31 December 2016

‘I’m keeping families together’ insists man who runs polygamy website

He’s the founder of Britain’s first ever polygamy marriage website and already has well over 100,000 members signed up to it since launching in June.

But Azad Chaiwala is not planning to slow down his mission of making polygamy ‘normal’ anytime soon.

Boyfriend shaved girlfriend’s hair off for cheating on him

The 34-year-old, from Sunderland, is currently in the process of setting up a marriage compatibility website – his third after the success SecondWife.com and Polygamy.com.

We spoke to the young entrepreneur and asked him why he thought there was a need for such a polygamy website in the UK where it is illegal.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘We’re quite hypocritical in our society in the sense that we allow mistresses, we visit prostitutes, watch pornography and visit strip clubs.

‘As long as a man is not bringing it home it’s fine. They just have their mistresses and keep them there rather than turning them into wives.

‘So I’m giving them the option to do the honourable thing and have multiple families. To practice it in an open upfront honourable way rather than going to nightclubs and visiting women. [Metro.co.uk] Read more

Celebrating NYE means devil is working on you: Sydney sheik

Sydney sheik Feiz Mohammed has warned Muslims they should avoid festive celebrations — including New Year's Eve and Christmas — and has attacked women's rights groups, telling ­Islamic women to wear hijabs.

Sheik Feiz, who has a large online following with almost two million YouTube views, described non-Islamic festivals as leading to a path away from Allah.

"Any festivity or celebration built on other than Islam is a negative, prohibited festivity. We are not allowed to anticipate, participate, in any shape, manner or form," he told supporters earlier this month. "When we finish our prayers, many Muslims you see them preparing themselves for their celebrations to come ... what are we going to do for New Year's Eve tonight? Where are we going to go? Who are we going to watch? Where's the best fireworks at?" [Australian] Read more

30 December 2016

The children of Mosul talk about life under Islamic State. They saw things no child should see

.... Iyad recalled how last year, when he and his father were going grocery shopping, they heard militants driving through the neighborhood, broadcasting an announcement from speakers on their cars: An elderly woman was about to be stoned to death, and those in the neighborhood — adults and children — were required to watch.

“They were forcing people to come see it,” Iyad said.

I sat down on the steps of a trailer belonging to a Swedish nonprofit working with families at the camp, closed for the day. Half a dozen boys formed a tight circle around us, all from Mosul neighborhoods near Iyad’s. As he told the story of the stoning, each boy added details, their faces stern.

“I saw everyone hitting her and they were saying ‘God is great!’” Iyad said, pretending to throw stones. “She was saying ‘Leave me!’ She was trying to run or to leave and they were saying ‘She is an infidel, just kill her!’” [Los Angeles Times] Read more

29 December 2016

No Police Scotland officers are wearing hijab

No police officers in Scotland are wearing a hijab as part of their uniform, BBC Scotland has learned.

It comes after Police Scotland revealed that three hijabs had been issued since they became part of their official uniform earlier this year.

The force initially said it was "unable to confirm if they are actually being worn".

It has now disclosed that the hijabs are used by their training department to show to potential recruits.

The Scottish police force confirmed in September that women from Muslim communities would be allowed to wear the religious headwear as part of their uniform.

In November, BBC Scotland asked the force how many officers were wearing the hijab as part of their uniform.

In response to the freedom of information request, Police Scotland said it did not hold the information.

It added that six hijabs were brought into their uniform stock in September and three had been issued. [BBC] Read more

Calls for an end to ‘politically correct activities’ after primary school children are ordered to learn how to pray at a mosque popular with radical preachers

Angry parents have demanded a primary school in Holland changes its curriculum after a video showing children learning how to pray in a mosque emerged.

Local media said the mosque in question is believed to be the Ghulzar e Madina in the city of Zwolle, which has previously been visited by radical preachers from Pakistan.

Among them was M Anas Noorani Siddiqui, who promoted the death penalty for those who insult the Prophet Muhammad and once said 'non-Islamic Dutch behave like dogs and b*****s.'

The video shows an imam explaining to the children how Muslims pray, with all boys forced to stand on one side of the room while the girls are on the other side.

The children, most of whom are thought to be Christians, are told to put their 'elbows on the ground' and 'hands close to your ears'.

The video was reportedly taken last year but it has emerged after a Dutch MP spotted it and called for schools not to participate in similar 'politically correct activities.' [Daily Mail] Read more

28 December 2016

Shopper slams Tesco after Muslim woman on checkout refused to serve him alcohol

.... But when he attempted to pay for the £55 goods, the female customer service assistant, who wore a headscarf, asked him to queue up at a different till.

The incident prompted a duty manager to step in and serve dad-of-three Lee.

Tesco later said the shop worker, aged in her early 20s, had not served him due to her “religious beliefs.”

.... David Upstone, a Tesco customer service executive to the board, said: “Our colleague in question requested upon starting not to serve alcohol on religious grounds.

“As an inclusive retailer we do all we can to meet each person’s needs.

Tesco has apologised for to Lee over the incident in Feltham, Middlesex

“Our colleague works on the kiosk as alcohol is generally not purchased in this area.

“She is aware that you shouldn’t have to queue again in the future if a similar situation occurs.

“She will request another colleague to come and serve.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We take a pragmatic approach if a colleague raises concerns about a job they have been asked to do. [The Sun] Read more

Furious Tesco shopper is ordered to 'go and join another queue' by Muslim cashier who refused to sell him a bottle of wine because it was 'against her religion'

A father-of-three has hit out at Tesco after a Muslim shop assistant refused to sell him a bottle of wine due to her 'religious beliefs'.

Lee Saunders was trying to buy the rosé wine at a superstore in Feltham, Middlesex, when he was told to go to a different till by the worker, who was aged in her 20s and wearing a headscarf.

He was eventually served by a duty manager but criticised the supermarket giant for putting a member of staff in that position.

.... A Tesco spokesperson apologised for the incident and said staff did all they could to resolve the situation.

The spokesman said: 'We take a pragmatic approach if a colleague raises concerns about a job they have been asked to do. We apologise to our customer for any inconvenience caused on this occasion.'

The store confirmed the member of staff worked on a kiosk where alcohol is 'generally not purchased' and would request another colleague's help if the situation arose again in the future. [1879 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 15043 votes] Your religion is a private matter and should be kept out of schools, colleges, university, work and any municipal buildings.

[2ND 11449] Ridiculous, she should be sacked.

[3RD 10838] Why is she on the tills if she can't process sales of alcohol? I assume she also can't process Lottery Tickets and pork so I'd question if this was the right career choice for her?

[4TH 7895] Her religion is her business but if she can't do the job ,then fire her .Full stop

[5TH 7081] Don't go to another till, stand there until someone else comes to serve you . Let the queue build up behind you. This whole country is becoming a joke it will be a non alcohol country in the not too distant future. [Daily Mail] Read more

27 December 2016

Voters will have to show passports to combat voter fraud in 'vulnerable' areas with large Muslim populations

Voters in towns and cities with large Muslim communities where there are concerns about election fraud will have to show their passports or driving licences before casting their ballot.

The Government has announced that voters will have to produce identification to vote to reduce the risk of "endemic corruption" and protect the democratic process.

The voter ID scheme will be trialled in 18 areas which have been identified by police and the Electoral Commission as being "vulnerable" to voting fraud, including Bradford and Birmingham. The pilot schemes will be implemented during local elections in May 2018 before they are rolled out nationwide.

The Government will also introduce legislation to ban political campaigners from handing in large numbers of completed postal ballots on election day.

It comes after concerns that activists are "harvesting" votes to boost support. [The Telegraph] Read more

Sixty kids a week referred to anti-extremism body Prevent

More than 20 people a day were referred to the Government's controversial anti-extremism Prevent programme according to latest figures - nearly half of them children.

The figures covering the year to the end of March 2016 showed about 7,500 people were referred to the scheme, with 54% of these relating to Islamic extremism.

They showed 610 of these, or 8%, were under 10, while 3,100 were under 18.

Simon Cole, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Prevent, defended the scheme against what he called "hysterical" criticism.

He said it was "absolutely fundamental" to Britain's counter-terrorism efforts - and not "a sort of spying operation".

Prevent has been described as heavy-handed and "toxic" by critics amid particular concerns about its application in schools, where teachers are now obliged to report suspected extremist behaviour. [Sky News] Read more

Saudi Arabia jails man for saying men shouldn’t control women

A Saudi man has been jailed for one year for calling for an end to the Muslim kingdom’s guardianship system that gives men wide controls over women, local media said Tuesday.

