Report by Nabeela Ali
Bureau Chief Newcastle, Nawa-i-Jang London.
Dipu Ahad has organized a seminar on Wednesday, January the 13th at 7pm at Royal Station Hotel Newcastle, about Islamophobia, terrorism; demonizing Muslims, racism and the upcoming agenda of prevent, to create mass awareness.
The event will be chaired by Tony Dowling.
Moazzam Begg, Yvonne Ridley and Dipu Ahad will be the main speakers in this seminar.
Moazzam Begg is a British Pakistani who was held in extrajudicial detention by US government in Bagram Theater interment Facility and the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp for nearly three years after being arrested in Pakistan in February 2002.
The Pentagon claimed Begg was an enemy combatant and Al-Qaeda member, who recruited for Al-Qaeda. Provided money for their camps in Afghanistan to flight US or allied troops and some other serious allegations which come under terrorism, whereas Begg denied any allegation linked with terrorism.
Later the UK government intervened on behalf of its citizens detained at Guantanamo; President George W Bush HAD TO RELEASE Begg without any charges on 25 January 2005.
Now Begg is working as a commentator on radio and television on the issues pertaining to the UK Muslim community and UK worldwide anti-terror measures.
Yvonne Ridley was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan on 28th September 2001 whilst working for the “Sunday Express”. She tried to enter in Afghanistan without any entrance visa by covering herself in a Burqa and riding on a donkey. She was captured as her camera was seen by the Taliban and she was accused of being a spy who carried a death sentence or at least jail for illegal entry.
After British high commissioner’s negotiations with the Taliban’s ambassador in Islamabad Pakistan, she was released on 8th October.
Yvonne stated that during her captivity she was asked to convert to Islam. She refused to do so but she gave her words that she would read the Quran after her release. Once she was freed she kept the promise and read the Quran with translation of the Taliban’s treatment of women, but came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any, instead she was impressed that “The Quran makes it clear that women are equal in spirituality, worth and education.” she also found that Islam is perfect but Muslims are not, so she converted to Islam in 2003.