, Director-General of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments. The authority has confirmed that construction of the new mosques has already started in different emirates. The reason behind building more mosques across the country is due to its fast-paced development and growing population. “The appeal for building mosques is increasing
across the UAE in general due to the urban expansion and construction of new cities and towns,” he explained. With the UAE being home to more than 50 nationalities, the demand for mosques to carry out the Friday sermon in languages other than Arabic has also naturally increased. The statistics showed that out of 5,036 mosques in the UAE, 2,024 mosques hold the Friday sermons in Arabic while 115 mosques hold it in English and Urdu. “The request for more mosques establishing [the] Friday sermon in non-Arabic languages is under study,” said Dr Al Ka’abi. With more than 200 new mosques currently under construction and the request for more mosques to cater to Muslim expatriates under study, the number of mosques in the country is poised to reach 5,251 by 2015. Currently, Al Ain has the highest number of mosques at 1,069, followed by 935 mosques located in the Eastern Region, and 903 in Ras Al Khaimah. The UAE also the fourth largest mosque in the world — the Grand Zayed Mosque located in Abu Dhabi.
A 91-year-old Dutchman who was awarded a medal by Israel in 2011 for hiding a Jewish child from Nazis during World War II has returned his medal back to Israel after six of his relatives were killed in an air strike on Gaza. Henk Zanoli sent a letter to Israeli ambassador in The Hague to say he no longer wanted the “Righteous Among the Nations” medal following the attack on his great-niece’s Gaza home on July 20, which killed her
husband’s mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and nine-year-old nephew. “To hold on to the honour granted to me by the State of Israel under these circumstances, would be an insult... to those in my family, four generations on, who lost no less than six of their relatives in Gaza,” Zanoli wrote in a letter. “The great-great grandchildren of my mother have lost their grandmother, three uncles, an aunt
and a cousin at the hands of the Israeli military,” he added. Mr Zanoli, who is a retired lawyer, also slammed the Zionist regime’s bombing of the Gaza Strip, calling incidents like the one that targeted the home of his great-niece, a Dutch diplomat in Gaza, “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The medal was then reportedly returned to the Israeli embassy in the Netherlands. www.pi-media.co.uk
Dutchman returns medal to Israel after relatives killed
Shortage of prayer leaders in US Mosques 20I WORLD NEWS
Even as the Muslim population in the US multiplies, the number of religious leaders, known as imams, lags behind. Many Muslim immigrants have steered their children away from religious leadership roles and toward careers in medicine, engineering, law and business, said Jihad Turk, an imam and president of Bayan Claremont, the Islamic graduate school at Claremont School of Theology in Southern California. Many American mosques are run on shoestring budgets by volunteers and can’t always guarantee a leader a steady paycheck, Huffington Post wrote. According to 2011 study
www.pi-media.co.uk I September 2014
sponsored by a multifaith coalition, only 44% of U.S. imams are full-time and paid, with volunteers filling the role in many congregations. Finding an imam who can relate to young, American-born congregants is especially tough, said U.S. Muslim leaders. Younger American Muslims expect more than traditional scripture-recitals from imams, said Edgar Hopida, spokesman for the Islamic Society of North America, a network of Muslim leaders and groups. Like other American clergymembers, imams are expected to be “marriage counselor, youth director, scholar and fundraiser,” Mr. Hopida said. “Like the local priest, they’re put
into this role of community leader.” Most imams, born and educated in the Middle East, have a hard time ministering to Americans, said Mr. Turk, a 43-year-old Phoenix native whose program aims to train American imams with courses on nonprofit management, psychology, civic engagement, gender relations and the media. “The older immigrant generation has to understand it doesn’t matter where you’re from, your kids are American. And there’s a very real concern that that younger generation will not find the mosque a place that resonates with them if imams aren’t prepared to help them with their world,” said Mr. Turk. Some congregations are beginning to understand this, Mr. Turk said. One Boston imam recently gave a “Breaking Bad” sermon, incorporating ideas from the popular television show. A congregation outside Los Angeles hired an American-born Midwesterner who had converted to Islam. Other congregations are offering coed activities, encouraging civic involvement and openly discussing the challenge of establishing an American Muslim identity.
