31 August 2012

Pharmacist who asked colleague what her favourite sex position is LET OFF at tribunal because he had a 'restrictive Muslim background'

A pharmacist who made crude remarks to three of his female colleagues has escaped with a warning after a panel heard he came from a 'restrictive Muslim background' and was unaware of the offence his conduct had caused.

Khalil Jamil asked one of the women about her favourite love-making position and quizzed another about the mating habits of her horses - but a professional panel ruled his behaviour was not sexually motivated. [MailOnline] Read more

Halal toothpaste, anyone? Religious observance has become a global brand

.... The most lucrative of these by far is Islamic finance, which seeks to eliminate usury from all transactions and which has been transformed from a niche product to one available on the high street in the UK.

There is halal perfume, toothpaste, "beer" (it's awful), bacon (delicious), cosmetics as well as "halal" hotels and holiday resorts. The definition of halal has become so broad, it seems to encompass everything that caters to Muslim sensibilities. There is even a World Halal Week that showcases such products.

A growing Muslim diaspora in the west, and a rising middle class in Muslim countries constitute what is estimated to be a $2trillion market in halal goods and "experiences". [Guardian Cif] Read more

30 August 2012

Jais to charge publisher of Irshad Manji's book

Book publisher and activist Faisal Mustaffa will be charged in the syariah court over Irshad Manji's banned book, Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta (Allah, Liberty and Love).

Faisal was told by the Selangor Religious Department (Jais) that he was under arrest and would be charged for failing to answer the questions of religious officers, after he had exercised his right to remain silent as provided for under the law.

"This is ridiculous. I was asked to come here for one case, and I have been charged for another case. I co-operated with their investigation," Faisal told theSun today.

He said Jais officers intimidated him by raising their voices and threatening him for declining to answer their questions. [Sun Media Corporation] Read more

Guidelines on wife-beating

From bearded loon Egyptian cleric Abd Al-Rahman Mansour, on Al-Nas TV:

Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.

I say to every husband: Do not rush to beat her whenever a problem arises. Oh servant of Allah, Allah said: "Admonish those of them on whose part you fear disobedience, refuse to share their beds, and beat them." One should not beat out of anger.

This you must know: If the wife utters the name of God, the beating must stop. [...] [Mick Hartley] Read more

Franklin man says rights violated, sues over Muslim cap

A Muslim man who once ran for Franklin alderman is suing a security company, claiming his religious rights were violated when its guards demanded he remove his cap before entering Nashville’s Juvenile Justice Center.

Rashid al-Qadir claims security guards violated his First Amendment right to the free exercise of his religion by telling him he could not wear the small, brimless cap called a kufi. Al-Qadir says he offered to remove the kufi for inspection but then wanted to put it back on. The guards refused and demanded he leave the building. Al-Qadir says he left voluntarily because he was afraid of being arrested or hurt. [www.tennessean.com] Read more

Why 'Citizen Khan' is the Tebbit cricket test for Muslims

.... The BBC sitcom has only aired one episode so far, but its lampooning of a self-important Muslim patriarch was almost as funny, and true to life, as the lampooning of self-important officialdom in TwentyTwelve.

Writers Adil Ray and Richard Pinto have an eye for the small hypocrisies that go on in a religious household: the father who talks charity but thinks only of money, the made-up daughter who wears symbols of religious identity like a Gucci scarf, the obsession with keeping up with the Joneses rather than being witnesses of the one true faith… yes, as someone brought up as a Catholic, I recognise it all. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Global condemnation makes it more difficult to free Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy

The Vatican has had its say. Online petitions are filling with virtual signatures. Pakistan's president is being lobbied. And even Muslim groups are coming to her aid.

Rimsha Masih has a lot of supporters. But ironically it could be the waves of support that mean the young Christian girl is eventually convicted of blasphemy – or even bludgeoned to death by another prisoner.

For although the law is rarely best carried out in secret, Pakistan's archaic blasphemy laws fall apart entirely when conducted amid the blaze of publicity. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Pakistan blasphemy case: 'Muslims could take law into their own hands'

A lawyer representing the man who accused a Pakistani Christian girl of blasphemy has said that if she is not convicted, Muslims could "take the law into their own hands".

Rao Abdur Raheem cited the example of Mumtaz Qadri, the man who last year shot dead a politician who had called for reform of the much-abused blasphemy law.

The apparent hijacking of the case against Rimsha Masih by organised extremists, including lawyers, could further complicate a bitterly contentious case.

The lawyer's comments are likely to further complicate a bitterly contentious case that has caused an international outcry and embarrassed the Pakistani government. It could intimidate the court and would put her life at further risk even if she is freed. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

29 August 2012

Theocracy in the UK

Crude and brutal ideologies can be promoted through sophisticated, subtle means. This is hardly surprising. The less obvious the worth of a particular cause the more its advocates might grow reliant on cognitive and emotional manipulation.

Such is the case with the Islamic Education & Research Academy, iERA, who I’ve touched on several times and meant to explore properly. Their vision is one of cruel religious supremacy but as shocking and archaic as this sounds the means by which they advance it are modern and ingenious. These are not the medieval theocrats of Western imaginings. They offer Dawah 2.0. [Back Towards The Locus] Read more

Book excerpt: The ‘Muslim tide’ that wasn’t

.... French Muslims, despite their economic isolation, are falling fast into the reproduction patterns — and the cultural patterns — of their host country.

A major study by American and French scholars found that fertility rates are “closely tied to length of residence in France … the longer immigrant women live in France, the fewer children they have; their fertility rate approaches that of native-born women.”

The real fertility rates of French Muslim women, as we have seen, are now only slightly higher than those of the general population, and they are still falling. The data, the authors conclude, “show that immigrants adapt to local norms (and, perhaps, to the cost of living) soon after arrival. [National Post] Read more

Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril

.... [A COMMENT] I'm not "Islamophobic". I don't have an "irrational fear" of Islam, and I'm far too polite (or prudent) to refer to it as a "shitty" religion. I just regard it as the worst of a bad bunch, and I came to this conclusion by going through life with my eyes and ears open.

Muslims, in my experience, range from the decent, but blinkered, to the fanatical and psychopathic. It's hard to have any kind of discussion of their religious beliefs without them taking offence, and often with me feeling that the threat of violence isn't far away.

I can empathise with anybody who describes him/herself as a human being, but not with anybody who self-identifies as a Muslim; by definition, they are then identifying me as a kuffar, or non-Muslim. They have created the dualism; therefore it's up to them to cope with the consequences of this. [Religion Dispatches] Read more

28 August 2012

After Anders Breivik's conviction, Norway must confront Islamophobia

.... The mainstream political rhetoric concerning Islam in Norway has undoubtedly changed for the better in the past year. The number of ordinary citizens willing to contest Islamophobic discourse publicly has risen.

But popular attitudes often remain stubbornly unchanged. A 2012 survey indicates that Norwegians hold more negative attitudes towards Muslims than towards any other minority group, except the Roma.

[A COMMENT] Have you ever considered that the general population don't want to confront Islamophobia?

Instead of churning out articles that aim to paint Islam as a scapegoat, why don't you take a fresh go at this, and print an article exploring why, the more time that goes by, the further the general population move away from the idea of multiculturalism and seem to be repelling Islam. And explain why this is a bad thing. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslim Brotherhood’s prima donna

.... Ramadan is a charming guy, but behind his smile lies a man committed to the goals of the worldwide Islamic jihad as laid out by his mentor, Sheik Qaradawi, and his father, the Trotsky of world Islamism, Said Ramadan.