The man, who was also fined 30,000 riyals ($8,000) by a court in the eastern city of Dammam, was convicted of “inciting to end guardianship of women” in statements he posted on Twitter and in public posters, the Okaz daily said.

He was arrested while putting up posters in mosques in Al-Hasa district calling for an end to the globally unique system that subjects women in the ultra-conservative kingdom to male control.

During questioning, police found out that the man was also behind a wide online campaign to end the guardianship, the paper said.

The defendant admitted pinning up the posters in several mosques, saying he solely launched an “awareness campaign” after finding that some “female relatives were facing injustice at the hands of their families,” the daily said. [Agence France-Presse] Read more

The Saudi Arabian party video that shocked the Middle East and led to numerous arrests!

A 46-second video with very little visibility is turning out to be a royal pain for some partygoers in Saudi Arabia, with the Jeddah police having tracked them down by analysing the clip. The youngsters have been accused of not only going to a "mixed" party — where men and women mingle freely — but also consuming alcohol.

The move seems like a step back from the time a Saudi prince called for a lifting of the ban on women against driving in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has otherwise not had a stellar reputation for human rights, and has often been accused of moral policing, and that is exactly how the world is seeing this current incident.

The video surfaced a week ago and is shot in really low-light conditions, with hardly any faces visible. Even the audio — although clear — is not much of a giveaway of who attended or where the party was taking place. What it does give away the location, however, is the Jeddah Flagpole.

The flagpole is the highest in the world, standing at 170 metres tall. That and image analysis of the video clip reportedly led the Jeddah police to some of the people who attended the party. They even managed to nab the Jordanian national who had reportedly organised the party, and he confessed to having organised the party. [International Business Times] Read more

23 December 2016

Who funds Swiss mosques?

Swiss mosques and Muslim associations are in the spotlight after concerns by parliamentarians over the opacity of their funding and possible foreign influence.

“It’s naïve to say there is not a problem with the financing of Swiss mosques,” Doris Fiala, a centre-right Radical parliamentarian, told swissinfo.ch. “We have no clue who is financing what. We don’t know what money is coming in. There is no transparency.”

Last week she handed in two motions to be discussed in Bern, each backed by 25 parliamentarians, which urge the authorities to improve what she describes as ‘total opacity’ surrounding the funding of religious communities in Switzerland, in particular mosques and Muslim associations.

.... Around 350,000 and 400,000 Muslims live in Switzerland, around 12% of whom are Swiss citizens. They represent an extremely diverse community divided along ethnic and linguistic lines with around 80% originating from the Balkans region and Turkey.

Around 12-15% are said to actively practice their faith by regularly visiting one of about 250 mosques. These are managed by Islamic communities which are organised mostly as small private associations as well as a small number of foundations. [swissinfo.ch] Read more

Who funds Swiss mosques?

Swiss mosques and Muslim associations are in the spotlight after concerns by parliamentarians over the opacity of their funding and possible foreign influence.

“It’s naïve to say there is not a problem with the financing of Swiss mosques,” Doris Fiala, a centre-right Radical parliamentarian, told swissinfo.ch. “We have no clue who is financing what. We don’t know what money is coming in. There is no transparency.”

Last week she handed in two motions to be discussed in Bern, each backed by 25 parliamentarians, which urge the authorities to improve what she describes as ‘total opacity’ surrounding the funding of religious communities in Switzerland, in particular mosques and Muslim associations.

Fiala wants every association that benefits from foreign money to be listed in the commercial register so that their accounts can be supervised by an independent cantonal authority and auditor. She also wants religious foundations to become more transparent by forcing them to give more precise details on their goals when they are listed, and to be sanctioned when they do not comply. [swissinfo.ch] Read more

The Free-Speech Muslims - Donald Trump should seek out—and listen to—the advice of these Islamic-American reformers

Who speaks for Muslim Americans? The media have long offered a megaphone to grievance groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Contrarian, Western-oriented Muslims are rarely heard from. With the election of Donald Trump, however, their voices are growing louder.

Some are political conservatives in the American sense. Others simply embrace the separation of secular and religious life. Both are fed up with the monolithic, condescending presentation of Muslims as victims.

Trump’s election has opened a new space for such Muslim Americans to express themselves politically. Oppressive sharia codes are as much a threat to these reformers as they are to unprotected American traditions.

The new crop of Muslim reformers seek express delineation between Islam as a religious belief system and Islamism as a socio-political regime. They understand the vital need for open and uncensored public debate. They realize that this discussion may determine whether America avoids the fate of Europe, which chose multiculturalism over assimilation and is paying a heavy price. [City Journal] Read more

22 December 2016

Islamofascism and appeasement are the biggest dangers facing the West

.... Witness Theresa May’s appeasement in front of Parliament when she was given the chance to support the gymnast Louis Smith, who had been ostracised because of light-hearted mockery of Islam. ‘We value freedom of expression and freedom of speech in this country’, May told the Commons. ‘That is absolutely essential in underpinning our democracy, but we also value tolerance of others and tolerance in relation to religions.’

This age of appeasement must come to an end, and François Fillon in 2017 has the opportunity to redefine Europe’s attitude towards Islamism. ‘Fatalism is no way to fight fanaticism’, he writes in his book, adding that a more forceful approach is urgently required to prevent a third world war.

If he’s elected president of France in the spring he must follow through on his pledge because Europe desperately needs a strong leader, a man like Churchill, who from the outset understood that evil must never be appeased. [The Spectator] Read more

Asia Bibi: Christmas in a prison cell

.... This will be the seventh consecutive Christmas mother-of-five Asia Bibi will spend in solitary confinement within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan - a country that has what the United Nations describes as "one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedom".

A member of the Christian minority, just 1.6% of the population, 45-year-old Asia Bibi was jailed after being found guilty of breaching Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws.

Her case has provoked global protests, with supporters accusing the judiciary of fabricating the charge to persecute a Christian. There have been no fewer than three attempts at appealing against the verdict.

There's also been a direct intervention by Pope Francis, who received a delegation of family and friends at the Vatican. But still she languishes in a small cell as the world awaits a final decision from the Supreme Court in Lahore. [BBC] Read more

21 December 2016

The Confusions of Tony Blair, Part II

.... Blair is certainly inching his way toward a more realistic view of Islam. It’s taking an interminably long time. He’s focusing now on the problems in the Middle East that are the result of Islam; he hasn’t yet taken on the question of what the burgeoning Muslim population in Europe will mean for our civilization.

But even if he is less gushing about Islam than he was ten years ago, his confusion will continue as long as he refuses to grasp the inner essence of Islam, an aggressive faith based on an uncompromising division of the world between Believer and Unbeliever, Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb.

And having grasped that, will Blair dare to admit not just to himself, but to those whom, as Prime Minister, he presumed to instruct and protect, but misled so grievously about Islam, what he has learned?

Anything is possible; even a Tony Blair can come to understand Islam if he tries to make sense of what he reads, and does not shy, either, from drawing conclusions from the observable behavior of Muslims over the last 1400 years, and states his new understanding without holding anything back in order not to offend Muslim sensibilities. And that, surely, is an outcome, and not just in the case of Tony Blair, devoutly to be wished. [New English Review] Read more

Geert Wilders’ PVV stretches lead in latest poll of polls

The anti-immigration PVV has stretched its lead over the right-wing Liberal VVD in the latest poll of polls, with three months to go before the general election, broadcaster NOS reported.

The poll of polls is an amalgam of five separate opinion polls and shows Geert Wilders’ party would take 31-37 seats in the 150 seat parliament if there was a general election tomorrow.

That means the anti-Islam campaigner has the support of between 20% and 25% of the electorate. Support for the ruling VVD has fallen to between 15% and 17.5%, the new poll of polls shows. Backing for the Socialist Party and the Christian Democrats has also fallen slightly as the PVV gathers votes. [DutchNews] Read more

French mayor to be tried for Muslim 'problem' comments

A far-right French mayor will be tried on hate charges over comments that include a claim the number of Muslim students in his city was a "problem", a judicial source said Wednesday.

Robert Menard, who is an ally of France's anti-immigrant National Front party, will face a charge in a Paris court of incitement to hatred or discrimination, the source said.

"In a class in the city centre in my town, 91 percent of the children are Muslims. Obviously, this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance", he said in September 5 comments on French news channel LCI.

Also in September, on France's first day back to school, he tweeted his regret at witnessing "the great replacement", using a term by xenophobic writer Renaud Camus to describe the country's white, Christian population being overtaken by foreign-born Muslims.