Qatar Charity’s House of Quran project completed in Indonesia
Qatar Charity (QC) has completed a new multi-service project in Indonesia. The ‘House of the Quran’ comprises six classrooms, a mosque, a science laboratories’ hall, an office, housing for teachers and students and two shops and will benefit over 350 students. The school aims to improve the level of education and community development in the target area and comes as part of community development projects complying with
the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. This is the 15th multi-service centre established by QC in Indonesia, with others spread across several cities. QC has also established cultural and educational projects in the country, including construction of 16 schools benefiting around 53,000 people, and 496 mosques benefitting around a quarter of a million people, in addition to a project for the printing and distribution of the Holy Quran,
benefitting around 150,000 people. QC’s main areas of work in Indonesia focuses on the following: Construction of mosques, schools and other educational institutes, Quran memorisation centres, orphanages, health centres and homes for poor families, sponsorship of teachers, preachers, students and poor families, health awareness and environmental campaigns for students and the digging of shallow and artesian wells. www.pi-media.co.uk
Hajj pilgrims monitored for Ebola virus www.pi-media.co.uk
I September 2014
WORLD NEWS I 21
In Case You Missed It
Pilgrims arriving in Saudi Arabia from different countries are being monitored for the Ebola virus at the airports. This was stated by a senior official from the Ministry of Health. “We are checking pilgrims coming on airlines from West and Central Africa, and also from other countries,
since pilgrims could have been on transit in the endemic countries and can potentially be carriers of the virus,” said Sami Badawood, director general of the Directorate of Health Affairs in Jeddah. “We don’t want to take any chances by allowing infected pilgrims into the Kingdom,” Badawood said,
Russian police targets hijab wearing Muslims Crimea’s veiled Muslim women have been complaining over being targeted by police for security checks ahead of a visit by Russian president Vladimir Putin to the black sea peninsula, adding that they are usually treated as enemies on their Facebook profiles. “This shows that Russian police do not trust headscarfed women and see them as a separate group in the general public,” Eider Ismailov, the assistant mufti of Crimea, told Qirim News Agency. “This is nothing but an insult against our beliefs as Muslims,” Ismailov said. Recently, Muslim women in the capital Simferopol and Bakhchysarai have accused Russian police of pulling women with Islamic hijab over for passport checks. Women added that they were being treated as if they were ‘enemies’ on their Facebook profiles. Crimea religious schools, or madrassahs, have been searched for banned Islamic literature. Three madrasas were searched
during August 13, ahead of a law that will come into force in 2015 that bans a number of popular Islamic books, another assistant mufti, Esadullah Bairov, said. “The books are removed as a warning, as the law is not in force in Crimea yet. Still no extremist literature was found in Crimean madrasas that were searched,” Bairov said. The so-called “Federal List of Extremist Materials” was compiled by the Russian Ministry of Justice on July 14, 2007 and contained 1,058 items as of December 25, 2011. According to the ban, producing, storing or distributing the materials on the list is an offense in Russia. The Russian move to annex Crimea followed an earlier vote in March on the peninsula’s future. The referendum, approved by 96 percent, was followed by several steps from pro-Moscow Crimean parliament, issuing a law that allows Russia’s annexation of the disputed peninsula. www.pi-media.co.uk
adding that the suspected cases will be quarantined immediately and sent to a designated hospital for specialized treatment, Arab News reported. The Health Ministry has also issued an advisory against travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone and New Guinea. The government stopped issuing Hajj visas to these countries as an initial step to control the spread of the disease among the pilgrims. The WHO has said the spread of Ebola in West Africa is an international health emergency. WHO officials said a co-ordinated response was essential to stop and reverse the spread of the virus. In Nigeria, one of the latest countries to be affected, President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a national state of emergency.
Scandinavia opens first Islamic Theology School
The northern European region of Scandinavia has officially opened its first Islamic Theology boarding school, known as an Imam Khatib school, in the Danish city of Slagelse. The school is due to take on students from Denmark, Norway and Sweden and will teach the national curriculum along with Turkish and Islamic lessons in the fields of Quran, Hadith and Islamic tenets. Boarding school head Ahmet Deniz told Anadolu Agency said that Mina Hindholm will be Denmark’s first official Islamic school for students aged 18 and up. The school already has 52 students.
