31 March 2012

Dutch design challenges Fifa's football hijab ban

A Dutch designer has created a hijab aimed at convincing the world football governing body Fifa to overturn its ban on women wearing headscarves on the pitch.

Players were prevented from wearing the hijab at top levels of the game for safety reasons, and because of rules stating that religious symbols were not allowed.

Critics say the ban promotes inequality at the highest level of the world's most popular game. [BBC] Read more

Extremists control hundreds of Tunisia’s mosques: religious affairs minister

Tunisia’s Religious Affairs Minister Nourredine al-Khademi on Saturday said the country will take stock of the hundreds of mosques now in the hands of Salafist extremists.

“This is a priority area for my administration,” said the minister, who estimated that about 400 of Tunisia’s more than 5,000 mosques had fallen under the sway of ultra-conservative Salafists.

“Serious problems concern about 50 mosques, no more,” he said, referring to cases where the original imams and worshippers had been forced out.

Khademi said that in the central city of Sidi Bouzid, for example, a major mosque was taken over by Salafists more than a year ago and was now known by locals as the “Kandahar mosque”, after Afghanistan’s Taliban stronghold. [AFP] Read more

French ban on Islamic veil turns out to be toothless

It’s an unusually warm, spring morning in Venissieux, a downtrodden suburb of Lyon, and Fadela, 23, covered from head to toe in a black niqab, her black gloves adorned with elegant flower stitching, is walking with her friend Najet to the discount market called Ed.

A police car passes but does not stop. Fadela says that’s not unusual. “This is a sensitive neighbourhood,” she surmised. “It’d be a problem for the police.”

In fact, Fadela, who agreed to be interviewed on condition her real name not be used, said police have never told her to uncover her face.

Nearly one year after France implemented its controversial ban on wearing the Islamic veil— a niqab or burka — in public, a surprising fact has emerged. It appears that few women have actually removed their veils to obey the law. [Toronto Star] Read more

30 March 2012

Cashier uncomfortable handling handling pork or alcohol

.... They’ve put up a sign asking customers buying pork or alcohol not to use a particular checkout line when a Muslim teenager is on duty as the cashier.

The sign went up a week ago at their Lyell Avenue store.

Wegmans says they haven’t gotten any in store complaints and Wegmans was very upfront about the cashier. They just wouldn’t allow us in the store to talk with her or customers

Spokeswoman Jo Natale says the cashier is a teenaged girl who wears a head covering. She told her supervisor she was uncomfortable handling those items because of religious reasons. So the store manager who had experience with this type of situation outside of Rochester decided to put up a small sign whenever the girl was at the checkout counter. [WHEC.com] Read more

Turkey passes school reform law critics view as Islamic

Turkey's ruling party pushed through a school reform act on Friday that provoked brawls among parliamentarians and mass protests by secular Turks and teachers, who said the law was pushing an Islamic agenda and would lower education standards.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent shudders through the secular opposition earlier this year when he said his goal was to raise a "religious youth." Earlier this month, his AK Party sprang the surprise proposal to overhaul the education system. [Reuters] Read more

Scouts back Muslim girl clothing

Girl scouts are being offered a new range of clothing, following requests from Muslim scout members.

The range was designed to ensure Muslim girls felt comfortable without being restricted and includes "hoodie" and T-shirt dresses".

Both are knee-length, and include print graphics inspired by scout badges and the spirit of adventure.

Around 600 Muslim girls are expected to benefit, although the range is being made available to all girl scouts. [BBC] Read more

More controversial Muslim books for sale

.... The books, written by deceased Islamic scholar Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – are available at the Islamic Circle of North America bookstore in Scarborough.

“Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation that rules it,” Maududi wrote in Jihad in Islam. “Islam requires the earth – not just a portion – but the whole planet.”

Maududi was an influential Pakistani journalist, theologian and Muslim revivalist leader who wrote more than 120 books and pamphlets and lived from 1903 to 1979.

He is described in the preface of one of the books as an author who “provided the present-day revival of Islam with its intellectual foundations.” [Toronto Sun] Read more

Malaysia in religious row over 'threat of Christianity'

Malaysian state religious and education officials have changed the title of a seminar on "the threat of Christianity" following outrage from non-Muslims in the multiethnic country.

Southern Johor state education officials faced criticism over the school teachers' seminar to be held Saturday that was titled: "Strengthening the faith, the dangers of liberalism and pluralism and the threat of Christianity towards Muslims."

The furore over the title follows allegations of Christian proselytisation in the Muslim-majority country after religious police raided a Methodist church event last August fearing Muslims were being converted. [AFP] Read more

Forced marriage: Girl aged five among 400 minors helped

.... But the case comes as no surprise to the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO), which deals with more than 100 cases of forced marriage a year.

"We have had clients who are in their very early teens, 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds, the youngest case we had was nine years old," said IKWRO campaigns officer Fionnuala Murphy.

Now the consultation on forced marriage has come to an end, IKWROs hope it will become a criminal offence.

"Our organisation is pro-criminalisation because we believe that it will empower victims to know that this is a crime, to stand up to their parents and to stand up for their own rights and it will enable them to come forward and seek help and say what's happening to me is wrong." [BBC] Read more

The Return of Galloway, The Return of Sectarian Britain

With the exception of Northern Ireland, it has been some time since Britain had a nakedly sectarian political party. I’m open to correction, but the last one was probably the Liverpool Protestant Party.

And now sectarianism is back.

Make no mistake. Galloway’s win in Bradford West was fought on the basis of religion. This was a candidacy that was aimed at demonstrating that, if Muslims are appealed to in the name of religion, they will vote for you. While Galloway’s campaign literature claimed: [Harry’s Place] Read more

Italy: Man who beat daughter for reciting Koran incorrectly broke law, court says

Italy's Supreme Court on Friday agreed with a lower court that a different culture was no reason for a Moroccan man to be allowed to beat his 12-year-old daughter for failing to correcetly recite the Koran.

The court upheld a ruling that the father was guilty of abuse and aggravated assault for hitting his daughter with a broom handle.

A defense lawyer argued that the culture of resident in northeastern coastal city of Ravenna allowed him to strike his daughter for "educational" reasons. [ADNKronos] Read more

29 March 2012

And not a woggle in sight: The new Scout uniform for Muslim girls

The Scouts have designed a special uniform for Muslim girls to cater for their growing female membership.

A hoodie dress and a T-shirt dress which ‘encapsulate the adventurous spirit of Scouting’ are now available to attract recruits from Muslim families.

It is hoped that the new uniforms will allow the movement to build on its growing popularity with girls. Around one in six of the 400,000 UK Scouts is a girl.

[A COMMENT] Looks like integration has gone out the window then, along with Scouting tradition. Bending over backward to appease the minority, yet again, how typical.

[A COMMENT] Strange how they always have to be different . . . they will never integrate !

[A COMMENT] Stop the pandering NOW! What's going to be next? I shudder to think. [MailOnline] Read more

Arab revolts bring Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist regional vision closer

The Muslim Brotherhood has quietly spread its influence far beyond Egypt in its 84-year history, but Arab revolts have opened broad new political horizons the group hopes will reflect its founder's vision for the Arab and Islamic world.

"There is no doubt that Hassan al-Banna believed in Islamic unity and not just Arab unity. But with such a vision we must consider reality and what is possible," said Mahmoud Ghozlan, a member of the Brotherhood's executive bureau.

Interviewed at the group's new headquarters in Cairo, he called such unity a "long-term objective", but seemed alive to the possibilities thrown up by a ferment in which Islamists are driving mainstream politics across North Africa and beyond. [Reuters] Read more

Croydon muslim fired from Sutton Vodafone shop for having a beard

A Muslim was sacked on the first day of a new job at a phone shop because of his beard.

Shahid Saleem, 21, from Croydon, has a beard for religious reasons and is now seeking legal advice after the discrimination he faced at Vodafone in Sutton High Street.

Mr Saleem turned up at the store on September 9, 2011 after being placed there by the recruitment agency, Adecco. [Croydon Guardian] Read more

Four Muslim preachers banned from entering France to attend conference

France said Thursday it had banned four Muslim preachers from entering the country to attend an Islamic conference, saying their “calls for hatred and violence seriously damage republican principles”.

France also “regrets“ that Swiss intellectual Tariq Ramadan has been invited to the meeting of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF), a statement from Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.

Akrima Sabri, Ayed Bin Abdallah al-Qarni, Safwat al-Hijazi and Abdallah Basfar are banned from entering France, while Qatari preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Mahmud al-Masri “decided not to come”, it said. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

Europe’s Angry Muslims: The Revolt of the Second Generation

.... Robert Leiken’s Europe’s Angry Muslims is the latest attempt to characterise this audience. He has read widely and spent time on the ground, particularly in the banlieus of urban France, and in Beeston and Dewsbury in Yorkshire. This was not much use since the Mullah Boys, devoted to the memory of lead 7/7 bomber Siddique Khan, ensured that no one would talk to him.