Menard, who is the mayor of southern France town Beziers, denied his comments were discriminatory.

"I just described the situation in my town," he told AFP. "It is not a value judgement, it's a fact. It's what I can see." [Expatica] Read more

“Islamophobia” – the blasphemy accusation of Western liberals

It has become crystal clear that Islam needs an Enlightenment. However, initiating the Enlightenment process is a near impossible task – so what can be done? First, it’s important to agree on some basic concepts.

For example, it is not “Islamophobic” for someone to criticize everyday conservative Islam generally and Islamism in particular. On the contrary, criticism is a prerequisite for any lasting reformation within Islam.

We know from history that the European Enlightenment did not happen overnight. It’s not as if Europe woke up one fine morning and delightfully jumped into the formation of a secular and pluralistic society. To construct this new world, Europe went through a dialectic process of reformation, characterized by destructive historical conflicts.

A similar process, though at a more modest level, can be observed in various parts of the Muslim world. Unfortunately, though, it looks like this process will encounter a most stubborn resistance.

This is not only a result of efforts from fundamentalist Muslims, but also on the part of Western intellectuals, regressive Leftists, and the political far right. [Richard Dawkins Foundation] Read more

20 December 2016

Controversial Muslim cleric banned in Pakistan is preaching in UK mosques

.... Tanveer Ahmed, the Bradford taxi driver who in March stabbed to death Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah after his Easter greeting on social media to Christians, idolised Mumtaz Quadri.

“Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri and the likes of him should not be allowed to enter the UK or Europe because he incites hatred and he claims to be a Sufi, but the message of Sufism is love all and hate none,” said Irfan al-Alawi, international director of US think-tank Centre for Islamic Pluralism, speaking to The Observer.

“The Sunni Muslims do not need Pakistani or Indian imams to enter the UK and preach hatred.”

According to legal documents seen by Scotland’s Sunday Post, Mr Quadri was branded a “firebrand” by Pakistani authorities and was banned from addressing crowds in October. [The Independent] Read more

Don’t let our response to Ankara and Berlin be the one terrorists wish for

.... Islamist terrorist fanatics and the west’s ascendant populist right are now working in tandem. They are feeding off each other. They are interdependent. Their fortunes rise with each other. This morning Nigel Farage tweeted: “Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise. Events like these will be the Merkel legacy.” What kind of contemptible individual mixes horror with vindication?

.... Here is the danger of what now beckons. More Islamist terrorist attacks will come. The populist xenophobic right will continue to surge, and it will capitalise on the atrocities. Hatred against Muslims – and demands for collective punishment – will grow. Civil liberties will be rolled back. Those on the left who oppose racism and support compassion for refugees will increasingly be regarded as the enemy within.

Democracy will be chipped away. The west will continue its inexorable decline, not because of the threat of “Islamisation”, but partly because of political consequences arising from the fear of Muslims and foreigners. Picture how Donald Trump will respond after the first major terrorist attack.

If, in a century’s time, historians ask why the west fell into a spiral of decline, the answer will not be that we were overrun by fanatics, but that we succumbed to their wishes. [Owen Jones, 1502 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1221 votes] "What kind of contemptible individual mixes horror with vindication?"

What kind of journalist conflates being right with being wrong?

Many, many people warned of the dangers of allowing an uncontrolled flow of so-called refugees from zones filled with radicalised fighters and terrorists. Those people were right, and being right doesn't make them wrong.

[2ND 983] "Those on the left who oppose racism and support compassion for refugees will increasingly be regarded as the enemy within."

Nope, those who cry "racism" whenever foreign policy or immigration is discussed, and who agitate constantly for open borders without any thought of the consequences, these will be regarded as the enemy within. Fortunately their grasp on our public discourse is finally beginning to weaken.

[3RD 945] "Don’t let our response to be the one the Islamists wish for"

Ah, like clockwork. Good to know the Guardian has kept this template from Paris.

Yet, the article is still without substance on what should be done. What a shame.

[4TH 893] An article long on moaning but short on suggestions.

[5TH 813] So tell us Mr Jones, what should we do? Every attempt at counter-radicalisation is attacked as discriminatory, every attempt at enhanced intelligence and surveillance is attacked as provocative or unfair.....so we'll all just holds hands and sing kumbaya shall we? And pretend that a blind refusal to acknowledge the problems with Islamist violence and refusal to support reformers and moderates has not led us to this disastrous scenario? [Guardian Cif] Read more

19 December 2016

Mohammed Amin: Complainers about the Casey report do Muslims no favours

.... Casey’s twelve recommendations are a good start. However, in my view there is much more that government can do.

Most state school educational segregation occurs as a result of people’s self-segregating residential patterns when combined with school place allocation policies that give overwhelming weight to residential proximity to the school.

I would prohibit schools taking proximity into account when allocating places in the case of all pupils living within some specified distance from a school; say three miles (or if necessary a larger number) as the crow flies. Instead schools should, within that compass distance, be required to prioritise the duty to have a diverse pupil body.

When I was young, all TV in England was broadcast in English of course. That forced many people to absorb English just to watch TV. Today, the easy availability of foreign language satellite TV channels actively damages the English language skills of some members of ethnic minorities.

Subject to any constraints from EU law, I would like to see all TV channels broadcasting to England in languages other than English pay an extra tax, to drive up subscription prices (or advertising rates); the tax revenues would help to pay for increased English language teaching. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Daily Mail apologises and pays damages to Muslim family over Katie Hopkins’ ‘Islamophobic articles’

The Daily Mail delivered a Christmas present to remember today with news that the newspaper’s infamous columnist, Katie Hopkins, has been forced to apologise to a Muslim family for two defamatory columns in which she accused them of being “extremists with links to Al Qaeda”; claimed their planned family visit to Disneyland last December was “a lie,” argued “US Homeland Security were right to prevent them from boarding their flight” and suggested that the plaintiff Mohammed Tariq Mahmood’s son, Hamza Mahmood, was “responsible for a Facebook page which allegedly contained extremist material.”

Ms Hopkins looks to have finally earned her just desserts with the family successfully suing the newspaper and securing an apology and £150,000 in damages.

A press release from law firm Carter Ruck explains the libellous claims and the efforts by the Mahmood brothers to clear their names in the face of atrocious allegations made by Hopkins and published by the Daily Mail. [MEND] Read more

18 December 2016

ISIS 'as Islamic as Anything

"These things come and go," declared University of Toledo Islamic Studies professor Ovamir Anjum of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a phenomenon he demonstrated is not an aberration in Islamic history.

His December 1 presentation, "ISIS & the Future of Islam," at Georgetown University's Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) indicated that ISIS has far more Islamic legitimacy than many will admit.

.... Anjum's presentation belied his previously articulated thesis that ISIS is no more Islamic than the Ku Klux Klan is Christian. Glossing over the non-Muslims outside Islam's "discursive community" who are subject to ISIS's genocidal rage, he could only conclude that ISIS jihadists are errant Islamic black sheep, no more misguided than others in Islamic history.

Given his concession to the historical controversy over such judgments, Anjum's paraphrase of Princeton University Near Eastern Studies professor Bernard Haykel is far more realistic: "ISIS is as Islamic as anything else." [American Thinker] Read more

Egypt's Copts between terror and discrimination

As Copts examine the position they are in, they’re caught between a state that is not willing to treat them as equals or protect their most sacred sites, and radicals who are willing to kill them on an Islamic holiday to deliver a strong message that they are viewed as infidels and their murder glorified.

Copts bear the brunt of the ongoing battle between extremists. They are treated as negotiation cards, their funerals hijacked and securitized, their poor still struggling in remote areas.

The demand has always been justice and equality for all citizens. However, these seem more and more elusive as Egypt’s rulers adamantly continue on the same path.

Until equality and justice are within reach for all, what can Copts do to survive and how much more will they be forced to bear? [openDemocracy] Read more

WATCH: Muslim Girl Refuses to Shake German President’s Hand

An attempt by the German President to praise a school for integrating migrant students went embarrassingly wrong after a Muslim student refused to shake his hand.

Joachim Gauck visited the city of Offenbach at the end of November to see a school that has been commended for its attempts to integrate migrants into German society.

Media reports at the time focused on how the politician received a “Rockstar” welcome from students, with news site Focus describing how children said things such as “Wow, it’s so cool” and “he’s so human”, while holding signs in German, Arabic and Russian welcoming their head-of-state.

