31 July 2016

Cardiff imam tells teens 'it's permissible in Islam to have sex slaves'

A hardline Cardiff imam suspected of radicalising three young men, has told teenage worshippers that having sex slaves is "permissible in Islam". An undercover reporter recorded Ali Hammuda, a cleric who organises halaqas (religious study circles) at the Al-Manar mosque was recorded telling children as young as 13 that the world is "close to the end of time".

His sermon comes two years after the three men, Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, then 20, and Muthana's younger brother Aseel, then 17, left for Syria, where they are suspected of joining Islamic State (Isis). Before they left Wales worshipped at the mosque where Hammuda still preaches.

Hammuda, who was born in Palestine but brought up in the UK, enticed children aged 13-18 to his halaqa with a poster promising an indoor football. But during the study group for "brothers only" the mosque's English Islamic programmes officer interpreted a series of Hadith – sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed. [International Business Times] Read more

Yes, boys, you CAN have sex slaves: Outrage as British Muslim cleric at mosque where Cardiff jihadis were radicalised tells teenagers that 'captives' are permissible under Islam in vile sermon

A hardline Muslim preacher suspected of radicalising three British jihadis told teenage disciples that it is ‘permissible’ under Islam to have sex slaves.

Ali Hammuda, an Imam at a Cardiff mosque where three young jihadis from the city worshipped before travelling to Syria to join Islamic State, also told the group of boys as young as 13 that the ‘day of judgment is close’ – a key part of IS’s warped propaganda.

The revelations come amid heightened fears over the Islamist terror threat in the UK in the wake of the bloody attacks in France.

Hammuda is still preaching at the same mosque, two years after the three ‘Cardiff jihadis’ – Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, then 20, and Muthana’s younger brother Aseel, then 17 – left for Syria in 2014.

The cleric’s extraordinary preachings were recorded secretly at a halaqa, or religious study circle, at the Al-Manar mosque by an undercover reporter. The event was publicised by posters mimicking the famous British wartime propaganda slogan, declaring Keep Calm And Come To Halaqa. Fringed by drawings of sports equipment, the poster added: ‘Brothers Only, Ideal age 13-18. Followed by indoor football.’ [1194 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 14256 votes] Not in this country, not in this century! This man is inciting hatred and should be arrested. Hatred of women and hatred of mankind.

[2ND 10624] Who has got the bottle to do something about it? WWaiting...

[3RD 9972] Arrest him and jail him for inciting.Britain is a Christian country.You want to do that, pack your bags and go to Syria, and take your cohorts with you.

[4TH 9077] There are so many of his kind here in the UK. They support dàesh, they raise funds for them through dubious charities and in the open, they claim to condemn isis and their idealogy. It is only a smoke screen. They speak from both sides of their mouth. Trust them at your peril.

[5TH 7349] He can say this and get away with it, but certain chants at football matches are punishable?! [Daily Mail] Read more

Afghan cleric defends 'marriage' to six-year-old girl by saying she was 'religious offering' to him

An Afghan cleric has defended his marriage to a six-year-old girl, saying she was a “religious offering” to him.

Mohammad Karim, who is believed to be in his sixties, was arrested after marrying the girl. He has told officials that he had been given the girl as a “religious offering” by her parents, Agence France-Presse reports.

However, her parents reportedly claim she was abducted without their consent from the Herat province.

He is being held by authorities in the central Ghor province, while investigations are underway.

Head of the Women Affairs Department in Ghor, Masoom Anwari, said: “This girl does not speak, but only repeats one thing: ‘I am afraid of this man’.” [The Independent] Read more

30 July 2016

Poll: Germans pessimistic on refugees

A minority of Germans have confidence in Chancellor Angela Merkel's "We can do it" promise of accepting refugees. The YouGov online poll recently surveyed more than 2,000 people on refugees and fear of terror attacks.

Merkel coined the motivational slogan "Wir schaffen das" (We can do it) last August during the height of the crisis as thousands of refugees were making their way to Germany on a daily basis.

But now, a year later, the internet pollster YouGov found that when 1,017 Germans were asked: "How do you feel about Merkel's statement 'We can do it,' repeated several times in relation to the high number of refugees in Germany and the country's ability to accept them and look after them?" some 48 percent said they did "not agree at all" and a further 18 percent said they "slightly disagree," with an overall negative answer topping 66 percent.

Those who "slightly agree" were 18 percent and 8 percent were in total agreement, meaning little more than a quarter of respondents had confidence in Merkel's promise.

That means the numbers of those who agree with Merkel's optimism on refugees are at their lowest point since August 15, 2015, with her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party facing a general election next year.

The online poll was conducted between July 26 and 29. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Merkel Ally Blasts ‘We Can Do It’ Approach To Migrant Crisis, Terrorism, Calls For Burka Ban

Bavaria’s premier, whose state bore the brunt of recent attacks in Germany, took aim at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy on Saturday by rejecting her “we can do this” mantra.

The comments from Horst Seehofer, whose Christian Social Union is the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s conservatives, exacerbate the chancellor’s difficulty in standing by a policy that her critics have blamed for the attacks and which risks undermining her popularity before federal elections next year.

“‘We can do this’ – I cannot, with the best will, adopt this phrase as my own,” Seehofer told reporters after a meeting of his party.

Five attacks in Germany since July 18 have left 15 people dead, including four assailants, and dozens injured. Two of the attackers had links to Islamist militancy, officials say. Germany is wrestling with how to respond. [Breitbart London] Read more

29 July 2016

My charity has received horrific anti-Muslim abuse. But the Met police don’t seem to care

Over the last nine days my colleagues and I at Tell MAMA – an organisation which supports victims of anti-Muslim hatred – have been subjected to some of the worst harassment on our telephone lines in the four years since we first started. The extent of the racist, sexist and anti-Muslim abuse we have received has left the organisation unable to function. My colleagues have been subjected to monkey noises, abuse and general intimidation.

.... We’ve had the experience of trying to report cases to the police on behalf of victims, only to be told by Met call handlers that the victims themselves must call, which shows they simply are not aware of third party hate crime reporting agencies. When Met officers have come to see us, to take down evidence from victims of anti-Muslim hate who have been abused on Twitter, the police have said they do not use social media and have no clue how Twitter works.

These are not isolated incidents – the Met has real issues when it comes to frontline officers understanding how social media works, the impact on individuals and the application of laws in relation to online hate incidents. Training in these areas is crucial if the Met is to maintain the confidence of victims. [Fiyaz Mughal, 690 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 552 votes] The incidents collated by tellMAMA are no doubt upsetting for those on the receiving end, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the UK is one of the least racist places on the planet.

In the wake of the appalling wave of Islamist violence across Europe, that the response has been limited to the odd incident of shouting on buses or abusive tweets speaks volumes.

[2ND 503] Blaming a recent rise of "islamaphobia" on Brexit seems a bit disingenuous given other current goings on around Europe.

[3RD 429] You keep mentioning Brexit as the most recent "trigger", but no mention of Nice, Rouen or recent events in Germany?

[4TH 423] "The response from the Met was jaw-dropping. Not only did it transpire that they had lost numerous call logs we had made of incidents since 2012, their threat assessment regarding Tell MAMA and its staff was that we were considered “low risk”."

The thing is, you are at "low risk". Yes, monkey noises are bad as is any racist abuse and the perpetrators should be punished; however, you are not in a position where (like Salman Rushdie for example) you are at risk of having gun-wielding or knife-wielding fanatics coming for you. The police have to prioritise and their first job should be to protect life and limb. Once we no longer have homicidal maniacs walking the streets trying to behead people then maybe we can focus on the threats and name-calling.

[5TH 396] The police have no business investigating Twitter accounts when there are real world rapists and thieves they could be investigating. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Sharia courts are a human rights scandal

It is a human rights scandal that Sharia “courts” exist in Britain; it’s where the greatest abuses of minority women takes place. For example, under Sharia rules, a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; a man can have four wives and divorce his wife by simple repudiation, whereas a woman has limited rights to divorce; child custody reverts to the father at a preset age, even if the father is abusive; and marital rape is not considered a crime.

“It is supported precisely because it is limited to denying women’s rights in the family. No hands are being cut off, so there’s no problem”, according to Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space.

Though there is no official Sharia and practice varies in different countries, Islamists believe “in the imposition of ‘God’s law’, something called the Sharia”, according to author Karima Bennoune.

Whilst opposition to the “courts” by black and minority women is absurdly portrayed as a denial of the right to religion, it is fundamentally about challenging the Islamist project, one aspect of which is imposition of the Sharia in the form of courts. [The Freethinker] Read more

Germany goes after the ideological epicenter of Islamic extremism

German police raided a mosque and eight apartments on Wednesday, in Hildesheim, South of Hanover.

“We will not put up with Salafist associations and their backers flouting our rules and bringing our rule of law into question and convincing young people that they want to join the so-called IS,” Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said.

Hildesheim is the epicenter of a home-grown movement of German-speaking Islamists. German authorities are attempting to crackdown on radical Salafist ideology following a string of attacks motivated in two cases by Islamist militancy. There is a pool of 8.900 Salafists in recent years, up from 7,000 in 2014 Reuters reports.