Leiken is less familiar with Germany, the third case study he pursues, but this does not lessen the impact of his powerful book. His approach is refreshingly free of both political correctness and sentimentality, and nor does he need to cosy up to minorities to win votes. [ES London] Read more

Islamophobia a cover for other problems

.... criticism of religion does not exist in a vacuum of ideas, abstracted from any wider political context. In this vein, it is worth asking what function the disproportionate fixation with diagnosing Islam's ills fulfils in much of Europe and North America today.

Could this too be a political ploy, to disguise and displace deeper anxieties about the direction our societies are taking at a time of immense political and economic upheaval?

[A COMMENT] …. Islam gets off lightly, especially compared to Christianity. The South Park episode where they were prevented from depecting Mohammed, only to show Jesus defecating on the American flag, makes the point well. The religion is not toally compatible with Western society, especially as it is seemingly resistant to any kind of reform.

[A COMMENT] "Muslims and non Muslims alike have always engaged critically and creatively with the Islamic tradition, both reverently and irreverently" Really? Lately when non muslims have engaged with it critically and irreverently they've tended to be murdered. [Guardian Cif] Read more

MPs move to toughen penalty for blasphemy

The National Assembly on Thursday discussed a proposal to amend the Penal Code, increasing the legal punishment for anyone proven to have publicly committed blasphemy. The Legal and Legislative committee was assigned to review the amendment and form a report to be debated and voted on during the April 10 session.

The amendment proposal to Article 111 stipulates “the death penalty or life imprisonment to those who publicly insult God Almighty (Divine Entity) or Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or his wives by words, writings, drawings, or pictures or any other means of expression in a public place or where they can be seen or heard by those in a public arena.” [Arab Times Kuwait] Read more

28 March 2012

Kuwait arrests man over Prophet Mohammad tweets

Kuwaiti authorities arrested a man late on Tuesday for insulting the Prophet Mohammad via his Twitter account, the Interior Ministry said, in a rare case of alleged blasphemy in the Gulf Arab state using social media.

Blasphemy is illegal in Kuwait under the 1961 press and publications law, but it is not punishable by death as in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where the case of a columnist facing similar accusations has drawn international attention. [Reuters] Read more

400 women and girls held in Afghanistan for 'moral crimes'

Ten years after the toppling of the Taliban government was accompanied by Western promises of a new era of women's rights, the justice system remained "stacked against them at every stage", it found.

Virtually all teenage girls held in prison are accused of immorality, either extramarital sex or running away, and around half of adult women inmates.

Imprisonment for immorality has risen steadily since a supreme court ruling that any woman who runs away from her home and does not immediately go to a close relative or the police should be imprisoned.

The report by Human Rights Watch found many inmates had fled a forced marriage, or violent husbands and in-laws. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

The BBC and the Islamic threat to freedom of speech

Although the BBC was willing to disregard protests from Christians who considered its decision to broadcast Jerry Springer: The Opera as an affront, Mark Thompson, its outgoing director-general, is more wary of giving airtime to Can We Talk About This?, the National Theatre’s examination of how Islam is curtailing freedom of speech.

Lloyd Newson, the director of the DV8 physical theatre company which staged the new work, challenged Thompson to screen his production during a platform discussion at the theatre.

He pointed out that Jerry Springer: The Opera was a lot more controversial because it was a “satire”, whereas his work, consisting of a series of comments and factual statements set to dance, is “a factual piece”. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

If Egypt Loses Its Sense Of Humor

There’s a reason why Egyptian comic actor Adel Imam might soon find himself in a jail cell. It wouldn't be for his role in a slapstick prison-set comedy, nor is it for his much-rumored ties to the Mubarak regime, which have so far failed to save him from his current woes.

Instead, the Arab world’s most revered comedian faces potential jail time for a series of supposedly “blasphemous” films — released two decades ago.

In February, a case was filed against Imam by Arsan Mansour, a lawyer who accuses the actor of consistently “slandering Islam” — as well as several of its “symbols,” such as the jilbab and, in all seriousness, the beard — in his films “Al-Irhab wal-Kabab” (“Terrorism and Kebab”), “Al-Irhabi” (“The Terrorist”) and “Teyour al-Zalam’’ (“Birds of Darkness”). The films were released in 1992, 1994 and 1995, respectively. [AL-MASRY AL-YOUM/Worldcrunch] Read more

27 March 2012

Muslim girls must swim with boys: Swiss court

A Muslim family in Basel has been fined 1,400 francs ($1,550) for refusing to let its daughters participate in mixed swimming classes.

The family had sought to avoid paying the fine on the grounds that the requirement for the girls to join the swimming lesson infringed on their religious freedom, online news website Le Matin reported.

The parents argued that, in accordance with the teachings of the Koran, they wanted to instil a sense of shame in their children before they reached puberty. Mixed swimming lessons in primary school, the family claimed, would be incompatible with such an aim. [The Local] Read more

Fear-mongering Stops Aussie Islamic School

Plans to establish a new Islamic school in Mernda, a suburb in Australia’s south-eastern state of Victoria, have received a knockout for reasons seen as resulting from the growing anti-Islam sentiments in the society.

“They were afraid there was going to be a mosque there or noise from call to prayers or whatever,” Councilor John Fry, who supported the plan, told the Herald Sun newspaper on Tuesday, March 27. [OnIslam.net] Read more

We will insist on applying Sharia in Egypt, Islamist MP says

Egypt’s Construction and Development Party (CDP) “won’t give up the application of the Sharia [Islamic law]” in Egypt, an Egyptian MP representing the party told an Egyptian daily on Monday. CDP is the political party of Egypt’s al-Jamaa al-Islamiya.

Hani Nour Eddin said that his party “will defend the second article of the (1971) constitution,” which stipulates that the principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation in the country, Egypt’s al-Masry al-Youm quoted him as saying.

Nour Eddin said that there is no disagreement among Egyptian political powers over the second article of the constitution, adding that his party is open to suggestions that are in accordance with the principles of Sharia. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

26 March 2012

The Rise of Sharia in the West

.... If you were to ask me whether I implement sharia in my life, my answer would be yes.

Before you get your backs up, let me inform you that the word sharia is mentioned only 3 times in the Quran, where it means moral and ethical guidance. Observant Muslims implement the moral and ethical guidelines of sharia in their life governing strictly PERSONAL religious matters such as diet, fasting, charity, prayer, pre-nuptial agreements, birth etc. without any side-effects because A, they are not forcing it in the public sphere and B) they are not using it as a parallel legal system in a non-Muslim environment.

Muslims are not new immigrants to the West and like us, did not come here to flaunt blatant religiosity but to enjoy religious freedom and in some cases freedom from religion – an asset we only find in western liberal democracies. [National Secular Society] Read more

Sarkozy to bar radical imams from entering France

France will bar radical Muslim preachers from entering the country to participate in an Islamic conference next month as part of a crackdown after shootings by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.

Sarkozy, who has announced plans to punish those viewing Islamist Web sites and going abroad for indoctrination, said he would block the entry of some imams invited to a congress organized by the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF).

The UOIF, one of three Muslim federations in France, is regarded as close to Egypt's Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. [Reuters] Read more

France tells Egypt cleric Qaradawi to stay away, “not welcome”

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday that influential and popular Egyptian preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi was “not welcome” in France.

Sarkozy was speaking four days after an Islamist gunman who admitted to killing 7 people in southwest France was shot dead in a gunfight with police. Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, claimed to have received terrorism training in Pakistan.

Al-Qaradawi, a well-known Sunni Muslim cleric with links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, had been invited to a meeting of the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) next month. [Bikya Masr] Read more

Tunisia’s Islamist governing party Ennahda to oppose sharia in constitution

The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which leads Tunisia’s government, will not back calls by conservatives to make Islamic law, or sharia, the main source of legislation in a new constitution, a senior party official said on Monday.

“Ennahda has decided to retain the first clause of the previous constitution without change,” Ameur Larayed told Radio Mosaique. “We want the unity of our people and we do not want divisions.” The party has not formally announced its final position.

A constituent assembly, elected in October, is hashing out a new constitution as part of Tunisia’s transition after popular protests ousted authoritarian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last year, sparking the Arab uprisings elsewhere. [Reuters] Read more

Muslim Brotherhood asserts its strength in Egypt with challenges to military

As Egypt’s ruling generals near the end of their formal reign, the country’s main Islamist party is asserting increasing authority over the political system and openly confronting the powerful military.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s growing influence came into sharp focus Sunday as its political wing and other Islamists established a dominant role in the 100-member body chosen by the parliament to write the country’s new, post-revolutionary constitution.

Liberals and leftists vowed to boycott the assembly, and at least eight withdrew from it, accusing the Islamist parties of taking over the process. [The Washington Post] Read more

Letchworth taxi driver cautioned after refusing Stevenage blind man’s guide dog

Abdul Hasan, who works for Gary’s Taxis in Letchworth GC, has been given 10 penalty points on his taxi licence and a formal caution by North Herts District Council (NHDC) following a disciplinary hearing.

