Category Archives: Op-Ed

UKEF Services Help Hundreds Of Businesses Every Year

Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead, writes for The Times Red Box on how UKEF backs British business and supports UK exports

Baroness Fairhead CBE

Baroness Fairhead CBE

Under this government, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, has been transformed into a responsive, competitive and effective supporter of UK exports. The government’s Export Strategy, published over the summer, puts UKEF at the heart of our offer to help British businesses succeed overseas.

And already there is growing recognition of UKEF and its world-class support for exporters; the CBI said in its Winning Worldwide report that “UKEFservices have provided a vital complement to the private finance sector to help hundreds of SMEs” on their exporting journey.

Only last week, the British Exporters’ Association awarded UKEF the highest rating of any European export credit agency for the fifth year in a row, recognising UKEF’s commitment to strengthening its product range and developing new ways to reach out to exporters and their suppliers across the UK.

As Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, I am very proud of the work of UKEF. In 2017/18, UKEF provided £2.5 billion worth of support to help nearly 200 companies sell to 75 markets around the world. In turn, this is supporting thousands of skilled jobs and contributing billions to the UK economy, as well as improving infrastructure and growing industry abroad.

Projects like Offshore Cape Three Points, a transformational natural gas field in Ghana, which, with UKEF support worth US$400 million, is helping the Government of Ghana reduce its dependence on oil and meet its COP 21 commitments for climate mitigation.

Or UKEF’s US$35 million loan to support Biwater’s contract to deliver much-needed water treatment in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Or JDR Cables’ contract to supply subsea power cables to Danish company Dong Energy’s offshore windfarms, providing non-carbon energy to the UK.

UKEF’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector. Its role is to provide support where the private sector can’t, and so it is therefore demand-led.

I was therefore pleased to see earlier this week that the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade is also taking note of its work. However, he expresses concerns about government support for companies exporting in the fossil fuels sector.

Supporting the UK’s renewables sector is of the utmost priority for the whole of the UK government; we have world-leading suppliers in this sector, and want to do all we can to help them achieve international success. DIT has provided trade promotion support for renewables sector exports worth hundreds of millions, for example through tradeshows and sourcing procurement opportunities.

We welcome the opportunity to provide UKEF support to renewables sector exports – and in the last 2 years, have supported £310 million worth of contracts. However, there is significant liquidity in the private sector finance market for investment in renewables projects. Our aim is only to provide support where there is a lack of private sector finance, and the sector’s export success – £500 million last year – shows that other sources are available.

On the other hand, the UK’s oil and gas sector has suffered in recent years due to the long-term depression in oil prices and huge scale of financing needed to develop these projects. According to Oil and Gas UK, the sector supports more than 302,000 jobs – a decline of 160,000 since 2014. It is also vital to the UK’s energy security. This sector needs support.

UKEF has also made clear its commitment to high standards of environmental, social and human rights risk management – rigorously following the OECD Common Approaches, which sets the framework for export credit agencies in ensuring these risks are mitigated.

In fact, UKEF is a member of the Equator Principles Steering Group, seeking multilateral progress on the environment and human rights for lending and large projects while maintaining a level playing field for UK businesses to compete internationally.

UKEF’s role is to back UK businesses, of all sizes and in all sectors, stepping in where required and ensuring that the right support is in place to help them compete in a global marketplace and realise the benefits of international success. From this government’s perspective, UKEF is doing this better than ever.

History Will Judge Us As To What We Did Before, During, And After The Idlib Massacre

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy calls for people of conscience to pay attention to and shed every light possible on what experts across the region are predicting to be an impending massacre in the town of Idlib in Syria. The military killing machine of Bashar Assad and his regime is planning to obliterate the town and trap, torture, and starve its inhabitants under the pretense of finishing off the few remaining jihadi groups that remain holed up there after reportedly escaping other battle arenas in Syria into Idlib.

Many are reporting that the Syrian civil war is entering its last phase and that this battle between the regime and the jihadis in Idlib may be the last one of this over seven-year civil war. Lost in this battle will be the majority of the inhabitants of Idlib which are likely to be far beyond anything resembling collateral damage but actually the intended mass targets of humanity which the genocidal Assad regime seeks to punish. The over 600,000 dead and 10 million Syrian citizens displaced since 2011 are testimony to what happens to those who dared to question the fascist tyranny of Bashar Assad and ask for the end of Syrian Ba’athism.

