David Cameron last night defied mounting criticism over his arms mission to the Middle East

David Cameron last night defied mounting criticism over his arms mission to the Middle East – declaring that Britain has ‘nothing to be ashamed of’ for selling weapons to Arab leaders.

The Prime Minister accused his critics of being ‘at odds with reality’ after he was condemned for taking eight arms manufacturers on his tour of the Gulf.

They were invited to join his trip despite concerns that British-made equipment had been used by the Gaddafi regime to suppress unrest in Libya.

Nothing to be ashamed of: David Cameron meets the Emir of Kuwaiti in Kuwait City on day two of his visit to the Middle East

But yesterday an angry Mr Cameron said he could not understand why anyone would oppose his attempts to boost British defence sales in such a volatile region.

In a speech to the Kuwaiti parliament, he admitted that past British governments had miscalculated in their policy of propping up brutal dictators in the region.

The picture above is the first evidence that military equipment made in Britain is being used by Colonel Gaddafi against protesters in Libya.

The image is from footage captured by an amateur cameraman and smuggled out of Libya in recent days and shows an armoured personnel carrier speeding past demonstrators.

The vehicle has been identified as British-made and critics say the picture dramatically exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of Britain’s foreign policy: Our ministers offer vocal support to protest movements in the Arab world, but at the same time they are arming their despotic oppressors.

Across the region yesterday, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, UK arms companies were busy peddling their wares.

Among the equipment being promoted at the Idex 2011, the Middle East’s biggest arms fair, were CS gas shotgun cartridges and stun grenades – precisely the type of weapons used by security forces to try to quell crowds of pro-democracy protesters.

According to ADS, the body that represents UK companies, an estimated £7.2billion worth of British defence exports are sold every year – half of which go to Middle Eastern countries.

Official figures show the UK Government approved at least 75 arms export licences to Libya since 2008, worth between £75million and £100million.
Since the election, British firms have sold crowd sniper rifles, tear gas and ammunition to Gaddafi regime.
Military export licences from Britain over the first nine months of last year totalled £64.3million to Saudi Arabia, £4million to Egypt, £270million to Algeria and £15.9million to the United Arab Emirates.

We sell combat helicopters, bomb-making parts, missiles, body armour, elements for unmanned drones, military software and heavy machine guns.

Of course Britain is not alone. According to data collected by Forbes magazine, from 2007 to 2010 the Pentagon persuaded Congress to approve $180billion worth of arms sales to the Middle East region with $100billion signed off since President Obama took office.

Marking the 20th anniversary of Kuwait’s liberation from Saddam Hussein’s forces, Mr Cameron said: ‘A properly regulated trade in defence is nothing we should be ashamed of.

‘The fact that there are British defence companies on this visit – BAe, Thales and others – is perfectly right in this regard.’

The Foreign Office has already revoked a series of export licences for Libya and Bahrain in the wake of the crackdowns on protesters in those countries. But Mr Cameron said it was right to do business with allies such as Kuwait.

‘The idea that Kuwait should not be able to have its own armed forces able to defend its own country, I find an extraordinary argument to make when we helped liberate the country,’ he said.

‘We have probably the toughest set of export rules probably anywhere in the world. It is obviously difficult to get it right on every occasion.’

An angry Mr Cameron told a journalist: ‘I simply don’t understand how you can’t understand that democracies have a right to defend themselves.

‘Are we honestly saying that for all time, countries like Kuwait have to manufacture and maintain every single part of their own defences?

‘There are very few people who would even consider that argument for any length of time and give it any consideration at all.’

But Yasmin Khan, senior campaigns officer at the charity War On Want, said: ‘As people in the Middle East risk their lives opposing authoritarian regimes, it is deplorable that David Cameron is seeking to exploit the crisis by promoting sales of weapons and torture equipment to the region.

‘Cameron should cancel this tour immediately and ban all UK companies from weapons deals with regimes that deny human rights to their people.’