The President, whose role is largely ceremonial, visited the Theodor Heuss School to praise its work on helping migrant children learn the German language and culture. [Breitbart London] Read more

Fatima Manji: ‘It’s really important that newsrooms reflect the population’

A correspondent on Channel 4 News since 2012, in March Fatima Manji became Britain’s first (and only) hijab-wearing newsreader on national television. Born in Peterborough, she studied history and politics at London School of Economics, before being accepted on a BBC trainee scheme. In July, she made headlines around the world when Kelvin MacKenzie wrote a column in the Sun questioning whether it was appropriate that she presented coverage on the evening of the terrorist attack in Nice.

.... Actually all religious groups are under-represented: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus. It matters because it’s really important that newsrooms reflect the populations they serve. That’s not just a catchphrase, not just because we want to look like some Benetton ad. It’s because it allows you to be in touch with the different communities and to say, “I know someone who’s experiencing that.” It allows us to be better journalists – that’s why it’s important. [259 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 104 votes] "Actually all religious groups are under-represented: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus. It matters because it’s really important that newsrooms reflect the populations they serve."

Hmm. This is admirable and problematic in equal measure.

Why is it always the ethnic/religious dimension that is played? Why is that the defining characteristic?

There are plenty of disabled people in this country - why are they not reflected in equal measure?

There are millions of pensioners. What about them?

Whilst this woman is extremely articulate and seems good at her job, and whilst I personally could not care less that she is a Muslim, I am still somewhat uncomfortable at the notion that particular identities warrant equal representation and others do not.

[2ND 99] Muslim yes. Headscarf, why? What Ms Manji can't see is the fact that you don't need to state your religion in an obvious way. Why should it be? Jews on telly don't wear kippas, are they less Jewish for it? TV especially on a news programme is a neutral ground and should stay this way. And no, I cannot get over a headscarf especially with news from Syria where these veiled women are victims of militias from all sides.

[3RD 88] Well, many Arab countries have lots of Westerners living there, so I will enjoy looking out for female TV presenters with uncovered heads, and wearing short sleeve blouses etc. [The Guardian] Read more

17 December 2016

Maid arrested for giving birth to illegitimate baby

A 30-year-old Ethiopian woman was arrested in Al Qasimi Hospital on Thursday after she confessed that her newborn baby is illegitimate and she is an illegal maid, an official at Sharjah Police told Gulf News on Saturday

The woman admitted to the hospital on Thursday after she went into labour, police said.

Soon after the baby’s birth, the hospital contacted police to inform them that an unmarried woman had given birth on their premises.

The police said the hospital should have informed them immediately. “They should not accept such cases of unmarried pregnant women,” police said.

“She was in labour so she was admitted immediately,” a hospital spokesman explained. He said there was no time to inform the police. [Gulf News] Read more

Muslim cleric banned in Pakistan is preaching in UK mosques

A Pakistani Muslim cleric who celebrated the murder of a popular politician is in Britain on a speaking tour of mosques. The news has alarmed social cohesion experts who fear such tours are promoting divisions in the Muslim community.

Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri has been banned from preaching in Pakistan because his sermons are considered too incendiary. However, he is due to visit a number of English mosques, in heavily promoted events where he is given star billing.

Qadri publicly praises Mumtaz Qadri who in 2011 murdered his employer, Salman Taseer, a popular Pakistani politician who spoke out against the country’s blasphemy laws. Qadri was executed earlier this year but to his tens of thousands of supporters he remains a hero who defended their interpretation of Islam.

Mumtaz Qadri was a key influence on Tanveer Ahmed, the Bradford taxi driver who in March stabbed to death Asad Shah. Shah, a member of the Ahmadi Muslim community who ran a convenience shop in Glasgow, was targeted after messages he put out on social media including an Easter greeting to Christians. [The Guardian] Read more

Afghan gunmen kill five women airport guards

The women worked as security guards at a Kandahar airport, searching luggage and female passengers. They had received death threats from people opposed to women in the workforce.

Unknown gunmen killed five female Afghan guards working at an airport in southern Kandahar on Saturday, highlighting the continuing threat faced by women working outside of the home in Afghanistan.

Gunmen on a motorbike fired on a vehicle carrying the women to Kandahar International Airport, where they were responsible for searching luggage and female passengers, officials said. The driver was also killed.

Airport Director Ahmadullah Faizi said the women had received death threats from people opposed to their work.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban and other insurgents battling the internationally backed government of President Ashraf Ghani oppose women working outside of traditional roles within the home. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

16 December 2016

Regulate all mosques to stop radical preachers - Irish imam

A leading Irish imam has called for the Government to regulate Islamic affairs in Ireland to prevent unqualified imams radicalising Muslims.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, said the Government should set up "a Muslim council to regulate all affairs in Ireland such as how mosques are being run and what education they are providing".

He said the body should be supervised by the Government and provide accreditation without which imams would not be allowed to operate. The Irish Council of Imams, which he helped to found but from which he resigned last year, was not such a body, he said.

Dr Al-Qadri, who runs a mosque in Clonee, Dublin, also said although the Government monitored individuals it suspected of having extremist links, it also needed to have a strategy to monitor levels of radicalisation and an initiative to promote integration. [Independent.ie] Read more

Saudi Arabia to 'inoculate' children against Westernisation, atheism and liberalism

Saudi Arabia is launching a programme to “inoculate” children against Westernisation, atheism, liberalism and secularism.

They were listed as threats to “ideological security”, ahead of the danger from extremist groups including Isis and al-Qaeda and sectarianism.

.... It follows another government project announced in March 2015 to “protect schoolboys and schoolgirls from deviant behaviour” by enforcing religious and moral values.

Saudi critics labelled the latest initiative “danger to security” and a “disaster” for religious freedom and intellectual debate in Saudi Arabia.

“Have you ever heard of a liberal who committed murder? Or of a secularist who blew himself up?” Nadine al-Budair asked on Twitter, while columnists at other Saudi newspapers accused the government of seeking to prevent free thought and prioritising a witch-hunt against “liberals” over the real terror threat from Isis and al-Qaeda. [The Independent] Read more

British Muslims urge UK to declare Ahmadis ‘non-Muslim’

British Muslim leaders have called on Britain to declare Ahmadis ‘non-Muslim’, the sentiments were expressed at an event held in Luton.

The event which took place at Jamia Islamia Ghosia was attended by Imams, Councillors, and Muslim community leaders from across Britain. The speakers urged the British Government to stop considering Ahmadis as Muslims since they rejected the mainstream Islamic view of ‘KhatmeNabuwat’ or Finality of Prophethood.

Ahmadiyya Muslims who consider their founder to be an Islamic Prophet were declared ‘non-Muslim’ by Pakistan in 1974 and have since faced persecution in the country, which caused many to migrate and settle in Britain. [Rabwah Times] Read more

Immigrants lead the way in demanding assimilation, study finds

Resident aliens in Germany and Germans with immigrant backgrounds are, in some respects, more "German" than people whose families have been German citizens for generations. That's the main conclusion of a 104-page study by the conservative Konrad Adenauer Foundation, entitled "What Makes Us Who We Are, What Unites Us," which was unveiled in Berlin on Friday.

"Integration entails the willingness to take majority society on board and to adopt the rules of that society as one's own," said Peter Altmaier, the head of the Chancellor's Office and the government's refugee coordinator, at the presentation. "What the study tells us is that this willingness is abundantly and distinctly present."

The author of the study, sociologist Sabine Pokorny, conducted extensive interviews with three groups of roughly 1,000 people each: resident aliens, German citizens who either were not born in Germany or have one parent born elsewhere, and citizens from longer-standing German families. The surveys indicated that first- and second-generation immigrants valued integration slightly more than anyone else. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

15 December 2016

Sharia courts pose a growing threat to women’s rights

.... Sharia courts use child custody to exert pressure on women who have faced domestic violence and normalise violence against women.

In a documentary .... one woman who had secured a civil divorce was told by the Islamic Sharia Council that she would have to give up child custody to her ex-husband (who had only been allowed indirect access to the children by the civil court).

.... Despite all efforts to repackage and rebrand the courts, including by Islamic feminists, Sharia courts represent a concerted attempt by Islamists to normalise the denial of women’s rights in the family and gain further influence.

Clearly, Sharia courts are not compliant with either British law or international human rights treaties. By undermining British legal principles of equality before the law, the universal concept of one law for all and the protection of the rights of women and children, these courts help to increase discrimination, intimidation and threats against the most vulnerable.

By accommodating them, the government is itself in breach of its obligations.

