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Month: April 2018

Mohamad Salah – Liverpool’s Egyptian King

Mohamed Salah is an Egyptian Football sensation taking the world by Storm. He is dubbed ‘The Egyptian King’ by fans.
Salah comes from humble beginnings, growing up in a small village called Nagrig in Egypt.

He would travel up to 6 hours per day to attend El Mokawloon youth club from the age of 14.

El Mokawloon nurtured Salah’s talent for 6 years and watched him grow into a professional footballer in 2010.

The Port Said Stadium tragedy in 2012, saw thugs attack the opposing supporters, resulting in the death of 74 people.
With the suspension of the Egyptian Football league, Salah’s career looked bleak as did the future of Egyption Football.

During a friendly game with FC Basel, Salah came on as a substitue, putting on a display securing him a 4-year deal with the club.

Mohamed Salah would spend seasons at FC Basel (’12-’14), Chelsea (’14-’16) and Roma (’16-’17) before joining Liverpool FC in 2017.

Muslim Players such as Salah, Mane, Ozil and Pogba are not afraid to practice their faith and speak about their religion.

Celebrating his goals in prostration, Salah has not only broke records, but has also impacted the racist bigotry usually heard in the stands.

Sujoods ‘on the pitch’, visiting local Mosques and regular charity work have helped portray a positive image of Islam and Muslims.

Mohamed Salah has been a positive role model for young Muslims, breaking barriersand stereotypes along the way…
With a record breaking season, ‘The Egyptian King’ has been named PFA player of the year and is eyeing up the prestigious Balon d’Or.

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The Syrian Uprisings – Episode 1 – How the Syrian Uprisings Began

In a brand new series of KJ Videos, we will take an analytical look at the Syrian civil war from the beginning to today. In this episode, we will take you way back in time when the Syrian uprisings all began. But before we begin, don’t forget to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest KJ Videos.

In 2011, successful uprisings – that became known as the Arab Spring – toppled Tunisia’s and Egypt’s presidents giving hope to Syrian activists who began mobilising protests.

At first it seems everything could be easily contained without the need for Gaddafi-like crackdowns.

On 17th February, however, the same day as the Benghazi protests began, things seemed more tense following an argument, between police and protestors in Damascus holding banners saying “The Syrian people will not be humiliated”

But when the interior minister visited the scene in person to assure the crowds that the police officers involved would be investigated, and when Bashar announces a range of new social welfare programmes along with the unblocking of social media platforms, it still seemed likely Syria could avoid the fate of Libya.

By March, however, things seemed to be getting more out of control as the increasingly heavy-handed and undoubtedly nervous regime proved unwilling to take more chances.

That March, peaceful protests erupted in Syria as well, after 15 boys were detained and tortured for writing graffiti in support of the Arab Spring. One of the boys, a 13-year-old, was killed after having been brutally tortured.

Dissidents in Syria’s southernmost city, Daraa, seemed poised to become the epicentre of an Urban revolt.

As the Syrian equivalent of Benghazi, Daraa’s message, soon spread to the historically restive Hama along with Homs and even parts of Damascus. A ‘day of dignity’ was held on 18th March, with an even bigger protest staged the following Friday.

As with Cairo’s Tahrir square, there were a mixture of protestors in Homs. Some were heard chanting ‘peaceful, Muslims, and Christians along with other such as ‘God, Syria freedom and nothing else.’ Other protests were calling for “the downfall of the Assad regime”

Although there were some reports of public buildings and Baath headquarters being burned down, in many cases the protests remained peaceful, with some even marching without their shirts to prove they held no concealed weapons.

Galvanised by the martyrdom of Hamza al-Khatib, a 13-year-old boy, who had been arrested and whose mutilated corpse was afterwards returned to his family, then protests gained a much harder edge.

The Syrian government responded to the protests by killing hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoning many more.
With dozens being killed every day and reportedly more than eight thousand arrested in just two months, mobile phone video footage began to go viral of soldiers haphazardly shooting protestors, including women and children.

Beyond such repression, the regime also engaged in two other strategies in an effort to keep its core constituency as loyal as possible and also to ward off any attempted external influence.

With much the same goal as Yemen’s, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s encouraging of Al-Qaeda militants to take over certain towns, Bashar began a ‘highly selective’ amnesty of prisoners. According to a report prepared for the European Parliament, these were known to include numerous prominent Jihadis such as Muhammed Al-Jowlani, Abu Khalid Al-Suri and Abu Musab al-Suri.

Adding further weight to claims that Bashar was trying to radicalise then opposition by emptying Jihadists into their ranks, there were reports that even before their release such inmates had already been moved to more comfortable prisons so that they could mingle with other political prisoners.