Members of the mosque in Lower Saxony have fought in Syria and Iraq as volunteers and there is hate-preaching and incitement to jihad, according to the Interior Ministry of Lower Saxony.

Taking on Salafism has become a rising priority as the nature of terrorism is moving from hierarchical organizations to “brand name” terrorism in which a small number of individuals pledge allegiance and act on their own initiative. In this scheme, terrorist organizations like IS claim the terrorist rather than responsibility for the terrorist act. [NEW EUROPE] Read more

Islamism is an attack on our civilisation – this must be recognised, not evaded

.... Barack Obama has centred his foreign policy on the idea that the West is what is wrong with the world, and has refused to let the word “Islam” pass his lips in relation to violence. His evasion of reality has left the way open for the belligerent rantings of Donald Trump.

On Thursday, accepting the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton outlined a portrait of her politics. At least, unlike her predecessor, she speaks of “dealing with determined enemies who must be defeated”.

At least, unlike Mr Trump, she understands that “America is great because America is good” rather than just because it is big. But this is not much to go on. Our leaders need to tell us a lot more about how to save the West. It is getting late. [The Telegraph] Read more

French PM considers ban on foreign-funded mosques

France’s prime minister has said he would consider a temporary ban on the foreign financing of mosques, urging a “new model” for relations with Islam after a spate of jihadi attacks.

Manuel Valls, under fire for perceived security lapses around the attacks, also admitted to a failure by the authorities after it was revealed that one of the jihadis who stormed a church and killed a priest on Tuesday had been released with an electronic tag pending trial.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Valls said he was “open to the idea that – for a period yet to be determined – there should be no financing from abroad for the construction of mosques”.

The prime minister also called for imams to be “trained in France, not elsewhere”. [The Guardian] Read more

'Topple Danish government to drive through Muslim ban'

One of the Danish People’s Party’s most influential figures has called for it to topple the minority centre-right government of Lars Løkke Rasmussen in a bid to force through a temporary ban on Islamic immigration.

Søren Krarup, the priest regarded as the party’s chief ideologue, said he supported the call made on Thursday by the party’s deputy leader Søren Espersen for a total ban on immigration from Muslim countries for a period of 4-6 years, and believed that the best way to achieve this was to withdraw support from the government.

“In my opinion, the Danish People’s Party should topple the [Lars] Løkke [Rasmussen] government without reflection,” Krarup told Denmark’s Berlingske newspaper. “Løkke is a completely unqualified leader, who would rather cultivate a European supra-nationalism than to treat Denmark as a Christian country with our own historical context.”

Søren Espersen on Thursday proposed the ban in an opinion piece written for the Berlingske newspaper, only to have his proposal shot down by the ruling Liberal Party government, on the grounds that it was not willing to begin discriminating against immigrants on the basis of their religion.

Krarup argued that while the current government had moved to tighten immigration, its progress would be hobbled so long as it refused to recognise the particular threat posed by newcomers with Muslim backgrounds. [The Local] Read more

French Prime Minister plans ban on foreign funding for mosques with more Isis terror attacks predicted

The French government is considering banning the foreign financing of mosques as it reshapes its counter-extremism strategy following a fresh wave of terror attacks.

Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister, told Le Monde the prohibition would be for an indefinite period but gave no further detail on the policy.

“There needs to be a thorough review to form a new relationship with French Islam,” he added.

“We live in a changed era and we must change our behaviour. This is a revolution in our security culture…the fight against radicalisation will be the task of a generation.” [The Independent] Read more

28 July 2016

Tackling social ills will do more than bombs to defeat Isis and its gospel of hate

Tuesday’s murder of an 84-year-old priest in Normandy by Isis sympathisers was surprising for two reasons. Until now, Isis had avoided attacking religious leaders in the west who had not directly harmed Muslims, in line with the prophet Muhammad’s command. And French security forces had been monitoring both perpetrators for trying to join Isis in Syria.

.... Although military defeat of Isis in Iraq, Syria, and Libya could help make it more difficult for the group to recruit, we will not be able to defeat Isis itself until we find a way to reconnect the neighbourhoods, online communities, and other particularly susceptible social and political settings where attacks continue to find inspiration and support.

The “will to fight” is eminently understandable, and more readily countered, if we are not blinded by our own mindless propaganda about feckless, desperate, cowardly, criminally minded, nihilistic or brainwashed psychopaths. [568 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 170 votes] The best way to defeat ISIS is to ally with the Russians, Syrian Army and wipe them out.

Also, stop the propaganda about "moderate" rebels in Syria. Nobody is buying it anymore.

[2ND 146] France needs to consider internment as opposed to tagging potential terrorists.

[3RD 146] Let me try a third time. To defeat ISIS we must discredit its ideology. However, we are not allowed to discuss its ideology. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Fearing Islamist reprisal, French publisher revises decision to publish book critical of Islam

A Paris-based publishing house has revised its decision to publish a French version of the German bestseller “Der Islamische Faschismus” (The Islamic Fascism). Written by German-Egyptian author Hamed Abdel-Samad, the book was due to hit the French bookstores in September. Piranha Edition reportedly changed its mind after this month’s ISIS-inspired terror attack in Nice that killed 84 people and injured more than 300.

If the objective of Islamist violence in Europe had been to force the continent into submission, it is well on its way to achieving them.

Piranha Edition justified the decision of not going ahead with the publication by citing the threat of Radical Islam as well its desire of not wanting to strengthen the right-wing French groups critical of Islam. Interestingly, the head office of the Piranha Edition is just within a few minutes of walk from Bataclan, the theatre where 89 people were murdered by Islamic terrorists in November 2016. [Legal Insurrection] Read more

Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark

A high-ranking Danish People’s Party MP came under fire on Thursday for his proposal to ban all immigration from ‘Muslim countries’ for a period of 4-6 years.

In an opinion piece in Berlingske on Thursday, MP Søren Espersen of the Danish People’s Party (DF) proposed that a ban on immigration from Muslim countries was needed until “we have gotten a handle on our future efforts” in combating Islamic extremism in Denmark.

The proposal has been likened by some critics to the one made by US presidential candidate Donald Trump, who also argued that such measures were necessary “until the country’s representatives can figure out what the Hell is going on.” [The Local] Read more

Leading Danish politician calls for ban on Muslim asylum seekers

Danish People's Party deputy leader has said a ban should be implemented for up to six years, sparking outrage across the political spectrum. Denmark has already introduced laws believed to constrain immigrant rights.

A leading member of Denmark's second-largest party, the anti-immigration Danish People's Party, called on Thursday for the country to deny entry to Muslim asylum seekers.

Speaking to the Berlingske newspaper, the party's deputy leader Soeren Espersen said that Muslim migrants should be barred from entering Denmark for up to six years. Denmark needs "a respite after recent terrorist attacks in Europe," he said.

However, the leader of the Danish People's Party, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, along with partners in the ruling Liberal party, questioned the proposal. They said that their respective parties do want to discriminate against migrants based on religion.

Espersen insisted that his proposal did not contravene the party line. "It is a recognition of the terrorism threat emanating from the Muslim community," he told news agency Ritzau. "It is certainly not the same as saying that all Muslims are terrorists." [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Women 'arrested for riding bicycles' in Iran and made to sign pledge never to cycle in public again

A group of women has reportedly been arrested for riding bicycles in Iran and made to sign pledges not to repeat the “violation”.

They were planning to participate in a cycling event in the north-western city of Marivan when police told them a new government directive had barred women riding bicycles in public.

The opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran said officers ordered them to sign written pledges vowing not to repeat the “unlawful violation” and took several women who protested into custody.

Female cyclists have long been a subject of controversy in the country, where they risk being punished for flouting modesty laws imposing strict dress codes in public.

Official signs appeared in May saying “bicycle riding for women is prohibited” in public walkways and police chiefs have previously warned that women caught cycling would be prosecuted. [The Independent] Read more

Alert over Islamic hate books in jail was ignored

Extremist Islamist books promoting antisemitism and preaching hatred toward non-Muslims were distributed by imams in prisons for months despite jail authorities having been alerted to their discovery, The Times has learnt.

Among the prohibited titles are a tract described as the Mein Kampf of Islamist terrorism, a pamphlet extolling the virtues of violent jihad and a book urging Muslims to fight and subjugate unbelievers.

One of the books, by the jihadist ideologue Sayyid Qutb, blames Jews for “materialism, animal sexuality, the destruction of the family and the dissolution of society”.

Another focuses on “the sexual deviation known as homosexuality”. It states: “The spread of this depraved practice in a society disrupts its natural life pattern and makes those who practise it slaves to their lusts, depriving them of decent taste, decent morals and a decent manner of living.” [The Times (£)] Read more

Imams giving out Islamic extremist texts calling for jihad in BRITISH prisons

A book dubbed the ‘Mein Kampf of Islamic terrorism’ is among one of the titles distributed to volatile prisons, urging Muslims to turn to turn to violence against all non-believers.

Another text, by extremist preacher Sayyid Qutb, blames Jewish people for "materialism, animal sexuality, the destruction of the family and the dissolution of society”.

One of the books, which also takes aim at homosexuality, states: "The spread of this depraved practice in a society disrupts its natural life pattern and makes those who practice it slaves to their lusts, depriving them of decent taste, decent morals and a decent manner of living."

