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On the weekend Milford Mosque opens to the public we ask: What is Islam?

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WE may think we may know, but do we understand this faith which is followed by approximately a quarter of the world’s population?

here are some facts about Islam on the same week that the Mosque in Milford Haven opens to the public:

  1. The core message of Islam is that the One God created everything in existence. This Eternal being is All-Powerful, and He is unlike anything in His creation — where no partners should be attributed to Him. Muslims will refer to this being as Allah — which is another name for God — more specifically ‘the God’ who is the only one who is worthy of worship. The name’s origin can be traced to the earliest Semitic writings in which the word for God was Il, El, or Eloah, the latter two used in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Allah is the standard Arabic word for God and is also used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews. There are three core themes in the Quran (the final revelation from Allah to humans) about Him: (1) He is the Creator, Judge, and Rewarder; (2) He is unique (wāḥid) and inherently one (aḥad); and (3) He is omnipotent and all-merciful. Allah is the “Lord of the Worlds,” the Most High; “nothing is like unto Him,” and this in itself is to the believer a request to adore Allah as the Protector and to glorify His powers of compassion and forgiveness.
  2. This Creator created humanity to know Him and to worship Him. To worship God is the ultimate purpose of our existence. Worshipping God in Islam means remembering Him, being grateful to Him, praising Him, loving Him, and living righteous lives according to His revelation. Through this worship, we’ll find true inner peace in this life and attain paradise in the Hereafter as a reward for fulfilling our purpose. Although God created us to worship, He does not need our worship of Him — but we are in need of Him — the next point explains further.
  3. The Arabic term Islam, literally means “submission” which highlights the core religious notion of the faith — that the believer (Muslim) accepts surrender to the will of Allah. Islam as a religion provides a comprehensive explanation for why we at times suffer in this world, and why we go through hardships. God outlines in the Quran that He created life and death to test which of us are best in action and would try to do what’s right to please our Creator. If you hark back to the past, you may have experienced heartbreak when you loved a lost one. This is undoubtedly the most testing of times for most of us, but during this period, we should be conscious of our Creator; “Remember Me; I will remember you. And thank Me, and never be ungrateful.” [The Quran, Chapter 2 Verse 152].

As God will aid you in this time of need and in turn it becomes an opportunity to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Hardship enables us to practice patience and thus drawing closer to Him — putting our temporary existence into perspective — as we all have an expiration date, and paving the way to an Eternal life of bliss: “So, surely with hardship comes ease.” [The Quran, Chapter 94 Verse 5].

  1. Muslims believe Allah sent messengers throughout history to guide humanity and remind them of their Creator. Muslims believe in all the significant Biblical prophets of the past, such as Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, and Jesus (peace be upon them all) with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being the final messenger where Jesus him. Islam teaches us that these prophets were the best of humanity created by God, the perfect role models for their people and us to follow — however, they were not divine in any way. Their role was to wake people up to the reality of life and draw them away from worshipping created objects, bringing them back to the worship of the One true God. In essence they are the epitome of those who submit themselves to Allah — so every prophet is deemed as a Muslim. However, over time the message and scriptures of the previous prophets were corrupted by humanity hence Allah sending another messenger to replenish the original message.

In Christianity and Islam, there is the message that God wants to make Himself known to us; He wants a relationship, and that’s why He has sent messengers and revelation to humanity throughout history. The question we should ask ourselves is: “Are we willing to take the time and effort to seek out God’s truth?” This is the key to fulfilling the purpose of our creation, which will give us inner peace in this life and success after we pass away. The pursuit of the purpose of our lives is a noble endeavour; however, it should be an objective for everyone to achieve. What will be our means of attaining this lifelong objective?

One of the keys to unlocking the truth lies in the person of Jesus Christ. Islam holds a unique position among the world’s religions as it is the only religion, barring Christianity, that acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah — where believing in him is a compulsory component of being recognised as a Muslim. Even though Jesus is one of the most significant personalities in the world today, with nearly two billion Christians and around 1.8 billion Muslims believing in him, he is also perhaps the most misunderstood and misrepresented person in history. As we will explore, while Christianity and Islam share much in common concerning Jesus, they also make opposing claims that should be studied and discussed with love and compassion.

If we were living in first-century Palestine, then it would be straightforward. We could simply walk up to Jesus and ask him about his message. Since we obviously don’t have that opportunity today, we have to make use of the tools that are available to us, such as scripture, history and reason. We would love for you to attend this upcoming exhibition so we can together explore the life of Jesus, one of the most remarkable men to walk this earth and learn what Islam has to say about Jesus, his life, and his mission.

Those interested in learning more about Islam are welcome to attend the Milford Haven Open Days/Jesus Exhibition taking place on Sat 9th and Sun 10th September at the Hamad Bin Khalifa Islamic Centre, 122 Charles Street, Milford Haven (Post code for Sat Nav: SA73 2HW) The opening times of the exhibition are11:00HRS until 17:00HRS. Women are kindly requested to respect the traditions of Islam when dressing for the occasion.

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Charity

RNLI prepare for summer with medical training exercise in Pembrokeshire

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RNLI lifeguards from the north Pembrokeshire team, volunteers from St Davids RNLI and St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team came together at Whitesands beach on Thursday (18 April), for a multi-agency medical training exercise. Pembrokeshire RNLI lifeguards and St Davids volunteer lifeboat crew took part in a multi-agency medical training exercise alongside St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team in preparation for the upcoming summer season.

