Home' Greymouth Star : July 20th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Addressing his congregation on the
Eid al-Fitr holiday celebrating the end of
Ramadan, Imam Mohamed Abdul-Azeez
implored worshipers to combat Muslim
extremism in the aftermath of a shooting
rampage that killed five ser vicemen in
The suspect, a young Muslim who grew
up in the Chattanooga area, also died in
the gunfight on the last day of Islam’s holy
month of fasting.
It was the latest reminder to American
Muslims of the need to find ways to keep
teenagers and young adults from being
drawn to ideologies promoted by such
groups as Islamic State, the militants also
known as ISIS who control part of Syria.
“ When they talk about Syria, when they
talk about Tennessee ... what will they say
about the American Muslim community?”
Azeez asked the 2000 congregants at the
rented hall in Sacramento, California, last
He went on to rail against extremists,
whom he said usurp the spirit of Allah for
their own purposes.
The FBI is investigating the
Chattanooga shooting as an act of
terrorism, though law enforcement
officials said it was premature to speculate
on the gunman’s motive.
Hours before the attack, the suspect,
Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, had
texted his close friend a link to a long
Islamic verse that included the line:
“ Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of
Mine, then I have declared war against
Mainstream Muslim leaders around
the world are concerned about the
radicalisation of young people, vulnerable
to fiery rhetoric that frequently distorts
the religion’s true teaching.
In Britain, a well-known cleric developed
a 900-page anti-extremism religious
curriculum to be taught in Muslim
schools. About 700 Britons are estimated
to have travelled to Syria and Iraq, many
to join ISIS.
In the United States, imams and other
leaders regularly visit
high schools and
colleges, but finding
the right message and
approach has proved to
be a delicate tightrope
walk between religion
In Chicago, anti-
lectures at schools and
radical ideas point by
point with Islamic
theology. He said
militant groups at best
misread the Koran and
at worst distort it when
they say that Islam
condones their violent
“ When we’re able
to root our arguments
that are counter-
extremist in the
authentic message of
Islam, I think it’s more
effective,” Rehab said.
Yasir Qadhi, a
professor at Rhodes
College in Memphis,
teachings to show
that Islam condemns terrorism. But he
goes step further, engaging his students
in discussions of political issues facing
Muslims in the United States and
elsewhere, even though that can invite
“Simple condemnations are not going
to get to the hearts and minds of these
people,” Qadhi said. It is important
to acknowledge that young people are
attracted to groups like ISIS because they
are seen as standing up for oppressed
Muslims, he said.
The cleric recognises that his listeners
may feel angry about Israeli-Palestinian
relations or other flashpoint issues. He
said he uses history and theology to
It is a stance that has earned Qadhi
death threats from ISIS as well as some
far-right Americans, with both sides
saying he is too sympathetic to the other.
In Sacramento, Muslim leaders educate
young people about broader social issues,
including poverty, access to health care
and racism, said Basim Elkarra, executive
director of the Sacramento Valley chapter
of the Council on American-Islamic
Through a leadership programme run
in co-operation with the State legislature,
high school students learn about political
engagement, such as lobbying, drafting
legislation and what it is like to ser ve as an
“ It ’s giving people an outlet,” Elkarra
said, “giving them a voice and the tools to
make a difference.”
Sacramento Muslims have also set up a
hotline for people to call if they become
anxious or stressed, said Irfan Haq,
president of the Council of Sacramento
A key problem, several imams said,
is that people who become radicalised
tend to stop coming to their mosques,
preferring instead the company of militant
recruiters and radical clerics, who have a
sophisticated on-line presence.
In Arizona, for example, leaders at the
Islamic Community Centre of Phoenix
knew Elton Simpson, one of two men
killed by police while attempting an attack
at an anti-Islam event near Dallas in May.
Simpson had argued with the mosque’s
imam over teachings he perceived as too
Then he disappeared.
“ It doesn’t match with the ideology and
they stop coming,” said Usama Shami,
chairman of the Islamic Community
Centre of Phoenix. “And then you don’t
know what they are doing.” — Reuters
4 - Monday, July 20, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1871 - The English Football Association
Challenge Cup Competition is formed, to
become better known as the FA Cup.
