30 November 2016

Like many Muslims, I am outraged when I see women wearing the full veil on British streets

Brexit, Trump’s victory and populism pose an existential threat to westernised Muslims. They are caught between unbending Islam and an extremist political right. Islam was once diverse, flexible, wise, essentially kind and unthreatening. In 1887, William Quilliam, a convert, opened the first Islamic prayer house in Liverpool. Hundreds, including Lord Stanley of Alderley Edge, converted to the faith.

Queen Victoria was delighted when a traditional mosque was built in Woking in 1888. Regent’s Park mosque is constructed on Crown land, which Churchill presented to Muslims, thousands of whom had fought with the Allies in both world wars. It was never easy, but early Muslim settlers fought hard to belong while keeping their faith.

Those were the soft old days, before Saudi Arabia and other rich, conservative Arab nations began to spread more fanatical doctrines. London, the worlds’ most dynamic and mixed city, is the centre of British Salafism, an ultra-conservative current within Sunni Islam, and Wahabism, a form of Salafism originating in Saudi Arabia. Salafism is believed to be the fastest growing Islamic faction in the UK. [inews.co.uk] Read more

29 November 2016

Saudi Woman Without Hijab Attacked: Execution Called For By Conservative Muslim Twitter Users

A number of Saudi social media users reacted with anger when a woman posted Monday a picture showing her in Riyadh without the traditional body covering known as the abaya and headscarf known as the hijab.

A 21-year-old student from the city of Dammam who called herself Sara Ahmed for fear that her real name could put her in danger shared the tweet of a woman named Malak Al Shehri photographed wearing a dark blue coat, bright multicolored skirt and boots.

Next to the picture, she included screenshots of three tweets by accounts calling for justice and even violence against Shehri. All three tweets included an Arabic hashtag that translates to "We demand the imprisonment of the rebel Angel Al Shehri." The name Malak translates to "Angel" in Arabic.

"Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs," @ab_alshdadi wrote, while @ilQil tweeted "we want blood." Many others insulted Shehri's morals.

Ahmed explained that Shehri tweeted to her followers from her account @AngelQShe, which has since been deleted, saying she was going out to breakfast without wearing a hijab or abaya. Her followers asked her to post a picture. The photo began circulating throughout social media in Saudi Arabia, and Shehri ultimately received hateful messages. [International Business Times] Read more

Dutch parliament approves partial burqa ban in public places

MPs in the Netherlands have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on wearing face-covering Islamic veils in some public places, including schools, hospitals, government buildings and on public transport.

The rule – which will outlaw all face coverings including ski-masks and helmets – was approved by 132 members of the 150-seat house.

It will now go before the Senate, where it must be approved before becoming law.

Few women in the Netherlands wear Islamic veils – such as the niqab and burqa – but the issue has been hotly debated for years. [The Independent] Read more

A Saudi Prince Says It’s Finally Time to Let Women Drive

A member of the Saudi royal family has broken with long-established tradition and called for the country to allow women to drive.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal posted a letter Tuesday titled “It is High Time that Saudi Women Started Driving their Cars,” to his Twitter account. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are not permitted to drive.

“Preventing a woman from driving a car today is an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity,” he wrote.

Alwaleed went on to list financial, economic, social, religious, and political factors that women should be allowed to drive there. [Time] Read more

Dutch parliament votes to ban burqas, niqabs in some public places

The Dutch Parliament's lower house voted on Tuesday to ban the wearing of face-covering clothes - such as burqas and niqabs - in some public places, making the Netherlands the latest European country to restrict garments worn by some Muslim women.

The legislation, which still needs to be passed by the senate, bans the veils in settings where identifying the wearer is considered essential, such as in government buildings, on public transport, at schools and in hospitals.

Few women in the Netherlands wear such clothes, but the issue has been high on the agenda for years, with an outright ban one of the main demands of the anti-Islam opposition Freedom Party, which is leading in polls ahead of elections in March. [Reuters] Read more

Don’t cancel Christmas on behalf of Muslims like me – I love it

.... While the weather is turning frosty and the festive season draws close, some panicky employers are being advised to chill out by David Isaac, chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Isaac suggests they shouldn’t go overboard in avoiding religious sensibilities at Christmas and that they should adopt a “common-sense approach”. Sounds reasonable enough.

This comes after news that some business owners are fearful of sending Christmas cards, that cinema chains have banned an advert containing the Lord’s Prayer for fear of offending non-Christian audiences, and that employees are being vetoed from calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. It’s like we’ve entered a politically correct Nightmare Before Winterval. [Remona Aly, 927 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 349 votes] To be fair to Muslims its not usually them who want to implement these idiotic ideas. Its usually middle class liberal do-gooders who are totally detached from reality.

[2ND 325] "the myth of Islamic intolerance"

A quick look at the Islamic world strongly suggests that it's not a myth.

[3RD 234] "Don’t cancel Christmas on behalf of Muslims like me – I love it."

This shouldn't even be a point let alone a headline for an article.

The politically correct liberals have pandered to different cultures for too long; they do not deserve special treatment regarding our countries' holidays and traditions.

[4TH 192] The Guardian has got to the point where it has to reassure readers that it won't be cancelling Christmas on behalf of Muslims. Says it all really.

[5TH 163] ".... merely fuels the myths of Islamic intolerance."

It's not a myth. Across the Muslim world religious minorities are persecuted and treated as second class citizens. In Pakistan members of the tiny Christian community live in fear of pogroms. [Guardian Cif] Read more

28 November 2016

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall says UK should ban burqa

Banning the burqa is among the first policies Paul Nuttall has suggested implementing since his election as Ukip leader

On his first day in the job, Paul Nuttall has argued face veils for Muslim women should be banned in Britain, due to ‘security issues’.

Speaking after the leadership election, which he won with 62.6 per cent of the votes cast by party members, Mr Nuttall questioned whether there was ‘any place’ for women who wore burqas in the UK.

He told Channel 5 news: “We have to ask the question whether a woman living behind the veil has any place in 21st century Britain.” [The Independent] Read more

27 November 2016

‘Trojan Horse’ plotters dodge teaching ban

The ringleaders of the “Trojan Horse” plot to impose conservative Islamic values on state schools in Birmingham are back in teaching, despite being banned from the classroom, an investigation by The Sunday Times has established.

Tahir Alam and Razwan Faraz are running informal classes — Faraz in a different city and under a false name.

A third figure who helped run a Trojan Horse school, Mohammed Ashraf, has become secretary of a local constituency Labour Party. He has applied to be a Labour council candidate at the next local elections, but claimed last night he had dropped the application. Ashraf was a governor at Golden Hillock School, which banned the teaching of some subjects and segregated boys and girls. He was later removed from the post. [The Times (£)] Read more

Why do so many Muslim women find it hard to integrate in Britain? - Ahead of a crucial report, we report on the battle faced by Britain’s most excluded demographic

As gender politics go, it was unquestionably a modest step, but in Bradford’s Carlisle business centre the development felt seismic.

For five years Haniya had been striving to secure a job in digital marketing. It seemed not to matter that the 28-year-old had the qualifications, the aptitude, the ambition. Friends watched her confidence drain away. Haniya considered removing her hijab, the Islamic headscarf. Burying the fact she was a Muslim became the final option.

In front of 50 women at the centre in Bradford’s Manningham district, Haniya announced she’d finally entered the workplace. “That was great news, but for many discrimination within the labour market, along with a lack of opportunities, creates a fatigue that eventually erodes self-esteem,” said Bana Gora, chief executive of Bradford’s Muslim Women’s Council. [The Guardian] Read more

25 November 2016

Hungarian village bans mosques, muezzins, burqas, burkinis

The far-right mayor of a Hungarian village says councilors have voted to ban the construction of mosques and the activity of muezzins, as well as the use of veils and headscarves like burqas, chadors and burkinis worn by Muslim women.

Asotthalom mayor Laszlo Toroczkai says the ordinance was adopted to defend the village's "community and traditions" from any EU scheme to resettle asylum-seekers among the members of the 28-nation bloc.

The southern village is on the border with Serbia and has been a major entry point into Hungary for migrants on the Balkan route trying to reach Western Europe. [AP] Read more

Egypt suspends sentence of writer convicted of insulting religion

An Egyptian appeals court on Thursday reduced and suspended the prison sentence of author Fatima Naoot who was convicted on charges of insulting religion, a judicial official said.

Naoot had been sentenced to three years in jail in January after she criticised in a Facebook post the slaughter of cattle and sheep for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

She had left the country and returned last month as she appealed the ruling.

Naoot told AFP she intended to also appeal against Thursday's ruling, a suspended six-month sentence. [Your Middle East] Read more

Fillon Channels Le Pen: ‘France Is Not a Multicultural Nation’

In rhetoric that suggests France’s establishment conservatives are increasingly keen to imitate populist candidate Marine Le Pen, Mr Fillon spoke of French “identity”, “culture” and “history” as he sparred with rival Alain Juppé.

France24 reports that when asked whether France’s future should be as a multicultural nation, Mr Fillon said: “The answer is no.”

