Asian workers forced to scrounge around for food

Asian workers forced to scrounge around for food

MANILA: Thousands of jobless Indians, Filipinos and Pakistanis are stranded and destitute in Saudi Arabia after the plunge in oil prices sparked construction layoffs, activists and officials said on Tuesday.

Some Filipinos are forced to beg or sift through garbage to survive after going unpaid for months, said Garry Martinez, chairman of the Migrante Group which works for the millions of Filipino overseas workers worldwide.

“Some of them have nothing to eat and have to go through the garbage for food,” said Martinez.

India said on Monday it was negotiating with Saudi authorities to repatriate thousands of its own nationals after they lost their jobs, leaving them with no money to return home.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament in New Delhi she was sending a junior minister to Riyadh after reports that around 10,000 Indian workers had been left to starve.

Indians are among millions of poor Asians working in Gulf states where human rights groups say many suffer exploitation and abuses including non-payment of wages.

In Manila, Migrante coordinator Gilbert Saludo — who returned from Saudi Arabia last month after working there for two years — said as many as 20,000 Filipinos could be affected.

Saludo said that while Manila had extended financial aid to them so far, it was not clear how long this could last.

The labour problem appeared likely to worsen, he added.

“It will get much worse because so much of the income of Saudi Arabia comes from oil… so their budget for infrastructure and other projects will not be met and more people will be affected,” Saludo told AFP.

The Philippine Labour Department said Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello had visited Saudi Arabia last month to address the problem but would not elaborate.

Pakistan said 8,520 of its nationals in Saudi Arabia had not been receiving their salaries for several months.

Source/Credit: Dawn

Ireland: Prominent Muslim Imam criticises other leaders for being softer on extremism

Ireland: Prominent Muslim Imam criticises other leaders for being softer on extremism

`I can’t say this, I can’t say that because….they feed me and they give me my sustenance’ 

A leading Muslim voice has criticised other Muslim leaders here for being softer on extremism and radicalisation.

Imam Ibrahim Noonan, Ahmadiyya National Imam for Ireland, told a conference at City West in Dublin on Sunday that “a very severe and sensitive atmosphere” was developing between Muslim communities and population in countries affected by IS violence”.

Government, law enforcement agencies, the media “need to know the difference between what is Islam and what is not Islam,” he said.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Imam Noonan expressed frustration that the Irish Council of Imams, which represented all of Ireland’s Muslims in dialogue with the State, is defunct. It was due to “internal differences” he said. Some imams believed the council should have no association with “radicals and extremists” and that if this existed “we have to report it”.

He said imams in Ireland had said to him “you know I can’t say this, I can’t say that because I’m basically’ . . . as one of them said to me . . . ‘they feed me and they give me my sustenance’. I think that’s what’s happening.”

He and such imams “talk nicely to each other. We’ll have a good chat but they won’t hold the same view in front of others.”

More generally imams had visited Ireland from Pakistan, Bradford and Birmingham. In Birmingham “they come from one of the most radical mosques. They spread a very fanatical extremist view. They’ve been here.”

They had “private meetings, private discussions and we know that in these meetings they’ll say one thing in public. In private they’re using words like jihad and these sort of things. We know.”

Instead of which imams in Ireland “should come together on one platform and that is to reassure the Irish people that Islam is peaceful and we the imams in Ireland will guarantee you that no radicalism, no extremism will come here. But that is not happening,” he said.

Source/Credit: irishtimes

Liberia: Kaipay Partners With Humanity First for Vocational Training in Grand Bassa

Liberia: Kaipay Partners With Humanity First for Vocational Training in Grand Bassa

Grand Bassa County — Grand Bassa Senator, Jonathan L. Kaipay, on Monday, August 1 signed an agreement with Humanity First Ahmadiyya Vocational College for the establishment of a technical vocational school in District #1, Grand Bassa County.

The agreement was signed in front of hundreds of youth on Compound One with several people including Representative Hans Barchue promising to fully support the skills training initiative. Over 350 youths in the district are expected to benefit when the training kicks off early September this year.

