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UK Government Top of League for Snooping

Issue: 66 - www.pi-media.co.uk - Sept 2013

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The UK government is one of the most rapacious when it comes to snooping on Facebook users, making almost 2,000 requests for data in the first six months of this year. The figures are part of a newly

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published report from the social network, which shows the number of data requests it receives from governments. The report spans more than 70 governments and 14,000 requests. That report follows ongoing

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I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

thePassion

www.pi-media.co.uk I September 2013

By Dr Abdul B Shaikh

The return of the age of the Pharaohs

There was much fanfare after the tumultuous events stemming from the Arab Spring in 2011. The MENA (Middle East and North African countries) and their populations were overcome with sheer excitement, hope and joy that a new dawn of optimism awaited them. Looking back now to the events of 2011, we see that those expressions of joy and excitement have somewhat been curtailed by the recent tragic yet barbaric events that have somewhat unfolded in Egypt in recent days. We need to ask ourselves that was the Arab Spring a real revolution designed to bring about real change and transformation in the MENA countries or did the old guard never really go away and were somewhat lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce when the opportunity arose. This brings me onto the subject that the world in recent days has in reality witnessed a ‘return to the age of the pharaohs’. History is testament to the fact that the pharaohs in ancient Egypt were fearsome rulers that suppressed all forms of dissent. Many a scholar reminds the

Lecturer in Islamic Studies @ Leeds University

congregation by using the phrase that ‘for every pharaoh there is Moses’. This brings me on to my next point in that the Moses of modern Egypt is indeed Dr Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimoon) The Muslim Brotherhood indeed made many positive contributions to Egyptian society in recent times and Morsi unfairly has been vilified for not doing enough to change the fortunes of the Egyptian people. How was Morsi expected to address the ills of Egyptian society after years of neglect, decay, despotism and rampant corruption at all levels in 12 months? There is the old adage ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and acts as potent reminder to all peoples that transformation of societies is never immediate. Morsi in his short but brief tenure made good progress and mistakes like most leaders do, but surely he was deserving of more time and support from his fellow citizens and contemporaries alike . It is now becoming apparent that the man Morsi appointed as

commander of the Egyptian armed forces General Abdel-Fattah El- Sisi sounded the death knell for the Muslim Brotherhood at the bequest of the Saudi Arabian government. It has been well documented that General El-Sisi had well established links with the USA and the Saudi government going back many years and it did not come as a real surprise to many observers that he would eventually be the catalyst for Morsi’s removal from the corridors of power. Historically, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi government have been long standing rivals with regards to winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim community right across the world. Morsi was indeed making headway in addressing age old problems that were eating into the very fabric of the nation and had he have been allowed to succeed by completing his full tenure as president would have set alarm bells ring in Riyadh. The Saudi Arabian government could not afford to see a revitalised and re-energised lion of the Middle East in the shape of a vibrant yet Modern Egypt from the shadows challenging it for supremacy in the Muslim world. It is for this reason that Morsi had to be ejected from power as the Ikhwani movement was a major bulwark to the aspirational Salafi-Wahhabi movement worldwide. Thus it is this battle between these two prevailing ideologies that will indeed shape the destiny and future of the Arab and Muslim communities worldwide. The events that are unfolding in front of our very eyes and in the near future shall yield a clear result. Watch this space to see which of the ideological heavyweights shall emerge victorious in the coming days, months and years.

Write to: Editor, PI Media, PO Box 159, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 1AD or email: info@pi-media.co.uk - www.pi-media.co.uk - mob: 07506 466 385 This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran -

Views expressed in the Passion column are of the contributers and not necessarily of Passion Islam.


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I September 2013

NEWS

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Disgusting’ anti-muslim DVD sent to charity in Walthamstow UK Government Top of

League for Snooping Continued from front page

The UK made around 2,000 requests for user data in the first half of this year, affecting more than 2,300 user accounts. Facebook said it was legally obliged to comply with 68% of those requests, a relatively high proportion compared with some countries. For example, France made more than 1,500 requests for information over the same period, but Facebook complied with fewer than half. The UK is the third most demanding country when it comes to Facebook data, behind India and the US. The US tops the list at 12,000 requests concerning 20,000 users, considerably ahead of India at 3,200 requests covering 4,100 users.

A DVD containing highly offensive and Islamaphobic material has been sent to mosques and muslim organisations, including charity in Walthamstow. The Qalb Centre, which supports vulnerable adults with drug and alcohol problems, received the DVD in the post at the time of the Muslim holiday of Eid. The DVD is said to included a pornographic film and material insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Charity outreach worker, Imran Mehtar, 31, saw the film. He said: “It was pretty disgusting. “I didn’t get upset about it but it was very anti-islamic and bigoted.” The DVD has now been passed to the police and is being forensically examined. Mr Mehtar’s colleagues, who are not Muslim themselves, had a stronger reaction to the DVD than he did.

He said: “They were more upset by it. “They said ‘why are stupid people sending this stuff to us? They need to get a life. It’s insulting to someone’s religion’.” The DVD is also believed to have been sent to other organisations and mosques in Walthamstow and across the country.