While the rest of us will join the labour movement in parades or relish the last days of summer around family and friends, the Islamists will congregate in Edmonton and Montreal to receive guidance from Tariq Ramadan. Just last year, he told an American Muslim audience their job in the North America was to colonize the continent: [THE TORONTO SUN] Read more

Religious violence growing in Indonesia

Intra-Islamic religious intolerance is growing in Indonesia, says Dr Greg Fealy, an Australian specialist on Islam in the country.

He was speaking in the wake of the killing of two men in a mob attack on Shi'ites in the town of Sampang in East Java province. [ABC] Read more

Islam's critics won't be silenced

Lean thinks that "society" should act against my colleague Pamela Geller and me because the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik cited us in his manifesto. But actually, Breivik cited many, many people, including Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy and Thomas Jefferson -- who are never blamed for Breivik's murders.

.... Brevik’s real inspiration for his violence was, by his own account, Al Qaeda, as becomes clear in his manifesto when he spends 25 pages quoting extensively from the Koran and other Islamic sources. I am no more responsible for Breivik than the Beatles are for Charles Manson. [Los Angeles Times] Read more

Heavily made-up girl in a hijab provokes storm of complaints as BBC is accused of insulting Muslims with new sitcom Citizen Khan

It was probably unlikely that a TV comedy series about a Muslim community leader would pass without comment.

And so it was that in the region of 200 complaints were made to the BBC yesterday after it broadcast the first episode of Citizen Khan.

It was claimed that the programme ‘takes the mickey out of Islam’, was guilty of ‘stereotypes about Asians’ and was ‘disrespectful to the Koran’. [MailOnline] Read more

27 August 2012

Taliban behead 17 at dance event

The Taliban have beheaded 17 Afghans for attending a dance party that flouted Islamic extremist rules.

The killings, in a the southern district of Helman, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields - particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces.

The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late on Sunday in the Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event. [UKPA] Read more

26 August 2012

'Ban Islam in Sweden': Sweden Democrat

The neo-nazi Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska Motståndsrörelsen) marched in the central Swedish town of Bollnäs earlier this summer, after a controversial rape case had rocked the community.

On Saturday they marched again and anti-racist protests were held nearby.

Swedish Democratic Norling said he disapproves of Nazism, but by and large considers it a by-product of immigration. He also agrees with the neo-nazi movement that Islam has no place in Sweden. [The Local] Read more

Muslim exhibition for women's eyes only

A Lower Hutt art gallery is fielding complaints following the announcement that men will be banned from viewing an upcoming exhibition that shows Muslim women without veils.

The Dowse Art Museum is preparing to host the world premiere of a video display entitled Cinderazahd: For Your Eyes Only, that shows female friends and relatives preparing for a cousin's wedding without wearing their hijabs, or veils.

In accordance with the wishes of the artist, Qatari writer and film-maker Sophia Al-Maria, men will not be allowed to view the work, prompting outrage from locals. [Stuff.co.nz] Read more

25 August 2012

Libya Sufi shrines attacked 'by Islamist hardliners

A shrine in the Libyan capital Tripoli venerating a Sufi Muslim saint has been partly destroyed - the latest in a series of attacks blamed on ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists.

Tripoli residents said men with bulldozers attacked the shrine of al-Shaab al-Dahmani, unimpeded by police.

The attack came a day after hardliners were accused of damaging the tomb of a Sufi scholar in the city of Zlitan.

Hardline Salafists regard the shrines as idolatrous. [BBC] Read more

24 August 2012

Radical Islam revives an ancient hatred

Is a new and shocking wave of anti-Semitism engulfing the Middle East and the developing world? Consider the following:

More than half the Jews in Iraq have been driven out of the country; those that remain are forced to pay a fine or leave their homes. Some are forced to marry Muslims.

In Syria, towns and villages where Jews have lived for centuries are now almost entirely Muslim; these communities have fled to safer parts of the country, where they hope to escape an anti-Semitic massacre.

In Egypt, the new regime is surreptitiously encouraging attacks on synagogues; the Jews, despised for their supposed wealth, fear that the “Arab spring” is about to release centuries of pent-up anti-Semitic hatred. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Sharia poses problems, says judge

THE idea sharia could operate as part of Australian law was ''misconceived'' and minority practices that offend moral standards should be abandoned, the former High Court judge Sir Gerard Brennan said last night.

''No court could apply and no government could administer two parallel systems of law, especially if they reflect - as they inevitably would reflect - different fundamental standards,'' he said. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

23 August 2012

Christian boy tortured and killed in Pakistan

Detectives in Faisalabad, around 60 miles from Lahore, said they were investigating whether accusations of blasphemy had also been made against the boy.

Human rights campaigners condemned the killing of Samuel Yaqoob whose burned and tortured body body was discovered on Eid, the celebration which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

His lips and nose had been sliced off, his stomach removed and there was evidence that his legs had been mutilated too. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Islamia Village Event Cancelled

.... As reported by The Islamic Far-Right in Britain several days ago, anti-extremist activists have been in negotiation with Thorpe Underwood Estate since the event was reported at Harry’s Place in July. Following several meetings of their Board of Trustees, Thorpe Underwood took a number of steps to ensure that no comments relating to “threats, violence or any form of intolerance” would be be tolerated on their premises.

Such steps included banning the most extreme speakers and demanding that the organisers of the event, The Islamic Network, as well as each of the individual speakers, sign up to a legally binding agreement proscribing any and all forms of hate speech. [Harry’s Place] Read more

22 August 2012

North Mali Islamists ban secular music on radio

Islamist extremists occupying northern Mali on Wednesday banned all music except the singing of Koranic verses on private radio stations, in line with sharia, the strict Islamic law they are enforcing.

Whether Madonna, Rihanna or Youssou Ndour, all non-Muslim lyrics have been declared Satanic.

"We, the mujahideen of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal from now on refuse the broadcasting of all western music on radios on Islamic land," said Oussama Ould Abdel Kader, a spokesman for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). [AFP] Read more

21 August 2012

GOP embraces anti-Shariah

While leaders like Speaker Boehner and Sen. John McCain were rightly praised for taking a strong stand against Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government, don’t give the party of Lincoln a pass on Islamophobia just yet.

In Tampa this week, GOP leaders adopted a plank to their platform supporting a ban on foreign law and aimed at Shariah, the Islamic religious law that many conservatives insist is secretly insinuating itself in the U.S. The platform still has to be approved by the entire convention in a vote next week, but generally, most things approved by the platform committee make it into the final platform. [Salon] Read more

Not In My Name: Islam, Pakistan and the Blasphemy Laws

You could not make it up. An 11-year old Christian girl in Pakistan with Down's Syndrome is in police custody, and could face the death penalty, for allegedly burning pages from the Quran.

The girl, who has been identified as Rifta Masih, was arrested on blasphemy charges and is being held in Islamabad pending a court appearance later this month. She was detained by police after an angry mob turned up at her family's single-roomed home in a poor district on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital.

[A COMMENT] Muslims in the West like the writer of this article are in denial. Every single time we hear of Muslims in places such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan etc acting in truly reprehensible ways to "defend" their religion against religious minorities their co-coreligionists' first reaction here in the West is to claim they aren't really following the Quran. [The Huffington Post] Read more

Why the U.S. Must Oppose Blasphemy Laws — Not Just Their Abuse

Today’s New York Times and Washington Post shed rare light on the latest gross injustices that result from Pakistan’s blasphemy law. They report on yesterday’s arrest of Rimsha Masih, an 11- or 12-year-old Christian girl, who, according to some accounts, suffers from Down’s syndrome. Rimsha has been jailed for allegedly burning pages of the Koran while sweeping a facility in her slum neighborhood near the capital of Islamabad.

