31 May 2014

'Stolen election' in the heart of London

.... The shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan, was told by police that he could not leave for his own safety.

By the middle of the next morning, almost 36 hours after voting closed, Mr Miah’s count had finished. He was top in his ward with 2,270 votes, 149 more than his nearest Rahman-supporting rival. But then things started to go wrong.

“The returning officer was about to announce the result,” said Mr Miah. “Then the mayor in person came down and said you must recount.”

.... His strategy and delivery adviser, Kazim Zaidi, said that if the result was not accepted, “civil war” would “spill out on to the streets”.

In the next few weeks, after its investigation is complete, the Government must decide whether it continues to look on, as a borough at the heart of London, in other ways an improving place, declines into a political slum. [The Telegraph] Read more

It is time to make UK Overseas Aid contingent on religious liberty

.... Meriam Ibrahim's father was Muslim, but she was raised by her Christian mother as a Christian, and she married another Christian in 2011. However, the Sudanese courts have decreed that religious belief is heritable through the paternal line; that the father's faith determines that of the children.

And so Meriam Ibrahim was a Muslim all along, but she just never knew. So her Christian marriage was annulled and she was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to be hanged for renouncing Islam. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

30 May 2014

Muslims Pray to Turn Turkey's Hagia Sophia Back Into a Mosque

.... Today, the Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya in Turkish, is officially a museum: Turkey's most-visited monument, whose formally neutral status symbolizes the secular nature of the modern Turkish state.

But tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers gathering there on Saturday hope it will again be a mosque, a dream they believe Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan can fulfill.

There are even rumors - denied by the government - that Erdogan, a religious conservative who is seeking the presidency at an election in August, could lead prayers there one day soon. [Reuters] Read more

Why I stand by my decision to send my son to Park View academy

.... The school has encouraged him to develop all parts of who he is, which includes being a Muslim, giving him the opportunity to express his faith if he so chooses. For example, he is able to use the school's washing facilities and do a daily prayer at lunchtime if he wishes, entirely at his own discretion.

[A COMMENT] Given that the complaint is that the school unduly favours Muslim boys, it would be more balanced to give the views of the parent of a Christian or Jewish pupil, particularly a female.

[ANOTHER] Are there really places where the population is 98% Muslim? Sad and depressing.

Also so what if it is 98% of any particular faith, where is the Guardian support for secular state schools? Why is the religion of its pupils of any relevance whatsoever?

[ANOTHER] The accusations against the school may be wholly or partly false. However, the real point is that there would be no basis at all for such accusations if we accepted as a society that the practice of religion should be out of all of our schools.

By not facing up to this we are expanding religious control over schools and thereby sleepwalking towards social and religious divisiveness that we will one day regret.

[ANOTHER] As a parent, would you not like your son to have the opportunity to widen his group of peers? Do you not think that putting him in an environment where he meets only fellow-Muslims that you are actually preventing his successful integration into mainstream British society? Will he live in Britain all his life? If so, isn't it desirable for him to play with all types of children? [Guardian Cif] Read more

The smear campaign against Lutfur Rahman is an insult to democracy

.... There had been a concerted effort by the media and political establishment to smear Rahman. This culminated in a Panorama exposé, followed by Eric Pickles sending in police to investigate the documentary's claims. And though the investigation turned up no credible evidence of wrongdoing, Labour insiders were confidently expecting victory. To be defeated by a convincing margin in an election where the turnout was London's highest must have hurt.

[A COMMENT] "There is a deep substrate of racism informing this". Thanks for playing the race card.

[ANOTHER] Tower Hamlets is the best recruiting ground for UKIP nationally. A truly rotten borough.

[ANOTHER] Yeah, yeah it's racism. That should shut everyone up. Pathetic. Never mind the fact that there have been allegations from all over the place any neutral observer can see that there are some real questions that need answering.

[ANOTHER] He does refuse to answer questions of fellow councillors, only employs fellow bangladeshis in the cabinet and funnels public money into institutions that support him. Some legitimate questions I think. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Death for Apostasy

.... If you google "should apostates be killed", one of the first links that comes up is to one Bassam Zawadi, who appears to be a prolific Islamic spokesman, particularly on the topic of "refuting Christianity". He has this to say under the defiant heading, Of course Apostates Should Be Killed:

There seems to be a problem with many "modernist and liberal" Muslims out there who would like to "sugarcoat" the religion of Islam by distorting what it really teaches. There are those that go at length to deny that Islam teaches that apostates must be killed. They either deny the explicit hadith that speak about this or reinterpret it to only refer to those apostates that would fight the Muslims. [Mick Hartley] Read more

Cameron denounces ‘barbaric’ Sudan death sentence

.... He called on the Sudanese government to revoke the sentence against Meriam Ibrahim who earlier this week gave birth while shackled in her cell.

The Prime Minister vowed that the UK government will “continue to press” the Sudanese authorities to lift the sentence.

"The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today's world. Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right,” he told The Times. [The Independent] Read more

Bad Muslims are to blame for shackling Meriam Ibrahim

.... That is exactly what happened to Meriam. A half-brother apparently furious that she had gone her own way, choosing her own husband and planning to emigrate to America, was simply not going to allow it. Never mind that Meriam had never practised as a Muslim, he cried “apostasy” and accused her of converting to Christianity.

So while it is tempting to blame the government in Sudan, the mullahs, or Islam itself for Meriam’s terrible fate, the real problem is the abuse of such laws by her half-brother and all those people who want to use religion for personal gain. The problem is not Islam – but bad Muslims and the mad men prepared to take its name in vain.

[A COMMENT] A pathetic apologia for barbarism. Her half-brother may be taking advantage of the law, but he did not write it, he does not administer it, he does not employ the police, the prison guards, the prosecutors, the judges, the legislators or the President.

Her half-brother did not write the Koran, he did not write the Haddith, he was not responsible for the 1500 years' worth of Islamic precedent or the whole libraries-worth of Islamic legal theory upon which this sentence was based.

[ANOTHER] Cringe crawl, its not the fault of islam, cringe creep and then wring hands, muslims cannot be blamed, a few isolated cases blah blah, not representative etc life on your knees gets a tad uncomfortable. When liberal progressives have stopped shaming themselves with their constant crawling they might see that sharia and millions of immigrants who support it threatens our entire liberal democracy.

[AND ANOTHER] It’s NOT “bad Muslims”, it’s Muslims doing “bad things” because their “religion” (i.e. Islam) states that these “bad things” are “good things”. They are NOT “misunderstanding” Islam, they are “understanding” it ALL TOO WELL. [The Telegraph] Read more

29 May 2014

Turkey sentences Twitter user to jail for blasphemy

A Turkish court on Thursday handed a 15-month jail term to a teacher over Twitter posts deemed religiously offensive, local media reported on Thursday.

The court in the eastern city of Mus ruled that the man, identified as Ertan P., insulted Islamic values with his Twitter handle -- @allah (cc) -- and a series of tweets he posted, Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website. [Agence France-Presse] Read more

Ban the bikini! Kuwait in ‘nudity’ crackdown as Muslim leaders express outrage at inappropriate dress at swimming pools

Women in Kuwait could be banned from wearing bikinis after plans were approved to outlaw 'nudity' in public places.

Tourists and residents would be barred from wearing the two-piece swim suit under proposals for a ban at swimming pools and hotels.

The crackdown was approved by the head of the Kuwaiti National Assembly committee, MP Hamdam Al-Azemi.

[A COMMENT] So they are allowed to ban tourists from wearing bikinis, yet over here we can't say a word about them wearing Burkas. Says it all really doesn't it.

[ANOTHER] It's about time Britain had a crackdown on inappropriate dress too - like the burka and niqab, which not only disrespect and completely reject British culture but also pose a threat to public safety and national security. [Daily Mail] Read more

How Do I Tell My Daughter That People Across Europe Fear Minorities Like Us?

In 2006, at the height of the hysteria over the face veil, the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland imagined what it must be like to be a Muslim in Britain. "I wouldn't just feel frightened," he wrote. "I would be looking for my passport."

On Sunday, as the European election results began to flood in, with far-right parties on the march from Scandinavia to the Club Med, I joked with my (American) wife that we might have to start packing our bags and head across the pond.

[A COMMENT] "People fear minorities like us!" Just as a thought, Could it have something to do with the apparent lack of any united condemnation of Stonings, Honour Killings etc etc? The majority of educated Muslims do condemn these actions. But there seems to be no collective voice, No Authority figure saying it's wrong. The only figures of Authority we hear from are the fanatics!

[ANOTHER] Things are unlikely to change while Medhi Hasan and others dismiss all criticism of matters 'islam' as hysteria. The word was plastered over his paper just a few weeks ago when many people were genuinely concerned about having halal foisted upon them without choice.

It appears again in the very first paragraph of this blog. It is not only patronising it is extremely offensive. Medhi, in common with politicians should perhaps listen to people instead of talking down to them. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Hunt presses Gove for Birmingham Trojan Horse answers

The shadow education secretary has written to Michael Gove after reports the government was warned in 2010 that Muslim hardliners were trying to take control of Birmingham schools.