Boxing champion to open Dubai gym
Two-time world boxing champion David Haye has opened his Hayemaker Gym in Dubai with the support of Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED). Hayemaker Gym Dubai aims to be a centre of excellence for sports and performance coaching, a statement said, adding that Haye also has plans to expand into smaller
www.pi-media.co.uk I September 2014
specialised units such as boxing studios and hypoxic training facilities. Expanding across the wider GCC and Middle East in the same format would be the next step, the statement added. Commenting on supporting Hayemaker Gym to move to Dubai, Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI said world class health and fitness facilities moving to Dubai is reinforcing the emirate’s growing
Pioneer coach’s new role with soccer giants The world’s first wheelchair-bound football coach for able-bodied players has landed a dream role at Manchester United. Sohail Rehman, 22, from Keighley, will work for Manchester United Soccer Schools and has two roles, coaching teenagers who go to the club for a trial and visiting schools to train children on behalf of United. He became the world’s first wheelchair bound football coach of able-bodied players last year after passing his coaching badges. After starting out with Sunday league
teams, he set his sights on the top level of sport. He landed the job despite being born with spinal muscular atrophy, which meant he was confined to a wheelchair by his teens. He said: “When the chance to play was taken away from me I think it was the only option I had really. I could watch the game but I always wanted to do more than watch it. I did it all the way up to college and then once I got to college they said to me you know so much about sports why don’t you do sports. www.pi-media.co.uk
appeal as a lifestyle and health tourism destination. “Dubai’s efforts to become a leading healthcare destination and supporting initiatives such as the Dubai Healthcare City is providing vast opportunities in various disciplines of health and wellness,” he said. Haye launched his signature gym after 22 years of professional boxing, saying: “Having been a frequent visitor to Dubai I know it’s a city where people demand the best and where they come to improve their lives. “The Hayemaker Gym Dubai will fill the niche for world-class fitness expertise and equipment that the Dubai community deserves. It will be a driving force for the health and fitness community in the emirate.” The Hayemaker team is led by Haye himself, along with Alberto Barbieri who brings a wealth of knowledge in hospitality and customer service, and Diana Gaskell, a veteran in opening and operating clubs around the world, the statement said.
We are looking for volunteer sport journalist who can go to sporting venues across the UK. Interested ? Then email us at info@pi-media. co.uk or call us on 07506 466 385
SPORT I 23
I September 2014
Pakistan stun rivals India in first football match in over a decade
Indian penalty box. The players hugged and shook hands on the final whistle before the Pakistani team took a victory lap, waving their national flag. The teams are next set to compete in the Asian Games starting in South Korea this month. India are 150th in FIFA’s world rankings while Pakistan languish further down in 164th spot.
Pakistan pulled off a surprise 2-0 win over India with a late goal from Saddam Hussain ensuring them a share of the spoils in the first football series between the arch rivals for almost a decade. Pakistan’s captain Kaleemullah put his side ahead in the 38th minute and a scrambled shot by Hussain in the 89th minute silenced the 5,000 Indian spectators at the Bangalore Football Stadium. The home fans had been hoping for more of the same after India won the first match 1-0, at the start of the first series between the South Asian neighbors since India toured Pakistan in 2005. India suspended all sporting ties with Pakistan following the deadly 2008 attacks on Mumbai, blamed on militants from across the border. However the two countries have played each other in a variety of sports in the last few years, including
cricket. India came close to opening the scoring when a dipping longrange effort by skipper Sunil Chhetri was palmed away by Pakistan’s goalkeeper Muzamil Husain. Chhetri set up debutant Haokip Thonhkosiem to score in the 37th minute, only to see his attempt saved by Husain. Francis Fernandes then squandered a golden opportunity to score off the rebound. A minute later Pakistan went ahead when Kaleemullah swept home a free kick after being brought down by Indian midfielder Lalrindika Ralte just outside the box. India swarmed forward in the second half in an increasingly desperate bid to find an equalizer but could not breach a determined Pakistani defense. Their hopes were finally extinguished when Hussain poked the ball home after a solo run into the
All Blacks ease rules for Williams’ return
The All Blacks said they had relaxed their rules to clear the way for code-swap superstar Sonny Bill Williams to slot straight back into the team when he returns to rugby union later this year. Williams, who is completing his second stint in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL), would normally have to participate in New Zealand’s domestic ITM Cup before being eligible for All Black honours. But the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said an exemption would be made, allowing Williams to play the world champions’ endof-year tour to the United States and Europe. The All Blacks play the United States in Chicago on November 2, before heading to Europe for Tests against England, Scotland and Wales. Williams’ return has been timed to reinforce the All Blacks before they defend their Rugby World Cup title in England next year.
