31 August 2011

The Truthophobes

The far Left George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) has been busy of late trying to “expose” those evil hatemongering “Islamophobes” and their enablers who have the audacity to tell the truth about Sharia law and Islamic ideology.

.... the authors describe Sharia as nothing more than the “Muslim religious code,” focusing on “charitable giving, prayer, and honoring one’s parents—precepts virtually identical to those of Christianity and Judaism.”

In a previous CAP publication entitled “Understanding Sharia Law Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking,” written by two of the same Center for American Progress authors who participated in writing “Fear, Inc.,” Sharia is described as “personal religious law and moral guidance for the vast majority of Muslims.”

The “core values” of Sharia, say the authors, are “theological and ethical and not political” and are “in harmony with the core values at the heart of America.” [FrontPageMagazine.com] Read more

Muslims, police scuffle at Rye Playland over amusement park’s head scarf ban; 15 arrests made

The Westchester County park was packed with Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr - the holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

One woman, Entisai Ali, began arguing with cops over the amusement park's head scarf, or hijab, rule, said Dena Meawad, 18, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The ban, which is not Muslim specific, was imposed about 3 years ago mostly to prevent hats from falling onto the tracks of roller coasters and other rides, park officials said.

.... deputy commissioner of Westchester County Parks, said the Muslim American Society of New York was warned in advance of the rule barring head scarves on rides for safety reasons.

"Part of our rules and regulations, which we painstakingly told them over and over again, is that certain rides you cannot wear any sort of headgear," Tartaglia said. "It's a safety issue for us on rides, it could become a projectile." [New York Daily News] Read more

Police arrest 15 at Playland in dispute over Muslim headwear

A melee broke out Tuesday afternoon at Playland Amusement Park when Muslim visitors became angry that the park was enforcing its ban on headgear by prohibiting the women from wearing their traditional head coverings on some rides.

Police from at least nine agencies converged on the park beginning at 3 p.m. after county police sought assistance in responding to the disturbance, which involved 30 to 40 people.

Two rangers were injured while breaking up a fight between visitors, and two visitors were charged with felony assault, police said. Another 13 people were arrested, most charged with disorderly conduct. [LoHud.com] Read more

Publisher Calls FBI Over Muslim Backlash From 9/11 Coloring Book

.... there’s been a negative backlash against the book “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.”

“These are people from Al-Jazeera that have called in here numerous times, people from Iranian TV, people from Palestinian Hamas TV,” Bell said, “A lot of people from the Islamic community have called in here and said increasingly negative things prior to the book being made and then after we made the book too, about the book itself.”

The book features images of Osama Bin Laden and Islamic terrorists. It also shows American citizens upset by the attacks, including a woman with a cross around her neck. But it shows no Muslim Americans mourning the attacks. [CBS St. Louis] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

One in five US Muslims knows of extremist support in community

As the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches, 21 per cent of respondents told a study they had detected "a great deal" or "a fair deal" of support for extremism in their areas.

While the vast majority said that suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians to protect Islam were never justified, 19 per cent of respondents did not agree with this statement. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Maryam Namazie’s speaking tour in Australia a huge success

.... During her week-long speaking tour, Maryam highlighted the many parallels between Britain and Australia, drawing attention to the unholy alliance between the Islamists and the pro-Islamist Left that refuse to condemn sharia in the false belief that to do so would be “racist”.

She insisted that in fact, sharia’s advancement restricts the rights and freedoms of Muslims first and foremost, and that relegating Muslims to a separate legal system that restricts the rights of women and children in particular is the real act of racism.

“Just because people were born into Muslim families, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms as everyone else,” Maryam said. [Maryam Namazie] Read more

Domestic Islamic threat to German justice system

German law expert and former public TV investigative journalist Joachim Wagner presented a new book on Monday in which he speaks of a parallel justice system among the Muslim minority that undermines the rule of law in Germany.

The 236-page book, titled "Judges Without Law: Islamic Parallel Justice Endangers Our Rule of Law," looks into the problems the German judiciary faces when investigating crimes committed within Muslim communities or clans in Germany.

Wagner says the "parallel justice system" is maintained by Islamic arbiters-cum-imams who settle crimes out of court without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers.

The author examines several recent cases in which crimes within Muslim communities have been settled by Islamic arbitrators at the request of the families involved. Such "peace judges" act behind the scenes in line with compensation stipulations to be found in Shariah law. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

30 August 2011

Dispute Over Muslim Headgear at Amusement Park Breaks Out Into Large-Scale Altercation

Rye Playland .... was temporarily closed Tuesday after a disagreement over a headgear rule broke out into a large-scale altercation.

A New York amusement park was temporarily shut down Tuesday after a large-scale altercation erupted between Muslim patrons and park rangers over a disagreement on headgear rules.

Muslim women in a tour group at Rye Playland in Westchester County were reportedly denied access to several rides because they were wearing hijabs – their traditional headscarves, MyFoxNY reports. [FoxNews.com] Read more

29 August 2011

Victorian Police have power to demand Muslim women remove face veils

VICTORIAN police have the power to demand that Muslim women remove face veils, the State Government has ruled.

And anyone who refuses to show their face can be arrested, a review of the Crimes Act has found.

The Herald Sun revealed in July that the Baillieu Government was seeking legal advice following a move in NSW to introduce special laws which meant people refusing to remove a burqa at police request faced up to a year in jail.

Police Minister Peter Ryan sought advice on the state of the current law from the Victoria Police and Department of Justice - finding police are already empowered to issue the order. [Herald Sun] Read more

28 August 2011

Indonesian Muslim youths keep faith amid reform

.... according to a recent survey by Germany's Goethe-Institut, the bulk of youths in the world's largest Muslim-majority country share remarkably traditional values about faith and family, despite a decade of social and political change since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship.

More than half of nearly 1,500 Indonesian Muslims aged 15 to 25 years polled from October to November last year supported the eye-for-an-eye Hudud punishments for crimes such as theft, adultery and apostasy.

Fully 66 percent agreed with capital punishment for murder and 68 percent favoured whipping for alcohol consumption.

Conservative beliefs were stronger in relation to family matters, with nine in 10 respondents disagreeing with interfaith marriage. Of those willing to marry non-Muslims, most expected their spouses to convert to Islam. [AFP] Read more [via National Secular Society]

Ground Zero imam gives Scotland his recipe for successful multiculturalism

AMERICA’S most controversial imam – the man at the centre of the storm over plans for the “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York last year – flew into Edinburgh yesterday to tell the Festival of Spirituality and Peace that greater integration between Islam and the West depends on the incorporation of Sharia law into the legal systems of the UK and the United States as well as Muslims adopting the culture of their host countries.

[A COMMENT] Most westerners find the idea of separate legal systems existing within their countries to be unacceptable and threatening to their sense of national integrity and social cohesiveness. The fact that this imam believes the emergence of such separate legal systems is the inevitable consequence of the presence of the Muslims in the west powerfully supports the idea that Islamic culture is fundamentally incompatible with western norms.

The obvious conclusion to draw is that Muslim immigration to the western world should be strongly limited or cut off altogether. [HeraldScotland.com] Read more

26 August 2011

How Should We Treat the Muslims in Our Midst?

.... Many non-Muslims explain the situation to themselves that "there are extremists in every religion" and let it go at that. But those of us who have studied Islamic doctrine and Islamic history have discovered that "letting it go at that" would be a big mistake. And of course, those who simply look at the news can see that there must be something about Islam that produces more "extremists" than other religions.

In fact, the "extremists" are not any more "extreme" than the many devout followers of other religions. The difference is that the teachings devout Muslims follow are more definitively hostile toward non-followers than any other mainstream religion's teachings. [Citizen Warrior] Read more

‘Anti-Muslim’ author beaten

.... police are treating an attack on a first-time author whose self-published book has been branded anti-Muslim as a possible hate crime.

Raised Islamic, Paris Dipersico, 24, reported being dragged from his bicycle Aug. 17, tied up among trees, then beaten briefly unconscious by two Muslim men.

Accused of being gay, they then "called me a Jew in Arabic and said the Jews are paying you to write this against Islam," the author of Wake Up Call said Thursday. [Ottawa Sun] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

Norway: Christian convert attacked in asylum center

"Ali" had boiling water poured on him at the Hå asylum center in Jæren, after he converted to Christianity and did not fast on the Ramadan. Now he and other converts fear for their lives.

'If you don't return to Islam, we'll kill you' "Ali" was told by fellow residents at the center. He doesn't want his name or picture published for fear of the other residents. If the Afghan authorities hear of his conversion, he risks being sentenced to death by stoning he he'll be deported back home.

