Archive | June 15, 2015

Anti-ISIS Coalition Forces are U.S. Targets*

Anti-ISIS Coalition Forces are U.S. Targets*

Fighter jets of the US-led coalition once again struck the Iraqi forces in the Western province of Anbar on Saturday.

The US-led coalition warplanes hit a position of the Iraqi army in Anbar province.

The US has repeatedly struck the popular forces’ positions in different parts of Iraq.

In early June, the US-led coalition warplanes hit the bases of Iraqi army’s Hezbollah battalions in Fallujah in Anbar province, killing 6 soldiers and injuring 8 others.

In early May, the anti-ISIL coalition forces struck the position of Iraq’s popular forces near Baghdad, killing a number of volunteer forces.

The US-led coalition warplanes hit an arms production workshop of the popular forces near the Iraqi capital, destroying the workshop and its ammunition completely.

Two members of Iraq’s popular forces were killed in the attack.

On March 29, the US fighter jets struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces during their fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists near Tikrit, injuring a number of fighters.

The US and coalition forces conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, but they hit the popular forces’ positions instead of ISIL.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

In January, al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA at the time.


Related Topics:

Iraqi Shia Militia Rejects U.S. Enforcements in Anbar*

Iraqi Forces Drive ISIL from Three Anbar Cities*

Under Israeli Air Cover, and U.S. Stand down, ISIS took Palmyra*

Speeding-up Big Brother in Scotland after the Independence Vote*

Speeding-up Big Brother in Scotland after the Independence Vote*

By Ben Borland

THE SNP is to create a £12million database containing medical details about every child in Scotland, with officials admitting the trove of information could be stored abroad.

3fcd8-zbigniew_brezinski-between_two_ages_americas_role_in_the_technotronic_era_1970It will work alongside the controversial Named Person scheme, allowing health workers to “monitor” youngsters at the click of a button and flagging up parents who refuse vaccinations.

The network will join with another upgraded NHS database containing the medical records of everybody north of the Border, known as the Community Health Index (CHI).

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie called for a parliamentary debate on the plans, saying they would “fuel concerns” Scotland is moving closer to ID cards.

Ten-year contracts for both projects have been put out to tender by the Scottish Government, with a target start date of August 2016 and a total cost of up to £32million.

Ministers were accused of “jumping the gun” as the so-called super-ID database, or the NHS Central Register, is still awaiting a parliamentary review.

At the moment, the CHI and a variety of child health records are managed by IT company Atos Origin at centres in Livingston and Edinburgh.

But, in a Q&A for potential bidders, NHS National Services Scotland stated:

“The data has to be secure but not necessarily in the UK if security can be satisfied by a data centre no matter where it is.”

This will add to fears that millions of people will be left vulnerable to cyber criminals and online paedophiles.

The new Scottish Child Public Health and Wellbeing System will replace the Child Health Screening Programmes (CHSP) and the Scottish Immunisation and Recall System (SIRS).

It will be required to “schedule routine health reviews of children from shortly after birth until they leave secondary school”.

It will also provide “support for early identification, assessment and monitoring of children with additional support needs”.

A further proviso is the ability to record any parents who refuse to allow their child to be immunised or attend a health review.

Mr Rennie said: “The emergence of this new children’s database, combined with plans for the super ID database, will fuel concerns that we are moving closer towards ID cards.

“SNP Ministers need to understand that they do not have carte blanche to harvest our personal data without reason. Parliament deserves a full debate on the approval of these tenders.”

Ross Anderson, chair of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, drew comparisons with Tony Blair’s controversial Contactpoint, a database of every child in England.

Deemed “unsafe and illegal” before it was axed in 2010, Contactpoint also required consent for sensitive details to be stored. Mr Anderson said:

“There are many reasons why trying to centralise everything is a bad idea, and it’s not just about privacy and human rights.

“There are very serious safety issues; if GPs no longer control their own records but have to use a shared record to which arbitrary stuff can be added by social workers, probation officers and others with quite different training, culture and incentives, things become rapidly unworkable.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said:

“This is not an expansion but an upgrade of existing databases, some of which are 25 years old and which have become expensive to maintain.

“It does not represent an extension of the personal data held by the NHS and is not linked to previous proposals to change the operations of the NHS Central Register.”


