Azeem Khan with the Islamic Circle of North America at the computer showing a portion of one of the ads that will run in September in New York. (Joe Tabacca for The National-7/29/08) *** Local Caption ***  Ads-3.jpg
Azeem Khan, the Islamic Circle of North America spokesman, shows an advert for a website that answers general questions about Islam.

Ad campaign rekindles September 11 phobias



NEW YORK // Almost seven years after the September 11 attacks, Islam remains a sticky subject, with the latest point of controversy being a planned Islamic poster campaign on the subway. The advertisements drew angry condemnation from those alleging the sponsors were linked to terrorism, but the group behind them said they were aimed at combating ignorance. The campaign will run in September to coincide with Ramadan. The New York Post tabloid newspaper ran headlines saying "Jihad Train" and "Train-ing day for jihadists".

The main sponsor behind the campaign is the Islamic Circle of North America, a non-profit outreach and social services group, whose founder, Tariq Amanullah, was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11. "He spent all his free time trying to build bridges, and this controversy is an insult to his memory," said Azeem Khan, an Islamic Circle spokesman. The posters will feature key words about Islam, such as "Head Scarf?" or "Prophet Mohammed?" with "You deserve to know" alongside the website address WhyIslam.org and a toll-free telephone number staffed by volunteers to answer questions about the religion.

"Due to the presence of much negativity and Islamophobia, the general public has the daunting task of sifting through uninformed and biased sources before they can find reliable sources," said an Islamic Circle press release. "We are providing an opportunity to anyone who has questions to have them answered by informed Muslims." Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, said the campaign was permitted under United States law. The first amendment of the US constitution guarantees freedom of speech and religion.

"If you were to advocate becoming a Muslim, I assume the first amendment would protect you," he said. Mr Bloomberg reiterated his commitment to allowing all religions freedom of expression during a private breakfast meeting late last month with Arab American community leaders at his Gracie Mansion residence, a participant said. "Bloomberg supported the right of Islamic communities to freely express themselves and said it was a free country," he said. The meeting is held yearly during Arab American Heritage Week as part of the mayor's outreach efforts.

However, Peter King, a New York Republican in the US House of Representatives, urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which runs the subway, to reject the posters, noting they would run on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. "I have no problem with the ad itself, but I have a very, very real problem with those behind it," he said. He was referring to another of the campaign's backers, Siraj Wahhaj, the imam of a Brooklyn mosque and a character witness for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 that killed six people and injured more than 1,000.

Mr Wahhaj was on a list of 170 potential co-conspirators in the case, but in the end no charges were laid against him. The cleric was also the first Muslim to lead a prayer before the House of Representatives. "People try to make the connection as if I'm endorsing some bad deeds that [were] done by Sheikh Abdel-Rahman," Mr Wahhaj told CNN late last month. He said he was a character witness based on "what we knew about him before the incident" and called him a "scholar in Islam" and "a great reciter of the Quran".

He said "not only have I never been charged with anything, not one FBI agent has ever asked me one question in relationship to that bombing". The posters will appear in about 1,000 subway cars and the MTA was paid US$48,000 (Dh176,300) for the monthlong campaign. "We've run the information hotline for about eight years now. We give out literature and copies of the Quran, and arrange visits to mosques for people who want to learn more about Islam," said Mr Khan of the Islamic Circle. "We're running the poster campaign during Ramadan because that's when people become more curious and ask questions about fasting and Islam. It becomes a point of conversation."

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) praised Mr Bloomberg and the transit authority for supporting free speech rights. "Unfortunately, guilt by association, smears, fear-mongering and anti-Muslim bias have been used by those attempting to block this positive and educational ad campaign," said Aliya Latif, Cair's civil rights director. @Email:sdevi@thenational.ae

Match info

Uefa Champions League Group B

Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Eriksen 80')
Inter Milan 0

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

How The Debt Panel's advice helped readers in 2019

December 11: 'My husband died, so what happens to the Dh240,000 he owes in the UAE?'

JL, a housewife from India, wrote to us about her husband, who died earlier this month. He left behind an outstanding loan of Dh240,000 and she was hoping to pay it off with an insurance policy he had taken out. She also wanted to recover some of her husband’s end-of-service liabilities to help support her and her son.

“I have no words to thank you for helping me out,” she wrote to The Debt Panel after receiving the panellists' comments. “The advice has given me an idea of the present status of the loan and how to take it up further. I will draft a letter and send it to the email ID on the bank’s website along with the death certificate. I hope and pray to find a way out of this.”

