Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Daredevil Russian skywalker films herself walking along concrete beam

Daredevil Russian skywalker films herself walking along concrete beam

Daring: A woman walks apparently unaided along a narrow concrete beam hundreds of feet above the ground
Dangerous: The video is the latest example of a 'skywalking' craze proving popular among Russian students
It is a sight that could make even the most hardened movie viewer feel a little queasy. 
Hundreds of feet above the ground, a young woman looks down as she walks precariously along a narrow concrete beam while traffic flows below.
And while there is no sign of any safety equipment to protect her should she fall, the woman does have a head-mounted camera to film herself as she strolls.
The dizzying clip, which has been viewed more than 238,000 times on the video sharing website LiveLeak, is the latest example of a 'skywalking' craze proving popular among young people in Russia. 
One viewer posted on the website: 'I even get sick of watching it.'
Shot from the woman's point of view, the video clip shows her walking hands free along the beam.
At one point, she appears to consider walking along an even narrower beam but eventually decides against it.
Viewers are also treated to a closer look at the ground below as she kneels down and peers over the edge.
The video has emerged less than a month after another group of Russian skywalkers released pictures of themselves climbing 240 metres to the top of Moscow State University.
The group posed for pictures on the university's famous star tower, which overlooks the entire Russian capital.
Vadim Mahorov, 22, from Novosibirsk, who took the pictures, deliberately targets huge skyscrapers that he thinks will be difficult to get into.
He then secretly scales the landmarks to get his shots.

Daredevil Russian skywalker films herself walking along concrete beam

100 அடி உயரத்தில்...தலையில் கேமரா பொருத்தி கான்க்ரீட் தூணில் நடந்த ரஷ்யப் பெண்!

மாஸ்கோ: ரஷ்யாவில் ஒரு இளம் பெண், நூறு அடி உயரத்தில், கான்க்ரீட் தூண் ஒன்றின் மீது படு துணிச்சலாக நடந்துள்ளார் ஒரு இளம் பெண். கீழே நூற்றுக் கணக்கான வாகனங்கள் சரமாரியாக போய்க் கொண்டிருந்த நிலையில் சற்றும் பயப்படாமல் தான் நடந்து சென்றதை தனது தலையில் கேமராவைப் பொருத்தி அதைப் படமும் பிடித்து அசத்தியுள்ளார் அவர்.
மிக மிக குறுகிய தூண் அது. சாலையின் நடுவே போய்க் கொண்டுள்ள அந்த தூணில் மிக மிக நடை போட்டு நடந்த அந்தப் பெண்ணைப் பார்த்து கீழே போய்க் கொண்டிருந்தவர்கள் பதை பதைக்க வேடிக்கை பார்த்தனர்.
தனது தலையில் ஒரு வீடியோ கேமராவை மட்டும் அவர் பொருத்தியிருந்தார். பாதுகாப்பு சாதனங்கள் எதையும் அவர் எடுத்துக் கொள்ளவில்லை. மிக மிக மெதுவாக தூணில் நடந்ததை வீடியோவில் படமாக்கி அதை தற்போது வெளியிட்டும் உள்ளார்.
அந்த வீடியோ காட்சியில், அப்பெண் கீழே பார்த்தபடி நடப்பது பதிவாகியுள்ளது. கீழே போய்க் கொண்டிருக்கும் வாகனங்கள், கான்க்ரீட் தூண் ஆகியவையும் பதிவாகியுள்ளன.
இந்த வீடியோவை லைவ்லீக் என்ற வீடியோ இணையதளத்தில் வெளியிட்டுள்ளார். அதை இதுவரை இரண்டரை லட்சம் பார்த்து பயந்துள்ளனர்.

Female judo fighters support hijab decision


Top female judo fighters on Tuesday backed the decision to allow a Saudi athlete to compete at the Olympic Games wearing hijab, saying it would not bother them and would be good for women's sport.

Teenager Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, one of the first two Saudi women chosen to compete at an Olympics, had threatened to pull out after the sport's governing body said she could not compete wearing a hijab because it was too dangerous.

After days of deliberation, a compromise was struck on Monday between judo chiefs, Olympic bosses and Saudis meaning she will now take part in the women's heavyweight section on Friday.

"I think it's no problem for us, it might be a problem for her. But I can't see why she shouldn't have it," Slovenia's Urska Zolnir, who won gold in the women's -63kg judo category on Tuesday, told reporters.

The appearance in London of Shaherkani, 16, and fellow teenage 800-metre runner Sarah Attar came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pressed Saudi Arabia along with fellow Muslim nations Qatar and Brunei to end their ban on female participation.

"We all want judo to be more democratic and it would be a good thing if more women were allowed to practice judo," said France's Gervise Emane, the world champion who won bronze on Tuesday.

"So if this right has been given to her and it allows her to do more sport, so be it."

The International Judo Federation (IJF) said last week that its regulations forbade headgear because a fighter could be accidentally choked during the rough, physical contests in which strangling an opponent using their judo outfit is legal.

But a Saudi National Olympic Committee spokesman said on Monday they had agreed on an acceptable form of headscarf with the IOC and IJF.

"I don't think this would disturb us very much," Emane said. "It would possibly be a drawback for her when competing."

The IJF said it was pleased that a solution had been found.

