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Transcript of PassionIslam March2010
Issue: 24 March 2010
Sport AC Milan in Big Money
NewsUK adoptsnew approach
Several more demonstrators who took part in last years anti-Israel rallies at the height of atrocities in Gaza have been jailed in the UK, raising concern that the prosecutions are politically motivated.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) criticised the sentencing, saying it fails to take into account that grave police mismanagement and abuse of police powers contributed to the tense situation at the demonstrations.
We are concerned that such heavy sentencing, the subsequent confiscation of passports and other intimidatory measures are an attempt to deter protesting, in particular in support of Palestine, and by Muslims, said IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh.
At Isleworth Crown Court in London, one more protester was sentenced to 12 months in prison, while another will serve ten months in a Young Offenders Institute.
A total of seventeen have so far been jailed in connections to the protests at the Israeli Embassy, receiving sentences between eight months and two and a half years.
Another 45 people who have pleaded guilty are yet to be sentenced, while trials are still awaited for another 17, who unlike the majority have refused to change their not guilty pleas.
The IHRC said that two of those already sentenced were only 16 at the time of the demonstrations, while another was a Palestinian who
lost two cousins murdered by Israeli security forces days before the rally.
The severity of the sentencing has also provoked strong reaction from supporters of the Britains largest peace group network, Stop The War Coalition (STWC).
STWC, which described the jail terms as draconian particularly because the majority have no prior convictions, have been holding protests outside the court and held a meeting in the British parliament.
An IHCR report into the protests, published last month, found some very disturbing eyewitness accounts of allegedly unprofessional police conduct, in some cases amounting to police brutality, during the demonstrations.
Claims were that law enforcement officials used tactics of intimidation and indiscriminate, disproportionate force; they failed to communicate effectively with demonstrators and employed heavy handedness and abusive language.
The report makes a particular point of criticising the tactic of corralling or kettling demonstrators. It claims that riot police charged into the crowd on more than one occasion and that there were also reports at one point that gas was used against the crowds.
Over 30 officially recorded complaints have been filed about the way that the police treated the protests, but it is thought that all have been dismissed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
2 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I March 2010
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t h e P a s s i o n - By Sheikh Sufyan
Muslim faith schools continue to surpass national averages for the UKs GCSE school-leaving certificates, including in modern foreign languages, according to new figures compiled.
In a survey of last years GCSE results at 63 Muslim schools and colleges, 61 per cent of students attained 5 or more A* to C grades [including English and Maths], 11 per cent higher than the national average of 50 per cent.
The performance was even more outstanding in modern foreign languages, with 71 per cent of 1,683 students who sat their GCSE (and equivalent) in Muslim schools and colleges attained at least one A* to
C grade, 26 per cent higher than the national average.
The results are seen as all the more remarkable by the fact that only 5 of the 63 Muslim schools and colleges in the UK have state-funded voluntary aided status.
Students attending Muslim schools were also found to be excelling in underperforming local authorities, including in Tower Hamlets, east London, where the Muslim community constitute 36.4 per cent of the population, the highest proportion in the country.
In 2009 the Tower Hamlets authority had a 46 per cent pass rate for 5 or more A* to C pass rate (4 percent lower than the national
average), but the results at the five Muslim schools in the London borough scored a 63 per cent pass rate.
One of the voluntary aided schools, Tauheedul Islam Girls School in Blackburn, north-west England, has been recognised by the government as one of the top 100 highest achieving schools in the country for the last three years and in 2009 was awarded the Humanities Specialist Status.
The performance of students at Muslim schools is in contrast with state schools, where Muslims, particularly from Pakistani and Bangladeshi origins, are among the lowest achievers in the UK.
Muslim schools surpass national exam averages in the UK
Passion Islam I March 2010 NEWS I 3
The British government is facing a fresh legal action by human rights group, Reprieve, over guidelines for secret agents on how to interrogate prisoners held overseas.
In a statement to the high court, The legal defense charity said ministers failed adequately to ensure that UK intelligence personnel refrain from acts and omissions amounting to complicity in torture.
The organization, which represents several former Guantanamo Bay detainees, says unpublished guidance from 2002 and 2004 is unlawful because it condones complicity in torture.
Reprieve also cited a lack of government response over the mounting accusation of MI5 and MI6 complicity in the mistreatment of prisoners as a reason for taking the cases to court.
The legal proceedings will be
against the prime minister, home secretary, foreign secretary, defense secretary and attorney general.
This is while ministers and officials have been haunted by accusations that the countrys secret service knew about the torture of detainees by US agents, with seven British already
suing the government for its role in their alleged mistreatment.
A judge must now give the green light for a hearing to go ahead on the basis of Reprieves application.
If the permission is granted, there could be a court hearing within three to six months.
Britain in fresh legalrow over torture
4 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I March 2010
Britain is continuing to sell a wide range of military equipment to the Zionist regime, despite last years massacre of more than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza.
After the attack on Gaza, Foreign Secretary David Miliband told parliament that all future applications for arms-related exports to Israel will be assessed taking into account the recent conflict.
But the latest official figures show that UK government approved almost 4m worth of export licences for weapons and equipment, including small arms ammunition and parts for sniper rifles in first nine months of 2009.
Most of the equipment approved for sale to the Zionst regime were components for large military items, such as parts for ground-based radars, military aircraft engines, military aircraft navigation equipment, military communications and unmanned drones.
The continuing exports have been condemned by the anti-poverty campaigning organisation, War on Want, which has called for a two-way arms embargo between Britain and Israel since the 2006 invasion of Lebanon.
The licensing of arms sales to Israel flies in the face of the UKs arms export guidelines, which prohibit the sale of military equipment that could be used for internal repression, said
Yasmin Khan of War on Want. The UK government remains complicit in Israels human rights violations unless it prohibits the sale of all arms to Israel, Khan told IRNA.
Approved exports sales also include electronic warfare equipment, ground vehicle military communications equipment and remote ground-sensor systems.
Last year, Miliband admitted that Israeli equipment used in the attack on Gaza almost certainly contained British-supplied components included components for US F16 combat aircraft, and Apache helicopters. They also included equipment for radar on Israeli ships that could be used for fire-
control against surface targets, and armoured personnel carriers adapted from Centurion tanks sold to Israel in the late 1950s.
When questioned by parliaments strategic export controls committee last month, Foreign Office minister for the Middle East Ivan Lewis insisted that the government considered arms exports to Israel on a case-by-case basis.
Britains official guidelines for arms exports stipulate that arms sales should not be approved where there is a clear risk that the export might be used for internal repression or where they would provoke or prolong armed conflicts.
Nearly three quarters of Brits from an ethnic minority background are unaware of changes to the state pension that could benefit them financially, according to a YouGov poll.
As the number of contributing years of National Insurance people need to build up a full basic state pension is reducing in April, statistics show 29,000 British Bangladeshis, 91,000
British Pakistanis and 219,000 British Indians over 55 could now benefit when they retire.
Findings show nearly a third - 31 per cent - of Brits from an ethnic minority background have taken time ou