Should the case go to trial, the girl now faces a virtually certain sentence of life imprisonment, since under the sharia court, her testimony is worth a quarter of a Muslim male’s and there is only oral evidence in this case.

Should she be released back to her community, she will face the wrath of the mob, incited by mosque leaders who are quoted by the Post as condemning her to death by burning. Meanwhile, her mother has been incarcerated with her, and hundreds of her co-religionists have fled their homes, terrorized by vigilantes. [National Review Online] Read more

Iran Universities Ban Women From 77 Fields Of Study

Women are to be excluded from 77 BA and BSc courses at 36 Iranian universities in the coming year.

The ban was first reported by Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency, and will see women excluded from studying in the fields of engineering, accounting, education, counselling, the restoration of monuments and chemistry.

On the back of this news, the country’s Oil Industry University announced that “at the moment it did not have any need for women resources.” [The Huffington Post] Read more

20 August 2012

Anger as Iran bans women from universities

In a move that has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran's most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year will be "single gender" and effectively exclusive to men.

It follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country's religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year's university entrance exam.

Senior clerics in Iran's theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women, including declining birth and marriage rates. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Oslo Muslims Demand Sharia-Controlled Zone

.... In the letter, the members of Ansar al-Sunna indicate that they do not wish to mix with infidels “and your filthy values and attitudes. You don’t respect your women, who strut around half-naked, and you let them behave in an immoral fashion. You permit the filthy sickness of homosexuality, which goes against nature….”.

And so on. The authors of the letter then request that Norway hand over Grønland, a largely Muslim neighborhood in Oslo, so that they can govern it themselves, “with our own ministers, border guards, police, and legal system, run according to sharia laws, and forbid all the evil you stand for and that violates Allah’s laws.”

In short: “Cordon off the neighborhood and let us govern it as we wish….We don’t want to live together with filthy beasts [skitne udyr] like you [plural].” [FrontPage Magazine] Read more

Christian Girl’s Blasphemy Arrest Incites a Furor in Pakistan

The arrest and imprisonment of a Christian girl accused of violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws stoked a public furor on Monday, renewing international scrutiny of growing intolerance toward minorities in the country.

The police jailed the girl, Rimsha Masih, and her mother on Friday after hundreds of Muslim protesters surrounded the police station here where they were being held, demanding that Ms. Masih face charges under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

A local cleric had said Ms. Masih had burned pages of the Noorani Qaida, a religious textbook used to teach the Koran to children. [The New York Times] Read more

Copts in Upper Egypt Attacked, Beat, Plundered

Christian Copts in Upper Egypt are under attack, hours after a call for their eradication appeared in the form of leaflets calling on Muslims to kill Copts, specifically naming regions of Upper Egypt.

.... In Al Gallaweya Village, Sohag, Upper Egypt, Christians are being beaten, their stores destroyed, and their properties plundered. The attackers are declaring that “any Christian who dares to leave his house will be killed”; and the Copts are complaining that the police only arrive after the damage has been completely done. [Coptic Solidarity] Read more

Muslim honor murderer boasts of triple killing

.... And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that "Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values."

In light of all this, until authorities get the courage to tell the truth about honor killing, there will be many more such murders. [Jihad Watch] Read more

Updated: Blasphemy Law Misused in Lahore... Just as the president claims he'll not permit misuse

Pakistan's President Asif Zardari on Thursday said the government is aware of the misuse of blasphemy law against minorities by vested interests and it will not permit the misuse of any law against vulnerable groups.

Addressing a reception at the Presidency held to mark National Minorities Day, Zardari called upon religious scholars from all schools of thought to get together and consider ways and means to stop the misuse of blasphemy law. He spouted: [Religious Watch] Read more

Imposition of Sharia law a 'myth' [It says]

.... ''The fault line here was the perception that Muslim community can't and does not want to integrate … a lot of the submissions say that.

''We wanted to debunk some of the myths about multiculturalism, it does not mean Sharia law in Australia. It's time we went back to describing people by their ethnic origin as opposed to their faith, we've got to change our language.''

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils told the inquiry that Muslims should be allowed to marry, divorce and conduct financial transactions under the principles of Sharia law.

Then council president Ikebal Patel said all Australians would benefit if Islamic laws were adopted as mainstream legislation but agreed the word sharia could invoke notions of a male-dominated legal code. [The Canberra Times] Read more

Did Muhammad Exist? - A Book Review

.... there are the hadiths, traditions, that are voluminous in quantity, often contradictory in nature, and most of them fabrications due to the lack of information about Muhammad. The hadiths arose much later after Muhammad supposedly died in 632.

Third, there is the Sira, an Arabic term for the traditional biographies of Muhammad. “The earliest biography of Muhammad was written by Ibn Ishaq (d.773), who wrote in the latter part of the eighth century, at least 125 years after the death of his protagonist, in a setting in which legendary material about Muhammad was proliferating.

And Ibn Ishaq’s biography does not even exist as such; it comes down to us only in the quite lengthy fragments reproduced by an even later chronicler, Ibn Hisham, who wrote in the first quarter of the ninth century, and by other historians who reproduced and thereby preserved additional sections. [Answering Islam] Read more

19 August 2012

Muslim asks HPD to revise frisking rules on headscarfs

A Muslim protester is calling for revision of the frisking process at the Houston Police Department after she said she was stripped of her religious headscarf during a recent arrest this month while rallying for janitor wages.

The incident highlights the varying policies local police agencies have regulating when religious head coverings are allowed during the arresting and booking process. It also shows the fine line law enforcement must straddle when trying to respect one's faith while ensuring that people who are arrested do no harm to themselves or others. [Houston Chronicle] Read more

Schools Cease Teaching Holocaust, Demand Students Pray to Allah

A report by Britain’s Department for Education and Skills noted that an increasing number of schools are ceasing to teach the Holocaust in history lessons in order to avoid offending Muslim students.

The report, titled "Teaching Emotive and Controversial History," also observed that many educators are reluctant to teach other topics that may contradict what is being said in local mosques. [Arutz Sheva] Read more

Alcohol is a reality in Muslim lands, but discussing it remains off limits

Could Islam become more tolerant of drinking? A handful of scholars permit alcohol as long as it is not made from grapes and dates, because these are specifically mentioned in the Koran. But nobody dares open the debate.

"No religious scholar is ready to accept the consequences of a fatwa by now saying that beer, spirits, vodka are halal," says Anas Aboshady, a scholar at the influential al-Azhar University in Cairo.

What is more, since the scrutiny of Islam in the wake of the September 11th 2001 attacks, piety has risen in some quarters. "For many Muslims, alcohol is a question of identity," says Sami Zubaida, a sociologist at Birkbeck College in London. "Not drinking has become part of a backlash to decadence in the West, where alcohol is associated with loose living." [Chicago Tribune] Read more

Mentally challenged child jailed for ‘blasphemy’

An 11-year-old Christian girl was accused of blasphemy and sent to juvenile jail on a 14-day judicial remand on Saturday.

According to a police official, a mentally challenged Christian girl, Rimsha, a resident of Umara Jaffar, had been accused of burning 10 pages of an Islamic book, Noorani Qaida.

.... He said that at least 2,300 Christians had left their homes and had gone into hiding as a mob had threatened them that it would attack the village. The Christian community has always respected all religions, the official added. [Daily Times] Read more

18 August 2012

Far-right activists stage anti-Muslim protest

A far-right group has staged a protest outside a Berlin mosque against what it says is the “Islamisation” of Germany. The protesters brandished a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed in a move likely to spark widespread anger.

Hundreds of police were braced for clashes on Saturday when around 50 members of the Pro Deutschland group displayed the provocative cartoon alongside banners reading “Stop Islamisation.”