"Working with the IOC a proposal was approved by all parties," it said in a statement. "The solution agreed guarantees a good balance between safety and cultural considerations."

London 2012: Islamic Olympians embrace Ramadan fasting

                                                   Somalian athletes Zamzam Mohamed Farah and Mohamed Mohamed. Mohamed Mohamed said, "As an athlete    it can get difficult, but I am ready to fast and train and to get through this difficult month.

For the thousands of athletes hoping to win medals at this summer's Games, nutrition is of paramount importance.

Competitors are renowned for painstakingly watching every calorie, counting each ounce of protein, as they strive for physical perfection at what is the most important time of their lives.

So spare a thought for the more than 3,000 Muslim sporting stars who are competing in the midst of Ramadan, the holy month where all adherents to Islam are expected to fast from sunrise until sunset.

The timing of London 2012, the first Olympics to coincide with Ramadan since 1980, caused so much concern within some Muslim sporting bodies that they asked the International Olympic Committee to consider moving it. One of their key concerns was the length of the daily fast that would have to be done in Britain where the daylight hours in summer are from 5am to 9pm - a gruelling ordeal for those who live closer to the Equator.

The request was declined but organisers have gone to great lengths to try and make sure Muslim athletes are catered for. The canteens at all the sporting venues are open 24 hours a day so athletes can fill up on halal food once the sun goes down.

For Ahmed Habash, Egypt's first ever Olympic sailor, the fast in Britain is a considerably longer one than he is used to. "In Egypt sunset is at 19:00 and here in England it is 21:00," he said. "During the actual races I am not going to fast by using the license. It does mean when I return home I'll have to re-fast, but only for the five days I miss."

But others relish Ramadan. "It's a blessing month," said Mohamed Mohamed, Somalia's 1500m runner. "I have been waiting for this month for the past 11 months, it's a month we are very happy to welcome. As an athlete it can get difficult, but I am ready to fast and train and to get through this difficult month."

Most athletes have been helped by the fact that their religious leaders have allowed them to avoid fasting using various religious get-out clauses. Islamic law is often flexible. Traditionally the ill, pregnant women, travellers and those who would have their only source of income affected can fast at another time or pay money to charity instead.

There is no central religious authority in Islam so each country makes their own decision. Nonetheless Egypt, the UAE, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia - and even highly conservative Saudi Arabia - have all allowed their athletes to put off fasting.

Yunus Dhudwala is an imam who normally works as chaplain in Newham hospital. Over the next two weeks he is one of the specially designated imams in the athlete's village. "Most of the athletes I've met are either delaying fasting for a later date. But some are fasting on all the days except on the day they have to compete."

Nonetheless there are those who still chose to go ahead with depriving themselves of food throughout the Games. Many of Morocco's football team have insisted on fasting even though their muftis have given them permission not to. At their first game against Japan over the weekend they lost 1-0 and were forced to defend themselves against the suggestion that Ramadan might be to blame.

Moroccan forward Noureddin Amrabat was substituted after 70 minutes. "Ramadan has little effect," he insisted. "I have less power. It's my religion and for me the only way is that you do Ramadan. It's not an excuse to play a match. I have my religion and I do 30 days Ramadan".

The team's Dutch coach Pim Verbeek added: "Of course [Ramadan's] difficult. Physically they cannot be 100% fit, but mentally they have to be a little bit better than they are."

Many of the scientific studies commissioned to look into the effects of fasting and sport have found little evidence to suggest it has a detrimental impact on performance.

"People often assume it will affect an athlete's performance but it's not as simple as that," says Professor Ron Maughan, an expert of sporting nutrition who has studied fasting. "Many athletes say they actually play better when they fast, they feel more focused, more in tune with their bodies."

Somali 400m runner Zamzam Moahmed Farah would agree. "Ramadan is something we have to perform," she said. "I'm just as fast and I will run and I don't think it will affect me as an athlete."

Thursday night the East London Mosque is holding a large iftar celebration for Muslims and non-Muslims which will be attended by the Palestinian Olympic team and other athletes. Iftar is the evening meal that marks the break of each daily fast and is usually celebrated communally.

Saudis to finally get halal home loans

                                    Saudi Arabia Halal Home Loans

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has always been a little unusual when it comes to Islamic finance and banking. Banks that were otherwise quite conventional, and which both paid and received interest, were proclaimed to be Islamic because ‘all banks in the kingdom are Islamic’. Since Saudi Arabia plays such an important place in Islam, being home to Mecca and other holy sites, it was felt that it would give off the wrong message if any banks were seen to be conventional.
The introduction of a truly Shari’ah compliant mortgage law in Saudi Arabia, therefore, was always going to be a slow train coming but it appears that it has now happened. On Monday Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved its first ever mortgage law – partly prompted by concerns of popular unrest sparked by the surrounding Arab Spring – and partly prompted by a desire to address issues of regional economic imbalances.
The mortgage law has been on the drawing board for some years – over 30 years by some estimates – and the main stumbling block to its introduction seems to have been the issue of whether or not it would be fully Shari’ah compliant. The core point of contention seems to be that senior Shari’ah scholars believe that interpretation of the Shari’ah should be left to individual scholars to interpret as they see fit – and not codified into law. The law was approved as far back as 2008 by the Shura Council but the final draft was left for review and was only ratified this week.
The ramifications of this development for Saudi Arabia could be enormous – and could also provide a useful fillip for the global Islamic finance market. Saudi Arabia is estimated to need somewhere in the region of 1.5m new affordable housing units over the next few years.
Saudi Arabia has long had a lack of housing and a more acute lack of affordable housing so this development could be a game-changer in terms of the economic development of the nation.
There is also a question mark over how the kingdom’s financial services industry will respond to this development. To date the banking sector has been tightly regulated and foreign banks can only participate in the form of JVs with established Saudi banks. It seems likely that these banks rather than standalone Islamic home financing companies will issue the bulk of any new Islamic mortgages.
From a practical point of view Islamic home financing companies have to find a cheap source of capital since, without a banking license, they are unable to accept the automatic salary deposits that regulated banks can use to fund mortgages. The experience of Islamic home financing entities in the UAE where the mismatch between borrowing and lending terms caused havoc during the real estate bubble crash could hold some salutary lessons for any potential lenders in the kingdom.
(Courtesy: Harakah Daily)

