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Passion Islam I September 2008 ORLD NEWSW I 17
Cologne approves new mosque
he expressed hope that it However, the project
would facilitate communication prompted a rash of disputes
between Muslims and non- among Cologne city leaders
Muslims. and inhabitants, many of
We are building for all whom were bitterly opposed to
citizens of Cologne, not just the mosque, which has been
for the Muslims,” Arslan said designed by local German
in a statement. For the past architect Paul Boehm.
20 years, Ditib has used a Cologne has such a
converted warehouse as a prominent Catholic heritage
house of worship, which now that it has been dubbed the
will be torn down to make way “Rome of the north” _ and the
for the new building, which it project stirred deep passions,
hopes to finish by 2010. with archbishop Joachim
Cologne’s conservative Meisner expressing concerns.
mayor, Fritz Schramma, had Following the protests, Ditib
championed the project, announced in January that the
Cologne’s city council has
the way for the Ditib Turkish- arguing that it was necessary Islamic center surrounding
voted to allow construction of
Islamic umbrella group to build for the city’s approximately the complex would be smaller
what will be one of Germany’s
a new house of worship _ 120,000 Muslims to have a than originally planned. - AP
largest mosques, a plan that
complete with two 55-meter- proper house of worship.
has drawn protests from
tall (177-feet-tall) minarets _ It will take some time, but
residents and Cologne’s
in the city’s Ehrenfeld district. someday the mosque will
Roman Catholic archbishop.
Ditib leader Sardi Arslan said be integrated into Cologne’s
The “yes” vote by most of the
construction of the mosque cultural heritage,” Schramma
city’s political parties clears
would begin immediately, and said in a statement.
Dubai launch
on corruption
The government of Dubai reiterated its analysts have welcomed the
commitment to zero tolerance of corruption government’s efforts to weed out stakeholders in the economy and the
in the public and private sectors. corruption. “The clear policy and actions of markets,” Eisa Kazim, Director General of
The move comes in the context of the Dubai Government to fight corruption Dubai Financial Market, said. Nasser Bin
burgeoning investigations into corporate will enhance people’s confidence in Dubai Hassan
activities involving alleged bribery and as a global investment destination,” Ahmad Previously Dubai has charged
corruption. “The Dubai Government Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Emirates 14 government officials for graft and
follows a transparent and clear policy on NBD, the largest Gulf bank in terms of embezzlement. Among those arrested
such issues,” a statement issued by the assets, told Gulf News in a interview. “In then was Lieutenat Colonel Eissa Saif
Media Office for Sheikh Mohammad bin the domestic markets too, it will enhance Eissa Al Ali, then the head of the passports
Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and the confidence level of small investors.” section at Dubai International Airport. The
Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Several senior corporate executives are latest crackdown began with a government
Dubai, said. “There are strict directives to currently under investigation. audit of some real estate and financial
have zero tolerance towards all aspects of “The results of the ongoing transactions by Dubai Islamic Bank and
corruption, bribing and taking advantage investigations will be made public once its subsidiaries last November. Following
of official positions,” the statement issued they are complete,” the Public Prosecutor the investigations, Zack Shahin, a former
on behalf of Dubai’s Public Prosecutor, said. Commenting on the recent chief executive officer of Deyaar, a real
said. questioning of employees of listed and estate company belonging to DIB group,
The government statement comes public establishments on suspicion of and three others were arrested earlier this
after a series of corruption investigations exploiting their positions to make illegal year for allegedly embezzling funds. Their
was launched by the Dubai Public profits, the Public Prosecutor said the case is still before the courts. In another
Prosecution in recent months into alleged government will continue to take a strict case relating to the financial deals of
cases of bribery, front running and insider stance against all aspects of corruption, DIB in Turkey and Pakistan, a former
deals in real estate transactions and and will take legal action against violators. employee of DIB and later JPMorgan’s
corporate kickbacks. “We welcome the government move senior country officer for the UAE, Omair
Corporate CEOs, economists and and it will send a clear message to all Mooraj, was detained by Dubai police.
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