A police spokesman said around 100 far-left and anti-Nazi activists staged a counter-protest nearby, with fears the two sides could descend into violence. [The Local Europe] Read more

Nadira Naipaul exposes arranged marriages and honour killings in the UK

.... I see it everywhere. In the haunted eyes of young Pakistani girls, brought up in Britain, who know nothing but a Westernised life: young women who work happily behind beauty counters in our department stores, yet must return home to parents who refuse to emerge from their cultural ghettos.

And who expect their daughters to accept traditional arranged marriages to distant cousins brought up in rural Pakistan.

.... When I talk to them they are seething with anger that their parents – some semi-literate – insist upon entrenching themselves in Muslim ghettos, erecting cultural barriers and refusing to integrate, rejecting any semblance of a British way of life. [MailOnline] Read more

Egyptian Muslims given sharia authorization to murder protestors

.... Noted Muslim cleric Hashem Islam Ali Islam stated that those who protest against President Mohammed Morsi later this month, can in good conscience and under Sharia law, kill the protestors.

President Morsi is a member of the extremist and violent Muslim Brotherhood.

Hashem Islam is a staff member of the self-proclaimed "moderate" Al-Azhar University's Fatwa Committee. [Examiner.com] Read more

17 August 2012

“Banditry and Extortion” Replace “Apostasy” Charges for Christian Pastor!

.... The Christian pastor’s earlier charges were “apostasy” and “converting to Christianity,” but the new charges of “banditry and extortion” were first mentioned last year on Fars News Agency

A source close to the case of Youcef Nadarkhani who wishes to remain anonymous on security grounds told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that, “Mr. Nadarkhani’s ‘banditry’ charges are fundamentally meaningless; he is not a thief or a bandit. This is a new accusation leveled against him for unknown reasons.” [International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran] Read more

Salafists attack Tunisia festival, 5 wounded

Hardline Islamists armed with swords and sticks attacked a cultural festival in northern Tunisia late on Thursday, with five people wounded in the clash, witnesses and officials said.

It was the third time in just three days that Tunisia's emboldened Salafists have disrupted cultural events, condemning some of them for violating Muslim sensitivities during the holy month of Ramadan and fuelling fears of a rising Islamist tide. [AFP] Read more

French Muslims in political grey area

.... "The question of new mosques construction remains undecided because of the firm unwillingness of the Europeans to accept another culture on their territory, especially in such large numbers," Ms Korobko said.

"It is mainly caused by the historic, social and psychological specificities of the Europeans, and the French people in particular." She is not alone in being concerned about the outlook of the left as a whole.

Despite the right's obsessions with immigration, especially from former French colonies in North and sub-Saharan Africa, and with the alleged "Islamification" of France, it was a communist mayor who led the campaign to ban the face-covering niqab inpublic. [The National] Read more

A Brave Challenge to Sharia in Egypt

.... They are now in shock over seeing a YouTube post of an Egyptian young man doing the unthinkable on camera: tearing up the Quran and putting it in the trash.

.... The young man's worlds were very insulting, but, unfortunately, this is the same language that Muslims commentators of this video use against him and against anyone who leaves Islam.

The comments on this video are extremely violent and scary, and more insulting than anything this young man may have said in the video. This is the kind of language many Muslims use against any critique of Islam. I am very worried about this young man, who seems to be living in Egypt. There are hundreds of fatwas of death issued against him already, and the responses to the video threaten him. [American Thinker] Read more

Young Turks Increasingly Favor Integration and Religion

Hardly a year goes by in Germany without a shrill debate on immigration and Islam. Despite the public hand-wringing, however, those in the country with a Turkish background are increasingly eager to integrate, according to a new survey. But younger Turks are also becoming more religious.

.... even as the willingness to integrate appears to be on the rise, the number of those who identify Germany as their homeland appears to be dropping. Whereas 21 percent said they saw Germany as more of a homeland than Turkey in 2010, that number has now dropped to 15 percent.

Furthermore, the number of those who say they plan to eventually return to Turkey has risen from 42 percent to 45 percent -- though the most common reasons given are a desire to spend one's retirement in Turkey and the considerably better weather there. [SPIEGEL ONLINE] Read more

Anti-Islam group targets mosques and leftists

A court told the Pro-Deutschland group on Thursday it could show copies of the Danish cartoons which sparked violent protests around the globe when they were first published in 2005.

This Saturday, the group plans to demonstrate in front of three mosques in the capital city under the slogan, “Islam does not belong to Germany – stop Islamisation.”

Around 70 participants are expected to drive between the mosques and hold rallies in front of them - as Muslims prepare to celebrate the end of Ramadan on Sunday. [The Local] Read more

16 August 2012

Egypt's Al-Azhar condemns cleric speaking in its name

The Islamic Research Academy says Hashem Islam, the cleric who released a statement inciting violence against anticipated anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations, is not affiliated to Al-Azhar as he claimed.

The Islamic Research Academy has said that Hashem Islam, the cleric who made controversial comments this week claiming he was a member of the Fatwa Committee of Al-Azhar, is not associated with Al-Azhar and has summoned Islam for questioning.

.... At a forum held at the Egyptian Diplomatic Club on Tuesday, Islam made comments inciting violence against anticipated anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations planned for 24 August. He said that protesting against the elected president would be tantamount to "high treason against their nation, God, his prophet and Muslims."

"So, I say stand up against them. If they fight you, fight them back … if they kill some of you, the victims will go to heaven and if you kill them, that would be righteous," Islam added. [Ahram Online] Read more

German far-right group's plan to display anti-Islam caricatures does not incite hatred, court rules

A Berlin court has rejected an emergency appeal by three mosques to prohibit a far-right group from displaying caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad at a demonstration this weekend.

The Berlin administrative court ruled Thursday the caricatures were protected by laws allowing artistic free expression and their display alone did not violate laws against slander nor those against inciting hate or violence. [Associated Press] Read more

Women's rights, religion issues set to delay Tunisia's constitution

.... The delay is not necessarily a bad thing, argued Zaid Al Ali, who works on Arab constitutions at the intergovernmental organisation, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

Several issues have proved particularly contentious, such as the role of women in society and religion in politics.

Other issues, such as legislation to limit Tunisia's legendary corruption, need to be thrashed out, he said. "I think the more time they have, and the more they get it right, that's fine with me," he said, pointing out that South Africa and Kenya took several years to write constitutions that are generally considered to function well. [The National] Read more

Danes frequently confronted by religion

.... "Everywhere in Europe it is clear that the concept of secularism, where religion remains a private matter, is under pressure.

Everything suggests that in the future religious organisations will have more influence on schools, workplaces and the media. This means that both private and public institutions will be dealing with religion more often," explains Vinding.

The report is one of six national reports examining the nexus between secularism and religion in a specific European country. The reports are based on interviews with a variety of religious, secular and political leaders. The reports are key contributions to the research project RELIGARE, which brings together university researchers from ten different European countries. [Science Codex] Read more

Muslim Brotherhood ‘Crucifies’ Opponents, Attacks Secular Media

“Making mischief in the land” is precisely what the secular media is being accused of, by constantly exposing the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist agenda. Even the Jihad Group to Cleanse the Country, which threatens to “liquidate” many secular media, accuses them of “creating chaos to implement the American and Zionist agenda.”

Finally, it is telling that only a few months ago, and for the first time in Egypt’s modern history, an Egyptian MP proposed to institutionalize Sharia’s most draconian punishments—including crucifixion.