At the hearing Mr Hasan admitted he refused to carry assistance dog Chipp, who was accompanying Sean Dilley, after the 29-year-old had arranged for the cab to pick him up from Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club in January.

Mr Dilley, who lives in Stevenage, said he was told by Mr Hasan he would not take the dog because he was a Muslim and wouldn’t breathe in dog hairs. [Comet24] Read more

25 March 2012

Thousands rally in Tunis to demand Islamic law

At least 8,000 Islamists staged a mass demonstration in central Tunis on Sunday in the latest show of force to demand the adoption of Islamic law in the north African country.

"The people want an Islamic state", "the people want sharia (Islamic law)," chanted the protesters, whose number was estimated by a police officer on site at between 8,000 and 10,000. [AFP] Read more

Now they'll have to tell us if we're eating halal: Ministers prepare to change law

Ministers are preparing to change the law to ensure that meat slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic law cannot be sold to unwitting members of the public.

The Government is drawing up plans to prevent schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues from serving halal meat secretly to customers.

The move will be welcomed by animal rights campaigners, who argue that the traditional Islamic way of preparing meat – which involves killing animals by drawing a knife across their throats without stunning them first – is cruel and causes unnecessary pain. [MailOnline] Read more

24 March 2012

'Pull her by the ear, beat her by hand or stick': How the Islamic guide to a happy marriage advises husbands to treat their wives

An Islamic 'marriage guide' book has sparked outrage - by advising men on the best ways to beat their wives.

A Gift For Muslim Couple tells husbands that they should beat their wives with 'hand or stick or pull her by the ears'. But the book has faced a backlash from moderate Muslims who claim that it encourages domestic violence. [MailOnline] Read more

Tariq Ramadan: Mohamed Merah not “driven by racism and anti-Semitism”

.... He has never to my knowledge made a single concrete suggestion (intellectual theoretical or social/political practical) that would involve Muslims actually taking any creative inspiration from outside Islam at all. All his “reformist” notions are entirely within the Islamic tradition of arguing solely from Islamic tradition (even if a problem is created by pressure from outside, the “solution” must admit of being couched in terms of authentic Islam).

What he demands is exclusively the other way, i.e. simply that Western traditions be adjusted to accommodate an (actually encapsulated) Islam, including acceptance of the claim that Islam is somehow an integral contributor to Western traditions and must be recognised as having a huge amount to contribute to them here and now.

Any Western failure to make the adjustment, acceptance and recognition is proof of misunderstanding of Islam and victimisation of Muslims. Islam has nothing to learn from the West, but the West must learn from Islam. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Book tells Muslim men how to beat and control their wives

.... Brazau bought A Gift For Muslim Couple out of curiosity but was taken aback when he found dozens of chapters and passages giving Muslim husbands advice around controlling, restraining, scolding and beating their wives.

"At first, I thought that it is incredible that this kind of thing can be found in Canada," said Brazau, who bought the book from Islamic Books and Souvenirs in the city's east end. "And then I thought, 'Radical Islam is not coming to Canada, it is already here.'" [24 Hours Vancouver] Read more

Danish school fined for forcing Muslim to eat pork

A Danish vocational school has been ordered to pay a fine to a Muslim student of Lebanese origin after expelling her when she refused to eat pork, Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman said Thursday.

The school has been ordered by the Danish Equal Status Council to pay the student a 75,000 Danish kroner ($13,389) fine after the council ruled that forcing Muslim students to eat pork was discrimination, according to the paper. [The Daily Star] Read more

23 March 2012

News Sites Scrub Articles about “Islamist Resurgence” Symposium

.... Cox has proposed an amendment which would make it clear that “any matter which is within the jurisdiction of the criminal or family courts cannot be the subject of arbitration proceedings”, and that arbitration should not be discriminatory as regards gender.

I’m not a particular fan of Cox, but her approach here is reasonable: by focusing on generalities, her amendment is a proportionate response to a specific problem found with some of these courts, while maintaining the principle of private arbitration. [Richard Bartholomew] Read more

Woman died after Muslim nurse refused to help as he was praying

Alzheimer's sufferer Dorothy Griffiths, 87, was found sitting down after staff heard a bang and a carer went to the office for help to lift her.

But agency nurse Abdul Bhutto, who was in charge, said they would have to wait.

Carer Zoe Shaw told the Sheffield hearing: "It took between five and ten minutes because he was praying upstairs in the office on his prayer mat. A staff member told me we had to wait for him to finish." [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

In Europe, pushed closer to Islam's margins

.... French leaders have obviously not been listening. In the lead-up to the April presidential election, anti-Islamic rhetoric has reached a feverish pitch and, with the Toulouse killings, will only get worse.

For moderates such as Mr. Barkati, it’s a worrisome trend: Attacking Islam wholesale will only further divide the Muslim community and push more youths into the arms of radicals.

“People like Wilders are hurting us,” he told me back in 2010. “We are trying to unite Muslims, so we can all live together in peace. But when Europe’s political leaders start to attack Islam, they only strengthen the Salafis. And I fear there will be more bloodshed as a result.” [Globe and Mail] Read more

22 March 2012

‘Destroy All the Churches’

Imagine if Pat Robertson called for the demolition of all the mosques in America. It would be front-page news. It would be on every network and cable-news program. There would be a demand for Christians to denounce him, and denounce him they would — in the harshest terms. The president of the United States and other world leaders would weigh in, too. Rightly so.

So why is it that when Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Al al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, declares that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula,” the major media do not see this as even worth reporting? [National Review Online] Read more

Time to air Muslim violence against Christians

.... A Kuwaiti delegation had asked the Grand Mufti about a Kuwaiti parliament member’s call for the “removal” of churches in his country, later clarified to a ban on new ones. In response, the Grand Mufti called it “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” He reportedly relied on the famous tradition, or “hadith,” that the Prophet Mohammed ruled on his deathbed, “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula.”

But, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today apparently didn’t find it newsworthy. It was relegated to conservative media (e.g., Washington Times, FOX online), Muslim-focused websites, and lots of blogs.

However appalling, mainstream media reticence to cover that news is understandable in one sense. Its coverage would force public discussion of dicey issues that challenge the political correctness that all-too-often pervades our thinking about relations between the West and the Muslim world. [Harry’s Place] Read more

The Death of Free Speech in Sweden

.... As the rest of Schueler’s article made clear, he wasn’t referring here to the kind of reasonable “limits” on free speech that prohibit, for example, direct incitement to violence and murder. No, he was talking about much broader and vaguer and more pernicious “limits” – the kind that ban, for example, “offensive” statements, or, more specifically, statements that certain groups of people might object to as “offensive.”

Which groups? Well, groups like the Muslims who are an increasingly formidable presence in Sweden, notably in the southern city of Malmö, where their presence has caused an increasing amount of what may euphemistically be described as social friction.

Thanks to a rising tide of anti-Semitic activity by Muslim youth, for example, more and more Jews are abandoning Malmö for other parts of Sweden or for Israel. Schueler sought to blame Malmö’s problems not on Muslims (needless to say) but on (of all people) the Danes. [FrontPageMagazine.com] Read more

Saudi religious police ‘halalizes’ shopping malls for single men

.... Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz, Riyadh's governor, has decided "not to prevent any single men from visiting malls" in the capital on evenings and weekends, when malls are most crowded, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.

The decision was made by a committee made up of local officials and representatives from the feared religious police, said the daily.

Shopping malls are a favourite leisure destination for young men and women in the ultra-conservative kingdom, where cinemas and theatres are banned. [Middle East Online] Read more

21 March 2012

Bangladesh to shut Facebook pages for blasphemy

A Bangladesh court on Wednesday ordered authorities to shut down five Facebook pages and a website for blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed, the Koran and other religious subjects, a lawyer said.

Judges at the high court in Dhaka ordered the telecommunications regulator, home ministry officials and police to block the offending pages immediately.

"These pages contain disparaging remarks and cartoons about Prophet Mohammed, the Muslim holy book of Koran, Jesus, Lord Buddha and Hindu gods," Nawshad Zamir, a lawyer of the petitioner who brought the case, told AFP. [AFP] Read more

Road ahead rocky for Tunisia's newly liberated media

Islamists attacked Nessma television station in October for airing an Iranian animated film that depicted God, accusing it of stirring up trouble on the eve of Tunisia's first election since the uprising that ousted Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Police detained the protesters, but also put Nessma's boss on trial. Among the charges: violating "sacred values".

In February, Nassredine Ben Saida, the publisher of a tabloid newspaper set up after the revolution, was jailed for eight days and fined after he plastered a picture of a German-Tunisian footballer and his naked girlfriend on the front page.

Tunisian journalists and secularists fear these and other incidents are signs the interim government wants to roll back gains in freedom of expression after the uprising. [Reuters] Read more

Muslims asked to remove headscarves for new Garda card

REPRESENTATIVES OF Ireland’s largest Sunni mosque have raised concerns over incidents in which a number of Muslim women were asked to remove their headscarves to comply with new identification procedures at the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin.