The Russian, Syrian, and Iranian propaganda machine are in full hysterical tilt even already suggesting that if there is any evidence or mention of chemical weapons use, it must have been done by “the White Helmets” or done by jihadis in order to blame the Syrian regime for another crime against humanity. The amount of disinformation already coming out from Assad’s sympathizers about this impending attack should make the world pause and pay attention that the threat level is extraordinarily high for an actual massacre.

Syria has seen massacres in the past few years of the Revolution in towns across Syria from Hama to Aleppo. Many fear that this massacre will be even worse than Aleppo in order to send a final message as a “closing battle of the civil war”. We call upon people of conscience in the media, government, academia, and human rights activists to immediately bring attention to what is happening in Syria, report on the facts, and not allow Russian, Syrian, and Iranian propaganda to spread deception, disinformation and false cover for crimes against humanity.

History will judge us as to what we did before, during, and after the Idlib massacre.

And on a final note: while the kinetic aspect of the Syrian civil war may appear to be coming to a close, a Syrian revolution of humanity against evil (the Syrian population versus the Assad regime and its Khomeinist and Russian supporters) has been fought on the streets of small and large towns of Syria since the Ba’ath took over all the way back in 1963. The Revolution that began in 2011 was simply on a much larger scale across the country. That revolution will certainly continue as long as the Assad regime is present and in control. The battle for freedom for the Syrian people is not only against Assad but also ISIS and all the offshoots of radical jihadis— all of whom are forms of fascists seeking to tyrannically control Syrian people.

### end###
About AIFD
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is a non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Ariz. dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice advocating genuine Muslim reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization. AIFD’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. In December 2015, AIFD convened and helped launch the Muslim Reform Movement, a coalition of over 12 Muslim organizations and leaders dedicated to reform for values of peace, human rights and secular governance.
About M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.
Dr. Jasser is the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a think tank dedicated to protecting American national security against the global threat of Islamism. AIFD promotes reform-minded Muslim voices for liberty and is shaking the hold which Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have upon Muslim leadership. Dr. Jasser is the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith“. He is also founder of Take Back Islam and a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement.

The New Mexico Militant Jihadi Training Compound And Child Abuse Is The Tip Of The National Islamist Iceberg

Op-Ed Contributor

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.

Make no mistake.

The militant Jihadi training camp and its horrific child abuse discovered in the small, quiet town of Amalia, New Mexico is not an isolated incident but rather is the tip of the proverbial iceberg of Islamist radicalization in America.

It is unconscionable that major media ignore the bigger story here on Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. and his connections to so-called “mainstream” American Islamist organizations.

AIFD has been closely following the recent reporting regarding the five adults arrested for child abuse in New Mexico after they were found with 11 children held captive in third-world conditions. Every day more information is being released about the situation including the fact that this separatist compound was a terrorist training facility for Islamist radicalization that not only abused these children through starvation and torture, but apparently had plans for terror operations that included attacks on American schools by these radicalized children. This entire situation is straight from the ISIS playbook.

According to a number of sources, including the New York Post, five radical Islamists, three of which were female, were arrested including Siraj Wahhaj, 40; Lucas Morton, 40; Jany Leveille, 35; Hujrah Wahhaj, 38; and Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, including 11 children ages 1 to 15 that were found abused in the facility. The ringleader of the operation was Siraj Wahhaj, son of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. who was accompanied by four of his relatives. 

Radical Islamists

Radical Islamists

We bring this story to your attention from our perspective as a reformist American Muslim Organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, not only because of the horrific treatment of these children but because of the deeper connections their captors have to the organizations that are  thrust upon American Muslims as so-called “mainstream Muslim organizations” in the United States like ISNA, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), MAS (Muslim American Society), and ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) to name a few. One of America’s most prominent Imams, Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. is a leading fundraiser, speaker, and Ideological leader among a host of Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in the United States. Currently, there are no known, direct connections or implications that, Imam Siraj Wahhaj based in Brooklyn, New York, had anything to do with the training camp or the horrific conditions in Amalia, New Mexico, other than that the camp was run by his son. But most importantly here, is that this compound cannot be relegated to the status of “just another whacky cell” in order to continue to protect the reputation of leading American Islamist organizations and their Establishment heads from scrutiny. Honest Americans and Muslims cannot ignore the connection with Imam Wahhaj’s long-standing separationist Islamist ideology and his role in radicalizing Muslims in all of the organizations he has influenced across the country for decades.