The Afghan convert was lucky this time. He got away with a disfigured back covered with flaking skin under bandages. His Christian roommate, Reza, dries the oozing wounds and lays a supporting blanket under his head. Ali's face distorts in pain but his voice is calm and firm when he tells his story: [Islam in Europe] Read more

The Islamic supremacist propaganda machine cranks out another "Islamophobia" report

.... Without offering any substantive refutation, “Fear, Inc.” dismisses as “inaccurate and perverse” my statement that Islam is “the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates violence against unbelievers and mandates that Muslims must wage war in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order all over the world.”

What is “inaccurate and perverse” is the report’s denial of this, since it is a matter of objective verification that all the mainstream Islamic sects and schools of Islamic jurisprudence do indeed teach that the Islamic umma must wage war against unbelievers and subjugate them under the rule of Islamic law. The report does not and cannot produce any evidence that Islam does not contain sects and schools that teach this.

.... The most influential Islamic cleric in the world today, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has said: “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice.” [Jihad Watch] Read more

Report aims to map funding to anti-Islamist groups

.... The report argues that almost $43 million from seven charitable groups since 2001 has served as a main driver of campaigns that include: the opposition to the Islamic center near Ground Zero; proposed state laws banning judges from considering Islamic or foreign laws in U.S. courts; and more broadly, a rise in conservative politics and, in particular, of anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The report, titled “Fear, Inc.,” aims to “end Islamophobia,” said one of its authors, Faiz Shakir, who is also a CAP vice president.

“This isn’t playing games. We want to end Islamophobia. If we want to do that, we have to identify motivators of this hate industry, marginalize them and demand they be held accountable,” Shakir said. [The Washington Post] Read more

Fighting the defamation of Muslim Americans

After a six-month-long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a 138-page report, "Fear Inc: Exposing the Islamophobia Network in America", which for the first time reveals that more than $42m from seven foundations over the past decade have helped empower a relatively small, but interconnected group of individuals and organisations to spread anti-Muslim fear and hate in America.

[A COMMENT] A 'phobia' is usually defined as an 'irrational' fear of something. The definition given in this article leaves that out. Therein lies much of the problem.

Those in the U.K. who distrust Islam can point to what is preached in some mosques here and what some Islamic schools have been teaching. Is that true in the U.S.?

[A COMMENT] In the West our forefathers (and mothers) have fought long and hard to establish the equality and human rights that we now enjoy. When an ideology such as Sharia comes along with the intent of destroying them, its not surprising normal people are concerned. So maybe its not so much about fear and hatred, maybe its just about standing up and defending our human rights. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Pakistani slain governor Salman Taseer's son abducted

The son of assassinated Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who was killed in January for opposing the blasphemy law, has been abducted, Pakistan police say.

Shahbaz Taseer's car was intercepted by four men in Lahore city's upscale Gulberg area on Friday.

It is not known who seized Mr Taseer but his family said they had received "threats from extremist groups".

Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated by his own bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri as he was about to get into his car. [BBC] Read more

25 August 2011

Banning of the burka is bonkers

.... The wearing of the burka (as well as the hijab and niqab) is a complex issue — one that has been debated in other European societies for decades with no satisfactory outcome.

The wearing of the hijab by students in schools in Ireland was raised in 2008, but died away by the time the then government deferred to boards of management to make individual decisions, but only after they consulted with all stakeholders, and also took into consideration equality legislation.

Since then, I know of no school that has attempted to ban the hijab, which is to be welcomed. [The Irish Examiner] Read more [via ENGAGE]

Islam Is Not Part of Our Civilization

Obama said at the latest White House Iftar dinner: Like so many faiths, Islam has always been part of our American family, and Muslim Americans have long contributed to the strength and character of our country, in all walks of life.

These words have no basis in fact. Islam is not part of our civilization because its foundational principles are opposite to ours.

Our civilization is built on the foundation of critical thought (how we think) and the Golden Rule (ethics). Islam is built on submission (authoritative thought) and ethical dualism. [Right Side News] Read more [via EuropeNews]

Italy: Islam Expo planned for December called a provocation

The Young Muslims of Italy organization announced its Islam Expo will be held in December in Bologna. The Northern League says this is a provocation.

Manes Bernardini of the Northern League asked the Bologne municipality not to approve the expo, and in any case, not to partner with it. Bernardini added that he wouldn't do such a thing in a Muslim country, and that that having the expo might lead to requests to remove the Christmas tree in the nearby square.

Yassine Lafram of the Young Muslims of Italy says that the expo is not a provocation against the Catholic Church, and that Christmas time was chosen because people are on holiday, and it would allow more people to come. He said that the event is not only for Muslims and that everybody is invited to come. [Islam in Europe] Read more

Morocco Blocking Integration of Muslim Immigrants in Spain

The Moroccan government is aggressively implementing "a strategy of great magnitude" to exert control over the religious and cultural beliefs and practices of the nearly one million Moroccan immigrants who reside in Spain.

The strategy involves establishing a parallel Muslim society in Spain by discouraging Moroccans from integrating into their host country, and by encouraging them instead to live an Islamic lifestyle isolated from Spanish society.

Rabat is also financing the construction of hundreds of mosques in Spain whose imams are directly appointed by the Moroccan government. Moreover, the North African country is attempting to impose Muslim religious instruction in Spanish public schools, and is pressuring Moroccan families to remove their children from those schools that fail to comply.

The observations are included in a newly leaked secret report prepared by Spain's National Intelligence Center (CNI), excerpts of which have been published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper. [Hudson New York] Read more

24 August 2011

Egypt’s Brotherhood declares war on the bikini

.... "Some slight changes will be made in public beaches, to make the situation better than it was before," Ali Khafagy, youth director of Freedom and Justice in Giza, told The Media Line. "Bathing suits and mixing on the beach are things that go against our tradition. It's not just a matter of religion. When I go to the beach I don't want to see nudity."

He said modest bathing gear or separate beaches for men and women are possible alternatives to the current situation.

Khafagy stressed that tourists would be free to do as they please in specially designated areas, adding that his party supported tourism to the country. But that did not satisfy the heads of Egypt's tourism industry, who met with the party’s secretary-general Al-Katatny for a heated debate on Monday. [AHN] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

Finns now more critical of Islam

.... Based on their survey responses, Finns were best disposed towards Christianity, had mostly positive impressions of Buddhism and Hinduism, and felt most critical towards Islam.

Only six percent of the survey respondents thought of Islam in positive terms, with the vast majority clearly holding negative impressions—which, says researcher Kimmo Ketola from the Church Research Institute, is mostly down to the media.

“There are very few Muslim immigrants in Finland compared to many other European countries. The media can convey an exceedingly harsh and negative picture of Islam,” Ketola says. [YLE] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

More arrests and Bibles seized in Iran

Christians in Iran are facing increasing hostility from authorities in the officially Islamic country.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has received reports that a pastor has been arrested for a second time on August 17.

Abdolreza ‘Matthias’ Haghnejad, a pastor in the evangelical Church of Iran denomination, was reportedly re-arrested by Iranian authorities in Rasht whilst making a pastoral visit.

His family are in the dark about why he has been arrested and his whereabouts. [Christian Today] Read more

23 August 2011

British campaigner battles media's cone of silence on sharia law

.... Her arrival comes soon after Ikebal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, called for Australia to "compromise with Islam" and introduce "legal pluralism".

After a backlash within the Muslim community, Mr Patel backed down, saying it had been a mistake to mention sharia law and legal pluralism.

Ms Namazie, who is an Iranian exile, said any form of legal accommodation with sharia "is like trying to incorporate apartheid into a non-racist system of law -- they are simply incompatible". [The Australian] Read more

Thinktanks must drop this cold war approach to Islamism

Conservative thinktanks are in a bit of a bind when it comes to responding to the rise of Islamophobia. On the one hand they want to condemn the BNP and the English Defence League for their racism and violence, but on the other they want to downplay the extent and existence of anti-Muslim racism because it might deflect attention from "Islamism" – the catch-all term for politically active Muslims, which they see as the main problem facing the UK.

[A COMMENT] Can I just clarify what is meant by Islamaphobia here because it appears to mean thinking, saying or otherwise holding an opinion about Islam in any way, shape or form that isn't entirely positive.

[A COMMENT] Lots of reasonable people have objections to Islam for a lot of reasons. Most of these reasons are not racist or due to fearmongering, but caused by what they see with their own eyes. [Guardian Cif] Read more

22 August 2011

European 'No-Go' Zones for Non-Muslims Proliferating "Occupation Without Tanks or Soldiers"

Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.

Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations. [Hudson New York] Read more

Muslims demand Sharia student loans because paying interest goes against Islamic law

Muslim groups are calling for a separate student loan system because the interest due to be charged will conflict with rules of Sharia law.

The changes to tuition fees, which come into force next year, will see students charged higher rates of interest on the loans they take out to pay for university.

Until now they have paid the market rate of inflation but the reforms mean students who go on to earn more than £21,000 will have to pay interest of up to 3 per cent.

But in some interpretations of Sharia law, which is Islam's legal system and governs every aspect of Muslim life, loans are forbidden. [MailOnline] Read more

21 August 2011

Egypt police arrest man for Facebook 'Islam insults'

Cairo police arrested a man who allegedly 'insulted Islam' in postings on Facebook after they tracked him down through his internet address, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.

The agency said the 23-year-old, identified only as Ayman Y.M., posted comments 'that were insulting to the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed and Islam and Muslims.' It did not disclose what he allegedly said. [AFP] Read more

Meatpacking plant strives, struggles to accommodate Muslim workforce

....Although Cargill's Fort Morgan operation has escaped controversy over accommodating the religious needs of its Muslim workforce, an undercurrent of problems exists, according to current and former workers and Somali translators.

Company officials say they respect religious rights and follow the law but cannot undermine a plant that produces 4 million pounds of beef daily.

"We know that some of our employees would like a guaranteed prayer time every day," said Cargill spokesman Michael Martin. "That is not the legal requirement, and it would be impractical to accommodate this without shutting down the production line." [The Denver Post] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

Islamic Republic Of Iran Steps Up Persecution Of Christians

Whether it is generic religious bigotry, alarm at the success of Christian missionaries at making converts, or simple xenophobia, Tehran has been cracking down on its tiny Christian minority of late, so much so that even the EU has noticed.

Yusef Nadarkhani, an evangelical pastor and the father of two, has been sentenced to death for converting from Islam, and the Iranian Supreme Court in its wisdom has upheld the decision.

In a deeply barbaric proviso reflective of medieval wars of religion at their worst, the court states that Pastor Nadarkhani’s life will be spared if he recants his conversion and returns to the merciful and humane form of Islam so vigilantly upheld by the pious and enlightened mullahs of Iran. Otherwise, if an investigation confirms that he was at one point a Muslim, he will hang by the neck until dead. [The Iconoclast] Read more

19 August 2011

Viacom withholds South Park ‘Muhammad’ episodes in all foreign territories

SOUTH Park fans buying the “complete 14th season” of the show on DVD have been angered to discover “complete” is but a relative term.

The DVD box set that went on sale in Australia on August 11 contains all the episodes that went to air on SBS during its most recent season, but it does not contain two of the most eagerly anticipated episodes in the long and often bumpy history of the cult US animated series.

Episodes 200 and 201 are missing from the Australian edition, prompting fans to voice their disapproval to the local distributor, Paramount Home Entertainment, and on a dedicated Facebook page (South Park Episode 201 Uncensored).

.... The episodes in question feature a typically convoluted plotline in which Tom Cruise… …wrangles the prophet Muhammad into his scheme, secretly motivated by a desire to harness the prophet’s “goo”, which grants immunity to ridicule.

Throughout, Muhammad is dressed in a bear suit, an ironic nod to the prohibition on showing images of Islam’s founding father. [Creeping Sharia] Read more

Halal Capitalism: Junaid Jamshed cashing in his vaccines after chips

According to a report published in TIME, the Halal food industry is estimated worth $632 billion annually – that’s 16% of the entire global food industry.

The obsession of Muslims with Halal food has resulted in the word Halal being prefixed with things you would not think of in your wildest imaginations – eggs, ginger, honey, biscuits, nimko, toothpaste, chips and even Halal wine.

Ironically, around 90% of the global Halal food industry is controlled by multinationals like McDonalds, Nestle and Tesco. Most of Halal chicken consumed in Saudi Arabia comes from Brazil and world’s biggest exporter of Halal Lamb is based in New Zealand. [ALE-Xpressed] Read more [via Butterflies and Wheels]

Don't watch Diary of a Badman, or you'll go to Hell

.... His Grace is increasingly irritated by Muslim preachers who persist in telling the Ummah that the 'kuffar' (non-believers) are 'less than animals'.

If he were to read and study Genesis - one of his sacred texts - he would discover that there is no exegetical possibility that any man comes beneath the animals in the hierarchy of creation: mankind is given dominion.

This 'imam' clearly doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. But at least he hasn't been imported from Pakistan and is teaching them in English. Perhaps it's time for the Mosque of England to start 'licensing' imams. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Churches Can’t Be Built in Streets with Islamic Names

Bogor’s controversial mayor says he has a new reason not to allow the GKI Yasmin church to open — the name of the street on which it is built has an Islamic name.

Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said Bogor Mayor Diani Budiarto — who continues to defy rulings from the Supreme Court and Ombudsman Commission to open the church — had told him that a church should not be built on a street with an Islamic name.

“[Diani] said that it is a fact that the street is named after a noted Islamic Ulama,” Gamawan said at the Vice Presidential Palace on Friday. [Jakarta Globe] Read more

Cork city councillor calls for ban on burkas and hoodies

COUNCILLORS in Cork city will be urged to support a motion calling on the Justice Minister to ban burkas and give gardaí the power to order youths to remove their hoodies.

The controversial motion, which will be debated in City Hall next month, is to be lodged by former lord mayor Joe O’Callaghan.

The Fine Gael councillor said burkas had been banned in France and Belgium and it was "high time" the Government here followed suit.

"It is an affront to women to have to be covered head to toe in a shroud in this day and age. I do not think it is compatible with our modern society and it also gives rise to security issues," said Mr O’Callaghan. [IrishExaminer.com] Read more [via EuropeNews]

Jail for refusal to remove burqa in Australia

Australian authorities said motorists who refused to take off face-covering veils such as the burqa when asked to do so by police could be sent to jail for up to a year.

Under the changes to laws in New South Wales state, police will be able to ask drivers to remove helmets, masks, the face-covering niqab veil and the all-body garment the burqa.

Refusal to do so would incur a fine of Aus$220 (US$228), but in the most serious cases could result in up to a year in jail and a fine of Aus$5,500.

"People will only be required to remove a face covering for as long as it takes to identify them," New South Wales state Premier Barry O'Farrell said on Friday. [AFP] Read more

Australian state proposes law that would force Muslim women to remove veils or risk prison

Muslim women would have to remove their veils and show their faces to police on request or risk going to prison under proposed new laws in Australia’s most populous state to be introduced to parliament next week.

The New South Wales state government said Friday that under the law, police would be able to require anyone to remove a face covering for identification purposes — including a burqa, niqab, helmet or mask.

State Premier Barry O’Farrell said those who want to be identified privately for cultural and religious reasons would be able to go to a police station. © 1996-2011 [The Washington Post] Read more

18 August 2011

Islam Overtaking Catholicism in France

Islamic mosques are being built more often in France than Roman Catholic churches, and there now are more practising Muslims in the country than practising Catholics.

Nearly 150 new mosques currently are under construction in France, home to the biggest Muslim community in Europe.

The mosque-building projects are at various stages of completion, according to Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the Muslim Council of France (CFCM), who provided the data in an August 2 interview with the French radio station RTL.

The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to more than 2,000 during just the past ten years, according to a research report "Constructing Mosques: The Governance of Islam in France and the Netherlands."

France's most prominent Muslim leader, Dalil Boubakeur, who is rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, recently called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled again – to 4,000 – to meet growing demand. [Hudson New York] Read more

Female Genital Mutilation "An Obligation" According to Iraqi Muslim Cleric

In June, the parliament of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) adopted a ban on domestic violence, including female genital mutilation (FGM), a "procedure" that is widespread among Iraqi Kurds. The law will come into effect once it is signed by KRG president Mesud Barzani, who represents the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

But a local cleric, Ismail Sussai, in the major Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil, has delivered a televised sermon in which he described FGM as "obligatory," called on fathers to kill themselves, on pain of losing their "honor," if they are legally prevented from abusing their daughters for using mobile phones; and he defended the beating of wives and children. [Hudson New York] Read more

Policing Ramadan undermines its principles

Pakistan's Ehtram-e-Ramzan (respecting Ramadan) law makes eating, drinking and smoking in public places during the fasting hours of the holy month illegal. The punishment for any infringement can be three months in prison and a possible fine.

It is a legacy of the Islamificaton policy pursued during the dictatorship of Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s. His notorious regime was also responsible for the blasphemy laws.