Related Topics:

Fears of a British Policed State Rising Midst the Elite Paedophile Scourge*

The Elite’s Cultural Marxist Agenda

More Reason to Hold onto Scotland: Cameron Follows Black Gold to the Shetlands*

How Blair Conspired with Whitehall for Ownership of Scottish Oil Fields*

Accusations of Rigged Scottish Referendum*

Scotland: The State Take-over of Children*

U.K: To Become a Genderless, Parentless Society

For the People, to the Scots*

Standing up against Forced Vaccinations in the Balkans*

Why is the Legalization of Gay Marriage so Important to the Queen?*

Guatemalans Reclaiming Democracy*

Guatemalans Reclaiming Democracy*

By Sandra Cuffe

Guatemalans are clamouring for change, pouring into the capital city’s central plaza on a weekly basis. From massive national mobilizations down to local consultations, defending territories from extractive industries, people all over Guatemala are taking action to take their country back from transnational corporations and the political, business and military elite.

The historic protests at the national level stem from a groundswell of outrage and indignation over revelations of widespread corruption within the highest levels of government. Guatemala prosecutors and the UN International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala cracked down on two major corruption rings within the National Tax Office and the Guatemalan Social Security Institute in April and May. The heads of both institutions have been arrested, along with the president of the country’s central bank and dozens of others inside and outside the government.

The revelations ignited a diverse, decentralized movement, and the Guatemalan government have been scrambling to put out the flames. A series of resignations of high-level officials is widely viewed as an attempt by President Otto Pérez Molina to appease protesters, while hanging onto power. The vice president; the secretary of strategic intelligence; the cabinet ministers of the interior, energy and mines, and the environment and natural resources; and other officials have all stepped down from their posts. The mobilizations continue to grow, however, and the people’s movement’s demands are increasingly shifting from the call for Pérez Molina’s resignation to a much more radical transformation of the state.

An estimated 60,000 Guatemalans from all walks of life took to the streets in the capital on March 16, and thousands more participated in marches and rallies in the interior. The following day, 65 miles south of Guatemala City, the mostly Indigenous Xinka population of San Juan Tecuaco voted on whether it would permit mining activities in its territory. The local referendum was the result of local grassroots action by communities that organized together to call for the initiative.

Thelma García Godoy put her ID away as she walked home from a voting station in the centre of San Juan Tecuaco. Her finger was stained with purple ink to show that she had already participated in the municipal referendum on mining. More than 2,000 residents cast their ballots at 14 voting centres throughout the municipality.

“I hope the majority of people are voting no [to mining] because it would harm us in many ways,” García Godoy told Truthout, smiling.

More than 98 percent of participating registered voters in San Juan Tecuaco voted against mining in the May 17 referendum. (Photo: Sandra Cuffe)

Protecting the community’s water supply was on García Godoy’s mind on referendum day. Water shortages have been increasing in recent years, she said, and there are neighbourhoods in town that receive very little water or even none at all.

“The water just isn’t enough anymore,” she said, concerned that any mining activity could diminish or pollute water in the area.

By the end of the day, it was clear that the people of San Juan Tecuaco don’t want mining in their territory. More than 98% of participating, registered voters in the May 17 referendum rejected mining in the municipality, home to 11,000 people. More than 2,600 of some 6,000 registered voters cast a ballot. There were three blank and 36 void ballots. Twenty-seven people cast a ballot in favour of mining, and 2,558 voted against it.

The grassroots-driven referendum in San Juan Tecuaco is part of a movement across the Western Hemisphere to exercise democratic control at the local level in an attempt to keep mining companies out. People in Tambogrande, Peru, and Esquel, Argentina, set important precedents in 2002 and 2003, respectively, by building powerful movements and forcing the local governments to back popular referendum initiatives on mining. Since then, examples have been popping up in South America, Central America and Mexico.

Further north, in the United States, local and regional initiatives to ban fracking can be seen as part of this decentralized hemispheric movement. They are both struggles for self-government, autonomy and control over lands at the local level, and struggles against extractive industries and corporate power. In the US, there are local bans on fracking in at least 24 states, and others in Indigenous territories.