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LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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I September 2013

Ofcom fines Islamic channel for ‘acceptable to murder’ comments

Ofcom has fined an Islamic TV channel £85,000 after it broadcast statements saying it was acceptable to murder anyone who disrespects the Prophet Mohammed. The media watchdog imposed the fine on Al Ehya Television Limited in respect of its Noor TV service. It found that a broadcast in May

2012 featured presenter Allama Muhammad Farooq Nizami making statements that it was acceptable, or even the duty of a Muslim, to murder any person thought to have shown disrespect to the Prophet Mohammed where the relevant government had not taken action. Ofcom found that the broadcast

of Nizami’s statements, made in a question and answer session on Islamic teachings, “was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime”. It further found that the broadcaster “did not exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content” of the programme. Ofcom initially found the channel to have breached its broadcasting code in December 2012. It decided to impose a fine “due to the very serious nature of these breaches”. The regulator has asked the channel to broadcast a statement of its findings, adding it was “concerned about the very weak compliance record of the licensee and expects the licensee to take immediate and effective steps now to redress this position”. It will follow up the imposition of the fine with a periodic review of the channel’s compliance arrangements.

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UK Muslim soldiers counter Islamophobia

Amid efforts to stem growing Islamophobic attacks, the British government is planning to send Muslim servicemen and women to address school assemblies as part of the suggestions’ of the taskforce formed by PM Cameron to counter antiMuslim attacks.

During these visits, Muslim soldiers will be giving speeches to school assemblies to counter Islamaphobia in the wake of the killing of Lee Rigby. The plans will be discussed in a meeting of the Government’s taskforce on tackling extremism and radicalization.

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Muslims suffered over 1,000 attacks in past 18 months

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Muslims have suffered almost 1,200 Islamophobic attacks across England and Wales in the past 18 months, director of a charity which monitors anti-Muslim incidents says.

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Tell Mama organization’s director Fiyaz Mughal told Deutsche Welle that the rate of anti-Muslim attacks tends to increase in the UK following a international or national conflict

between Muslims and non-Muslims. He also said an overwhelming number of Islamophobic attacks do not take place on the street but via internet. “The street-based activity happens, but it’s not significant right now, whereas the online activity of antiMuslim prejudice is very significant. It’s a very concerted, determined effort by far-right followers, anti-Muslim individuals and racist individuals, but also people who generally dislike Muslims,” Mughal said. An earlier study led by Nigel Copsey of Teesside University on Islamophobic incidents in Britain showed the number of attacks on Islamic centers, mosques and Muslims has multiplied ten-fold in the immediate aftermath of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, in southeast of London on May 22.

Approval for Blackburn’s Tauheedul Islam Boys’ School a step closer Final approvals for the Tauheedul Islam Boys School to open in September next year have began. Councillors have granted planning permissions for purposebuilt premises for the first free school for Muslims in the country. Small majority of neighbours have had objections including a petition opposing the plan on the grounds of

traffic and parking, noise, disruption, and overlooking Blackburn Subscription Bowling Club. Tauheedul chief executive Hamid Patel said: “The trustees are keen to work with neighbours, including the bowling club, to minimise disruption. “We want to make the school a positive asset to the area and the community.” www.pi-media.co.uk

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Human rights groups warn on BAE whitewash www.pi-media.co.uk

I September 2013

LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS

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away with a behind-closed-doors and undocumented meeting”. Bahraini dictator King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s visited the UK, sparking pro-democracy protests in London. Activists gathered outside British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office to condemn the government’s policy of supporting the ruling dictatorship of the tiny Persian Gulf island nation.

Human rights groups have criticized a Commons inquiry into Britain’s relationship with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for taking secret evidence from British arms giant BAE Systems. Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) condemned the decision by the MPs to have a secret meeting with representatives of BAE Systems. The CAAT wrote to chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs

Select Committee Richard Ottaway, slamming the refusal to publish minutes of the meeting with the arms giant. Amnesty International also raised concerns over the British government’s policies to export arms to countries with poor human rights records. Amnesty International’s arms programme director Oliver Sprague said it was “worrying” that the inquiry had allowed the manufacturer “to get

UK judge orders Muslim woman to remove her veil A UK judge has banned a Muslim woman from wearing a veil while appearing in court and ordered her to show her face in order to rule out the possibility of another person pretending to be her and giving evidence on her behalf. Judge Peter Murphy told the 21year-old Muslim female defendant, who is facing charges of intimidating a witness, the principle of open justice superseded her religious beliefs, The Guardian newspaper reported. “While I obviously respect the right to dress in any way she wishes, certainly while outside the court, the interests of justice are paramount. I can’t, as a circuit judge, accept a plea from a person whose identity I

am unable to ascertain,” the judge said. “It would be easy for someone on a later occasion to appear and claim to be the defendant. The court would have no way to check on that,” he added. Claire Burtwistle, the unnamed woman’s barrister, told the court the woman could not show her face while men were present in the court and suggested a female police officer could verify her identity in advance of her giving evidence. “I am not saying this because of the particular form of dress by this defendant, I apply that to any form of dress that had the same issues,” the judge claimed before the case was adjourned until September 12.