The new procedures, which include a biometric fingerprint-capture system, were introduced in recent weeks.

A number of women subsequently informed the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland that they had been requested to remove their headscarves or hijab for photographs required for the new version of the registration certificate sometimes known as the Garda National Immigration Bureau or GNIB card. [Irish Times] Read more

Sharia Law in the UK: Threat to Women and Children

A CBC Symposium heard that British Muslim women were already suffering under Sharia. Rape victims were being denied justice, divorcees were losing custody of their children, and women were being disinherited. Sharia could open the door to child marriage and was already permitting polygamy. Audio, pictures available

A House of Lords symposium heard clear warnings that Sharia law - strict Islamic law - must never be allowed to become a parallel legal system in the UK. If it did, there could be a right-wing backlash.

'There are now more than 80, perhaps 85 Sharia courts operating in the UK,' Baroness Cox told the Christian Broadcasting Council Symposium.

'Polygamy is already happening,' she said. 'It means Britain has two parallel legal systems, one which does not permit bigamy and the other which does.’ [Christian Broadcasting Council] Read more

When will we see an Islamic Enlightenment?

I’ve just read a review by Paul Berman in The New Republic of “Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide”, written by Paul Marshall and Nina Shea, and published by the Oxford University Press.

It’s an examination of how fundamentalist Islam has come to dominate the Muslim world, and of how it is penetrating and infecting Europe and the USA. The authors apparently detail the spreading influence of narrow and bigoted intolerance, and the host of examples they provide, as quoted by the reviewer, must cause distress and anxiety to all who believe in freedom and liberal democracy. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Don't blame Islam for the Toulouse killings

.... You cannot buck human nature, and universalism is an unsustainable, unworkable idea based on a utopian vision of humanity. One of the sadder ironies is that it is motivated partly by our revulsion over the Holocaust, yet this idea has helped to introduce Middle Eastern anti-Semitism into Europe (although I should add a caveat, that this may be exaggerated in some people’s imaginations. Jews and Muslims rub along perfectly well in north London, where I live, and it’s wrong to see European Muslims as raving anti-Semites).

[COMMENT] Seriously idiotic. Islamists are cruelly and wickedly "at war" with EVERY major religion Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Zoastrans, Sikhs.

You can slice that any way you like, but it's an actual fact that once Islam reaches a critical mass within a population, its very tenets will not allow it to coexist peacefully. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Assembly passes laws to force removal of burqas

New laws that will allow police to force the removal of burqas, helmets, hats and other clothing concealing a person's identity have been passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly.

The road transport legislation, approved yesterday, will give ACT authorities greater power to order the removal of head coverings in circumstances including random roadside drug tests, traffic offences, and applications for a driver's licence.

But women who wear a head covering, such as a burqa, for religious or cultural reasons will be allowed to request that it only be removed in the presence of a female police officer or in a private place in accordance with their beliefs. [Canberra Times] Read more

20 March 2012

Review: Can We Talk About This?

I went along to the National Theatre yesterday evening to take part in a panel discussion about Lloyd Newson’s latest dance production ‘Can We Talk About This?’ which revolves around theme of freedom of speech, multiculturalism and Islam ....

The themes involved are quite complex and I left the performance (I was given a free ticket to view the performance on 10th March) feeling that they were presented in a very simplistic and one-sided way which made me uncomfortable and seemed to provide a lot of fodder for right-wing anti-Muslim bashers.

Here are a few reasons why I thought the performance was lacking nuance and a lot of context. [inayatscorner] Read more

More than half of Canadians mistrust Muslims, poll says

More than half of all Canadians believe Muslims can't be trusted and nearly as many believe discrimination against Muslims is ``mainly their fault,'' according to the results of a new national survey released ahead of Wednesday's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The online poll of 1,522 Canadians, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies and Toronto-based Canadian Race Relations Foundation, also highlights how Canadians see the Internet as by far the leading conduit for racism in the country, and that more than one-third of respondents say they've ``witnessed a racist incident'' in the past year. [Postmedia News] Read more

Muslim juror removed from jury after refusing to take off veil

.... Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, told the Daily Mail the decision by the judge was "unacceptable".

"I really can’t understand why facial expressions could have any impact on the judge, the judgment or anyone else in a trial. It has no relevance," he said.

"I’m speechless that you can exclude someone on the basis of the way that they dress.

"It’s very worrying that a judge is being prejudiced against women wearing a veil."

According to guidance from the Judicial Studies Board's equality advisory committee in 2007, Muslim women should be allowed to serve while wearing the veil as long as it did not interfere with the administration of justice. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Should the veil always be allowed in court?

The curious episode of the juror asked to withdraw from a crown court case because she was wearing a niqab, or full veil, raises a number of questions.

Judge Aidan Marron QC interrupted the woman as she was about to take the oath for an attempted murder trial at Blackfriars crown court this week and inquired whether she preferred not to remove her veil.

The woman, who was otherwise wearing western clothing, replied: "Yes", and was then asked to step down.

So is this fair play? Official guidance on the 'wearing of veils in court' was issued in 2007. On jurors, it says: "If a person's face is almost fully covered a judge may have to consider if any steps are required to ensure effective participation and a fair hearing – both for the woman wearing a niqab and for other parties in the proceedings." [guardian.co.uk] Read more

19 March 2012

Secularists using Christianity as 'surrogate' for Islamic radicals, says bullish Rowan Williams

Dr Rowan Williams said Christians are being viewed with growing suspicion and treated as “surrogates” for some extremist branches of Islam in the minds of “anxious secularists”.

He also accused the Government of assuming all vicars were “imams in dog collars” while imams were “vicars in turbans”.

His outspoken comments came during his first public service since the announcement of his decision to stand down as Archbishop at the end of this year.

They come amid signals that intends to use his final months in office to speak out forcefully on issues which on which he feels passionate. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

French women's match called off over headscarves

A referee on Sunday refused to officiate a French women's football match, when players for one of the teams took the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said.

The official sent a report to the Languedoc-Roussillon league in the south of the country about the incident involving players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in the regional promotion tie.

The league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed or to award a win to Narbonne. [AFP] Read more

Editor courts controversy with book on Islamic immigration

Danny Lockwood, an editor and publisher, has courted controversy by writing a book with a provocative title, The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury.

It is a blunt assault on multi-culturalism seen through the prism of his experience of immigration in the town of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire.

The book's paperbook version sold out in six weeks, according to a HoldTheFrontPage report, but it is available for download on Kindle. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Ken Livingstone: I will make London a beacon of Islam

Ken Livingstone has promised to turn London into a “beacon” for the words of the Prophet Mohammed in a sermon at one of the capital’s most controversial mosques.

Mr Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for mayor of London, pledged to “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam, saying: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” Mr Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”

He praised the Prophet’s last sermon, telling his audience: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message.” He also promised to “make your life a bit easier financially.” [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Note to Ken Livingstone – multiculturalism is so 80s

His latest stunt is telling the people of Finsbury Park mosque that when he retakes power he’s going to “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam, saying: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” As this paper reports:

Mr Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”

He praised the Prophet’s last sermon, telling his audience: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [its] words and message.” He also promised to “make your life a bit easier financially.” [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

18 March 2012

Lady Gaga's Jakarta Concert Is Haram

A high-ranking member of Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority has urged Muslims not to attend Lady Gaga’s upcoming concert in Jakarta, declaring that the pop star known for her sexy and controversial outfits was forbidden under Islamic law.

“[The concert is] intended to destroy the nation’s morality,” said Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) chairman Cholil Ridwan, who added that he had never watched the singer perform and only heard of her “reputation” second-hand.

He urged Lady Gaga fans to return their tickets for the June 3 concert at Gelora Bung Karno and ask for a refund. [JakartaGlobe] Read more

Massacre of emos in Iraq goes to core of a damaged society

.... A new killing campaign is convulsing Iraq. The express targets are "emos", short for "emotional": a western-derived identity, teenagers adopting a pose of vulnerability, along with tight clothes and skewed hairdos and body piercing. Starting last year, mosques and the media both began raising the alarm about youthful immorality, calling the emos deviants and devil worshippers. In early February, somebody began killing people.

The net was wide, definitions inexact. Men who seemed effeminate, girls with tattoos or peculiar jewellery, boys with long hair, could all be swept up. The killers like to smash their victims' heads with concrete blocks. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Keep corrupt regimes out of British culture

.... The British Museum's current Hajj exhibition charts the history of Mecca as a destination for pilgrims with the wariness of a conscript crossing a minefield. The exhibition sticks to the authorised version of "religious scholars".