November 26:  ‘I owe Dh100,000 because my employer has not paid me for a year’

SL, a financial services employee from India, left the UAE in June after quitting his job because his employer had not paid him since November 2018. He owes Dh103,800 on four debts and was told by the panellists he may be able to use the insolvency law to solve his issue. 

SL thanked the panellists for their efforts. "Indeed, I have some clarity on the consequence of the case and the next steps to take regarding my situation," he says. "Hopefully, I will be able to provide a positive testimony soon."

October 15: 'I lost my job and left the UAE owing Dh71,000. Can I return?'

MS, an energy sector employee from South Africa, left the UAE in August after losing his Dh12,000 job. He was struggling to meet the repayments while securing a new position in the UAE and feared he would be detained if he returned. He has now secured a new job and will return to the Emirates this month.

“The insolvency law is indeed a relief to hear,” he says. "I will not apply for insolvency at this stage. I have been able to pay something towards my loan and credit card. As it stands, I only have a one-month deficit, which I will be able to recover by the end of December." 

Profile of Whizkey

Date founded: 04 November 2017

Founders: Abdulaziz AlBlooshi and Harsh Hirani

Based: Dubai, UAE

Number of employees: 10+

Sector: AI, software

Cashflow: Dh2.5 Million+ 

Funding stage: Series A

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2.0L TSI
Transmission: Dual clutch 7-speed
Power: 320HP / 235kW
Torque: 400Nm
Price: from $49,709
On sale: now

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

MATCH INFO

Mumbai Indians 186-6 (20 ovs)
Kings XI Punjab 183-5 (20 ovs)

Mumbai Indians won by three runs

SUNDAY'S ABU DHABI T10 MATCHES

Northern Warriors v Team Abu Dhabi, 3.30pm
Bangla Tigers v Karnataka Tuskers, 5.45pm
Qalandars v Maratha Arabians, 8pm

BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP

Group A

Paraguay
Japan
Switzerland
USA

Group B

Uruguay
Mexico
Italy
Tahiti

Group C

Belarus
UAE
Senegal
Russia

Group D

Brazil
Oman
Portugal
Nigeria

UAE Premiership

Results
Dubai Exiles 24-28 Jebel Ali Dragons
Abu Dhabi Harlequins 43-27 Dubai Hurricanes

Fixture
Friday, March 29, Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Jebel Ali Dragons, The Sevens, Dubai

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump and Other Pieces 1986-2016
Martin Amis,
Jonathan Cape

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

A Round of Applause

Director: Berkun Oya
Starring: Aslihan Gürbüz, Fatih Artman, Cihat Suvarioglu
Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Getting there

The flights

Flydubai operates up to seven flights a week to Helsinki. Return fares to Helsinki from Dubai start from Dh1,545 in Economy and Dh7,560 in Business Class.

The stay

Golden Crown Igloos in Levi offer stays from Dh1,215 per person per night for a superior igloo; www.leviniglut.net 

Panorama Hotel in Levi is conveniently located at the top of Levi fell, a short walk from the gondola. Stays start from Dh292 per night based on two people sharing; www. golevi.fi/en/accommodation/hotel-levi-panorama

Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Rovaniemi offers stays from Dh1,379 per night based on two people sharing; www.arctictreehousehotel.com

Ferrari

Director: Michael Mann

Starring: Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey

Rating: 3/5

ELECTION RESULTS

Macron’s Ensemble group won 245 seats.

The second-largest group in parliament is Nupes, a leftist coalition led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, which gets 131 lawmakers.

The far-right National Rally fared much better than expected with 89 seats.

The centre-right Republicans and their allies took 61.

Kanye West

Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West — has seen his net worth fall to $400 million in recent weeks. That’s a precipitous drop from Bloomberg’s estimates of $6.8 billion at the end of 2021.
Ye’s wealth plunged after business partners, including Adidas, severed ties with him on the back of anti-Semitic remarks earlier this year.
West’s present net worth derives from cash, his music, real estate and a stake in former wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims.

2017 RESULTS: FRENCH VOTERS IN UK

First round
Emmanuel Macron: 51.1%
Francois Fillon: 24.2%
Jean-Luc Melenchon: 11.8%
Benoit Hamon: 7.0%
Marine Le Pen: 2.9%

Second round
Emmanuel Macron: 95.1%
Marine Le Pen: 4.9%

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat


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