Defence Secretary Liam Fox declared that Britain should retain a ‘healthy slice’ of the weapons industry. Speaking at the Civitas think tank in London, Dr Fox said: ‘We have to recognise that countries have a right of self-defence and not all of them have a defence industry so they will always buy externally.’

In his speech to the Kuwaiti parliament, Mr Cameron said that successive British governments have been guilty of ‘racism’ by propping up repressive regimes because of a belief that Arabs could not ‘do democracy’.

The Prime Minister said some of his predecessors’ policies had also helped foment instability in the Middle East by their failure to promote democracy.

The law firm that employs Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s wife has come under fire for lobbying on behalf of the Libyan regime.

DLA Piper reportedly advised the Libyans on how to get compensation from the EU for agreeing to stop the migration of Africans from Libya to Europe, although Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, Mr Clegg’s wife and a senior partner in the firm, is understood to have had nothing to do with the Libyan work.


How to Approach & Understand the Quran (Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo)


In this book, the author attempted to bridge the gap between Muslims and the Quran. He writes about what the Quran is and what a Muslims responsibility is towards it. The author also studies the effect that the Quran had upon the first generation of Muslims and attempts to answer questions as to why the Quran does not seem to have the same miraculous effect today. The book discusses how many Muslims currently approach the Quran and then goes on to discuss the main teachings of the Quran and how they should properly be approached. It also gives suggestions on reading the proper sources of tafseer or Qur’anic commentary.

One reviewer wrote: “It will be a useful reading for all Muslims, new converts and those who have been practicing for years. As I was reading, I found passages that built such a powerful crescendo of argumentation and commentary, that I was deeply touched.”


Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Al-Nawawi 2Vols H/B by Jamal al-Din Zarabozo


A comprehensive work consisting of 2 Volumes commenting on al-Nawawi?s Forty Hadith. by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo

With an Introduction by Prof. Jaafar Sheikh Idris.Here are just a few excerpts from Prof. Jaafar Sheikh Idris?s comments to the work.
The reader will not be studying explanations of the hadith in a narrow sense; the reader will, in fact, be introduced to many branches of the Islamic sciences: the different sciences of hadith, the science of textual interpretation, the science of jurisprudence, law, and even Arabic language.
This is a great commentary on a great book. Brother Jamaal Zarabozo is to be congratulated for producing such a scholarly book. –Prof. Jaafar Sheikh Idris T

This commendable work offers a detailed analysis of forty of the most important hadith of the Prophet (S) for a Muslim to understand. Beginning with a biography of Imam Al-Nawawi, the author then explains each hadith in depth. Each hadith features the Arabic text, English translation, selected vocabulary in Arabic with English translation, general comments, circumstances behind the hadith, brief biography of the narrator and then a detailed commentary that explains the hadith’s major subjects. Each subject is studied from a logical and shariah point of view, deducing the lessons of the hadith for the reader. The author then familiarises the reader with the interpretations of the great scholars and provides his own interpretation. ‘An important study for any student of hadith’.

Jamaal al-Din M.Zarabozo

Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo


Starred Review. In a fast-paced, harrowing narrative that’s likely to become a flash point for the right and the left, Begg tells of his secret abduction by U.S. forces in Pakistan, his detainment at American air bases for more than a year and at Guantánamo for two more years as an enemy combatant. A British Muslim of Pakistani descent, Begg grew up in Birmingham and excelled at school before becoming involved with Islamic political causes and later moving to Afghanistan to become a teacher. After fighting broke out in Kabul, he and his wife and children moved to Islamabad in 2001, where U.S. operatives seized him. In March 2004, Begg was released from Guantánamo under pressure from the British government, but over the objections of the Pentagon, which still considers him a potential terrorist. Despite considerable media speculation over what Begg may have left out of this memoir, it’s a forcefully told, up-to-the-minute political story. Whether Begg is describing his Muslim and Asian friends fighting white supremacist skinhead street gangs in Birmingham, or telling how he shared poetry with a U.S. guard at Guantánamo, his tone is assured. His work will be necessary reading for people on all sides of the issue. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.