It allows no discussion of the findings of historians of Islam – "true scholars who have read more than one book", as Richard Dawkins puts it – that the traditional account is as much a fairy story as the traditional accounts of Christianity and Judaism. Fear of bombs in the building or of staff receiving the same treatment as Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali have kept evidence about the Muhammad of history far from public view. [Guardian Cif] Read more

17 March 2012

Hundreds of Muslim lawyers block blasphemy alleged Christian victim’s lawyer entering court in Egypt

More than 300 Muslim lawyers inside and outside a courthouse in the southern Egyptian province of Assuit today prevented defense lawyer Ahmad Sayed Gabali, who is representing the Christian Makarem Diab, from going into court. Mr. Diab was found guilty of ‘Insulting the Muslim Prophet’ and was scheduled today a hearing on his appeal.

Attorney Dr. Naguib Gabriell, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, said there was “terror in the Assiut Court today.” He added that he was on his way to court when he was advised that Muslim lawyers have issued death threats to any Christian lawyers who attend the court session. “Makram Diab was assaulted by Muslim lawyers during his transfer from the courtroom and security failed to protect him.” [AINA] Read more

Court gives life-term for blaspheming

A court on Friday awarded life-imprisonment to Police Station House Officer (SHO) Manzarul Haq Shah Jahan for uttering blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Additional District and Sessions’ Judge Chaudhry Umar Hayat handout out the verdict on a case registered at the complaint of Muhammad Younis. The complainant had alleged that the then SHO of Raja Jung Police Station had uttered blasphemy in a conversation with him and two other men, Javed Iqbal and Hafiz Shahid, on street crime. [Pakistan Today] Read more

16 March 2012

Destroy all churches

On March 12, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” The ruling came in response to a query from a Kuwaiti delegation over proposed legislation to prevent construction of churches in the emirate.

The mufti based his decision on a story that on his deathbed, Muhammad declared, “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula.” This passage has long been used to justify intolerance in the kingdom. Churches have always been banned in Saudi Arabia, and until recently Jews were not even allowed in the country.

Those wishing to worship in the manner of their choosing must do so hidden away in private, and even then the morality police have been known to show up unexpectedly and halt proceedings. [The Washington Times] Read more

Angry Turk's Message for Europe: "We are Coming"

A second-generation Muslim immigrant in Austria has authored a provocative new book in which he argues that Europe's future is Turkish, whether Europeans like it or not.

The book's short, sharp and confrontational title says it all: "We are Coming."

The thesis is: "Regardless of whether or not you [Europeans] like us [Turks], whether or not you integrate us, whether or not you want us in the European Union, our influence in Europe is growing. We are more numerous. We are younger. We are more ambitious. Our economy is growing faster. We are stronger."

The author, a 25-year-old Austrian-Turk named Inan Türkmen, says his objective in writing the book is to change the terms of the debate about Muslim immigration in Europe. [Stonegate Institute] Read more

Muslim Persecution of Christians: February 2012

Half of Iraq's indigenous Christians are gone, due to the unleashed forces of jihad [holy war]. Many Christians fled to nearby Syria; yet, as the Assad regime comes under attack from al-Qaeda and others, the jihad now seeps into Syria, where Christians are experiencing a level of persecution unprecedented in the nation's modern history.

Similarly, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their native Egypt since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime; and in northern regions of Nigeria, where the jihadi group, Boko Haram, has been slaughtering Christians, up to 95% of the Christian population has fled. [Stonegate Institute] Read more

Can we talk about this? Freedom of speech, censorship and Islam

The show begins with one of the performers repeating a question posed by Martin Amis: “Do you feel morally superior to the Taliban?” So cowed have we become that only about 20 percent of the audience put their hands up despite our knowledge of their barbarous cruelties.

The piece then goes on to explore the Rushdie affair, the Danish newspaper cartoons of Muhammed, and the murder the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh following his film about the abuse of Muslim women. [Islam in Europe] Read more

Tunisian protesters demand Islamic state

.... Asked what sharia law meant in practice, Mona al-Malki said: "We would not amputate a thief's hand. No, we would cut off the reasons he has to steal. We would not beat an adulterer, we would stop adultery. We cannot implement sharia to the letter."

Secular critics fear a gradual encroachment of ever stricter rules, however. They want Ennahda to rein in religious zealots.

One taxi driver, speeding away from the protest, said he had stopped taking passengers with beards or niqab as they kept demanding he turn off the music he plays on his radio. [The Daily Star] Read more

15 March 2012

Swedish court disallows teen's Sharia marriage

A Swedish court has ruled that a 17-year-old girl's marriage by a Sharia court in the West Bank is invalid in Sweden, overturning a lower court's decision.

The girl, who is now 19-years-old, was married in June 2010 in a Sharia court located in the West Bank town of Hebron, ten days before her 18th birthday, according to Swedish court documents.

When she and her husband moved to Sweden they sought to have their marriage registered with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

But the agency denied the couple's application, arguing the marriage couldn't be registered in Sweden because the woman hadn't turned 18 at the time of the wedding. [The Local] Read more

Debate is Europe's best hope against extremism

.... Belgium's extremists are not alone. Elsewhere in Europe, the fumes of burning cars and simmering conflict continue to intoxicate the continent's failing integration policies. Lawmakers try to relegate religion to the private sphere, marking clear boundaries between Islam and the west.

There is, however, a way out of this standoff between secular, Islamist and sectarian forces. Despite indignant outcries at Dewinter's boldness, Belkacem's jihad and the Rida mosque tragedy, the events offer an opportunity to elevate the discussion to a higher level. Religious controversy fuels awareness, introspection and public debate – a central tenet of all modern, liberal societies.

[COMMENT] The stupidest argument used by Western apologists for Islam is that we should get to know more about Islamic culture, as opposed to encouraging more Muslims in the West to understand Western culture better.

We are far too defensive about standing up for the values that led us to enjoy human rights which no Muslim country has got anywhere near. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Europe's failure to integrate Muslims

Eight years have passed since France's Assemblee Nationale launched the opening volley of a decade-long effort to reduce Islam's visibility within migrant-origin communities across Europe.

In the last few months alone, an anti-burqa law was passed in the Netherlands, a new headscarf bill and restrictions on halal slaughter are under consideration in France, and a German Supreme Court ruling banned Muslim prayer in public schools.

As Muslims and non-Muslims despair about the prospect of long-term Islamic integration in 21st century Europe, disagreement over the urgency and necessity to restrict Islamic symbols in the public sphere - from clothing to architecture and food - is at the origin of a potentially grave misunderstanding. [Al Jazeera] Read more

Islamic Awareness Week Bingo

.... Congratulations should go to the University of East Anglia's Islamic Society for managing to slip some Saudi titles in amongst the usual Islamic Dawah Centre International material. I look forward to reading "Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptions" by Abdul-Rahman AlSheha writing from that shining beacon of human rights - Riyadh.

But what's this - bingo! Unpurged from the dawah leaflets is Dr Zakir Naik's contribution on "Islam and Terrorism." Memo to all University ISOCs - when trying to distance non-Muslims from any association they may have in their minds of Islam with terrorism and extremism, perhaps it is not a good idea to distribute leaflets written by a man banned from the UK by the Home Secretary for being............well a little bit extreme. [I Intend To Escape ...And Come Back] Read more

More on the man jailed over anti-Islam posters

.... This all seems horrifying – Muslims – not Islam – were the target, and the violent images could clearly be seen as threatening.

It’s interesting that the original report emphasised the insult to religion so much, as that doesn’t seem the most intuitive way of describing these images.

Many were offensive – attacking both the prophet Mohammed and the Muslim religion …Later that day police attended the premises and found 17 posters and images in the front window in full public view,” said Mr Lowe. “The majority of the displayed posters and images were undoubtedly offensive to the Islamic faith.”

It’s unhelpful to describe these apparently foul posters in a way that allowed the possibility to emerge that the posters might have been much less offensive, only attacking Islam, an idea, and also communicating the message that criticising Islam, offending Islam, should be punishable by law. [Harry’s Place] Read more

14 March 2012

Anti West-Ham ‘mega mosque’ campaign is stepped up a gear

Muslim group Tablighi Jama’at will submit plans in time for the Olympic Games for the 9,500 capacity religious building with 40ft minarets, a visitors centre, a library and a 300-space car park in Canning Road.

Opponents have attempted to steal a march on the group’s trustees by starting a ‘Say No to Mega Mosque’ website, and have claimed it will create a Muslim “ghetto” in West Ham. [Newham Recorder] Read more

Islamic halal meat: It 'slams against Quebec values,' Parti Quebecois says

The pro-independence party declared its concerns Wednesday about halal animal-rights standards, and is worried that mainstream companies are selling the meat, without any labelling, to unsuspecting Quebecois customers.

Not to be outdone, the fledgling Coalition For Quebec's Future concurred later Wednesday that consumers should have the right to choose which product they buy and halal products must be labelled.

The halal flap is the latest iteration of Quebec's identity debates, which have raged on Montreal's populist talk radio in recent days.

Over the last week one radio show has featured complaints about Hassidic Jewish festivals disrupting traffic; Islamic halal meat being sold without labelling; and a convenience-store owner who got angry when asked to speak French. [The Canadian Press] Read more

Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America Cautions Muslims Against Participating in American Legal System; Urges Them to “Hate It in Their Hearts”

.... which provides guidelines for American Muslims on what they can and cannot do vis-à-vis infidel legal systems. The paper makes clear that according to Islam, the only legitimate law is that which comes from Allah, and in fact authority to make laws rests with Allah alone. This renders every other legal system—including the American system—illegitimate.