Premier League football stars join teams in Qatar Swansea City’s Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez have left to join teams in Qatar for undisclosed fees, the Premier League club announced. Defender Flores will be reunited with former Swansea manager Michael Laudrup at defending champions Lekhwia, while attacking midfielder Hernandez has joined AlArabi. Flores, 27, revealed he was leaving the club, posting an open
letter to Swansea fans on his Twitter account. “I hope this is not a forever goodbye,” the letter read. “Two years ago I came to Swansea with many hopes and dreams in my luggage. “I have experienced so much these two seasons that, by far, exceeded my expectations. That is why I am sad to leave a club that has been like a family since the beginning.”
Hernandez, who has four caps for Spain, was a then club-record signing for the Welsh club when he moved from Valencia for 5.55 million pounds ($9.26 million) in 2012. The 29-year-old was a member of the Swansea team that won the League Cup in 2013, although Flores missed the final through injury. It was the first major trophy in the club’s history. www.pi-media.co.uk
Seen But Not Heard
I September 2014
Voices of Young British Muslims
Since 9/11, and to some degree the Rushdie affairs the debates about muslim youth having centred around loyalty, belonging and citizenship. But young muslims are finding their feet in the world around them and they are throttled with perceived ideas by both the media and society at large. The muslim youth are living in unprecedented times. The new social media transports news to our phones instantly. The actions of other muslim youth across the world pushes pressure on the muslim youth in the UK to justify that Islam is a peaceful religion and that they are law abiding British citizens. This is even worse when the stereotypes and myths are supported by actual international events. Then this results in the muslim youth being perceived as threat to the larger community. Then they link the historical experiences of other European muslims. Young Muslims hear about Bosnians who had integrated into their societies. They shared the same colour, they shared close friendship circles only then to be rejected by the wider society. This confuses the youth further as Islam teaches about allegiance to the state. Many muslim youth find it confusing as to why their allegiance
to the state is questioned, especially as Islam advocates allegiance to the government of the land. There aware and recognise that they need to follow the laws of the land in order to be a good muslim but the media doesn’t seem to be helping in their journey to be good. The media is complicating matters. They attach labels to the muslim youth. They are not considering the youth to be British often treating them as foreign within their borders. This confuses the muslim youth about their identity. The portraying of the muslim communities as “distinctly-different” and “alien” is not helping them integrate especially when they are disturbed by recent Israeli actions in Gaza which only endorses the view that the west is anti-islam. Muslim youth are politically more literate because recent events have made them more aware. However, the system is unwilling to listen to them and continues to sterotype them. This is adding to the tensions and making matters worse in their country as they feel the state is not listening to their views and communities are not collectively organised to boycott support of parties and companies.
As a result of the media confusion, the muslim youth are disturbed about identity and citizenship. Young muslim youth are receiving mixed messages. Realising the support is not there by the state the muslim youth are reviewing their identity. As we drive north of the country up to Scotland, some youth are returning to the traditional ways where respect for parents and the belief that by pleasing them results in having a successful marriage. The muslim youth in these parts of the country have seen such traditional marriages work and they are comparing how they have seen a generation before them waiting longer than the traditional norm in finding a suitable partner and consequently settling down much later. However, this is in stark contrast to the views of the muslim female youth in Tower Hamlet, London where the youth will be ‘economical about the truth’ with their parents about where they go, activities they pursue, parties they attend and restaurants they visit with the opposite gender. When the subject of marriage does come, they try anything in the book to dissuade their parents and it works. In previous years what is even more frightening is that in London Brixton area, the amount of space that Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada from the media had contributed to the radicalisation amongst the muslim youth especially in prisons. There needs to be a frank open discussion with the muslim youth on: The Muslim Youth Helpline support the muslim youth on these contemporary matters but inevitably every community has to provide accessible personalised services to meet the needs of the muslim youth. It calls for our madressah’s to alter their role of they are going to curb the current trends.
I September 2014
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