The law and not religion must be the key basis for securing justice for all citizens. [The Freethinker] Read more

Women say Muslim-majority areas in French suburbs are now NO-GO areas for females where they are banned from mixing with men and must dress conservatively

French women who have been effectively banned from cafés and bars in certain 'no-go' suburbs in the country are fighting back.

Journalists and activists for TV channel France 2 went undercover in various communities with high Islamic populations in Paris to show how conservative Muslim men are enforcing social segregation in public spaces.

In the secret footage, activists Nadia Remand and Aliza Sayah from women's rights campaign group La Brigade des Mères (Brigade of Mothers) enter a shop in Sevran: a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris.

'The café terraces and the streets have something in common: women seem to have been erased,' Journalist Caroline Sinz narrated: [310 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 3453 votes] Coming to a town near you, unless something is done about it - and fast.

[2ND 3209] A country within a country....we have it here too. But no one dare say so.

[3RD 2679] Hey DM, send 2 female reporters to Derby and Leicester, Ill tell you which areas, middle of the day is fine.Wearing normal office wear. See what happens.

[4TH 2256] Take a walk around Bradford, and you'll find it's the same! [Daily Mail] Read more

14 December 2016

Pakistan's abuse of the Ahmadis makes Donald Trump's Muslim ban look tame - The Pakistani state has established an apartheid system for a religious minority

As the rest of Pakistan commemorated Prophet Mohammad's birthday, a charged mob of around 1000 men besieged a mosque belonging to Ahmadi Muslims, injuring several people. At least one Ahmadi Muslim is reported to have passed away due to a cardiac arrest as the mob threw stones at the place of worship, demanding the control of the mosque be passed onto them.

Dark as it is, it is an incident which is unfortunately neither unprecedented nor isolated in occurrence, and sheds light on the horrendous discrimination against Ahmedi Muslims in Pakistan, purely on the basis of their religious beliefs.

.... Between 1984 and 2016, 27 Ahmadi mosques were demolished, 32 were sealed by the government, 21 have been set on fire and/or damaged, 17 were forcibly occupied and 53 not allowed construction. Such is the fate of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan that they face oppression and persecution both from the state and the populace.

In fact, to add insult to injury, it is a legal requirement for every Pakistani – who wants to renew or apply for a new passport – to declare that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was an impostor prophet and anyone who follows him is a non-Muslim. [International Business Times] Read more

Saudi Arabia and Gulf states 'support Islamic extremism in Germany,' intelligence report finds

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are supporting extremist Islamic groups in Germany, according to a leaked intelligence report.

A brief seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcasters NDR and WDR raised concern over a reported increase in support for fundamentalist Salafism in Germany, warning that the ideology already has 10,000 followers and is growing.

The report, by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency and Federal Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly accused Gulf groups of funding mosques, religious schools, hardline preachers and conversion or “dawah” groups to spread the ideology.

Missionary movements were part of a “long-running strategy to exert influence” by the three states, it found, naming the Saudi Muslim World League, Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), which has been banned by the US and Russia for allegedly supporting al-Qaeda. [Belfast Telegraph] Read more

The Sharia debate in the UK: who will listen to our voices?

.... We know from personal experiences that many religious bodies such as Sharia Councils are presided over by hard line or fundamentalist clerics who are intolerant of the very idea that women should be in control of their own bodies and minds.

These clerics claim to be acting according to the word of God: but they are often corrupt, primarily interested in making money and abuse their positions of power by shaming and slandering those of us who reject those aspects of our religions and cultures that we find oppressive.

We pay a huge price for not submitting to domestic violence, rape, polygamy and child abuse and other kinds of harm. For this reason alone, we are fearful of religious laws and rulings from such bodies. Our experience in our countries of origin and in our communities tells us that they are deeply discriminatory and divisive. They will weaken our collective struggles for security and independence. [openDemocracy] Read more

Was Muslims Like Us a helpful portrayal of Islam in the UK?

If you wanted a show that represented all Muslims equally and fairly, proportionate to their population, you might be disappointed. But if you wear the hat of a reality TV show viewer – where you expect cringe, controversy and a tad of sensationalism, with editing for maximum viewing pleasure rather than a completely representative depiction – there were some insightful moments that illuminated the real tensions within Muslim communities.

How should we best deal with the far-right English Defence League? Should it be through compassion and humanity, like Bara, as he hugged the EDL member on the street; or through the honesty and integrity of Nabil who believed we have to stand up to racism wherever we see it? Both have their place. The former can be successful in individual cases, such as when a York mosque defused an EDL protest with tea, biscuits and football; and the latter reminds me of the necessity of not allowing hate to be normalised by showing strength, such as during the anti-apartheid struggle. [1338 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 551 votes] ".... the hypocrisy of claiming persecution while persecuting others."

That's religion in a nutshell, really.

[2ND 422] Just a giant advert for Islam by BBC hand-wringers.

[3RD 369] It should be mentioned that it wasn't only the loony Abdul Haqq who had problems with male homosexuality. The Syrian origin post grad student did too. Kind of interesting that none of the columnists choose to mention this.

[4TH 295] Abdul Haqq, his views are more widespread than the Islamic community wish to accept. One almost senses, Haqq would be more content in certain areas of Iraq/Syria than in a modern, tolerant, secular society of gender and sexual equality. The show utterly failed to address Haqq's deplorable intolerance, misogyny, and breath taking idiocy! Integration, multiculturalism, did these things create the woeful Mr Haqq in modern Britain.

[5TH 290] "Singling out Muslims increases the notion of otherness."

There is something rather ironic about that title being used to outline the a piece written by someone who for there photo is dressed in very specific clothing that outlines the otherness.

I'm fairly liberal - after much thought I'm absolutely not in favour of having any bans on items of clothing, however I don't think that anyone who deliberately marks themselves out as belonging to the more fundamental end of what is already a fairly illiberal ideology can expect it not to come with some downsides, as unfair as they may be in an individual case.

[6TH 252] It would be far more interesting to put a number of Muslim spokespeople (eg. Miqdaad Versi) in a house and watch them dicuss the following:

A parallel legal system that treats women unfairly, Extremism in schools, Imams who know and care nothing of Britain, Polygamy, Segregation, Political corruption, Painful slaughter of animals, Denial of common civilities (showing your face, shaking hands), Support of violence, Restrictions on freedom of speech, Self-segregation, etc., etc. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know

We oppose any religious body – whether presided over by men or women – that seeks to rule over us.” So say more than 300 mostly Muslim women, but also others from different faiths who have been abused in their personal lives. These women are voicing their alarm, through a powerful statement published by Open Democracy, about the growing power of religious bodies such as sharia councils, and demand that their voices also be heard in the current debate.

From their own lived experiences, they warn against any attempt to normalise profoundly regressive religious codes of conduct as the basis of social interaction with, and policy development aimed at, minority women.

They do so against the backdrop of Louise Casey’s report that warns of minority women who are trapped in abuse and isolation, and two ongoing inquiries into sharia councils: one initiated by the government and the other by the home affairs select committee. [Pragna Patel, 900 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 569 votes] Lets be honest. Sharia law has no place in civilised society.

[2ND 364] Wait a minute, wasn't there an entire guardian article yesterday on how Tebbit is a truly evil Tory for suggesting that Sharia courts even exist or have any impact in this country.

Ms Patel needs to have a nice chat with whoever wrote yesterday's Pass Notes.

[3RD 318] It's as bad from a point of principle as it is in the reality you describe - we should have no alternative legal system binding on any UK court. However it's spun by its advocates, this is picking and choosing which laws one wishes to follow, and a backdoor attempt at religious exemptions.

It undermines the very important concept of one law for all, and this is something we cannot allow to be entrenched

[4TH 230] Sharia courts have no place in the UK - PERIOD.

Fixed your headline for you.

[5TH 223] Shariah courts and Muslim parliaments have no place in the UK full stop. [Guardian Cif] Read more

13 December 2016

Gulf state groups are 'supporting Salafists in Germany': report

Three major German news outlets have reported that religious groups from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have been increasingly supporting Salafists in Germany, raising concerns among intelligence agencies.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) as well as broadcasters NDR and WDR reported on Tuesday that a report by German intelligence agencies shows an increase in support from religious groups in the three Gulf states to Salafists in Germany.

The media outlets state that these organizations have helped build school facilities, mosques and sent preachers to Germany to share a fundamentalist version of Islam.

