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The Way It Is - Emdad Rahman

The hushed screams of tiny angels

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All children, whatever their plight, are entitled not to be regarded as sexual commodities

EMDAD RAHMAN

Aliyah Ismail was found dead just a month before reaching the age of 14. Her body was discovered in a downtrodden, neglected and dilapidated abode in Camden Town, London, in the bed of her boyfriend (a 17 year old). Aliyah, (a name which has an Arabic  and Jewish heritage and means highly exalted) had been working as a prostitute in nearby Kings Cross had overdosed by taking twice the quantity of methadone that was required to kill her.

Liz Davies: Senior Lecturer Children and Families Social Work

Liz Davies, Senior Lecturer Children and Families Social Work London Metropolitan University conducted a serious case review on the Aliyah Ismail case in 1999-2000.

"Aliyah was never defined as a child in need of protection and so the Children Act 1989 S 47 ' duty to investigate actual or likely significant harm' was ot implemented" she said.
"There was no child protection conference and her name was therefore not on the child protection register. She had no multi agency child protection plan to keep her safe. Instead she was sent from one placement to another and each one broke down as there was no focus on
removing abusers from her life."

"Young teenagers are often excluded from the child protection systems because professionals think they can care for themselves. The guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children who are involved in sexual exploitation ( Dept of Health 2000)is very clear that procedures must be
in place to protect the child but also the abusers should be identified, targetted and brought to prosecution."
The horrors of child prostitution are experienced by children all over the globe. This is the sexual abuse of a child (often embroiled in poverty and neglect) by an adult in exchange of cash or even meals, clothes and kindness.

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Working towards the portrayal of truth

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EMDAD RAHMAN meets perspicacious politician Professor Ahmed Abdul Quader to discuss the quest for righteousness  

Professor Ahemed Abdul QuaderProfessor Ahmed Abdul Quader, 50, is a distinguished academic. Widely acknowledged as one of Bangladesh's most promising intellectuals, the charismatic politician is the Secretary of Bangladesh Khelafot Majlish, representing a vital segment of the world's third most populous Muslim country. Hailing from Habigonj under Sylhet Division the Professor who holds Bsc Hons from Dhaka University Mss Econ as well as Llb honours is currently visiting the UK. At present the renowned academic who has had hundreds of his works published and who has the dubious distinction of being the mentor of many Majlish representatives worldwide, is completing a PHD in Economics under the University of Kushtia.

During his student life the Professor involved himself with the Chatra Shibir movement, moving on to the Islamic Jubo Shibir (Youth) in 1982.

In 1984 he formed a combined alliance under the guidance of Hafizjee Huzoor. Further, in 1987 he helped set up the Islamic Constitution Movement, and in 1989 he was behind the formation of Bangladesh Khelafoth Majlish and Khelafoth Andolon.

ER: Wh

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The Ummah is changing

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With a Bismillah and a yummy milk chocolate caramel bar, Ummah Foods began its journey in 2004.



The aim is to give the sweet loving Muslim community in the UK something that tastes really good, and also has a positive impact on the world. EMDAD RAHMAN talks to Managing Director of Ummah Foods, Mr K Sharif on the future of Ummah foods.

Tell us briefly about your product portfolio?

We have two products at the moment.  We launched our first in 2004 which was a chocolate bar with a soft caramel centre called Ummah Caramel.  It went down really well, and the media liked the odd idea of a "Muslim chocolate bar".  One name that stuck was "Chochalal" which the Daily Mirror gave us ! Recently we launched our second product, which is a chocolate bar with a creme orange centre called Ummah Orange.  We have started planning the third which is a mint flavour and will be out next year Insha'Allah.

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From Autism to Print On Demand

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An account of a mother’s struggle to raise an autistic child whilst going on to becoming a director of a publishing company


Shahida Rahman published ‘Ibrahim – Where in the spectrum does he belong?’ in June 2004, which is an autobiographical account of a mother’s struggle to bring up a child with a learning disorder. It tells the story of Ibrahim and his struggle with Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder (SPLD), a speech and language disorder which is part of the autistic spectrum disorder.

It highlights the lack of awareness of this condition within our society, but particularly within the Bangladeshi community where autism is not recognised.

Written in a simple and straightforward style, the book traces Ibrahim’s progress at each stage of his early life. It highlights his family’s bewilderment as they try to make sense of his unusual behaviour and inappropriate speech.

It describes how Ibrahim’s father had no contact with his son until he was 10 months old, and how this may have led to his initial lack of understanding and support. As Ibrahim passes through nursery and first school, his mother is left searching for answers. Whilst making slow progress at school, Ibrahim is shown to be a determined and likeable boy.

“Sometimes he becomes angry with his own limitations, but he always strives to do his best” Shahida told me.

Every step forward is a cause of great joy for his mother, and there are many poignant moments as Ibrahim exceeds her expectations.

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Zayed Yasin’s American struggle

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Zayed Yasin, a Muslim American, the son of a Bangladeshi father and Irish – American mother; he was born in Chicago in 1980. After a brief stint in Jakarta, Indonesia, Zayed spend most of early childhood in Illinois, and southern California. His family moved to Scituate, Massachusetts in 1991, where they currently reside.

A brief read through Zayed’s resume makes interesting reading: He received two awards from the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations for his work in fostering dialogue and understanding between faiths and cultures within the Harvard community. He is a former president of the Harvard Islamic Society, and former president of the Harvard friends of the American Red cross.

In the past Zayed has been a disaster response team leader of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts bay, Boston. Previous summer experience has included disaster relief in Albania and work with the Zambian Malaria Control Agency. Zayed is also an eagle scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.

Despite a surge in national patriotism from the September 11 attacks and the war on terrorism, the Harvard faculty panel selected Zayed as one of the three students to speak at the 2002 commencement ceremony. Zayed, with the assistance of Havard Dean of continuing education Michael Shinagel, originally titled his speech, ‘American Jihad’. It was a critical, historical commentary, one that Richard Hunt, a Harvard Dean who read the proposed draft, described as ‘healing’ and ‘non – confrontational’.

The tradition of student orators goes back to the 17th century. Zayed had competed for a chance to deliver one of three student ‘parts’ during the formal commencement exercises. He won the spot in April 2002 by delivering to a committee of six judges, faculty members and administrators - the speech he proposed to give.

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