In short, under the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the bottle has been uncorked and the Islamic Genie set loose. Expect much worse to come. [The Algemeiner Journal] Read more

Islam Increasingly Promoted By Officials In Secular Turkey

There is no doubt that each community has the right to express its religious identity or any other identity in the framework of freedom and personal choice. However, changing the structure of the secular state and removing its secular foundation will certainly result in problems that challenge Turkey’s internal stability.

In fact, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's opponents are claiming that his ultimate goal is to eradicate the secular system and establish a religious one instead. This will nullify Turkey's hopes of joining the European Union, if it really wants to join it. [AL-MONITOR] Read more

Judge attacks forced marriage that put disabled woman 'at risk’

A judge has said the forced marriage of a Muslim woman with learning difficulties should be annulled and condemned the “insulated” families who arrange them.

Mrs Justice Parker also criticised doctors and social workers for failing to raise the alarm when the woman was sent to Bangladesh to be married to a cousin, which allowed him to settle in England.

She said video of the wedding ceremony showed the bride was “almost comatose” and needed help to repeat vows she did not understand, while her relatives had made “false and misleading” statements about her condition.

And the judge brushed aside claims by the woman’s parents that having her marriage annulled would bring shame upon their family, in a case that was even considered at by the Government’s most senior lawyer, the Attorney General. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

15 August 2012

Women challenge Islamists over equality

.... The 1956 code was the first of its kind in the Arab world. It abolished polygamy, under which Muslim men are allowed to have as many as four wives, and the practice of repudiation, under which husbands could divorce simply by saying so three times.

At the same time, it instituted not only judicial divorce but also civil marriage.

It is a system now deeply rooted in Tunisian society, where women are active in all sectors of society.

While none of these principles would be lost under the proposed article, activists fear that its language represents a step toward rolling back their rights. [Agence France-Presse] Read more

West Bloomfield Planning Commission accused of Islamophobia

.... Trustee Jim Manna was quoted as saying: “With all due respect, when we look at the world, we’ve got every right to ask these questions. It’s an emotional issue, where the money is coming from.”

.... As for the questions about Saudi Arabia, Manna said the country is “pushing and funding mosques throughout the world.”

“It is a mosque,” he said of the cultural center. “It is partly a mosque. We have every right to question what’s going to happen there, what’s going to go on there.” [The Oakland Press]

Read more

Muslim woman files suit against Disney over headscarf dispute

The ACLU is suing The Walt Disney Co. on behalf of a Muslim woman who claims the company discriminated against her by not allowing her to wear a headscarf while working in a Disney restaurant in Anaheim.

Former Disney employee Imane Boudlal worked at the Storytellers Cafe at the California Adventure park, directly across from Disneyland. In 2009 she requested to wear her hijab while working.

The ACLU claims that two months later, Disney supervisors denied her request, allegedly due to Disney policies on employee uniforms. [Washington Post] Read more

14 August 2012

Pew Research Institute Releases Telling Survey of World's Muslims

.... The results, however, show a high level of agreement about one of the most debated issues concerning Islam: Whether Muslims believe Islamic teaching is subject to various “interpretations” or only one.

As Islamic teaching is derived from the Qur’an, the Sira, and the ahadith (which together are the main sources for Sharia, or Islamic law), in essence this was a question about Muslim beliefs about the fundamentals of their faith.

.... According to the Pew survey results, a majority (more than 50%) of Muslims in 32 of 39 countries believes that “There is only one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.” [radicalislam.org] Read more

Leicester estate out in protest over Islamic community centre plans for disused scout hut

.... hundreds of people have been gathering in Thurncourt Road, on Leicester's Thurnby Lodge estate, for some weeks now to protest against an Islamic charity's plan to turn a disused Scout hut into a community centre and prayer room.

[A COMMENT] “"Islamic community centre" - Why not just have a community centre for all faiths and local people? Why just Islamic, that does not seem right?”

[ANOTHER COMMENT] Where are our English community centres? Chinese, Pakistani and Muslin community centres exist in Leicester so why not an English community centre? Anyone denying that idea is discriminating against the English community and should be tarnished a racist and taken to court. [Leicester Mercury] Read more

Parti Quebecois would bar hijab from civil service with secularism charter

Under the proposed charter, civil servants would be barred from wearing any religious symbols, including the controversial wear of the hijab. The law would also prohibit citizen’s from refusing to be served by a member of the opposite sex.

“In Quebec, the state will be neutral. That is absolutely important. Next, the equality between men and women is a value that is not negotiable,” said Marois, at a campaign stop in Trois-Riveries.

Despite the rhetoric, the party leader said that Quebec’s cultural symbols would not be impacted, including Christmas trees and the crucifix that has hung in the National Assembly since 1936. [CTV News] Read more

Saudi Arabia objects to .gay and .islam domain names

The Saudi Arabian government is objecting to a number of proposed new Internet address endings, including .gay, .bar, .baby and .islam.

The country claims the .gay domain would promote homosexuality and would be offensive to "many societies and cultures." Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed objections to 31 domain extensions, primarily on cultural and religious grounds. [CNN] Read more

German city Hamburg to recognize Islamic holidays

Authorities in Hamburg have become the first in Germany to officially recognize Islamic holidays so Muslim employees and students can celebrate them at home.

The decision forms part of an agreement between the north German city and local Muslim groups.

Similar agreements exist with Christian and Jewish communities in the city.

Hamburg's mayor, Olaf Scholz, said Tuesday that he hopes the deal will serve as an example for other German cities. [AP] Read more

Tunisian Olympic medalists draw radicals’ ire amid debate over role of Islam, women

Islamist extremists have targeted two Tunisian Olympic medalists for behavior and dress seen as un-Islamic, as debate grows over the role of religion and women in the country that unleashed the Arab Spring uprisings.

Radicals on social media networks called on the government to strip Habiba Ghribi, the first Tunisian woman to win an Olympic medal, of her nationality because her running gear was too revealing. She won the silver in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. [Associated Press] Read more

Mohammed retakes top spot in English baby names

Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011 - convincingly ahead of Harry, in second place, according to data released by the government this week.

The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.

Mohammed is also the most popular boy's name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so. [CNN] Read more

13 August 2012

Thousands rally in Tunisia for women's rights

Thousands of Tunisians rallied on Monday to protest against what they see as a push by the Islamist-led government for constitutional changes that would degrade women's status in one of the Arab world's most liberal nations.

The protest, by some 6,000 mostly Tunisian women, is the latest twist in a row over the role of Islam in a constitution being drawn up by a new assembly.

Tunisia's ruling Ennahda Movement is under pressure from both hardline Salafi Muslims, calling for the introduction of Islamic law, and secular opposition parties.

Activists are not happy with a stipulation in a draft of the constitution that considers women to be "complementary to men" and want a pioneering 1956 law that grant women full equality with men to remain in place. [Reuters] Read more

12 August 2012

Saudi Arabia plans new city for women workers only

A women-only industrial city dedicated to female workers is to be constructed in Saudi Arabia to provide a working environment that is in line with the kingdom's strict customs.

The city, to be built in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf, is set to be the first of several planned for the Gulf kingdom.

The aim is to allow more women to work and achieve greater financial independence, but to maintain the gender segregation, according to reports. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

10 August 2012

We need to talk about Islam

.... what is it about my book that has elicited such a response from people whose work it is to trade in ideas?

Have I penned an incendiary tome that “insults” Islam or otherwise risks “offending” Muslims? Well, I don’t think I’ve done any such thing — I’ve simply written an account of how and why I came to be an atheist. It’s much less an attack on religion than it is a celebration of atheism.

But the fact that it is written by someone from a Muslim background seems to have been sufficient to make some people afraid of publishing it.