In the letter, Tristram Hunt said the education secretary's response had left "too many unanswered questions".

Yesterday a head teacher said he warned ministers three years before a letter alleging a "Trojan Horse plot" emerged. [BBC] Read more

Apostasy woman in Sudan sentenced to death forced to give birth 'with her legs chained'

.... Daniel Wani said his wife Meriam Yahya Ibrahim gave birth to a girl in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the hospital wing of Omdurman Women’s Prison.

"They kept a chain on her legs," he told The Telegraph. "She is very unhappy about that."

Amnesty International said Ms Ibrahim has been shackled in heavy chains since being sentenced to death, a customary practice for prisoners facing execution.

[A COMMENT] Stop all Aid to Sudan. Only reinstate it when they, as a country, decide to rejoin humanity. Islamic values are utterly incompatible with European ones. [The Independent] Read more

28 May 2014

Swiss canton rejects proposal for first Islamic kindergarten

The Swiss Canton of Zurich has decided against the opening of the first Islamic kindergarten in the country, stating that the proposed institution’s ideological component was too strong and contradicted local educational standards.

Islamic association Al Huda was behind the proposed kindergarten in the town of Volketswil in northern Switzerland.

The kindergarten was planning to admit 15-25 children. Despite not having a license, online registration began in the middle of last year, Itar-Tass reported. [RT] Read more

Support Tower Hamlets mayor or risk riots, says advisor

A senior adviser to Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, has said there will be street violence unless people stop questioning the manner of his re-election.

The Electoral Commission is to hold an inquiry into polling in the east London borough after dozens of reports of voter intimidation and a chaotic count that took more than five days to declare a final result.

Mr Rahman narrowly won re-election as an independent, by 48 per cent to 52 after second preferences. He was expelled from the Labour Party in 2010 after The Telegraph revealed his close links to an Islamic extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe. [The Telegraph] Read more

Lutfur Rahman adviser: there will be street violence unless people stop complaining about Tower Hamlets election

.... Desperate to stop the widespread concerns about voter intimidation which have completely ruined his boss’s great re-election triumph, Mr Zaidi has today written a quite extraordinary post on the Trial by Jeory blog saying: “If those who still seem unable to accept the result continue as they are, it will spill out onto the streets where even the cleverest machine politicians will not be able to manage it.”

He will no doubt say that this is not a threat, but a prediction. The truth is that whatever his intentions it will be read as a threat.

[A COMMENT] Reminds me of the time when the disgraced Lord Ahmed said that muslims would riot if Geert Wilders was allowed to come to the UK. And we still get politicians and journalists wondering why there is islamaphobia!

[ANOTHER] This is what you voted for folks, if in the past you voted Liblabcon. This is what multiculturalism is. This is what 'celebrating diversity' is. And this is also what the future is. Unless we take action now and stop it.

And only UKIP can do that. Liblabcon has stood and watched this disaster unfolding for years, and done nothing. Worse, they have tried to sweep it under the carpet and hoped we do not notice. [The Telegraph] Read more

Leggings aren’t pants, Qatar tells tourists in pre-World Cup campaign

FOR those of you wondering whether it’s acceptable to wear leggings without tunic tops over them, Qatar has an answer: “leggings are not pants”.

The Arab emirate has launched a social media campaign to educate Western tourists on appropriate clothing ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which is likely to bring an influx of badly-dressed visitors to the state.

Campaign group “Reflect your Respect” has created a graphic to share on Instagram and Twitter showing what sort of outfits are considered immodest in the Islamic country. [The Australian] Read more

Halal butcher chain expands with £1m Lloyds loan

Tariq Halal Meats, one of London’s largest halal butcher chains, has added a new warehouse and butcher’s shop to its operations, with the help of a £1m loan from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The new Wembley warehouse, which is three times the size of the company’s previous facilities, and the Hounslow butcher’s shop have created 15 jobs. A butcher’s academy at the Wembley site will also be launched later this year to train aspiring halal butchers.

Tariq Shekh, who opened his first warehouse in 2004 and now supplies more than 300 butcher’s shops across in London, said: “The progress Tariq Halal Meats has made over the past few years has been phenomenal and we are now one of the leading providers of high-quality halal produce in Greater London.

[A COMMENT] A loan of that size does not come without paying interest and taking and dealing interest is no no Islam more so then providing halal meat. So I would question Tariq Hala Meat how can their meat be halal? [MeatInfo.co.uk] Read more

27 May 2014

Briton among eight jailed in Iran for web insults

Eight people, including an Iranian-born British woman, have been jailed in Iran on charges including blasphemy and insulting the country's supreme leader on Facebook.

.... They were variously found guilty of blasphemy, propaganda against the ruling system, spreading lies and insulting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Nobakht's husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, told the Manchester Evening News in April that his wife had been detained at the airport in Shiraz last October in connection with comments she had made on Facebook. [The Guardian] Read more

Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy gives birth in prison

A Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy has given birth to a baby girl in the Khartoum prison where she is being held with her 20-month-old son.

Meriam Ibrahim, 27, gave birth in the early hours of Tuesday, a month before her due date. Amnesty International said the condition of the mother and baby was not known as Ibrahim's lawyer and her husband, a US citizen, had been denied access to her. [The Guardian] Read more

Malaysian Muslim groups call for jihad on Cadbury after pork traces found in chocolate

Muslim groups have declared jihad on Cadbury after two of its products sold in predominately Islamic Malaysia were found to contain traces of pork.

The discovery was made during a periodic check for non-halal ingredients in food products by the country’s health ministry, which confirmed the presence of porcine DNA in bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond. [The Telegraph] Read more

Local Muslim families push for halal food on school lunch menus

Hundreds of local Muslim children are going home hungry from school every day and their parents say it's because they're not allowed to eat what's on the cafeteria menu.

Somali immigrant Bilal Muya, who works on a Valley Center Farm, is Muslim, and so are his three children. For religious reasons, they can only eat foods that are halal. [10News] Read more

Council accused of witch-hunt in battle over failing Islamic school

.... The chair of governors of a failing Islamic school has said he will defy attempts by Birmingham city council to take it over, vowing to call in police over what he called a sustained anti-Muslim witch-hunt.

Al-Hijrah school, in Bordesley Green, was placed in special measures by Ofsted last year after inspectors found evidence of poor governance and inadequate teaching. The school is also being examined as part of the Trojan Horse investigation into an alleged plot by Muslim hardliners to seize control of governing bodies in Birmingham. [The Guardian] Read more

Pakistan woman stoned by family outside Lahore court

A Pakistani woman has been killed by her relatives outside Lahore High Court for marrying against their wishes.

Police said 30-year old Farzana Parveen died on the spot after being attacked with bricks and sticks.

Her father handed himself in, but police say her brothers and former fiance, who also took part in the attack, were still free.

Correspondents say hundreds of girls and women in Pakistan are killed every year by family members. [BBC] Read more

Auction houses fear offending Middle Eastern art collectors with nude paintings

It has been a staple of the art world for centuries, but it appears auction houses are thinking twice about offering nudes to their clientele for fear of causing offence.

Dealers and auctioneers are having to be mindful of the works they show to collectors from newer Middle Eastern galleries and museums, who are unable to put explicit or realistic-looking nudes on their walls.

[A COMMENT] If backwards people fail to appreciate Western art, who cares. Let's not forget, that most of their obscene wealth comes from us having to pay for oil that just happens to be under their tents.

[ANOTHER] So fifty years of Muslim immigration sets European civilisation back by a thousand years? That sounds about right. [The Telegraph] Read more

"Happy" in Iran

.... In addition, Reihaneh Taravati, the art director of this video -- who was recently arrested and then released on bail -- had earlier criticized those who show the situation in Iran as "dark." She produced as evidence the very fact that a number of youngsters had been able on their own to release such a video while living in Iran.

It was later revealed, however, that the video was not homemade, and that the director of the video was none other than Sasan Soleymani, the person who had made Rouhani's presidential campaign clip and had chosen purple as his electoral campaign color. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

‘Secularism and pluralism are incompatible with Islam’

It is not I who says that secularism and pluralism are incompatible with Islam. It comes from a qualified source. Namely from a well-known Islamic theologian and commentator who writes for the pro-government Yeni Safak. I will give extensive excerpts from what Professor Hayrettin Karaman wrote in his column on May 25.

.... “The concept of secularism corresponds to that area concerned with general worldliness, the human area in which Allah and religion do not interfere. Laicism on the other hand represents the political dimension within this.

Therefore, whether it is laicism or secularism, they foresee such an area in essence where religion definitely does not interfere. If we come to Islam from this point, there is no private or general area in which religion under Islam does not interfere in. Those who say there is either do not know the matter, or know it but are misrepresenting it.”

.... But in terms of legislating, showing the correct path, and validating rules there is no area that religion does not intervene in.”

.... He then adds that “in conclusion, secularism and laicism do not have aspects that are in harmony with or parallel to Islam” and says “it is not possible for these to come side by side.” [Hürriyet Daily News] Read more

26 May 2014

Birmingham’s al-Hijrah School Governing Body – All Sacked

.... The tale of the alleged “Trojan Horse schools plot” has been an extremely murky one with lots of very serious allegations being made but very few smoking guns being found to date.

