Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis iERA

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis is an international public speaker on Islam, a writer, lecturer, instructor and researcher. He is particularly interested in Islam, politics, western and Islamic thought and philosophy.

Hamza delivers workshops, seminars and courses on the foundations of Islamic thought. He is an instructor for iERA and AlKauthar Institute. Hamza has also delivered a short course on the intellectual foundations of Islam for the Islamic Online University for their Diploma course.

Hamza has debated prominent academics and intellectuals including Professor Lawrence Krauss, Professor Simon Blackburn, Professor Ken Gemes and Professor and Dan Barker. Hamza delivers presentations across the world on various topics; ranging from 'Does God Exist', 'Why Islam?', 'The Miracle of the Qur'an', 'Islam or Atheism?' to 'Can we live better lives without Religion'.

Hamza is a popular speaker at UK University campuses, and has also travelled the world extensively to deliver lectures, most notably in the USA, Australia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Canada and Lebanon. Hamza has authored a number of Islamic publications as well as serialising a number of articles on his popular blog.

Hamza has also led major pieces of research including 'Non-Muslim Perceptions of Islam and Muslims' through iERA, and is currently working on a number of publications. Hamza studies Islamic thought and philosophy with a qualified scholar who has been authorized to transmit Islamic knowledge (ijazah).

Hamza is one of the main initiators of the contemporary emergence of Muslim public debaters and speakers using western and Islamic philosophy to defend and explain Islam. Hamza heads the research team and Lectures for iERA.

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis
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  • Press Release - iERA responds to The Times

    One would love to believe that journalism is in the business of disseminating the truth, articulating facts and presenting a balanced opinion. Unfortunately, many journalists have deviated from these lofty aims and have fallen prey to using distortions and fabrications to boost the sales of their newspapers. fallen prey to using distortions and fabrications to boost the sales of their newspapers.

    Share & click below to read more:
    10 hours ago

  • Please join Hamza Andreas Tzortzis this Saturday at Alum Rock Islamic Centre where he will deliver the lecture "God: Fairy Tale or Truth?" For more information please access the following link
    Tuesday at 19:31

  • The next iERA Islamic Thought Webinar will be on:

    The Qur'anic Argument for God's Existence

    In this webinar you will learn the Qur'anic argument for God's existence and you will be able to respond to popular and academic contentions, insha'Allah. This is a university level webinar.
    ...See more
    Tuesday at 14:43

  • Join the free university level webinar tomorrow "The Qur'anic Argument for God's Existence". To register and for more information please access this link
    Tuesday at 14:31

  • Thousands of our beloved brothers and sisters in Islam and humanity have been massacred by the unjust, corrupt and immoral government of Bangladesh. We all need to raise awareness and to use all legal means to stop this inhumane government
    8 May at 23:04

  • Is science the only method that can render truth about the world and reality? What is a miracle? Is the concept of a miracle coherent? What is science? What are the key issues in the philosophy of science? What is the intellectual challenge of the Qur'an? How do we articluate the literary and linguistic miracle of the Qur'an to non-Arabs? How to we respond to academic and popular contentions against the Qur'an? To find the answers to these questions and more please do not miss this Sunday's workshop "The Eternal Challenge". For more information and to register please go to:
    8 May at 18:53

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    HATzortzis Press Release - iERA responds to The Times One would love to believe that journalism is in the business of... 10 hours ago · reply · retweet · favorite
    HATzortzis Please join Hamza Andreas Tzortzis this Saturday at Alum Rock Islamic Centre where he will deliver the lecture... yesterday · reply · retweet · favorite
    HATzortzis @NicoHines @shazdasilva I think you have a moral duty to retract your article. Here's a reminder why:…. yesterday · reply · retweet · favorite

    Professor Lawrence Krauss and Nothing

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    Professor Lawrence Krauss’s book “A Universe From Nothing” invigorated and popularised the debate on the Leibznian question “why is there something rather than nothing”[1]. In his book, Krauss argues that it is plausible that the universe may have arisen from “nothing”. Absurd as this may sound, there are a few presuppositions and clarifications that need to be brought to light to understand the context of his conclusions.

