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Army imam says British Muslims can be good soldiers

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Imam Asim Hafiz

The British armed forces' first Muslim chaplain says there is no conflict in being a Muslim and fighting for Britain.

Imam Asim Hafiz, an Islamic adviser to the Ministry of Defence, says Islam encourages the defence of life and country.

Muslims in the British military have been criticised by hardliners within the community, who have viewed their involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq as a betrayal of their faith.

Last month two men were convicted of murdering Lee Rigby, a British soldier, outside Woolwich barracks in south-east London.

They are due to be sentenced later this month.

'Suicide bomber' hits Russia's Volgograd train station

A female suicide bomber has been blamed for killing 15 people and leaving dozens more injured at a railway station in the southern Russian city of Volgograd.

Police identified the bomber as a Dagestan national called Oksana Aslanova - who had been married to two Islamists killed by Russian forces.

She apparently detonated a bomb in front of a metal detector inside the main entrance of the station. Russian television is suggesting there may have been two attackers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered law enforcement agencies to take "all necessary measures".

Federal police spokesman Vladimir Kolesnikov said security would be stepped up at train stations and airports.

UK anti-Muslim hate crime soars, police figures show

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hate crimes

Hate crimes against Muslims have soared in the UK this year, figures show.

Hundreds of anti-Muslim offences were carried out across the country in 2013, with Britain's biggest force, the Metropolitan police, recording 500 Islamophobic crimes.

Many forces reported a surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two Islamic extremists in Woolwich, south-east London, in May.

But the figures could be much higher as nearly half of the 43 forces in England and Wales did not reveal how many hate crimes had targeted Muslims. Some forces admitted they did not always record the faith of a religious hate-crime victim.

Murder Trial of Lee Rigbys Killers

A man has admitted killing soldier Lee Rigby but said it was not murder because "I am a soldier of Allah" and "this is a war".

Michael Adebolajo, 28, described the killing as a "military operation".

He also told the Old Bailey he loved extremist network al-Qaeda.

The prosecution says he and Michael Adebowale, 22 - who also denies murder - rammed Fusilier Rigby with a car in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May, before attacking him with knives.

They are also both accused of attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer.

Bible readings

Muslim Patrol Jailed for Attempting to Impose Sharia Law in London

"Metro" wrote:

Three Muslim vigilantes who recorded their attempts to impose sharia law on the streets of London before posting the clips on YouTube have been jailed.

The trio, members of a self-styled ‘Muslim Patrol’ group, threatened strangers for holding hands, drinking alcohol and other behaviour they deemed ‘un-Islamic’.

Jordan Horner, 19, Ricardo McFarlane, 26, and a third man who can’t be named for legal reasons yesterday pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including actual bodily harm and affray.

US and UK Strike Secret Deal to share data of British people

"The Guardian" wrote:

US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data

• 2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material
• UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet
• Separate draft memo proposes US spying on 'Five-Eyes' allies

The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America's National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Burka Avenger

Quote:

Burka Avenger: Pakistan's cartoon superhero battling for girls' education

The first animated TV series produced in Pakistan offers a positive role model to counter Taliban opposition to girls' education.

Name: Burka Avenger.

Age: Mid-20s, or thereabouts.

Appearance: A mysterious black-clad superhero, taking on the Taliban one school at a time.

Cool, a superhero. What's his superpower? Oh dear. First of all, Burka Avenger is a woman.

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