The removal of the governors of al-Hijrah school is an interesting new development though. I have had very worrying personal dealings in the past with an individual who is now on the (sacked) board of governors and it horrifies me to think that he had anything to do with the receipt of huge amounts of public money.

Let’s hope that Birmingham Council are able to investigate fully and swiftly any allegations of possible financial impropriety. [Inayat's Corner] Read more

25 May 2014

Sudan faces mounting condemnation over pregnant woman's death sentence

Sudan is facing mounting condemnation for sentencing a pregnant woman to be whipped and then hanged for adultery and apostasy, and for keeping her shackled in prison with her toddler son a month before she is due to give birth.

Governments, the UN and human rights groups have called on the Sudanese government to immediately release Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, and overturn both her death sentence and sentence of 100 lashes. More than 100,000 people have backed a call by Amnesty International to release Ibrahim. [The Guardian] Read more

Islamic school stand-off

Birmingham city council is to send police into a failing school closely linked to the “Trojan Horse” plot after it physically resisted attempts by the council to take it over last week.

Al-Hijrah School, in Bordesley Green, was placed in special measures by Ofsted last year after inspectors found “inadequate” teaching, an unbalanced curriculum and governors “too heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the school.”

[A COMMENT] Not only alien religious and cultural practices together with alien clothing and non-integration, but now imported corruption.

[ANOTHER] The problem is that as the size of the Muslim population of the UK increases and Muslims become established throughout the entire fabric of British society, it will eventually become impossible to even publicize such activity as has Al-Hijrah School has allegedly engaged in, never mind take measures to stop it.

The fact of the matter is that Western liberal democratic societies are simply not designed to operate with a large Muslim population and therefor having a Western liberal democracy and having a large Muslim population are simply incompatible, so that a state can have either one or the other but not both. [The Telegraph] Read more

I renounced Islam, so my family think I should die

If Amal Farah were not living in Britain, she believes she might well be dead.

For the 33-year-old financial manager had carried out an act so heinous, her family felt she deserved to die.

Her crime? She had renounced her Islamic faith – “and within my community, that’s a capital offence,” she said. “They believe you deserve to die.”

Mrs Farah, who was born in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, but now lives in Britain, has never told her story before.

[A COMMENT] Apparently the largest mosque in Bristol has banned it's followers from displaying , touching or supporting the English flag , fearing some of it's younger members might get too enthusiastic in supporting the English team during the World Cup. They have called the flag of St.George the crusader flag and the flag of the enemies of Islam.

This in the heart of a major Western Christian democracy that they chose to come to. Does anyone really believe that there will EVER be an acceptance of our culture , customs and laws by Muslims? Time to think about reclaiming the security of our streets and communities before this cancer grows too large to confront. [The Telegraph] Read more

24 May 2014

Pakistan: At the edge of the abyss?

The recent murder of a brave human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman reminds us of the society we have shaped. It is now an unregulated space where even defending the rights of an accused is a crime.

Rehman had made all the threats, including those in the courtroom, public. The local state authorities did next to nothing to protect him or rein in the individuals and groups preaching violence. It seems when it comes to religiously motivated violence the might of the state disappears. Victims of blasphemy law are no longer fit for due process.

They need to be punished directly. A few days after the murder of Rehman, another accused of blasphemy was shot dead by a teenager in a police station near Lahore. [Al Jazeera English] Read more

23 May 2014

Case registered against Veena Malik and her husband on blasphemy

Pakistan’s most popular television station been accused of the crime of blasphemy in Pakistan.

Ever since Geo News was accused of airing blasphemous material on one of its morning shows last week the channel has taken extraordinary security precautions, including removing its corporate branding from the side of its broadcast trucks.

Embroiled in this controversy is none other than Pakistani actor Veena Malik. [Emirates247] Read more

Leaving Islam for Atheism, and Finding a Much-Needed Place Among Peers

.... The members of Ex-Muslims are adamant that they respect others’ right to practice Islam. The group’s motto is “No Bigotry and No Apologism,” and text on its website is inclusive: “We understand that Muslims come in all varieties, and we do not and will not partake in erasing the diversity within the world’s Muslims.”

But they are equally adamant that it is still too difficult for Muslims inclined to atheism to follow their thinking where it may lead. Whereas skeptical Christians or Jews can take refuge in reformist wings of their tradition, religious Muslims generally insist on the literal truth of the Quran. [NYTimes.com] Read more

Who, What, Why: What can you be flogged for in Iran?

A campaign has begun in Iran to get an actress flogged after she was seen being kissed at the Cannes Festival. Flogging is common in Iran - but what offences in Iranian law are punished with the lash, asks Tom de Castella.

It was a normal French greeting. The actress Leila Hatami - best known for starring in the Oscar-winning film, A Separation - received a kiss on the cheek from festival president Gilles Jacob. But she has come under attack from religious hardliners for accepting the greeting rather than ducking away. [BBC] Read more

The Muslim 'Trojan Horse' schools frenzy hides a need for integration

.... Who knows how these investigations will navigate the thicket of acceptable versus unacceptable religious teaching. But this saga makes the BHA's pleas for broad secular education for all children all the more pressing.

Wide horizons that open minds to all ideas and beliefs should be the state's goal, liberating all children from the prejudices of their own backgrounds. To put Muslim children or those from other religious groups into a separate category that overly respects their parents' views is to limit their horizons and deny them true equality.

[A COMMENT] There should be NO religion allowed in our schools. If you want your children to be religious do it in your own time, not shared learning time.

[ANOTHER] I have always thought religious schools are a very bad idea. I was angry that Blair encouraged them. You would think the lessons of Northern Ireland's schools would have been learnt, but no. [Guardian Cif] Read more

22 May 2014

This Kiss Is Not a Kiss: Iran's Problem With Women and Film-Makers

.... And there's the rub. Women in Iran have significantly fewer rights than men and their behaviour (dress, demeanour) is strictly policed according to a rigid view of "chastity".

Women are banned from running for the presidency, they can't be judges, their evidence in a court (presided over by a male judge of course) is worth half that given by a man, they have inferior rights to men over inheritance, marriage, divorce and child custody, and fathers can lawfully arrange for daughters younger than 13 to be married to older men. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Iranian actress Leila Hatami faces public flogging

A red carpet peck on the cheek by Leila Hatami, the Iranian actress at the Cannes Film Festival has been reported to the country’s courts by activists who are seeking a public flogging as punishment for violating Islamic laws.

Hizbullah Students, a group of university students with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard yesterday filed a complaint with Iran’s judiciary for the prosecution of the film star who starred in the Oscar-winning, A Separation.

Miss Hatami was condemned by Islamic Republic officials for kissing Gilles Jacob, the President of Cannes Festival, while attending the event as a member of the jury.

Mr Jacob tried to play down the incident, describing it as “a usual custom in the West” after it was condemned as an insult to Iranian womanhood. [The Telegraph] Read more

Arrests over the Happy dance video in Iran reflect hardliners' frustration

It is not the first time the question of Iran's social mores has hit the headlines. Six young Tehranis got into trouble after their contribution to an internet phenomenon – a lip-synched dance to an innocent pop song, Happy – went viral on YouTube.

They were arrested, forced to strip naked and perform squats, and then paraded on state television. This is a country in which hardline religious tradition and globally connected modernity seem to clash daily, producing scandals over everything from leggings to actors air-kissing at Cannes.

[ACOMMENT] "This is a country in which hardline religious tradition and globally connected modernity seem to clash daily, producing scandals over everything from leggings to actors air-kissing at Cannes."

And modernity will win, it's just a matter of time. Good luck to the Iranian people in rising up against the tyrannical mullahs. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Queensland rejects push to make Muslim women remove burqas

The Queensland government has rejected a push by independents and minor parties to force Muslim women to remove their burqas or veils to prove their identity.

The bill, introduced by the independent MP for Nicklin, Peter Wellington, would have allowed lawyers, police, prison officers, justices of the peace and other “persons of responsibility” to require a person to remove any face covering to establish their identity.

Wellington said the measure was especially necessary in light of the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane. “It is not about religion; it is about doing the right thing, about making sure there is security in Queensland,” he said. [The Guardian] Read more

21 May 2014

Islam in the eyes of a blind world

.... Of course, the true source for all these attacks on Muslim converts to Christianity—in nations that do not share race, language, culture, politics, or economics—is Islam itself. Anyone with common sense, anyone with the ability to be honest with oneself, must concede as much. There is no other reasonable way to explain such identical patterns of abuse in such a wide array of nations.

But so long as the international community and human rights organizations fail to employ some common sense and honesty—fail to call a spade a spade—so will they ensure that countless more innocent humans like Meriam Ibrahim continue to suffer “appalling and abhorrent” treatment, simply for trying to exercise their “right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” under Islam. [The Commentator] Read more

Tunisia atheist activist back in prison after presidential pardon

A young Tunisian freed in March after two years in prison for posting cartoons deemed insulting to Islam, saw his eight-month sentence on a separate charge confirmed on appeal Wednesday.