    Krauss’s Nothing is Something
    Krauss’s “nothing” is actually something. In his book he calls nothing “unstable” and elsewhere he affirms that nothing is something physical. This is an interesting linguistic deviation, as the definition of nothing in the English language refers to a universal negation, but it seems that Krauss’s “nothing” is a label for something. Although his research claims that “nothing” is the absence of time, space and particles, he misleads the untrained reader and fails to affirm that there is still some physical stuff. Even if, as Krauss claims, there is no matter there must be physical fields. This is because it is practically impossible to have a region where there are no fields due to the fact that gravity cannot be blocked. In quantum theory, gravity at this level of reality does not require objects with mass but does require physical stuff. Therefore, Krauss’s “nothing” is actually something. Elsewhere in his book Krauss writes that everything came into being from a vacuum fluctuation, which explains a creation from “nothing”, but that implies a pre-existent quantum state in order for that to be a possibility.[2]
    Professor David Albert (the author of Quantum Mechanics and Experience) wrote a review of Krauss’s book, and similarly concludes:
    “According to relativistic quantum field theories, particles are to be understood, rather, as specific arrangements of the fields. Certain ­arrangements of the fields, for instance, correspond to there being 14 particles in the universe, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being 276 particles, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being an infinite number of particles, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being no particles at all. And those last arrangements are referred to, in the jargon of quantum field theories, for obvious reasons, as “vacuum” states. Krauss seems to be thinking that these vacuum states amount to the relativistic-­quantum-field-theoretical version of there not being any physical stuff at all. And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing.
    But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighbourhood of a creation from nothing.”[3]
    Philosophical Distinctions
    Interestingly, Professor Krauss seems to have changed the definition of nothing in order to try and answer Leibniz’s perennial question. This problematises the whole discussion as Krauss’s definition blurs well known philosophical distinctions. The term nothing has always referred to non-being or the absence of something. Therefore the implications of Krauss’s “nothing” is that it could be reasonable for someone to assert the following:
    “I had a wonderful dinner last night, and it was nothing.”
    “I met nobody in the hall and they showed my directions to this room.”
    Nothing is tasty with salt and pepper.”[4]
    These statements are impossibilities and therefore amount to meaningless propositions, unless of course someone changes the definition of nothing! It is no wonder that Professor Krauss hints that his view of nothing does not refer to non-being, he writes,
    “One thing is certain, however. The metaphysical ‘rule,’ which is held as ironclad conviction by those with whom I have debated the issue of creation, namely that ‘out of nothing, nothing comes,’ has no foundation in science.”[5]
    If it has no foundation in science then it clearly means Krauss has changed the meaning of nothing to mean something, because science as a method focuses on things, in other words the physical natural world. Science can only answer in terms of natural phenomena and natural processes. When we ask questions like, what is the meaning of life? Does the soul exist? What is nothing? The general expectation is to have answers that are outside of the natural world — and hence, outside of science.
    Science cannot address the idea of nothing or non-being  because science is restricted to problems that observations can solve. The philosopher of science Elliot Sober verifies this limitation of science, he writes in his essay Empiricism,
    “At any moment scientists are limited by the observations they have at hand…the limitation is that science is forced to restrict its attention to problems that observations can solve.”[6]
    Therefore, Professor Krauss has changed the meaning of the word nothing in order for science to solve a problem that it could not originally solve. This is tantamount to someone not being able to answer a question, and instead of admitting defeat or referring the question to someone else, and resorts to changing the question!
    It would have been intellectually honest to just say that the concept of nothing is a metaphysical concept and science only deals with what can be observed.

    Inconclusive Research and Popularising Linguistic Gymnastics
    Putting all of this aside, professor Krauss admits that his “nothingness” research is ambiguous and lacks conclusive evidence. He writes,
    “I stress the word could here, because we may never have enough empirical information to resolve this question unambiguously.”[7]
    “Because of the observational and related theoretical difficulties associated with working out the details, I expect we may never achieve more than plausibility in this regard.”[8]
    In light of this, Krauss should have just said the universe came from something physical like a vacuum state, rather than redefining the word nothing. But Krauss seems to be adamant in popularising his linguistic gymnastics. During our debate on “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?”  I referred to his book to explain that his “nothing” is something, like some form of quantum haze. However, he reacted and said that his nothing is,
    “No space, no time, no laws…there’s no universe, nothing, zero, zip, nada.”[9]
    Krauss seemed to have deliberately omitted a very important hidden premise: that there is still some physical stuff in his nothing, something which he clearly admitted to in a public lecture. He said that something and nothing are,
    “…physical quantities.”[10]
    Conclusion: God’s Existence is Not Undermined
    In summary, Professor Krauss’s nothing is something. The universe came from something physical which Krauss calls nothing, and therefore failed to answer Leibniz’s question, “why is there something rather than nothing.” In reality, Krauss answers only one question, and that is “how did something come from something?” Which is a question that science and physics can answer, and doesn’t require the linguistic acrobatics.
    God’s existence is not undermined by Krauss’s view on nothing. The existence of God could be argued to be an unnecessary proposition if it is conclusively shown that the entire universe could come from nothing (nothing meaning the absence of something, an empty set, non being). But all that Krauss has really presented to us is that the universe (time and space) came from something. Therefore, the universe still requires an explanation for its existence, and that explanation must be God.Why must it be God? Here is a summary of a solid argument, known as the argument from contingency,
    1. Everything that exists contingently has a reason for its existence (e.g. it has an external cause).[11]
    2. Things that are not contingent exist by a necessity of their own existence.
    3. The universe exists contingently.[12]
    4. The universe has a reason for its existence.
    5. If the universe has a reason for its existence then that reason is God.
    6. God exists.
    7. God’s is not contingent, He exists by a necessity of His own existence.
    Obviously, the premises need to be explained, and contentions need to be answered, but that is for another post.