Saudi plans first industrial city for women

                             Saudi working Women

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday plans to set up its first industrial city dedicated to female entrepreneurs.
The Authority of Industrial Cities and Technological Zones, also known as Modon, said it has started planning the development of the industrial city in Hofouf city, Ahsa governorate.
In a statement published by Saudi Press Agency, it said that Prince Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, had approved the plan.
The Authority’s acting director general, Saleh Al-Rashid, added that it was currently working to establish a second female industrial city elsewhere in the Gulf kingdom.

boycott Israeli dates grown on occupied Palestinian land

       boycott Israeli dates

Al Arabiya news is reporting that  a U.S. group called The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) has launched a campaign calling for the boycotting of dates grown in Israeli-occupied Palestinian land.
The campaign which is titled “This Ramadan Make a Date with Justice: Choose Occupation-Free Dates” was launched two days before the commencement of Ramadan and is part of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which targets Israeli products on the international market.
Mr. Awad Hamdan, AMP National Programs director, was quoted as saying that many Muslims were unaware that they were using Israeli dates grown in settlements on occupied Palestinian land and that the campaign was about raising that awareness among both Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
“We decided to launch the campaign during the month of Ramadan to gain speed very quickly and it has resulted to be successful. Dates are a product bought a lot from Muslim consumers during Ramadan because it’s typically eaten to break from their fast,” Awad was quoted as saying.
The BDS movement was said to be enjoying widespread support even among groups of Jews such as Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP). JVP representative, Sydney Levy, said that they support such initiatives because they consider justice to be important and because such activities provide an opportunity to “stand with Muslim bothers and sisters”.
AMP wants those who are aware to avoid dates from the company Hadiklaim, sold under brands like Jordan River, Jordan River Bio-Tops and King Solomon. They advocate supporting U.S. date manufacturers in California and Arizona instead.

Iran takes websites offline after cyber attacks

                                                   Cyber Attack 

Iran plans to move key ministries and state bodies off the internet next month in a bid protect the country’s intelligence from future cyber attacks, the country’s telecommunications minister has said.
Reza Taghipour told The Telegraph that the step was being taken because sensitive intelligence on the internet, which is controlled by “one or two” countries hostile to Iran, is vulnerable.
“The establishment of the national intelligence network will create a situation where the precious intelligence of the country won’t be accessible to these powers,” Taghipour said.
The first phase of the project, which will replace the global internet with a domestic intranet system, is scheduled to be completed within 18 months, he added.
Iran’s government related computer systems have been the subject of several cyber attacks in recent years. Officials in 2010 said that malicious software known as Stuxnet affected some of the country’s computer systems and several centrifuges used in its nuclear program to enrich uranium.
An even more sophisticated virus known as Flame, believed to have targeted Iran’s oil ministry and main export terminal, was discovered this year.
Authorities in May said that several state-backed firms’ websites have been hacked by a Saudi Arabian group of hackers. The month prior to the attack, the Islamic Republic’s state-controlled media reported said the country’s oil industry had the victim of a major cyber attack.
The Islamic Republic’s nuclear enrichment programme has been a major source of contention for the US and its allies, leading to stringent sanctions being placed on Iran which have eroded its stance as a major oil exporter.
Iran insists that its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes, although many Western governments suspect the country may be attempting to enrich uranium to a military grade level.

Sports Abaya: In demand in Saudi

                                           Sports Abaya: In demand in Saudi

Many Saudi women suffer from obesity. One effective treatment lies in exercise, but the cost of membership to athletic clubs means that for many women the only options are: Exercise at home or outside. But going out means wearing an abaya, and wearing an abaya makes exercise more arduous than it already is.
“I am not overweight, but I like to walk, especially in public parks. But I hesitate a lot during the summer because the abaya makes it difficult,” said Laila Abdul Ghafour, a Saudi woman living in Jeddah.
She said she tried wearing a long dress over sports tights, but it didn’t work. A friend, Hind Amin, said the abaya doesn’t help anyway because sweating during exercise makes the fabric clingy, which undermines the use of the abaya in the first place: To hide the female form in public.
Salim bin Salman, a CEO of a Saudi company that imports clothing, said it was the concern of women like Laila and Hind that gave him the idea of finding a suitable exercise wear for the modest Muslim woman.
“We started importing sports abayas for Saudi women to practice sports without difficulty and without (being) revealing,” he said.
Bin Salman said 60 percent of his customers are women looking for sports abayas.
“Our women customers are those who believe in the importance of sports for health. They are educated women between the age of 20 and 40,” he added. “We import these fabrics from India and Indonesia. The women buy them and tailor them into sports abayas. They are of different colors which suit various tastes,” he said.
Bin Salman explained that the abaya is made up of 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester.
“The cotton abaya will give the woman coolness as it absorbs heat,” he said.
He noted that some fashion designers started using these fabrics to make sports abayas that look very much like training suits.