Jabeur Mejri received the same sentence handed down by the court of first instance in April for insulting a public official, his lawyer Ahmed Mselmi said.

Mejri, an atheist activist, was jailed in 2012 for seven and half years for posting caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, but walked free in March after receiving a presidential pardon. [Middle East Online] Read more

Scathing report could shut Muslim school for promoting Salafi beliefs

In their unpublished draft report, the inspectors said the school – the Olive Tree primary school in Luton – fails to prepare its pupils "for life in modern Britain, as opposed to life in a Muslim state", and that its library contains books that are "abhorrent to British society" in their depiction of punishments under sharia law.

"Some books in the children's library contain fundamentalist Islamic beliefs (Salafi) or are set firmly within a Saudi Arabian socio-religious context. Some of the views promoted by these books, for example about stoning women, have no place in British society," the report argues. [The Guardian] Read more

What Newham Conservatives’ statement says and doesn’t say

.... As we have argued, the Conservative campaign in Newham raises some important issues – whether Sadruddin is an appropriate candidate; what the form should be for running candidates who have previously been candidates for Respect, and whether it is right to target election literature at religious groups. The Newham statement resolves none of these issues. Over to Downing Street and CCHQ. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Lutfur Rahman: 30 things you need to know about the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets

Tomorrow thousands of real voters – plus, if past Tower Hamlets elections are any guide, quite a few fake ones – will deliver their verdicts on the borough’s extremist-linked executive mayor, Lutfur Rahman. Rahman’s council is currently under investigation by both the police and an official inquiry ordered by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles.

In case anyone’s still wondering why, here (in no particular order) are my Top Thirty facts about this great democrat, socialist and human being:

[A COMMENT] Welcome to the face of Britain that the PC multi-culti brigade have promoted and pandered to for the last decade. While we wring our hands in despair at the generation of British-born muslims who appear to become more radicalised by the day, the likes of Rahman have inserted themselves into mainstream Britain, infiltrating our state funded schools and local government.

Rahman showers public money in his wake, further cementing his position and power among his cronies. Suddenly, we wake up to find that Sharia and extremism have become established in this country - the genie is out of the bottle and at the behest of the PC brigade, the forces of law and order do nothing to offend or inflame muslim sensibilities. [The Telegraph] Read more

Michael Gove calls for further schools investigations after Trojan Horse affair

Michael Gove has ordered snap investigations into Muslim schools in several cities around England, widening the focus outside of the so-called Trojan Horse allegations of an Islamist plot involving state schools in Birmingham.

At least five independent Muslim schools in Leicester, Bradford and Luton are said to have been visited by Ofsted inspectors at the request of the Department for Education in recent weeks, raising concerns among Muslim educators that they are being targeted in the wake of the Trojan Horse affair.

[A COMMENT] .... if a white person made comments about a group of people deserving death, but said it could only happen in an 'ideal state', would he be given the benefit of the doubt by liberals and left wing people, especially when he was in charge of children's education? [The Guardian] Read more

20 May 2014

Evangelising hate – a report into iERA

Here’s a link to a timely new report – Evangelising Hate – Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) – by Al Razi of the Council of Ex-Muslims’ Forum. iERA is currently being investigated by the Charities Commission due to concerns relating to governance (p. 6).

.... This is a very useful resource, and I hope it is widely read. There is nothing bigoted in drawing attention to these problems, and those behind the report actively oppose all hate, including that directed against Muslims. [Harry’s Place] Read more

UK: "The Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets"

Lutfur Rahman, the Bangladesh-born Muslim elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, East London, was accused by BBC's Panorama of doubling public funding to Bangladeshi and Somali Muslim groups from £1.3 million ($2.9m) to £3.6 million ($6m) at the recommendation of council officers.

The Secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government [DCLG], Eric Pickles, had apparently sent inspectors into Tower Hamlets to investigate Rahman's activities. But when, on April 4, the Metropolitan Police Service received three files from the DCLG, and police investigators reviewed the allegations, they found no evidence of fraud or other offenses. In response, Mr. Rahman labeled BBC's Panorama report as having "clear racist and Islamophobic overtones targeting the Bangladeshi Muslim community in Tower Hamlets."

Rahman, a solicitor specializing in family law, describes himself as a liberal and a social democrat. But many consider him as secretive, sly, inept, anti-gay and a frontman for Islamists. The question now in London, before local elections on May 22, is whether Rahman is a liberal or actually a fundamentalist. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Pakistan’s Tyranny of Blasphemy

“I used to feel my life was too straight, too linear.” The speaker was Junaid Hafeez, a young poet and Fulbright scholar from the south of Pakistan, telling a radio show host in 2011 why he had given up studying medicine for a life in literature. Today, he is in jail on a blasphemy charge that carries the death penalty, and is mourning the lawyer who was murdered earlier this month for defending him.

Before his arrest, Hafeez was teaching in the English Department at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, a city in Punjab Province close to where he grew up. His personal charisma and liberal views had won him a following among students, as well as the envious attention of faculty members.

One day in 2013, a student affiliated with Islami Jamiat Talaba, a wing of the hard-line Jamaat-i-Islami party, accused Hafeez of insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. The student had no evidence, but no evidence was needed. [NYTimes.com] Read more

Young and in love in Indonesia? Beware, in Banda Aceh the sharia police are watching

.... Activists also say that sharia police raids on hotels and cafes, led by Banda Aceh's acting mayor - a woman - have intensified. Mazuki Ali says patrols do routine checks. “Patrols come at night, they check the hotel registry and if they suspect unmarried couples might be staying there, they check their rooms and IDs,” he says. If couples prove to be unmarried, they're taken to the police station.

Sitting at a cafe in central Banda Aceh, Davi, and two of his female friends, Rita and Ayu, share stories about friends arrested for wearing tight clothes or walking around with someone of the opposite sex. A sharia police truck carrying a dozen officers drives by. “They raided this cafe two weeks ago,” comments 23-year-old Davi. “It's a bit too much. We just hang out, we do nothing wrong.”

[A COMMENT] As usual the religion of peace practising hate. There is no place for Islam in the 21 century.

[ANOTHER] Yes of course, but why do our leaders keep telling us that everything is hunky dory with it?

[AND ANOTHER] Coming to a town near you soon. This stone age religion has no place in ourcountry. [The Independent] Read more

Bishop of Salisbury says he will not intervene after Sherborne vicar's views on "invasion of halal meat" prompt complaint

The Bishop of Salisbury has said he will "not discourage" a Sherborne vicar from discussing controversial subjects after Canon Eric Woods expressed forthright views on the topic of halal meat.

After fast food giant Subway removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives, and amid other firms coming forward to say they had done the same, Canon Eric Woods expressed his views in his weekly column for the Western Gazette.

He said the "invasion of halal meat" in the UK was worse than he thought and that "although I would defend to the hilt the right of any community to follow their own rules relating to food and other products, I do not believe that the rest of us should have halal meat foisted on us by stealth." [Western Gazette] Read more

Abu Hamza is gone, but Britain is still a hotbed of radical hatred

.... Americans have every right to congratulate themselves for their dogged perseverance, Mr Cameron and Mrs May have less cause for any sense of triumphalism, because, as things stand, Britain today remains just as much a hotbed of radical activity as it did during Abu Hamza’s Finsbury heyday back in the Nineties.

These days the intelligence and security services apply immeasurably more resources to tracking and disrupting the activities of terrorists around the globe than they did 20 years ago. Even so, the brutal truth is that this has not yet diminished Britain’s appeal as a bolt-hole and fertile recruiting ground for experienced Islamist militants.

[A COMMENT] Look guys, its not as if the Koran hasn't given you enough warning. Remember Muslims believe this violent drivel is the unalloyed word of God. In the name of tolerance we are asked to tolerate people who believe these words are holy orders.

Myself I am not willing to die in the name of diversity so am happy to reject this religion.

I'm also amazed that this comment thread has been allowed given the tide of anti-Islamic bile that is probably heading its way. nevertheless, its about time the biggest threat to modernity and western civilisation is confronted. [The Telegraph] Read more

19 May 2014

Immigrants must learn English and respect our country and laws says Asian Tory

Migrants to Britain should be able to speak English and ‘respect its laws and culture’, the UK’s most senior Asian politician has said.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid insisted it was not good enough for migrants to live in the UK for up to 50 years without being able to speak English.

The British-born Tory, whose parents came from Pakistan, also said there was no place for Sharia law in the UK legal system.

[A COMMENT] I totally agree with Him, unfortunately if He was a UKIP candidate, papers like the Daily Mail would be shouting Rascist...I can only say what a bunch of hypocrites our press and media are.

[ANOTHER] What this man is stating is nothing special - it is simple common sense - fundamental logic with emigating to a different country with a different language and culture to your own country of origin. How views like this have become 'refreshing' or 'unusual' or whatnot is beyond me - I feel very sorry for England. [Daily Mail] Read more

18 May 2014

Code of conduct drawn up for UK madrasas

A voluntary code of conduct to regulate teaching in madrasas in Britain is due to be announced next month by the education secretary, Michael Gove.