Copies of the texts were found in nine of the 11 prisons which were inspected during a radicalisation review.

One of the prisons where the illicit texts were found was in a category A jail, where the most dangerous inmates who commit murder and rape are kept. [Daily Express] Read more

27 July 2016

Father ‘held girl prisoner in cage for 4 years’

.... Amina Al-Jeffery was born in Swansea but was taken to Saudi Arabia aged 16 because her academic father objected to her western lifestyle. She has since been held captive in her father’s home in Jeddah, the family division of the High Court was told yesterday.

.... Anne-Marie Hutchinson, a British lawyer, said that she had spoken to Miss Al-Jeffery when she briefly escaped from her father’s home. “She is a normal Welsh girl and still has her Welsh accent,” said Ms Hutchinson, a member of the international Academy of Family Lawyers. “She wants to return home so she can have control of her own life and make her own choices.”

Mr Justice Holman said that the jurisdiction of the British courts was not clear because Miss Al-Jeffery was now an adult with dual Saudi and UK citizenship. He said: “We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy of our cultural standards.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT 39 votes] "We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy of our cultural standards.” Why?

[3ND 24] Good question. The Saudi authorities will have no doubt about the "supremacy" of their cultural standards, and this means the male relative is able to dictate all decisions relating to his daughter.

As she has UK citizenship she should be treated as a British citizen and have her wishes represented more seriously than Justice Holman seems to be able.

[2ND 30] We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy of our cultural standards.”

I think Mr Justice Holman should be kept in a cage for such a defeatist attitude. Our cultural standards are superior to one where a father thinks its ok to keep his daughter in a cage. [The Times (£)] Read more

Mohammed Amin: Most critics of the Home Office’s Shariah Law Review have missed the point

.... As I have written on Conservative Home, Muslim women do get a raw deal from the asymmetric divorce rules in Islam. There are clear remedies, mentioned in my article, but they need better publicity and more take up. However, ignoring the importance of religious belief, as the 197 signatories do, means that their prescriptions are simply unable to engage with the real problems.

As a simple example from another religion, one of my Roman Catholic friends had a failed marriage. Obtaining a civil divorce was straightforward. However, he was unable to get married to the Roman Catholic woman who is now his second wife until the Church had formally annulled his first marriage.

The British state had no power to give him that annulment, and no amount of feminist complaining that it is not fair that the male-dominated RC Church has the power to decide such issues would make any difference. Religious beliefs matter, because the people who hold those religious beliefs think they matter.

Simply wishing that Muslim men and women did not hold religious views that influence their behaviour, which is clearly the implicit (though not explicit) position of the 197 signatories results in their complaints being frankly vacuous. [ConservativeHome] Read more

1 in 3 Danes believe Denmark is at war with Islam

A new survey finds that a sizeable minority of Danes believe that the country is at war with the religion of Islam and its adherents.

The survey found that 33 percent of Danes believe that Denmark is at war with Islam, while 56 percent disagree with that view.

The survey asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that “Denmark, together with the rest of the Western world, is at war with the religion of Islam and not just radicalised Muslims”.

11 percent of the 1,045 respondents answered that they did not know.

The findings were published in the wake of a string of attacks on civilian targets across Europe and the United States in recent weeks, many of which the Middle Eastern terrorist organisation Isis has taken credit for.

Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, an Islam expert at Copenhagen University, told Danish broadcaster TV2 that the results of the survey were “worrying.” [The Local] Read more

Don't mention Islam

The Pope speaks out:

Pope Francis has warned that a recent wave of jihadist attacks in Europe is proof that "the world is at war".

Except he doesn't actually talk of "jihadist attacks", because - of course - none of this has anything to do with religion:

However, he stressed he did not mean a war of religions, but rather a conflict over "interests, money, resources"....

"The word we hear a lot is insecurity, but the real word is war," the pontiff said.

"We must not be afraid to say the truth, the world is at war because it has lost peace.

Can't argue with that.

"When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it's the others who want war," Pope Francis added.

Ah yes.

We can add the Pope's helpful comments to those of the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner, who asks, What drives individuals to commit mass killings? [Mick Hartley] Read more

Hindu teenager shot dead over allegations of Quran desecration; 150 arrested for rioting

A teenage Hindu boy was shot dead and another was seriously injured in a mob attack after communal tensions flared up over allegations of Quran desecration in Pakistan's south Sindh province.

While Avinash is fighting for his life in a hospital, 17-year-old Dewan Satesh Kumar succumbed to shooting in the attack in Ghotki district, according to Pakistan newspaper, Dawn.

Witnesses said Dewan Kumar and his friend Avinash, both traders, were sipping tea at a stall in Mirpur Mathelo, in the main town of Ghotki, when they were attacked by a mob, protesting against the alleged desecration of the Quran by a Hindu man a day earlier. [International Business Times] Read more

Iran Arrests 150 People at Mixed-Gender Party: Report

Iranian authorities have arrested around 150 young people at a mixed-gender birthday party amid a crackdown on behavior deemed to be un-Islamic, according to state-run media.

"We had received information some time ago about a mixed party in a garden in the west of Tehran," Mohsen Khancherli, a senior Tehran police commander, told the Tasnim news agency on Monday. "This garden was next door to an illegal music recording studio where about 150 boys and girls had gathered for a birthday party."

He went on to warn that police would keep "a very close watch on all gardens in the west of Tehran for any illegal gatherings."

The ages of those detained were not released.

The country's morality police enforce strict laws that prohibit women and men from socializing with members of the opposite sex. Penalties potentially include lashes and a fine. [NBC NEWS] Read more

Fireman Sam slips on the Qur’an, and all Sharia breaks loose

.... You’d think this would be a complete non-issue. It is a children’s programme, after all, and neither Fireman Sam nor his mate Elvis is recognisably Muslim (at least not practising), so a page from the Qur’an is, to them, just another piece of paper; the Qur’an just another book.

If they (accidentally) tread on it, well, that’s unfortunate, but you’d hardly think it would merit a major media brouhaha, with the BBC, Telegraph and the whole Islamic world up in arms (not literally – yet).

And on day when a French priest had his throat slit by Islamists while he was celebrating Mass, you might think the ‘biggest story on Muslim twitter‘ would at least be a wave of assertions that such atrocities are “nothing to do with Islam”; and that the Assistant General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain might have something more socially-cohesive to tweet about.

But no, Miqdaad Versi is incensed not by the murderous actions of his co-religionists and their onslaught against Christendom (about which he utters not a word), but by the depiction of a Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

26 July 2016

Cardinal Burke Breaks Ranks

We have heard many disturbing statements in recent years made by Catholic clerics, from bishops and cardinals right up to Pope Francis, who seem to believe that Islam is a religion like any other, that criticism of Islam is unjustified and based on the motiveless malignity of “Islamophobia,” and that the main duty of Catholics with respect to Muslims is not to challenge or confront them both as to their ideology and as to the many acts of Muslim terrorism, but to engage, rather, in endless Catholic-Muslim Dialogue.

Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has had an ill-considered mandate to engage in “dialogue” with Muslims, as the Committee for Ecumenical and Religious Affairs of the United States Conference of Bishops has stated:

.... That is where things depressingly stood when, the other day, a senior Cardinal in Rome, Raymond Burke, gave an astonishing interview to the Religion News Service. He stated that “there is no question that Islam wishes to govern the world” and “criticised Christian leaders who “simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith.”

That is not true, Cardinal Burke insists, for if Muslims become a majority in any country they “have the religious obligation to govern that country.” Burke says there are already “little Muslim states” within France and Belgium that are no-go areas for the police and are run, essentially, by local Muslims for the local Muslim population. [New English Review] Read more

Muslim leader Ali Selim urges media to avoid linking attacks to Islam

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland has said the media should stop associating terrorist atrocities with Islam, following the latest attack in France.

Dr Selim said those who carry out such acts of violence should be treated as criminals and that blaming Muslims generally was unhelpful.

The murder of Fr Jacques Hamel at the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen drew reaction from the wider religious community on Tuesday.

Speaking in a radio interview on 4FM, Dr Selim said the media should refrain from associating such attacks with either Islam or Muslims.

“An atrocity is an atrocity. However, we have to isolate the perpetrators and not associate them with Muslims,” he said. [Irish Times] Read more

Burqa ban sparks controversy in Bulgarian city

Pazardzhik is the first city in Bulgaria to ban the burqa. Some Muslim women will now rarely leave the house as a result. DW's Tatiana Vaksberg reports.

Sixteen-year-old Melissa Kartalova took a big risk: A few days ago she left the house in a burqa and got in her relative's car. Shortly thereafter, the police stopped the vehicle and brought Melissa to the station.

The southern Bulgarian city of Pazardzhik implemented its ban on fully concealing the body, such as with the burqa, one month ago. The move is reminiscent of a ban that had been in place under communist rule in the 1980s; it was revoked on the national level in the 1990s.

In Pazardzhik, women who now go out in public completely covered, including the full-face veil known as the niqab, risk a fine of 150 euros ($165) on the first offense and 500 euros on the second offense. That's more than an average month's salary in Bulgaria.