Since the fact nevertheless remains that many Muslims do live under such ‘infidel’ legal systems, the paper provides guidelines for how they should act under these systems, specifically addressing issues such as Muslims studying man-made law (i.e. non-Islamic law), Muslims governing under infidel legal systems ....

They are specifically instructed to feel hatred in their hearts toward such infidel legal systems, and to do everything within their power to make the Islamic Shari’a supreme, even if that means engaging in deception in certain cases. [Translating Jihad] Read more

Christian woman arrested for blasphemy as petition goes to UN on Asia Bibi's behalf

On the day that another young woman is accused of blasphemy, 50 human rights activists and prominent figures, including a former president of the UN General Assembly, appealed to the Pakistani government for Asia Bibi's release.

The Christian mother of five has been on death row since November 2010 convicted on the basis of the 'black law', waiting in the isolation ward of the Sheikhupura Women's Prison in Punjab for her appeal to be heard. [AsiaNews] Read more

One rule for Jesus, another for Muhammad?

.... I suggested to Thompson that this asymmetry in the way broadcasters (not just the BBC) treat Islam as compared with other belief systems was a result of the threat of violence from Muslim extremists.

He replied: "Well clearly it's a very notable move in the game … 'I complain in the strongest possible terms', is different from 'I complain in the strongest possible terms and I'm loading my AK47 as I write'." That's a frank acknowledgment of one of the biggest threats to free speech around the world today. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Egyptian MP proposes Sharia punishments for murder, theft crimes

.... The proposed law calls for the application of “Heraba,” an Islamic penalty for criminal actions that include overt robbery, murder, forcible taking of property with a weapon and vandalizing public facilities.

The penalties according to Azzazy’s bill are execution in the case of murder, or cutting one arm and one leg from opposite sides of the culprit’s body in the cases of robbery and forcible taking of property. If the taking of possessions is accompanied by murder, the penalty would be death or crucifixion, to be determined by the judge.

The bill also stipulates imprisonment for intimidating citizens, and that the prison sentence will end when the felon repents. [Egypt Independent] Read more

Moroccan girl commits suicide after being forced to marry her rapist

A 16-year-old Moroccan girl has committed suicide after a judge ordered her to marry her rapist, according to Moroccan media reports.

Last year Amina al-Filali’s parents filed charges against their daughter’s rapist, a man 10 years older than her but it was only recently that a judge in the northern city of Tangier decided that instead of punishing him, the two must be married. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

The Thought Police

.... Some people may suppose that Islam itself, the ancient religion, mandates theocracy. Seen in this light, the vigor of theocratically tinged political movements right now ought to seem normal to us, and maybe even commendable—a fitting renaissance of cultural authenticity in places around the world that, having left behind the indignities of colonial domination and the awkwardness of the post-colonial era, have entered at last into the post-post-colonial age of the return to self.

Movements that carry such labels as “Islamism” or “radical Islam” or “political Islam,” judged in this way, could perfectly well drop their suffixes and adjectives and simply adopt the name of Islam itself—an Islam that has exited the mosque in order to fulfill still more sacred obligations in the public square. [The New Republic] Read more

13 March 2012

The Necessity of Anti-Sharia Laws

.... In reality, the properly formulated anti-sharia laws neither infringe upon Muslims' civil liberties or religious freedom nor address a nonexistent problem.

Vischer correctly states some of reasons why Americans are concerned about sharia when he says that "proponents of this legislation tend to focus on manifestations of Sharia overseas: the stoning of adulterers, cutting off of the hands of thieves, and the denial of basic freedoms for women in some Islamic countries," and that "there are many schools of interpretation among Islamic legal scholars, and some interpretations stand in tension with the rights that we have come to take for granted in liberal democracies, including the rights of women, homosexual persons, religious minorities, and religious converts." [American Thinker] Read more

Sharia Law and Middle Class Feminism

.... I must talk a little more about Aina Khan – Britain's favourite sharia-loving lawyer who is making quite a name for herself in such circles. I've heard Aina speak many times but this weekend her comments were even stranger than usual.

This time, upon realising she was defending the indefensible, Khan stated that she doesn't send her clients to the Islamic Sharia Council or the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal; the two largest sharia court bodies in the country. What they're doing isn't proper sharia, she said.

It's strange how this only came to light after I had read out the quotes condoning domestic violence and marital rape from 'judges' of both the Islamic Sharia Council and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (people Khan has previously boasted about how wonderfully respectfully they treat her, but this time denied having any contact with them). [Islam in Europe] Read more

Islam in Turkey

.... The issue becomes of greater importance because Turkey under AKP's government is actually pursuing a so-called "Islamic Schengen free movement space." According to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, "Attending the Fifth Summit of Developing Eight (D-8 Summit) held in Bali, Erdogan made an unexpected proposal to create an 'Islamic Schengen.' … He underlined the restricting effect of visas between these countries, and suggested creating a visa system similar to that of Schengen countries."

As it can be easily understood, and as far as the European Union is mostly concerned, that will enact a massive population transfer from Islamic countries into Europe via Turkey.

Consequently the relations between E.U. countries and Turkey may be destabilized, and the trend under which Turkey is taking its initiatives clearly points towards seismic culminations between the relations of the West and Islam in the coming years. [Worldpress.org] Read more

Brussels: Imam dies in Salafist attack on Shia mosque

.... The attacker was shouting anti-Shiite Salafist slogans about the conflict in Syria. Isabelle Praile of the Muslim Executive, herself a Shiite, told RTBF that the Rida mosque, the biggest mosque in Brussels, has been guarded by the police for years after threats by Salafists. [Islam in Europe] Read more

Helping Germany by Helping Muslim Women

.... And the mostly Muslim women who attend and also have come from afar say they acquire not only the education they lacked, or the German language they didn’t know, but the ability to integrate into a society where the integration of Muslims is a matter of hot debate.

Shabana, a 29-year-old Afghan woman, says the escape from an environment “where men thought women shouldn’t attend any school” was like being “born again” after years of suffering in a restrictive, arranged marriage. [The New York Times] Read more

Muslim Cab Drivers Claim Employer Barred Them From Praying

.... Last October, 26 Muslim drivers for the rental car company Hertz similarly claimed that they were unfairly fired for praying. Hertz said, however, that the problem was that the drivers would clock-out for their prayers, and not return on time. The Star Taxi drivers, on the other hand, say their prayers in no way interfere with their work.

The plaintiffs also claim that they were prohibited from speaking in a language that wasn't English at any time, with an automatic $25 fine if they did so.

"They came to this country because of religious freedom," says Shibly. "It's shameful this is happening in America." [AOL] Read more

Message to Iran: Free Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

.... After submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court the very next month, the third chamber of the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence in June 2011 and the execution orders were given in Feb. 2012, which can be implemented at any time. Throughout the process, he was told his life would be spared if he recanted his belief in Christianity, which he refused to do.

This verdict clearly violates numerous human rights, which is why President Obama, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Amnesty International and the American Center for Law and Justice have all condemned this conviction and called for Nadarkhani’s release.

As a Muslim, however, I find this verdict’s religious violations equally troublesome. Far too many people — Muslim and non-Muslim — mistakenly believe Islam prohibits freedom of conscience and religion by prescribing punishments for matters like apostasy and blasphemy, whereas Islam’s Holy Scripture and Prophet do not support such punishments. [loonwatch.com] Read more

12 March 2012

Proposal of Islamist MP forces hijab on all women – Women activists criticize statement

Parliament recently discussed a ‘decent attire’ draft law, proposed by Islamist MPs who want to ban swimsuits and introduce many other restrictions. Yesterday an Islamist MP made a new extreme statement.

Islamist MP Osama Al-Mnawer stated that he does not mind proposing a law that forces and imposes upon women to wear hijab in public after approving the decent attire law. Women activists criticized this statement. [Kuwait Times] Read more

At least 14 youths stoned to death in Iraq for wearing Western-style ‘emo’ clothes

At least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shi’ite militants against youths wearing Western-style “emo” clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say.

Militants in Shi’ite neighborhoods where the stonings have taken place circulated lists on Saturday naming more youths targeted to be killed if they do not change the way they dress.

The killings have taken place since Iraq’s interior ministry drew attention to the “emo” subculture last month, labeling it “Satanism” and ordering a community police force to stamp it out. [Reuters] Read more

11 March 2012

High-flying Muslim career women willing to 'share husbands' because of a lack of suitable men

Muslim career women in Britain are choosing to become involved in polygamous relationships because of a lack of suitable men.

Some of them even choosing to become second or third wives to married men, according to the Islamic Sharia Council.

The charity, based in Britain, gives legal guidance to Muslims and has said it is receiving a high number of queries from women struggling to find suitable partners.