Over the past decade, ministers from all parties have expressed unease at the inability to regulate teaching in the schools, which offer supplementary education outside of mainstream schooling. But they have held back partly due to the amount of regulation that would be required.

The plans have emerged as an Ofsted inquiry continues into claims of an attempt by Islamist extremists to take over as many as 21 schools in Birmingham, a charge that is strongly rejected by many in Birmingham.

[A COMMENT] Is there no way we can stop what is proven to be a problem everywhere?

[ANOTHER] I've got a better idea - don't allow them at all, they are a recipe for narrow mindedness and stupidity. If people want to organise these things they can open after normal school hours, as a supplement to 21st century education not as a replacement for it.

If you want to see the damage these places do, look at Pakistan, and at India, where the BJP has profited from the fact that thousands of the Hindu equivalents were opened in the 80s and 90s. [The Guardian] Read more

Sudan Death Penalty and the Apostasy Issue

.... There is some debate in the Muslim world about these issues, though the retrograde influence of conservative Muslim ‘scholars’ is sadly still very strong.

Europe benefited immensely through drastically curtailing the baleful influence of the Church, leading to greater freedoms in virtually every area from the social sphere to the sciences. It is difficult to see how the Muslim world can make similar progress without also reducing the influence of conservative teachings. [Inayat's Corner] Read more

'Trojan horse' teacher breaks into girl's phone

A teacher at one of the Birmingham state schools allegedly taken over by Muslim radicals in the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot has been reported to police after he broke into a female pupil’s mobile telephone to prove she was having a “forbidden” relationship with a boy.

The girl, who at 16 is over the age of consent, had her telephone confiscated by the teacher during a Sunday event at Park View School last month. Two members of staff told The Telegraph the device was then taken, without her permission, to a shop for its passcode to be broken, and its contents unlocked and examined by the school. [The Telegraph] Read more

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey calls on British Muslim leaders to back the right to convert from Islam

The peer said it was “accepted doctrine” that Muslim converts should face the death penalty. He also said there were examples of ex-Muslims in Britain who had been forced to “almost go underground”.

“Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with Islam at its core that it cannot allow people to change their religion?” he told The Sunday Times.

“It is accepted doctrine in Islam [that] you don’t convert and if you do the penalty may be death.” He added: “I want to hear Muslim leaders say ‘we allow Muslims to become Christians if they wish to’.”

Lord Carey spoke out after Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to death by a sharia court in Sudan after refusing to recant her Christian faith. The sentence has been suspended as she is pregnant.

[A COMMENT] I do know of one 'Muslim' who attends the mosque to keep up appearances. Privately, he tells me that it's all a load of nonsense.

[ANOTHER] I know quite a lot of those. It goes beyond "keeping up appearances". They're terrified of their families. It's sad to see, but it's been a very long time since it shocked me. [The Independent] Read more

Are Islamists infiltrating the Conservatives?

.... This man is a Conservative candidate. His beliefs about Jews and gays are far more concerning and his words far more offensive than anything believed or uttered by any Ukip candidate.

It seems that, to win the ethnic minority vote, all political discernment and common sense have deserted the Conservative Party. Under David Cameron's leadership, there is no need to prove one's commitment to the Conservative cause before one may become an election candidate: gender, sexuality and skin colour far outweigh philosophy, loyalty or expertise. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

17 May 2014

Newham Tories pledge allegiance to the will of Allah

.... His Grace can't see the Conservative Party in any constituency ever publishing an election leaflet pledging specifically "To listen to the Christian community", and the Conservatives are fast losing the support of that demographic, too.

But, as Lord Ashcroft observes, they face electoral oblivion without an appeal to ethnic minorities. Though quite why they have to make a base appeal to Muslims in this blatantly sectarian fashion - instead of appealing to those qualities, values and virtues which unite all Conservatives - is unknown.

No, the time is fast approaching when Christians shall need an organised, potent and persuasive means of making our politicians listen.

[A COMMENT] In their desperation for votes, the Tories have prostituted themselves to all kinds of minority causes. Now they are prostituting themselves to Allah.

This is further evidence of the way all three mainstream parties gravitate towards the same political trend and end up being indistinguishable from each other. Another reason for supporting UKIP; they at least have some sense of who they are. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

16 May 2014

Trojan Horse probe schools 'could be taken over by superheads'

Schools linked to the Trojan Horse probe could be taken over by ‘superheads’, it has been claimed.

Four separate investigations are examining claims hardline Islamists have been trying to take control of some Birmingham schools through dirty tricks campaigns.

Education watchdog Ofsted and the Department for Education will deliver reports this summer, which are expected to put some schools into special measures.

Claims have now emerged stating ministers have approached heads of successful schools in Birmingham about taking over others linked to the Trojan Horse probe. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

Poll: Two-thirds of Czechs afraid of Islam

About two-thirds of Czechs who have used the European election calculator EUvox consider Islam a threat to Czech society, according to an analysis of the results carried out by the Academy of Sciences Sociological Institute, released today.

The institute assessed the opinions of 18,000 Czechs. More than 1 million people used the application throughout the EU.

EUvox is to help voters in their decision-making. It offers 30 questions. The result is the highest-percentage accord with a party running in the elections.

Islam is feared mainly by those who agreed most with the opposition Dawn and the Civic Democrats (ODS), the extra-parliamentary Party of Free Citizens, and partially also the government ANO movement. [Prague Post] Read more

Boko Haram and the Dynamics of Denial: Islam is not the victim here

.... Qasim Rashid is not the only Muslim who has been speaking out in support of the kidnapped girls, while denying that their plight has anything to do with Islam (see here).

Qasim Rashid is a member of the Ahmaddiyah community, which is regarded as unorthodox by most Muslims. Indeed Ahmaddiyahs are often severely persecuted for their beliefs in Islamic nations. Although Qasim Rashid does not speak for mainstream Islam, he is nevertheless to be commended for speaking up against Boko Haram’s repugnant acts.

But does the claim that Boko Haram is not Islamic hold up to scrutiny?

What counts as a valid manifestation of Islam? Ahmaddiyah beliefs can be considered Islamic, in that those who hold them do so on the basis of a reasoned interpretation of Islamic canonical sources, even if the majority of Muslims reject them as Muslims.

By the same token, the beliefs of Boko Haram must also be considered a form of Islam, for they too are held on the basis of a reasoned interpretation of Islamic canonical sources. [markdurie.com] Read more

Pregnant Christian to hang for apostasy - a test for Baroness Warsi

It is all over the mainstream media - Telegraph, BBC, Independent, Express - and many others. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, who was born to a Muslim father but brought up a Christian by her mother, married a Christian man from South Sudan. Mrs Ibrahim is eight months pregnant.

But a court in Khartoum has found her guilty not only of apostasy - despite never having been a practising Muslim - but also of adultery, since her marriage to a Christian is void, and so her pregnancy is irrefutable proof of her sexual sin.

For the unforgivable crime of apostasy, she has been sentenced to hang. For the heinous sin of adultery, she has been sentenced to a flogging of 100 lashes.

.... You don't have to go to Sudan, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan: many moderate and enlightened British Muslims affirm the death penalty for apostasy and the flogging or stoning women for adultery. This is considered just: it is the the will of Allah. And it is a very small step from that belief to the burning down of the odd church and beheading the occasional kafir. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

15 May 2014

Sudan woman faces death for apostasy

A Sudanese court has sentenced a woman to hang for apostasy - the abandonment of her religious faith - after she married a Christian man.

Amnesty International condemned the sentence, handed down by a judge in Khartoum, as "appalling and abhorrent".

Local media report the sentence on the woman, who is pregnant, would not be carried out for two years after she had given birth.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law.

"We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death," the judge told the woman, AFP reports. [BBC] Read more

Halal row puts NZ in spotlight

Debate about the welfare of animals slaughtered using halal methods is taking place in England and some of the focus has been on New Zealand lamb - most of which is slaughtered using halal methods - which are required by the Muslim faith.

British politicians rejected a proposal that would have meant supermarkets and other food outlets would have to clearly label halal or kosher slaughtered meat.

Some groups said consumers had a right to know how the meat they're eating was killed.

New Zealand's Meat Industry Association was quick to point out that halal-slaughtered animals here, unlike in the United Kingdom, were stunned before their throats are slit. [Radio New Zealand] Read more

Court sentences founder of popular online forum for blasphemy

A Turkish court has given Sedat Kapanoglu, the founder of one of Turkey’s most popular online forums, Eksi Sözlük (Sour Dictionary), a 10 month suspended sentence for blasphemy.

A police complaint was filed regarding writers of a discussion thread opened on the website in 2011, alleging insults to the Prophet Muhammad. Some 40 of the website’s members were detained by the police and charged with insulting religion on the thread.

The court ruled that Kapanoglu had committed the crime of “insulting the religious values shared by a group of society” and sentenced him to the 10 months in jail. The court suspended the sentence, based on the time passed since the crime was committed and the means used for it. [Dogan News Agency] Read more

14 May 2014

Islamist leader of Mega Mosque bid and ally of George Galloway picked as TORY candidate!