Speaking minutes before the signing, Senator Kaipay said the preparation for the partnership was based on discussions held years ago when he worked with the United Methodist Church’s development projects, adding that the vocational training project will be a technical mobile college offering intense six months training in mechanic, carpentry, and general construction, auto electronic and plumbing amongst others.

“The school is a complete academic; it’s not about politics,” Sen. Kaipay clarified to the audience. “It’s an opportunity. Whether you like Hon. Barchue or not, or you like Senator Kaipay or not, it’s going to give you skill. So we don’t want people to politicize it here.”

further warned the youth to avoid politics and focus on building their human resource capacity which will prepare them for the job market, while announcing an initial budget of US$15,000 for tuition.

Humanity First is also expected to make immense contribution to the implementation of the project by covering fees, but the youths were also encouraged to make contribution to their tuition payments – something which the benefactors say will ensure the students contribute to their own education.

“To earn an education or skill, you have to work for it. So we want to challenge you as we open this technical training to take advantage,” he said.

For his part, the Principal of the Humanity First Vocational College, Mansoor Ahmad Nasir, described the partnership as a ‘noble task’, while thanking Sen. Kaipay for exerting efforts for the success of the partnership, terming it as ‘highly admirable’.

Meanwhile the Project Director, Sabeel Nasir, said youth will not be the burden of the society if they obtained vocational skills. Nasir promised to extend their vocational training services across the country, having already established vocational schools in other parts of the country, and also motivated youths to exert efforts in order to make the training project successful.

Deputy House Speaker Hans Barchue, the direct representative of the district, encouraged youth to take advantage of the opportunity, stressing that there are Liberians with college degrees that are jobless.

“Liberia is now transitioning from the position of academic to technical where you will be sitting down with your BSc… , the carpenter will be there doing his job and making money and you will be there sitting with your BSc,” Hon. Barchue said.

Banks feel cheated when homeowners do this. If you own a home and…
“Skills will be the way forward,” he added; “So I want to encourage you to take advantage.”

Promising to provide financial assistance to some students, he warned: “If I pay for you and you don’t go and complete the course; you’ll give my money back.”

He, meanwhile, advised the trainers to focus on the practical aspect of the training since many youth in the area have limited academic education in order to realize the full objective of the vocational project.

Source/Credit: Allafrica

UK: Scots Muslims speak out over racist abuse after terror attacks

UK: Scots Muslims speak out over racist abuse after terror attacks

High profile Scots Muslims have spoken of the racist abuse they and their friends and families have suffered in the wake of the terror attacks across Europe this summer.

Many have had to endure everything from verbal abuse to physical attacks – which are not always reported to the authorities.

Despite this, high profile Muslims were keen to praise the vast majority of Scots who offer support after such incidents.

Ahmed Owusu-Konadu, a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Scotland – which was the target of an extremist attack when Tanveer Ahmed murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah in March – said atrocities on the continent can “feed mistrust and seek to divide communities”.

However, he added: “The reaction of local communities in Glasgow when a member of our community was murdered shows that Scotland has a strong bond and a resilient, caring nature.”

Source/Credit: Asianimage

UK: Khalifa of Islam launches MTA International Africa TV Channel

UK: Khalifa of Islam launches MTA International Africa TV Channel

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is pleased to announce that at 4pm (BST) on 1 August 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad launched MTA International Africa – a new television channel established specifically to meet the needs of the people of Africa.

His Holiness launched the channel from the Transmission Department of MTA International London Studios, based at the Fazl Mosque, by pressing a button to officially launch the new channel.

The launch was followed by a silent prayer led by His Holiness in thanks to God Almighty.

The new channel began by broadcasting the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a programme introducing the new channel.

MTA International Africa will continue to broadcast all of the programmes of the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, such as his weekly Friday Sermon and other addresses.

It will also be producing unique content specifically tailored to the people of Africa and many programmes will be broadcast from the newly built MTA International Ghana Studios in Accra.

The launch of MTA International Africa marks yet another significant landmark in the development of MTA International.

The aim of the channel is to spread the true and peaceful teachings of Islam in local languages to the people of Africa and to be a means for the moral training of Ahmadi Muslims living in Africa.

Source/Credit: Ahmadiyya International