[COMMENT] What is the aim of this article ? Because we all already know Pakistan is a failed State, an anti democratic, religious autocracy riddled with extremist, anti western hatred and the abuse and control of women. So they don't let you eat in Ramadan ....... wow. Big deal. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Hopes of rebirth for Mideast science, Muslim scientists say

The poor state of science in the Middle East, especially in Arab countries, has been widely documented. Muslim scientists cite several reasons for this lag, from corruption and cronyism under the region’s unelected leaders to religious objections to evolution or modern astronomical observations to determine the start of Ramadan.

But the winds of change coming from the Arab Spring have brought the first steps toward change. “There is no doubt in my mind that more freedom and democracy, and more ability to debate, are going to promote science and open new avenues to explore,” said Nidhal Guessoum, an Algerian astrophysicist who teaches at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. “In the long run, we’ll see significant improvements.” [Reuters Blogs - FaithWorld] Read more

17 August 2011

French businessman pays Belgian face veil fines

A French businessman paid fines Wednesday for two women in Belgium who wore full-face veils in public and said he would take Belgium and France to court over laws banning Muslim niqabs and burqas.

Property dealer Rachid Nekkaz has set up a 1 million euro ($1.4 million) fund to cover fines and paid the first 50-euro penalties imposed in Belgium on two women in Brussels.

"France and Belgium have decided to forbid the possibility and the liberty of women to wear what they want," he told reporters outside a municipal office in Brussels. [Reuters] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

Iran Seizes 6,500 Bibles to Stop 'Deceiving' Christian Missionaries

Iran has seized 6,500 copies of the Bible in northwest Iran in what appears to be the latest crackdown by Iranian authorities against Christianity in the country.

Few details are known about the seizure, however, Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports that Dr. Majid Abhari, adviser to the social issues committee of the parliament in Iran stated, "These missionaries with reliance on huge money and propaganda are trying to deviate our youth."

In a government interview with Mehr news agency, Abhari explained that the Bibles were taken because of governmental concerns that Christian missionaries mean to "deceive" young Iranians with "false propaganda." [Assyrian International News Agency] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

Liberal intellectuals are frightened of confronting Islam's honour-shame culture

.... The behaviour of the self-identified “progressive” “left” – traditionally the bastion of stinging public criticism of abuse of power, misogyny and belligerence – has been overwhelmingly placatory towards touchy Muslims.

Repeatedly, as in the case of Pope Benedict, they step in to prevent anyone (fellow infidels), whom they smear as Islamophobes, from saying something that might bruise Muslims feelings.

Indeed, they seem more worried about “us” provoking Muslim violence than about exploring the sources of Muslim violence. And often they attack those defending democratic principles with a shrill and contemptuous tone that they would never dream of using with Muslims. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

New Islamic human rights group

.... One clause, for instance, pointedly advocates “the non-use of the universality of human rights as a pretext in the state’s internal affairs and diminish their national sovereignty.”

Another ostensibly backward clause calls upon OIC member states to work together to “increase Islamic solidarity to confront any initiative that may lead to use of human rights as a means of exercising pressure on any member state.” [The Washington Times] Read more [via National Secular Society]

16 August 2011

Victim of Indonesian mob attack sent to jail

An Indonesian man wounded when Islamic hard-liners launched a deadly attack on his minority sect was sentenced Monday to six months in prison — more than some of those caught on video taking part in the lynching.

Human rights groups blasted the ruling, saying 48-year-old Deden Sudjana was acting in self-defense. They said it showed how the police, the judicial system and the government are helping fuel religious intolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. [AP] Read more [via Mick Hartley]

Charity Commission may investigate booklet on ‘The Islamisation of the UK’

A booklet published by the Barnabas Fund has been brought to the attention of the Charity Commission following a complaint over its contents.

The booklet entitled ‘Slippery Slope: The Islamisation of the UK’, “claims that DVDs featuring radical preachers are "widely disseminated" in mosques and says that on one such DVD a speaker argues that "if a girl refuses to wear the hijab, she should be hit.

It also features claims of radical Muslim preachers saying that "women are created with deficient intellect". [ENGAGE] Read more

Malaysian Muslims decry Proselytizers

Muslims in Malaysia have demanded that action be taken against those who proselytize Muslims to Christianity as 22 Islamic non-governmental organizations called for laws banning apostasy.

The NGOs issued a statement stressing their commitment to "defending the faith of Muslims held in this country from … encroachment," according to the Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini. The NGOs sought to uphold existing legislation against proselytizing Muslims while calling for stronger laws against conversions.

"We stressed that matters relating to the faith of Muslims are very sensitive issues that could affect racial harmony, thus calling on all parties not to act against the stipulated law," the statement said. "We unanimously resolve to safeguard the Islamic faith in this country from any form of transgression in accordance to Islam's position as the religion of the federation and existing laws, as well as call for an anti-apostasy law." [Worthy Christian News] Read more

Two Sweetly-Smiling Muslimah Lawyers in Sydney's Daily Telegraph Present the Usual Nonsense and Lies

.... Now two pretty Muslimahs .... both lawyers, one disarmingly bare-headed with impeccable coiffure, the other wearing that version of the Slave Hood that is deemed least intimidating, being deceptively similar to a nun's wimple, look down their noses at us from the pages of Sydney's Telegraph, trot out the well-worn canard about misunderstanders of Islam, and tell us that we're getting it all wrong.

Islam isn't like that! 40 lashes for drinking alcohol has got nothing to do with Islam or the sharia, nothing at all! Suuuure....and all those reports we hear, of laws against drinking alcohol, and floggings or canings for breaching those laws, from places like fervently-Islamic Aceh in Indonesia, and form Malaysia, and form other parts of Dar Al Islam, have got nothing to do with Islam...?? [The Iconoclast] Read more

Female Genital Mutilation “is an obligation” says Mullah in Iraqi Kurdistan

A mullah in Iraqi-Kurdistan talked in a Friday sermon about the new bill against domestic violence that passed the parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan in June.

This law also forbids the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Various clerics and members of Islamic groups started a campaign against this law and demand from the president of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Mr. Massoud Barzani not to sign the bill. [Kurd Net] Read more [via National Secular Society]

15 August 2011

Iran arrests youths for playing with water

.... But the fun ended when photos of water-fighting youths, laughing and dishevelled, came to the attention of Iranian authorities. Ten young men and women were arrested a few days after the first fight took place, and accused of breaking Islamic law.

On August 5, seventeen participants in a second water fight in the city of Bandar Abbas suffered the same fate. A local police official ruled that the "promiscuity between men and women" during these fights was unacceptable, and even more so the use of water during the Ramadan holiday, during which observant Muslims refrain from consuming food or beverages from sunrise to sunset.

All of the arrested youths were eventually freed, but the chief of the country’s morality police warned that all future water fights would be severely punished. Since then, though there have been repeated calls online for new water fights, no one has dared participate. [france24.com] Read more

European Concerns Over Muslim Immigration Go Mainstream

A new opinion survey shows that more than half of all Europeans believe there are too many immigrants in their countries and that immigration is having a negative impact on their lives.

The findings – which come as Europeans are waking up to the consequences of decades of mass immigration from Muslim countries – point to a growing disconnect between European voters and their political masters regarding multicultural policies that encourage Muslim immigrants to remain segregated rather than become integrated into their host nations. [Hudson New York] Read more

Brits are among the most wary on immigration/Islam in Europe

.... despite the onset of the financial crisis and rising unemployment the British remain deeply concerned about immigration, and more so than our European neighbours.

In fact, 37% of us ranked immigration as one of the two most important issues facing the country, compared to 21% of the Italians, 16% of the French and 10% of the Dutch.

Our ongoing concern about this issue is underscored by the findings that two-thirds of us regular discuss immigration with friends, and six out of every ten follow the news closely when it comes to these issues.

.... there is clear evidence of significant hostility toward Muslims. Across Europe more generally, the conclusion of one of these studies was that, on the whole, citizens appear “largely united” in their rejection of Muslims and Islam.

Yet despite having a smaller Muslim population, and also not witnessing the rise of successful far right figures who specifically vilify Muslims, the British (44%) are more likely than the French (36%) and Dutch (41%) to think there are too many Muslims in their country. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

Will it take a riot to finally acknowledge the positive contribution of Muslims?

.... Good article, LM. You are quite right in saying the Muslim community has behaved in an exemplary fashion. However, your suggestion that the media should acknowledge the "vital role Muslims continue to play in bringing the great back into Britain" is over-egging the pudding somewhat.