25 Filipinos embrace Islam after lecture

 Filipinos embrace Islam

As was the case in the last ten sessions of the Ramadan Forum, the Philippines night has proved to be the most eventful this year also with tens of people converting to Islam.
Prominent Filipino scholar Sheikh Omar Penalber, 57, delivered a lecture in Tagalog on ‘The Path to Salvation’ as part of the six-lecture cultural programme for foreign communities of the 11th session of the Ramadan Forum in Al Twar-2 area on Thursday night.
As many as 25 Filipinos converted to Islam following the three-hour long lecture in which Sheikh Penalber affirmed that the Holy Quran is the rain that brings forth true life on earth.
Mohammed Alhashimi, chairman of the forum’s organising committee, said the new Muslims are to be accompanied to the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities to get an official conversion certificate. “They are also given books, booklets, CDs and cassettes on Islam in a simple and attractive style, and in several languages.” Elaborating, Alhashimi said reciting ‘Shahada’ or testifying that there is only one God worthy of worship — Allah the Creator, the Sustainer, the Lord of the Heaven and the Earth and all that exists — and accepting that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the final messenger of Allah is all that is required for converting to Islam.
“The new Muslim then needs to sincerely observe four more pillars to be a true faithful. These are five daily prayers, fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, paying Zakat or obligatory charity when having certain amount, and performing Haj or pilgrimage when affordable.”
While Sheikh Penalber helped 127 people embrace Islam in the 10th Ramadan Forum and 125 others in the ninth session of the annual event organised by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, he assisted 1,200 Filipinos convert to Islam in various parts of the Philippines in the first half of this year.
In his lecture, he said the Quran, and nothing else, can guide us to God Almighty. It is the path that leads the traveller to Allah. “It is His brilliant light that illuminates the darkness of uncertainty and disbelief. It is His mercy of guidance and source of happiness for all creation. It is the bridge that connects His devotee to Him when all else fails.”
Sheikh Penalber said the more a soul delves into its depths of the Quran, the more it increases in insight and guidance. “The Quran is the cure for mankind from diseases of the heart. It is life to the hearts and pleasure and brilliance to the souls. It is the harbinger that calls night and day ‘O seekers of good, hurry to me’.”

—Ahmed Shaaban (

UAE Ruler Mohammed orders payment of salaries before Eid Al Fitr

                            Sheikh Mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the payment of the salaries of all employees of Dubai government for the current month before Eid Al Fitr.
Director General of Dubai Finance Department Abdul Rahman Al Saleh said that payrolls will be transferred to the banks by Monday, next week, enabling the employees to receive their salaries earlier, so that they can meet the needs of their families for Eid.
Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council member and ruler of Umm Al Quwain has ordered the payment of the salaries of all employees of Umm Al Quwain local departments for the current month before Eid Al Fitr.
Sheikh Saud’s decision is aimed at enabling employees to receive their salaries earlier, so that they can meet the needs of their families for Eid.

China once again bans Uighur Muslims from fasting

Uighu Muslims in China's Xinjiang region.

Chinese authorities in the northwestern province of Xinjiang have banned Muslim officials and students from fasting during the month of Ramadan, prompting an exiled rights group to warn of new violence.
Guidance posted on numerous government websites called on Communist Party leaders to restrict Muslim religious activities during the holy month, including fasting and visiting mosques.
Xinjiang is home to about nine million Uighurs, largely a Muslim ethnic minority, many of whom accuse China’s leaders of religious and political persecution.
The region has been rocked by repeated outbreaks of ethnic violence, but China denies claims of repression and relies on tens of thousands of Uighur officials to help it govern the province.
A statement from Zonglang township in Xinjiang’s Kashgar district said that “the county committee has issued comprehensive policies on maintaining social stability during the Ramadan period.
“It is forbidden for Communist Party cadres, civil officials (including those who have retired) and students to participate in Ramadan religious activities.”
The statement, posted on the Xinjiang government website, urged party leaders to bring “gifts” of food to local village leaders to ensure that they were eating during Ramadan.
Similar orders on curbing Ramadan activities were posted on other local government websites, with the educational bureau of Wensu county urging schools to ensure that students do not enter mosques during Ramadan.
‘Administrative methods’
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and strive to be more closer to God, pious and charitable.
An exiled rights group, the World Uyghur Congress, warned the policy would force “the Uighur people to resist [Chinese rule] even further.”
“By banning fasting during Ramadan, China is using administrative methods to force the Uighur people to eat in an effort to break the fasting,” said group spokesman Dilshat Rexit in a statement.
Xinjiang saw its worst ethnic violence in recent times in July, 2009, when Uighurs attacked members of the nation’s dominant Han ethnic group in the city of Urumqi, sparking clashes in which 200 people from both sides died, according to the government.
Source: Aljazeera

Mataf’s capacity to be tripled after expansion

MakkahThe expansion project for the mataf (the circumambulation area around the Kaaba) will triple its capacity, according to a senior official of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute of Haj Research.