"The police demanded I remove the niqab," Melissa said. She had already paid the fine. Her shame was indescribable with the loud policemen looking directly at her face, she added. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Will Europe finally face up to the threat of Islamism?

.... The reason for the attack seems perfectly clear – an attack on Christians at mass by Muslim jihadists hardly needs parsing, does it? – as indeed the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, observed when he said on Twitter that the ‘barbaric’ attack was a blow to Catholics and the whole of France. ‘We will stand together,’ he said.

How, exactly? Yet most of the reports at this point, led by the French interior minister, Pierre-Henry Brandet, say the motivation for the hostage taking was ‘unclear’… but it’s all too clear, surely?

.... Plainly we have to guard against language that would demonise an entire community, but within that reasonable limit, we must require both politicians and public service broadcasters to talk plainly.

And when Muslim extremists slit the throat of a priest in his own church, we’re looking at religiously motivated murder, entirely of a piece with the same religiously motivated murder of Christians and others being carried out in the Middle East. Shall we say so? [The Spectator] Read more

Geert Wilders, Dutch MP, calls on EU to ban Muslim immigration

After a string of Islamic State-inspired attacks, the leader of the right-wing Dutch Party for Freedom has called on the European Union to ban Muslim immigration into its borders.

Geert Wilders told The (U.K.) Times Tuesday that his plan would “de-Islamise” Europe.

“We have imported a monster, and this monster is called Islam,” Mr. Wilders said.

He made the comment in the wake of the bombing in Ansbach, Germany, in which a Syrian migrant blew himself up and injured 15 at a music festival. The attacker pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, in a video before the attack.

“Syrian. Again,” he said of the attack. “And it will get much worse since our leaders are cowards and weak.”

The call to ban Muslim immigration echoes the one made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom Mr. Wilders said he supports because he “defends the interests of his own people.” [The Washington Times] Read more

I am a Muslim doctor. I saved a Christian in Pakistan and it nearly cost me my life

Life seemed well on track until one night while working an ER shift, when I received a patient needing urgent dialysis. Unattended and disheveled as he was, there was no one with him to get him the medicine he needed. Fearing he might die, I instinctually grabbed the emergency medicine donated via zakaat, an Islamic system of alms-giving, and performed the life-saving hemodialysis.

He survived but I immediately faced the wrath of the nurse. She was mad at me because the patient was a Christian and she said Islamic alms are not meant to be used on non-Muslims. But I did not know the patient’s faith, nor did I know that such a law existed.

I promptly replaced the medicine, which cost around $20. But it didn’t end there. The representative of a conservative Islamic NGO, which was a donor to the clinic, was furious about what I had done. They attributed my lack of knowledge about the alms laws to the fact that I belong to a minority Muslim sect. [Guardian Cif] Read more

25 July 2016

Many Muslims want help to look outwards

The case of the ‘Trojan horse’ school shows that Britain was wrong not to expect minorities to embrace liberal values.

For years in Britain there has been a pernicious trend to shy away from making a case for our liberal values among minority communities. As these values continued their march unabated among the mainstream, certain multiculturalists assumed that to assert them among minorities would be deemed offensive, perhaps racist, and in the Muslim context even Islamophobic.

The successful turnaround of the “Trojan horse” school Park View — now Rockwood Academy — couldn’t have proved this view more wrong. Two years after the scandal, the school has surpassed expectations, with cadet recruitment, after-school drama classes, counterextremism workshops and trips to Wimbledon. Those who worried about a more active integration policy alienating the Birmingham school’s predominantly Muslim students really needn’t have. So why did they? [116 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 119 votes] Great article. I want everyone in Britain who's Muslim - or any other faith - to have a great, free life here. The elephant in the room is Saudi Arabia. SA's blatant funding of Wahaabism in mosques in the UK and throughout Europe is there for all to see in the tens of thousands of Muslim teens that wear the hijab in Gulf State style, and whose parents didn't wear the veil. Look at pictures of Baghdad or Beirut or Dhaka or Kabul in the Fifties and Sixties and they look like pictures taken in contemporary European cities, with women in fashionable European dress.

Wahaabism is a Subjugation Algorithm, a really nasty misogynist xenophobic sect that is causing enormous harm throughout the world. Where's the politician who will call it out and ultimately take it out?

I would've thought Sadiq Khan had a duty to do just this as our most prominent Muslim who surely knows what's going on.

[2ND 105] There only seems to be one 'minority community' that cannot adapt to British/Western values. And, as usual, we are blamed rather than the particular community which refuses to modernise and which despises us and all we stand for - freedom, democracy, equality of the sexes, tolerance.

[3RD 98] I applaud what your trying to say and do, but no amount of integration, educational excellence and social mobility will counteract some of the messianic and hateful content of Islamism.

It should be remembered that many of worlds terrorist atrocities have been undertaken by highly educated people. Moreover many of the worlds terrorists and despots have been educated at some of Britains' finest institutions where liberalism and raised expectations were indeed already the norm.

There will always be a clash between the presumptions of many religions and modern secular, science-based education because they simply cannot co-exist logically. It is naive to think that one will obliquely displace the other. But I wish you good fortune in your endeavour.

[4TH 62] Mainstream society DID wake up to it earlier ... much earlier.

But the Establishment Parties and the liberal media not only didn't wake up to it, they deliberately suppressed any attempt to discuss it by screaming "racist and bigot" at any one who tried. [The Times (£)] Read more

Treating Muslim children as terror suspects does not make Britain safer

In the last year, there has been growing unease around the government’s Prevent strategy. The UN special rapporteur, along with human rights groups and the government’s own independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, have voiced serious concerns. MPs and peers from the joint select committee on human rights have also called for an independent review.

Last summer, the government’s counterterrorism policy became a legal duty in schools and nurseries and for childcare providers. With just a few hours of training, a host of public sector workers were now expected to spot people who might be vulnerable to radicalisation, and refer them to the government’s deradicalisation programme, Channel.

.... Apart from a few terrifying exceptions, British Muslims want to protect their country and their young people as much as non-Muslims (who also have a few terrifying exceptions). Surveys show they are more patriotic than the wider community, and intelligence from Muslim communities is vital in countering terrorism. But for this to happen, British Muslims need to feel they are partners in keeping the country safe, not just suspects. [460 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 536 votes] This is not Pakistan, this is not the middle east, this IS GREAT BRITAIN. IF you want Islamic Values then why not live in a 100% Islamic state?

I don't want that to seem aggressive. I just want to get the idea across that this is NOT an islamic state. Britain has no history of islam, indeed we could even say Britain was Western and Christian.

So, let's try to keep it real. I understand the far-left dislike my views. Well, they are as they are. Ignorant and blind.

[2ND 455] Given that 40% of UK Muslims support Sharia law in the UK I'd say we have a pretty terrifying problem on our hands. Not being proactive is not a viable or logical position to take.

[3TH 404] Mudrassas in the UK must be ended NOW. I'm not blaming the children. How can they do different if they are thrown into a Mudrassa? We have to end this type of thing. Religion should begin and end in a person's bedroom and home. I don't want a Mudrassa on my street.

[4TH 398] Pretending Islam isn't a problem doesn't make Britain safer.

[5TH 388] .... She criticises the government's strategy and clearly doesn't feel the need to offer an alternative as, in her mind, there simply isn't an issue to address.

The problem, it's suggested, is Islamophobia not Islam and therefore the fault lies entirely with the non-muslim majority.

.... I have nothing in common, culturally, with the prepubescent girls wearing identical hijabs shown in the top photo, or with those who want to eat halal food, or who regard a religious cartoon as blasphemy, or who see pet dogs as dirty, or who regard Western music as Satanic, or who pray numerous times every day to a god I don't believe in, or who condemn homosexuality as a sin, or who cheerfully support the segregation of men and women.

We aren't "all in this together", of it certainly doesn't seem that way. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Danes: Muslims must speak out against terrorism

A new survey conducted by Megafon found that three out of four Danes want moderate Muslims and imams to be more vocal in dissociating themselves from terrorist acts.

The survey, conducted on behalf of TV2 and Politiken, found that only 13% of Danes believe that moderate Muslims and imams in Denmark are doing enough to distance themselves from the actions of others who carry out attacks in the name of their religion.

Naser Khader, a member of Parliament for the Conservative Party and spokesman for the party’s immigration and integration policy, told TV2 that Muslims who do not speak out against terrorism are in effect sanctioning the violence and therefore share some of the blame when such acts are committed.

“The terrorists are in the process of destroying Islam. Islam is currently in a deep crisis. Moderate Muslims and imams have a duty to fight against Islam becoming a religion of strife,” Khader told TV2.

“When we condemn terror, we send a message that there are many of us who disagree, and we send a message that we acknowledge there is a problem,” he added.

The politician claimed there exists widespread denial among moderate Muslims and imams that there is a connection between terrorism and Islam. [The Local] Read more

Flemming Rose speaking invite withdrawn by Cape Town

.... presence on campus of Danish journalist who commissioned Muhammad cartoons could 'retard rather than advance academic freedom'.

The University of Cape Town has withdrawn an invite to a speaker who was set to give its annual TB Davie Academic Freedom Lecture for fear of security risks and the possibility of provoking conflict and further polarisation on campus.