Whilst bringing attention to the way the right wing press has repeatedly failed to recognise the contributions of the Muslim community is laudable, you should not ignore the appalling damage done to community relations by the extremist ideologues in places like Tower Hamlets who promote gay bashing in the name Allah, nor those who terrify women into leaving their jobs because they don't want to wear the hijab.

This is nothing to do with the tolerant GB I want to live in. Failure to acknowledge fault in your own communities leaves you open to accusations of cherry picking the stories that suit your political views. Exactly what I think you are accusing the right wing media of doing... [London Muslim] Read more

New Report – Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right

A new report by One Law for All explores how the far-Right has attempted to hijack opposition to Islamism for its own ends. It focuses on the British National Party, the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe/America, and exposes how their activities, associations, opinions and intentions reveal a racist and inhuman worldview, which must be resisted and criticised with as much vigilance as Islamism itself. Enemies Not Allies features:

- Evidence of the BNP’s relationship with neo-Nazi and ‘white’ supremacist groups and individuals, including Blood & Honour, Combat 18 and former Klansman David Duke.

- Proof that the BNP’s leadership believe Islamism is ‘the threat that can bring [them] to power’, and examples of how they have tried to use it for political gain. [One Law for All] Read more

Hoodlums who happen to be Muslim have no respect for Islam

.... The majority of Muslims are fed up with a minority who are content to manufacture ugly interpretations of Islam, which are far removed from the compassionate and just jurisprudential legacy we have inherited.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where very few people make a distinction between the teachings of a faith and the myriad interpretations and distortions such teachings can produce.

We are also fed up with the media highlighting every criminal or stupid act by somebody who happens to be Muslim.

There are more than 300,000 Muslims in Australia and while the vast majority are law-abiding, they stand accused alongside every Muslim who has a run-in with the law. The media attention is disproportionate, leaving the grossly unfair impression that the majority of Muslims are on the wrong side of the law. [The Daily Telegraph] Read more

14 August 2011

Radio Host Michael Smith's Comments on Muhammad's Marriage to Aisha

.... It would be excellent if Australian authorities did look into Muhammad's marital arrangements with his young wife Aisha, because it is a significant human rights issue which will not go away.

Accuracy in reporting is always important, and all the more so because Muhammad's example is regarded as perfect by pious Muslims, and a model for all humanity to follow. The circumstances of Muhammad's marriages provide a fundamental point of reference for sharia law. They determine, for example, the marriage age for girls in societies which seek to comply with the Islamic sharia.

The fact of the matter is that Michael Smith got his facts wrong. The matter is worse than he said. According to the most authoritative Islamic sources, Muhammad married Aisha when she was 6, and he consummated the union when she was 9. He was 53 at the time. [markdurie.com] Read more [See Also The Freethinker]

Can’t see the trees for the wood - A review of Islamophobia by Dr Chris Allen

You would expect a book grandly entitled “Islamophobia” to mention the causes of Islamophobia if not discuss them at length. This book does neither.

The book’s index gives the first sign that it will greatly disappoint. If you look for key words and phrases, “sharia”, “sex equality”, “marriage”, “polygamy”, “halal”, “politics”, “freedom of speech”, “secularism” ……. you won’t find them.

These topics are missing. They surely provide many of the foremost reasons why non-Muslims are critical of Islam and why it is disliked and mistrusted by so many.

To be fair to Dr Allen he devotes several pages to the Satanic Verses fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the death of Salman Rushdie for blasphemy. He mentions that the Satanic Verses affair is seen as “…. one of the formative, defining events in shaping how Muslims and Islam have since been known and understood” [Not the APPG on Islamophobia] Read more

Remarks on prophet investigated

THE radio presenter Michael Smith is being investigated by the media watchdog over his assertion that the prophet Muhammad ''married a nine-year-old and consummated it when she was 11''.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority confirmed in a letter dated July 21 that it was investigating the remarks by the 2UE afternoon host.

Adem Cetinay, a Muslim from Bossley Park, complained that Mr Smith was inciting hatred against Muslims through his July 5 broadcast. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

13 August 2011

Muslims start petition for tolerence

.... The petition calls for greater tolerance and more openness and has come about after a Belgo-Moroccan couple suffered verbal abuse and physical abuse at the hands of Muslim youths.

The incident happened last week around the Liedtplein, in the Brussels Municipality of Schaarbeek.

The woman, who is of Moroccan descent, was verbally abused by youths in front of her white Belgian husband. [flandersnews.be] Read more [via Islam in Europe]

Debate on whether Islam guarantees equality of rights for women

.... In the debate, I referred to several ahadith that he challenged. About the first one he said that I was conflating two ahadith, one in which Muhammad said that the majority of people in hell were women, and another in which he spoke of women being deficient in intelligence and in religion.

Zayed claimed that Muhammad did not speak of these two things together -- a minor and diversionary point, to be sure, since he didn't challenge the authenticity of either hadith, but in any case, even in that he was lying, as here is the hadith in which Muhammad speaks both of hell being filled with mostly women and women being deficient in intellect and religion: [Jihad Watch] Read more

Shoddy work by the BBC

Rahman is, to take one particularly egregious example, a man who the BBC presents as a moderate standing up to al-Muhajiroun extremists despite his own solicitor, Makbool Javaid, being an extremist who opposes ‘man made law’, supported the creation of a Caliphate from an al-Muhajiroun platform, and signed a ‘declaration of war‘ on the United Kingdom.

No mention was made of the controversy surrounding Rahman and the Islamic Forum Europe and nothing was said about his suspension from the Labour Party.

Anyone looking for proof that Britain is being ‘Islamised’ and that we’re all doomed need frankly look no further than the murky world of Tower Hamlets politics of which Rahman is the central figure. Yet the BBC presented Rahman as the voice of moderation. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Michigan bill targets use of 'foreign' laws like Sharia

A state lawmaker wants Michigan to join the trend of states banning "foreign laws," but Muslim activists say the effort is a thinly veiled attack on Islam.

Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, is pushing a bill to bar the implementation of foreign laws. It doesn't mention Sharia — Islamic law — but he acknowledged it would be prohibited in courts under the legislation intended to prevent anyone "who tries to shove any foreign law down our throats."

"No foreign law shall supersede federal laws or constitution or state laws or constitution," Agema said. "Our law is our law. I don't like foreign entities telling us what to do."

Agema said his bill would protect the "vast majority" of Muslims, whom he contended "come to this country to get away from Sharia." [The Detroit News] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

12 August 2011

Family loses appeal over swimming lesson fine

A court says that fines imposed on Muslim parents in canton Basel-City for keeping their children out of mandatory school swimming lessons were correct.

A cantonal administrative court on Friday threw out the appeal of a Muslim couple against their fine, ruling that it was not in breach of freedom of religion and conscience.

The parents were fined SFr1,400 ($1,816) last year – in the first move of its kind - after they withdrew their daughters aged seven and nine from the school swimming lessons.

The court said it had based its ruling on the latest decision by the federal court. Compulsory schooling meant that all parents were obliged to send their children to school and that children had the right to adequate schooling, the Basel-City court said in a statement. This included sport and swimming lessons which before puberty are mixed in the canton. [swissinfo.ch] Read more [via Islam in Europe]

Australia must fight calls for sharia law

.... sharia family law is a pillar of women's oppression in countries under Islamic laws. And it often exists even when the penal code no longer applies.

Under sharia law's civil code, child custody reverts to the father at a preset age, even if the father is abusive. Women who remarry lose custody of their children even if the child has not reached the preset age and sons are entitled to inherit twice the share of daughters.

Also a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man's. A woman's marriage contract is between her male guardian and her husband, and a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim. A man can have four wives and divorce his wife by simple repudiation, whereas a woman must give justifications for requesting a divorce, some of which are extremely difficult to prove. [The Australian] Read more

FOSIS Angry at Qaradawi Ireland Exclusion

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in the UK and Ireland has voiced its disappointment at the Irish Government’s refusal to grant Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi entry into the country.FOSIS spokesperson, Amandla Thomas Johnson said, “Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi is a distinguished scholar whose views are respected by Muslims from around the world. It is a shame to see that yet another prominent Muslim figure is being targeted due to his religious convictions.”

.... He thinks that Hitler was sent by Allah to punish Jews and looks forward to a time in which ‘the believers’ will finish what Hitler started. [Harry’s Place] Read more

This Month in Muslim Persecution of Christians

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is endemic, on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, I begin with this article a new series called "This Month in Muslim Persecution of Christians," wherein some—by no means all—of the foulest instances of persecution that surface each month will be collated and assessed.