    Go Back to Blog
    Last updated July 10, 2013 [Main edits under "Philosophical Distinctions" and  removed the "0 + 0 = 0" section. References have been updated]

    [1] Leibniz. The Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason. 1714.
    [2] Lawrence Krauss. A Universe from Nothing, p. xv.
    [4] Analogies taken from here
    [5] A Universe from Nothing, p. 174.
    [6] Elliot Sober “Empiricism” in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Edited by Stathis Psillos and Martin Curd. 2010, pp. 137-138.
    [7] Ibid p. xiii.
    [8] Ibid p. 147.
    [11] Something is “contingent” if it is not necessary, i.e. if it could have failed to exist or its constituent parts could have been arranged in a different way.
    [12] Some Atheists claim the universe is not contingent and it exists by a necessity of its own existence. For instance he may argue that matter or physical stuff is necessary. The universe is made up of matter which is made up of quarks.  It can be argued that a different collection of quarks could have existed. Since a different collection of quarks could have existed instead of the collection that does exist, it follows that universe does not exist by a necessity of its own existence. Because if there were a different collection of quarks, then a different universe would have existed. Hence the universe has a reason for its own existence.

Thursday, 2 May 2013


 Detectives reveal murder of Muslim grandfather, 75, could have been racially-motivated as CCTV showing white man running away is released

  • Father-of-seven Mohammed Saleem Chaudhry stabbed in the back
  • Police reveal CCTV footage showing man running from the scene
  • Respected member of community was taking just short walk home
By Leon Watson

A 75-year-old man stabbed to death yards from his home could have been targeted in a racially motivated attack, according to police.

Father-of-seven Mohammed Saleem, who used a walking stick, was stabbed three times in the back as he returned home from prayers at his local mosque in Small Heath, Birmingham, on Monday night.

The blows were struck with such violence they penetrated to the front of his body.

Scroll down for video
CCTV still of a man running near where Small Heath pensioner Mohammed Saleem was found stabbed to death
CCTV still of a man running near where Small Heath pensioner Mohammed Saleem was found stabbed to death

CCTV still of a man running near to where Small Heath pensioner Mohammed Saleem was found stabbed to death
Mohammed Saleem Chaudhry, 75 who was stabbed to death in Small Heath, Birmingham, last night
Respected member of the community: Mohammed Saleem Chaudhry, 75 who was stabbed to death in Small Heath, Birmingham, and a man caught on CCTV running away from the scene
Officers released the footage of this man and are urging the public for help to identify him
Officers released the footage of this man and are urging the public for help to identify him
The elderly man also had 'no defensive wounds' in what has been described as a 'swift, vicious' and 'cowardly attack' by the man leading the murder investigation, Detective Superintendent Mark Payne of West Midlands Police.

Officers now want to trace a white man, aged 25 to 32, of medium height and build, spotted on CCTV footage running near the scene of the attack around the time it happened just before 10.30pm.
Police also want to trace a seven-seat people carrier captured on CCTV, driving near the mosque with the two male occupants, both white men in their 30s, who are considered 'significant witnesses'.

In an emotional family appeal today, two of Mr Saleem's daughters Shazia Khan, 45, and Nazia Maqsood, 44, called for the attacker to hand themselves in.

Wanted: CCTV still of a seven-seat people carrier (left) driving near the mosque
Wanted: CCTV still of a seven-seat people carrier (left) driving near the mosque

It is believed the two male occupants - both white men in their 30s - may be significant witnesses into the death
It is believed the two male occupants - both white men in their 30s - may be significant witnesses into the death
Shazia Khan (left) and Nazia Maqsood (right) attend a press conference at Lloyd House Police Headquarters
Shazia Khan (left) and Nazia Maqsood (right) attend a press conference at Lloyd House Police Headquarters
Grieving: Mr Chaudhry's daughters appeal for witnesses following the stabbing of their father
Grieving: Mr Chaudhry's daughters appeal for witnesses following the stabbing of their father
They tearfully described their father as a 'widely respected member of the community' and 'much-loved father'.

Mr Payne said the possibility it was a racially-motivated attack was 'a significant line of inquiry' and a large number of detectives were working on the case.

'To the attacker I say we will find you and we will bring you to justice,' he said.

Detectives have launched a murder inquiry after a 75-year-old man was stabbed to death in this lane in Small Heath, Birmingham
Racially motivated? Detectives have launched a murder inquiry after 75-year-old Mohammed Saleem Chaudhry was stabbed to death in this lane in Small Heath, Birmingham
Police officers were called by the ambulance service to Little Green Lane, in the Small Heath area of the city, shortly after 10.30pm, after reports the pensioner had suffered serious injuries
Police officers were called by the ambulance service to Little Green Lane, in the Small Heath area of the city, shortly after 10.30pm on Monday, after reports the pensioner had suffered serious injuries
The scene in Little Green lane with the junction of Arsenal Street, Small Heath, Birmingham, where a 75-year old-man was stabbed to death
The scene in Little Green lane with the junction of Arsenal Street, Small Heath, Birmingham, where a highly respected member of the community was stabbed to death

Detectives said they believe Mr Saleem was subjected to a swift attack and one that left him no time to try and defend himself.

They are still trying to understand a motive for the fatal stabbing, a force spokesman said.