The university rescinded the invitation to Flemming Rose, who as culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten commissioned cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that some Muslims considered blasphemous. The publication of the cartoons in 2005 triggered widespread protests and riots across the Muslim world, some of which turned deadly.

In withdrawing the invitation, Cape Town’s vice-chancellor, Max Price, invoked the language of “safe spaces” and asserted that bringing Rose to campus for his scheduled August talk “might retard rather than advance academic freedom on campus”. [Times Higher Education] Read more

Chorus of concern over Britain’s counter extremism strategy grows louder

If worries about extremism in 2016 show no signs of abating, then neither does the debate over how to counter it in the UK. Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, chaired by the Labour MP Harriet Harman, is the latest in a long line to raise concerns over government policy to tackle extremism. Although the government has promised to introduce a counter-extremism bill, none has yet been forthcoming.

In a report released on July 22, the committee flagged up a number of concerns about the government’s extremism strategy.

These include the lack of a precise definition of extremism, the potential impact on universities, and the potential for religious discrimination. It also criticised the false premise of an “escalator” model in which there is a progression from holding conservative religious ideals to violent extremism. [The Conversation] Read more

Monocultural ghettos

It's a familiar complaint by now: Muslims in the UK have been let down by the kind of condescending multiculturalism that doesn't expect them to adopt western liberal values - a racism of low expectations. As Maajid Nawaz argues, in the Times today (£), the success of Birmingham's Rockwood Academy reinforces the point:

"For years in Britain there has been a pernicious trend to shy away from making a case for our liberal values among minority communities. As these values continued their march unabated among the mainstream, certain multiculturalists assumed that to assert them among minorities would be deemed offensive, perhaps racist, and in the Muslim context even Islamophobic."

"The successful turnaround of the “Trojan horse” school Park View — now Rockwood Academy — couldn’t have proved this view more wrong. Two years after the scandal, the school has surpassed expectations, with cadet recruitment, after-school drama classes, counterextremism workshops and trips to Wimbledon. Those who worried about a more active integration policy alienating the Birmingham school’s predominantly Muslim students really needn’t have. So why did they?" [Mick Hartley] Read more

24 July 2016

Iran destroys 100,000 satellite dishes in crackdown

Iran destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers on Sunday as part of a widespread crackdown against the illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging, a news website reported.

The destruction ceremony took place in Tehran in the presence of General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, head of Iran's Basij militia, who warned of the impact that satellite television was having in the conservative country.

"The truth is that most satellite channels... deviate the society's morality and culture," he said at the event according to Basij News.

"What these televisions really achieve is increased divorce, addiction and insecurity in society."

Naghdi added that a total of one million Iranians had already voluntarily handed over their satellite apparatuses to authorities.

Under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800 (2,500 euros). [AFP] Read more

22 July 2016

The attacks in France show that its colonial past endures

The attack in Nice, in which 84 people were mown down by a French resident of Tunisian origin, has been a watershed in French politics. After the trauma of the killings, incidents of open, blatant, anti-Muslim hatred have sparked a new, worrying phase.

“Why France?” has been the question on many lips, as the nation recovers from its third mass-slaughter terror attack in 18 months.

Some point to the French republic’s specific brand of secularism – its model of laïcité (the prohibition of religious influence on anything that relates to the republic) inherited from the 1905 law separating church and state – which is often caricatured and misunderstood. Others point to France’s recent military interventionism in the Muslim world, from west Africa to Iraq. Yet more highlight the discrimination its Muslim minorities suffer. None of this can be ignored.

.... According to Le Maire, the enemy that must be “fought with utmost strength within France” is “political Islam”. He didn’t say “jihadi fundamentalism”. He defined political Islam as “Islam that criticises our culture” and “wants to make women invisible”. This is what French colonists thought about Muslims in general.

France’s republican model is not responsible for the terrorism it endures. But it is a European country that, unlike others struck by terrorism, still has to come to terms with its colonial past if it wants to build an inclusive, promising future for all its citizens. [342 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 811 votes] "if it wants to build an inclusive, promising future for all its citizens."

It cannot build an "inclusive, promising future", if some citizens do not accept the level playing field of secularism and do not accept (for example) the equality of women. It is not acceptable to permit men in some religious subcultures to silence and 'keep invisible' women who have the misfortune to be part of that subculture. Their rights as citizens should come first.

[2ND 572] Well, the British have a colonial past in India and Africa. We don't see bombings here by Hindus or Black Africans.

At some stage soon Muslims are going to have to decide if they wish to live in non-Muslim societies. Period. Patience is running out.

[3RD 553] Yeah, definitely a colonialist problem. That's why we have all those Hindu extremists committing massacres over here all the time.

Blaming the west is really beginning to wear thin, you know.

[4TH 432] I sometimes think that, with articles such as these, The Guardian has some unfathomable agenda to make me turn my back on my liberal principles and turn me into an EDL supporter.

[5TH 416] "The attack in Nice, in which 84 people were mown down by a French resident of Tunisian origin, has been a watershed in French politics. After the trauma of the killings, incidents of open, blatant, anti-Muslim hatred have sparked a new, worrying phase."

What an utterly shameful opening paragraph. Anti-Muslim hatred is what's worrying you, is it?

They are never ever going to admit how badly they have got this wrong are they? [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

The man, a practising Muslim, worked for Helsingborg municipality in southern Sweden. He said it was against his religious beliefs to shake women’s hands, although he was happy to shake the hands of male colleagues.

But council bosses said his stance was incompatible with their equality policy, and said he could no longer work there.

“We are in favour of diversity. People can believe what they like, but that doesn’t mean that they can discriminate. We will stand up for values like equality,” Liberal councillor Maria Winberg told The Local.

The man’s name and the exact nature of his work have not been revealed, but he was working on a casual basis. Speaking to SVT he said: “I don’t understand why someone would take exception to me greeting them with my hand on my heart.” [The Local] Read more

The Crisis of Political Islam

First Egypt and now Turkey show the perils of ideological religious parties (and strongman rule), but other Muslim countries are faring better with democracy.

.... More recently, Gulf monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have backed Mr. Sisi’s coup in Egypt. The Gulf states, fearing for their own rule, were particularly hostile to the democratic experiment in Tunisia, the country where the Arab Spring began. Tunisia remains the only country where the heady initial hopes for freedom haven’t been dashed by a military takeover (as in Egypt), a bloody crackdown (as in Bahrain) or chaos and civil war (as in Syria, Yemen and Libya).

Tunisia became the region’s lone beacon of Arab democracy largely thanks to the wisdom shown by the local spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ennahda Party. After the 2013 Egyptian coup, Ennahda, then essentially running Tunisia’s government, took an unusually pragmatic approach.

It compromised on the role of Islam in society during sessions to draft the country’s new constitution and accepted an election that voted the party out. [The Wall Street Journal] Read more

21 July 2016

A refugee with an axe, and Germany’s open door could be slammed shut

A teenager. An axe and a knife. A hand-painted Islamic State flag found in a room. The first major attack committed in Isis’s name on home soil was not what Germans have been bracing themselves for.

We feared there would be clandestine cell structures, months of elaborate planning, and then havoc, like in Paris and Brussels. So what happened near the Bavarian town of Würzburg on Monday night when a young refugee severely injured four people and was shot dead by police, is by no means the worst-case scenario. But in terms of political impact, it was huge.

.... There’s a strong case to be made that, despite Würzburg, taking care of refugees is still far better than sending them back to war zones, and that it’s in the long-term interest of Germans (and other Europeans too) not to shut themselves off.

But advocates of Willkommenskultur have been on the losing side of the public debate since the events that unfolded in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. They’d be well advised to acknowledge that the open-door asylum policy was overly idealistic, and that they underestimated some of the challenges posed by mass migration. [342 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 508 votes] ".... despite Würzburg, taking care of refugees is still far better than sending them back to war zones"

Not for the innocent victims of violent attacks, who are still in hospital care. What a tasteless article. And you admit this guy is possibly from Pakistan, not from a "war zone" but just another without paperwork who says whatever will get him access to western Europe. He is also probably not 17 judging by his pictures. Shame on Merkel.

[2ND 464] Germany of the future will look a lot more like France I predict high unemployment as many arrivals choose not to work and ghettoes and mutual suspicions. France today is Germany 2020. What hope for Europe then?

[3RD 430 ] .... what seems to be forgotten in all the left wing hand wringing about Europe's duty in this "refugee crisis" is a Govt's first duty is the security of its own population. Even genuine refugees need not be admitted if they threaten that security, never mind those who pay smugglers and peddle a fake story.

The Guardian is wilfully ignoring the bigger picture here, because the population increase in the migrants' countries of origin is so great that even if Europe took 65m people in 2017, that would still be less than the babies born that year.

This is not a "refugee crisis" is an over-population crisis, and there's no question its going to pretty much destroy MENA - the only question is whether we let it destroy Western Europe too; to absolutely no avail to anybody.

[4TH 427] This is the reality of the "unaccompanied child refugees". Adult men with no paperwork. Not the kids with tricycles from Guardian stock photos, whose parents have been cropped out for propaganda purposes.