Abdul Aziz Saroji said the expanded mataf would be able to accommodate 130,000 pilgrims per hour. He said the mataf expansion would take three years to complete. “We cannot stop circumambulation around the Kaaba or prayer in the mataf because of the project. However, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the project to be completed as quickly as possible,” he said and added: “Recently we expanded the masaa (the running area between Safa and Marwa), which helped in accommodating a large number of pilgrims over its four floors.”
Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari presented the mataf expansion project to King Abdullah during Ramadan last year. Saroji added: “Our institute was part of the team that presented the project and had provided ideas and expertise for its design.” Work on the project began in June but stopped in July because of Ramadan, when millions of Muslims come for Umrah from different parts of the world. “Work will resume soon after Ramadan. Once the project is completed it will solve one of the major problems facing pilgrims,” he said.
Interior Minister Prince Ahmed chairs the institute’s supervising committee, while Higher Education Minister Al-Anqari and Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar are its members. He said: “Our research institute has conducted about 600 studies that helped in solving many problems facing pilgrims and improving services during Haj and Umrah.” Saroji highlighted the important role the institute plays. “It is the only institute in the world that conducts studies on Haj and Umrah. More than 38 years have passed since its establishment.”
He disclosed the institute’s plan to establish research chairs at Saudi universities. “We have already set up the Prince Naif Chair at Umm Al-Qura for studies on housing in Makkah, Madinah and other holy sites. It has received a financing of SR 3 million.”
Discussing the annual conferences organized by the institute, Saroji said such events aimed to discuss various research papers dealing with ways to improve Haj and Umrah services. “Many departments have benefited from our research papers in the past.” The institute has conducted 40 studies this Ramadan. About half of them were conducted in Madinah under the directives of Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majed, he pointed out. These projects include expansion of Rowdah inside the Prophet’s Mosque. He said about 80 researchers outside the institute cooperate with his organization. “During this research season 230 students also cooperated with us to collect various pieces of information.”

Smoking at Iftar highly dangerous: Experts

Dubai, Ramadan 07 26 July (IINA) – The first puff of smoke immediately after ending the fast is capable of killing a person, doctors said while urging Muslimsmokers to use the opportunity to quit the habit this Ramadan.

Smoking can be dangerous for a fasting person whose body is trying to recoup after abstaining from water and food for so long. Smokers must consider themselves lucky if they do not contract serious cardiovascular problem, experts said. “Smoking is the worst thing a person can do to his body, especially at Iftar in Ramadan,” said Dr Riaz Ahmad Minhas, an expert in internal medicine at the Emirates Clinic and Medical Centre in Al Ain. At this time, he said, the body is in greater need of liquids, glucose, and oxygen and smoking could lead to the contraction of blood vessels, preventing the required flow of oxygen. Smoking at such a critical time can also cause the blood to thicken. This can lead to the blockage of arteries, increase blood pressure, spasms (congestion of arteries), disturb regular heartbeat, and increase cholesterol. “It could be lethal and smokers must be aware of that, Gulf News reported quoting Dr Minhas as saying.
Dr Ali Jaffar, a physician in Al Ain, said inhalation of tobacco at the ending of a fast is highly injurious to the human body. People do not know how hard it is for their bodies to withstand such a blow at such a time. “If they knew they wouldn’t be so cruel to their own bodies,” he added. A majority of smokers reach for a cigarette immediately after ending the fast. They like to have a cigarette after eating a date or a glass of water. As soon as they eat something their body starts demanding nicotine. “People with weaker willpower must seek medical assistance to control the nicotine withdrawal, he said.
Dr Jaffar also advised smokers to at least refrain from smoking at Iftar until their bodies return to normal. A smoker must take light but nutritious food and proper rest. He said Ramadan is a golden opportunity for smokers to quit the habit. The doctors said nicotine and tar are the most damaging substances in a cigarette. “It’s extremely harsh for the human stomach to tolerate them after a day-long emptiness,” they said.
Research all over the world has proved without doubt that smoking is responsible for an endless list of health problems and ailments such as weakness of the body, shortness of breath and impotency. Smokers often suffer from pain in their legs while walking or cycling as smoking gradually narrows their blood vessels. “This is the time. If a person can refrain from smoking for a whole day during Ramadan, he can quit the habit for good,” said Dr Minhas.

Philippine school bans Hijab

Zamboanga, PhilippinesA Catholic-run school in the southernPhilippines has caused controversy by banning Muslim students from wearing the hijab headscarf.