“France has a history, a language, a culture, of course this culture and language have been enriched by the contributions of foreign populations, but it remains the foundation of our identity,” he added.

He also denied that France was already a multicultural nation, adding: “In any case it’s not the choice we made, we did not make the choice of communitarianism and multiculturalism.”

“When we go to somebody’s house, we don’t try to take power,” he said.

However, Mr Juppé, who is seen as much more centrist than Mr Fillon, disagreed, saying: “We come from different ancestors, we have different skin colours, and different religions, and that is our strength.” [Breitbart London] Read more

Dutch lawmakers debate partial ban of burqas and niqabs

Dutch lawmakers have debated a partial ban on wearing full-face veils in public places, including schools, hospitals and on public transport.

Interior minister Ronald Plasterk called the legislation "religion neutral", but accepted that the debate about people wearing burqas and niqabs in public had been central to the proposal.

The proposal was approved by the Dutch government at a cabinet sitting in The Hague last year, but was debated by lawmakers on Wednesday.

It will apply to all face coverings including ski-masks and helmets and will not apply on public streets.

Mr Plasterk said the legislation will not go as far as the complete bans implemented in countries such as France and Belgium. [The Independent] Read more

24 November 2016

Iranian filmmaker starts sentence

Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi, sentenced to 223 lashes and a year in jail for a film he made about graffiti, started his prison sentence in Tehran on Wednesday, his French producer said.

Karimi, 31, a Sunni Muslim from Shiite Iran's Kurdish minority, ran into trouble with the powerful Revolutionary Guards over his documentary "Writing on the City".

The film details the history of scrawlings on Tehran's walls dating back to the Islamic revolution of 1979, through to the opposition Green Movement of the contested 2009 presidential election. [Your Middle East] Read more

Indonesia’s blasphemy laws

.... this month police formally declared the country’s most prominent Christian politician, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the governor (in effect, mayor) of Jakarta, to be a suspect in a blasphemy case. If convicted, Mr Purnama, known as Ahok, faces up to five years in prison.

.... The use of blasphemy laws is linked to rising religious intolerance. In recent years hardline Islamists have become increasingly assertive, railing against deviants, heretics and their ilk. Muslim parties in parliament have pushed laws against alcohol, pornography and sexual minorities. Yet it is not at all clear that these moves have widespread support.

Most Indonesians still vote for secular parties (they claimed 68% of the popular vote at the most recent legislative elections, in 2014) rather than religious ones. Many moderate Muslim leaders defend blasphemy laws on the grounds that they prevent violence by allowing religious disputes to be settled by the courts rather than vigilantes.

However, moderates also blame politicians for misusing the laws to stir up sectarian tensions for their own ends. Ahok’s political rivals, for example, are seeking to use the laws to spoil his chances of becoming governor again in elections next year. [The Economist] Read more

Shocking Rise In Religious Persecution Fuelled By 'Islamist Hyper-Extremism'

"A virulent and extremist form of Islam emerged as the number-one threat to religious freedom," according to the report, Religious Freedom in the World, by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Researchers examined 196 countries across the globe and of these, 38 showed "unmistakable evidence of significant religious freedom violations".

Out of the 11 countries that had worsening levels of persecution, "nine were under extreme pressure from Islamist violence", the report found. And out of the 11 countries with consistent levels of persecution, seven faced huge problems relating to Islamism both from non-state militant groups and and state-sponsored oppression.

The report was launched in Parliament on Thursday morning and came after iconic landmarks across London were lit up red on Wednesday evening to mark the suffering of those persecuted for their faith.

.... "The frequency and intensity of atrocities against Yazidis, Christians, Baha'is, Jews and Ahmaddiyya Muslims is on the rise," wrote John Pontifex, editor of the report.

"The atrocities committed by these aggressive Islamist groups in Syria, Iraq, Libya and by their affiliates elsewhere have arguably been one of the greatest setbacks for religious freedom since the Second World War," he added. "What has properly been described as genocide, according to a UN convention which uses that term, is a phenomenon of religious extremism almost beyond compare." [Christian Today] Read more

Muslim Times ed says ‘I was brought up with BURKA but now ABHOR it as symbol of terror'

Dr Zia H Shah, chief editor of the Muslim Times and a GP in New York, penned a blog post calling for Muslims all over the world to acknowledge the progress over the centuries, instead of treating the Koran's teachings as gospel.

He wrote: "Since September 11, 2001, I have come to abhor this article of clothing, given its association with the Taliban and it becoming a symbol of lack of human rights in the Muslim societies, compared to the Western world."

The physician, who writes about all religions and science, revealed over the years the women in his family have become more relaxed with the traditional dress they wear, as society progresses.

.... "However, insisting that the understanding of sacred text is frozen puts the most fundamental belief of religion at risk.

"When any religious person claims that a sacred text is 'dead' - in that the understanding of its meaning is fixed forever - they are directly at odds with their own idea of a living, active God.

"Each one of the Muslims, whether conservative or liberal, young or old, man or woman, actually has seen many examples in their lives that the Holy Koran is to be interpreted in the context of time, whether he or she fully realises it or acknowledges it or not." [Daily Express] Read more

Women and vulnerable people are paying for Turkey’s authoritarianism

Two wrongs don’t make a right, right? Yet in Turkey, a close shave with a controversial motion dubbed by many the “child rape bill” proves that quite the opposite is considered true when talking about the abuse of women.

Under the proposal put forward last week, men convicted of sex with an underage girl before 11 November this year would be pardoned if they married their victim, as long as the act was committed without “force, threat or any other restriction on consent”.

The shocking bill met with support in parliament last Thursday but failed to reach the necessary majority and was later withdrawn for review ahead of a final parliamentary vote. Thankfully, there are now reports that it has been dropped entirely, but it has highlighted once again a worrying side to Turkish culture, where the rights of the family and the importance of men within it are placed before the protection of the basic rights of women and girls. [146 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 64 votes] The author writes: "Both moves expose the extent of Turkey’s retreat into what was already a toxically male-skewed culture."

It might be male skewed, but there is a central ideology used to justify it.

The author links to the 2015 global gender gap study and points out that Turkey is in 130th. The bottom 10 is Egypt, Mali, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Iran, Chad, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen. They are all Muslim majority countries yet the author makes little reference at all to religion at all in the article. If you care about women's rights then you have to confront patriarchal religions.

[2ND 53] We can say "toxic male culture"

but no critical mention of the march towards Sharia Law and authoritarian Islam.

Furthermore for Europe, if these toxic men are to blame, why would it be classed as xenophobic to not want Turkey to be able to have freedom of movement. It would increase the number of these sexist men in western societies, putting women and vulnerable people in Europe at risk.

[3RD 51] .... By framing this a "toxic male" problem, all you do is reveal ideologically driven bias and alienate half of the audience, who might otherwise constructively engage with this problem instead of feeling themselves under attack for... a bill in front of the Turkish parliament which has now been withdrawn.

You're also wrong. Women are not passive vessels who have no role or voice in upholding societal norms. In fact, more Turkish women voted for Erdogan than did Turkish men: ....

[4TH 47] Woman and the vulnerable always suffer in Islamic cultures. I hope that this makes people who believe Islam is harmless reconsider this view. [Guardian Cif] Read more

23 November 2016

Britain has “turned a blind eye” to abuse of women by sharia ‘courts’

Powerful testimony from Muslim women has been published by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee as part of their investigation into sharia, while activists have warned that its approach so far has favoured those who support sharia councils.

Submissions received from Muslim women on their experiences of sharia 'law' have now been published by the Committee. The evidence was gathered by One Law For All, who sent the personal testimonies to the committee for their investigation into sharia 'law' in the UK.

One woman whose evidence was included for the Select Committee's consideration is Habiba Jan who was trapped in an abusive Islamic 'marriage' and was unable to escape without a sharia 'divorce'. Jan ended up being referred to Anjem Choudary for a 'divorce', without knowing who he was. [National Secular Society] Read more

Geert Wilders brands Dutch hate speech trial 'a charade'

Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has told a court that his trial for alleged hate speech is a "charade, a disgrace for the Netherlands, a mockery for our society".

In a televised statement on the last day of the trial, he said that if he was convicted "millions of Dutch citizens will be convicted with me".

.... Mr Wilders has repeatedly criticised Islam, calling for the Koran to be banned and for the closure of all mosques in the Netherlands.

But prosecutors say he crossed a line when he asked supporters if they wanted "fewer or more Moroccans" in the Netherlands.

After supporters chanted back "fewer", he replied: "We'll organise that."

In 2011, Mr Wilders was acquitted of incitement after being accused of encouraging hatred towards Muslims.

The Netherlands will hold a general election in March and some opinion polls suggest Mr Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) is a close second behind Prime Minister Mark Rutte's liberal VVD, or even slightly ahead. [BBC] Read more

Montreal woman asked to remove hijab in court appeals judge's refusal to clarify rules

The Montreal woman ordered by a Quebec Court judge to remove her hijab before her case could be heard is appealing a higher court ruling in the case.

Rania-El-Alloul's lawyers argue Superior Court Justice Wilbrod Décarie made errors in law in a ruling last month when he refused to issue a declaratory judgment.