Mufti Shah Sadruddin, who believes in the notion of Islamic states, has no known previous links to the Tories, and has been an enthusiastic supporter of Respect MP George Galloway.

The Conservative party in the east London borough has also selected two other candidates who have previously stood for socialist Respect.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has been briefed on the situation and is understood to be concerned the party is being exploited as a vehicle of convenience.

Mr Sadruddin has been using his Facebook page to urge all Muslims to vote for any party that stands the best chance of ousting the borough’s incumbent directly elected mayor, Labour’s Sir Robin Wales.

.... A central theme of Mr Sadruddin’s campaign is his desire to punish Sir Robin for his opposition to the Mega Mosque project, which is also known as the London Markaz.

[A COMMENT] I've heard it all now, after being a lifelong Conservative, no more, they have become the appeaser party of Islam along with Labour and the Libdems. You spineless twit Mr Cameron, allowing this to happen.

[ANOTHER] If you cannot beat them let them join your party. That is the Tory attitude.We might even let you build a mosque. The way that some Muslim countries treat Christians in their lands shows you what happens when they get the upper hand. Their religion is the opposite of democracy. [Daily Express] Read more

Muslims threatened by liberalism, secularism and LGBT, says Najib – Bernama

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Islam and its followers are now being tested by new threats under the guise of humanism, secularism, liberalism and human rights. He said this mindset appeared to be becoming a new form of religion which was fast expanding locally and abroad. "They call it humanrightism, where the core beliefs are on humanism and secularism as well as liberalism.

"It's deviationist in that it glorifies the desires of man alone and rejects any value system that encompasses religious norms and eitiquette. They do this on the premise of championing human rights," he said. [MSN] Read more

Pupils shouldn't swim during Ramadan because swallowing pool water 'would break the fast' claims chair of governors at school accused of teaching Islamic extremism in Trojan Horse scandal

A governor who is said to have orchestrated a plot by Muslim extremists to take over a group of schools believes children should not be allowed to swim during Ramadan because it may 'break their fast'.

Tahir Alam, the chairman of Park View School in Birmingham, said there should be sensitivity during the Islamic holy month because pupils could accidentally ‘swallow water.’

The suspected ringleader of the 'Trojan Horse' operation also said Muslim women and girls have an 'obligation' to cover their bodies after denying claims he made schoolchildren wear headscarves. [Daily Mail] Read more

13 May 2014

Germany: Islamists Infiltrating Schools in Hamburg

Muslim radicals are imposing Islamic norms and values in primary and secondary public schools in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, say school officials, who are asking for stepped-up monitoring of the Salafist groups thought to be behind the Islamization efforts.

At least 25 schools across Hamburg are believed to have been infiltrated by Salafists and other fundamentalist Muslim groups, according to German media reports. But local politicians from the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD)—a party committed to enforcing multiculturalism in Hamburg—have refused to disclose precisely which schools are affected.

Now, for the first time, a confidential report leaked to the German newspaper Bild identifies seven of the problem schools by name. The schools where Islamist fanatics are "waging a religious war" against non-Muslim teachers and classmates are located in districts across the city, the document says, but the situation in Mümmelmannsberg in eastern Hamburg is "particularly appalling" and "the focus of an organized strategy" by Islamists to recruit new followers. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Halal meat labelling plan rejected by MPs

Conservative Philip Davies, who proposed the Commons debate, said there was a "huge public demand" to know more about where food came from.

But consumer affairs minister Jenny Willott said the government did not think regulation was the best approach.

Halal and kosher are terms describing foods permissible for Muslims and Jews.

Mr Davies' amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill failed by 264 votes. [BBC] Read more

Pakistani lawyers accused of blasphemy after protesting against police

Pakistani police have registered a case of blasphemy against 68 lawyers who took part in a protest after a police officer detained one of their colleagues, officials say, the latest in a wave of such accusations flooding the country.

Analysts say the surge in accusations is a worrying sign that the nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people is becoming less tolerant as militant ideas enter mainstream politics.

[A COMMENT] This religion seems to cause problems and issues wherever it manifests itself in the world. Kidnapping in Nigeria, bombs in Syri and Iraq, bomb plots here in the UK and elsewhere, with schools being infiltrated and children indoctrinated, it is all very constant, a contant stream of pressure from one religion.

And now blasphemy. This is a look into how our world would be if Islamists ever got the chance to run the UK. [The Guardian] Read more

12 May 2014

Channel 4 to examine polygamy among British Muslims in new documentary

Channel 4 has commissioned a series exploring the world of polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community.

The Men with Many Wives will be broadcast later this summer, examining the estimation that as many as 20,000 such marriages exist among British Muslims, despite it being illegal in the UK.

The documentaries will follow the work of Muslim Marriage Event, a matchmaking service specialising in finding extra partners for married British Muslim men and women.

It will aim to find out the reasons behind those wanting more than one husband or wife, and whether such relationships are due to desire or tradition. [Digital Spy] Read more

The random Muslim scare story generator: separating fact from fiction

In Britain, there is now a cycle of Islamic scare stories so regular that it is almost comforting, like the changing of the seasons. Sadly, this rotation is not as natural, or as benign, although it is beginning to feel just as inevitable. We had the niqab winter last year, as the country lurched into the niqab debate for the second time in three years. Now we are in the spring of halal slaughter.

[A COMMENT] "This reflects an increasing nationwide umbrage towards visible British Muslims" Yeah because if national TV started playing the Angelus at 6.00PM nobody would say a word about Roman Catholics. Would you ever cop on to yourself. This is a secular country. Why can't you understand that?

[ANOTHER] Nesrine, I sympathize to a degree, but the source of and responsibility for almost all of the so-called 'Islamophobia' out there must be laid at the feet of some of your fellow-Muslims and their utterly atrocious behaviour towards others.

Why on earth do you think that people are ready to believe the worst? Because of normal Muslims going about their business? Or something else? .... Your anger is terribly misplaced. [The Guardian] Read more

'You have no faith in God. I'm going to kill you before the community find out': Muslim father slapped and beat his 14-year-old daughter with a tennis racquet when she started dating white boy

A Muslim father slapped and beat his 14-year-old daughter for 'shaming' their community after he discovered she was having a secret affair with a white boy.

The 43-year-old flew into a rage after his shocked wife picked up the phone at their home in Blackburn, Lancashire, and overheard their child talking 'in explicit terms' about her relationship with the 15-year-old.

During an angry confrontation, the father told her: 'You have no faith in God. I'm going to kill you before the community find out.'

When she defied their pleas to stop the illicit romance, he 'whacked' her with a tennis racquet he kept in the boot of his car and in another incident, he grabbed her shoulders and started shaking her.

The father of three from a 'traditional Asian family' was later arrested after the boyfriend became concerned when the girl stopped sending text messages.

Now 16, she no longer lives at her family home in Blackburn and is still seeing the boy.

At Burnley Crown Court, the father, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, admitted child cruelty.

[A COMMENT] Men like this have no place in contemporary England. I wish the young couple well. [Daily Mail] Read more

Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco all sell halal meat from 'live kill' animals that have not been stunned

Supermarkets throughout the UK are selling halal and kosher meat from animals that have not been pre-stunned before having their throats cut.

It recently emerged that British retailers and restaurants are quietly switching to halal meats in their products and meals, leaving customers opposed to the practice - seen by some as causing unnecessary suffering to the animal - in the dark.

Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons all sell meat from non-stunned animals produced by specialist halal suppliers, such as the London-based Haji Babab Halal Meats. [Daily Mail] Read more

From jail to jihad? The threat of prison radicalisation

The head of the prison and probation service says there is a small but "significant risk" of Muslim prisoners becoming radicalised. Panorama spoke to one convict who was met by Islamic extremists when he was released from prison.

Michael Coe went into prison as a gangster and left as Mikaeel Ibrahim, a convert to Islam.

In 2006 he had been jailed for eight years after threatening police officers with a shotgun while on parole for a knifepoint carjacking. [BBC] Read more

Anti-Muslim prejudice – inflamed by Islamists

Much of the fear of Islam is simply prejudice against immigrants. Dislike of Muslims is in this respect no different from dislike of any other migrant group, be it Jews at the turn of the last century, Poles at the turn of this one, Romanians and Bulgarians now, and lots of other peoples in between.

Racial prejudice is always a despicable trait, especially when it hardens into hatred (though it is not to be confused with opposition to mass immigration, a view that is held by all ethnic groups). It has inflamed some of the reporting and corrupted some of the coverage of the halal meat controversy.

[A COMMENT] The issue is one of integration. Many groups of people have come to these islands over the centuries and generally adapted to the social and cultural norms of their newly adopted home and enhanced our economy and culture.

What we have seen with recent mass immigration is the lack of integration and the attempt by immigrant communities to continue their own utterly alien cultural and social practices with little regard, and some cases, contempt for the host population. [ConservativeHome] Read more

11 May 2014

Two Muslim school inspectorates face axe

TWO Muslim school inspectorates face being closed down as Michael Gove, the education secretary, expands his investigation into alleged efforts by Islamists to take over secular schools.