Mehol Sadain, who heads the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, said Sunday he had written to Pilar College in the mixed Muslim-Christian port city of Zamboanga to demand it reverse its policy. While the school was right to claim it could exercise academic freedom, Sadain said it should do so with “justice and fair play”. “Pilar College should realize that while educational institutions can formulate their own policies, the same should not run counter to existing laws and state policies,” Sadain said. The complaint has reached the local city council, which asked the school to reply to the allegations.
The school is believed to be the first in the Philippines to enforce an outright ban on wearing the Hijab. Sadain noted that an education department policy states that Muslim girls should be allowed to wear their head coverings in school and be exempted from non-Muslim religious rites. But the school, run by the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, said in its letter to the council that it could not “deviate” from its Catholic leanings. It said students from other religions were welcome to enroll but must strictly follow its non-Hijab policy. “Rules and regulations are explained to them, particularly the non-wearing of the hijab or veil,” the school said.
“This is part of academic freedom in connection with which the school has the right to choose whom to teach,” it said. “Will the school also ban nuns from covering their heads and wearing long robes?,” asked a parent of one of the students? It was not clear what percentage of students were Muslim but it is fairly common that children from different denominations or religions mix at school in the mainly Catholic but largely tolerant Philippines. More than 80 percent of the Philippines’ nearly 100 million population are Catholic, while Muslims form a large minority in the south of the country.

Ahmadinejad to attend Makkah summit

Organization of Islamic Conference

Ahmadinejad to attend Makkah summit

TehranIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend a summit of Muslim leaders in Makkah expected to focus onSyria, Iranian media said yesterday.

The extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is to be held on August 14-15.
“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be present at this summit at the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” Mohammad Reza Forghani, the director of international affairs in Ahmadinejad’s office, said.
On Saturday King Abdullah sent a written letter to Ahmadinejad inviting him to attend the extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting. Saudi Ambassador to Iran Muhammad Al-Kilabi had handed the invitation from King Abdullah to Rahim Mashani, director of the president’s office, during a meeting in Tehran on Saturday.
Ahmadinejad was also present at the extraordinary summit convened by King Abdullah in Makkah in 2005. Since then the Muslim and the Arab world has gone through a tremendous churning. The latest summit is aimed at strengthening Islamic unity and solidarity. Invitations have been sent to leaders of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to attend the conference. OIC foreign ministers will meet on August 13 after a preparatory meeting of senior officials.
OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the tragic situation in Syria and the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar would figure high on the summit’s agenda. Stressing that Iran has always played an influential role in the OIC, the official said the meeting is to discuss the latest developments in the Islamic world.

Saudi Arabia accuses Myanmar of 'ethnic cleansing' of Muslims

Saudi Arabia accused authorities in Buddhist-majority Myanmar on Monday of "ethnic cleansing" against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the west of the country, state media reported on Tuesday.
The Saudi cabinet said it "condemns the ethnic cleansing campaign and brutal attacks against Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya citizens, as well as violation of human rights by forcing them to leave their homeland," in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The cabinet, chaired by King Abdullah, urged the "international community to take up its responsibilities by providing needed protection and quality of life to Muslims in Myanmar and preventing further loss of life."
Fighting in western Rakhine state between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya left three killed on Sunday, a government official in Yangon said.
The violence initially broke out following the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman and the subsequent lynching of 10 Muslims by a crowd of angry Buddhists.
The bloodshed has cast a shadow over widely praised reforms by President Thein Sein, that have included the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.
The head of the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Sunday proposed sending an OIC mission to probe the "massacres" of Rohingya Muslims.
The OIC will try to persuade the government in Yangon to accept an OIC fact-finding mission, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told an executive committee meeting of the world's largest Muslim grouping which is based in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
He "expressed disappointment over the failure of the international community to take action to stop the massacres, violations, oppression and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the government of Myanmar against the Rohingya Muslims."
"The OIC has directed its offices at the United Nations in New York to urge the Council to look into the suffering of the Rohingya minority," he said, quoted in a statement issued by the 57-member organization.
Violence which erupted in June in Rakhine state between Buddhists and Rohingya left about 80 people dead from both sides, official figures showed.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that figure appeared "grossly underestimated," however, and accused security forces of opening fire on Muslims and committing rape.
Hundreds of Rohingya men and boys have been rounded up and remain incommunicado in the western region of the country formerly known as Burma, it said in a report.
Members of both the Muslim and Buddhist communities committed horrific acts of violence with reports of beheadings, stabbings, shootings and widespread arson in Rakhine, also known as Arakan state, the report added
On Sunday, the Speaker of the Arab Parliament, Ali al-Salem al-Dekbasi said the violent incidents taking place in Myanmar against the Muslims were "ethnic cleansing".
"Thousands of Muslims in Myanmar face massacre, genocide and ethnic cleansing. I call on all Muslim leaders to urgently intervene in the incidents," al-Dekbasi said.
"I call on the Myanmar authorities to arrest those responsible for the attacks against the Muslims. All those responsible should be tried by the International Criminal Court," al-Dekbasihe added/.
Myanmar's government considers the estimated 800,000 Rohingya in the country to be foreigners, while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and view them with hostility.
Decades of discrimination have left them stateless and they are viewed by the United Nations as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.