El-Allou wants the Quebec Court of Appeal to affirm the right of people appearing in courtrooms to wear hijabs or other religious attire.

In his ruling, Décarie was strongly critical of Quebec Court Judge Eliana Marengo, the judge who told El-Alloul in February 2015 she would not hear her case unless she removed her hijab.

Marengo contended the courtroom was a secular space and compared the hijab to a hat and sunglasses, which would not normally be allowed in a courtroom. [CBC/Radio-Canada] Read more

One in three Germans feel they are 'strangers in their own country' due to 'Muslim infiltration', study claims

.... The report acknowledged that it has been published at a 'politically heated' time, with 'Muslim-hostile' marches taking place, violence against refugees being reported and open hatred being voiced toward immigrants - drawing parallels with 'traditional racism'.

It also warned of a 'solidified and radicalised core of people' who are increasingly rejecting mainstream politics.

The foundation, which is associated with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) said society in Germany is becoming more divided between a tolerant majority and a loud minority opposed to immigration and integration.

Thirty eight per cent want limits placed on the number of refugees allowed into the country, and 35 per cent believe more is done for immigrants than it is for needy Germans.

Nearly half believe religion has too much influence in Germany.

Around a quarter said they fear the standard of living will fall.

The report stated: 'Some findings are disturbing: for example, the increasing polarisation and violence, as well as the persistent and widespread mistrust of democracy.'

It said those opposed to immigration 'do not speak for the majority'.

Discussion about immigration looks set to dominate next year's elections in Germany, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door policy coming under fire.

An estimated 1.1 million immigrants entered Germany last year. [Daily Mail] Read more

22 November 2016

Amsterdam mosque pushing for minaret prayer call, breaking earlier deal

The Wester Mosque in Amsterdam-West wants to amplify its call to prayer by making it from its minaret, despite previous agreements not to do so, Het Parool reports.

The wish of the mosque to make its call to prayer from the 42 meter high minaret came to light in the summer, to the dismay of the homeowners association of the adjascent residential complex.

It was brought up again when Mayor Eberhard van der Laan visited the mosque last week. The Amsterdam VVD now wants to know what's going on.

"in 2005, when the city council approved the construction of the mosque, it was agreed that there would be no amplified call to prayer", Marja Ruigrok, leader of the VVD's Amsterdam faction, said to the newspaper. "Residents in particular need to know what they are in for. As far as the VVD is concerned, previous agreements will be complied with and the Wester Mosque, like so many other mosques in Amsterdam, will remain silent." [NL Times] Read more

Row erupts after staff state store is now Muslim - and they will not be selling Christmas decorations

A huge row erupted after staff at a popular Woolworths branch said that they were now a Muslim store - and would not be selling any Christmas decorations this year.

Shocked locals were told the news when they discovered that the Christmas selection including decorations and chocolate Santas had been taken down just a few days after they were put on display.

When shoppers asked why the decorations had been removed, a staff member at the store in Germany is reported to have said: "We are a Muslim business now. We do not want to sell Christmas articles."

.... The argument at the store in the city of Dortmund in the industrial Ruhr area of Western Germany quickly went viral after it was posted online.

When the row reached head office of the chain, which has 300 stores across Germany, a spokesman denied they were a Muslim business. [Daily Mirror] Read more

Can Islam be Reformed?

.... Islam, as we know, was not subjected to the Reformation as was Christianity. Nor was it subjected to the Enlightenment as were Christians and Jews in Europe. As to the Reformation, however, there are a couple of points to remember.

First of all, when Martin Luther began the Reformation, he was not rejecting Jesus Christ, nor was he rejecting the Bible. He was rejecting what he saw as the corruption of the Vatican. When the Reformation took hold and succeeded, the Bible and the figure of Jesus Christ were still sacred with Protestants.

In my view, for Islam to undergo a true reformation means they would have to reject those parts of the Koran which advocate hate, violence, and even death toward non-Muslims. That constitutes a lot of the Koran. The estimates I have read indicate that about 62% of the Koran refers to non-Muslims.

And those references are not complimentary or respectful. Muslim leaders in the US love to recite the portions of the Koran that are peaceful, such as, "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (Sura 2 verse 256). They don't recite the verses that urge Muslims to commit violence against unbelievers. [New English Review] Read more

Muslim cleric criticised for anti-Semitic speech

.... The comments were made by Shaykh Mohammad Anwar Sahib at the At-Taqwa mosque in Manukau earlier this month, where he also made derogatory comments about women.

They emerged in video footage published on the blog Whale Oil, which Dr Sahib said had been compiled from several different sermons and taken out of context.

In a written statement posted on his website, Dr Sahib said that he had not delivered hate speech about people of other faiths, and that he did not hate any human being regardless of their faith, place of origin, race, colour or political affiliation.

.... The Human Rights Commission said Dr Sahib's comments condemning Jewish people were appalling and had no place in New Zealand.

The commission has received at least one complaint about the speeches.

Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy said both the Jewish Council and the Federation of Islamic Associations had told her they were deeply concerned about the speeches. [Radio New Zealand] Read more

11 Christian Television Stations Shut Down in Pakistan; 6 Operators Arrested

Eleven Christian television stations were recently shut down by authorities in Pakistan, shocking Christians in the Muslim-majority country where they remain religious minorities.

According to a report by UCANews, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) sent notices to all regional general managers late last month asking them to "stop transmitting 11 illegal TV channels immediately."

The government body, which regulates television content in Pakistan, prohibits the airing of Christian programmes and others relating to religion, except occasional messages for Christmas and Easter.

The PEMRA decided to launch a major crackdown this month on Christian stations, most of which have been operating in the Muslim-majority nation for more than two and a half decades now.

As a result of this crackdown, six people were arrested when government agents raided cable TV operators broadcasting Indian Christian channels. [Christian Today] Read more

Turkey withdraws child rape bill after street protests

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has withdrawn a bill that pardons men convicted of sex with underage girls if they have married them.

The bill, part of a package of amendments to the legal system, was sent back for further work just hours before a final vote in parliament.

It had sparked protests across Turkish society and was condemned abroad.

Critics said it would legitimise statutory rape and encourage the practice of taking child brides.

UN agencies had called on the government not to approve the bill, arguing that it would damage the country's ability to combat sexual abuse and child marriage.

But the government says the main aim is to exonerate men imprisoned for marrying an underage girl apparently with her or her family's consent. [BBC] Read more

'We're being subverted by Islam' Almost HALF of Germans feel migration undermines society

The poll was commissioned by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation which is associated with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany.

It found that 40 per cent of those responding feared their country is being "subverted by Islam".

The figures will come as a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy has backfired disastrously.

.... The new survey also found 28 per cent of Germans questioned agreed with the statement: "In Germany one can no longer freely express an opinion without getting into trouble."

And the same percentage agreed with the statement: "The governing parties deceive the nation."

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation produced a report based on the survey findings which it says show that public opinion is shifting in Germany. [Daily Express] Read more

Study: Stable racism stats, but 'new right' ideas permeate Germany

.... The political foundation - which is independent but has close ties to Germany's center-left Social Democrats - investigated what it called "new right" ideologies for the first time - apparently a response to developments like the so-called refugee crisis and the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Almost 40 percent of the people surveyed were of the opinion that Islam was undermining German culture. Meanwhile, 28 percent agreed with the statement: "You cannot freely voice your opinion in Germany without getting into trouble." A similar quota agreed that: "The ruling [political] parties are betraying the people." Again, just under 30 percent agreed either generally or very strongly with the statement: "It is time to show greater resistance to modern-day politics."

The foundation described such ideas as a more "subtle form and intellectual guise" with which to propagate nationalist positions. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

21 November 2016

Bradford family hit out over flu vaccination

A MUSLIM father has made a formal complaint to the NHS after claiming his daughter and niece were given flu vaccinations containing synthesised pork products without the family’s knowledge.

Mohammadda Shah said the contents of the nasal spray given to his daughter, Raghad, and niece, Aisha, at Peel Park Surgery only came to light when his brother, Shaeen, received a letter from his child’s school offering Muslim parents the opportunity to decline the treatment.

He said that by that point, the two children had already been given the spray by their GP without the same cautionary advice.

“Pork within the Muslim faith cannot be consumed in any form and it strictly prohibited. They only stopped offering the treatment to Muslim families after we brought it to their attention. When I went into the surgery to discuss it, I was just fobbed off.

“The whole experience made us angry, we were very distressed that the children went through this process without our knowledge. [Telegraph & Argus] Read more

20 November 2016

Saudi court sentences poet to death for renouncing Islam

A Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

A Saudi court on Tuesday ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.

Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014.

But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried earlier this month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.

“I was really shocked but it was expected, though I didn’t do anything that deserves death,” Fayadh told the Guardian. [The Guardian] Read more

Priebus: Some aspects of Islamic faith are 'problematic'

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said some aspects of the Islamic faith are "problematic" while defending former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's controversial comments about Muslims.