Mohammad most popular name in London Mohammad is now the most popular male newborn name in London and the second most popular baby boy name in Britain, figures from Britain’s Office for National Statistics (NOS) show. There were a total 1292 newborns named Mohammad with different spellings in London in 2012. Meanwhile, 7,139 boys were given Mohammad as their first name last year that is only 29 behind Harry, which had the top occurrence This is while a total 729,674 babies born in 2012 were given 64,000 different names. There are claims that the high frequency of the Muslim name - after the name of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) - is linked with the rising number of Asian migrants in Britain and in London. Official figures show Indians are now the biggest foreign-born group in London accounting for almost nine percent of all foreignborn residents who constitute 37 percent of the three-million-strong population of the city. This comes as earlier in May, ONS said one in ten under-25 people in Britain are Muslim, who, based on the 2011 census, comprise five percent of the total British population.


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India-Pakistan still fighting over Kashmir

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I September 2013

Tensions are still running high between India and Pakistan as the two neighbors have repeatedly accused each other of violating a 10year-old ceasefire over Kashmir. The ongoing conflict is now taking its toll on the people of Kashmir who

WORLD NEWS

have suffered heavy losses as a result of the hostility between India and Pakistan. People in Kashmir believe that the United Nations as well as human rights organizations should resolve the conflict in the Muslim majority

Denmark Muslims to have a Mosque

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region. On August 17, Pakistan accused India of firing on border posts in Kashmir and the neighboring Punjab province, killing a civilian with unprovoked firing. New Delhi accused the Pakistani army of involvement in a deadly overnight ambush in Kashmir that killed five Indian soldiers in early August. The neighbors agreed on a ceasefire in 2003 and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes between the two countries. Thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir over the past two decades.

Hackers redirect Google Palestine users to anti-Israel website

A mosque is set to be built in the Danish capital city of Copenhagen in the near future. The city’s municipal council approved a request by Muslims for constructing a mosque after 20 years, jeuneafrique website reported. The mosque, to be built in the northwestern part of the capital city, will have a minaret 22 meters tall. Some 20 million Euros will be spent to complete the construction of Denmark’s first mosque. Former head of Copenhagen municipal council has supported the building of the Islamic place of worship, saying the mosque will symbolize recognition of the country’s Muslims. A number of political figures and

parties, however, have opposed the plan for building a mosque in Denmark. They include a representative of the far-right party who has described Islam as a “religion that is against democracy and tramples on women’s rights in society”. Once the construction of the planned mosque is over, Muslims’ 20-year-long wait will end and they can say their prayers in a mosque for the first time. According to official statistics, the number of Muslims living in Denmark has doubled in the past 20 years, a fact that has worried Danish Islamophobes about the spread of Islamic culture. www.pi-media.co.uk

Visitors to Google’s Palestine website were temporarily redirected to a page calling for Israel’s removal from Google Maps. It was the second time this year that the Internet giant had become entangled in conflicts in the Middle East. “For a short period, some users visiting google.ps were redirected to a different website,” Google said in an e-mailed statement. “Google services for the google.ps domain were not hacked.” Pro-Palestinian hackers changed the IP address of the Palestine domain, sending users to a defaced site titled “Google Owned,”. Google sparked uproar in Israel in May when it changed the taglines on its websites from “Palestinian territories” to “Palestine.”


Sharjah ruler gives $2m to build 25 new Egypt mosques

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Sharjah ruler, HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, has offered $2m to Egypt to build 25 mosques and help the families of martyrs in the latest donation from the UAE to the troubled Arab country. Sheikh Sultan ordered that the mosques be named after the martyrs who died in Rafah in an act

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of terrorism that led to the death of 25 Egyptian soldiers the WAM news agency reported. According to Sheikh Sultan’s orders, each one of the mosques will be named after a martyr and constructed in their respective hometowns and villages. “What happened to Egypt was

Muslim prayer areas proposed for moscow

Moscow’s city parks may soon see 100 mobile prayer areas to compensate for a lack of mosques in the capital. The worship platforms will accommodate 100 to 150 Muslim believers, Izvestia reported. Urban planners proposed the sites be built in time for Islamic holidays this fall, particularly the festival Eid al-Adha in October. The platforms, about 15 meters by 20 meters, will be easy to disassemble so as to be used only during prayer times, Tigran Arutyunyan, author of the project, said. Screens next to each platform will broadcast prayers from the imam at the Cathedral Mosque near Prospekt Mira. Arutyunyan added that the prayer

areas will decrease traffic around the Cathedral Mosque on major Muslim holidays. The draft proposal is now being considered by the Spiritual Board of Muslims for the European Part of Russia, which is involved in the preparation of street celebrations. In recent years the city had planned new mosques in Mitino and the south-eastern Tekstilshchiki district, but canceled the projects after local protests flared anti-Muslim sentiments. In Moscow, there are currently four mosques, one undergoing renovations, for a population of over 10 million people and an estimated 2 million Muslims. In comparison, London, with 8.3 million people, has 100 mosques for 1 million followers of Islam.