A joint family statement read during a press conference at West Midlands Police headquarters described Mr Saleem as 'a much-loved and respected community member'.

It said: 'We can’t express our feelings of sadness and devastation. It’s hard to accept that our beloved father and grandfather has been taken from us in such a brutal way.
'If anyone has their suspicions about who may have been responsible, or overhears anyone talking about the attack, please don’t hold that information back. Pick up the phone and let the police know... we beg you.'

The stabbing happened in Little Green Lane in Small Heath, two miles from Birmingham city centre
The stabbing happened in Little Green Lane in Small Heath, two miles from Birmingham city centre

'When we got there, he was rushed away at once, and then the doctors came out and told us that there was nothing they could do. It was the worst night of my life. Our world fell apart, my aunt is devastated.

'We can't understand why anyone would want to hurt Mohammed. He is a real family man and would never do anything to hurt anyone.

'I have no idea why he was attacked - he was just a defenceless old man, walking on his own, late at night. This is a very tightly knit community, and everyone has been rocked by the news. I just hope whoever did this will be brought to justice.'

He lived with his wife, Said Begum, in a terraced house off Little Green Lane, just yards from where he was stabbed.

His daughter, Shazia Khan, said he was returning from evening prayers at the nearby mosque when he was attacked and stabbed four times in the back.

Speaking outside her father's address, Mrs Khan, who travelled up from London, said: 'We're just so shocked - for him to lose his life in such a brutal way.

'It's very tragic. He was very well-respected in the community. He's such a lovely man. I just can't believe it. Everyone, old and young, knew him.

'Neighbours have told us they heard screams and called for an ambulance. It's thought he may have tried to fight off his attacker.'

She said the father of seven and grandfather of 22 used to walk to the mosque five times each day.

He had lived at the property off Little Green Lane with his wife for some 25 years and used to work at the RHM Bakery, which is now a Morrisons supermarket, before retiring some years ago, his daughter added.

'We just hope the police find who did this. It was him today, it could be someone else tomorrow.

'To kill a defenceless old man who had a walking stick - well, it's just terrible.'

Tragic: Shazia Khan, daughter of murder victim Mohanned Saleem, who was stabbed to death
Tragic: Shazia Khan, daughter of murder victim Mohanned Saleem, who was stabbed to death

