UAE can stop those who ‘hijack’ Islam



ABU DHABI // The UAE should act as a platform to fight those who have hijacked Islam and undo the damage they have done, officials agreed in the capital on Wednesday.

Scholars, muftis and religious officials discussed pressing issues in the world today ranging from types of jihad, extremists’ obsession with takfir (excommunication), the history of suicide bombings, and caliphates.

The seminar, hosted by the UAE’s General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, aimed to come out of the discussion with practical ideas to “return to Islam its shining image”.

The authority’s chairman, Dr Mohammed Al Kaabi, said the UAE’s religious bodies were working with members of society and fellow specialists to achieve the goal.

“We aim to strengthen references of religious moderation and balance in this era. Seditions, personal interests, sectarianism and terrorism have risen,” he said. “Extremist groups have hijacked religion and called on Muslims to rebel against their rulers and issued fatwas to bomb and takfir whoever does not pay allegiance to them or support their extremism.”

The agreement reached was that a return to religious dialogue was essential.

The authority is always working on spreading security “to a society that preserves its identity and loyalty to the ruler and belonging to the homeland”.

Tolerance of non-Muslims and establishing intellectual security stood out through all of their programmes, he said.

Mustafa Ceric, the grand mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, suggested that UAE rulers provide a permanent platform for specialists to monitor and observe what is going on in the world in these areas.

“We should not sleep, we need to remain alert. Scholars should not only speak to each other, but also to those who need to listen to us,” he said.

“We should figure out what type of dialogue will be understood by the youth that are immersed in the seditions we live today.”

He cited the Quranic verse that addresses the Prophet Mohammed saying, “and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs”.

hdajani@thenational.ae

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'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

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Company name/date started: Seez, set up in September 2015 and the app was released in August 2017  

Founder/CEO name(s): Tarek Kabrit, co-founder and chief executive, and Andrew Kabrit, co-founder and chief operating officer

Based in: Dubai, with operations also in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon 

Sector:  Search engine for car buying, selling and leasing

Size: (employees/revenue): 11; undisclosed

Stage of funding: $1.8 million in seed funding; followed by another $1.5m bridge round - in the process of closing Series A 

Investors: Wamda Capital, B&Y and Phoenician Funds 

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American households borrowed another $601 billion (Dh2.2bn) in 2019, the largest yearly gain since 2007, just before the global financial crisis, according to February data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Fuelled by rising mortgage debt as homebuyers continued to take advantage of low interest rates, the increase last year brought total household debt to a record high, surpassing the previous peak reached in 2008 just before the market crash, according to the report.

Following the 22nd straight quarter of growth, American household debt swelled to $14.15 trillion by the end of 2019, the New York Fed said in its quarterly report.

In the final three months of the year, new home loans jumped to their highest volume since the fourth quarter of 2005, while credit cards and auto loans also added to the increase.

The bad debt load is taking its toll on some households, and the New York Fed warned that more and more credit card borrowers — particularly young people — were falling behind on their payments.

"Younger borrowers, who are disproportionately likely to have credit cards and student loans as their primary form of debt, struggle more than others with on-time repayment," New York Fed researchers said.

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Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi

Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag

Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC

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Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

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Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes

Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals

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Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Leander Dendoncker, Zeno Debast, Arthur Theate, Wout Faes

Midfielders: Hans Vanaken, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Amadou Onana, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Thorgan Hazard, Timothy Castagne, Thomas Meunier

Forwards: Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Loïs Openda, Charles De Ketelaere, Eden Hazard, Jeremy Doku, Dries Mertens, Leandro Trossard


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