I September 2013

the result of a plot that was carried out in 40 years to spread ignorance, hunger and obliterate history through the destruction of Egyptian antiquities and the torching of all documents, in addition to selling parts of Egypt to those who pay the highest price in this sabotage,” Sheikh Sultan said in a phone call t Egyptian ONTV’s morning show. The ruler of Sharjah also urged Egyptians to “remain loyal to their revolution because Egypt was the pillar of the efforts which succeeded in stopping the barbaric assault”. He re-affirmed the UAE’s support for Egypt, noting that Egypt in the past sent teachers to the Gulf region despite the financial difficulties the country went through at the time. Sheikh Sultan has also donated $2 million to Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering building for restoration work and installation of needed equipment. The building was badly damaged by a fire during the dispersion of the sit-in at Al Nahda Square.

First Muslim conference to be held in New Zealand Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins said plans are underway to hold New Zealand’s first Muslim conference in November. She said not only will it celebrate the different ways the Muslim community contributes to New Zealand society but will also discuss contemporary challenges. The Office of Ethnic Affairs will work alongside the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand to organize the forum, which will be sponsored by members of the Muslim community. www.pi-media.co.uk


UN to aid $1.2 billion to organizations in Palestine www.pi-media.co.uk

I September 2013

WORLD NEWS

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Ban said in a press statement that the aid of $1.2 billion would be given in further five years and is to be used in development programs and personal initiatives. Describing Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu as “two wrestlers” for their willingness to restart peace negotiations, Ban said the only solution in Israel-Palestine problem was forming a Palestine government nearby Israel.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and Palestine Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah have signed an agreement to support 19 organizations in Palestine financially.

United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki Moon and Palestine Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah signed an agreement to support 19 organizations in Palestine financially.

Dubailand signs deal to host new British academy

Dubailand has signed a deal to develop a new private British academy within the residential and retail development. The agreement, between Dubailand developer Dubai Properties Group (DPG) and Safa Private School, will see the opening of Safa British Academy by September 2014. The school will offer an internationally recognised curriculum

from foundation year to Sixth Form taught by British-trained teachers, as well as a 500-seat auditorium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a FIFA astro turf football field. A plot of 385,000 sqft has been allocated for the development of the school near Al Barsha 3, and will be located in the vicinity of communities including Motor City, Layan and The Villa. About 100,000 residents currently live in the Dubailand development. A report from Dubai’s education regulator the Knowledge and Human Development Authority published this year showed that private schools raked in more than AED4bn ($1.09bn) in revenue from school fees this academic year

Syrian refugees pour into Iraq at new crossing

Thousands of Syrian refugees poured into the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, taking advantage of a new bridge along the largely closed border, the UN said. Between 5,000 and 7,000 refugees followed a first group of some 750 people who crossed the pontoon bridge at Peshkhabour over the Tigris River, and more buses were seen dropping off families on the Syrian side. “Thousands of Syrians crossed into northern Iraq in a sudden, massive movement,” Adrian Edwards, spokesman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing in Geneva. Most were families with women, children and the elderly, mainly from Aleppo, Hassakeh and other embattled areas of Syria. There are already more than 150,000 Syrian refugees registered in Iraq, according to the UNHCR which has urged all neighboring countries to keep open their borders to Syrians needing international protection. The border between Syria and Iraq has been largely closed since authorities of the Kurdish regional government shut the crossing on May 19.


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War crimes suspect extradited to Bosnian authorities

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WORLD NEWS

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In Case Y o Missed It u

Former member of the Army of the Serbian Republic, Aleksandar Cvetkovic has been extradited from Israel to Bosnia. Cvetkovic is suspected of involvement in the liquidation of

“Quran” most searched word on the net by Senegalese in Ramadan

Quran and worlds related to the Divine Book of Islam were among the most searched words by Senegalese internet users in Ramadan. According to Google search engine, Quran was one of the most searched words by internet users in the West African country of Senegal, lesoleil website reported. Among other popular searches on Google by Senegalese web users were Quran translation, special prayers of Ramadan and special foods for Ramadan. Islam is the predominant religion in Senegal as over 90 percent of the country’s population is Muslim.

about 800 Muslims on the Branjevo site near Zvornik (Eastern Bosnia border with Serbia) in July 1995. Cvetkovic was extradited from Israel to the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the request of

the Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating his role in the mass murder of Bosnians from Srebrenica in July 1995, announced the Prosecution. “Aleksandar Cvetkovic is suspected of killing more than 800 Bosniak men and boys at a farm in Branjevo on 16th July 1995” the statement said. Prosecutor’s Office investigators have learned that years ago Cvetkovic left Bosnia and Herzegovina. In cooperation with Interpol he is located in Israel in 2010. Cvetkovic has become part of the investigation into the crimes committed in Srebrenica after Drazen Erdemovic had mentioned his name, during the testimony in The Hague. Erdemovic had testified at the trial to Ratko Mladic whom the Hague Tribunal charged with genocide over the 7000 civilians in Srebrenica.