 VIDEO  CCTV appeal in 75-year-old's murder

 VIDEO  Police investigate murder of pensioner outside his home


tragic and terrible ,sympathy to the family. This is frightening. What is becoming of this country when you can't even walk home in safety.
Click to rate     Rating   226
Wow.... what hard tough men.... NOT! The pictures are so blurry it may be hard to identify them but someone must know something - it takes a pathetic cowardly individual to stab a disabled man in the back :-(
Click to rate     Rating   180
As a child growing up in London I was mugged often and beaten up twice. ALWAYS by groups of black youths. The assumption it was racially motivated never arose, why here?
Click to rate     Rating   170
i wish there was a place where we can send all the terrorists,racists,sickos normal people can live in peace.hell? maybe
Click to rate     Rating   153
This is very tragic, but just because it was a white person running away doesn't make it racially motivated.
Click to rate     Rating   131
These Islamaphobic killings need to be highlighted and brought to the publics attention. Absolutely shocking
Click to rate     Rating   115
find him and hang him! what a sick pathetic COWARD of a criminal to stab an elderly man in the back!
Click to rate     Rating   103
This is what happens when the media fuels so much hatred towards Muslims. The media has a responsability to not escalate hatred towards a community, a faith. It saddens me so much. Rather then focusing on the negative traits of a group of sick individuals who happen to be Muslim, why not also remind people of those who are respectable people and who do good. There is bad and good everywhere. Tolerance ad acceptance for differences. Peace and respect are essential.
Click to rate     Rating   99
Yeah what a big brave man he is stabbing a 75 year old man. What a horrible way to die after living for 75 years. This man was born in 1938 what was happening in the world in 1938? He lived through World War 2 as a child, think of all the memories he would have shared with his family. Only to be stabbed to death - and for what? Whoever that murderer is, he is no longer a person to me. Not brave, not even a coward - he's just evil.
Click to rate     Rating   97
Hope they find this person ASAP
Click to rate     Rating   94
Lots of guessing going on here. Who says this is a Islamaphobic killing, and who says the running man is white? Yet another horrible and cowardly crime though and my thoughts are with the family. But wait till we know more before being so judgmental.
Click to rate     Rating   69
Once again, rich councils and the well-funded Home Office can't put money into high-definition security systems.
Click to rate     Rating   59
Thank God for CCTV. Right. Who recognises him?
Click to rate     Rating   58
These Islamaphobic killings need to be highlighted and brought to the publics attention. Absolutely shocking - Jonathan Carter , Berkshire, 02/5/2013 13:53--------------just because he was Muslim, that in no way says it is racial. It is quite possible it could have come from another Muslim sect. It happens daily in Iraq , Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis and others live in Britain. Let's wait until we learn more before we jump to a conclusion.
Click to rate     Rating   46
These Islamaphobic killings need to be highlighted and brought to the publics attention. Absolutely shocking - Jonathan Carter , Berkshire, 02/5/2013 13:53 And where is the evidence that it is racially motivated? Just because a white man/black man etc kills another man of different colour means nothing in itself stop jumping to conclusions you have no proof for. That said I hope they catch whoever did it and throw the book at them , attacking OAP's/Kids is just pathetic and they should be strung up.
Click to rate     Rating   43
How can anyone looking at that CCTV footage have any idea that man is white? Even the police say only they believe him to be a white male, wait before jumping to conclusions, racial hatred is only of many possible reasons.
Click to rate     Rating   41
"Racial", is this the only crime the Police deal with!, reality is it could have been a mugging of a old man in a crime ridden part of the Country!
Click to rate     Rating   39
These Islamaphobic killings need to be highlighted and brought to the publics attention. Absolutely shocking - Jonathan Carter , Berkshire, 02/5/2013 13: What Islamic killings are not being reported? Ridiculous comment!
Click to rate     Rating   34
These Islamaphobic killings need to be highlighted and brought to the publics attention. Absolutely shocking - Jonathan Carter , Berkshire, 02/5/2013 13:53 What Islamphobic killings, if theres loads than highlight them here. Use google and paste a few of the killings here on this comments page.
Click to rate     Rating   33
My condolences go out to his wife and family, he looked a respectful gentleman who did not deserve to die. I hope the police catch the coward who did this, but as usual will get a lenient sentence and be back on the streets!!!!!!
Click to rate     Rating   32
Sounds like a "mafia-type" hit. Someone new where he was going to be. The police should investigate people who have animosity towards his family..
Click to rate     Rating   21
TOLERANCE - a word and action not used often enough nowadays
Click to rate     Rating   18
Sorry for the tragic loss. I hope he comes and haunts the killer
Click to rate     Rating   11
so sad and heartbreaking! whoever did this is a monster and should get life in prison! but we all know that's not likely because his human rights will probably overrule the crime...
Click to rate     Rating   9
we should all live in peace, the country needs to bring back the death sentence... potential murderers, child rapists etc will be deterred from doing the crimes, its bloody common sense
Click to rate     Rating   7
Sympathies with Mohammed's family, absolutely despicable act of cowardliness and most definitely racially motivated.
Click to rate     Rating   15
"Just because it was a white person running away doesn't make it racially motivated"???? Do me a favour!......IF it was a "White Man" and only IF then it's highly likely that it WAS racially motivated Wake up and smell the coffee dear!
Click to rate     Rating   76
They guy running away seems to be dressed like a typical EDL member you see at their rallies. Looks like a Racist attack to me.

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Mosque Blasts: Ukrainian Student Pleads Guilty

A Ukrainian man has pleaded guilty to murdering a Muslim pensioner and plotting to carry out a string of explosions near mosques.

Pavlo Lapshyn, a postgraduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, appeared at the Old Bailey charged with the murder of 82-year-old grandfather Mohammed Saleem as he walked home from a mosque in Birmingham in April.

He also admitted causing an explosion on July 12 near the Kanzal Iman mosque in Tipton, and engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts between April 24 and July 18 this year.

This included planting bombs near mosques in Walsall and Wolverhampton, researching locations to plant bombs and buying chemicals on the internet to make explosives.

Lapshyn, who arrived in the country only five days before the killing, later told police: "I have a racial hatred, so I have a motivation, a racial motivation and racial hatred."

The 25-year-old will be sentenced on Friday.

The Ukrainian was in the UK on a sponsored work placement at a software firm in the Small Heath area of Birmingham when he was arrested on suspicion of Mr Saleem's murder nearby on July 20.

The father-of-seven was stabbed three times yards from his house on April 29, which prompted an outpouring of grief from the community.

While Lapshyn remained at large, he plotted the planting of devices near three mosques. With each attack the homemade bombs, with timing devices, became ever more powerful.

In the attack on the mosque in Tipton, Lapshyn loaded the device with nails. Luckily no one was injured.
The bomb exploded at 1pm, the time worshippers would normally be at Friday prayers. Because of Ramadan the prayers were put back to 2pm and police said this may have saved a lot of people from death or serious injury.

No one was injured by any of the explosions.

Lapshyn has been described as a "lone actor" with no apparent affiliation to any extreme right wing groups.
The self-radicalised racist believed that a series of explosions would spread more panic and fear.

In police interviews he said: "I would like to increase racial conflit ... because they are not white and I am white."

Police trawled through thousands of hours of CCTV to track Lapshyn's movements.

When he was arrested, bomb-making equipment, including chemicals components from mobile phones were found at his flat.

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards said: "The words of the interviewing officers were calm, calculated and committed.

"He is a man with hatred of non-white people, coupled together with his skills in relation to creating bombs and actually being in the country for five days and to murder someone.

"From his premises he had other devices, other components of devices. He could have carried on with his campaign. If it wasn't for that intervention at the time he was arrested, this could have been much worse."
Speaking outside court, Mr Saleem's daughter Shazia Khan said it was "a relief not to have to sit through a long and tedious trial and listen to horrific details of this violent crime".