Our founder, M. Zuhdi Jasser, had written about Siraj Wahhaj in his 2012 Simon and Schuster book “A Battle for the Soul of Islam, and on pages 84-87 described his first interaction with America’s largest Muslim organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)[1]. In those pages, Dr. Jasser detailed an experience he had as a Naval officer on leave while attending ISNA’s annual convention in which Imam Siraj Wahhaj keynoted the opening of the conference. Wahhaj expressed his desire to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Qur’an and proceeded to direct that it is the duty of Muslims to bring the Qur’an and its teachings and legal system to the United States in lieu of its current constitution. He stated: “Can you imagine someone wondering if a document made by humans would be superior to a document made by God,” as he held up the Qur’an which he said should be the Constitution of this country. Dr. Jasser then went to the microphone and publicly voiced his horror with Siraj Wahhaj Sr.’s separationism and the acquiescence of the audience and the leadership of ISNA to his seditious point of view and commentary.

Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. has since remained, and in fact grown to be, a thought leader in position, ideologically, and for fundraising among various American Islamist organizations. Apparently, it has never bothered them that he was also named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, as he testified as a character witness for the convicted bomber, the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Yet, as recently as in the past few months, Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. was openly described at an ISNA meeting proudly by Linda Sarsour, now a leading national advocate for the Women’s March in addition to a host of other Islamist causes, as her mentor she said “favorite person in this room. Imam Siraj Wahhaj who has been a mentor, motivator, and encourager of mine”.  Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. has served in various capacities including being on the board of advisers and participating in the speaking circuit of the CAIR, ISNA, ICNA; and MAS to name a few.

It is the responsibility of every media organization and thought leader in America to expose Imam Siraj Wahhaj Sr.’s connection to what’s happening in New Mexico. While he may not have had anything to do directly with the violence or the compound, there should be little doubt that his longtime separationist Islamist ideology proven by concerned Muslims like us at AIFD at every step along the way (yet ignored by most media) very likely played a significant role in the radicalization of his son Siraj Wahhaj Jr.

NOW is the time for Americans to realize that separationist Islamism, like that of the Wahhaj family, is a gateway drug in all of its forms– violent and non-violent— to the radicalization of our youth. It is incumbent upon American media and thought leaders to cover this story and the connection of the abductor(s) and torturer(s) to his father. While Imam Siraj Wahhaj Sr. did voice his desire to have his abducted grandchildren returned safely, earlier this year on Facebook, that does not absolve him of the decades of radicalizing many, as was seen first hand by Dr. Jasser, witnessed in 1995, and that the United States has witnessed repeatedly over and over and over in his positions and ideas about America.

The discovery in New Mexico is just one. How many more camps are actively radicalizing individuals who will carry out terrorist attacks on our soil while we do nothing? Let us rally together to remove the blanket of political correctness that shields these radical leaders who continue to prosper in our denial and use our unprecedented freedoms against us.

##

1. M. Zuhdi Jasser, A Battle for the Soul of Islam” (Schuster: New York, 2012), 84-87

 

About AIFD

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is a non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Ariz. dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice advocating genuine Muslim reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization. AIFD’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. In December 2015, AIFD convened and helped launch the Muslim Reform Movement, a coalition of over 12 Muslim organizations and leaders dedicated to reform for values of peace, human rights and secular governance.

About M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.

Dr. Jasser is the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a think tank dedicated to protecting American national security against the global threat of Islamism. AIFD promotes reform-minded Muslim voices for liberty and is shaking the hold which Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have upon Muslim leadership. Dr. Jasser is the author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith“. He is also founder of Take Back Islam and a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement.

Death Of Naomi Due To Negligence?

Op-Ed Contributor

Naomi Musenga

Naomi Musenga

Naomi Musenga, a young, black woman of 22 years old died in Strasbourg, France in December 2017.

Before she was taken to the Hospital, which I thought was already late (a late intervention), she had called the emergency (SAMU), but the person who picked up this young woman’s call insulted her, asked her questions which could have been left out for someone in her situation, for an option of geolocalisation or getting her address from her telephone number.