According to one Jihadist fighter later interviewed by the Guardian this was because the regime “wanted them to be radicalised…if this stayed as a street protest, it would have toppled the regime within months and they knew it.”

Within months of Bashar’s spring amnesty, suicide bombings begun in Damascus and Aleppo and by February 2012, the al-Jowlani formally established a Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise known as Jabhat al-Nusrah. Now more easily able to frame opposition attacks as terrorism and marginalise any remaining peaceful protestors.

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Who was Mawlana Sayyid Abu Al-`ala Mawdudi?

Mawlana Sayyid Abu Al-`ala Mawdudi stands as one of the leading Islamic figures of the twentieth century. Mawdudi’s ideological contributions have made him a towering figure in modern Islamic thought.

His political and religious vision of Islam have gained widespread currency in Pakistan, as well as in the broader Middle East, North Africa, and throughout Central, South, and Southeast Asia.

Not only a political theorist, he was a well-known translator and commentator of the Qur’an; a best-selling author; a frequently jailed political activist; and the founder of Islamic party, Jamaat-ti Islami.

Born in 1903 to a religious family in Hyderabad Deccan, India, Mawdudi began his career as a journalist, ascending in his early twenties to the editorship of al-Jamiah , the newspaper of India’s leading Muslim clerical organization.

He went on to assume the editorship of Tarjuman al-Qur’an (Interpreter of the Qur’an ), which he used as a platform to advocate for a uniquely Islamic way of life and against the influences of the West, which he believed had captivated the Muslims of India.

Mawdudi’s emphasis became increasingly political following the landmark Indian elections in 1937 and the growing agi-
tation against British rule by Hindu and Muslim leaders.

Mawdudi’s ideas were grounded in the historical context in which he wrote. First the dismantling of the Mughal empire in 1857 and then the formal abolishment of the Ottoman caliphate after World War I fueled feelings of powerlessness among the Muslims of India.

In 1941 he founded the Jama`at-i Islami, a party he would lead for the next three decades until in death in 1979.

Although Mawdudi opposed the formation of Pakistan, following the partition of 1947 he became the leading advocate for political Islam in Pakistan, debating over the nature of the constitution and participating actively in electoral politics.

Mawdudi’s most fundamental contributions was championing the idea that Islam constitutes a nizam-i zindagi —a complete system of life that is an ideology, a civilization, and a legal-political order.

Both in his political writings and in his widely read Tahfim al-Qur’an , he built his argument on the need for an Islamic political system and to channel devotions into a broader revolutionary agenda.

His legacy arguably is that he was able to convince large sections of the middle class of the role politics and Islam- which still resonates today in modern Pakistan.

How an Ottoman Sultan Helped Ireland During the Great Famine

The Great Famine in the mid-19th century was one of the most devastating events in Irish history.

Between 1845 and 1852, potato blight hit the island’s potato crop. The potato was a staple item of food in Ireland. A lack of good harvesting led to mass starvation, disease, and the deaths of nearly a million people.

One of the unexpected sources of aid in this crisis was the Ottoman Caliphate. Sultan Abdul Majeed I the First, went out of his way to try to help so he could ease the suffering of the Irish people.

Sultan Abdul Majeed was only 23 years old in 1847 when he personally offered £10,000 in aid to Ireland, but he had already ruled the Caliphate for nearly ten years.

In that time, he earned the admiration of many of his own subjects and others around the world. But this time he would have to scale back his generosity.

British diplomats advised him that it would be offensive for anyone to offer more than Queen Victoria, who had only donated £2,000.

It was suggested that he should donate half of that amount, so he gave £1,000.

The Sultan’s donation was appreciated by the public in Britain and Ireland as well. One English religious journal published an article titled “A Benevolent Sultan” in which the author wrote,

“For the first time a Mohammedan sovereign, representing multitudinous Islamic populations, manifests spontaneously a warm sympathy with a Christian nation. May such sympathies, in all the genial charities of a common humanity, be cultivated and henceforth ever be maintained between the followers of the crescent and the cross!”

The press also blamed the British diplomats in Constantinople for rejecting the initial donation of £10,000 just to avoid embarrassing Queen Victoria.

Meanwhile, Sultan Abdul Majeed had found other ways to help.

Today, the port town of Drogheda in Ireland includes a crescent and a star, both of which are symbols of Islam, in its coat of arms.

Local tradition in the town has it that these symbols were adopted after the Ottoman Empire secretly sent five ships loaded with food to the town in May 1847.