"Our dad was a lovely, kind man who left prayers for the last time that night. He did not do anything to deserve this horrific killing other than being a Muslim.
"He was targeted simply because of his faith. His beard and his clothing represented who he was. Pavlo chose to kill him that night with only that intention in mind.
"Hopefully he will get the sentence that he deserves and he will never be able to commit crimes like this again."
She added that when she saw Lapshyn in court, she pitied him: "We just looked at him and we felt pity. He looked pathetic. He looked frightened and stressed."

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "This is a satisfying outcome to a highly distressing case where Pavlo Lapshyn's hatred has robbed a family of a loved one and attempted to cause fear and division within our communities.

"I pay tribute to the work of West Midlands Police in bringing the perpetrator to justice and commend the resilience of communities across the West Midlands who showed such courage in the face of these cowardly attacks."

'I stabbed my son. I was sick of him calling me old': Father jailed for life after his confession to 999 operator that he had murdered 26-year-old

  • Stephen Hall, 52, killed son Keith McGlone, 26, with a kitchen knife at their home in Hull
  • Given life sentence at Hull Crown Court today and said: 'I don't deserve forgiveness'
  • Immediately called 999 to confess saying: 'I just flipped. I was sick of him picking on me'
By Sara Smyth
A father who murdered his son for teasing him about his age and immediately called 999 to confess, has been jailed for life.
Stephen Hall, 52, told his family he does not expect or deserve forgiveness for stabbing his son Keith McGlone, 26 with an eight inch kitchen knife.
He was today sentenced to life with a minimum of 13 years at Hull Crown Court.
Hall was preparing a meal at his home in Hull in January when he stabbed his son twice in the chest, despite Mr McGlone begging: 'Dad please don't' after the first blow.
Keith McGlone, 26, murdered by his father for teasing him about his age
Stephen Hall, 52, said he stabbed his son because he was fed up with being picked on and called an 'old man'
Stephen Hall, 52, (right) said he stabbed his 26-year-old son (left) because he was fed up with being picked on and called an 'old man'
The father and son had returned home from Criterion Hotel in Hull, where they had been drinking with another male for five hours.
Hall became aggravated after being teased by his son and stabbed him in his chest and abdomen.
The court heard that Hall walked outside with the knife in his hand, and shouted: 'What are you looking at?' to his neighbours.
He is believed to have gone back into his house, before coming outside and asking for help, before dialling 999.
He told 999 operator Louise Robinson he had put the knife in the sink after the stabbing.
The details of the call have been released by police.
The call records Hall telling the operator: 'I've just stabbed my son.
'I don't know if he's alive or dead. I stabbed him in the living room and now he's in the bathroom.
'I said summat and he argued with me and then, all of a sudden, I just flipped.
'I was sick of him always picking on me and calling me an old man and everything.'
The police operator kept Hall on the phone until officers and paramedics arrived at the home in January 21.
Judge Michael Mettyear said: 'Your son was loved and treasured and did not deserve to die.
'Nothing he did that night could begin to justify the use of a knife against him let alone stabbing him twice.
Scroll down to listen to the 999 call
l be sentenced todayPolice arrived at the Hull home while Hall was still on the line to the 999 operator he confessed to. He was sentenced to life in prison today
l be sentenced todayPolice arrived at the Hull home while Hall was still on the line to the 999 operator he confessed to. He was sentenced to life in prison today
Details of the shocking 999 call have been released by the police. Hall says 'I've just stabbed my son' during the recorded call
Details of the shocking 999 call have been released by the police. Hall says 'I've just stabbed my son' during the recorded call
Police at Hull home
Police on the scene in Hull
Police were told that the father and son had been overheard arguing in a pub. Mr McGlone, who has two young sons, had moved back home to live with his father
'The case is aggravated because he asked you to stop and yet you continued with the second stab wound.'
Hall was arrested for his son's murder at his home and has since been in custody. He told police: 'I love my son.
'I love him to bits, but we could not live together.'
Father-of-two, Mr McGlone, had recently moved back in with his father.
Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said: 'Mr McGlone had suffered a turbulent childhood and had moved back in with his father shortly before the incident.
'An independent witness said on the night in question, he had overheard arguing between the two.
The witness heard, what he thought was the defendant's voice, saying: 'If you don't leave me alone, I will kill you'.
The witness then described hearing a younger voice, presumably the deceased, crying and saying 'Please don't, just stop.'
Defence lawyer Simon Reevell, said: 'This will be with Mr Hall for the rest of his life.
'There is only one victim in this case, and that is the deceased. If he could change places with his son then he would do it.
'Mr Hall had no explanation as to what happened on the night in question.
'He has shown genuine remorse. He didn't plead guilty at an earlier hearing as he couldn't come to terms with the concept of being guilty of murder.
'The other victims are his friends, family and Keith's mother. He is fully aware of the damage and hurt that this has led to.'
Hall had been on anti-depressants for 18 years and pleaded guilty to murder.