And that is surely an unacceptable state of affairs; we seem to have gone from a time when publishers and booksellers stood shoulder to shoulder in defence of free speech to publish and sell The Satanic Verses, despite the very real threat of violence, to a time when an entirely innocuous book like mine can be rejected for publication because people fear it will lead to violent repercussions. [Index] Read more

No man’s land: Women-only city planned for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is to build a new city exclusively for women. The Gulf kingdom is working on the narrow junction between strict Sharia law and the aspirations of active females who wish to pursue their own careers.

The new plan is to combine women’s desire to work in the modern age and provide a job environment that would go hand-in-hand with the country’s Sharia law. The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) has been charged to lead the country into a new era. [RT TV] Read more

Has multiculturalism failed in the UK?

.... It also shows that only one fifth of Muslims would support a proposal of sharia law in Britain. Yes, critics may worry it is this high, and we can't deny that some support for separatism does exist, but similarly we can't deny that some white British people support ethnic exclusionism.

From these results it would seem the characterisation of minorities as living separate lives, rejecting British values and integration into British society is, to put it mildly, a slur on those British citizens.

[A COMMENT] One in five Muslims across the board. Imagine what it’s like in Muslim areas. And you think there isn’t a problem. You are living in cloud-cuckoo land! [Guardian Cif] Read more

Marseilles: Restaurant Owner Attacked Because He Refused to Close for Ramadan

A Marseilles restaurant owner was threatened and attacked at the beginning of the week because he did not want to observe Ramadan, it has been learned today from a source close to the inquiry, confirming information from the daily La Provence.

Aged 64-years-old, the restaurant-owner, a Frenchman of Egyptian origin not practising the Muslim religion, was approached on Monday by an individual walking around with a veiled woman.

Several times the suspect demanded that the businessman, who operates in the Belsunce district (centre of Marseilles), to close his establishment for Ramadan, failing which he would undertake reprisals against him. One hour later, the individual returned and struck him a violent blow with his belt. Wounded by the metal part of the belt, the restaurant owner was transported to La Conception hospital. [Islam versus Europe] Read more

Ahmadi man charged with blasphemy in Pak

A member of the minority Ahmadi sect has been charged with blasphemy for the second time by authorities in Pakistan's Punjab province for "posing as a Muslim" and for displaying a translation of a Quranic text in his shop.

Muhammad Ashraf, a jeweller from Sargodha, was charged under the controversial blasphemy law after a cleric named Hafiz Muhammad Imran complained against him to police.

Ashraf was earlier charged with his co-workers in 2009 for posing as Muslims. After being charged with blasphemy on July 23, Ashraf was sent to the Central Jail in Sargodha the following day. [Zee News] Read more

Halal abattoir meets growing opposition

A CAMPAIGN group opposing halal slaughter at a Skegness abattoir has gathered almost 100 members in a matter of days.

The ‘Say NO to halal slaughter in Skegness’ facebook group was set up after it was announced a business practising the religious methods was preparing to move into the town’s Heath Road abattoir.

Founding member Tess Turner, of Alford, claims the practices of slaughtering animals without stunning them first are inhumane and illegal if sold for consumption by those who are not Jewish or Muslim. She has also stressed that her motivations are purely based on animal welfare issues and in no way condones racism or religious intolerance. [Skegness Standard] Read more

09 August 2012

Sarah Attar: seeds of liberalisation or gesture politics?

....this could be seen as gesture politics, as the Saudi Arabian government making token gestures to their liberal critics while getting on with business as usual behind the scenes.

And what better choice than the unwitting Attar; an articulate, friendly, photogenic person; someone who hasn’t gone to school in Saudi; someone who hasn’t shared the same experiences as the majority of Saudi women her age. [MailOnline] Read more

Islamia Village and it's intolerant inhabitants

.... They include Murtaza Khan, who was also filmed in 2007 asking “for how long do we have to see our mothers, sisters and daughters having to uncover themselves before these filthy non-Muslim doctors?” Khan has also described homosexuality as an “abominable action which goes against humanity” and stated that the correct punishment for such acts is death.

He will be joined by another deeply intolerant cleric called Assim Al-Hakeem, who Student Rights campaigned against earlier this year when he was barred from speaking at three separate UK universities.

Al-Hakeem’s website hosts a number of virulently homophobic statements, including that homosexuality turns people into “animals that seek only their sexual satisfaction through their weird ways”. [Student Rights] Read more

British executive facing jail in Dubai after calling Prophet Mohammad a 'complete paedophile' in text message to Muslim colleague

A high-flying British executive accused of calling the Prophet Mohammad a 'complete paedophile' is facing up to three years in a Dubai jail.

Deep Marwaha allegedly texted a Muslim colleague with a volley of abuse after he performed a holy ritual while the pair were working in Saudi Arabia.

The 35-year-old, a manager at UK-based conference organising firm Informa, was said to have texted fellow Brit Khalid Shafique with the words: 'F*** you, f*** your Islam and f*** your prophet. Your Prophet Mohammad is a complete paedophile. Now show what you can do. I know lots of sheikhs.' [MailOnline] Read more

Mali's Islamist rebels cut off hand of theft suspect

Islamist rebels have cut off the hand of a suspected cattle thief in Mali, the first amputation under sharia law imposed by insurgents controlling the country's desert north.

Abdel Moussa, a tea vendor in Ansongo, said a large crowd watched the amputation in the village about 100km (60 miles) from the regional capital Gao, after pleading with the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) to stop.

"Our men cut off the hand of a thief after a judgment based on supporting evidence. They did it according to sharia," Aliou Toure, a rebel leader in Gao, said. The amputation took place on Wednesday. [BBC] Read more

Should pre-marital sex be legal?

The editor of Morocco's Al-Ahdath Al-Maghribia daily newspaper, Moktar el-Ghzioui, is living in fear for his life after he expressed support for pre-marital sex during a local television debate.

"The next thing there was a cleric from Oujda releasing a fatwa that I should die," he says.

"I am very scared for myself and my family. It's a real blow to all the modernists who thought Morocco was moving forward."

According to article 490 of the penal code, Moroccans can be jailed for having sexual relations outside marriage. [BBC] Read more

The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity

The survey, which involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in over 80 languages, finds that in addition to the widespread conviction that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His Prophet, large percentages of Muslims around the world share other articles of faith, including belief in angels, heaven, hell and fate (or predestination).

While there is broad agreement on the core tenets of Islam, however, Muslims across the 39 countries and territories surveyed differ significantly in their levels of religious commitment, openness to multiple interpretations of their faith and acceptance of various sects and movements. [The Pew Forum] Read more

07 August 2012

The History of MPAC

.... Established in 1988 by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and admirers of Hezbollah, MPAC styles itself a “moderate, inclusive and forward-thinking organization with a history of fostering a strong Muslim American identity, and combating terrorism and extremism.”

In reality, MPAC is yet another Islamist wolf in the “social justice” clothing of the hard Left. Its founders include Hassan Hathout, the former MPAC president who has described himself as “a close disciple” of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. [National Review Online] Read more

Saudi Arabia's female Olympians face cold return home

Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani returns to Saudi Arabia as the first woman to represent the Kingdom in judo, but while her participation has been celebrated globally the domestic reaction to her accomplishment has ranged from lukewarm to openly hostile.

Her father, a judo referee who said he wanted his daughter to make "new history for Saudi's women," is reportedly incensed at conservative Saudis who showered her with racial slurs on Twitter and called her a “prostitute” for participating. [The Daily Beast] Read more

Muslim employee 'forced to resign' after wearing headscarf to work

A London-based retailer forced a Muslim employee to resign after she wore a headscarf to work, because it wanted to retain its "trendy" image, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Ms Farrah brought a claim for unfair dismissal and direct religious discrimination against her former employer, Global Luggage Co, after the company moved her to a different store to maintain its "trendy" image and later forced her to resign.