.... As will become evident, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women and misogyny; apostasy and blasphemy laws; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya; and over all expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis. [FrontPage Magazine] Read more

Seven out of 10 Austrians back burka ban

Viennese public opinion agency Karmasin spoke with 500 Austrians to find that 71 per cent of them were in favour of such a law prohibiting wearing burkas in public places.

There are no figures on how many Muslim women living in Austria wear burkas which are considered by some as a sign that they are repressed by their religious husbands.

While newspapers speculate that most burka-wearing women were wealthy tourists on shopping sprees in Vienna and other holiday hotspots, Social Democratic (SPÖ) Minister for Women Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek revealed she could imagine implementing an anti-burka regulation similar to restrictions in France, Belgium and other European countries. [The Iconoclast] Read more

On Muslims And The Future Of European Cities

Unlike our Muslims from the Balkan Peninsula, they are much more prone to radicalization because the religious organs in Western Europe, the Muslim religious organs, are controlled and commanded by radical Islamists, subsidized/financed by Saudi Arabia and other places, and preach the ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood and etc", Alexiev explains in an interview for the Focus news agency.

According to him, it seems to escape public notice that almost all Muslims in Western Europe are people residing in big cities.

"Muslims in rural areas and small towns are hard to find. If we take the city of Marseille as an example, the Muslim population there exceeds 30%, the share of the young generation below 20 years of age is already above 50%, meaning that Marseille is on its way to become an exclusively Muslim city. [The Iconoclast] Read more

11 August 2011

United Nations Affirms the Human Right to Blaspheme

.... The message of General Comment No. 34 is not only a clear condemnation of the blasphemy laws of countries such as Pakistan, which despite having ratified the ICCPR in 2008, continues to impose the death sentence for blasphemy and “defiling” the name of Prophet Muhammad.

The Comment equally repudiates the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which has upheld Austrian, British, and Turkish laws against blasphemy and religious insult by invoking a sui generis right to “respect for the religious feelings of believers.”

The major disappointment in the comment, in my view, is its failure to address hate speech laws, which in many countries function as de facto restrictions on blasphemy and sacrilege. Theoretically, we can distinguish between bashing a belief and bashing its adherents. [Religion Dispatches] Read more [via National Secular Society]

10 August 2011

An antidote to the anti-shariah movement

.... he states Islamic militants have not perverted Islam, but rather the Islamic doctrine seeks global hegemony and overseas Muslims support Islamic rule. It’s interesting to know he and his inner circle believe in something that we, Muslims, do not believe. Islamic militants have not only attempted to pervert the religion, but also hijack its core peaceful teaching with their diametrically opposite ideology of hate and murder.

It goes without saying that as Timothy McVeigh and Anders Behring Breivik (the so called ‘Christian terrorist’) did not represent Christian values, Tamil Tigers did not represent all Tamils, Ayuman Shinto did not represent all Japanese, the IRA did not represent all Catholics, and the late Osama Bin Ladin and his ilk neither represented Islamic values, Muslim culture nor an Arab outlook. [altmuslim] Read more

Shout down the Sharia myth makers

The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years.

The notion that Islam is insidiously making inroads in the United States through the application of religious law is seeping into the mainstream, with even some presidential candidates voicing fears about the supposed threat of Sharia to our way of life and as many as 13 states considering or having already passed bills that would prohibit the application of Sharia law. [JTA] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

09 August 2011

These Malaysian adverts miss the point of Ramadan

.... With about 60% of the nation's population professing Islam, the local broadcaster 8TV ran a trio of 30-seconds clips in the first week of Ramadan aimed at instructing its non-Muslim ethnic minorities about the etiquette of proper conduct appropriate to this Islamic holy month.

The advertisements feature a young Chinese woman behaving greedily, obnoxiously and wearing tight clothings at a Ramadan bazaar to the chagrin of the Muslim Malays around her. Rightly so, the racist undertone has caused a public uproar as multitudes registered their displeasure on the station's official Facebook page. [Guardian Cif] Read more

German interior minister says Thilo Sarrazin's book opened up a necessary debate on Islam

SPIEGEL: Minister Friedrich, the massacre in Norway has sparked a discussion about the political background to the attacks. Is Anders Breivik a madman or the first anti-Muslim terrorist?

Friedrich: He is a madman, but he's also more than that. I'm not talking about insanity in a medical sense. This sort of a crime, where someone shoots children in cold blood as they desperately beg for their lives, is incomprehensible for any person with normal emotions.

But other factors must also have entered into the equation, factors that made this crime possible in the first place. Investigators are now trying to determine what they are. [Spiegel Online] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

Do critics actually read the Koran? Uh, yeah

.... "Aggression" is often defined by Islamic commentators as a refusal to accept Islam or allow for the establishment of the Islamic state. Hence the renowned and respected Islamic scholar Maulana Maududi, in his commentary on 9:29, says that non-Muslims have "absolutely no right to seize the reins of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines."

If they do, "the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life." [Jihad Watch] Read more

Sharia law in the West goes against fight for reforms

ATTEMPTS to introduce sharia family law into Western societies run against the tide of reforms spearheaded by female activists in the Muslim world.

Many aspects of these laws are unpalatable to a society that has enforced equal rights for divorce, custody, inheritance and court testimony, and criminalised polygamy and forced, under-age marriage.

Moreover, the experience with sharia in Britain and Canada is cautionary. It is estimated thousands of British Muslim men have taken advantage of a loophole in the law against bigamy to avoid official registration and seal polygamous marriages in mosque ceremonies. [The Australian] Read more

Progress? Discrimination? Or Simply a Stunning Controversy?

.... but stunning, as long as it does not actually kill the animal, is slowly being accepted as reducing the animal's suffering and still meeting the religious proscriptions.

This was deemed acceptable in Egypt with a fatwa in 1987, and New Zealand, the largest exporter of halal sheep meat, has developed slaughter and stunning techniques that meet both Muslim halal requirements and animal welfare concerns.

Iqbal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has conceded that all but a minority of "conservative Muslims" accepted electrical pre-stunning of sheep before ritual slaughter. [The Huffington Post] Read more

08 August 2011

Ireland refuses entry to notorious fascist activist

.... There’s really no reason to buy into this ‘complex character’ line, as Qaradawi’s views are out in the public domain for all to see.

.... He supports female genital mutilation. He argues that killing gay people in Islamic States helps to ‘maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements’. He condemned the 9/11 attacks (big deal!) but then two years later asked Allah to ‘eliminate’ the United States. His idea of ‘Muslim integration in Western societies’ can be seen in this clip: [Harry’s Place] Read more

Jamaat-i-Islami in Pakistan and the rape/adultery fallacy

.... In the Qur’an, four witnesses are required to prove zina (adultery), not rape. That is a key distinction, and the Qur’an is merciful, in that by requiring 4 witnesses, the standard for proving adultery is set so high as to be impossible.

That is as it should be, since the penalty for adultery is so severe (100 lashes – the Qur’an does not prescribe stoning). But adultery is not rape. If you are raped, you did not commit adultery.

Adultery is a category of illicit, but mutually consensual, sexual intercourse. Obviously in rape, the sexual intercourse is forced by one party upon the other without their consent – that is the very definition of rape. [City of Brass] Read more [via Harry’s Place]

Protest against Muslim prayer services in schools

Some Muslim parents fear a handful of Toronto imams are turning their children into young radicals during Friday prayer services at some public schools.

“Who are these imams and what are their qualifications,” asked Sohail Raza, president of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “I am extremely concerned about what they are teaching our kids.”

Raza was among 300 people who demonstrated outside the Toronto District School Board, on Yonge St., on Monday night. [Toronto Sun] Read more

Do critics actually read the Koran?

A Muslim apologist who is both very stupid, and thinks American Infidels are even more stupid, asks if critics of Islam even bother to find out about Islam. He apparently thinks they will stick to 2.256 (which does not mean what non-Muslims often take it to mean) and 5.32 without 5.33, and of course will never read commentaries on the Qur'an, or look into the even more disturbing stories in the Hadith. [The Iconoclast] Read more

'Fatwa' sheikh with links to Irish Muslims is refused visa

....The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service refused to approve an entry visa for Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric who has defended suicide bombing and advocated the death penalty for homosexuals.

Sheikh al-Qaradawi (84) is head of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), a private Islamic foundation whose headquarters is in the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) in Clonskeagh, Dublin.

Immigration officials are understood to have blocked his entry to the country after Mr Al-Qaradawi described suicide-bombing attacks on Israelis as "martyrdom in the name of God". [Independent.ie] Read more

Paris Muslims offered disused barracks to stop prayers in the streets

Muslims who have been praying in the streets of a Paris neighbourhood have been offered a disused barracks to pray in, French Interior Minister Claude Guéant announced Monday. Muslim leaders have visited the site and agreed that it is suitable, he said.