SZ reports that Germany’s BND and BfV intelligence agencies are concerned that the intolerant and ultra-conservative form of Islam could spread. Currently they estimate there to be 10,000 members of the Salafist scene, and believe that refugees could also be drawn into it. [The Local] Read more

Robert Spencer: Britain’s PM Has Compared Me, A Patriotic American, to Abu Hamza

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke at a luncheon of the Conservative Friends of Israel Monday, and boasted about banning me and others from the country.

Her high-minded tone, however, only underscored the hypocrisy and double standard – and open pandering to Islamic jihadists – that the British government has demonstrated in determining who can enter Britain and who can’t. May said:

"Indeed, when I was Home Secretary we took what I believe was an important step in gauging a truer picture of the problem, requiring all police forces to record religious hate crimes separately, by faith.

And I made sure we kept extremism – including the sort that peddles anti-Semitic vitriol – out of our country.

That is why I said no to so-called comedians like Dieudonne coming to Britain.

It’s why I stopped Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Pastor Terry Jones coming too – since Islamophobia comes from the same wellspring of hatred.

It is why I kicked out Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada as well." [Breitbart London] Read more

Quebec feminist author found not guilty of slandering Muslim school in Montreal

.... In a 2012 interview with a Montreal radio station, Benhabib lamented that Qur’anic verses published on the school’s website referred to the need for young girls to stay pure. She also stated they criticized non-Muslims.

She was also critical of the fact the school uniform included the hijab for young girls.

“(The school) resembles the kind of indoctrination similar to what goes on in a military camp in Afghanistan or Pakistan,” she told the radio host.

Benhabib added during the interview the school “models itself on a society different than ours. It’s a model where women have to lower their heads and walk behind men. Where kids are forced to learn Qur’anic verses and where, probably, men will commit honour crimes against their sisters.”

The head of the school’s board of governors, Ahmed Khebir, testified that enrolment dropped after Benhabib’s interview but the judge said the evidence he provided to the court didn’t support that claim.

Hallee said in her decision that Khebir and the other witnesses who testified on behalf of the school could not prove the institution’s reputation was damaged or that Benhabib wanted to cause any harm. [Toronto Star] Read more

Europeans greatly overestimate Muslim population, poll shows

Members of the public in European states including France, Belgium, Germany and the UK greatly overestimate their country’s Muslim population and the rate at which it is growing.

An Ipsos Mori survey that measured the gap between public perception and reality in 40 countries in 2016 found French respondents were by far the most likely to overstate their country’s current and projected Muslim population.

The average French estimate was that 31% of the population was Muslim – almost one in three residents. According to Pew Research, France’s Muslim population actually stood at 7.5% in 2010, or one in 13 people.

French respondents were also widest of the mark when it came to the projected Muslim population in 2020. The average prediction was that Muslims would make up 40% of the French population in four years’ time, almost five times the 8.3% Pew Research projection. [The Guardian] Read more

12 December 2016

Muslim State Secretary for Berlin voices her backing for Sharia law in Europe, saying it is 'absolute compatible' with German legislation

A politician has controversially voiced her backing for Sharia Law being introduced in Europe, calling it 'absolutely compatible' with current legislation.

The State Secretary for the Berlin Government, Sawsan Chebli, defended Islamic law saying it can exist alongside Germany's Basic Law because it 'largely regulates the relationship between God and man'.

Ms Chebli, a Muslim who herself wears western dress and does not cover her head, defended the headscarf as a 'religious duty' and said there should be no problem with those who choose to wear one.

.... Mr Müller announced he planned to appoint Ms Chebli, 38, as the state secretary in charge of federal government coordination.

But her comments about Sharia law have been criticised even within her own Social Democrat (SPD) party. [Daily Mail] Read more

Al-Azhar head: Western modernity 'not best' for Muslim women

The head of al-Azhar, Egypt's top Islamic authority, said on Monday that the Western concept of modernity is not the "best example" for Muslim women to follow.

"Islam has done justice to the Muslim woman and freed her from shackles and restrictions," said Al-Azhar's grand imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb.

Muslim women were "influenced more by tradition and customs than by the precepts of Islam," he told the Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliaments in Abu Dhabi.

The sheikh said that in some ways the situation of women had deteriorated to a pre-Islam state, in an apparent reference to the influence of radical Islamists.

However he insisted that emulating life in the West was not the solution.

"The Western concept of modernity is not the best example to be followed by the rest of the world," he said, acknowledging, however, the "positive aspects" of scientific and humanitarian progress. [The New Arab] Read more

Donald Trump’s sharp contrast from Obama and Bush on Islam has serious implications

President-elect Donald Trump and his top political and security advisers are convinced Islam’s moral rules, the sharia, not only imperil the safety of Americans but their very way of life. They break sharply with Presidents Obama and George W. Bush who refused to equate traditional Islam with terrorism. The rupture view could ultimately serve as a boon to jihadist recruitment.

The president-elect has called for an “ideological screening test” for immigrants “who believe that sharia law should supplant American law.” His chief political strategist, Steve Bannon, has said that the Roman Catholic Church and the “Judeo-Christian West” have to “struggle against Islam” just as their ancestors did. He is reportedly taking advice from the notorious sharia conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, whose team briefed Trump on the dangers of sharia during the campaign.

Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, called Islam a “cancer” and a “political ideology” that “hides behind this notion of it being a religion.” (Flynn regularly promotes false stories of sharia law taking over in the United States.) [The Washington Post] Read more

'Rebel' Saudi Arabia woman who posted photo without head scarf is arrested

Saudi police have arrested a young woman who tweeted a picture of herself outdoors without the body-length robes and head scarf that women in the kingdom are required to wear.

A woman identified as Malak al-Shehri posted a picture of herself on Twitter in a jacket and multi-colored dress last month after announcing that she would leave her house without her abaya, a long loose-fitting robe, and headscarf.

The tweet caused a backlash with many calling for Shehri – whose first name means angel, which was also her moniker online – to be executed with the hashtag “We demand the arrest of the rebel Angel Shehri.”

The picture posted on the downtown Riyadh street of al-Tahliya, led to someone filing a complaint with the religious police, and eventually to the woman’s arrest, according to the local Arabic-language Al-Sharq newspaper.

A police spokesman told the newspaper that Shehri, who is in her 20s, was taken to prison and he also accused her of “speaking openly about prohibited relations with (non-related) men”. [The Guardian] Read more

Muslim mob attacks Mosque in Pakistan

.... The mob which numbered over 1,000 was part of a procession celebrating the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad when it attacked the minority Ahmadiyya community’s Mosque in Dulmial village, Chakwal. Around 40 worshippers who were present in the Mosque locked themselves in as the mob opened fire and hurled rocks.

After gaining control of the Mosque, the attackers burnt property inside the building, including carpets. They also washed the building to bring it “under the influence of Islam.”

A spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community claimed that one Ahmadi was killed in the incident, but was unable to identify the dead.

The Government of Punjab said it was “following up” on the “Chakwal incident”. [Rabwah Times] Read more

11 December 2016

Mosque leaders dump plans to host controversial hate preacher exposed by Sunday Post

.... Last week we exclusively revealed that hardline cleric Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri had been asked to speak at Falkirk Central Mosque.

The booking came despite the fact the preacher had been banned in his native Pakistan for his hardcore message.

The cleric has openly praised a murderer linked to the killing of Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah, 40, who was stabbed 27 times by killer Tanveer Ahmed, 32, after wishing customers a “Happy Easter”.

Now, the mosque has dumped any plans to host the controversial cleric – and thanked The Sunday Post for alerting them to the preacher’s background.

Mosque committee member Khalid Saeed is delighted the paper helped spare their blushes.

“The mosque would never knowingly give a platform to views that counter our beliefs of tolerance and non- violence,” he said. [Sunday Post] Read more

Children at risk in ‘rotten borough’ Birmingham

Birmingham city council is “a rotten borough . . . beyond redemption” whose powers to run schools and social services should be overhauled because children are at risk, according to the chief inspector of schools.

In his final interview before stepping down, Sir Michael Wilshaw said the “appalling children’s services” and “awful schools” in Britain’s second largest city had been his greatest cause of concern during his five years in office.

He warned that a repeat of the so-called Trojan Horse scandal, which saw a radical Islamic ethos introduced to schools in the city, was likely unless the government acted.

.... Wilshaw said Birmingham had the most worrying cases of segregation of the type identified in a recent report by Dame Louise Casey, the government’s social cohesion tsar. Nine of 21 schools in the east of the city where all the pupils are from ethnic minorities had been rated “less than good” in their latest Ofsted inspections. The average nationally is 11%. [The Times (£)] Read more

Immigrant oaths can’t work when integration already looks doomed

.... For anyone who has followed Britain and western Europe’s attempts to deal with the mass migration that started in the 1950s, all this is familiar. Just as the same stories go round in each of our countries, so the same solutions rear up year after year. And nothing happens.