Asked on ABC whether future National Security Adviser Flynn's view that Islam is a political ideology that hides behind being a religion is in line with President-elect Trump's view of Islam, Priebus answered "I think so."

"Clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic and we know them; we've seen it," Priebus said. "It certainly isn't a blanket for all people of that faith, but Mike Flynn is one of the most highly respected intelligence officers in America. Certainly no one can deny that." [The Washington Examiner] Read more

Clinton’s Failure to Confront Islamic Extremism Contributed to Her Loss

.... The dichotomy is between the Regressive Left who claim every criticism of Islam and practices in certain Muslim communities is bigotry, and the truly xenophobic Far Right. Similarly, in Europe, they have been building off each other.

Since the election, there have been horrible hate crimes and robberies in the US against women in Hijab. This terrifies me.

At the same time, I'm frustrated at some of the Left's response. Already, people are throwing around reactionary statements about how this election proves how racist and xenophobic America is. Racism and xenophobia certainly played a part in Trump’s campaign, perhaps even a large part, but not every person who voted for Trump is a bigot.

Furthermore, Clinton did a poor job at acknowledging the very legitimate fears of many Americans about terrorism - particularly Islamic terrorism. She refused to even say the phrase "radical Islam." [Conatus News] Read more

19 November 2016

Germany Cracks Down on Salafists to Shield Refugees

For years, the authorities in Germany have warily monitored the swelling ranks of Salafists, followers of an ultraconservative branch of Islam who are known for aggressive proselytizing and their sympathies for the Islamic State.

But after long being perceived as dithering, German officials are cracking down with new resolve, as evidenced in a nationwide sweep against one Salafist group this past week, just days after the arrest of a high-profile imam.

The sudden vigilance has been propelled in part by increasing concern that the Salafists are trying to recruit among the hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who arrived a year ago, encouraging some to sign up for jihad in Syria and Iraq or to carry out attacks in Germany.

Some 400 cases in which Salafists approached refugees have been reported nationwide in recent months, said Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony, in north-central Germany. [NYTimes.com] Read more

Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying Isis has ‘nothing to do with Islam’

Society should no longer say the atrocities of Isis have “nothing to do with Islam” because the approach restricts efforts to fight extremism, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby has called on all religious leaders to “stand up and take responsibility” for the actions of extremists who claim to be following the strictures of their faith.

Speaking during a lecture at the Catholic Institute of Paris, where he accepted an honorary doctorate, he said it was important to recognise the extremists’ religious motivations for their actions in order to effectively tackle them. [The Independent] Read more

Fury in Turkey over bill overturning child sex offences if men in question marry victim

A BILL IN Turkey that would overturn men’s convictions for child sex assault if they married their victim has provoked fury with critics accusing the government of encouraging rape of minors with the proposals.

The country’s opposition, celebrities, and even an association whose deputy chairman is the daughter of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed alarm over the move.

But the government insisted the legislation was aimed at dealing with the widespread custom of child marriages and the criticism was a crude distortion of its aim.

The measures were approved in an initial parliamentary reading on Thursday and will be voted on again in a second debate in the coming days.

If passed, the law would allow the release from prison of men guilty of assaulting a minor if the act was committed without “force, threat, or any other restriction on consent” and if the aggressor “marries the victim”. [TheJournal.ie] Read more

18 November 2016

Trump’s security picks deepen Muslim worries about an anti-Islamic White House

News of President-elect Donald Trump’s national security picks set off fresh tremors across the Islamic world on Friday as Middle Eastern allies and Muslim American groups prepared to face advisers and potential Cabinet members noted for harshly anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The naming of Trump’s picks for attorney general, CIA director and national security adviser drew public condemnations from Muslim civil rights groups as well as private expressions of concern from several Arab states that ­cooperate closely with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

Some current and former government officials worried that the appointments could reinforce perceptions among the world’s Muslims that the United States is at war against Islam itself. [The Washington Post] Read more

Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying Isil has ‘nothing to do with Islam’

Claims that the atrocities of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have “nothing to do with Islam” are harming efforts to confront and combat extremism, the Archbishop of Canterbury has insisted.

Religious leaders of all varieties must “stand up and take responsibility” for the actions of extremists who profess to follow their faith, the Most Rev Justin Welby said.

He argued that unless people recognise and attempt to understand the motivation of terrorists they will never be able to combat their ideology effectively.

It follows calls from a series of high profile figures for people to avoid using the term Islamic State – also known as Isil, Isis and Daesh – because, they say, its murderous tactics go against Islamic teaching and that using the name could help legitimise the group’s own propaganda.

But the Archbishop said that it was essential to recognise extremists’ religious motivation in order to get to grips with the problem. [The Telegraph] Read more

Kurz calls for Austria to ban Koran distribution

Austria’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurz has called for an immediate ban on Islamic fundamentalists who distribute copies of the Koran, saying that the law needs to be changed to crack down on “Salafist campaigns - an expression of political Islam which we can no longer tolerate”.

.... A recent campaign by the group involved dozens of stalls handing out German copies of a strict traditionalist version of the Koran under a banner with the word ‘Lies!’. Pictures of the campaign went viral because of the word 'Lies', which means 'Read This' in German - but something else in English.

The radical Muslims were however apparently unaware that the word ‘lies’, which comes from the verb ‘lesen’ meaning to read, has an entirely different meaning in English.

It is believed the organisation has already reinvented itself by launching a new club called 'We Love Muhammad', referring to the prophet who is the central figure of Islam. [The Local] Read more

Brits urged not to report Dubai crimes after 'gang-raped' woman arrested for extra-marital sex

A charity is advising UK nationals not to report rapes to the Dubai police after a sex attack victim was arrested when she went to the authorities for help.

The 25-year-old woman was locked up by police after telling them she had been gang-raped by two British men in a Dubai hotel room.

She has reportedly been released on bail but had her passport confiscated and could face charges of having extra-marital sex.

Radha Stirling, the founder of Detained in Dubai, told the Independent that Dubai police assumed Western women were "looking for it".

Ms Stirling claimed British people could potentially fall foul of the countries strict law as for reporting rape or any other crime.

She said: "There is the social perception that if a woman drinks alcohol, she has consented to it. [Evening Standard] Read more

17 November 2016

'Pure hatred': Translator reveals how Muslim refugees want to 'Islamize' Germany

A translator at refugee camps in Germany has claimed Muslim migrants hate Christians and want to Islamize the country.

The woman, 39, from Eritrea, came to Germany as a refugee herself in 1991, before volunteering at asylum centers to “give something back.”

But the Arabic speaker said what she discovered when working with migrants over the last five years shocked her.

During her time at a number of centers across the country, she said she discovered Muslim refugees preaching “pure hatred” of Christians.

Muslim children were told by their parents not to play with Christian kids.

And she herself was told it was a sin for her to help feed and defend Christians.

.... “It’s very similar in asylum housing, where Muslim boys refuse to play with Christians.

“Some women told me, ‘We will multiply our numbers. We must have more children than the Christians because it’s the only way we can destroy them here.’” [FOX News] Read more

Islamophobia growing as anti-extremism policy fails, says MP

A vacuum at the heart of the government’s counter-extremism policy is leading British Muslims to despair in the face of spiralling Islamophobia, a former Labour Cabinet and Home Office minister has warned.

Liam Byrne says that thousands of Islamic State foreign fighters are expected to return to Europe, including Britain, after the fall of Mosul and use Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric to find fresh recruits in a new book.

In his book, Black Flag Down: Counter-extremism, defeating Isis and winning the battle of ideas, Byrne says that any new strategy must reflect current security services’ thinking – which, he says, means rejecting David Cameron’s claims that there is a simple “conveyor belt” that links religious faith to extremism.

The MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, representing the largest Muslim constituency in Britain, also warns against rhetoric that wrongly claims there is an “epic clash of civilisations” underway between Islam and “the west”. [The Guardian] Read more

Second Muslim school told to raise standards by Ofsted

A second private Muslim school has been told to improve its standards following a long-running Sky News investigation.

Education watchdog Ofsted has ruled that Zakaria Muslim Girls' High School in Batley in West Yorkshire is not meeting independent school standards and requires improvement.

A previous report into child safety at the school was withdrawn by the regulator after Sky News revealed the inspector had not talked to pupils or teachers because he was told they were celebrating the Eid religious festival.

Ofsted subsequently ordered a re-inspection after admitting that not talking to children at the school was "a mistake" and said the inspector was no longer working for them. [Sky News] Read more

Quebec 'uproar' over proposed Muslim community

A tax accountant from Montreal who came under fire for proposing to build a Muslim residential community has temporarily shelved the project.

Nabil Warda cancelled a planned community meeting on the project after it sparked a backlash in Quebec.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard even weighed in from Morocco, where he is attending a climate conference.

But Mr Warda says his idea has been woefully misunderstood.

His proposal touched a livewire debate around religious accommodation and cultural identity that has been raging in Quebec for years.

The issue caught fire earlier this week when the media got hold of a pitch letter Mr Warda, 68, sent to people he thought might be interested in his proposal to build a planned community on a lot of land near Montreal's south shore suburb of Brossard.