“Praying in the street is something that is not acceptable,” Guéant told the AFP news agency, insisting that it is contrary to the French state's secular principles. “It has to stop.”

Muslims have been praying in public in two streets in Paris’s 18th arrondissement - rues Myrha and Polonceau - for some time because the local mosques are not big enough. [RFI] Read more [via National Secular Society]

07 August 2011

Take off face veils, says leading Muslim scholar

A Muslim scholar and jurist has waded into New Zealand's burqas-on-buses debate – saying the women should be made to remove their face veils.

The debate erupted in May when two Muslim women were refused entry to Auckland buses because they were wearing face veils or niqabs.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who hit the headlines when he issued a fatwa against terrorism and suicide bombing, told the Sunday Star-Times "covering the face, according to the Koran, is not mandatory". [Stuff.co.nz] Read more [via National Secular Society]

There is no compulsion in religion, but...

Egyptian Shaykh Muhammad Hassan, who is one of the most popular and well-known Islamic clerics in Egypt and even throughout the Islamic world (there is even a campaign in Egypt to try to get him to run for president), emphasizes in this video that apostates from Islam must be killed.

He argues, interestingly, that this does not conflict with the principle of no compulsion in religion, because no one is forced to enter Islam (or so he says). However, after they choose to enter Islam, they cannot be allowed to leave it.

He contends that this is akin to treason, and every country in the world punishes treason by death. This is a very common argument from Islamic clerics and others who try to defend the killing of apostates, and take on the impossible task of reconciling this with the Western ideas of freedom of religion and conscience. [Translating Jihad] Read more

Sharia: a law unto itself?

After being beaten repeatedly by her husband – who had also threatened to kill her – Jameela turned to her local Sharia council in a desperate bid for a way out of her marriage.

Today she discovers the verdict. Playing nervously with her hands, the young mother-of-three listens as the panel of judges discuss whether they should grant her a divorce.

.... Although the judges appear sympathetic, they are concerned about the rights of the father, as Islamic law says he is still responsible for his children’s education. “For the sake of the children, you must keep up the façade of cordial relations,” says Dr Naseem. “The worst thing that can happen to a child is to see the father and mother quarrelling.” [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

06 August 2011

Dad forbids daughter to play with non-Muslim children

When he went to court seeking custody of the little girl, who was born in 2007, a federal magistrate said it was disturbing that he had tried to alienate the girl from the non-Muslim community in Australia.

The Federal Magistrates' Court, sitting in Victoria, heard that the girl had refused to play with another, fair-haired girl during a visit with a family counsellor.

The girl allegedly said "Baba says it is haram", explaining to her mother that she was not allowed to play with non-Muslim children.

The family counsellor searched for the meanings of the words on the internet and discovered "Baba" meant father and "haram" meant forbidden, the federal court heard. [Herald Sun] Read more [via The Iconoclast]

Islam and democracy - Uneasy companions

“OF COURSE they say nice things these days,” says a Lebanese woman, a sophisticated Sunni Muslim in her 50s, gliding between English, French and Arabic. “They know who they’re talking to. But you cannot trust them—absolutely not.”

Again and again, in secular and liberal circles in Beirut, Cairo, Rabat, Tunis and even Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, you hear almost identical dark warnings against the Islamist movements that are gaining ground across the Arab world as dictators are toppled, tackled or forced into concessions. [The Economist] Read more

Assaulted for wearing a sleeveless shirt

.... A few days ago, a police officer along with his squad burst into the Nairang Art Gallery and beat up the female curator for wearing a sleeveless dress and interacting with men. The police officer, a SHO, was perturbed by the ‘fahash’ ambience of the place.

After being assaulted the woman and her colleagues who came to her rescue were taken to the police station and booked under an obsolete ordinance.

Nairang Art Gallery is a work of devotion to art, literature, music and design by the iconic architect Nayyer Ali Dada. Some say it’s the modern day’s equivalent of the Pak Tea House – where left-leaning intellectuals come to spend their time. [The Express Tribune] Read more [via The Samosa]

05 August 2011

Europe needs a grassroots movement to tackle the threat of Islamophobia

.... Expressions of outrage are no longer enough. There needs to be a grassroots movement across Europe to stand up to those who peddle bogus religious justifications, resurrecting memories of the Crusades; to expose the racist ideology drawn from nazism, in which Muslims have now become the new Jews of Europe; and to tackle the myth of "Islamification" and those who claim to be defending western civilisation, Christian and secular, from conquest by Muslim immigration and the spread of sharia law. [Guardian Cif] Read more

WLUML dossier on the struggle for secularism

.... when we speak against the growing rise of Muslim fundamentalism, we are accused of being sold out to governments, labelled racist, or ‘Islamophobic’2, as if one could not struggle at the same time against both the traditional extreme right and the new fundamentalist extreme right.

What is problematic, in short, is not what we do for women’s rights, for secularism and against the rise of fundamentalism, but where we do it. Should we wage these same struggles in our countries of origin, we would get support or at least we would not be accused in the same way.

Progressive forces in Europe are afraid to get into the same situation and to be labelled ‘Islamophobic’ and racist. Bending to both the pressure from fundamentalists (a tactic we know well for they use the same one to silence us in our countries) and to the guilt feelings inherited from the colonial past, progressive forces fear above all to confront Muslim fundamentalists (and not other fundamentalisms), as they know that fundamentalists will accuse them to be ‘against Islam’, as they claim they are Islam and the only legitimate representatives of the true Islam. [Women Living Under Muslim Laws] Read more [via Butterflies and Wheels]

Muslim woman attacked for having relationship with non-Muslim

A Muslim woman (34) from the Brussels suburb of Schaarbeek was attacked Wednesday night for having a relationship with a non-Muslim.

The woman left her residence with her partner at 8:30pm, when three youth turned up and started punching her. The three ran off. They were chased by a witness, who manged to catch Mohammed (19) and call the police.

The young man was taken for questioning, where he told the police that he attacked the woman because she was having a relationship with a non-Muslim and he couldn't accept that.

According to Brussels parliamentarian Fouad Ahidar (sp.a) This is not the first time Muslim women are attacked for having a relationship with a non-Muslim, but such attacks are often kept quiet. [Islam in Europe] Read more

25 jailed for eating in public during Ramadan

A total of 25 people were arrested and sent to jail in Pakistan's central Punjab province for eating in public during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The people were arrested in Faisalabad city this week for violating the Ehteram-e-Ramadan Ordinance, officials said.

A spokesman of the city district government said special teams had been formed to conduct raids and nab persons who were found eating in public. The raiding teams arrested 25 people from across the city for eating and drinking in public. These people were sent to jail for 72 hours, the spokesman said. [Rediff.com] Read more

Letter on Sharia Law to Justice Ministry

.... the councils openly admit to carrying out these activities and they do so within a context where a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s, marital rape is deemed “impossible” and violence against women is permissible provided it does not leave any marks.

These councils operate as registered charities – I wonder if you could clarify under which legislation registered charities are permitted to carry out such activities.

.... you also state “The Government does not prevent individuals from seeking to regulate their lives through religious beliefs or cultural traditions”. However, I am seeking clarification on whether there is any limit to this, and where that limit lies. For example, if permissible domestic violence is deemed to be a “cultural tradition”, does this take precedence over our anti-violence laws? [Maryam Namazie] Read more

Perspectives on Sharia law in Britain

.... Christina Patterson is right to raise concerns about Sharia councils and tribunals operating in this country. Under the Arbitration Act 1996 their "judgements" can in fact acquire the force of law; a recent Bill introduced by Baroness Cox would have amended this situation.

Not only is Sharia law "gynophobic" as David Crawford's letter points out (4 August), but Sharia bodies should never be making decisions about children in "custody" cases. Their rulings are not in line with the Children Act 1989, which is supposed to protect all children in the country.

