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Imams declare ISIS is 'failing' in new edition of digital magazine

Imams from across the country have today claimed that ISIS is failing in its mission, by not supporting Muslims.

Leeds-based Imam Qari Asim is among the senior editors of the digital magazine Haqiqah, which was developed as an attempt to "reclaim the digital space from ISIS." The latest issue argues that "the terrorist group, which has no religious legitimacy, is also failing socially and economically."

“The reality is that Daesh continues to put out a huge amount of propaganda and lies, despite its promises being exposed as falsehoods, which is why a continued effort to reclaim the digital space from terrorists is so important.

In its desperation at its own failings, it has told Syrians that they are committing a ‘major sin’ in Islam if they seek protection in the West. According to Daesh, this makes thousands refugees apostates. This is a wicked and inhumane lie.”

– Dr Qari Asim MBE, Imam at Makkah Mosque

Foster and Allen celebrate 40 years in the business

Musical duo Foster and Allen have sold nearly 20 million albums and are celebrating 40 years together in the business. But not ones to take a break, they're now and are about to set off on a thank-you tour.

The pair say the years since 1975 have passed in a "blink of an eye", and claim they have "never had an argument" during their time together.

They will be performing on November 4th at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield, but in the meantime, here is a clip from their celebration video:


Leeds development to create 1000 jobs

Councillor Judith Blake, alongisde Robin Dobson, from Hammerson, and Andy Street of John Lewis Credit: Leeds City Council

The £165 million Victoria Gate development in Leeds is set to bring more than 1000 new jobs.

Leeds City Council, John Lewis and Hammerson have signed an Employment and Skills Charter, marking their commitment to support Leeds residents to access the opportunities created by the project.

The Charter sets out how the organisations will work collaboratively to ensure Leeds and its surrounding residents, including young people, have access to skills training, retail and hospitality jobs as well as additional construction employment opportunities being created by the development in the city centre.

The Victoria Gate scheme, which is on schedule to open in late 2016, will be anchored by a regional flagship John Lewis shop and will additionally feature a two-street covered arcade with more than 30 aspirational retailers and restaurants.

“It is one of our top priorities as a council to ensure that everyone in the city shares the opportunities provided by economic development as we forge forward for the future. We work closely with developers and companies setting up in the city to ensure that employment for local people is high on their agenda and I am delighted that John Lewis and Hammerson are taking their responsibilities seriously.”

– Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council

“We are committed to the local communities in which we operate, and by signing this Charter, it affirms our focus to provide local jobs for local people. We want to ensure that job opportunities created by our Victoria Gate shop are accessible to all Leeds residents and we look forward to welcoming new Partners into our business.”

– Andy Street, Managing Director, John Lewis

Leeds Imam congratulates Bake Off winner

Imam Qari Asim at Leeds Makkah Mosque Credit: Press Association

Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque has praised Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain as a “great reminder of who British Muslims are”.

Writing on the website Imams Online, Imam Asim praised positive role model for young people, in particular British Muslims.

“Despite being a Muslim, child of migrant parents, she isn’t accused of cooking up any kind of shariah flavoured sponge cakes or jihadi cookies... There has been a huge sense of relief amongst British Muslims that one of their own has not talked about without negative connotations.

British Bake Off has been a great advert of Britain’s multi-cultural melting pot. Whether we like it or not, Britain is a multi-cultural society with people of diverse backgrounds, views and abilities.

Nadiya has proven that Islam and Muslims have not subjugated their women or treat them as ‘second class’ citizens. She has defied every stereotype apportioned to Muslims. Further, she has proven that wearing a scarf or being a mother does not mean it’s the end of achieving one’s dreams."

– Imam Qari Asim, writing on Imams Online

Bake Off champion 'trying to soak it all in'

Nadiya Hussain from Leeds was crowned champion on the Bake Off last night Credit: BBC / GBBO

Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Jamir Hussain has revealed her relief at finally being able to talk about her win.

"I can't even say it, because we've spent so long keeping it a secret. I feel like I'm doing something wrong."

– Nadiya Hussain

But there were times when the 30-year-old from Leeds was "teetering on the edge" of giving it away before Wednesday night's final, she said.

She added:

"I haven't slept for the last 24 hours. It's been mad. It's really hard to sleep when you're on a high. I'm trying to soak it all in, enjoy every moment, and then take it as it comes."

– Nadiya Hussain

Speaking at a photocall and book signing for hundreds of fans at Waterstones in London's Piccadilly, she said:

"Now that people stop us and chat with us - it's weird, it's surreal, but it's so much fun to know there are people out there supporting you."

– Nadiya Hussain


Former Dalesman editor Bill Mitchell dies

Former Dalesman editor Bill Mitchell died last night.

He interviewed more than 600 people over 40 years for the Dales magazine, and was honoured with an MBE for his work.

Slovakian man to be sentenced for GBH with intent and rape

21-year-old Zdenko Turtak Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A Slovakian man who raped and violently attacked a woman in Leeds will be sentenced for his crimes on October 19th.

Zdenko Turtak had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and rape, but denied attempted murder.

His pleas were accepted by the prosecution at Leeds Crown Court today.

The 21-year-old was extradited from Slovakia to Britain by West Yorkshire Police. He fled the country after raping and violently assaulting an 18-year-old woman at a bus stop in Beeston in March.

It later emerged that he had been caught on CCTV stalking three other other women in the city on the night of the attack.

Before tracking Turtak down police had been taking DNA swabs from men in the Beeston area in their search the rapist.

The judge will be obliged to give him credit for his early guilty pleas but his sentence will also take into consideration a video of Turtak stalking lone women at night before deciding how long he'll spend behind bars.

Massey agrees Tigers extension

Nathan Massey has agreed a new four-year extension with the club Credit: Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers have confirmed that Nathan Massey has agreed a new four-year extension with the club.

The new deal will keep the forward at the Tigers until the end of the 2019 season.

Massey joined the Tigers’ at the young age of 15 and has risen through the Tigers youth ranks before making his first team debut in 2007. He cemented his place in the Tigers first team after appearing in every game of the 2013 season. Injuries in 2014 derailed his development but he bounced back with a solid 2015 where he appeared in 22 games scoring two tries. The 26 year old loose forward has played over 100 times for the Tigers in Super League and is delighted to be staying with his only professional club for the foreseeable future:

"I’m over the moon to finally have this deal sorted and in the bag! There have been lots of rumours about me leaving the club but that has never crossed my mind. Despite having interest from here and overseas Cas is the place I want to be at. I’m extremely proud to play for this club and I’m sure in the next few years silverware will be coming our way. I’m excited at the prospect of the coming season and can’t wait to get stuck into pre season."

– Nathan Massey
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