It was aimed at Muslim homeowners who did not want to take out traditional mortgages because interest is banned in Islam. [BBC] Read more

16 November 2016

Lashes for drinking communion wine: Iran’s persecution of Christians continues

Four Christians have been sentenced to 80 lashes each for drinking communion wine, and the prison sentences of six other Christians have been upheld, as a new UN report slams Iran’s human rights record.

Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) were convicted by a court in Rasht on October 6 on charges of drinking alcohol and possessing a receiver and satellite antenna. After receiving the verdict on 20 October, they were given ten days to appeal.

Behzad and Mehdi had previously been detained, in December 2012, by the Iranian authorities in a crackdown on house churches.

Meanwhile, six Christians have failed to get their prison sentences overturned on appeal and the ruling is now final. [Barnabas Fund] Read more

Jakarta's Christian governor to face blasphemy trial over Islam insult claim

The Christian governor of Jakarta, the capital of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, has been named a suspect in a case of alleged blasphemy, Indonesian police announced on Wednesday.

The case involving Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has caused uproar across the country in recent weeks and is being seen by some as a test of Indonesia’s commitment to religious tolerance and pluralism.

The police announcement follows mounting pressure by religious hardliners who earlier this month initiated mass protests across the country to demand the popular figure be arrested and charged with insulting Islam. Some analysts believe the protests to be politically motivated. [The Guardian] Read more

Christians sentenced to 80 lashes by Sharia court for drinking communion wine

Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammed Reza Omidi will be flogged in public after being arrested at a house church gathering in Rasht, Iran, earlier this year.

The trio spent weeks in prison before finally being released on bail, but will now be subjected to the cruel and degrading punishment after being found guilty by Islamist judges.

Security agents also raided the home of their pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and his wife Fatemeh Pasandideh and arrested them at the same time, but they were not detained.

Iranian authorities later charged converts Mosibzadeh, Fadayee and Omidi for consuming alcohol during a communion service.

It is not illegal for Christians to drink alcohol in Iran but under Islamic law, Muslims are forbidden from drinking and it is illegal for Muslims to convert.

The trio’s conversion from Islam to Christianity is not recognised by Iranian authorities who subscribe to Sharia law. [Daily Express] Read more

As a Muslim, how do I tell my child the new president doesn’t like us?

.... How do I reveal to my Muslim daughter that women who look and dress like her mother have had their hijabs torn from their heads, as part of a wave of physical attacks on people of colour since election day? Or that her fellow schoolkids aren’t inoculated from this sort of violent hatred either?

A Muslim high-school teacher in Georgia was left a note on her desk telling her to “hang” herself with her hijab, which “isn’t allowed any more”. The note was signed, “America”.

How do I explain to my daughter, a proud US citizen who recites the pledge of allegiance in class every morning, that millions of her fellow Americans elected as her next president a man who claims her faith “hates” America, and who falsely accused Muslim Americans of celebrating on 9/11 and of not reporting terrorists to the authorities?

On Monday, the FBI revealed that hate crimes against Muslims in the US increased by 67% in 2015, to reach a level of attacks not seen since the aftermath of 9/11. [The Guardian] Read more

Indonesian police to proceed with blasphemy case against Christian governor

Indonesian police said on Wednesday they will proceed with an investigation into a blasphemy complaint brought by Muslim groups against the Christian and ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta and banned him from leaving the country.

The complaint against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, comes after unrest in the Indonesian capital that forced his political ally, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, to postpone a keenly anticipated state visit to Australia.

Ari Dono Sukmanto, chief of the National Police criminal investigation department, told reporters that although there had not been consensus after an initial investigation, "the dominant opinion is that this case should be settled in court".

?A decision to drop the case could have sparked mass protests led by hardline Muslims against not just Ahok but also the president, widely known as Jokowi. [WAtoday] Read more

Mob calls for death of Mauritanian 'apostate'

Amid chants of "Allahu akbar", huge and angry crowds gathered outside the Supreme Court in Mauritania on Tuesday demanding the execution of a man who complained about religion being used to justify social discrimination.

In December 2013 engineer Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir wrote an article for a website about Mauritania's caste system, including prejudice against the low-status blacksmith class. His article also referred to similar practices in the time of the Prophet.

Two days after the article appeared Ould Mkhaitir was arrested and has been in jail ever since. His family reportedly disowned him, his marriage was dissolved on grounds of apostasy and his lawyer abandoned him. A Mauritanian businessman also offered a substantial reward for anyone who succeeded in killing him. [al-bab.com] Read more

Muslims in Scotland: Demographic, social and cultural characteristics

.... Several indicators evidence the relatively smooth integration of Muslims in Scotland. The community’s small numbers and the lack of ethno-religious clustering, save for Pollokshields and Govanhill in Glasgow, have facilitated contact between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Pakistanis, many of whom originally migrated from the well-off area of Faisalabad in Punjab, have also preferred self-employment, therefore not competing for public services in the 1950s and 1960s. Later, they stayed away from major troubles.

The Rushdie Affair-related disturbances in 1988-89 and the 2001 and 2011 English riots were not mirrored by similar violent action in Scotland. At the same time, clashes between South Asians and white people (e.g. in Pollokshields in 2003) did not reach the levels of riots in English cities, such as Birmingham, Bradford and Burnley.

The sectarian tensions that have historically gnawed at the relationship between Catholics and Protestants, and predated the settlement of the majority of the South Asian community, have partly cushioned other religious minorities (including Muslims) from more serious prejudice.

Similarly, neo-fascist and racist groups, including their more recent manifestations in the form of the Scottish Defence League, have never gained a foothold, thus reducing the space for anti-Muslim populist discourse.

[COMMENT] I’m a Scot who has lived in England for more than 30 years. In fact, I live in Bolton in the North West of England so have good experience living in a town with an above average number of Muslims within the community (I do hate the term community).

The main difference between the Scottish and English experience is in the numbers of Muslims that are living in a number of towns, Bolton has 20%, Blackburn > 40% as is Bradford. Having moved from Scotland 30 years ago, I have seen a big change in the Muslim population.

These changes include the ghetto-isation with many areas in the town almost 100% made up of Muslim or a least Asian people. I believe that this is especially true of the less wealthy and poorer educated of the Muslim community. There has, in the past ten years, been a growth, in what I perceive to be, conservative Islam. This is denoted by the increase in the numbers of women wearing the hijab and niqab in public.

This is a form of cultural dress from the middle east and not from the Indian Sub-continent where the majority of British Muslims come from. I don’t know if these issues are a result of poor integration in Bolton, a rise in the numbers coming from rural areas of India/Pakistan or an increase in Mosque staff who preach the Wahabi/Salafist agenda to the Mosque attendees.

In any case, this is perceived by the rest of the community as a growing parallel society that does not want to integrate with the rest of the groups in the town (Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and the ever increasing numbers of atheists). [London School of Economics] Read more

15 November 2016

Germany bans Islamic group DWR as police launch raids on 190 sites

German police have launched dawn raids on about 190 mosques, flats and offices linked to an Islamic group as the government bans the organisation, accusing it of radicalising young people.

The interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said the DWR “True Religion” organisation had contacted young people as it distributed Qur’ans and other religious material, and had persuaded about 140 of them to join militants in Iraq and Syria.

.... The chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been under pressure to harden her line on security after Islamic State claimed responsibility for a string of attacks across Europe and she faced criticism for her decision to let in about 900,000 migrants last year.

“Today’s ban is not directed against the distribution of the Qur’an or translations of the Qur’an,” De Maizière told reporters.

“Today’s ban is rather directed against the abuse of religion by people propagating extremist ideologies and supporting terrorist organisations under the pretext of Islam.” [The Guardian] Read more

Islam expert: Salafism is part of German youth culture

Salafism, an ultra-conservative strand of Sunni Islam that has a growing number of followers in Germany, is becoming part of the country‘s youth culture, according to a professor of ethno-religious studies at Frankfurt‘s Goethe University.

The rigid rules advocated by the movement - which supports the implementation of Islamic law, or sharia - are an "answer to uncertainty" experienced by young Muslims in Germany, Susanne Schroeter told dpa Tuesday.

Salafism has become a "protest culture in an era where other protest cultures no longer elicit a reaction," said Schroeter, who has written extensively on Muslims in Germany and gender dynamics in Islamic societies.

She was responding to Tuesday‘s ban of a Salafist organization best-known for distributing copies of the Koran across Germany on suspicion of recruiting Muslims on behalf of the Islamic State group.

The way Salafists approach young Muslims in Germany is "very cool, very contemporary and in a way that is appreciated by young people - of course that hits home," Schroeter said. [europe online] Read more

Muslim neighbourhood plans goes against Quebec's values, premier says

A plan to build a new suburb dedicated to Muslims runs counter to Quebec’s values, Premier Philippe Couillard said from Morocco on Tuesday.

Couillard was reacting to a plan by a tax accountant to build up to 80 houses for Muslim families on 100 hectares of land near Brossard.

Nabil Warda, 68, said he will submit a real-estate development plan Friday to the Islamic Community Centre of South Shore—Brossard to build a community for about 100 Muslim families.