[5TH 380] They might slam the door shut but the horse has bolted. Germany will have to get used to frequent violence as France has to. Merkel has blood on her hands. And stop calling this ISIS attacker a refugee.

[6TH 321] Plenty of us BTL warned of these things, when this paper and even the Murdoch press was demanding we accept substantial numbers here in the UK after the death of a child during a crossing from Turkey.

[7TH 304] Merkel was an idiot to open the floodgates

She effectively tipped the scales and caused BREXIT and has sow immense disunity throughout Europe. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Don’t underestimate Islamic State. More atrocities are on their way

Islamic State waited less than 48 hours to claim responsibility for the horrific massacre in Nice in which at least 84 people – 10 of them children – lost their lives last Thursday night. This week Isis again moved swiftly to claim responsibility for Monday’s axe attack by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee on a train in Germany, in which four people were seriously injured before the attacker was killed by police.

.... Islamophobia and the rise of the far right in Europe are, paradoxically, doing the work of the extremists who wish to sow the seeds of discord that may eventually grow into the full-blown civil conflicts we now witness in the Middle East and North African region’s failed states.

It is difficult to see how the west can counter this escalating challenge. The biggest mistake would be to underestimate Isis and to imagine it can be bombed out of existence. Now that it is losing its geographical heartland, it will increasingly become an ideological state intent on destruction, fuelled by implacable hatred and vengeance, and assisted by anyone it can enlist or influence, however indirectly, to carry out acts of violence it can then claim. We should expect more atrocities in the weeks and months to come. [1573 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 550 votes] "Now that it is losing its geographical heartland, it will increasingly become an ideological state intent on destruction."

But it will be far less successful than it is now. It draws much of its legitimacy from actually being a state. It will be harder to claim that Allah is on their side when they’re reduced to 15 men posting youtube videos from a cave somewhere.

"Islamophobia and the rise of the far right in Europe are, paradoxically, doing the work of the extremists."

So-called “Liberals” are doing the work of IS by ring-fencing the religion from criticism, using the term “Islamophobia”.

[2ND 436] ANOTHER COMMENT SAID: "I believe that we shall have to talk to these people sooner or later."

They have no interest in talking. In fact if they were seen negotiating with the West, their entire legitimacy would drain away. They’re a millenarian cult dedicated to spreading their Caliphate worldwide, or dying in the attempt.

[3RD 375] Whatever happens, it will be our fault.

We in the West should stop being freedom and liberty-loving secular people, and accept that all our societal and technological progress and prosperity; all our tolerance and, above all, our acceptance of unaccompanied women wearing revealing clothing (or - heavens forbid - showing their hair) has made us legitimate targets for those following the path of Righteousness.

To think otherwise would surely be bigoted, right?

[4TH 282] Islamic violence is fuelling the far right, not the other way round.

Islamism is assaulting our liberal society, which was moving towards a much hoped for post racist, post homophobic, future in which men and women would be equal.

If the liberals don't come up with a way to counter Islamism, then it's going to be down to the Le Pen's and Trumps to come up with their solutions.

[5TH 247] Here we go, that buzz word again, Islamaphobia, for the record I despise all religions, all ideologies used to enslave humanity with nonsense, lies and violence that includes Christianity.

But let's be fair Christianity has had to move with the times and seriously moderate it's message.

Labelling any criticism of Islam as islamophobic is totally counter productive, the ideology needs to be criticised and challenged because a lot of the teachings are quire frankly abhorrent. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Newt Gingrich has turned Islamophobia into an art

If you missed Newt Gingrich’s speech at the Republican National Convention then this was the gist of it: ‘Be afraid of the Islamists. Be very, very, very afraid. Thought September 11 was bad? Hah! You ain’t seen nothing yet.’

.... As someone on Twitter pointed out, an anagram of “Republican National Convention” is “Con vulnerable nation into panic” and Gingrich did just that in a way that only Gingrich can really do.

.... After the media reported his exact words he quickly backtracked by saying that “the news media went into a hysteria overnight in trying to grossly exaggerate what I was saying.” Not wanting a repeat of this, Gingrich did some Googling and found some statistics about how, while not all Muslims want to kill you, a sizable proportion of them do.

“Pew Research finds that just 9% of Muslims in Pakistan support Isis,” Gingrich said. “Unfortunately, that 9% is 16 million people. And that’s just one country.” So there you go. He did the math and it proves that he isn’t Islamophobic thank you very much.

Just maybe slightly creative when it comes to the interpretation of data, seeing as that study said 9% of Muslims had a favorable view of Isis, not that they would support it. And, more importantly, the same 2015 Pew report found that Pakistan was an outlier; views of Isis were “overwhelmingly negative” in 10 Muslim-majority nations. Which Gingrich didn’t feel was important to mention. [732 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 192 votes] To be honest, I am not sure that trying to distinguish between 16m muslims who have a 'favourable' view of Isis, as opposed to 'supporting' Isis, is your best argument!

[2ND 178] "Just maybe slightly creative when it comes to the interpretation of data, seeing as that study said 9% of Muslims had a favorable view of Isis, not that they would support it."

So this is where we've ended up, the regressive left trying to convince us that having a 'favourable view' of ISIS does not necessarily mean that you 'support' ISIS. Stop taking your readers as fools.

[3RD 164] ".... that study said 9% of Muslims had a favorable view of Isis, not that they would support it."

Oh well that's all right then! 9% seems to be enough for almost daily jihadist violence in Pakistan and the frequent brutal murder of Christians and other minorities. A phobia is an irrational fear of something that doesn't actually pose a threat. It doesn't apply here.

[4TH 154] We've all seen the figures from polls showing British Muslim attitudes to things such as terrorism,drawing cartoons & homosexuality.Islam has a problem which in turn is causing the rest of us problems and people want our governments to do something about it other than the usual appeasement.That's not islamaphobia,that's self preservation.

[5TH 154 ] "His Republican National Convention speech started with a roll call of all the recent disasters that he believes Muslims were responsible for. There were many"

To be fair, muslims are responsible for a lot of them. [Guardian Cif] Read more

US cardinal says ‘Christian nations’ in West must counter Islamic influx

Amid heightened tensions over ISIS-fueled terror attacks and anti-Muslim rhetoric, a prominent U.S. cardinal says Islam “wants to govern the world” and Americans must decide if they are going to reassert “the Christian origin of our own nation” in order to avoid that fate.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a Rome-based prelate known as an outspoken conservative and critic of Pope Francis’ reformist approach, said in an interview on Wednesday (July 20) that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.”

While Catholic teaching recognizes that all Abrahamic faiths worship the same God, Burke criticized Catholic leaders who, in an effort to be tolerant, have a tendency “to simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith.” [Religion News Service] Read more

Salafism is dangerous, Muslims should lead fight against it in France – PM Valls

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called on French Muslims to lead the battle against Salafism in “mosques, neighborhoods and families,” describing the ultra-conservative Islamic ideology as “perverse.” He has, however, rejected calls to ban the movement.

“Yes, Salafism, which has destroyed and perverted a part of the Muslim world, is a threat for Muslims, and also a danger for France,” Valls said in an address at the French National Assembly.

The issue of Salafism was raised by assembly member Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who proposed a ban on the ideology.

Valls said he is unsure that a ban would be “the right tool” for battling the ideology, and that “these organizations know perfectly well how to escape justice by hiding their true nature.”

He added that it would be easy for Salafists who would potentially be caught under proposed legislation to prove that they are merely “victims of big manipulation.” [RT News] Read more

20 July 2016

Kelvin MacKenzie, we’re sick of your toxic propaganda. Fatima Manji is admirable

If anyone had steam coming out of their ears this past week, it was Kelvin MacKenzie. The human pressure cooker could not contain his indignation at having to watch Channel 4 news reporter, Fatima Manji, cover the tragic attack in Nice. In an article for the Sun newspaper, MacKenzie wrote that “I could hardly believe my eyes” when he saw the British Muslim correspondent who wears a headscarf doing her job.

Not only is it malicious to single out a news reporter in this way, MacKenzie’s abhorrent rant attempts to equate Manji’s headscarf to terrorist atrocities and to female slavery: “Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male-dominated and clearly violent religion?” he spouted. [2690 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 712 votes] The headscarf is a symbol of religious oppression, no matter how the liberal left try to twist and turn to deny it. No amount of apologia will change that.

[2ND 610] People just don’t like hijabs and what they represent. They’re tolerated, and rightfully so, but not embraced.

[3RD 537] ANOTHER COMMENT SAID: “So we should tell Muslim women that we don't like it so they must not wear it?”

They are free to wear them, the same as others are free to criticise Islamic attitudes to women.”

[4TH 416] 84 men, women and children were murdered by a muslim maniac invoking ISIS and thus Islam as a justification. The first thing viewers see on C4's report is an obviously Muslim presenter. Isn't it just common sense that this would create a hurtful impression and thus be grossly insensitive?

[5TH 352] Why is she admirable?

[6TH 317] The headscarf is the symbol of Islamic culture. The same culture which is the source of violent terror, the same culture where a large percentage of its members are terror apologists or blame all its' problems on the West. How about an Imam goes on TV after an attack like this and instead of defending Islam (which has created so many wonderful countries today!), apologised for the terror emanating from Muslim communities.