She even went to the extent of telling her that she was certainly going to die one day like everybody.

She refused to redirect her to the Doctors, claiming that this young woman was not able to explain her problem, nor her address (although she sounded like someone in pains) and she cannot answer the questions in her place either.

Naomi died in the Hospital some hours later. Since then, the results of the autopsy done has not too clair!

This was why, I was told, that her family used the Internet (Twitter to be precised) to shout to the whole world and now the story has resurface again.

https://dai.ly/x6j41y1

How many cases of discrimination and Racism are been judged in France every year?

###

A.A.A

Trade And The Commonwealth – An Opportunity To Eradicate Poverty For Good

Article by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt

The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

In one generation, we have seen a billion people lifted out of poverty. That is almost one in eight of the world’s population, whose lives have been transformed by growing trade and industry, which has created jobs so people can stand on their own two feet.

Trade has the power to drive growth, jobs and opportunities – it is an essential tool in the fight against extreme poverty and insecurity, the delivery of the Global Goals aimed at ensuring a better future, and an end to reliance on aid.

We want nations to move from aid to trade and as part of our new development offer, we are building economies, breaking down the barriers to trade and unlocking investment for emerging markets.

Around three-quarters of Commonwealth states are middle or lower income countries and they stand to benefit from a greater focus on trade and growth.

The Commonwealth is a true melting pot of countries, cultures and communities. It represents a third of the world’s population, and its majority are young people under 30. We have shared history, values and institutions – and we are working towards a shared future for the next generation.

Our unique opportunity, to pursue greater mutual prosperity and trade that is fair and open to all, means the Commonwealth is more relevant today than ever before. And this is firmly in our interests too as champions of free trade, with opportunities to forge new, and deepen existing trading relationships, which will bring benefit to both businesses and consumers in the UK.

Forty-four of our 52 Commonwealth partners benefit from development-friendly preferential access to the UK market. Our first priority is to deliver continuity in these trading arrangements as we leave the EU, providing the current level of unilateral market access – including maintaining duty-free, quota-free access for the world’s least developed countries.

As part of this we want to transition our Economic Partnership Agreements. Covering 30 countries – 24 of which are Commonwealth members spread across Africa, the Pacific islands and the Caribbean – these are trade agreements with a clear development focus.

We know how crucial it is that these trading relationships are not disrupted – and in March we reached an agreement with the EU to provide continuity for trading partners during the Implementation Period.

But this is not the limit of our ambition. When we have left the EU we will look to see how we can improve upon these trade arrangements for our mutual benefit.

Indeed, these arrangements provide the strongest foundation to ensure the whole Commonwealth benefits from the fruits of free trade.

The relationship between trade, industry, prosperity, jobs and wealth is well-documented. According to the World Bank, the three decades between 1981 and 2010 witnessed the single greatest decrease in material deprivation in human history.

This is because trade is crucially about people – from entrepreneurs, to the people they hire and the families they support. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this week provides the opportunity for us to set out how we will work across the Commonwealth to promote trade as a driver of individual, regional and international prosperity.

Today the Prime Minister will launch two programmes to boost trade within the Commonwealth. Helping countries implement the World Trade Organisation’s landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement that could boost global trade by up to $1 trillion, and the Commonwealth Standards Network that will help countries to increase trade flows through greater use of a shared language of international standards.

These programmes will ease trade across borders, and support developing countries to produce goods and services to existing internationally recognised standards – helping them sell to new markets, creating thousands of jobs and lifting yet more people out of poverty.

We must ensure that no one is left behind – that the potential contribution of women and girls are realised – if we are to achieve sustainable growth that is genuinely inclusive and reaches all corners of societies.

Today marks the beginning of a new and ambitious Commonwealth approach to improving women’s access to jobs, business and trade opportunities, with the UK-backed launch of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) She Trades Commonwealth programme. This will provide Commonwealth governments with the data they need to identify and improve opportunities for women – and help female entrepreneurs to start trading.

We are all stronger when the world is more prosperous. This week alone, up to £1.5 billion worth of contracts will be signed between UK and Commonwealth countries – from Antigua to Zambia, covering deals in healthcare, food and drink and digital. This is good for our Commonwealth partners, but it’s good for British companies too.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting marks the beginning of a new approach to inclusive trade, development and prosperity – and one that consigns extreme poverty to the history books.

« Older Entries