The idea behind the project is to allow Muslims to borrow money in a way that is compliant with Sharia law, which prohibits borrowing money where interest is payable. It would allow Sharia-compliant banks to own the property as an asset and make money through “rent.”

But Couillard said the idea is discriminatory.

“Discrimination works in many ways, and so does inclusion; we are in favour of mixed housing for cultural communities and religious groups,” Couillard said.

The statement flies in the face of comments made by Health Minister Gaétan Barrette, who represents the area in question. In an interview with Radio-Canada on Monday morning, Barrette said he doesn’t have a problem with the idea, comparing it to Chinatown in Montreal. [Presse Canadienne] Read more

Germany bans Islamist 'True Religion' group, raiding mosques and flats

Police launched dawn raids across Germany on Tuesday on about 190 mosques, flats and offices linked to an Islamist group after the government banned the organization, accusing it of radicalizing youngsters.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the DWR "True Religion" group had persuaded about 140 people to join militants in Iraq and Syria.

DWR, also known as "READ!" made no reference to the raids on its website and did not immediately respond to a request for comment. De Maiziere said it had several hundred members.

.... Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under pressure to harden her line on security after several attacks claimed by Islamic State across Europe, including a bombing and a knifing in Germany that wounded some 20 people in July. She is also under fire for letting in about 900,000 migrants, mostly Muslims, last year.

Some Syrians in Germany say many mosques here are more conservative than those at home, and that they are confronted by Muslims who insist on a literal interpretation of the Koran. [Reuters] Read more

14 November 2016

Exiled writer Nasreen fears for Bangladesh’s future

Having herself been the subject of fatwas and forced into exile by fundamentalist critics of her writing, Taslima Nasreen despairs at the wave of assassinations of secular bloggers in her native Bangladesh.

“You know Islamisation started in Bangladesh in the 1980s and in the 80s I was very worried,” recalls the prize-winning poet and novelist in an interview with AFP in New Delhi.

“I wrote about Islamic fundamentalists. I said that they should not go unopposed or they will destroy our society, that’s exactly what’s happened now.”

It’s 22 years since Nasreen last set foot in Bangladesh, having been forced to flee in fear of her life after tens of thousands of Islamists took to the streets to denounce her writing. [Malay Mail Online] Read more

Sharia court told rape victim to RETURN to her attacker husband

The mother-of-two, calling herself Lubna, revealed that she had been beaten, robbed and raped by her estranged husband despite being the British courts banning him from approaching her and which had also awarded her custody of their children.

But family pressure persuaded the British-Pakistani to try and obtain an Islamic divorce in a Sharia court.

Expecting to be treated sympathetically, Lubna said she felt violated when she was instead told to return to her violent husband.

Gita Sahgal, a human rights activist from the One Law for All campaign and Centre for Secular Space, said this is the reality of Sharia courts which are operating across Britain.

She said many Muslim women are being denied their legal rights by Sharia courts which are bypassing the UK’s justice system and telling women British civil divorce does not count in the eyes of Islam. [Daily Express] Read more

Political parties slam proposal for Muslim neighbourhood near Brossard

Nabil Warda, 68, said he will submit Friday to the Islamic Community Centre of South Shore—Brossard a real-estate development plan to build a community for about 100 Muslim families.

“It’s called a ghetto,” Coalition Avenir Québec MNA Éric Caire said Monday. “It’s not acceptable for our society to build a place reserved to religious people. Just think if we built a place reserved for white people, would that be acceptable? The answer is no.”

Added Parti Québécois MNA Agnès Maltais: “It will never be a good idea to select people based on a religion, it’s unlawful. It’s forbidden by the charter of human rights and freedoms.”

The very same message later came from Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Kathleen Weil. “A project whose vision is implicitly discriminatory toward a portion of the population could never be deemed acceptable,” Weil said. “In this sense, neither ethnic origin nor religious belief should ever be considered as criteria for the creation of a housing project. Living well together depends largely on individuals’ ability to interact and develop positive relationships.” [Montreal Gazette] Read more

FBI: Hate crimes against Muslims up by 67% in 2015

.... In 2015, there were 257 incidents of anti-Muslim bias compared to 184 incidents the prior year. The total is second only to the surge in hate crimes following the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.

The increase could be due, in part, to increased reporting by victims as well as better reporting and tracking by law enforcement agencies, although the number of all law enforcement agencies sending their data to the FBI decreased about 3 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Overall, the number of reported hate crimes increased from 5,479 in 2014 to 5,850 last year, and religious-based hate crimes increased by 23 percent. Jews and Jewish institutions remain the most frequent target of religious-based hate crimes, representing 53 percent of all those reported. Crimes against Jews increased about 9 percent. [Associated Press] Read more

Muslim immigrant who voted FOR Trump claims the left is 'too afraid to talk about Islam'

.... Lashing out against the Democratic Party, Asra Nomani said she was sick of people being branded bigots and racists by the left for expressing genuine concerns.

Ms Nomani, a life-long liberal and Muslim woman, said she voted for Donald Trump because the US needed a policy change and someone who was not afraid to take on Islamic State.

Speaking to Fox, the 51-year-old mother said: “I have policy problems with the Obama administration.

“As a Muslim, I believe that the left has sadly lost our fight against the Islamic State by refusing to talk about the Islam in Islamic State.”

.... The former Wall Street Journal reporter came under fire in America after she published an article where she set out the reasons why she voted for the President-elect, who previously has expressed he wants "extreme vetting" of all Muslims entering the US.

In the article, she wrote: “This is my confession — and explanation: I — a 51-year-old, a Muslim, an immigrant woman ‘of color’ — am one of those silent voters for Donald Trump. And I’m not a ‘bigot’, ‘racist’, ‘chauvinist’ or ‘white supremacist’, as Trump voters are being called, nor part of some ‘whitelash’.” [Daily Express] Read more

13 November 2016

Watchdog raps ‘reckless’ Islamic charity

.... Since it was set up in 2009, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (Iera) has organised dozens of meetings with extremist speakers.

Abdurraheem Green, its chairman, has previously said that a husband has the right to “apply some type of physical force . . . a very light beating” to his wife — although he said this should leave no marks. He has also quoted a saying of the prophet Muhammad that if you pass a Jew or Christian in the street, you should “push them to the side”.

Hamza Tzortzis, Iera’s head of research, once said: “We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even of freedom.” He has since distanced himself from the comment and claims he was quoted out of context.

Speakers promoted by Iera and members of its advisory council include an Indian preacher called Zakir Naik and Bilal Philips, a Canadian cleric who has previously appeared to condone suicide bombers. Both were barred from entering Britain in 2010 because of security concerns. [The Times (£)] Read more

Scots Koran revisionist offered police guard

A Scottish publisher who has published a new translation of the Koran that challenges many of its accepted statements on issues including violence, polygamy and female dress has been offered police protection amid fears for his safety.

Paigham Mustafa, who remains the only person to be issued with a fatwa by religious leaders in the West, was visited at his home by detectives following the release of his new book, The Quran: God’s Message to Mankind.

In it he claims that Islamic leaders in the UK are perpetuating falsehoods about the religious text, including the belief that Islam condones violence against non-Muslims, domestic violence and polygamy, that it requires women to cover their faces, and that murder, including honour killings, can be justified. [The Times (£)] Read more

British 'sharia courts' under scrutiny

For more than 30 years, sharia courts enforcing Islamic law have been operating quietly across Britain. But two official inquiries have put them in the spotlight amid accusations that they discriminate against women.

Very little is known about them, even their number, which one study by the University of Reading puts at 30, while the British think tank Civitas estimates there are 85.

Sharia courts or councils, as they prefer to be called, mainly pronounce on Islamic divorces, which today constitute 90 percent of the cases they handle.

They range from groups of Muslim scholars attached to a mosque, to informal organisations or even a single imam.

But while they are aimed at helping resolve family and sometimes commercial conflicts within the Muslim community, some stand accused of undermining women's rights.

Campaigners cite instances where courts have refused to grant religious divorces to women who are victims of domestic abuse, and accuse them of legitimising violence, including marital rape. [AFP] Read more

Muslim Uber driver is fined after he refused to pick up a blind passenger and his guide dog - because it was against his RELIGION

A Muslim Uber driver has been fined after he refused to pick up a blind passenger and his guide dog because he claimed it was against his religion.

Ahmed Kayd, 42, sent Charles Bloch packing after asking if his pet Labrador Carlo would 'lick him'.

Kayd refused the pair a lift home to Spinney Hill Park in Leicester - despite Mr Bloch warning the driver that he would be with his dog through a message on Uber's smartphone app.

.... Kayd, from Beaumont Leys in Leicester, admitted refusing to convey a guide dog under the Equality Act 2010 at Leicester Magistrates Court.

He was handed a £140 fine, ordered to pay £327 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

Councillor Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said Kayd's fine sent a message to other drivers.