1881 - Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull,
a fugitive since the Battle of the Little Big
Horn, surrenders to US federal troops.
1937 - Death of Guglielmo Marconi, Italian
physicist and pioneer of wireless telegraphy.
1940 - The first singles charts
are published in the US journal
Billboard. No 1 is I’ll Never Smile
Again by the Tommy Dorsey band,
vocal by Frank Sinatra.
1943 - HMAS Hobart torpedoed
off San Cristobal, Solomon Islands,
killing seven officers and six ratings.
1944 - Adolf Hitler is injured by a bomb in
an attache case, an assassination attempt by
German officers that leads to a brutal purge.
1969 - US astronauts Neil Armstrong and
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin become the first men to
set foot on moon.
1974 - Turkey invades Mediterranean island
1989 - Burmese opposition leader Aung San
Suu Kyi is placed under house arrest.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Edmond Hillary, New Zealand explorer-
mountain climber (1919-2008); Sally Ann
Howes, British actress (1930-); Dame Diana
Rigg, English actress (1938-); Natalie Wood,
US actress (1938-1981); Kim Carnes,
US singer (1946-); Carlos Santana,
Mexican guitarist (1947-); Marcia
Hines, Australian singer (1953-);
Terri Irwin, American naturalist;
widow of Steve Irwin (1964-); Judy
Greer, US actress (1975-); Gisele
Bundchen, Brazilian model (1980-).
“Somehow a bachelor never quite gets over
the idea that he is a thing of beauty and a boy
forever. ” — Helen Rowland, American writer
and humorist (1875-1950).
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ.” — (Romans 5:1).
Maadi Cup hockey
and Seddon Shield
rugby players and
supporters from the
West Coast had an interrupted passage home
from Blenheim yesterday. A fairly lengthy
convoy was a good way through the upper
Buller Gorge yesterday afternoon when a slip
was encountered just north of Lyell. Efforts
were made by motorists to get past the debris,
but this proved impossible and they were
forced to backtrack to O’Sullivan’s bridge,
eight miles south of Murchison, and to use the
Shenandoah route to the West Coast.
The slip occurred in an area which is being
widened, and large trees and boulders fell down
a sharp cliff face.
“ We don’t need rugby players!” This comment
was made on Saturday night by the New
Zealand Rugby League’s advisory coach Mr
Ces Mountford. Mr Mountford said rugby
union players were welcome to play league but
they were not needed for New Zealand to hold
its high position internationally.
He voiced pleasure at the rate league was
growing in popularity throughout the country
and said it could become stronger still if it
was played in schools. The national coaching
scheme, he said, was nearing fruition and today
New Zealand Rugby League had a wealth of
young talent with great potential.
Mr Mountford said there were several West
Coast players with tremendous potential
which had yet to be realised. He was extremely
pleased with Coast ’s performance in beating
Canterbury 21-7 a fortnight ago.
uFood for thought
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Krishna N Das and Keith Wallis
n the world’s biggest ship
recycling centre of Alang on
India’s Arabian Sea coast, workers
with blow torches cut segments
of steel stripped from the rusting
hull of a towering cargo ship, sold
for scrap by its Japanese owner.
But in this town — located in Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of
Gujarat — more than half of the ship-
breaking yards have shut in the past two
years and the future of the trade in India
and neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan
The industry has been hit by a flood of
cheap Chinese steel and new European
Union environmental rules due later
this year threaten to push business to
more modern yards in places like China
and Turkey — in turn devastating local
“People are running this business from
their heart, not from their mind,” said
Chintan Kalthia, whose company R L
Kalthia Ship Breaking Pvt Ltd runs one
of Alang’s more modern yards.
Still, he takes pride in the fact that after
months of negotiations with a Japanese
owner, his yard secured the biggest ship
currently being recycled in Alang.
“But this is my last ship. This business
is dying,” he added, suddenly sounding
weary, as workers outside his beachside
glass office sized slabs of steel peeled
from the ship.