The Coastal Medicine programme was set up six years ago at the suggestion of clinicians from Hywel Dda University Health Board. The aim of the programme is train lifeguards, lifeboat crews and HM Coastguard teams in working collaboratively when responding to medical incidents on the coast.

Clinicians from Hywel Dda work with RNLI staff to design exercises simulating mass-casualty incidents on land and afloat. The exercises allow lifeguards, lifeboat crews and Coastguard teams to practise and test their rescue response and casualty care.

The simulated incident at Whitesands involved a medical incident at sea leading to a boat going out of control and ploughing through a group of swimmers causing multiple injuries. RNLI lifeguards responded to casualties on the beach while St Davids inshore and all-weather lifeboat crews dealt with the situation at sea. St Davids Coastguard Rescue supported RNLI colleagues as they would in a real-life scenario.

In total there were six casualties to treat, all of whom were given the immediate medical care by the teams on scene. As in a real-life scenario, they were then prepared to be handed over to the care of the Ambulance Service.

Roger Smith, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager said: ‘The scenario was based on a real-life incident, it’s so important that we train in dealing with challenging situations.

‘The RNLI lifeguards, lifeboat crew, and the Coastguard rescue team worked really well together collaborating together to achieve the best possible result.

‘The feedback from all the participants was really positive, and our medical colleagues were very complimentary about the competence shown and the inter-agency co-operation.

‘This scenario training gives confidence to our lifeguards and lifeboat crews, and ensures the teamwork and communication is already in place ready for real-life incidents.’

Martin Charlton, an RNLI lifeguard in north Pembrokeshire said:

‘Last night’s exercise was a great opportunity for me and my colleagues on the lifeguard team to upskill ahead of the summer season.

‘We regularly attend incidents in the season that require a multi-agency response. These scenarios are a brilliant opportunity to prepare for the the most challenging situations.

‘The team and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise and feel better prepared for the season as a result.

‘It’s always a pleasure working alongside the Coastguard rescue team and the lifeboat as one crew.’

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Crime

Brian Davis: Wanted on suspicion of commercial burglary

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POLICE are appealing for information to find Brian Davis, from the Pembroke Dock area.
The 53-year-old is wanted on suspicion of commercial burglary and fail to appear at court.
Have you seen Brian, or do you have information that might help us find him? Please, let the police know:
🖥️ | https://orlo.uk/wr13X
📧 | [email protected]
💬 | Direct message us on social media
📞 | 101
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
Quote reference: BRC818624

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Business

1,000 thefts a day: Labour calls for more support for high streets

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SHOCK analysis by the Labour Party has revealed more than 1,000 shoplifting offences are being committed across England and Wales every day – equating to an offence almost every minute of the day.

Yet separate Freedom of Information requests submitted by the party to police forces suggest that charges have fallen by a quarter over the past five years.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, Henry Tufnell, was out visiting local businesses in Tenby last week (April 19) to hear about the challenges presented by shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

Henry Tufnell, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, said: “Pembrokeshire relies upon local businesses to grow our local economy, support jobs, and drive tourism. Today’s stats are clear: the Conservatives have lost control.

“Labour has a plan to ensure our town centres are a safe, enjoyable place for Pembrokeshire residents to spend time in. Coupled with the Welsh Labour Government’s Transforming Towns scheme, which will provide £27 million by 2025 in South West Wales towards funding projects to regenerate and support our town centres, Labour’s priority is breathing life back into our high streets.”

Philippa Thompson, Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Dyfed Powys Police, joined with members of the Co-operative Party and USDAW, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, to campaign for stronger protections for retail workers.

Today’s announcement comes shortly after the UK government finally committed to introduce a new offence for assault of a retail worker, which Labour, the Co-op and USDAW have called for, for more than a decade.

Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Dyfed Powys Police, Philippa Thompson, said:

“A Labour Government in Westminster means we’ll see more police on the streets, a crackdown on anti-social behaviour, and on retail crime. As a Labour & Co-operative Party candidate, today I am campaigning with USDAW to strengthen protections for retail workers against the assault and abuse they face at work.

It has taken the Conservatives ten years to heed what Labour, the Co-operative Party and USDAW have been saying, and introduce a specific offence for assault of a retail worker. The Tories have run out of steam and run out of ideas, and it’s time for a change. Only Labour can deliver that change.”

Since September, Labour has been calling for the Tories to scrap their Shoplifter’s Charter, which is leaving criminals to steal with impunity.

The rule, brought in by Theresa May in 2014, introduced a new category of ‘low-value shoplifting’ to describe theft of goods worth under £200 and has led to police deprioritising enforcement in these cases – even where there are repeat offences or organised shoplifting. This has left businesses and retail workers at the mercy of criminals.
 
Alongside removing the Tories’ £200 rule, Labour has vowed to put 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs back on the streets and introduce a Community Policing Guarantee to tackle shoplifting.

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Under the Tories too many communities and high streets are being blighted by staggering increases in shoplifting, but charge rates are going down. That means more criminals are getting away with it and more local businesses are paying the price.
 
“The Conservative government has decimated neighbourhood policing, leaving our town centres unprotected, and they are still refusing to get rid of the £200 rule, which is encouraging repeat offending and organised gangs of shoplifters.
 
“Labour will scrap the Tories’ Shoplifter’s Charter and bring in a Community Policing Guarantee, with 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs to crackdown on shoplifting and keep the public safe.”

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