In Guatemala, there are no state-wide decrees, such as New York State’s ban on fracking, as there is nothing analogous to state-level government. Guatemala’s departments – often compared to states – are merely administrative divisions, with appointed governors who wield little political power. Only municipal and national governments are elected, and there is only one legislature at the national level. Guatemalan communities actively resisting extractive industry projects often face violent backlash from public and corporate security forces. In the US, local bans on fracking, like the one in Denton, often face virulent political backlash from states such as Texas.

The legal implications of the initiatives in the South may not be as clear as some in the U.S., but no country in the hemisphere has been host to as many local referenda on extractive industries as Guatemala. Community-driven consultation processes have been held in more than 70 municipalities around the country, in which more than 1.5 million people have participated. By allowing municipal residents at the community level to express whether or not they want mining in their territory, the consultations raise awareness about mining and unite local populations.

Mayan women raise their hands to vote against mining in a 2007 community consultation in the municipality of Colotenango, in the Huehuetenango department. (Photo: Sandra Cuffe)

Most consultations in Guatemala have taken place in Indigenous areas, according to local customs. They have relied largely on the international legal framework established in the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, ratified by Guatemala, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Elsewhere, consultations have been based in municipal law and electoral procedure.

The referendum in San Juan Tecuaco encompassed elements of both kinds of consultations. Most local residents in the impoverished, mountainous municipality are Xinka, one of the two non-Mayan Indigenous peoples in Guatemala. The consultation was carried out in the same way others have occurred in the Santa Rosa and the neighbouring department of Jalapa: using the municipal code as its legal framework and a standardized process similar to that used in local elections.

An incident roughly two years ago set the gears in motion for the May 17 referendum, according to Wiliam García, the mayor of San Juan Tecuaco.

Residents informed us that people unknown to locals were bringing in suspicious machinery,” García told Truthout, in an interview in the town hall, where voters filed in to cast their ballots.

“The suspicion was that it was for mining, not necessarily in our municipality, but in neighboring properties,” he said.

There is no mining license covering San Juan Tecuaco itself, but there are mining interests in the Santa Rosa department, including Tahoe Resources’ contentious Escobal silver mine. All lands in San Juan Tecuaco are municipal lands, so the local government is usually apprised of what’s going on in the territory. García traveled to Guatemala City to visit the Ministry of Energy and Mines, now embroiled in corruption scandals, to verify whether or not any mining project or license overlapped with San Juan Tecuaco lands.

“The suspicion was that [San Juan Tecuaco] was going to fall along a transit route for mining machinery. In fact, to prevent all of this, people organized themselves and do not permit any machinery not authorized by the municipality to enter [municipal lands],” said García.

In practice, this has entailed community residents blocking the road, physically preventing the machinery or equipment from advancing.

Meanwhile, residents came together to petition their local government for a referendum on mining. They presented the mayor with a formal request, setting the wheels in motion. A municipal decree was published in the country’s official gazette announcing the date and details of the event.

“We’re just proceeding according to the people’s petition,” said García, adding that the municipal government was carrying out the consultation with the help of CODIDENA, the Diocesan Committee in Defense of Nature.

“It’s a preventative measure, to seek peace in the municipality,” he said.

Many emerging movements in Guatemala increasingly recognize intersectionality, including an emphasis on women’s rights. Juventina Navarijo Asencia seemed to be everywhere on referendum day in San Juan Tecuaco. A member of the local Civil Society Association, she was busy trying to keep track of all of the national and international observers and other visitors in town for the event. Navarijo Asencia is also an active member of a local women’s group, the Tecuaquense Active Women’s Association. Its acronym, AMATE, also means “Love Yourself” in Spanish, and empowering women is a big part of the mandate of the group, in which 63 women are organized. Faced with very few local employment opportunities, they organize workshops for women on marketing local crafts, making homemade shampoo and soap and establishing vegetable gardens. With the help of a cooperative, they have facilitated micro-credit loans for local women, along with workshops on money management and participation in local affairs.

“In the past, the COCODEs [Community Development Councils] have been comprised only of men,” Navarijo Asencia told Truthout.

The current municipal administration under García has been very supportive of women’s participation at the community and municipal level, she said. Women now make up 50 percent of the COCODE representatives in each community in the municipality, she said.