She said: 'Taxi drivers are legally required to accept bookings from passengers with assistance dogs, unless the driver has been granted an exemption certificate by the local authority. [Daily Mail] Read more

Shame on Sharia: Women beaten, robbed and raped. A chilling expose of how BRITISH females are being sentenced to lives of misery by Muslim courts

As a young British-Pakistani woman, Lubna faced an agonising decision. She was brought up a devout Muslim in a prosperous middle-class family in the north of England, but her arranged marriage to the father of her two children was a disaster.

He was both sexually abusive and physically violent; he and members of his family regularly beat up Lubna.

When he suddenly disappeared to pursue a new life in America with a new woman, she was left to work night and day to support his elderly parents until they threw her out of their house.

.... The court granted her custody of their children and successfully hid her address from him for fear of reprisals. But after she was persuaded to obtain an Islamic divorce in the sharia court, her true nightmare began.

First, the clerics tried to persuade her to attempt a reconciliation with her abusive husband. Then, after they disclosed her address, he threatened to kill her, kidnapped her children, and subjected her to an horrific rape that left her needing an abortion. [1218 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 6693 votes] There is only room for one legal system in the U.K and it's not Sharia.

[2ND 4707] We already know all this, so why, is this allowed anywhere in the world, let alone the UK. STOP IT NOW!

[3RD 4206] Bloody disgrace spineless Westminster . BRITISH LAW must be supreme in our nation over EU & most certainly over ANY religious regime.

[4TH 3747] Sharia law needs to be stamped out worldwide, it's about time these pathetic individuals were taught that women are equal, and not 2nd class citizens.

[5TH 3447] Why are these courts allowed in The UK? [Daily Mail] Read more

12 November 2016

Uber driver fined after saying it was ‘against his religion’ to let guide dog in car

Driver Ahmed Kayd, 42, told Charles Bloch it was ‘against his religion’ to take a dog in his car, asking if Labrador Carlo would ‘lick him’.

During the incident on April 22, Mr Bloch explained it was illegal to refuse him and Carlo a lift.

But Kayd refused to take Mr Bloch and his partner to Spinney Hill Park, Leicester.

Mr Bloch left negative feedback on Uber, and Kayd called back to apologise – but Mr Bloch had already made other arrangements.

Kayd, of Beaumont Leys, Leicester, admitted refusing to convey a guide dog under the Equality Act 2010 at Leicester Magistrates Court.

He was handed a £140 fine, ordered to pay £327 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30. [Metro.co.uk] Read more

Leading Islamic charity told by watchdog to distance itself from extremism

A leading Islamic charity which penned an open letter criticising The Sunday Telegraph’s reports about its extreme speakers and filed numerous complaints to the press regulator has been warned by the Charities Commission it must distance itself from individuals who condone “violent extremism and acts of terrorism”.

Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) was investigated by the charities watchdog amid allegations that its leaders promote anti-Semitism and have called for homosexuals and female adulterers to be stoned to death.

The inquiry, which lasted almost three years, concluded that trustees must do more to prevent associating with organisations and individuals who “encourage or support terrorism and/or extremist views”.

The charities watchdog also criticised iERA over its partnership with Islamic University Online, an organisation founded by Dr Bilal Philips, who was banned from the UK for his extremist views by Theresa May in 2010 while she was Home Secretary. [The Telegraph] Read more

Muslim family law is a conundrum for those who make the laws of the land

.... The ever-growing reality of “sharia councils”, mostly attached to mosques, emerged clearly during some hearings conducted earlier this month by a British parliamentary committee. Dozens of such councils are believed to exist: at least 30 well-established ones and probably many more that operate less formally. For some Muslims with marital difficulties they are an indispensable port of call.

The House of Commons home affairs committee heard both strong pleas to recognize the legitimacy and usefulness of such councils, and powerful arguments against them. Amra Bone, a legal scholar, said the work she did as part of a sharia panel attached to Birmingham Central Mosque was helpful to “hundreds and perhaps thousands of women who otherwise would be in a very difficult and oppressive situation.”

Most of the people who approach sharia councils are women seeking an Islamic divorce, which is a separate procedure from a civil divorce, and has no standing in British civil law but is nonetheless very important to somebody living deep inside an Islamic sub-culture. Islamic law makes it much easier for a man to initiate divorce unilaterally.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Absolutely disgusting.

How weak the british have become. They should stand up for their rights and principles and tell these medieval barbarians to take a hike

There should only be one law of the land and only one court system. Sharia needs to be stamped on and stamped on hard!

[ANOTHER] .... Islam is a repressive political system more than it is a religion. It has caused division, strife, and heartache in every corner of the planet.

[ANOTHER] It's about time for the West in general and the UK in particular to wake up! There should be one civil law for civil society, period. To allow religious bodies of any type legal authority over civil matters is a gross abrogation of government responsibility. The same applies to criminal matters.

For government to cede any powers to religious organizations is a slippery slope towards theocracy, and a clear violation of the implied social contract. Wake up! If Muslims want religious law, let them move to a Muslim country that does not distinguish between the church and the state.

[ANOTHER] The fact that a respected journal deems it worthy to present the pros and cons of a repugnant law is exactly the reason why the Trumps of this world will prevail for years to come. A complete disconnect between the elite and most moderate independent minded people, let alone the right wing fanatics. [The Economist] Read more

11 November 2016

Woman fined €30,000 for wearing niqab in Italy town hall

A woman who wore a niqab in her local town hall has been issued a €30,000 fine, according to local media reports.

The 40-year-old woman wore the niqab - the Islamic full-body veil which leaves only the eyes visible - during a meeting of the local youth parliament in Pordenone, northeast Italy in late October, local paper Messaggero Veneto reported.

She was there to watch her son, and reportedly refused to remove the veil for identification despite the mayor, Antonio Di Bisceglie of Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party repeatedly asking her to do so.

A local police officer removed her from the meeting but she returned, leading Di Bisceglie to pause the meeting to avoid further disturbance.

In Pordenone's youth parliament, 56 children aged between nine and 16 'elected' from 16 schools in the area meet on a monthly basis to discuss issues relating to the local area.

In an initial tribunal, public prosecutor Federico Facchin sentenced the woman to four months' detention and a €600 fine, a penalty converted by Rossi into a €30,600 fine but no jail time. [The Local] Read more

Prevent strategy to be ramped up despite 'big brother' concerns

The government’s controversial Prevent counter-radicalisation strategy is to be toughened rather than scaled back despite criticism that it is a toxic brand and a “big brother” security operation among Britain’s Muslim communities.

The Home Office confirmed that a secret Whitehall internal review of Prevent, ordered earlier this year by Theresa May when she was home secretary, has concluded that the programme “should be strengthened, not undermined” and has put forward 12 suggestions on how to reinforce it.

The overhaul of the programme is to be detailed as part of the government’s wider reworking of its counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest, that is to be published before the end of the year. Ministers believe that Prevent is working and is safeguarding people from being drawn into terrorism. [The Guardian] Read more

10 November 2016

Campaigners Hand in Petition after 100,000 Call for Ban on Halal Slaughter

Campaigners have handed a 100,000 signature petition to Downing Street calling for a ban on halal and kosher slaughter.

The petition, which described un-stunned slaughter as “cruel” and “barbaric”, accuses the food industry of “pandering to the minority group[s]” that support the practice rather than standing up for animal welfare.

Petition organiser Johanne Tavares told Breitbart London: “I have campaigned against halal and kosher slaughter since I was 20, when I became vegetarian.

“I am not against people eating meat, because as a realist I accept that the greater number of the population do, including my family; therefore I campaign for the highest possible standards at slaughter. Clearly halal and kosher are not that.”

She said she had received support from many people including farmers, the British Veterinary Association, Sikhs and Christians. [Breitbart London] Read more

Canada: Parliament Condemns Free Speech

.... While a motion will have no legal effect unless it is passed as a bill, the symbolic effect of the Canadian parliament unanimously condemning "all forms of Islamophobia," without making the slightest attempt at defining what is meant by "Islamophobia," can only be described, at best, as alarming.

What exactly are they condemning? Criticism of Islam? Criticism of Muslims? Debating Mohammed? Depicting Mohammed? Discussing whether ISIS is a true manifestation of Islam? Is any Canadian who now writes critically of Islam or disagrees with the petitioners that ISIS "does not reflect in any way the values or the teachings of the religion of Islam" now to be considered an "Islamophobe"?

No one knows, and it is doubtful whether the members of the Canadian parliament know what it means themselves. It would seem, however, that the initiator of the petition, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Samer Majzoub, knows. This is what he had to say in an interview with the Canadian Muslim Forum after the motion passed: [Gatestone Institute] Read more

08 November 2016

A woman ‘calling for jihad’ was invited on a German talk show - Her appearance provoked an immediate public backlash

But to many viewers of a popular German Sunday evening talk show, the 32-year-old convert wearing a face veil was also a provocation. It was not because she chose to cover much of her face at a time when a ban on full-face veils in public has been proposed. But rather it was her comments that caused an immediate public backlash.

Speaking on the show, Illi made arguments that some non-Muslims would probably disagree with: “In Islam, women have many rights and possibilities. We don't have to balance family and career as much as other women do. We can evolve in our role.”