Ships sold to South Asian breakers,
which control about 70% of the market,
are winched at high tide onto a beach,
where they are taken apart by mostly
Equipment, such as radars, engines —
and even tables and chairs — is taken off
and sold, while the steel from the hull is
removed for scrap.
The trade in Alang used to employ
about 60,000 directly, with thousands
more in spin-off businesses, said yard
But roads on the 11km beach front that
locals say used to buzz with people and
trucks now appear deserted and dozens
of shops displaying everything from
crockery to computers ripped out of ships
are struggling to get supplies.
“I used to make five, six, seven trips a
day,” said Munna, sitting atop his tractor
with extra wheels able to carry heavy
scrap from the yards. “Now I hardly get
one or two calls.”
With a plunge in steel prices, ship
owners are getting about $3.6 million
less for the 25,000 tonnes of recoverable
metal from a typical iron ore or coal
carrying ship than just eight months ago.
The finger of blame is being pointed at
“China is selling below the price of
recycled steel,” said Amit B Padia, owner
of Sagar Laxmi Ship Breakers, as an
orange crane lifted a bathroom removed
from a ship onto a trailer.
With China’s economy slowing, its steel
exports soared 51% to a record 93.78m
tonnes last year and are up nearly 30% in
the first five months of 2015.
The impact has been felt in Alang
where the number of active yards fell
to 50 this year from more than 100 in
2014, according to the Ship Recycling
Industries Association India.
The number of vessels beached also
dropped to a six-year low of 275 last year
and was only 54 in the last three months,
The situation in Pakistan appears
“It has always been a cyclical business
but people who have been in this industry
tell me this is the worst in 30 years,” said
Shoaib Sultan, the owner of Horizon
Ship Recycling in Karachi.
The story in Bangladesh is similar.
“Three years ago there were about
80 yards, now it is down to 25. I think
another 10-15 yards will go,” said Zahirul
Islam, director of PHP Shipbreaking and
Recycling Industries Ltd in Chittagong.
Ship breakers globally bought 25.2m
deadweight tonnes of vessels up to early
July, against 33.8m deadweight tonnes all
of last year, with Bangladesh the largest
buyer, according to shipping ser vices firm
“Everyone thought prices will improve
and bought a lot, but now they are sitting
on huge inventories,” said Islam.
“It will be a disaster in the coming
It takes up to nine months for a typical
bulk carrier in India to be broken up and
its steel processed, said Rakesh Khetan,
chief executive of Singapore-based
Wirana Shipping Corp, a major buyer of
ships for scrap.
As well as facing pressure from cheap
Chinese steel, there are also calls to
stop beach scrapping because of the
danger and environmental damage from
pollutants left to drain into the sea.
Highlighting the risks, five people
were killed and at least 10 injured after
an explosion in a chemical tanker being
dismantled in Alang last year, local media
Workers can also face health hazards
such as lead paint and asbestos when
working on ships.
The European Commission will
introduce tougher environmental
controls some time after December.
While not specifically banning beach
scrapping, owners of ships registered in
EU countries will have to scrap them
at approved facilities, a move that could
favour countries such as China and
Turkey where ships are taken apart in
“The European Commission’s intention
is not to discourage vessel owners from
using facilities outside of the EU but
to discourage ship owners from using
facilities which have proven to present
very real danger to life and the general
environment,” said Mark Clintworth,
head of shipping at the European
In a bid to allay environmental
concerns, some yards in South Asia
have cemented their work area to try to
prevent seepage of oil or chemicals, but
many lack the money to do this.
“It takes about $5m to improve a
yard. How can somebody do that when
they are bleeding?,” said Islam of PHP
Shipbreaking in Bangladesh.
Clintworth said his bank and the
European Commission could provide
investment for South Asian ship
scrappers to improve existing operations,
as well as for safer and
more environmentally friendly new
But for many that could come too late
and some, including Alang’s Sagar Laxmi
Ship Breakers, are simply targeting other
industries such as construction.
End of the line?
A worker sorts out the engine parts of a decommissioned ship as he dismantles it at the Alang shipyard in Gujarat, India.
Chattanooga stirs US Muslims to combat extremism
Items left at a memorial at the Armed Forces Career Centre are seen in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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