Many of the women have also said they would prefer to hold down high-profile jobs rather than look after their husbands.

Taking more than one wife is illegal in the UK but men marry again in a nikah religious ceremony, allowing them to take up to four wives. [MailOnline] Read more

Violent 'Emo Killings' Rattle Iraqi Youth

Young people who identify themselves as so-called Emos are being brutally killed at an alarming rate in Iraq, where militias have distributed hit lists of victims and security forces say they are unable to stop crimes against the subculture that is widely perceived in Iraq as being gay.

Officials and human rights groups estimated as many as 58 Iraqis who are either gay or believed to be gay have been killed in the last six weeks alone forecasting what experts fear is a return to the rampant hate crimes against homosexuals in 2009.

This year, eyewitnesses and human rights groups say some of the victims have been bludgeoned to death by militiamen smashing in their skulls with heavy cement blocks. [The Associated Press] Read more

Iraq ministry backs LGBT massacre as fears grow of more attacks

A new report revealed that the Iraqi ministry of interior has backed a reported massacre of some 100 Emos and LGBT people in the country last month. Gay Middle East reported an Iraqi source as saying a new wave of violence could begin as early as Monday.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry knew about the plan to massacre ‘emo’ youths and LGBT people and are complicit in up to 100 killings, new evidence suggests, PinkNews reported on Sunday. [Bikya Masr] Read more

10 March 2012

France's Muslims hit back at Nicolas Sarkozy's policy on halal meat

.... For France's Muslims – already feeling victimised by a burqa ban, by controversial government-sponsored debates on national identity and by the outlawing of Muslims praying in the streets, a sight Le Pen likened to the Nazi occupation – it was a low blow.

Few believed that the halal uproar had anything to do with how animals are slaughtered or who eats them. "It's a blatant attempt to divert attention away from the real problems," said Yanis Bouarbi, founder of the successful restaurant website paris-halal.com. "You can have a debate about how animals are killed, but this is pure electioneering."

Kimouche, 36, who has a degree in political philosophy, worked as a publisher's proofreader before he spotted the untapped business potential in France's nascent Muslim middle class. He left his job and started a profitable blog, al-Kanz, which covers all aspects of Muslim life and rituals, and boasts up to 10,000 visitors a day. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Freedom of speech under fire?

.... Recently Cameron signed up to legislation which targets sexual harassment, and includes outlawing anything which creates an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.” Some have asserted that this might make wolf whistling or banter illegal, although Cameron has insisted that such fears are misplaced.

Another recent case seems to suggest a further worrying erosion of free expression. Hope not Hate reports that a man from Gainsborough has been given a one year prison sentence for displaying posters critical of Islam. It is claimed that he ‘plastered his front window with vile anti-Islamic hate literature’: [Harry’s Place] Read more

09 March 2012

Poll: Many women in Turkey haven't gotten out much

According to the poll, 37.5 percent of women have never eaten at a restaurant. More than half of women have never celebrated their birthday or wedding anniversary. Twenty-seven percent of women in Turkey have never gone to a hairdresser, and another 31 percent wear no makeup. Forty-six percent of women in Turkey have never gone on vacation. Ten out of every 100 women in Turkey over the age of 18 are illiterate. [TODAY'S ZAMAN] Read more

Tunisians Erupt in Anger over Desecration of Flag

.... Many Tunisians have reacted strongly to the video in which a young man wearing a traditional robe and long beard takes down the Tunisian flag, replaces it with a black flag bearing the shahada (the Islamic declaration of faith) – a symbol associated with Islamic conservatism – and pushes Rashidi off a wall as she tries to intervene. [Tunisia Live] Read more

You Ought To Read This Book

.... Khomeini issued the fatwah so that no one would “dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth.” The Rushdie Affair was a defining moment in the history of our modern right to freedom of speech: it was when the tenets of Islam became a subject that not even the “edgy” alternative comedians of the 1980s, who had built a new genre of comedy around attacking traditional institutions like the monarchy or Church of England would touch. It was fear, pure and simple. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Free speech under fire

.... Judge Martin's comments are disturbing because they reflect the same emerging view of the purpose and, more important, the perils of free speech. Martin told Perce that "our forefathers" did not intend the 1st Amendment "to piss off other people and cultures." Putting aside the fact that you could throw a stick on any colonial corner and hit three people "pissed off" at Thomas Paine or John Adams, the 1st Amendment was designed to protect unpopular speech. We do not need a 1st Amendment to protect popular speech.

The exchange between the judge and the atheist in Mechanicsburg captures the struggle that has existed between free speech and religion for ages. What is different is that it is now a struggle being waged on different terms. Where governments once punished to achieve obedience, they now punish to achieve tolerance. As free speech recedes in the West, it is not sharia but silence that is following in its wake. [Los Angeles Times] Read more

BNP and UKIP voters' views on Muslims and Islam

What are their attitudes towards Muslims and Islam? At the 2010 general election, the BNP and UKIP pitched to citizens anxious over the role of Islam in society, by pledging to ban the burqa, deport radical preachers and (in the case of the BNP), end immigration from Muslim countries.

.... These results would suggest that supporters of the BNP and UKIP are not only deeply concerned about the issue of immigration, but also feel deeply uncomfortable about the perceived threat from Islam, and by extension the presence of its religious institutions at the local level. In short, large majorities in our sample appear absolutely convinced that Islam is threatening Western civilisation. [Islamophobia Watch] Read more

Far right hardcore 'willing to prepare for armed conflict' study finds

The study, From Voting to Violence? Rightwing Extremists in Modern Britain (pdf), by Matthew Goodwin, of the University of Nottingham, and Jocelyn Evans, of Salford University, was launched at Chatham House on Thursday.

The report questioned more than 2,000 supporters of "radical-right" and "far-right" groups and found that many endorsed violence, with a "hostile inner core" apparently willing to plan for and prepare for attacks.

The authors describe the findings as preliminary but say the study published on Friday represents a stark warning about the potential threat posed by far-right extremists in the UK. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Towering new Derby mosque may be blocked by city planners - with poll

The highest ornamental minaret of one dome would be 12 metres high – taking the overall building height to 21 metres.

The trust has been working for more than three years to find a replacement site for its current mosque, which is based in a large house in Western Road.

The house can become so overcrowded – with 150 to 200 people at Friday prayers – that worshippers have to pray outside.

But plans for a mosque which could cater for up to 600 people have been criticised by neighbours and planning officers as being too large.

Phillip Binns lives in Mill Hill Lane. He was one of 18 people who wrote to the council objecting to the proposals. A further 106 people signed a petition against the plans. [Derby Telegraph] Read more

Afghans lampoon clerics over women ruling

.... "I support the comments by the Ulema council because it is in accordance with Islam," Abdul Salam, student of Islamic theology from southern Afghanistan.

"Contrary to all the criticism, it will help women to work more confidently and without being exposed to their male partners."

"We are Muslims and we must obey what Islam and our clerics say," said Nasrullah Khalid, a resident of Badghis.

"If men and women are separated, I will let my own daughter go and study at university. "

"I am surprised that our young people call themselves Muslims, but when it comes to Islamic rules, they make fun of it," wrote Ahmad Khalid, a Kabul resident on Facebook. [BBC] Read more

Doublespeak from the East London Mosque

.... The vast majority of Muslims are working with law enforcement authorities, and with other partners in civil society, to tackle this problem.

.... Anybody who works with the Muslim communities knows that these same anti-terrorism personnel that you addressed are abusing our religion and brutalising our youth. Look how they assaulted people like Babar Ahmad, the Forest Gate brothers, among others.

Therefore, the perception is that this is not a war against terrorism but a war against Islam itself. We can never work with people who are at war with Islam. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Jack Straw attacks Muslims over gay marriage

The former Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Jack Straw has attacked the opposition to marriage equality by mosques and Muslims of Great Britain.

Mr Straw served as Home, Foreign and Justice Secretary under New Labour. He was Foreign Secretary when civil partnerships were introduced but was absent from the vote, as he was from most LGBT rights legislation.

In the Lancashire Telegraph he writes: “ A central principle common to all world religions is the idea that we should behave towards others in the way in which we would expect others to behave towards us. Mohammed devotes much of his teaching to this theme, declaring in his last sermon: "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Spain Facing Creeping Islamization

.... The incident is just one of a long and growing list of Islam-related controversies in Spain, where the number of Muslims has jumped to an estimated 1.5 million in 2011 from just 100,000 in 1990. As their numbers grow, Muslims in Spain are becoming more assertive than ever before.

In January 2012, for example, two radical Islamic television stations began 24-hour broadcasting to Spanish-speaking audiences in Spain and Latin America from new studios in Madrid.

The first channel, sponsored by the government of Iran, will focus on spreading Shiite Islam, the dominant religion in Iran. The second channel, sponsored by the government of Saudi Arabia, will focus on spreading Sunni, Wahhabi Islam, the dominant religion in Saudi Arabia. [Stonegate Institute] Read more

08 March 2012

Inside Islam’s culture war

.... In interviews, the show’s directors and actors insisted the show was apolitical. “There is no political message or any other cultural message,” said Ergenc, the actor who plays Suleiman. “This is a TV series. It is a soap opera.”