Women were well represented at voting centers in the town of San Juan Tecuaco. Two of the four polling stations were staffed entirely by women, who were also the majority at the other two. (Photo: Sandra Cuffe)

Women were particularly engaged in the referendum on mining in the town of San Juan Tecuaco – in fact, the vast majority of people staffing the four polling stations in the Town Hall were women.

“Women participate more now and get involved, free of the confinement we experienced because we were denied participation,” said Navarijo Asencia, adding that things really changed during García’s administration, beginning in 2012.

On the day of the referendum, across the street from the Town Hall, Adán Cano González waited for his ride at the edge of San Juan Tecuaco’s central park. One of three dozen national observers from the municipality of Casillas, in the Santa Rosa department, Cano González was assigned to one of the more remote voting centers. People from the municipality of Mataquescuintla, in Jalapa, were also participating as observers in San Juan Tecuaco. Referendums on mining have already been held in both municipalities, and both are adjacent to the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, home to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine. The anti-mining struggle has been a point of unity in the region, transcending geographic and political boundaries.

“We live close to the mining in San Rafael, so we are aware of the harms mining is causing,” Cano González told Truthout, while he waited for his ride.

“Many people are against mining. [Mining companies] promise this, that and the other, but it’s all just tricks.”

Ninety-eight percent of participating registered voters in Casillas rejected mining on August 7, 2011. The November 11, 2012, popular municipal referendum in Mataquescuintla had similar results. Both places have been affected beyond their proximity to the Tahoe Resources mine. After mine security personnel opened fire on community protesters in April 2013, provoking further conflict in the area, the Guatemalan government declared a state of siege in San Rafael Las Flores, Casillas and Mataquescuintla on May 2, 2013. The hotbeds of community resistance to mining were heavily militarized, and basic constitutional rights and protections such as freedom of assembly and detainee rights were suspended for a week.

Nevertheless, Cano González has not been dissuaded from openly opposing mining. The coffee, corn and bean farmer came to San Juan Tecuaco to support the people’s right to decide what activities they want in their territory.

“We have to think of the children,” he said.

“If we don’t react now in our country to defend the good that we have in Guatemala, what are our kids going to find later? They’re going to find everything destroyed. Why? Because we didn’t do anything.”

Communities around Guatemala stand by the results of their referendums and consultations on mining, fighting to uphold the results and keep their territories free of any and all extractive industry activities. They have also had to fight for legal recognition of the results. Mataquescuintla brought a case to the Constitutional Court of Guatemala to push for a ruling declaring the local referendum binding. The outcome was somewhat of a half win. The national government and ministry of energy and mines must consider the local referendum results, but the ruling stops short of ascribing veto power to the referenda results.

Moreover, community resistance to mining has been on the agenda at the recent anticorruption protests taking Guatemala by storm. Demands for President Otto Pérez Molina to resign continue, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Long-time social movement organizations, newly radicalized sectors and diverse groups of people participating in protests for the first time are increasingly rising up against not just individual officials, but an entire system. The collective hope for the country’s transformation – from the grassroots on up – is palpable in the streets.


Related Topics:

Guatemala’s Mayans Defeat Goldcorp in Court*

Mayans Expel Jews from Guatemala Village*

Fracking Companies Free to Use 70 Million Gallons Of Clean Water in the Midst of U.S. Record Drought*

Mayans Win Legal Battle Banning Monsanto’s GM Soya*

The Maya of Belize Take Back their Land Under a Gathering of Children of the Earth*

Fifteen Years of Community-Controlled Water in Bolivia*

Ecuador FM: If There’s a Threat On This Continent, It’s the US*

Ecuadorian President Correa on the Final Independence of our Americas*

Not in the West: Bolivian Economy Grew $34 Billion in 2014*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

The Whys Behind the How of Officials Investigating Charlie Hebdo and Argentina Committed ‘Suicide’*

The U.S. Coup against Venezuela has Served to Strengthen Caribbean Unity

For Foiling U.S. Coups, U.S. Slap Sanctions on Venezuela*

Venezuelan President Calls for Workers to Take on Economic Policy*

Why the West Destroys and Humiliate Peoples

“What Can one Dad with one Brain-Damaged Child do to Change the World?”*

“What Can one Dad with one Brain-Damaged Child do to Change the World?”*

When she was a baby, Sarah Jane Donahue was violently shaken by her nanny. This cruel act resulted in brain trauma which left her unable to walk and talk. Many parents would be too overcome with grief to fight on after such tragic news, but Sarah Jane’s father Patrick refused to give up on her. He asked himself, “What can one dad with one child do to change the world?” This question was the starting point for launching the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, and the beginning of a journey that would become the focus of Patrick’s life.