More controversially, though, Illi appears to think that it is understandable and even praiseworthy that some European youths might think of Syria as the “promised land” and fight there for militant groups, according to social media posts she wrote and that were read out on the talk show. [The Independent] Read more

07 November 2016

Sydney sheik Youssef Hassan downplays Jewish hate claim

A Sydney sheik who told a group of children that the Jewish people have only envy and hatred in their hearts says he was referring to a particular group of Jews mentioned in the Koran, and not to the Jewish people more broadly.

Sheik Youssef Hassan also said he was joking when he forbade the children from celebrating Halloween. He made the comments during a regular Friday lecture with children and their parents at the Quakers Hill Mosque in Sydney’s northwest late last month.

A video of the lecture remained on the mosque’s YouTube channel late yesterday.

Discussing the second chapter of the Koran, known as Surat ­Al-Baqarah or “The Cow”, Sheik ­Hassan told the children: “Allah mentioned this heart of the Jewish ... the Israelites — the Jewish — their hearts become very hard, and Allah said that they become like a stone, but actually harder than a stone. [The Australian] Read more

Muslim police chaplain says women commit 'major sin' if they refuse to have sex with husbands

A Muslim police chaplain has faced criticism after he reportedly said women commit “a major sin” if they refuse to have sex with their husbands.

Musleh Khan, the Toronto Police Force’s new chaplain, held a web seminar entitled ‘The Heart of The Home: The Rights and Responsibilities of A Wife’, in which he also implied getting married to 9-year-old girl is permitted in Islam.

Mr Khan’s comments have provoked anger in Canada and the Canadian Council of Muslim Women said his “appalling” words “really set us back”.

“The wife should make herself available to her husband, after the marriage has taken place,” Mr Khan said while disussing marital sexual relations during the seminar, first held in March 2013.

“She should not withhold this right from her husband without a valid excuse, sickness for example. If she refuses without a valid reason then she has committed a major sin.

“The wife must beautify herself for her husband… and not deny him the right to children. [The Independent] Read more

'Jewish hearts only have envy and hatred': Firebrand Sydney sheik's hateful sermon to young Muslim children during

A firebrand Muslim sheik has gone on a hate-filled rant instructing young children that Jewish people have 'hatred and envy' in their heart.

Sheik Youssef Hasan, the leader of prayer at Quakers Hill Mosque, in Sydney's west, described Jews as having 'hearts harder than stone' during a regular Friday surmon in front of youngsters and their parents.

Video of the lecture on the second chapter of the Koran shows sheik Hassan talking about the differences Allah sees between the 'hearts' of Jews and Muslims.

'Allah mentioned the heart of the Jewish,' sheik Hassan began.

'Many of the Israelites - the Jewish - their heart become very hard and Allah said they become like a stone, but actually harder than a stone.' [Daily Mail] Read more

British Muslim publishes ‘true’ Koran reading

A British Muslim living under a fatwa is risking further security fears by publishing a new translation of the Koran which he claims establishes its true position on contentious issues such as the use of violence and women’s attire.

Paigham Mustafa, a Pakistani-born publisher who lives in Glasgow, was forced to seek police protection after he spread “satanic thoughts” and “sedition” in magazines he produced for the Muslim community.

In the ten years since then he has researched the earliest known texts of the Koran and written The Quran: God’s Message to Mankind to correct “falsehoods” added by religious leaders throughout the intervening centuries.

Mr Mustafa, 58, told The Sunday Times that the original interpretation of the Koran does not justify violence against non-Muslims, domestic violence or polygamy; nor does it require women to cover their faces. “Strictures regarding how women should dress and behave, the demonising of homosexuality, widespread practice of polygamy, the ritual of slaughtering animals for food and a ban on alcohol consumption are not justified according to the strict word of the Koran,” he said. [The Times (£)] Read more

French Muslims must try harder, says Islam foundation head

The 77-year-old former defence minister chosen to head France's new Foundation for Islam in France on Monday called on conservative Muslims to try harder to integrate into society.

The appointment of Jean-Pierre Chevenement sparked controversy in August, with many questioning why the post did not go to a Muslim, but to a political veteran known for his rigidly secular views.

Shortly after his nomination, he came under fire for tweeting that Muslims should "be discreet, like everyone else", in the midst of fiery debate over the "burkini" full-body swimsuit.

On Monday, he told a group of foreign correspondents he found it "in very bad taste of those (burkini-wearing) women to go bathing two weeks after the Nice attack, 20 or 30 kilometres (miles) away" from where 86 people were killed by a rampaging radicalised truck driver.

"It was bound to cause surprise, consternation and unease in the rest of the population," Chevenement argued. [AFP] Read more

One woman’s brush with Sharia courts in the UK: "It ruined my life forever"

“My daughter and I appeared before the Sharia court at Regent's Park mosque in London. They were not interested in anything we had to say, the whole process was shocking.”

The UK government is conducting an inquiry into the operation of Sharia courts which is being boycotted by a number of women’s organisations because its remit is too narrow, and the panel of judges is not seen as ‘independent’ enough.

Parallel to this, the Home Affairs Committee has also launched an inquiry into whether the principles of Sharia are compatible with British law.

On 7 November, there will be a public seminar on "Sharia Law, Legal Pluralism and Access to Justice" 7-9pm at Committee Room 12 at the Houses of Parliament. Below, we publish the story of a woman Shagufta (not her real name) who spoke to the campaign group, One Law for All, and described how a brush with the Sharia courts ruined her life forever. [openDemocracy] Read more

Swiss against Islam as an official religion

Almost two-thirds of people living in Switzerland do not think Islam should be recognised as an official Swiss religion, according to a survey. A similar proportion believes there is no place for Islam in the country.

Asked whether Islam should be granted the same official status as Christianity and Judaism, 61% of 15,617 respondents said “no” or “probably no” in what the Swiss News Agency reports was a representative survey carried out by the Tamedia publishing house. The results were published in Le Matin Dimanche and the SonntagsZeitung.

Of those who were open to a third official religion, 19% said “yes” and 20% “probably yes”.

Almost two-thirds (62%) said there was no place in Switzerland for Islam. In addition, 80% thought Christian values were part of the Swiss identity.

In August, the president of the leftwing Social Democrat Party called for a discussion about the status of Islam in the country. [swissinfo.ch] Read more

Many 'political Islam' movements share our values, say MPs

The government should narrow its definition of ‘political Islam’ and recognise that many Islamic political movements share the same values as Britain, according to a report by an influential committee of MPs.

The report criticises th Foreign Office for using the term to describe both groups that embrace “democratic principles and liberal values” and others that instead hold “intolerant, extremist views.”

It was also heavily critical of the FCO’s recent report into Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which was conducted by Sir John Jenkins, while serving as British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, which gave the impression that it could have been influenced by a foreign state. [199 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Except that political Islam by definition is theocracy not democracy.

[ANOTHER] Democracy, freedom etc is the complete opposite of Islam.

[ANOTHER] Islam is the religion of hate (witness the 100,000 demonstrating in Pakistan for the Christian Governor of their State to be executed). Of the 66 official "trouble" spots in the world all but one are caused by Islam. Islam is intolerant, demanding, and incapable of living alongside other cultures. For our own survival its practice must be proscribed across Europe.

[ANOTHER] Moderates until you draw a cartoon of Mohamed and then they go loopy and demand your head is cut off.

[ANOTHER] ".... many Islamic political movements share the same values as Britain"

No they bloody well don't -- the values of Britain do not include establishing a One World Religion of Islam, nor any requirement that Sharia is universally applicable to everyone

[ANOTHER] National Socialism also 'shared much of our values', it was still the biggest threat we faced at the time. No amount of appeasement changed that.

Indeed, it could be argued that Islam is a much bigger threat given how supine we are in response to it. [The Independent] Read more

The 'extremist' schools we can't close: Four Muslim colleges ordered to shut down by the Government use the courts to defy ministers

Four Islamic schools ordered to close following fears over extremism or pupil safety continue to operate because the Government is powerless to shut them down, the Daily Mail can reveal.

One allegedly taught girls that men can beat their wives. Another distributed leaflets saying music is an ‘act of the devil’.

They could continue operating for months, if not years, after launching legal appeals against closure. The four fee-paying independent establishments include a girls’ boarding school, Jamia al-Hudaa in Nottingham, that was ordered to close last month after Ofsted found books in the library by individuals banned from entering Britain. [543 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 2517 votes] Does anybody know just how many groups of people are totally above the law in the UK? The prisons are so full that certain crimes can be committed without fear of imprisonment. No permanent address, stop where you like, damage as much as you like and then move on without any recourse to the law.

Now this and Sharia courts! It looks like the people who should be protecting the legal and proper citizens of the UK just haven't got the guts to do so. They pretend that issuing parking tickets and checking refuse bins is tackling crime. Don't even mention human rights and Brexit!

[2ND 2325] This country needs to bloody well toughen up & quick. It's becoming a complete laughing stock.

[3RD 2000] Shut them down for gawds sakes. Should never existed in the first place.

[4TH 1868] No legal shenanigans. Get them closed.

[5TH 1753] What would happen if it was Christian type schools. [Daily Mail] Read more