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As-salaamu’alaymukum Wa Rahamatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Insha’Allah this message reaches you in the best of Imaan and health. As you will be well aware the crisis in Gaza is deteriorating each day. The number of Palestinians killed is fast approaching a thousand with more than four thousand wounded. Witnessing these tragic events can make it difficult for us to see what actions we can take to help bring an end to the humanitarian crisis. However, we would like to list some suggestions we can all take part in to highlight the severity of the suffering taking place and the contributions we can make individually and collectively Insha’Allah.

Du’a (Prayer)

This is our most potent means to achieving an end to the suffering and indeed to any affair, as Allah has informed us:

“And your Lord has stated: Make du’a to Me, I will (of surety) respond to you” (Surah Al-Ghafir).

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near to them. I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me!” (Surah Al-Baqarah).

Insha’Allah we pray Allah (SWT) grants Jannah to those that have been killed during the conflict and that He eases the affliction the Palestinians are under, “For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease” (Surah Al-Inshirah).

Collective prayers, Qunoot-al-Naazilah are being held at East London Masjid everyday at Salat-ul-Fajr since the conflict began, we recommend that we all request our Masajid to do the same.

Charities collecting for this cause

There are many charities working tirelessly to help the victims of Gaza by providing medical supplies, food, water, clothing, fuel as well as psychological and social support for children. Below are some charities that are on the front line to delivering such services. The total number of Palestinian deaths since Israel began its war on December 27 has climbed to 905, about a quarter of them children. Almost 4,100 Palestinians have also been wounded since the beginning of the offensive.

According to reports from aid workers in Gaza 70 percent of people no longer have running water in their homes. This is as a result of electricity shortages and the damage caused to the water systems. There are also severe food shortages with people risking their lives to queue for up to ten hours on the streets for bread. As the fighting continues, a spokesman for the charity Save the Children has said it is impossible for aid workers to do their jobs in Gaza.The territory’s main hospital is close to collapse, according to two Norwegian doctors who have been working there during the conflict. They informed us patients at al-Shifa hospital were dying because of a lack of specialist doctors and basic medical equipment.

Hospitals are now entirely reliant on generators dependent on scarce fuel supplies, and with no fuel entering Gaza many life-saving machines are unable to run. Over half of Palestinians live in Poverty: 45.7% in the West Bank and 79.4% in Gaza . Please donate as much as you can for “…whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind” ( Surah Al-Ma’ida).

http://www.islamic-relief.com/

http://www.muslimaid.org/

http://www.interpal.info/

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/

http://www.map-uk.org/

http://www.justgiving.com/gaza

Gaza Appeal London 16.01.09

Leading organisations have combined to bring you this Friday, a charity dinner in support of the victims in Gaza , continuing our ethos of helping victims around the world – with past events in support of victims from natural disasters incl. Burma , China , Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Calling everyone to unite – 16.01.09 – 6.30PM – BUNDU KHAN RESTAURANT

Please book online and for more information, visit http://www.1faith.co.uk


Some recommended articles on the crisis in Gaza

Unfortunately much of the media coverage of the crisis in Gaza has not portrayed the truly horrific reality the citizens of Gaza face. The articles below provide a more balanced interpretation to the events taking place in Gaza .

How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe by Avi Shlaim

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine

Gaza under fire by John Pilger

http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2009/01/pilger-israel-gaza-palestine

Guardian coverage on Gaza

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gaza

‘Soon we’ll have nowhere left to run. Nowhere in Gaza is safe’ by Fares Akram in Gaza City

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/soon-well-have-nowhere-left-to-run-nowhere-in-gaza-is-safe-1301560.html

Robert Fisk’s World: Wherever I go, I hear the same tired Middle East comparisons

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fiskrsquos-world-wherever-i-go-i-hear-the-same-tired-middle-east-comparisons-1297595.html