Washington Post website hacked

The Washington Post said that its website was hacked. A group that supports Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime claimed responsibility. Washington Post Managing Editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz said in a statement that for about 30 minutes, readers of some stories were redirected to the website of the Syrian Electronic Army. The SEA has taken credit for Web attacks on media targets that it sees as sympathetic to Syria’s rebels. The group claims to have hacked the Twitter feeds of The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera English and the BBC. Garcia-Ruiz said the hacking incident came a few days after a phishing attack which tried to obtain password information. As a result of the attack, purportedly orchestrated

by the SEA, a personal email account of one of the newspaper’s staff writers was used to send out an SEA message, he said. Garcia-Ruiz said the SEA claimed in a Twitter message that it gained access to parts of the newspaper’s website by hacking one of its business partners, Outbrain, an Internet company that alerts readers of blogs and media sites to recommended links targeted to their specific interests. The Post said it has “taken defensive measures,” which include the removal of the module affected by the hacking. The company said it doesn’t believe there are any other issues affecting the website.

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Call for Muslim veil ban in French universities

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I September 2013

WORLD NEWS

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In Case You Missed It

France could be set to go a step further in its ban on the wearing of religious symbols in state schools. A new report has recommended banning the Islamic headscarf and other religious symbols in the country’s universities, a French newspaper claimed. France has been urged to consider extending its contentious 2004 ban on Muslim headscarves in schools by also forbidding students from wearing the garments in the country’s universities, French

newspaper Le Monde claimed. According to Le Monde, a report by the High Council of Integration (HCI), which is set to be delivered to the government later in the year, makes 12 recommendations aimed at diffusing a “growing number of disputes” stemming from religious differences at higher education institutions. The key and almost certainly most controversial recommendation HCI makes is to forbid the “wearing of religious symbols openly in lecture

Peace talks with Israel, illegal, useless

Senior Hamas member Mahmoud Al-Zahar described peace talks with the Zionist regime as illegal and useless. Speaking in a press conference in Gaza, Al-Zahar said the talks are aimed at improving the occupation

regime’s image before the international community. He said representatives of Mahmoud Abbas in these negotiations have no permission and legitimacy to give up an iota of Palestinian land. Wasil Abu Yusuf, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Front, also said negotiation with Israel is a waste of time. Talks between the Zionist regime and the Palestinian Authority were halted in October 2010, four weeks after they began, due to the Israeli settlement building activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem www.pi-media.co.uk

theatres and places of teaching and research” at French universities. A controversial 2004 law prohibits the wearing or open display of religious symbols in all French schools and colleges, inlcluding crucifixes, Jewish skull caps and the Muslim headscraf - the Hijab, but does not apply to universities. A similarly contentious law was introduced in April 2011 which effectively banned the wearing in public of the full face veil, the niqab. It did not however forbid the wearing of the hijab headscarf. The authors of the HCI report have been made aware of a number of problems and disputes centred around religious differences that are occuring at universities and are keen to ensure “religious neutrality” in France’s establishments of higher education. Among the issues faced in French universities according to the HCI are “underground acitivity of religious groups”, “demands to be excused from attendance on religious grounds” and “disagreements over the curriculum”. There have also been reports of students refusing to work in mixed sex study groups.According to Le Monde, the HCI says the freedom of expression granted to users of higher education “should not affect educational activities and public order”. The report’s writers say that “the public service of higher education is secular and independent of any political, economic, religious or ideological influence,” so there is no reason why higher education should be any different from schools, Le Monde reports. President of the HCI Benoit Normand confirmed that the report was passed over to the France’s National Observatory on Secularism earlier this year but “will not be made public until the end of the year”.


Australian Islamic schools booming

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Islamic schools are the fastest growing school sector in the state, with some expanding so quickly they have had to freeze waiting lists or consider limiting new enrollments to siblings. The number of Islamic schools in NSW has tripled over the past 15 years to 22. And, while the number of students in the state’s public schools dropped slightly over the past decade, the student population of Islamic schools has doubled to more than 10,000. Al-Faisal College at Auburn has almost doubled in size over the past five years to 1600 students. It bought a four-hectare property

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at Austral in Sydney’s west where it plans to build a campus for a further 600 students. It may soon be the biggest independent school in the state. The state’s largest Islamic school is Malek Fahd Islamic School, which has almost 2500 students across three campuses and has stopped adding names to its waiting list. Al Noori Muslim School at Greenacre has grown by more than 70 per cent since 2008. Unity Grammar College at Austral had 741 students in 2012, up from 196 in 2008. Rissalah College at Lakemba is at capacity with about 480 primary

I September 2013

students, also has waiting lists. Last year, more than 10,000 of the state’s students were enrolled in Islamic schools, four times the number enrolled in 1998. The growth was not surprising given the number of Muslim children between the ages of five and 14 in NSW increased by more than 20 per cent between 2006 and 2011, according to census data. The executive director of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, Geoff Newcombe, said there was no doubt the schools would continue to grow. Many of the schools were achieving strong academic results. About half of the teachers at most of the schools were not Muslim and all the schools approached said they would happily enrol non-Muslim students. While some of Sydney’s elite private schools charged up to $30,000 a year for senior students, fees at most Islamic schools were between $1000 and $4000 a year Islamic schools are among those set to benefit from the Gonski funding reforms, given they have a high proportion of students from poor backgrounds and language backgrounds other than English.