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My son calls me old lady all the time, finds my advice old fashioned but I'm hardly going to kill him for doing it. It doesn't bother me, he's a good man and well brought up, when he's my age his children will do the same to him. No excuse for killing your child!
Click to rate     Rating   213
This is a terrible tragedy but was avoidable. Never a good idea to relentlessly pick on someone as one day they may have had enough and lash out.
Click to rate     Rating   164
Disgusting waste of skin. Who kills their own children? Hope he gets life.
Click to rate     Rating   110
This operator deserves a medal for how well she dealt with this call. What a horrible job, but credit to "Louise" for keeping calm. Tragic story.
Click to rate     Rating   94
Quite upsetting, the guy clearly was upset after the event and maybe was just wound up beyond belief, a fair sentence should be given here.
Click to rate     Rating   79
Lots of people suffer from depression, doesn't mean they go around stabbing people though.
Click to rate     Rating   73
That operator deserves a medal for how perfectly she dealt with that call. Well done Louise, it must be a horrible one some days.
Click to rate     Rating   63
Be kind to your parents. A lot of people are condemning this man but I had a friend at secondary school that I witnessed relentlessly picking on her mum and it was horrible. He snapped, it could happen to anyone. I don't feel as though anybody should be in the position to judge, I'm sure he's suffering enough knowing that he killed his own son. If this were about a husband endlessly bullying his wife I think the comments would be very different. Treat people how you wish to be treated.
Click to rate     Rating   62
Why dont people respect theyre parents anymore? Bullied his own dad :/
Click to rate     Rating   55
This is so very sad. I wonder of the Father communicated to his Son in no uncertain terms just how badly his teasing was affecting him? The young have no idea how people feel when they're getting older and how hurtful these taunts can be, but there's no justification for stabbing him. It would have been better if he'd just stormed off to the pub, or went for a walk to calm down, then tell his Son he either stopped the taunts, or he had to move out. His house, his rules.

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Bedroom Tax Blamed For Woman's Suicide

A woman who committed suicide left a note blaming the Government's so-called bedroom tax for her death.
Stephanie Bottrill, who killed herself earlier this month, wrote in her final letter: "I don't [blame] anyone for me death expect [sic] the government."
Her son Steven, 27, said she was struggling to cope after being told to pay £20-a-week extra for two under-occupied bedrooms at her home in Solihull.
He told the Sunday People: "I couldn't believe it. She said not to blame ourselves, it was the Government and what they were doing that caused her to do it.
"She was fine before this bedroom tax. It was dreamt up in London, by people living in offices and big houses. They have no idea the effect it has on people like my mum."
Ms Bottrill died 10 days ago. She was 53.
In the days running up to her death she had told neighbours: "I can't afford to live any more."
Describing her case as a "tragedy", shadow chancellor Ed Balls told Sky News' Murnaghan programme the bedroom tax was "driving people to the edge of despair in their many thousands across the country".
Solihull Council Labour group leader David Jamieson, who knows the family, said: "I'm absolutely appalled this poor lady has taken her own life because she was worried how she would pay the bedroom tax.
"I hope the Government will sit up and take notice and reconsider this policy."
The bedroom tax means people of a working age in social housing who have a spare bedroom will find housing benefit claims reduced by £40 to £80 a month.
Ms Bottrill had lived in her £320-a-month home for 18 years as she raised her son and daughter, but she could not cope with the extra £80 she had to find every month.
Mr Bottrill said his mother wanted to work, but there was no way she could.
As a child she was diagnosed with the auto-immune system deficiency, Myasthenia gravis.
The illness made her weak and she had to take constant medication.
Doctors had told her she was too ill to hold down a job, but she had never been registered as disabled, so she lived without disability benefit.
Neighbour Rosie Hough, who used to see Ms Bottrill every day, told Sky News: "She did say some things about her problems about the rent and that, and having to find the extra money and that but I would have never have said that she was a woman who would take her own life.
"It's absolutely shocked the whole street. We just can't comprehend that she has gone."
Brian McCann, who lives a few doors away from Ms Bottrill's home, said: "We knew that the tax had affected her because the girls had all chatted in the street and she was really worried about it."
Sky's Political Correspondent Sophy Ridge said: "Downing Street isn't commenting on what it says is a personal matter but clearly this will lead to calls for the policy to be changed.
"Downing Street knows it is controversial. That's why some amendments have been made to the policy already, saying armed services personnel and foster carers won't be affected.
"Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has argued consistently that he thinks this policy is a fair one, but certainly I think this row is going to keep going."
The Samaritans said that "although a catalyst may appear to be obvious, suicide is never the result of a single factor or event and is likely to have several inter-related causes".

 :: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or CALM on 0800 58 58 58.


Sex gang victim accuses council

The youngest victim of the Oxford paedophile ring has accused Oxfordshire county council of lying about the support it has offered to her and her family.

The accusation comes as seven men were found guilty at the Old Bailey of a catalogue of offences including conspiracy to rape, child prostitution and trafficking over an eight year period in the university city of Oxford.
Police and social workers have apologised to their victims for failing to rescue the vulnerable schoolgirls who were plucked from the streets and care homes to be drugged, raped and sold into prostitution.