In September 2013, Patrick started a school in his living room for six brain-damaged children, including Sarah Jane. One year later, the New York-based school had expanded to 24 students and 50 full time staff. Patrick calls it iHope, and he plans on extending the plan across the city, the country and eventually the world. The curriculum mixes academic subjects with physical, speech, and occupational therapy, which gives disabled children individual educational plans with amazing results.

Music and bicycles are used to encourage children to move and build their muscle strength, getting them up and out of their wheelchairs to take steps the doctors predicted they would never achieve. Tuition for iHope is $135000, which is reimbursed by NYC dept of education.

“Every day there are miracles occurring with these kids. We’re not going to create false expectations, but we’re not going to give up hope,” says Patrick. “So my hope for every one of these children is for them to be walking and talking, and live the most productive life they possibly can.”

When He Couldn’t Find A School for His Daughter, This Father Established His Own


Related Topics:

A Musical Genius who can barely Count to 10*

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Memorized Entire Qur’an*

Designated a Special Education Kid, but has a Nobel Prize Mind*

Nature Helps Our Brain Connect!

Mother’s Love brings Life back to her Son Two-Hours after Pronounced Dead!*

Love Even Affects the Size of a Child’s Brain*

Getting the Perfect Education for Your Child*

With Cover-ups UN Quietly Offers DNA Tests for ‘Peacekeeper Babies’ & Sexual Abuse Claims*

With Cover-ups UN Quietly Offers DNA Tests for ‘Peacekeeper Babies’ & Sexual Abuse Claims*

Editor’s Note: Can you imagine a one world government with these sick b*stards in charge? Nothing says peace like rape…

As one of its efforts to address allegations of sexual misconduct by UN keepers worldwide, the organization, has quietly begun running DNA tests to resolve paternity claims by victims who are left raising ‘UN babies,’ according to AP.

Some of the UN’s 125,000 peacekeeping force spanning over 16 locations across the world, have engaged in sexual relations with local populations, or have even been accused of committing sexual crimes. Such acts have result in claims that a child was conceived from a member of the UN force, including non-military staff.

Of the dozen paternity claims received last year, four were associated with alleged sexual abuse of a minor, the Associated Press reports. When asked whom the UN personnel may legally have sex with during their deployment, a UN official told the agency “no one,” except each other. Otherwise intercourse could lead to an investigation, the official added.

Back in 2005, a special report by Zeid Raad al-Hussein, now the UN’s human rights chief, urged the organization to conduct DNA tests, should such suspicions arise.

“Assembly should authorize the Secretary-General to require DNA and other tests to establish paternity in appropriate cases so as to ensure that peacekeeping personnel can be obligated to provide child support to so-called peacekeeper babies that they father and abandon,” the report stated.

A decade later, the UN is quietly following up on the advice, and last year started offering a DNA collection protocol and testing kits. A UN cable obtained this month by AP, shows that in January 2014, the peacekeeping office offered its missions “guidance on assistance in instances of paternity claims involving current or former members of peacekeeping missions in terms of DNA testing.”

So far the measure is voluntary. It is up to the discretion of the troop-contributing states to decide how to address paternity claims brought against their troops by alleged victims. But the “most foolproof method,” according to a leaked UN-commissioned report, would be a “DNA data bank for all troops” involved in peacekeeping operations.

According to a UN official, a member state with a peacekeeping contingent is asked if they can conduct DNA testing. If not, the UN is offering to do it. However, as the UN lacks authority to conduct criminal investigations, it has no way to force a country to carry out the procedures. Under the model status-of-forces agreement, military members are subject to the criminal authority of the troop-contributing country concerned.

The question however arises what to do if the paternity test is positive, which can sometimes lead to possible criminal proceedings. “Almost half” of the paternity claims reported since January 2010 – 14 out of 29 – were made by minors who claimed they were raped, according to AP.