[7TH 284] I will celebrate when Muslim women in Britain (and Europe... or anywhere) don't feel the need to wear religious headscarves.

It's obvious that the headscarf in Britain is a symbol of self-imposed division and separation from British society and identity. That 2nd/3rd/4th generation Muslims are wearing such garbs is utterly depressing. [Guardian Cif] Read more

18 July 2016

TV host Sonia Kruger calls for end to Muslim migration to Australia

The TV presenter Sonia Kruger has called for an end to Muslim immigration to Australia, saying she agrees with the US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s stance on immigration.

The host of Channel Nine’s The Voice and Today Extra was discussing the massacre in Nice when she said she agreed with the views expressed by the Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, who argued in a column “the more Muslims we import, the more danger we are in”.

“Personally I think Andrew Bolt has a point here,” Kruger said to Today’s Lisa Wilkinson on Monday. “There is a correlation between the number of people in a country who are Muslim and the number of terrorist attacks.

“I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving, who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.

“Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia. I want to feel safe and I want to see freedom of speech.”

Kruger was backed by Channel Nine which released a statement citing “freedom of speech”. [The Guardian] Read more

One dead after Muslim mob attacks Christian priests in Egypt, officials say

Christians in central Egypt gathered for protests and prayers Monday after officials said a Muslim mob attacked priests with knives and batons over a personal feud, leaving one person dead in the chaos.

The fighting may have stemmed from an argument over whether Christian or Muslim children had priority to pass through a street, the English-language site Ahram Online reported. The attack came months after an armed Muslim mob stripped an elderly Christian woman and paraded her naked on the streets while looting and torching seven Christian homes in the same area, security officials said.

Sunday's attack killed 27-year-old Fam Khalaf in the village of Tahna al-Gabal. Investigators did not disclose that victim's possible relationship to either of the Coptic Christian priests, who were with their families at the time. [FOX News Network] Read more

17 July 2016

Call to end 'guardianship' system for Saudi women

.... Even so, there is more that the government could be doing. For instance, if a woman is unhappy with her male guardian it is extremely difficult to have someone else appointed in his place unless the woman can show that she has been beaten or prove that her guardian is incapable (e.g. through old age).

As with most reform issues in Saudi Arabia, however, the underlying problem is the royal family's reluctance to confront the religious establishment in any serious way. Unless it does so, change is likely to remain painfully slow. Going into battle with the clerics would be a dangerous move, however, because the royal family's main claim to legitimacy is its religious credentials. [al-bab.com] Read more

16 July 2016

Pokemon Go is ‘un-Islamic’, Muslim cleric says

A Muslim scholar has suggested that the hugely popular Pokemon go is prohibited by Islam.

Abbas Shuman, who is deputy head of the Al-Azhar Islamic institution, said the game was a ‘harmful mania’ which was similar to drinking alcohol.

Gulf News reports that the Egyptian cleric said the game ‘makes people look like drunkards.’

‘This game makes people look like drunkards in the streets and on the roads while their eyes are glued to the mobile screens leading them to the location of the imaginary Pokemon in the hope of catching it,’ he said.

‘If such a game can deceive youngsters, I do not know where have gone the minds of adults, who can be hit by a car while being busy searching for Pokemon.’ [Metro.co.uk] Read more

What France thinks of multiculturalism and Islam

In the aftermath of a devastating attack in Nice, France, Poland's interior minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, told reporters that the blame lay with the embrace of multiculturalism. “Have we not learned lessons from previous attacks in Paris and Brussels?" the Financial Times reported Blaszczak as saying. "This is a consequence of the policy of multicultural politics, and political correctness.”

A member of Poland's controversial right-wing Law and Justice Party, Blaszczak's point may be in bad taste. However, many around the world probably agree with it.

It's certainly hard to disagree with the idea that France seems to be more embracing of multiculturalism than Poland. In a recently released study by the Pew Research Center that was conducted early this year, just 24 percent of French people were found to believe that diversity made France a worse place to live. A higher proportion, 26 percent, said it made France better, while 48 percent said that it didn't make much difference. [The Washington Post] Read more

Hanson tells PM she ‘won’t back down’ on Islam

.... She told the prime minister, who before the election said she was unwelcome in Australian politics, she wanted to work with the government to “get good legislation for the people”.

“But I also told him I will not back down on my issues to do with Islam,” she said.

“We have a right to protection in this country.

“We cannot back away from these views and we cannot just ignore a religion or an ideology that does not and is not compatible with the Australian culture and way of life.” Ms Hanson said Mr Turnbull assured her border security was “very big on his agenda” and the pair will meet when she travels to Canberra.

She added: “I just want you to know I have got the ear of the prime minister now on your behalf because I’m working for you and it’s very important, as I said to him, that we all work together to find the right answers.” [news.com.au] Read more

15 July 2016

Newt Gingrich calls on US to deport all Muslims who follow Sharia law

In the wake of the truck attack in Nice, France on 14 July when a driver rammed into people celebrating Bastille Day, former House speaker Newt Gingrich has demanded that the US start testing Muslims and deport those who supported Sharia law.

During an interview with Fox News, Gingrich attacked the American ruling class for not having the guts to take stronger action against Muslims and blamed them for the attack in southern France, wherein 84 people were killed. "This is the fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary," he said and added, "We better rethink the rules, or we're going to lose the war."

The possible choice as vice president for presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump felt the need to set in place stricter rules to monitor activity of Muslims in the US. "You have to monitor the mosques," he said. "Where do you think the primary source of recruitment is? You've got to look at the madrassas (schools of Islam) – if you're a school which is teaching Sharia, you want to expel it from the country." [International Business Times] Read more

We need to tackle attacks like the one in Nice from the root

.... Here is a different suggestion: do everything you can to stop people called Mohammed committing mass slaughter in Europe on a bi-monthly basis. Get the hatred out of the mosques and the books, get the bigotry out of the community and the slightest tolerance of it identified as a major part of the problem.

Of course most Muslims can’t do anything themselves to stop somebody like last night’s attacker carrying out such a deed, but they can at least have the decency to look like they’re taking part in the kind of criticism and introspection the rest of us would take part in if someone sharing even a jot of our identity had carried out such an attack.

It’s not a wholesale solution, but it would be a start. [The Spectator] Read more

Please stop saying the Nice attacks have nothing to do with Islam

In the wake of the Nice attacks people are already saying: "But the terrorist wasn't pious. See! It has nothing to do with Islam."

Please stop.

Your good intentions towards us Muslims are only making the problem worse. This is as dangerous as saying it is everything to do with Islam.

The Crusaders weren't pious. But they had something to do with Christianity, right? Right? That something was the desire impious religious peasants had for martyrdom and the religious promise of redemption that Pope Urban II gave them.

Now switch out white Christians with brown Muslims and kindly cease with this bigotry of low expectations. This has something to do with Islam.

.... So please stop denying the nature of jihadism. Please stop ignoring the narratives which drive these attacks. Instead of aiding extremists who insist Islam today is perfect, perhaps you should aid us beleaguered reformist Muslims who are attempting to address this crisis within Islam against all the odds. [The Telegraph] Read more

Sympathy should be our only response to the Nice terror attack

.... A Nice truck driver does not remotely threaten the security of the French state, any more than such acts do the security of America or Britain. The identification of the nation state with random killings of innocent people has become a political aberration.

The implication that leaders can somehow prevent such attacks by armed response is a total distraction from the intelligence and police work that might at least diminish their prevalence. It nationalises and institutionalises public alarm. It leads governments into madcap adventurism abroad and “securitises” the private lives of citizens at home.

What has happened in France is tragic and calls for human sympathy. Beyond that, there is nothing we can usefully do – other than make matters worse. [Simon Jenkins, 3000 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 527 votes] What will happen next:

1) A lame hashtag will be set up by people who think taking action begins and ends in a re-tweet

2) There will be some sort of solidarity march, some aimless gathering to make people feel good about not actually doing anything.

3) World leaders will condemn the attack whilst simultaneously making sure never to mention wahabi islam and its main supporters.

4) The mainstream liberal media will offer up a somber tone & recant tales of the lost lives of the innocent dead but will simultaneously run small editorial articles by multiculturalist puritans who will tell us how although they are horrified by the attacks their concerns now lie with the possible reprisals on muslims.

5) Reprisals will amount to someone throwing a bag of pork scratchings into a mosque car park & a muslim being called a terrorist on the tube.

6) The media will begin running articles about how muslims feel unsafe in Europe because of our intolerance, we are tacitly reminded to feel bad about ourselves.

7) We await the next attack.

My sincere condolences to all those that lost loved ones and thoughts to those fighting for their lives in hospital . RIP to those that died.

[2ND 487] Isn't this almost identical to the article that appeared after the last attack, and the one before that, and the..

[6TH 318] "But there is no defence force on Earth that can defend a crowd from a madman in a truck."

Unless they identify him and his intentions before hand and stop him. Clearly it hasn't happened in this case but to suppose it can never happen is just silly.

[3RD 430] And it seems highly likely that he wasn't just a madman but a particular type of madman. Denial of the problem is a big part of it.

[4TH 345] Please, stop telling people how they should feel about, or react to this.