Intentionally or not, though, the makers of Turkey’s soap operas are creating new roles, new heroes and new cultural norms in a rapidly changing region. I applaud them.

Over many years of reporting, I heard a consistent message from moderate Muslims. They said they were interested in a “third way” where they could be both Muslim and modern. They did not want to become completely Western nor did they want be ruled by xenophobic fundamentalists. Turkish soap operas are an example of that third way. [Reuters] Read more

Far more Christian than Muslim migrants worldwide

.... "Perhaps contrary to popular perception, ... Christian immigrants outnumber Muslim immigrants in the European Union as a whole," the report said, indirectly referring to far-right parties that have long campaigned against Muslim newcomers.

Of the 47 million migrants in the EU, 26 million (56 percent) are Christians, double the 13 million Muslim migrants, who make up only 27 percent of the total, it said.

The gap narrows when intra-EU migration - for example, Christian Greeks to Germany or French-born Muslims to Britain - is excluded, but Christians migrating from outside the EU still outnumber non-EU Muslim migrants by about 13 million to 12 million. [Reuters] Read more

Muslims must counter bigotry and hatred online

.... “Islamophobia is rampant online. There is almost a monopoly by the Islamophobes on Islam and Muslims online,” remarked Rehab. “What we're trying to do is to encourage others to be more active online.

People need to start blogs and have websites that engage in commenting on Islam and which link to positive material that is informative about Islam and Muslims. It is necessary to push back against this onslaught of Islamophobic attacks.” [Arab News] Read more

This halal meat upset leaves Nicolas Sarkozy in a bad way

What's currently the main preoccupation of the French? Unemployment? The fate of the euro? Spending power? No. It's halal meat, the ritual way of killing animals by Muslims for human consumption.

At least, that's what outgoing president and candidate for his own re-election Nicolas Sarkozy told an audience this week. His claim raised eyebrows as some thought it strange to focus on this topic when France and Europe were in the middle of the debt crisis, with unemployment on the rise.

[A COMMENT] I`ve got a better idea. Just ban the hallal and kosher slaughter of animals outright. [Guardian Cif] Read more

How to Stop Putting Gas in the Islamist Tank

Islamists are a diverse lot. Some are what diplomats like to call “violent extremists.” They want to kill you. Others are less eager to shed blood, more confident that by mastering electoral politics, manipulating international organizations, and designing effective public-relations campaigns, they can achieve their objectives. What are those objectives? Islamism implies a commitment to the imperative of Islamic power. Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, articulated the basic idea succinctly:

It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet. [National Review Online] Read more

07 March 2012

Muslim envoys walk out in protests at U.N. gay rights debate

African and Arab states walked out in protest Wednesday during a U.N. Human Rights Council debate on gay rights, saying that they could not legitimize homosexuality.

The 47-member state council was holding a session on sexual orientation-based discrimination for the first time after a historic resolution seeking equal rights for everyone was passed in June 2011, to the consternation of Muslim states.

On Wednesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab group and the African group made their opposition clear, by walking out during the meeting. [AFP] Read more

Imam detained for preaching violence against "errant" wives

An imam in the Catalan city of Terrassa has been arrested for calling upon his followers to "discipline errant women" in their community who do not follow their husband’s orders or strict Islamic law.

In his sermons, the imam, Abdeslam Laaroussi, a Moroccan, would allegedly offer examples on how to beat women and isolate them, and discourage men from having sexual relations with them.

According to police, Laaroussi told his followers that it was best to punch women or use a stick on different parts of their bodies "without breaking their bones or making them bleed". [ThinkSpain] Read more

Sarkozy singles out the meaty issue that will define France's election: halal

.... Last month Ms Le Pen claimed – wrongly – that 100 per cent of beef sold in the Paris area was slaughtered in keeping with halal.

Mr Sarkozy dismissed the claim as absurd but it emerged that 30 per cent of all beef in France is slaughtered according to halal or kosher rules, and only a small part is labelled.

Meat wholesalers, supermarkets and religious leaders say this is the best way to keep down the price.

President Sarkozy angered all these lobbies at the weekend when he promised to impose halal and kosher labels on meat and to ban halal meat from state-school canteens. [independent.co.uk] Read more

Freedom of speech according to the BBC

.... Thompson said that this distinction "definitely raises the stakes." Yes, and it also separates the men from the boys. When the most powerful media organization in the U.K. is run by someone whose readiness to admit his utter lack of courage would seem, from all the evidence, to reflect the fact that the concept of courage isn’t even on his radar, it doesn’t bode well for the future of British freedom.

Another point that was important to Thompson was that, as he put it, "for a Muslim, a depiction…of the Prophet Mohammed might have the emotional force of a piece of grotesque child pornography." He added that "secularists" fail "to understand…what blasphemy feels like to someone who is a realist in their religious belief."

I would humbly submit that Thompson himself fails to understand something rather important -- namely, that when the head of an outfit like the BBC starts thinking and talking in such terms, he has become nothing more or less than a sharia puppet. [Assyrian International News Agency] Read more

Anti-minaret group mulls burqa ban initiative

The group responsible for launching Switzerland's anti-minaret initiative has called the rejection of a motion to ban burqas on public transport and in dealings with authorities “an affront”.

The National Council on Monday rejected a motion by Swiss People’s Party member Oskar Freysinger to ban the wearing of burqa in certain situations.

The Council decided with a significant majority that imposing such a ban was unnecessary.

Social Democratic Party spokesman, Hans Stöckli, said that the majority of women wearing burqas in Switzerland were tourists, Swiss news agency SDA reported. [The Local] Read more

06 March 2012

Spanish imam under investigation after calling on Muslims to ‘discipline’ misbehaving wives

A Spanish imam near Barcelona is under investigation after allegedly calling on the faithful to “discipline” errant wives using physical and psychological violence, police said on Tuesday.

The imam in the city of Terrassa is under investigation for “disseminating discriminatory messages and violating the principle of equality and of women’s right to physical and moral integrity,” police said in a statement.

.... During Friday prayer services, the imam “called on the faithful to ‘discipline’ the errant behavior of their spouses by acts of physical and psychological violence,” said the police statement. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

Religion, food and the right to secularism

At the weekend I asked the question; are we slowly losing the right to chose whether or not to eat halal meat.

Initially I was surprised by the reaction it sparked, the story had more than 300 hits by the end of the day with several readers contacting me on twitter to say they felt there is not enough done to warn whether the food we eat is produced to religious specifications.

On reflection, I am not shocked by the response. Religion and religious tolerance is becoming increasingly relevant to our lives, while being insidiously shrouded by a cape of political correctness gagging the opinions of those fearful of earning the label "racist". [Nathan Rao] Read more

French PM criticises halal as campaign heats up

France’s prime minister urged Muslims and Jews to consider scrapping their halal and kosher slaughter laws on Monday as President Nicolas Sarkozy and his allies stepped up their efforts to woo far-right voters.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon made the suggestion after Sarkozy called at the weekend for butchers to clearly label meat slaughtered according to religious laws. Jewish and Muslim leaders criticised the government for stoking the debate.

Fillon and other conservative leaders linked their tough stand on ritually prepared meat to issues such as immigration and French identity that the far-right National Front uses to tap into resentment against Europe’s largest Muslim minority. [Reuters] Read more

Founder of Tunisian 'religious police' explains how to promote Islamic behaviour

The head of a group that has government permission to seek to promote religious teachings in Tunisia says he will use persuasion and protest but not violence to encourage Islamic behaviour in one of the Arab world's most secular countries.

Adel al-Ilmi, a date merchant by trade, said he changed the name of his organisation from the Group for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, as it conjured up images of Saudi Arabia's religious police, which beats women who are not properly veiled or men caught outside the mosque at prayer time.

Renamed the Group for Moderation and Reform, Ilmi said its members would not wield sticks but might approach an amorous couple or a scantily-clad woman in the street and try to persuade them that their behaviour was un-Islamic. [Reuters] Read more

Even if the Qur'an was burned as an insult, Islam teaches forgiveness

Five Americans and one Afghan were responsible for the recent burning of literature which, along with quotes from the Qur'an, included actual copies of the Qur'an. In response, protests took place where Muslims inadvertently killed more than 30 other Muslims in anger.

Apologies were issued by the president of America himself; the religious authorities in Afghanistan (the Ulema council) have stated that these actions "could not be forgiven and an apology is not enough. The criminals of this action should be openly prosecuted and punished as soon as possible".

[COMMENT] How is it that when protests took place, Muslims inadvertently killed more than 30 other Muslims in anger?

[COMMENT] Every concession brings new demands, every apology new threats. Meanwhile non muslims in muslim countries are teated like animals and other religions are barely allowed to exist. It is high time to call a halt to this nonsense. [Guardian Cif] Read more