UN calls on Myanmar to hold talks with Rohingyas

The United Nations has urged the Myanmar government to hold talks with Rohingya Muslims to avoid further violence in the west of the country. United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesman Adrian Edwards made the remarks at a press conference in Geneva. “UNHCR is reiterating its call for peaceful dialogue and confidencebuilding between the (internally displaced persons) and government. We believe this is key to avoiding further violence,” Edwards said. Meanwhile, UN’s human rights envoy for Myanmar Tomas Ojea

Quintana was visiting Rakhine state, where violence killed one and injured ten others. Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect, and repression in Myanmar for many years. Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks by extremists who call themselves Buddhists. The extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages in Rakhine. Myanmar army forces allegedly provided the fanatics containers of petrol for torching the houses of

Muslim villagers, who were then forced to flee. Myanmar’s government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority. Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also come under fire for her stance on the violence. The Nobel Peace laureate has refused to censure the Myanmar military for its persecution of the Rohingyas. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued separate statements, calling on Myanmar to take action to protect the Rohingya Muslim population against extremists.


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I September 2013

WORLD NEWS

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Warnings of Israeli Intents to build Synagogue at Aqsa Mosque

The Palestinian ministry of culture in Gaza and the Beirut-based Al-Quds international institution warned of Israeli intentions to build a synagogue on parts of the Aqsa Mosque. Minister of culture Mohamed

Al-Madhoun stated that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) initially approved a plan submitted by a Jewish religious group to seize parts of the Aqsa Mosque compound for the building of a synagogue. Madhoun affirmed that this plan is

one of the most serious Judaization projects that target the Aqsa Mosque as the calls for allowing the Jews to perform their rituals inside the Mosque has escalated lately. He accused the Israeli occupation regime of being involved in the conspiracies which some Arab countries are being exposed to and exploiting the consequent difficult situation in the region to execute its schemes and crimes against Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque. For his part, director of Al-Quds international institution Yasin Hamoud appealed to the organization of Islamic cooperation and the Arab League to intervene to stop this Israeli plan, which would trigger a new Palestinian intifada (uprising) in the occupied territories.

Conference Saudi university plans $799m expansion project to focus on

Islamic retail banking

Jazan University in Saudi Arabia is undergoing a SR3bn ($799m) expansion project to include a number of new colleges. According to the Saudi Press Agency, the university is currently implementing 20 projects. Dr Ibrahim Abu Hadi, the supervisor of the university’s public relations and information, said work includes the establishment of four medical colleges, a college of business administration, a number of support projects, and an electrical conversion station. In line with the government’s push to get more nationals into work, education and training is a key component of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil

related budget, with 25 percent of total spending. Hundreds of new schools are currently being built across the kingdom while billions of dollars are being spent on scholarships for Saudis studying abroad. In April, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University was rated as the top university in the Gulf, according to The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings for 2012. The Jeddah institution, which was founded in 1967 and is home to around 42,000 students, was ranked 49th in Asia overall. The university specialises in scientific undergraduate and post graduated programmes.

Global banking leaders will have the opportunity to evaluate Islamic banking options at a conference to be held in Dubai at the Shangri-La Hotel on November 26 and 27. As the future promises great opportunity for the Islamic banking sector, competition from conventional banks, reaching out to a predominantly captured market, creating awareness and educating them about a whole different banking concept creates excessive limitations in its growth cycle, said a statement. The pivotal internal challenge that Islamic banking is suffering is related to the complications of documentation and formalities involved in Islamic banking due to its nature of business dealing, it added. Issues to be addressed include implementing new and different strategies to reap profits and how to achieve total organizational alignment.


I SPORT

Mohammed Farah hailed as best of British after twin triumph

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Mohammed Farah has been hailed as Britain’s greatest ever athlete after repeating his Olympic success with a double victory at the World Championships in Russia. Farah outsprinted his rivals to win the 5,000m title to add to the gold he captured in the 10,000m earlier in

Moscow. The twin triumphs saw the 30year-old become only the second man in history to clinch two distance event titles at both the Olympics and the Worlds. The only person who seemed shocked was the man himself, “ I