[5TH 328] Let's not notice the elephant in the room, pt. 94 [Guardian Cif] Read more

Republicans, Democrats sharply divided over Muslims in America: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Many Americans view Islam unfavorably, and supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are more than twice as likely to view the religion negatively as those backing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online poll of more than 7,000 Americans.

It shows that 37 percent of American adults have a "somewhat unfavorable" or "very unfavorable" view of Islam. This includes 58 percent of Trump supporters and 24 percent of Clinton supporters, a contrast largely mirrored by the breakdown between Republicans and Democrats.

By comparison, respondents overall had an equally unfavorable view of atheism at 38 percent, compared with 21 percent for Hinduism, 16 percent for Judaism and 8 percent for Christianity. [Reuters] Read more

14 July 2016

What’s Up Down Under

Pauline Hanson is a well-known political figure in Australia whose general anti-immigrant stance has recently become much more focused on Muslim immigration. After years in the political wilderness, on July 2 Hanson was elected, as a Senator, to the Australian Parliament. This has greatly alarmed Muslims and their apologists.

The comments on her unexpected victory were hysterical in tone, deploring her “racism” and “bigotry” and her “spreading racist and Islamophobic vitriol and abuse which threatens and marginalizes” and so on and so predictably forth. Her party, One Nation, includes in its platform a ban on new mosques and on halal certification, and a policy of zero-net migration (where the numbers of migrants who are admitted to Australia match the number of permanent departures each year).

One Nation is not the only party making such proposals; three other smaller parties, for example, have included a ban on halal certification in their platforms. But what has been supported only by One Nation, and deserves respectful attention, is Hanson’s proposal that a Royal Commission be appointed to study Islam.

Royal commissions are ad hoc formal inquiries into matters of great significance, usually staffed by retired judges; Hanson wants one set up to determine whether Islam is a “religion or an ideology” or, in her forthright formulation, “Let’s determine if it is a religion or a political ideology trying to undermine our culture.” [New English Review] Read more

Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes

The arrangement was the result of dialogue between parents and teachers at the school, who held meetings with representatives from Norway's Refugee Board (flyktningetjenesten) and interpretors, according to Nordlys.

"If [parents] wish for their daughters to wear burkinis, bought with their own money, then that is okay, but they must having swimming lessons in the same way and together with all the others," Espen Hay, head teacher of Finnsnes School, told Nordlys.

"We made it clear to parents that religion does not provide exemption for participation in swimming lessons. It is important for us that no students miss out on the opportunities everyone else has," Hay continued. [The Local] Read more

Refused Berlin handshake: Religious freedom or sexism?

In Germany and Europe, shaking hands is perhaps the most common way to greet colleagues and acquaintances. But the greeting has recently led to awkward moments and accusations of cultural insensitivity on one hand and gender bias on the other.

Most recently, a Shiite Muslim man did not accept a letter of apology that his children's former school had sent after "misunderstandings that led to you ... feeling hurt in your religious freedom, personality or any other way" after he had refused to shake hands with a teacher.

On May 30, the principal of Berlin's private Platanus school had a meeting with the father of one the elementary students she was teaching. The man, an imam from eastern Turkey, refused to shake her hand, at which point, he has claimed, she ended the meeting with him and his son, called him misogynistic and said he should adapt to German culture. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

13 July 2016

EU court split on headscarf bans

The EU's top court faced a dilemma Wednesday after a top legal officer said it was discriminatory for a firm to tell an employee to remove a Muslim headscarf, contradicting an earlier opinion in a separate case.

The latest case concerns a woman, Asma Bougnaoui, who was dismissed from her job as an IT consultant in France after clients complained about her wearing a headscarf.

The European Court of Justice said one of its advocates general, Eleanor Sharpston, "considers that a company policy requiring an employee to remove her Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients constitutes unlawful direct discrimination."

The senior lawyer, whose opinion must be considered by the court when it makes a final ruling at a later date, found "nothing to suggest that Ms. Bougnaoui was unable to perform her duties as a design engineer because she wore an Islamic headscarf."

"Indeed, (her employer's) letter terminating her employment had expressly referred to her professional competence," it added. [Arabtoday] Read more

May’s Sharia Law review ALREADY under fire as new PM set for Number 10

Earlier this year the Home Secretary sparked controversy when she told Britons they could benefit from the teachings of Sharia - despite the courts being renowned for forcing women to stay with abusive men.

May made the comments when she announced a review in forthcoming weeks, into whether the rulings of the almost 100 Sharia courts in the UK, contradict British law.

But the review has already been branded a “whitewash” while more than 200 individuals and human rights groups have signed a letter asking her to scrap the chosen panel, and start again.

Those behind the letter have claimed the appointment of an Islamic scholar as chairman, and two imams in advisory roles, impairs their ability to make an impartial assessment and the whole review will be compromised.

Gita Sahgal, the director of Centre for Secular Space was among the signatories, as well as former head of Amnesty International’s gender unit, the playwright Julia Pascal and the Iranian-born human rights activist, Maryam Namazie. [EXPRESS.CO.UK] Read more

EU set for U-turn over whether firms can legally ban Muslim headscarves after senior legal officer rules it IS discriminatory

The European Union's top court could be set for a U-turn on whether companies can legally ban women from wearing Muslim headscarves after it was ruled discriminatory.

The European Court of Justice has been hearing a case from Muslim Asma Bougnaoui, who was dismissed from her job with Micropole SA as an IT consultant in France, after clients complained about her wearing a headscarf.

It comes after a previous case brought to the same court by a Belgian woman who was also fired from her job for wearing a veil.

In that case, the court's advocate general said companies may ban Muslim headscarves if they are enforcing a general prohibition on religious symbols in the workplace.

However, in the case of Ms Bougnaoui another advocate general Eleanor Sharpston today said that the court 'considers that a company policy requiring an employee to remove her Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients constitutes unlawful direct discrimination.' [412 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1477 votes] Simple rule for employers - don't employ them! One's religious or cultural beliefs should not take priority. Keep it at home, if you must. It's 2016, for crying out loud!

[2ND 1179] Leave your religion at home when you go to work.

[3RD 1043] Who cares what the EU says ??? We're out!!

[4TH 927] Head scarves are not a problem full veils are.

[5TH 813] If wearing one is not in their holy book and NOT a requirement for their religion then why is anybody arguing for it?? [Daily Mail] Read more

12 July 2016

Muslim face veil ban for workers is not discriminatory, Austrian court rules

Preventing an employee from wearing a veil is not discriminating against them, one of Austria’s highest courts has ruled.

In the landmark decision, Austria’s Supreme Court (OGH) said that if clothing prevents communication, an employer may legally dismiss them.

The decision was made in the case of a woman who already wore an Abaya, which is an Islamic overgarment, and headscarf, but who was fired after she told her boss she wanted to wear a veil covering her face.

In addition to her claim of unfair dismissal, the woman says her employer made discriminatory remarks about her because of her islamic clothing. Her boss reportedly said she was undergoing an “experiment in ethnic clothing” and she wearing a "disguise". [The Independent] Read more

Anti-Muslim sentiment on rise in Europe due to migration and Isil as continent rejects multi-cultural society

Europe is rejecting the idea that multi-culturalism is beneficial to society following a year in which the migrant crisis and Isil-inspired terror attacks have boosted anti-Muslim sentiment across the continent, a new Europe-wide survey has shown.

The data from Pew Research, the leading non-partisan US social attitudes survey company, will serve as another sharp warning to Europe’s political elites about the growing strength of grassroots sentiment over the migration issue.

It also highlights Europe’s stark political and geographical divisions, with Hungary, Poland and Greece all showing themselves to be fiercely anti-Muslim, while a rising base of Right-wing parties are hugely more anti-Muslim than supporters on the European Left.

When asked if diversity had made their country “a better place to live” only 33 per cent of Britons agreed, mirroring sentiment across the EU where more than 70 per cent of people in 10 EU countries surveyed said multi-culturalism made their country either a “worse” place to live, or made “no difference” at all. [The Telegraph] Read more

Christian man charged with blasphemy in Pakistan 'for insulting Muhammad' in Whatsapp poem

A Christian man is on the run in Pakistan after he was charged with blasphemy when a Muslim friend accused him of insulting Islam in a poem.

Nadeem Masih is alleged to have sent a poem to his friend on WhatsApp that was derogatory about the Prophet Muhammad and other Islamic holy figures.

"Police have registered a case on blasphemy charges against Nadeem James and are searching for him as he has fled his home," a local law enforcement official told AFP, according to The Express Tribune. [The Independent] Read more

11 July 2016

The UK women seeking divorce through Sharia councils

The use of Sharia councils in the UK to settle disputes using Islamic religious law has been criticised for discriminating against women. With rare access, the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme looks at what takes place inside one such council.

"Is it not possible to forget all the things he has done to you?" one of three Islamic scholars asks Yasmeenah - not her real name - in a side room of Birmingham Central Mosque.

Yasmeenah has been in an arranged marriage since the age of 15, and says her husband has emotionally and physically abused her throughout the relationship.

She has come to this Sharia council - one of an estimated 30 established councils across the UK, often referred to as Sharia "courts" - in the hope the scholars will grant her a divorce from her Islamic marriage, or nikah. [BBC] Read more