Veiled French Muslim woman charged with inciting riot

  By AFP
A French Muslim woman has been charged with assault and inciting a riot after she refused a police ID check because she was wearing a banned full-face veil, a police source said Tuesday.
The 18-year-old is to appear in court in the northern city of Lille on October 30 charged with assault, insulting police and inciting a riot after police tried to take her to a station for refusing to provide identification.
A French law passed in 2011, the first of its kind to be enforced in Europe, banned the wearing of the full-face-covering Islamic veil.
The law came into effect at an already fraught moment in relations between the state and France's Muslim minority − the largest in Europe − with then president Nicolas Sarkozy accused of stigmatizing Islam to win back votes from a resurgent far right in this year's election.
Supporters of the law have defended it as a measure aimed at supporting women's rights although the text makes it clear that a woman cannot choose herself to cover her face in public.
The woman, arrested on Saturday, was stopped by officers in Roubaix, outside northern France's largest city of Lille.
She allegedly said she did not have time and did not want to show her ID card and covered herself up with another veil as she walked away, the police source said, asking not to be named.
When police tried to take her to the station, she allegedly grabbed hold of a vehicle and started kicking, punching and screaming, the source added.
She allegedly tried to bite police and scratched one of them before being taken into custody. None of the officers were hurt.
In a similar incident on July 24, three officers in the southern city of Marseille sustained minor injuries after they stopped a fully veiled woman by a mosque. The woman, two men and a minor are due in court over the alleged assault.

England: Vandals attack Islamic centre with alcohol and eggs in Surrey

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Vandals have attacked an Islamic centre in Horley. The centre on the corner of High Street and Yattendon Road was vandalised in the early hours of Sunday. Alcohol and eggs were thrown at the building and graffiti was sprayed across its main door.

A police spokesman said the graffiti was later removed by people at the centre. England: Vandals attack Islamic centre with alcohol and eggs in Surrey 

Specialist Neighbourhood Sergeant for Horley Simon Ward, said the attack had "deeply upset" the town's Islamic community. He said:

"Specialist Neighbourhood Officers from the Reigate and Banstead Safer Neighbourhood Team are assisting detectives from CID with a thorough investigation into finding those responsible. This incident has deeply upset the Islamic community in Horley who have an excellent relationship with their neighbours and others in the town."

Investigating officer Detective Constable Dave Every of Reigate CID, said: "I would appeal to anyone who has information on this incident, or who saw anything suspicious in the area around the time the damage was caused, to contact officers as we need to catch those responsible."

The vandalism took place  between midnight and 1.30am on Sunday. Anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident and who saw anything suspicious, or who has any other information which may assist officers with their investigation, is urged to contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference RB/12/6354.

Shafilea Ahmed’s father had briefcase full of gold bars so he could flee justice at any moment

  • Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and wife Farzana, 49, of Warrington, Cheshire, suffocated the 17-year-old with a plastic bag
  • Judge: ‘Shafilea was squeezed between two cultures – the culture she wanted to embrace and the one you wanted to impose on her’
  • Their children Junyad, Mevish and the youngest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all broke down in tears as the verdict was read out
  • Shafilea’s close friend, Melissa Powner: ‘We have waited for this day for many years as her killers roamed free’
  • Her father Iftikhar was prepared to leave country with stash of gold bars to evade justice
Missing: Shafilea Ahmed disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February
Missing: Shafilea Ahmed disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February
The father who murdered his teenage daughter Shafilea Ahmed was prepared to flee the country with a briefcase of gold bars in order to escape justice, it was claimed today.
Iftikar Ahmed, 51, and his wife Farzana, 49, were jailed for life last week after they were found guilty of killing the 17-year-old.
They were ordered to serve at least 25 years after a court heard they’d suffocated their Muslim daughter because they objected to her Westernised lifestyle.
Shafilea disappeared from the family home in Warrington in 2003 and her body was later found in the River Kent, in Cumbria.
She’d become known to social workers shortly before she vanished after being abused by her parents.
Solicitor Patricia Jervis, who worked as head of law at Warrington Council at the time, revealed that when officials visited the home Iftika had prepared a briefcase so he and his family could leave the country at the ‘drop of a hat’.
She told the Liverpool Echo: ‘When she disappeared, we had a child protection conference with the various agencies, like the police and social services.
‘A social worker had been round to the house and we knew there was a briefcase in the hall which had gold bars and his children’s passports in it, just in case he had to leave the country at the drop of a hat. He was ready to flee the country if it came to it.’
Ms Jervis, now an expert in honour violence and forced marriages, said the couple had shown little concern about Shafilea’s disappearance.
She said: ‘The parents didn’t report her missing and they refused to cooperate. All the information we had came from social services.
‘There was no remorse or regret. There was no urgency or panic that their daughter had vanished.
‘There was no ‘Oh God, where is she?’, or ‘We’re really worried about her’, ‘Where is she sleeping tonight?’
She added that officials had known Shafilea ‘wasn’t coming back’ and the ‘gut feeling’ was her parents were responsible.
Guilty: Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Warrington, Cheshire, suffocated their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea with a plastic bag
Guilty: Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, of Warrington, Cheshire, suffocated their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea with a plastic bag
 Inside the courtroom: Iftikhar Ahmed stood impassively as the verdicts were given while his spouse wiped tears from her eyes with a tissue
Inside the courtroom: Iftikhar Ahmed stood impassively as the verdicts were given while his spouse wiped tears from her eyes with a tissue
At a previous hearing: Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were two traditionalist disciplinarians who had very fixed ideas about how their children, particularly their daughters, should behaveAt a previous hearing: Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were two traditionalist disciplinarians who had very fixed ideas about how their children, particularly their daughters, should behave
As Mr and Mrs Ahmed were jailed for life, social services were accused of missing several key warning signs in the run-up to Shafilea’s death.
The killers were exposed only after Shafilea’s younger sister plucked up the courage to tell how she and her siblings watched them suffocate her in 2003.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans said ‘Westernised’ Shafilea simply wanted a normal life but found herself ‘squeezed between two cultures’. He then made a thunderous attack on the morals of the parents standing in front of him at Chester Crown Court.
‘What was it that brought you two, her parents, the people who had given her life, to the point of killing her?’ he asked them.
‘You chose to bring up your family in Warrington but your social and cultural attitudes were those of rural Pakistan.
Victim: Shafilea as a child with her mother at the family's UK home
Victim: Shafilea as a child with her mother at the family’s UK home
‘Shafilea was a determined, able and ambitious girl who wanted to live a life which was normal in the country in which you had chosen to live and bring up your children. However, you could not tolerate the life that Shafilea wanted to live.
‘You wanted your family to live in Pakistan in Warrington.
‘Although she went to local schools, you objected to her socialising with girls from what has been referred to as the white community. You objected to her wearing Western clothes and you objected to her having contact with boys.
‘She was being squeezed between two cultures, the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her.’
He said the fact her siblings witnessed the murder was ‘a truly horrifying feature’ of the case which had ‘blighted’ their lives too.
He ordered both Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his 49-year-old wife to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Shafilea’s efforts to escape her parents’ iron grip were thwarted by what criminologist Dr Aisha Gill called a ‘catastrophic’ communication breakdown as social workers took her reluctance to make allegations of abuse at face value.
Dr Gill, an expert in ‘honour killings’ who appeared for the prosecution, said that but for that Shafilea may still have been alive today.
Born and raised in Britain, Shafilea’s aspirations forced her to lead a ‘secret life’, spending money from her evening job on buying ‘Western’ clothes and a mobile phone and enjoying flirtatious chats with young Muslim men.
Those aspirations clashed with her parents, who expected a compliant, demure future bride fit to marry a cousin she had never met in Pakistan. Shafilea was subjected to regular beatings. In her own words, found in an application for housing help, she wrote: ‘Regular incidents since I was 15-16 years. One parent would hold me while the other hit me.’
As the eldest daughter, her fate had already been determined 4,000 miles away in the village of Uttam in Pakistan’s north-eastern frontier. Suspected family figurehead Abdul Razaq had proposed marriage on behalf of his son, whom Shafilea had never met.
Mevish Ahmed, sister of Shafilea Ahmed.
Junyad Ahmed, the only son of Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed and the brother of murdered teenager Shafilea, leaving Chester Crown Court.
The siblings: Mevish, left, and Junyad, right, and the youngest sister, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all broke down in tears as the verdict was read out
Dark secret: Mr Ahmed is led into a prison van at an earlier hearing
Led away: Mrs Ahmed also denied murder but told the jury she saw her husband beat her eldest child and that she believed he killed her (picture from a previous hearing)
Led away: Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were two traditionalist disciplinarians who had very fixed ideas about how their children, particularly their daughters, should behave
Several times she fled the family home, but aged 16 she was packed off to Pakistan. In desperation she drank bleach, known locally as ‘scrub’, causing horrific injuries.
Her aunt Rukhsana Imtiaz said: ‘I still believe it was a mistake she took scrub and did not intend to kill herself, but what happened was very bad…
‘She was in great, great pain and we rushed her to hospital where they washed her stomach and saved her. She was kept under treatment for three days but her throat was badly damaged – she struggled to swallow even liquid.’
Astonishingly, the family recalls, the incident merely served to fuel Mrs Ahmed’s anger because Shafilea had ‘made a scene’. After months in hospital back home in Britain, Shafilea set about resuming a Westernised lifestyle.
Crucially, however, she had now lost her ‘value’ as a potential bride, her body ravaged by the effects of poor medical treatment in Pakistan.
On September 11, 2003, another – fatal – row began after Shafilea was picked up from her evening job wearing a short-sleeved top and white stiletto boots.
Her body was found beside a river in Cumbria in February 2004 but the breakthrough in the case did not come until 2010 when Shafilea’s sister Alesha – only 15 at the time of the murder – was arrested over a mysterious robbery at the family home and finally told police she had witnessed the killing.
Now 24, she said their mother began the attack with the words ‘Just finish it here’, before her father stuffed a plastic bag in Shafilea’s mouth, holding it there until she stopped breathing.
Their brother Junyad, then 13, later told his sisters ‘She deserved it’, Alesha said, telling of watching her parents wrap Shafilea’s body in bin bags before her father carried it to a car.
Yesterday, at the end of the ten-week trial, Mrs Ahmed wept as she was found guilty, while her taxi driver husband grimaced then uttered an obscenity at detectives.
Police suspect someone helped dispose of Shafilea’s body, and further prosecutions could follow.

Scouring for clues: Forensic officers comb the riverbank next to the River Kent in in Sedgwick, near Kendal, Cumbria, where where Shafilea's body was foundScouring for clues: Forensic officers comb the riverbank next to the River Kent in in Sedgwick, near Kendal, Cumbria, where where Shafilea’s body was found
Grim discovery: Shafilea disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following FebruaryGrim discovery: Shafilea disappeared in September 2003 and her body was found on the bank of the River Kent in Cumbria the following February