The Dubai-based investment firm that bought English soccer club Leeds United in December after lengthy negotiations sold more than half of its 100 percent holding less than six months later, financial statements show. GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahraini Gulf Finance House, offloaded a 10 percent stake to Bahrain-based International Investment Bank earlier this year and its second quarter financial statement showed it had now sold a total of more than half the shares. The statement did not say who the buyer was, specifying only that it had made a gain of $776,000 on the sale and was now deconsolidating Leeds results from its own. GFH could not be reached for comment. The company paid 52 million pounds ($80.4 million) last year to buy Leeds from previous owner Ken Bates, reported by British media to have been sacked as lifetime president of the club in July over

his use of a private jet to travel to matches The club’s website lists shareholders of Grand Caymanbased LUFC Holding Limited - owner of Leeds City Holdings Limited, which in turn owns the club - as GFH Capital, International Investment Bank and Envest Limited. Envest is owned by Salah Nooruddin, who replaced Bates as chairman, and his wife. GFH, which had already booked a $10.4 million profit on the Leeds deal in its 2012 financial statement, said in April it had offers from several investors for stakes in the club. The company has been forced into a number of debt restructurings as well as a major overhaul of its business model since 2010 as it struggled in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. It made a profit of $4.2 million in the first half of the year, its financial statements showing that this was mainly possible because of a $52

never thought in my career I would achieve something like this. This was very tough - it was all left to the last two laps. I had a lot of pressure but at the same time I enjoy it. I am very proud to represent my country and hold the Union Jack. To all the people who give me great support I can’t thank you enough. Thank you to all the people back home - I am very proud.” Only Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele had claimed two distance victories at the athletics world’s two biggest meetings prior to Farah. He claimed gold twice at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and another two victories a year later at the World Championships in Berlin. Many top athletes and sporting personality endorsed his win and placing him as the greatest British athlete of all time.

Gulf owner sells over half its stake in Leeds Utd

million gain from converting a type of Islamic financing security into shares. On an operating level, the group lost $13 million, the cash flow statement shows, while the balance sheet reports accumulated losses since establishment of $379 million.

Turkish motor biker takes gold in the UK

Turkish Motor Superbike rider Kenan Sofuoglu won his second successive victory in the 2013 World Supersport Championship at Northamptonshire’s Silverstone track in the UK. Sofuoglu, who races with Mahi Racing Team India and rides a Kawasaki ZX-6R, clocked a time of 34’25.660, winning the race. Also in the top three times with him was second place Sam Lowes of Takhnich Motorsports and third place Fabien Foret, who is also of Mahi Racing Team India. www.pi-media.co.uk


I September 2013

SPORT I 19

Three of the world’s top 11 golfers confirmed their places in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Luke Donald all confirmed their places in the event that is set to run from Jan. 16-19. McIlroy, a two-time runner-up in 2011 and 2012, hopes to put on

playing the National Course. It’s a great venue that always draws big crowds, so hopefully I can give them more to cheer about next season.” Former world number one Donald is another big name to compete at the Abu Dhabi Championship. “Abu Dhabi is a huge stage where the world’s very best players are all looking to start a fresh season with victory,” Donald was quoted as saying by Sports360. “The size and scope of the tournament creates real early season buzz and there’s always a genuine sense of anticipation as everybody guesses over who’ll find their form first – it’s fantastic to be a part of that. “My aim for Abu Dhabi is the same as always: be in contention and, if the putts roll in, win,” he added. “I’ve been more diligent with my preparations recently, working on my putting and harnessing the shots that I know need some attention.”

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Golf’s major names confirm place in Abu Dhabi championship

a good performance in this year’s competition. “It’s been an up-and-down year but my game is going in the right direction and I feel like I’m nearly there again,” he was quoted as saying by Sports360. “I’ve shown good form in the past in Abu Dhabi and I’ve always enjoyed

Brazilian to lead Kuwait national soccer team

Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira will lead Kuwait’s national soccer team after the departure of Serbian Goran Tovgi last June, Kuwait’s Football Association said. Vieira led Iraq to win the Asian cup title in 2007. Late June, he left his position as coach to Egypt’s Premier League Football Club Zamalek due to political unrest in the country. He began his career

coaching the Brazilian teams Vasco de Gama and Botafago. Vieira spent more than eight years in Morocco training domestic league clubs. In the late 1990s, he led Qadisiyah to win the Kuwaiti premier league. Vieira also coached Omani and Malaysian teams, in addition to youth clubs across the Gulf, between 2001 and 2007. www.pi-media.co.uk


Enjoining the good and Forbidding the Evil

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We live in a time of great confusion, where evil is done in the name of good by the nations of the world, and where good is portrayed as evil in the media. This can be seen from terms such as ‘fundamentalists’ being attached to the Muslim male who prays and keeps a beard, or the female who prays and observes the hijab. Furthermore, the terms ‘evil’ and ‘terrorist’ are associated with those Muslims who strive to protect their religion, honour, dignity and land. These are the times we live in, but let it be known that we Muslims are upon the truth and any small misfortune which befalls us today, will be replaced by ease tomorrow. We must realize therefore that

this situation is only going to get worse unless we ourselves do something to change our own conditions. We sit idly by whilst the kuffar pillage and occupy our nations. Just look at Masjid a-Aqsa – for 37 years this has been under the occupation of the Yahood, and yet the majority of Muslims do not know that it was on that same spot that the best of mankind, our noble Prophet Mohammed (salallahu alayhe wasalam) lead ALL of the Anbiyyah (alayhe salam) in congregational prayer. And who is occupying Masjid Al-Aqsa? It is a people numbering about 13 million people, whereas the 1.2 billion Muslims of this world are

unable to do much more than say “we condemn Israel ”. So how do we the Muslims go about changing our condition? This is a question which has many answers within it. One of these answers is that we need to follow in the footsteps of the righteous by enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. This means both corrected our fellow Muslims (with hikma) and conveying the message of Islam to the non-Muslims. If you saw that a cat was about to fall into a pit of fire, would you stop it? Then what about the human being, both Muslim and non-Muslim? Allah, the Exalted, says: “Let there arise out of you a group of