The Department for Education (DfE) is understood to be investigating the Association of Muslim Schools UK (AMS-UK) and the Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI) amid claims that some of their inspectors support fundamentalist Islamic beliefs.

BSI, established in 2008, is approved by the DfE to inspect privately funded Muslim and Christian faith schools and AMS-UK is approved to inspect religious classes at private Islamic schools. [THE SUNDAY TIMES] Read more

10 May 2014

Islamism in Birmingham schools: how the BBC is selectively reporting the 'Trojan horse' plot

.... But the Beeb's record on the story has been mixed. It has done some real reporting on it – that is, making the effort, like us, to gather actual evidence of its own. But on other occasions it’s been too ready to take at face value the obviously self-serving denials of obviously interested parties – such as governors of the schools concerned, or in this case Birmingham City Council.

[A COMMENT] So the BBC has "been too ready to take at face value"

Well, of course it has. The BBC made up its collective mind that multiculturalism was an untramelled good more than a generation ago, and anyone who disagrees with that viewpoint has been ridiculed and smeared as racist. To back away from that position, even by as much as running this story, is a traumatic experience for the Beeb and its many 'diversity'-loving 'progressives'. [The Telegraph] Read more

We should hail the celebrity boycott of the Dorchester over the sultan and sharia law

.... On the other hand, the Sultan has not previously annoyed Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry, Richard Branson, much of the fashion industry and another force he is unlikely to encounter in his kingdom, the unionised LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) activists, whose efforts brought his planned barbarism to celebrity attention. Now, days after the first phase of sharia law came into effect, the Sultan is, in fashion terminology, a thing. Boycotts are having a moment.

The Sultan's name is rubbished on Twitter, petitions are circulating, disrespectful placards and demonstrations assault his hotels in cities far beyond the reach of Brunei's sedition laws. In Beverly Hills, the council demands that the sultan sell up the Beverly Hills hotel or denounce his own legislation.

[A COMMENT] It's better late than never. But the recognition that sharia is not a good thing has been far too long coming: this paper, for example, brainlessly equates concern over the infliction of sharia with the (fake) term "islamophobia."

A grown up debate about the ideology underpinning islam is long overdue: a boycott like this might start one (and maybe the Guardian will not suppress it this time?) [Guardian Cif] Read more

Council expects 'firestorm’ over Trojan Horse schools plot

Birmingham city council expects a “bloody firestorm” and a “knockout blow” when official inspection reports on the alleged hardline-Muslim “Trojan Horse” plot in the city’s schools are published next month.

In a secret meeting last week with heads of the schools affected, Mark Rogers, the council’s chief executive, launched personal attacks on both Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, and Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools.

He sought to “challenge” the basis of the inspections and said the council was contemplating involving its lawyers. [The Telegraph] Read more

Tension between factions at mosque has seen security stepped up

A Muslim imam accused of teaching "extreme Islam" has been barred for a second time from his Auckland mosque sparking a row between worshippers.

Security guards were called at the end of 12.30pm prayers at the Avondale Islamic Centre yesterday to remove supporters of Sheikh Abu Abdullah, a Salafist imam, from the prayer room where they were seeking support for a "mosque takeover". [New Zealand Herald] Read more

Law Society risks 'undermining' rule of law by promoting sharia, Chris Grayling warns

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has warned the Law Society that it must not “undermine” British legal principles with its new guidance and training for lawyers in Sharia law.

The Law Society, the professional body which represents solicitors, has faced criticism for running training courses in Sharia and for publishing guidance to help lawyers draw up ‘Sharia compliant’ wills.

The controversial new initiatives resulted in lawyers and anti-Sharia law campaigners protesting outside the Law Society’s head office in central London last week. Critics have accused the Law Society of creating the “perception” that Sharia is now “a legal discipline”. [The Telegraph] Read more

09 May 2014

We Muslims should be appalled by the sale of halal meat by stealth

When I walk into a restaurant, I’m usually a hungry customer. It shouldn’t be important to the waiter what my religion is.

I could be a Muslim, a Christian or a Jedi warrior. Whatever my beliefs, I have a right to enjoy my meal without any hidden agendas.

Pizza Express, one of Britain’s favourite food institutions, admitted this week that all the chicken it serves has been killed according to traditional halal methods. The blood was drained from the bird and prayers were recited during the slaughter.

[A COMMENT] I think a lot of the problems do not come from the Muslims but from the liberals who think it might be offensive to Muslims and that is where our biggest danger lies! [Daily Mail] Read more

To Stun or Not to Stun: That Should Be the Question

There is irrefutable scientific evidence that animals slaughtered without stunning suffer extreme pain, distress and anxiety. The European Food Safety Authority has said that: "due to the serious animal welfare concerns associated with slaughter without stunning, pre-cut stunning should always be performed".

Stunning an animal before it is slaughtered is vitally important as it renders that animal insensible to pain before being killed. Currently, more than 80% of animals slaughtered for halal meat in the UK are stunned before being killed. This figure alone shows that there is widespread acceptance within the Muslim community that pre-slaughter stunning can be halal.

As it stands, the other 20% or so of these animals will have their throats cut whilst fully conscious. These animals can be in extreme pain for minutes. All animals slaughtered for kosher meat will be conscious when killed.

[A COMMENT] Not sure electrocution by 100,000 volts or a pneumatic steel rod penetrating the brain is any more or less humane..but I think we both would agree that religion shouldn't be the decider, science should. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Five Saudi men sentenced to 32 years in prison and 4,500 lashes for holding a Valentine’s Day party with ‘unrelated women, drinking and dancing’

Five Saudi men have been sentenced to 32 years in prison and 4,500 lashes by a criminal court in Saudi Arabia - for holding a Valentine's Day party.

The law breaking men were caught at a rented rest house in the Al-Farouq area of Buraidah Qassim province and accused of holding a party with women who were unrelated to them, drinking and dancing.

Police from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) rounded up the men with the help of security patrols for their offences along with six women on February 14.

[A COMMENT] Another country living in the world of 1000BC you can't make this stuff up....... [Daily Mail] Read more

Islam’s Role in Boko Haram’s Kidnapping of Schoolgirls

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, is considered by his followers to be a religious scholar, and he certainly would not be selling girls in the marketplace and marrying them off unless he considered this was permitted by his religion.

One may or may not disagree with his conclusions, but it is beyond dispute that he is sincere in his beliefs and these beliefs are what guides his group’s actions. [Mark Durie] Read more

'Halal Hysteria': Religious Exemptions From Animal Welfare Law Are The Real Issue

Perhaps the public outcry over Halal, or 'Halal hysteria' as some call it, is really a proxy for wider concerns many have about 'sharia creep' - the accommodation of Islamic practises in the UK, which they feel are starting to encroach on what were previously secular spaces - food production, finance, law and state education.

Food retailers should be upfront about what they're serving up, but surely the main issue surrounding Halal and Kosher meat is one of animal welfare, and the religious exemption from UK law that allows animals to be slaughtered without first being stunned.

The National Secular Society has long argued for an end to this exemption. But as long as exemptions are granted, it is essential that meat from non-stun slaughter should be appropriately labelled, enabling consumers to avoid meat from animals not slaughtered humanely, if that's their choice. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Secular Malaysia made Islamic for political mileage, ex-minister says

Now tagged “Islamic”, Malaysia has always been a secular nation as prescribed in its constitution and rightfully remains so, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said.

Its Islamic branding is a recent phenomenon, Zaid added, attributing it to Muslim leaders — including prime ministers — who chose to ignore the country’s founding document to score political brownie points, bolstering the erroneous world view of Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy.

“Not a single Muslim leader will want to say what should be said. That is to say Malaysia by its Constitution is secular,” the former Umno member told The Malay Mail Online in a recent email interview. [The Malay Mail Online] Read more

Turkey: Hagia Sofia to become half mosque and half museum

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government plans to turn Istanbul's Hagia Sofia Basilica into a mosque in the afternoon and evening and a museum in the morning. The historical monument, which draws millions of tourists every year, will have the Byzantine frescoes covering its walls cast into shadow by 'dark light' so as to avoid offending Islam.

The government would thus like to turn what is today seen as a symbol of Christianity back into a place of worship for Muslims, as it was after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. [ANSAmed] Read more

Isma: Hudud should be enforced on non-Muslims as well

Controversial Muslim NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) said hudud should be enforced on everyone, including non-Muslims.

"Hudud should be enforced on everyone, not just Muslims," said its president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman.

"For Muslims, it means cleansing themselves from sin. For non-Muslims, it is for the interest of national security," he told the press at Isma's headquarters here, Friday.

Abdullah Zaik said that the Islamic penal code would safeguard the security and well-being of every citizen in the country. [THE STAR ONLINE] Read more

Do Hollywood and America Finally Get It About Sharia?

Hollywood and perhaps America may finally get it about what constitutes Sharia, Islamic law. This week liberals, feminists and the mainstream media figures are even publicizing it. That may be sucking the media oxygen from accusations of Islamophobia by Muslim advocacy groups like CAIR, Emerge USA, and United Voices for America.