The question of compensation for the victims still remains. It is unclear how this issue could be solved, but a decade ago, the report suggested to take money out of peacekeeper’s salary.

“If paternity were established, the United Nations could, with a small change in its rules, deduct from the salary of that staff member, or from his final emoluments… the equivalent of one year’s salary of a local employee in the mission area,” Zeid proposed in the report.

This would at least provide some child support to the mother, the report argued.

According to Ban Ki-moon’s annual report on combating sexual abuse cases, the number of new allegations of sexual exploitation totalled 79 in 2014, compared with 96 in 2013.

Of the allegations recorded in 2014, 38 were the result of three peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Haiti. The remaining 13 allegations were received from Liberia, Mali, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Lebanon and the Ivory Coast. Sexual abuse of minors constituted 25% of the cases.

There were 12 paternity claims in total, with seven originating in Mali and five from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The annual report says the UN is addressing the paternity tests issue by “systematically sharing a DNA collection protocol with concerned member States” and offering to assist gathering DNA samples from mothers and children, to compare them against DNA samples from their alleged fathers.


Related Topics*

The West Exports Porn, Casual Sex, and the Blood of the pre-born not Freedom*

From Child Trafficking to Head of U.N. Ops. in Haiti

U.N. ‘Peacekeeping’ Force Open Fire on Protesters in Haiti*

UN “Peace” Forces Preying on Haitians*

Eugenics: Kenya’s Catholic Bishops Charge U.N. for Sterilizing the Population*

US Military Sexually Abused 54 Colombian Children*

Normalizing Paedophilia through Sex for Children*

UN’s Heterophobic Agenda*

Veteran Who Raped and Murdered Iraqi Family Commits Suicide*

U.S. Rape and Sodomy of Iraqi Women and Children*

Rape: Challenging the Acceptable

Pope Criminalizes Vatican Leaks of Child Prostitution and Sexual Abuse*

Korean Women Sue US Military for Forced Prostitution*

Ramadhan 2015 for European Muslims*

Ramadhan 2015 for European Muslims*

By Doug Bolton

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan approaches, and British Muslims prepare for four weeks of fasting during daylight hours, a perennial debate on changing the Ramadhan observance times in northern regions has sprung up again.

Dr Usama Haswan, an Islamic researcher from Quilliam, has said that it would make more sense for Muslims in the UK to follow Mecca timings, as daylight lasts much longer this far north than it does in the Middle East.

In Mecca, daylight during Ramadhan usually lasts from around 12 to 13 hours. In the southern part of the UK, it typically lasts around 16 hours or more, and the timings mean that observers will have to wake up at around 4am if they want to eat in the morning.

As the start of Ramadhan is based on the first sighting of the new moon, it comes earlier and earlier each year. For the last few years, however, it has occurred during summer, meaning a much longer fasting time. This year, Ramadhan will begin on 18 June.

Dr Hasan said that Islamic law is about balance, and reducing the fasting hours to something more reasonable is more sensible.

However, things get worse the further north you go. In Aberdeen, more than 500 miles north of London, daylight will last for around 18 hours during Ramadhan.

And elsewhere in northern Europe, such as the far north of Sweden, the sun may only set for a couple of hours a day, if at all.

In Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, the sun has not set this month – and it’s not going to go down before August.

This leaves Swedish Muslims in a tricky position, as observing the fast and consuming no food or water would kill them in a matter of days.

There is no agreed-upon standard – some Muslims choose to observe Mecca time, others observe the timings of their own country.

Mohammed Kharaki, a spokesman for Sweden’s Islamic Association, said the organisation had this week issued guidelines that said Muslims should fast between the times that the sun was last clearly seen to rise and fall – despite this concession, this could well amount to a 19-hour fast.

However, he also advised against being too strict with the daylight rule.

Speaking to AFP, he said: “People can try to fast for 19 hours but not handle it. That’s not the idea… If you don’t manage to do your work or stay on your feet, then it’s time to break the fast.”

However, even with a lengthy fast for British Muslims, the vast majority are adamant that they will observe it, no matter how difficult it is.


Related Topics:

Fasting Where the Sun Doesn’t Set*

Fasting for Three Days can Regenerate Entire Immune System*

The Self Control Gland and Fasting

Fasting and Pregnancy

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*