In recent years I have seen at first-hand the bifurcated societies identified by Cantle and Casey — not just in the north of England but across our continent. The phenomenon Casey describes is at least as evident in Sweden, Germany and France.

When I read her careful description of the effects of mass immigration on vast swathes of our country, I thought of the school in Malmo where even before the mass movement of 2015 no child had had Swedish as a first language for 14 years.

.... Were government to absorb rather than flick through reports such as Casey’s it would see that the obvious conclusion is to stop or dramatically slow the flow of people. What is the purpose of continuing to bring hundreds of thousands of people each year into a country that is so self-confessedly bad at integrating people? Even if Britain installed a citizenship oath, what would we do with those who refused to take it, took it with fingers crossed or took it and then broke it?

Reviews such as Casey’s may be little read today. But they will be pored over by future historians who will ponder the greatest question of all: how could countries so aware of their challenges have done so little to address them? [The Sunday Times] Read more

10 December 2016

Peppa Pig as a focus for the latest Muslim controversy is just sloppy journalism

.... Alsuleiman had recently posted a video on YouTube which stated that Muslim audiences should have better alternatives to mainstream cartoons. It was a generic statement and there was no mention of Peppa Pig in the footage. The video's original intent was to raise funds for a project called Barakah Hills, a cartoon show with Muslim characters catering primarily to Muslim children.

It was, in fact, the director of One4Kids, the media house that is seeking funds to produce Barakah Hills, who had originally compared Barakah Hills to Peppa Pig. Even so, the comparison was not out of a disdain for pigs.

.... It was essentially a socio-economic motive which was disingenuously portrayed as a religious one to pander to the sentiment that Muslims cannot integrate in Western societies. [International Business Times] Read more

Angela Merkel’s promise to ban the niqab is a mistake - With few exceptions, Muslim women should be allowed to dress as modestly as they like

.... Europe’s fad for such bans is driven chiefly not by principles, but politics. France introduced a burqa ban in 2010; some municipalities even tried to prevent Muslim women from wearing the body-covering “burqini” at the beach last summer. Such measures only invite extremists to paint France as an enemy of Islam.

Last month the Netherlands adopted a ban on face-covering garb in education and health-care establishments, government buildings and public transport. In both cases, the real motive was to fend off the rise of anti-immigrant parties, such as Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France and Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom in the Netherlands.

If centrists like Mrs Merkel now see burqa bans as minor concessions to hold off populists, they are fooling themselves. Those who want to ban veils are not worried about security but about immigration and integration.

To them, limited bans confirm only that mainstream politicians are too timid to embrace the real thing. Some of them worry legitimately that Muslim immigrants do not share Europe’s liberal norms. But the best way to preserve those freedoms is to let women dress as modestly as they please. [104 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 66 votes] "Such measures only invite extremists to paint France as an enemy of Islam."

Absolutely correct. France and the West should be an enemy of that extreme sort of Islam. Other, more moderate forms of Islam are acceptable in the West.

The niqab and the burqa are ugly, sinister looking garments that destroy the humanity of those who wear them. They are divisive, sectarian and are a middle finger to female emancipation and equality and Western values. A person who wears them voluntarily should not live in a Western country. It just isn't the place for them and their mind-set.

One might say that women have a right to dress modestly. But one could also say that one has a right to see your face if we are living in the same society. You can dress modestly by covering your hair or wearing a dress or jumper. There is nothing in the Koran that says you should cover your face. It's just an extreme, sexist interpretation that oppresses women.

.... I'm glad that Angela Merkel might be starting to realise that she f***ed up last year, and that maybe a lot of these refugees and economic migrants are not going to bring enlightened values with them, and could be a threat to German culture in the future.

The answer is to be more assertive about enforcing Western values and ideals. Values and ideals which have led to the freest, safest, most productive and most prosperous societies in human history. Barbaric and regressive cultural ideas and practices should be banned. And those who cannot abide by this should be given some money and made to leave.

[2ND 56] In my opinion, the view expressed in your article is a sad pseudo-liberal mistake, and it shows that people at The Economist have not yet understood what is happening today in Europe. I fear that your writer lives in a posh surrounding (not many niqabs in St. James) and has no clue.

Showing one's face in public is for me a non-negotiable part of our way of living together and, yes, of our culture. If that is too immodest for a muslim woman (or the males who pressure her into hiding herself), than she should live somewhere else. Period.

[3RD 47] It pains me that the Economist is so quick to defend the indefensible when it is undertaken in the name of Islam. We should not equivocate in our values irrespective of whether this provides yet another excuse (in a seemingly endless series) for extremism. As an appropriate counterpoint, to argue the full veil is anything but a barbaric symbol of modern day slavery is the sort of mendacity that fuels right wing populism. [The Economist] Read more

Centrelink 'ignoring Muslim polygamous relationships' as it pays spousal benefits to Islamic families with SEVERAL wives

Australian Muslim families with more than one wife are receiving spousal benefits from Centrelink, it has been claimed.

Polygamous marriages, largely confined to Islamic families, are allowed to claim multiple family tax benefit payments for children living under the same roof, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The welfare company has confirmed the agency does 'not hold data based on polygamous relationships or religion'.

Former chief of staff Peta Credlin has revealed how Tony Abbott had fought to ensure such households were not rewarded before he lost his prime ministership.

'The answer I got back was to fix it could cost more. To be honest there was frustration about how difficult overall rorting in this area was to remedy,' she told the publication.

'It's not the role of government to police people's bedrooms unless they are breaking the law but nor can it, through policy or indifference, sanction polygamous marriages.' [Daily Mail] Read more

09 December 2016

Strong reactions to Wilders guilty verdict on inciting racial discrimination

Strong reactions have erupted after far-right wing politician Geert Wilders was found guilty of inciting racial discrimination against Dutch Moroccans in a court on Friday. Wilders was condemned for his actions leading a PVV party rally calling for ‘fewer, fewer’ Moroccans in March 2014 – and now has a criminal record – but he received no punishment from the three judges.

The leader of the PVV, currently leading in some polls prior to general elections in March, did not attend most of the trial or verdict. But he frequently tweeted about hearings in what he called the ‘fake court’ – conduct the judge said was ‘unworthy’ of a politician.

Wilders’ laywer, Geert-Jan Knoops, immediately issued a statement to say he would appeal, and within an hour of the verdict, Wilders posted a YouTube video saying: ‘The Netherlands has become a sick country. The judge who convicted me [has] restricted the freedom of speech for millions of Dutch.’ [DutchNews] Read more

Netherlands trial: Geert Wilders guilty of incitement

Dutch anti-Islam political leader Geert Wilders has been convicted of insulting a group and inciting discrimination.

But no penalty was imposed by the court near Amsterdam on Wilders, whose party is leading in polls ahead of parliamentary elections in March.

Wilders was also acquitted of inciting hate over telling supporters in March 2014 he would ensure there were fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.

He called the guilty verdict "madness" in a tweet posted a short time later.

He said he would appeal. [BBC] Read more

Religious leader backs drive for cartoons for Muslim children

Muslim audiences should have better alternatives to mainstream cartoons, an Islamic leader in Australia has said.

Sheik Shady Alsuleiman, the head of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), suggested parents donate to TV cartoons that support Islamic values.

The producers behind one programme idea, Barakah Hills, suggested it could be an alternative to the hugely successful Peppa Pig cartoon.

Peppa Pig is a popular children's animation shown in 180 countries.

Production company One4Kids, which makes children's shows with Islamic themes, wants to raise A$20,000 (£12,000; $15,000) to begin production on Barakah Hills.

"The show's main objective is to show children what it is like to be a practising Muslim as well as a good citizen in their community," the company said in a statement. [BBC] Read more

Germans see refugees as biggest problem despite falling numbers

.... a survey by pollster Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF found 58 percent of Germans deem refugees and integration the most important problems facing Germany.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity has waned since migrants started arriving in large numbers last summer and she expects next year's federal election, in which she plans to run for a fourth term, to be "tough like no other".

Merkel, whose conservatives have lost support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, hardened her stance on migrants' integration in Germany at a congress this week and her Christian Democrats (CDU) passed a resolution on tackling forced marriage and honor killings, and cracking down on dual citizenship. [Reuters] Read more

08 December 2016

Australian Islamic leaders support Muslim alternative to Peppa Pig

Sheik Shady Alsuleiman, the controversial president of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), has urged followers to favour programs embracing and illustrating Islamic “principles, ethics and values”.