This was a perfect storm triggered by the conjunction of the Sultan of Brunei, who owns the Beverly Hills Hotel with Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres and mainstream feminists marching in outraged protests against Sharia at the fabled Hollywood Pink Palace. [The Iconoclast] Read more

Halal Hysteria Hits Cameron: Now PM Has Second Thoughts Over Labelling Of Ritually-Slaughtered Meat

Just hours after David Cameron insisted it was not for the government to intervene over the mounting controversy involving major supermarkets not labelling Halal meat, he appears to have changed his mind.

The labelling of ritually-slaughtered meat is a matter for retailers, customers and faith groups, the prime minister's spokesman insisted Thursday night.

But now the Prime Minister has conceded that – although he would prefer it if supermarkets were more transparent about halal voluntarily – he is prepared to "review" that decision if no action is taken within the next few months.

[A COMMENT] Get it banned not labeled on our food this is a barbaric practice for any civilized society to condone!

[ANOTHER] How about forcing them to use packaging that shows the animal being hung up, having its throat slit and the blood running onto the floor like a river. I'm sure Tesco's won't mind displaying that on their meat counter.

Or alternatively make them keep it in a special section behind a steel shutter, you know like they have to for cigarettes. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Venice pool bans men to integrate Muslims

For the next three Sundays, the pool at Polisportiva Bissuola di Mestre will be open only to women and their children between 9am and 10.30am, the Veneto edition of Corriere reported on Thursday.

The move, launched in coordination with the Italian Union of Sports for All (Usip), is “an opportunity to promote integration and raise awareness of women from different backgrounds,” Ugo Di Mauro, the president of the Bissuola sports club, was quoted as saying in Corriere. Their faith prevents many muslim women from using mixed swimming pools.

If successful, the initiative will be extended, Di Mauro added. [The Local Italy] Read more

08 May 2014

Lifting the Veil of “Islamophobia”

.... In a way, it’s easier for Muslims and their friends on the Left to go after people like me and you than it is to go after Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood, or any of these other groups who say they are going to fight corruption by creating some kind of puritanical utopia based on scripture, because moderate Muslims share the teachings of the Koran and hadith.

So, intellectually, they never get beyond the point of saying, “Oh, those passages have been misinterpreted.” That’s as far as they ever go.

The reason the so-called Muslim “extremists” are so successful at recruiting, keeping, inspiring, and mobilizing people—and then finally getting them to wage jihad—is that what they’re saying is fully consistent with the teachings of Muhammad. For an intelligent 20-something-year-old, if you say, “Don’t believe me; just read it in the Koran,” he will understand. [Sam Harris] Read more

Boko Haram and the Kidnapped Schoolgirls

.... little attention has been paid to the group's formal Arabic name: Jam'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da'wa wal-Jihad. That roughly translates as "The Fellowship of the People of the Tradition for Preaching and Holy War."

That's a lot less catchy than Boko Haram but significantly more revealing about the group and its mission. Far from being an aberration among Islamist terror groups, as some observers suggest, Boko Haram in its goals and methods is in fact all too representative.

.... It is also time for Western liberals to wake up. If they choose to regard Boko Haram as an aberration, they do so at their peril. The kidnapping of these schoolgirls is not an isolated tragedy; their fate reflects a new wave of jihadism that extends far beyond Nigeria and poses a mortal threat to the rights of women and girls. If my pointing this out offends some people more than the odious acts of Boko Haram, then so be it. [The Wall Street Journal] Read more

Governors ‘undermined leaders’ at Bradford school linked to Islam plot

MEMBERS of a governing body which was removed by Bradford Council had been underming school leaders, according to a damning new Ofsted report.

However education bosses in the city have strongly denied that governors were removed from Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College because of any links to the Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham where it is alleged people have tried to force out staff and “Islamise” schools.

The school has been linked to events in Birmingham by a national newspaper but Bradford Council’s executive member for children’s services Coun Ralph Berry said this was not the case. [Yorkshire Post] Read more

TV call to prayer during Muslim holy month of Ramadan got MORE complaints than anything else on Channel 4 last year

Channel’s 4 broadcasting of the Muslim call to prayer during the holy month of Ramadan was the broadcaster’s most-complained about programme last year.

It received 2,011 complaints about its 4Ramadan season with 1,658 specifically about the broadcast of the daily call to prayer.

Writing in the broadcaster’s annual report, Channel 4’s head of factual Ralph Lee said: 'The level of Islamophobia we encountered with the 4Ramadan season was unexpected, though much of it came from communities that were either very polarised or very un-diverse.'

[A COMMENT] I lived in a Muslim country for 5 years and not once did I expect them to show Songs of Praise on a Sunday morning. UK needs to grow a set.

[ANOTHER] Right, I'm a Catholic so I demand Channel 4 ring the bells for the Angelus at 12 and 6 everyday! Oh wait, Catholics are probably far too mainstream to be worthy of that.. what about Buddhism, do Buddhist's have a call to prayer???

[Daily Mail] Read more

Hurrah! A setback for the enemies of free speech

.... First he tried to sue the Telegraph. Not for the reports, but for a column following on from them by that well known extremist Charles Moore. (The column in question is available here.) Mughal claimed that the typically intelligent and sobering piece by Charles Moore somehow gave the impression that Mughal was a ‘Muslim extremist… more extremist in his views and actions than the far-right extremists in the English Defence League’ and a ‘hypocrite’ who ‘falsely portrays himself as being anti-extremist’. And so he sued.

Happily there has just been a ruling in the case where Mr Justice Tugendhat said that there was ‘little scope …for restrictions on political speech or on debate on questions of public interest’, and said that Charles Moore was entitled to criticise Mughal’s views. [The Spectator] Read more

Pakistan is using its blasphemy code to silence opponents

The murder this week of Rashid Rehman, a human rights lawyer, draws attention once again to the dangerous fragility of the Pakistani state. Mr Rehman was defending Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer charged with blasphemy after the student wing of a religious political party accused him of insulting the Prophet Mohamed.

[A COMMENT] Another manifestation of the loathsome religiosity which infests this highlyly dysfunctional corner of the world - some of whose folk, by migrating here, have sadly imported their sick politics and perverted religion into the UK. [The Independent] Read more

The challenge of Islam

A beheading in Woolwich, a suicide bomb in Beijing, a blown-up marathon in Boston, a shooting in the head of a young Pakistani girl seeking education, a destroyed shopping mall in Nairobi – and so it continues, in the name of Islam, from south London to Timbuktu. It is time to take stock, especially on the left, since these things are part of the world’s daily round.

.... Karl Marx was wiser than the Pope. In March 1854, he wrote that for “Islamism” – the word was already in use – “the Infidel is the enemy” and that the Quran “treats all foreigners as foes”.

The present renaissance of Islam, additionally provoked, as ever, by western aggressions against its lands, is an old story of swift movement and conquest, as in the 7th century. Is something like it stirring again? Perhaps; you decide. In 50 years’ time the world will know for sure. [New Statesman] Read more

The New Statesman on Islam: both craven political correctness and fearless dissent

There is little doubt in my mind that the New Statesman magazine is suffused with the worst political correctness and abject apologia at the success of Western, liberal, open, capitalistic society. To its great credit, however, it also often gives space to dissenters from that Guardianista orthodoxy.

Those two faces of its personality are well displayed in its issues of 2nd – 8th May.

In the leader column the New Statesman declares "overwhelmingly, most Muslims, whether as a minority in Europe and the United States or in countries where Islam is the dominant faith, are no more or less peaceful than any other people on planet". That may or may not be so.

But how peaceful do the Muslim majorities, let alone the Christian minorities, find it in countries under Muslim majority rule? [The Telegraph] Read more

Pizza Express reveal ALL the chicken they use is halal - but they don't tell customers unless they ask staff

Pizza Express is serving halal chicken to its unwitting customers on the quiet, with staff only telling customers about the meat if asked.

Only meat from birds that have had their throats slit while still alive, in accordance with Islamic traditions, is used in dishes.

The menu makes no mention of the issue and customers can find out only by checking the small print on the Pizza Express website – or by asking staff explicitly. [Daily Mail] Read more

07 May 2014

"Saudi Liberals" website founder sentenced to 10 years in jail, 1,000 lashes

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced the editor of an Internet forum he founded to discuss the role of religion in the conservative Islamic kingdom to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.

Raif Badawi, who started the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, was originally sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in July last year, but an appeals court overturned the sentence and ordered a retrial.

Apart from imposing a stiffer sentence on Badawi in his retrial, the judge at the criminal court in the Red Sea City of Jeddah also fined him one million riyals ($266,600). Badawi's website has been closed since his first trial. [Reuters] Read more

Pakistan 'blasphemy lawyer' shot dead in Multan office

Gunmen in the Pakistani city of Multan have shot dead a lawyer defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy, police and officials say.

Police said that Rashid Rehman was sitting in his office when he was shot. Two of his assistants were injured.

Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan. [BBC] Read more