Originally, Farrah worked in both the Oxford Street and Piccadilly branches of Global Luggage Co on alternate days each weekend. However, the day after Farrah wore a headscarf to work one of the directors immediately moved her to the Oxford Street store and changed her rota so that she no longer worked at the Piccadilly store

[A COMMENT] Problem here is that employers will choose not to interview or will find legitimate reasons not to employ applicants with these beliefs. It is easily done. Anyway why can't the company choose how it promotes its brand and who it believes is best qualified to represent that brand image. If this girl was wearing a headscarf at the interview then the company has no grounds, but I would suggest that she did not. [Personnel Today] Read more

Veiled French Muslim woman charged with inciting riot

.... She allegedly said she did not have time and did not want to show her ID card and covered herself up with another veil as she walked away, the police source said, asking not to be named.

When police tried to take her to the station, she allegedly grabbed hold of a vehicle and started kicking, punching and screaming, the source added.

She allegedly tried to bite police and scratched one of them before being taken into custody. None of the officers were hurt.

In a similar incident on July 24, three officers in the southern city of Marseille sustained minor injuries after they stopped a fully veiled woman by a mosque. The woman, two men and a minor are due in court over the alleged assault. [AFP] Read more

Equalities watchdog probes women-only nursery

The group, called 'Kids Go Wild' is the first in the country to introduce a 'women only' policy.

The centre, in the predominantly Asian area of Sparkhill, Birmingham, has defended the man ban, claiming Muslim mothers welcomed it for cultural reasons.

A poster outside the centre reads: "Ladies and children only. No boys over nine allowed."

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is investigating the ban after fathers complained. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

06 August 2012

Douglas Murray comments on polygamy in the UK

.... notwithstanding that situations do exist where women may be forced into polygamous marriages, Murray ignores completely those women who choose to enter into polygamous marital arrangements of their own free will. Women enter into these arrangements for various reasons. Apart from romantic reasons, one trend that has been noted is of women, and ‘career women’ in particular, entering polygamous marriages because they do not want to have ‘full-time relationships’.

Another issue which has been highlighted is the struggles of the increasing numbers of educated, professional Muslim women to find suitable partners who will accept ‘women who wear trousers’. It is a shame then, although all too familiar that Murray should peddle stereotypes about Muslim women as helpless victims of their faith, and of Islam as an immigrant religion. [ENGAGE] Read more

05 August 2012

Action against non-Muslims for spreading their religion to Muslims

The Islamic Religious Council in the states can take action against non-Muslims for trying to spread their faith among Muslims in the country.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharum said this can be done based on existing enactments that prohibit non-Muslims from doing so. [Bernama] Read more

Misreading the Quran

.... And it is not just the Sword Verse that commands war against "unbelievers" or harsh treatment of Jews and Christians. Such commands appear throughout the Quran, such as "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."

There is ample evidence of radical Islam seeking influence in the American academy; how, then, can we give so much intellectual authority to narrowly focused literary scholars, such as Carl Ernst, who think the most interesting facet of the Quran is its rhyme schemes and such? All over the world, radical Muslims are smirking. [American Thinker] Read more

Riyadh deports 35 Ethiopian Christians for praying

Saudi Arabia deported 35 Ethiopian Christians last week after incarcerating them for over seven months for praying in advance of the Christmas season in December 2011, according to Christian media outlets and NGOs.

International Christian Concern wrote on its website that “Saudi Arabia deported the last of the 35 Ethiopian Christians who were detained for holding an all-night prayer vigil. [The Jerusalem Post] Read more

Shafilea Ahmed: contrasting media responses

.... Islam relegates the role of women to chattels and slaves in some circumstances so that a young female has to do what her parents tell here to do whethere to undergo FGM. marriage or follow a particular life-style.

There is no common cultural feature between the way that women are treated in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan as their cultural roots are all different. They are different races. Its is only Islam that is their common factor. Hence, one can legitimately factor the influence of Islam on people repressing and abusing women.

Can we stop, so-called, “Honour Killings”. Hell no, we can’t even stop FGM. What does it take? Nick Griffin or Tommy Robinson in Downing Street?

We are scared to confront both Islam and cultural practices that are unlawful. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Govt attributes polio resurgence to ‘religious mindsets’

Government officials believe the main factor contributing to the rise in polio is misapprehension and lack of awareness due to religious mindsets.

“One is surprised to find that among all the factors behind the setback in the polio immunisation campaign, the religious mindset is topping the list,” Shahnaz Wazir Ali, the prime minister’s special assistant, told The Express Tribune.

“The Taliban are also a major factor in hampering the polio eradication programme, which is, once again, believed by the majority to be a religious dynamic.”

“Fatwas issued by the Taliban disparaging the vaccination as an American ploy to make Muslims infertile, and a recent ban linking the campaign to a halt in drone strikes, greatly damaged the polio drive and it was very unfortunate that no prominent religious figure came up to assist us.” [The Express Tribune] Read more

Why Are the EDL Going to Walthamstow Shortly?

.... He is also the senior Judge of the nearby Sharia Court. His interview with the Financial Times in 2009 when he praised the virtues of Sharia law over that of the English Common Law is no longer available on the FT website. However I made notes.

Dr Hasan’s son is Dr Usama Hasan (a genuine doctorate in physics and engineering) He spoke at the Mosque last year about his belief in the compatibility of Darwin’s theory of Evolution with Islamic belief that life was created by Allah. “Many believers in God have no problem with an obvious solution: that God created man via evolution”.

He also does not believe that the veil is imperative for women. Worshippers at the mosque which he had attended for 25 years called for him to suffer the death penalty. He retracted his statement, increased his family’s security and now keeps a low profile. His father’s reaction to his son’s liberal beliefs is unknown to me. [The Iconoclast] Read more

04 August 2012

Riot Leaves an Egyptian Village Without Christians

.... Dahshour's entire Christian community — as many as 100 families some estimate — fled to nearby towns in the violence earlier this week. The flock's priest, cloaked in a white sheet to hide him, was taken out in a police van. At least 16 homes and properties of Christians were pillaged and some torched and a church damaged.

The violence was ultimately rooted in a dispute over a badly ironed shirt that escalated into a fight in which a Christian burned a Muslim to death, in turn sparking the rampage by angry Muslims.

"It was a devil's moment," Wehba said Thursday at the home of her Muslim neighbors, who have taken her in. "Whoever caused this was the devil's son." [Associated Press] Read more

Everyone’s an Islamist now - The case that a political term has outlived its usefulness

.... In Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, the most important factions are led overwhelmingly by religious politicians—all of them “Islamist” in the conventional sense, and many in sharp disagreement with one another over the most basic practical questions of how to govern. Explicitly secular groups are an exception, and where they have any traction at all they represent a fragmented minority.

As electoral democracy makes its impact felt on the Arab world for the first time in history, it is becoming clear that it is the Islamist parties that are charting the future course of the Arab world. [The Boston Globe] Read more

Pakistan police suspended after parading naked couple

Several Pakistani police officers have been suspended after they were accused of parading a couple naked in public.

According to witnesses, police in the Sindh town of Gambat forced the man and woman to walk to the police station naked as punishment for trying to have sex outside marriage.

Mobile phone footage shows a naked man being beaten by police and a woman begging them to let her cover herself. [BBC] Read more

Spanish Family Attacked by Mob of Moors Because They Took Dogs for a Walk in 'Muslim Area'

.... In a recent incident a 27-year-old man taking three dogs for a walk along with his 49-year-old mother was attacked by a mob of 25-30 Moors [North African Muslims].