The reason for the secrecy is that the British administration had allegedly tried to block the ships from entering Drogheda’s harbor.
Evidence that story these claims include newspaper articles from the period and a letter from Irish notables explicitly thanking the sultan for his help.

The nationalist Irish Freeman’s Journal celebrated these efforts.
“The conduct of Abdul Majeed on the occasion referred to,” the author wrote, “was that of a good, humane, and generous man. A believer in Mohammedanism, he acted in the true spirit of a follower of Christ, and set an example which many professing Christians would do well to imitate.”

Though Abdul Majeed probably hadn’t expected any kind of returns on his aid to the Irish, some of them rallied to his side in 1854, just two years after the famine ended.

Britain had become involved in the Crimean War to defend Ottoman territory against an expanding Russian Empire.

In addition to Irish nurses and engineers (and some of the first war journalists in history), about 30,000 Irish soldiers served in the war.

Despite the suffering that they and their families had endured during the Great Famine, they were noticed to be serving enthusiastically in defense of the territory of the sultan who had helped them in their time of need.

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How America Became a Superpower

The United States is the world’s most powerful country by far, with a globe-spanning network of alliances and military bases.

Expansionism was always in America’s DNA, as a country founded by the expulsion and slaughter of American Indians.

But after America reached the Pacific coast, there was a real debate as to whether it should continue its growth as an imperial power beyond North America’s shores.

This debate came to the fore after the Civil War, which removed the principal barrier to expansion. The controversy over whether slavery would be expanded to newly acquired territories.

Though the expansionists were initially stymied, they won out for a surprising reason: the Industrial Revolution.

The rapid post-war growth of the US economy required an increasingly centralized state to manage it.

The more power that was concentrated in the executive branch and bureaucracy, the easier it was for the president to acquire territories abroad.

This culminated in the Spanish-American war in 1898, which ended with America acquiring a whole lot of different territories around the globe.

America was officially a global power, one that intervened in a number of countries, made major diplomatic moves in East Asia, and played a critical role in ending World War I.

The next crucial step, though, came after World War II. The United States was the only country to emerge from the war in strong economic and military shape, and thus was in a unique position to shape the terms of the peace.

The result was a global financial system, called the Bretton Woods system, aimed at coordinating the global economy and preventing another Great Depression — and the United Nations, created to preserve the postwar peace.

Competition with the Soviet Union led the United States to establish its first permanent major non-wartime alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

It also led the United States to grow its military and political presence around the world in an effort to contain the spread of communism, leading to interventions in places like Vietnam and Afghanistan and alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

After the Soviet Union fell, the US could have chosen to withdraw from these alliances and international commitments.

But it didn’t, seeing them as critical institutions for preserving peace and prosperity even after the Soviet threat had receded.

Today, the United States remains as the world’s most connected and pivotal power, and will remain so in the near future, although the signs of its decline are now visible to all.

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5 Reasons why Russia is in Syria | Russia’s Interests in Syria

The Syria war has now entered its 8th year with international and regional powers all trying to secure their interests.

On 30 September 2015, Russia approved a request by President Putin to launch air strikes in Syria.

Whilst there maybe other reasons, in this video, you will learn 5 geopolitical interests Russia has in Syria.

PERMANENT MILITARY PRESENCE

On 26 August 2015, Russia and Syria signed a treaty that allowed Russia’s use of Syria’s Hmeimim airport, indefinitely and for free.

In December 2017, Russia announced it had set about ″forming a permanent grouping” at Khmeimim and its naval facility in Tartus.

The deal allows Russia to stay in Syria for another half a century as Putin ratified the air base deal with the Assad regime.

MAINTAINING STRATEGIC INTEREST

Russia has been pursuing the goal of establishing new international rules for more than a decade.
In 2007, he said “I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world.”
Russia’s interest in Syria is very much a political statement to the West to projectan image of Russia’s strength.

ECONOMIC DISTRACTION

In 2015 Low oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine plunged Russia’s economy into crisis shrinking it by 3.7%.
The economic pain meant that the Kremlin desperately needed a distraction. A Syrian war was a way of boosting national pride.

ECONOMIC INTERESTS

Russia’s investments in Syria were valued at $19.4 billion in 2009 and its exports to Syria were worth $1.1 billion in 2010.
Russian invests considerably in the oil sector in Syria and is looking to secure lucrative reconstruction contracts.

PAYBACK FOR UKRAINE

In February 2014, a popular uprising sent a pro-Russian government in Kiev packing bringing Ukraine into the West.
Syria has proved to be a perfect place for Russia to show the West that, despite economic sanctions, it has cards to play.

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