Sharia looks to fixed rules and arbitrary preferences on where the child shall live, according to her/his age; the Children Act, by contrast, seeks the welfare of each individual child, in his or her unique individual circumstances, as the guiding principle for settling where the child should live, and who should have contact with him/her. [independent.co.uk] Read more

04 August 2011

New Muslim 'Reality' Show Is Anything But

The American TV network TLC recently announced that it is making a reality series following the lives of Muslims living in America. The program—called "All American Muslim"—will follow five Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, hoping to expose the "misconceptions and conflicts" they face "outside and within" their own community…

.... If one truly wished to understand the differences between the Muslim and Western mindsets, one need only look to their respective medias. Far from trying to depict the "other"—the infidel—as "just one of us," the Arab media is devoted to making the West look as if it is on a "crusade" to destroy Islam, and that the Jews are "pigs and monkeys" who are behind any number of animal-related conspiracies. Meanwhile, here is America's media, floating in an idealistic, Utopian bubble, conditioning minds accordingly. [Hudson New York] Read more

Muslim Countries Financing Jihad in Spain

.... A newly leaked secret report prepared by Spain's National Intelligence Center (CNI), excerpts of which were published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper on July 31, says the Spanish government is struggling to stop the flow of tens of millions of dollars to Islamic groups in Spain from Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and above all Saudi Arabia.

The CNI report states: "The financing is having negative consequences for [multicultural] coexistence in Spain, such as the emergence of parallel societies and ghettos, Islamic courts and police that operate outside of Spanish jurisprudence, removing girls from schools, forced marriages, etc." [Hudson New York] Read more

Hague: Dentist opens night for Ramadan patients

For the first time in the Netherlands, Peter Thiel, a dentist from the Hague is opening his clinic in the evenings and nights during Ramadan, to enable fasting Muslims to get dental care.

"they can't swallow their own saliva from sunrise to sunset," explains Thiel. "One of my patients told me last week that because of that he didn't want to come for a follow-up appointment. That got me thinking."

After speaking with an imam in the Hague, he decided to open his clinic in the evenings and nights. Muslim who want to, can come to him after sunset. He accepts emergency cases all night. [Islam in Europe] Read more

Teacher suspended for 'insulting' Muhammad in Bangladesh

A Hindu teacher in Muslim-majority Bangladesh has been suspended after allegedly making offensive remarks about the Prophet Muhammad that triggered angry protests.

Madan Mohan Das, a follower of the Hindu faith, taught at the Dhanmondi Government Boys High School from the year 2010. On July 26, 2011, he allegedly made disparaging remarks about the Islamic Prophet's pilgrimage and his numerous wives at a teachers' meeting that infuriated many teachers, students and parents.

The comments led to severe protests around the city and at the school, where protesters ransacked the office building, broke flower pots and vandalized the garden. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Family of albino Muslims terrorised after one of them marries a Christian man

.... Aslam Parvez, 53, blames members of the Muslim community who believe the family have been dishonoured by his daughter's marriage.

The hate campaign started five months ago when a national magazine published an article on albinos which featured Naseem, who no longer lives in Coventry and has little contact with her family.

It revealed how she has married a Christian, goes to church and is expecting her second child with her husband.

Moved away: Daughter Naseem Akhtar married a Christian and spoke about her life in a magazine

Mr Parvez says copies of the article were quickly spread maliciously, and were posted on walls near their house and through the doors of Muslim homes in the community. [MailOnline] Read more

Iranian youths arrested for public water pistol fight in Tehran

In the 40C heat of an Iranian summer, what better way to have fun and stay cool than a water fight with friends? In the Islamic republic, however, things are a bit more complicated.

For one group of boys and girls, their game turned serious when they were arrested for taking part in a water pistol fight in a park in the capital, Tehran.

Last Friday hundreds of enthusiasts used plastic pistols and empty bottles to play in the ironically named Garden of Water and Fire for hours and, to the surprise of many, without police interference. But the event – organised on Facebook – prompted criticism from conservatives when pictures of it emerged online days later. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

In the Burqa Ban, Italy's Left and Right Find Something to Agree On

.... the bill's main sponsor is a naturalized Moroccan immigrant, a Muslim woman who runs an association of Moroccan women and edits an Arabic-language newspaper.

Souad Sbai is a member of Silvio Berlusconi's party and a former member of the National Alliance, a party with fascist roots that in Italy's topsy-turvy political system has become one of the country's main champions of immigrant rights. she is also championing a measure that would ease the path to citizenship for second-generation immigrants.

Sbai says she proposed the veil ban as a response to what she says is a rising wave of extremism in Italy's Islamic community: "I feel humiliated having to talk about burqas. I never saw burqas [as a child in Morocco]. Why do I see them here?" [TIME.com] Read more

Latest threat to the Islamic Republic: squirt gun fights

.... I got up early in the morning to write the previous post on the Islamic Republic’s lack of tolerance for a public water pistol fight in a Tehran park. By the time I got home in the evening, the state TV was parading some of the organisers and participants who were confessing to their “crime.”

The head of the Moral Police, Roozbehani : “We have asked the judiciary to deal with these wrong doers as severely as possible. We can not tolerate such public events any where in the country”. [Harry’s Place] Read more

03 August 2011

Germany Tries to Forge European Brand of Islam

.... One challenge is that nearly 90% of the nation's imams come from abroad, particularly Turkey, and many promote an Islam that is "oriented to Turkey," said Rauf Ceylan, professor of religious sciences at the University of Osnabrück, and therefore "disturb the integration process."

With German consent, the Turkish government began sending imams to Germany in the 1980s, a decision fueled by concern that more conservative forms of Islamic teaching forbidden in Turkey were taking hold among Europe's Turkish diaspora.

Today, some 900 mosques, about one-third of the total in Germany, are led by Turkish-state employees. These imams, Mr. Ceylan said, have trouble relating to a new generation of German Muslims because they often know little about German society when they arrive for periods of up to five years and speak little German. [WSJ.com] Read more [via National Secular Society]

Italy approves draft law to ban burqa

An Italian parliamentary commission has approved a draft law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public.

The draft, which was passed by the constitutional affairs commission on Tuesday, would prohibit women from going in public wearing a burqa, niqab or any other garment that covers the face. It would expand a decades-old law that for security reasons prohibits people from wearing face-covering items such as masks in public places.

Women who violate the ban would face fines, while third parties who forced women to cover their faces in public would be fined and face up to 12 months in jail. [AP - Guardian] Read more

Egypt's Islamists mobilising mass support

.... When a protest was called in Tahrir Square late last week, it was known the Islamists would dominate it. But the numbers brought in by the Salafists far exceeded even those the Muslim Brotherhood could muster.

The Salafists favour an Islamic state, with Sharia law, as soon as possible, whereas the Brotherhood has emphasised the separation of state and religion - at least for the time being.

Hundreds of thousands of Salafists came to the square - many waving the flag of Al Nour or "The Light", the party they have established to contest the elections.

One Westernised Cairo woman who was shocked by this show of strength said to me "I think I will have to leave Egypt". [BBC] Read more

Two legal systems, and two choices. Which do we want?

.... And I'm absolutely sure that those councils are not all run by highly educated, moderate Muslims like him.

Most of them, according to Fiyaz Mughal, the Muslim director of an organisation called Faith Matters, are run by men over 60 who "don't have a clue what happens in life in this country" and "will give you an autocratic, dictatorial line".

Sharia, he told me, "was never meant to be an imposition on communities". Young Muslims, he said, need to be given the opportunity, "to revive the 500-year-old Muslim tradition of healthy debate".

God (or Allah, or whoever) only knows how we've got ourselves into this position, where a big chunk of our population waits for the edicts of men schooled in a medieval interpretation of a 1,500-year-old religion, with medieval views on freedom of expression, homosexuality and women's rights.

Some of it, clearly, is a result of a Labour government which thought it didn't matter what you believed as long as you were sincere, even if that sincere belief meant wanting you dead. [independent.co.uk] Read more

Poll: Muslims, atheists most likely to reject violence

New data from polling firm Gallup shows that out of all the religious groups in the U.S., Muslims are most likely to reject violence, followed by the non-religious atheists and agnostics.

Through interviews with 2,482 Americans, Gallup found that 78 percent of Muslims believe violence which kills civilians is never justified, whereas just 38 percent of Protestant Christians and 39 percent of Catholics agreed with that sentiment. Fifty-six percent of atheists answered similarly. [The Raw Story] Read more [via loonwatch.com]

Italy: 'Moderate' Muslims cheer draft law banning 'women-segrating' burka

The approval of a Italian draft law to ban the burka is a victory for women's rights, according to some leaders of Italy's Muslim community

"We learned of the news with great pleasure," said Gamal Bouchaib and Ahmed Bashir of advocacy group Moderate Muslims in Italy and Mustapha Mansouri, member of the Interior Ministry's Committee for Islam, an advisory group, in a joint statement.

The draft law passed by a parliamentary committee on Tuesday would prohibit the wearing of a burka, niqab or any headwear which covers the face. It has the backing of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's government and is due to face a parliamentary vote when politicians return from their summer break. [AKI] Read more [via Islam in Europe]