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I September 2013

people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma`ruf (good) and forbidding Al-Munkar (evil). And it is they who are the successful.’’ (3:104) “You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin AlMa`ruf (good) and forbid Al-Munkar (evil)’’. (3:110) Now the question that some may ask is ‘what is good?’ and ‘what is evil?’ – know that good is that what Allah (swt) and his messenger (saw) have declared good, and bad is that which Allah (swt) and his Messnger (saw) have declared bad. Within the statement of Al-Ma’ruf is not only that which is good for Muslims to follow, but this also includes Islam itself and the very fundamentals of deen including the belief that there is no god except Allah who is worthy of any worship and that the method (sunnah) of the Messenger (saw) is the best of methods to follow and adopt in ones life. Al-Munkar is that which is in contrast to that, ie those beliefs and actions which go against the teachings of Islam and also go against the belief in Tawheed, the oneness of God. It must therefore be understood that within the framework of enjoing the good and forbidding the evil is both Islaah (corrected our fellow Muslims and advising them with hikma, and calling them towards righteousness) and Dawah (calling the non-Muslims towards the truthfulness of the belief in La ilaha ilAllah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah.) At this point is is essential to bear in mind that a person cannot be in the process without having any knowledge. To have the basic knowledge of Islam is a prerequisite of enjoinging the good and forbidding the evil. After that, a person must have the knowledge about the specific subject for which they are attempting to enjoin the good. Without the prerequisite knowledge, a person would be sinful for speaking for that which they know nothing about. Seeking knowledge is indeed a process that the Muslim must adopt endlessly throughout his or her life. In fact, one can sum this up with the saying adopted by a group from amongst the Muslims – “Learn, Practice, Propagate”. Returning back to the issue of

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enjoing the good and forbidding the evil, it is important to keep in mind the following saying of the Messenger of Allah (swt): Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith”. [Muslim]. If one is in a position to change an evil with his or her hand, then that is what must be done. For example, if a parent was to observe his or her child watching something haram on television, or listening to haram music, then that parent should turn off the television or music, and advise the child. Another example would be for one to provide charity out of one’s own pocket, to help the oppressed, or to take up arms in their defense. “Then with his tongue” – indeed this is what a Muslim must do. The tongue is the piece of flesh which if used for bad, could fling a person into the hellfire, but if used for good, would elevate their rank and status. Muslims must speak out against any bad or evil which they are witnesses to. The manner in speech should be that which will bring about the most benefit and which is with adab. In these times we live in, to reproach someone may be counter-productive and in that case they best thing to do is to speak to someone with hikma (wisdom) and without any arrogance, or ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. As for one who is unable to do the above, then let him detest the evil with his heart. The Prophet (saw) said that this is the lowest in Iman, so anything below that is unacceptable. To be below that category is to according to the hadith, to have no Iman in that regard. And if we ever find ourselves in a state whereby we don’t disapprove of an evil before us, then know that we are not on the path of those whom Allah has blessed with being on the straight path. In that scenario, we should immediately repent and seek Allah’s forgiveness, for Allah (swt) is the most Merciful. As for those of us who witness an evil and hate it in our hearts, but

I 21

fail to speak out against it, then we must address the reasons for our failure. If it is due to lack in Iman, then we should pray to Allah (swt) and Inshallah, our Iman will increase. If our failure is due to modesty or shyness, then know that in such matters this must be overcome and for this again we must turn to Allah (swt) in devotion and supplication. Even after this, there are occasions when we will genuinely be unable to speak out against the vil which we witness, in such cases to despise the evil in our heart will be sufficient and we will not be sinful. At all times, we must remember that it is with wisdom that we should offer nasiha (good counsel) and that our own actions should not be in contradiction to that which we preach to others. Know that the best of all examples is the Prophet Mohammed (saw) in correcting the Muslims and inviting the non-Muslims to the straight path, and that is is only through studying his seerah that we will be able to appreciate and implement his teachings (saw). I will now conclude with a warning. If we fail to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, then our communities will continue to be destroyed and both the people who follow the laws of Allah and those who are neglectful will be destroyed within it. This can be ascertained from the following narration of the Prophet Mohammed (saw), which I will leave the reader to ponder over. May Allah have mercy on us. 187. Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them : `If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you.’ If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe”. [Al-Bukhari].


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