Two sets of brothers, Akhtar Dogar, 32, and Anjum Dogar, 31, and Mohammed Karrar, 38, and Bassam Karrar, 33, were convicted along with Kamar Jamil, 27, Assad Hussain, 32, and Zeeshan Ahmed, 27.

The woman, known as Girl C to protect her anonymity, said that her adoptive mother begged social services for help in 2004 but agencies just "passed the parcel between them".

Two years later the council agreed to put her in a temporary care home, but by then she had fallen under the control of the gang, who plied her with crack cocaine.

In an interview with The Guardian, Girl C said: "The council put out a press release claiming they had offered wraparound care to all the girls and their families, but the first we heard from them in five years was a letter on April 13 from Jim Leivers [director for children, education and families at the council], where he says he's been 'closely involved in providing support' to me.

"That's a complete lie. My family have had no support or offers of help at all from Oxfordshire. Nothing. Not at any point. Not even a phone call. The last contact we had with the council was five whole years ago, when my mum was begging them to help her stop me go off the rails. They ignored her then and they've ignored us since."

A spokesman for the council told The Guardian: "We are sorry the abuse was not stopped sooner. One of the elements of the serious case review will be an investigation of the support offered to the girls by agencies including social services.

"Our offer of a meeting with Girl [C] and her family was very sincere and similar offers to the other girls have been accepted. We want to do everything we can to help all the girls rebuild their lives and our door is open to Girl [C] and her family."

 Abuse Of Care Home Children 'Truly Horrific'

historic paedophile ring in North Wales care homes

Children in care homes are being subjected to sexual abuse of a "violent and sadistic nature", England's deputy children's commissioner Sue Berelowitz has warned.

She made the comments as the Government announced new reforms that aim to better protect youngsters who reside in the country's 455 children's homes.

The action comes following a report published by Ms Berelowitz, which was ordered after the jailing of a sex abuse ring in May which preyed on vulnerable girls in Rochdale.

Only one of the girls was in care at the time of the abuse but all were said to have been known to social services at some point in their childhood.

The ongoing inquiry has highlighted evidence that children in care are particularly vulnerable to child sex exploitation, with some residential homes being specifically targeted by abusers.

Ms Berelowitz said her research found perpetrators come from all ethnic groups, as do their victims, who are as young as 11 and are largely but not exclusively girls.

Speaking alongside Tim Loughton, the children's minister, as he announced the new measures, she said she had been shocked by what she had found out.

Ms Berelowitz said of the abuse: "It is of a violent and sadistic nature.

"I've been in the children's services field for a very long time, and I have never come across the scale of violence and sadism that I'm encountering now.

"The stories that children and young people tell us are truly horrific.

"I think it's quite right and proper that the Government is paying special attention to this group of children as the state is their parent and therefore we have a special duty of care to children who are under care orders of one kind or another."
Mr Loughton said three steps of immediate action would be taken.

Although police figures show that an estimated 10,000 children go missing from care every year, the Government's official data recorded only 930 children disappearing.

Mr Loughton said a new system of measuring how many children go missing each year would be used, while more would be done to ensure that children's homes are properly protected and located as police and local authorities are not currently able to share information about where they are.

More will also be done to make sure children are sent to homes closer to where they are from.

Mr Loughton said there were currently clusters of children's homes in certain areas, particularly coastal resorts like Margate in Kent, and in his own constituency in Worthing, West Sussex.

Parts of the West Midlands and north west also suffer from a disproportionate number of children's homes, he said, while Kent has a particularly large amount, with research finding that some were even located in the same street as convicted sex offenders.

Ministers also want to see the quality and effectiveness of children's homes improving by making inspections tougher.

Mr Loughton said the Government wanted to tackle the "out of sight, out of mind culture" that allows abuse to go on.

He said: "We are talking about a very vulnerable group of children.

"Children who come into care should expect a degree of safety in the care of the state.

"Children who come from very traumatic backgrounds, they may have been abused or neglected for a long time, need to know they are safe in the form of care the state is providing for them.
"These reports lift the lid on very serious weaknesses in the system.
"There are good children's homes and excellent care workers but it is clear
that far too many of the most vulnerable children in society are being exposed
to harm and danger.
"It is completely unacceptable that existing rules are simply being ignored and that frankly, some local authorities and homes are letting down children by failing to act as a proper parent.

"We are setting out urgent, immediate steps to protect children in care and address all the weaknesses. These are big changes to a system which has been letting down too many children."

Children's charity Barnardo's said 31% of the 3,500 young people it looked after through its sexual exploitation services in the last six years were in care.

The charity's chief executive, Anne Marie Carrie said: "We know that children from all walks of life are at risk of child sexual exploitation, but those who are already vulnerable, such as children in care, are especially so.

"We need to be sure that by clustering vulnerable children together in certain areas of England we are not putting already desperate children in even greater danger of being preyed upon.

"It is worrying that we don't know the true level of this threat and better data collection will be key.

"However, action is also needed to protect those children in care now."
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