"We were there with the dogs and suddenly loads of Moors appeared. They hit my son a lot and they shook me". The police were called but the Muslims attacked them too and reinforcements had to be called in. Eventually, the police managed to get the family into a doorway and were able to protect them there.

"On Saturday night two Moors [female] hit my niece. They attacked her because they want this plaza for themselves". "They said daughter of a whore, bitch to her," she adds because she was walking with an "impure animal". Read more

03 August 2012

The Hijab at the Olympics

.... if Wojdan is determined to compete she should just hang in there. If the Judo Federation fears becoming the object of a future fatwa, in the end Wojdan may be the last judoka standing and take home the gold by Harai Goshi-ing (Sweeping hip-throw) her way into a sanctioned hijab strangulation hold.

Either way, for bravely coming to London and demanding to wear a hijab while competing in a sport that includes pulling on clothing, Shahrkhani is being viewed by Fawaz A. Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, as a "pioneer" and one "tough cookie." Fawaz maintains "When we look back on this Olympics, we will say that moment in London was a historic step forward for Saudi women and their place in society."

Or maybe the world will see it as the turning point in Olympic history, where pious Wiccans will thank Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani for paving the way for nude Olympic shot-putting. [American Thinker] Read more

When Muslim parents kill a beautiful 17-year-old out of religious conviction, I feel intolerant

.... it is also a very serious indictment of an intolerant immigrant culture. When Muslim parents hate their host culture so much that they will kill a child who seems to embrace it, then they are guilty of intolerance – the kind that non-Muslims are wary of showing, lest they be branded racist, or bigoted. A tragedy like Shafilea's makes me feel intolerant. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

The Mega Mosques Boom

.... In yet another common pattern of mega mosques, the Stockholm mega mosque was funded primarily by Sheikh Zayed, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates. The Cologne mega mosque was primarily funded by Turkey’s Islamist government. The Marseille mega mosque is being funded by a number of foreign Muslim governments.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has said, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” The foreign funding of mega mosques has raised the question of whether Muslim governments aren’t constructing their own barracks and armies in the middle of European cities. [Front Page] Read more

That Great Achievement In London - Saudi woman loses bout in 82 seconds

It was over in little more than a minute, but it will go down as one of the most memorable moments of the London Games.

A young Saudi judo fighter's decisive defeat on the mat Friday is being hailed as a victory for women in the conservative Gulf kingdom, a step that would have seemed unimaginable if thousands of fans at the sprawling ExCel Center and millions at home hadn't seen it with their own eyes.

Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani was one of just two women competing for Saudi Arabia at the games, the first time the Gulf state has sent female athletes at all. And she was only able to compete in judo after a compromise between Olympic organizers, the international judo federation and Saudi officials that cleared the way for her to wear a modified hijab. [The Iconoclast] Read more

Indonesian Muslim group wants halal television

An Islamic council in Indonesia wants the country's broadcasting commission to consider certifying TV programs as religiously acceptable.

But the country's broadcasting commissioner has ruled out certifying TV programs based on whether they're acceptable to Islam.

The term halal most commonly refers to foods that are permitted by Islam, but now the West Java branch of Indonesia's Islamic Council is suggesting halal television too. [Radio Australia] Read more

Ukrainian feminists stage topless protest near Tower Bridge over Olympic body’s ‘support for bloody Islamist

Four topless activists from a women's rights group were arrested today after they carried out a protest in central London.

Police were called to City Hall to deal with the protesters, who had accused the Olympics' governing body of having supported 'bloody' Islamist regimes.

Pictures showed officers holding women on the ground and covering their chests. [MailOnline] Read more

02 August 2012

Muslims attack church in Egypt

Muslims have attacked a church and Christian homes in a village close to the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

The BBC reports that at least 16 people were wounded in the unrest in Dahshur, around 40km (25 miles) south of Cairo.

The attack was triggered by the death of a Muslim man as a result of wounds sustained in clashes on Friday.

According to the Associated Press, the Coptic Archbishop of Giza reports that the town's Christian community has now fled. [Christian Today] Read more

Tunisia's ruling Islamists file blasphemy bill

Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda on Wednesday filed a bill that would prohibit blasphemy, said Habib Khedher, who heads the committee in charge of drafting the constitution.

"Today we went ahead with the filing of a bill that would criminalise blasphemy," said the lawyer, who is also an elected Ennahda MP in the National Constituent Assembly, Tunisia's interim parliament.

The bill envisages a prison sentence of up to two years, or four years for repeat offences, Khedher told a local radio station.

At its first congress to be held inside Tunisia in 24 years, the moderate Islamist party advocated the idea of outlawing offence to religion while also guaranteeing freedom of expression. [AFP] Read more

Egypt Arrests Another Facebook User for ‘Blasphemy’

Another Egyptian has been arrested for anti-Islam activity on Facebook. Authorities held Bishoy Kamel, 32, for four days for managing a Facebook page where people shared cartoons thought to defame the Prophet Muhammed and the religion of Islam.

Pictorial depictions of the Prophet are considered a form of idolatry, and is thus taboo to most Muslims.

Kamel said that while he did indeed manage the Facebook page where the cartoons were found, he didn’t control what others posted there. He added that the page was “hacked” on Saturday. [Mashable] Read more

Topless activism against the Olympics and Sharia law

.... As you can imagine the protest was successful. A great deal of press coverage was generated at the cost of a relatively few arrests. Some of it is linked to on the FEMEN Facebook page. The Guardian, who have yet to declare the event Islamophobic, have posted a video.

Here is Sundas Hoorain’s speech at the earlier 25 July event that amie attended, calling for equality and neutrality in the Olympics. [Harry’s Place] Read more

01 August 2012

France brushes off US criticism of burqa ban

Paris on Tuesday brushed off a US State Department report that criticised France for banning Muslim women from wearing full veils.

"Our conception of secularism is a common heritage of all French people, which implies rules that encourage social harmony in the public space and in public schools," said a foreign ministry spokesman.

In its 2011 International Religious Freedom Report, the State Department complains about a "rising number of European countries, including Belgium and France, whose laws restricting dress adversely affected Muslims and others" [AFP] Read more

Sudan woman shackled with baby, faces death by stoning

A Sudanese woman accused of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning and is being held shackled with her six-month-old baby in jail, activists said on Wednesday, in the second such sentence in the past few months in the country.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said last month that Sudan would adopt a "100 percent" Islamic constitution, prompting concerns the country would apply Islamic law more strictly after the secession of mostly non-Muslim South Sudan a year ago. [Reuters] Read more

Somali comedian who mocked Islamists is shot dead

One of Somalia's most popular comedians, known for his parodies of Islamist militants, has been shot dead in the capital, Mogadishu.

Abdi Jeylani Marshale was reportedly killed shortly after leaving a local radio station where he worked as a drama producer and performer.

It is not known who carried out the murder but last year Marshale was threatened by the extremist group al-Shabaab, prompting him to go into hiding in neighbouring Somaliland for several days. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

French mayor retreats after suspending fasting Muslims

A French mayor has revoked the suspension of four Muslim camp counsellors following an uproar after he said they could not work properly because they might be weakened by their all-day fasting for Ramadan.

Muslim groups threatened to sue the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers for discrimination for recalling the four after an inspector found on July 20 - the first day of the Muslim holy month - that they were not eating or drinking during the day. [Reuters] Read more

Why Abdus Salam, Pakistan's great physicist, has been written out of history by his own country

.... In any other country his incredible achievements would be celebrated. In Pakistan, however, his memory is shunned. His gravestone has been altered so that he is no longer described as a Muslim and his house, bought by the government, stands unmaintained and forgotten. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more