Press TV are one of the few news corporations to have journalists in Gaza

http://www.presstv.ir/

Raising Awareness

There are a number of demonstrations and petitions we can take part in to raise awareness and demand for an immediate ceasefire. Following the UN resolution which calls for an immediate ceasefire we should all be writing to our MP’s and our Government to push this agenda forward. The links below provide a means to carrying this out, it’s very simple and very quick! There is also some information on the demonstrations taken place so far.

http://www.writetothem.com/C/yc5bnitr3u/xitdltyke5o4e4xjmq2

http://search.petitions.number10.gov.uk/kbroker/number10/petitions/search.lsim?ha=1157&sc=number10&qt=gaza

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/

http://globaldayofaction.org/stopwar/index.php

Trade Merchants selling goods for Palestinians

Donating money to charities is essential to tackling the humanitarian crisis, however the Palestinians especially the Gazan’s need a sustainable economy that can generate wealth and jobs. Please see the links below which provide a way to buy products that can help build a Palestinian economy.

http://www.olivecoop.com/

http://www.hadeel.org/

Organise a fundraising dinner

Why not bring your community together to raise awareness over the plight of the Gazan’s and collect much needed donations towards the huge humanitarian effort towards alleviating the suffering of those who need your help!

1. Think of 3/4 friends who will help organise the dinner.

2. Contact a local restaurant or community hall which will seat 50 -100 people, aim high!. Ask to book the restaurant for an evening. Mention that the dinner is for charity and ask for a discounted rate per head. You can charge double the rate given for tickets to the dinner.

3. Islamic Relief will get a poster produced for you to promote your dinner.

4. Islamic Relief will print any tickets needed for the event.

5. Islamic Relief will attend the event with their fundraising team and a presentation video showing up-to-date footage of Gaza and how your donations will help.

6. Islamic Relief will include your event on their events group, all you and your friendsĀ  will have to do, is sell the tickets and get your community in (the most important part!) – they will also help you with this.

If you are genuinely interested, committed and self motivated; all the necessary ingredients, please contact:

saad.awan@islamic-relief.org.uk

– Don’t forget your name and CONTACT NUMBER!

For more information onĀ  fundraising events in your area visit the Islamic Relief website http://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/EventsManager_SearchResults.aspx

Fast-a-thon

There are many personal benefits to fasting but why not increase this noble act and encourage others such as family, friends, and colleagues to do the same with the aim of collecting the money that would have been spent on food and donating it to a charity that is collecting for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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Here they are!

One thing to note especially – after years of dedicated work sidah Shumailla is lamentably stepping down from her role in the secretariat due to (happy) personal circumstances. This (potentially) means

**THE END OF THE NEWSLETTER**

In sidah Shumailla’s absence we will endeavour to continue posting on the blog, but the Newsletter remains one of our real triumphs and the founding pillar of our communication and engagement strategy. If you think you’d be able to spare a couple of hours each month to help compile the newsletter, please email us at info@CivilServiceIslamicSociety.org otherwise we’re going to lose it forever inshaAllah.

Sir Gus meeting and a plea for help!

Members of the Council of Management met Sir Gus O Donnell this week and we took the opportunity to exchange ideas and develop some of our goals. In particular, the three things Sir Gus wants most from us:

1) More proactive engagement

2) Build capacity: voice and authority

3) Be a good sounding board for things like a) recruitment and b) policy formulation and delivery

In addition to these ambitions, the CSIS’ ambitions remain: to represent Muslims as a body of people employed by the civil service, to represent Muslims in wider society to policy makers, to represent Islam to wider society and to help Muslims in the civil service progress in their religious and professional lives. We have an ambitious agenda of projects including outreach to potential recruits to the civil service, a widely referenced members’ survey (soon to be repeated inshaAllah), the soon to be announced mentoring scheme and, of course, the beloved newsletter. And yet these are run by just a handful of people. In September this year inshaAllah, that handful is expected to halve in number. Without more people on board, these projects and possibly the CSIS may fail.

If you can spare an hour or two each week to send a few emails to diversity contacts, build links outside the civil service, or anything else that pushes forward these objectives and others besides, inshaAllah you can help change the civil service from a good place to be a Muslim to an excellent place to be a Muslim. Please please get in touch at the usual address.