.... "As we know Muslims are averaging much higher birthrates, plus increased amount of time children are watching various videos on devices, computers, and television," the fundraising page reads.

"With your support, One4Kids hopes to complete production on this new ongoing series inshallah."

The show tells the story of the Abdullah family in the predominantly Muslim town of Barakah Hills, One4Kids says on a fundraising website. [The Telegraph] Read more

Muslim girls must take swimming lessons alongside boys, German court rules

Muslim girls must take part in swimming lessons alongside boys, Germany’s highest court has ruled, just days after Angela Merkel called for a partial burka ban.

The country’s constitutional court ruled that Muslim schoolgirls must take part in mixed swimming lessons together with boys.

If girls object on religious grounds, they can wear burkinis, the court said.

The case was brought by an 11-year-old Muslim girl of Moroccan descent living in Frankfurt, after she was given an “unsatisfactory” grade because she refused to take part in school swimming lessons.

The girl, who cannot be named under child protection laws, argued she was entitled to refuse to take part in the lessons on religious grounds.

But the court ruled that schools have a duty to encourage “social behaviour” and are entitled the make the lessons compulsory, and that mixed swimming lessons are “not a serious impairment of religious freedom”. [The Telegraph] Read more

Triple talaq: Indian court calls instant divorce system 'cruel' and 'most demeaning'

A top Indian court has scorned the practice of "triple talaq" in the country calling it "cruel" and "most demeaning". The Allahabad High Court said the instant divorce system prevalent among some Indian Muslims is "unconstitutional".

Observing that the personal law of any community should not violate the rights of individuals, the court said the separation method goes against the values of Islam and the Quran.

"Personal laws of any community cannot claim supremacy over the rights granted to individuals by the constitution," said Justice Suneet Kumar.

Under the divorce process, the Muslim man tells his wife the Arabic word "talaq" three times which means "I divorce you". Though in some practices unwilling couples separate after a waiting period, others part ways immediately depending on their following. [International Business Times] Read more

Where next for France's complex relationship with Islam?

France must prove that Islam is fully compatible with the fundamental values of the republic or it risks letting fear and distrust overwhelm society

Islam is the second religion in France, after Christianity. There are an estimated 5 to 6 million French citizens of Muslim culture, about a third of whom declare themselves to be practicing Muslims. Contrary to what the Front National would have us believe, their presence is not the result of a forceful invasion. It is very simply the result of our history. A tumultuous history, made of lights and shadows.

From the cultural celebrations of French Orientalism to French imperialism, and from the bloody battles of independence to the successes and failures of post-colonial immigration and integration, our relationship with Islam and the Muslim culture has been long, complex and possibly more intense than for any other western country. [Policy Network] Read more

Supervisor told raped Muslim bus driver she was ‘westernised so wanted it’

A female Muslim bus driver who was raped by her colleague was told she was ‘westernised so wanted it’ after complaining to her boss, a tribunal has heard.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims she was raped on numerous occasions in March 2015 but when she finally told her supervisor, she was told to keep quiet.

He then bombarded her with questions about her sex life and said her alleged attacker had done nothing wrong, the tribunal was told.

The woman only revealed the sex assaults when she had an accident at the depot after failing to apply the handbrake.

But she claims nothing was done about her attacker and she was sacked for negligence and breaching safety rules. [Metro.co.uk] Read more

Muslim schoolgirls MUST take part in swimming lessons after burkini row, German court says

The ruling comes after an 11-year-old girl refused to take part in a swimming lesson – even while wearing a burkini – as the swimwear would breach Islamic dress codes.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, southwest Germany, rejected an appeal lodged by the girl’s parents who said she could not go swimming as the dress wear conflicted with her religion.

The young girl argued at the lower courts that the burkini showed her figures – something which she told the courts was against her religion.

The case was then referred to the Constitutional Court – Germany’s highest court – after the lower courts ruled that the claims were unsure and that there were “no binding rules in Islam” which defined appropriate clothing. [Daily Express] Read more

Peppa Pig Controversy As Islamic Leaders Call For Cartoon Set In Muslim Town - ‘There are messages in there that turn kids into brats.’

Islamic leaders in Australia are urging Muslims to donate money to help fund an alternative to children’s cartoon Peppa Pig which will be set in a “predominantly Muslim town”.

The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) has issued an online plea for parents to support the development of a TV show that teaches children about Islamic principals, ethics and values, rather than letting them watch programmes that “impact them negatively”.

Barakah Hills has been pitched as a Muslim alternative to the animated UK pre-school show which is shown in 180 countries.

Production company One4Kids, which makes children’s shows with Islamic themes, wants to raise £12,000 to begin production on Barakah Hills.

A LaunchGood fundraising page has been launched, and as of Thursday morning almost £3,000 had been raised. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

07 December 2016

Instagram models incarcerated in Iran

Iran has jailed 12 fashion bloggers and social media models for up to six years for spreading a "Western-style culture of nudity" designed to corrupt Muslims.

Lawyer Mahmoud Taravat says his clients - eight women and four men, none of which have been named - received a jail sentence between five months and six years on Monday in a Shiraz court.

Charges include "encouraging prostitution" and "promoting corruption" by publishing "obscene" images that spread a "western-style culture of nudity" designed to corrupt Muslims, according to Iranian news agency Ilna.

Some of Mr Taravat's clients have also been banned from travelling overseas or working in journalism, the civil service, fashion and photography for two years following their release from jail. [9news] Read more

German court rules Muslim girls must take part in swimming lessons

Germany’s highest court has ruled that ultra-conservative Muslim girls must take part in mixed swimming classes at school, finding against an 11-year-old pupil who had argued that even wearing a burkini, or full-body swimsuit, breached Islamic dress codes.

The constitutional court in Karlsruhe on Wednesday rejected an appeal by the girl’s parents that she should be excused from the classes because a burkini did not conform with Islam’s ethic of decency, German media reported.

A spokesman for the court could not be reached for comment.

Germany is in the grip of a heated public debate about the role of Islam in society as it seeks to integrate more than a million mainly Muslim asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution who have entered this year and last. [The Guardian] Read more

06 December 2016

I despair of the British Muslims who choose to live under a virtual apartheid, writes Dr Taj Hargey

.... Not long ago I spent an afternoon walking around Highfields in Leicester. During my visit I saw only black and brown faces — not a single white person. If that situation had been imposed by a dictatorship, we would fight against it with all our might.

Why should it be acceptable in a modern democracy?

This isolationist trend feeds on itself: Muslims, especially women and children, are encouraged to withdraw from the rest of society, to keep themselves 'unsullied'. They are taught that they are 'superior' because they are destined for heaven while the 'kuffars' (the unbelievers) are not.

Shut away in their homes, many go day after day without seeing anyone who is not Muslim. They watch Islamist TV stations and read Islamist websites, and so the isolationism is reinforced.

Dame Louise's report is at last an official acknowledgment that we have a problem of segregation in this country. But, as I say, it doesn't go far enough.

For instance, the report says more English classes should be organised for Muslim children, to encourage them to venture out of isolation and to discourage the home-schooling of children.

But we need to be far more muscular than that. We have to mix up the population of schools, so that immigrant groups are never predominant in any classroom. If necessary we should be busing people to different schools to ensure this. [Daily Mail] Read more

'The toxic trio of the Hadith, Sharia law, and Fatwas have infected Islam', says Imam

A leading Imam has claimed "the toxic trio of the Hadith, Sharia law, and Fatwas" have contributed to a "voluntary segregation" between British Muslims and the rest of society.

This follows a report by Dame Louise Casey which said that a degree of the UK's Muslim population voluntarily isolate themselves from society. She suggested migrants to the UK swear an oath to commit to integration within the UK.

Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer, Dr. Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford and Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation, welcomed the idea of a legally-binding plan for integration, saying that unless the issue of voluntary segregation is "tackled forthrightly and robustly, we're looking at a totally bifurcated society, which is what all extremists want." [talkRADIO] Read more

Angela Merkel endorses burka ban 'wherever legally possible'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the wearing of full-faced veils should be prohibited in the country "wherever it is legally possible".

At a meeting of her CDU party, she backed a burka ban in schools, courts and other state buildings.

It is widely accepted that a total ban would violate Germany's constitution.

Mrs Merkel was re-elected CDU leader but faces a tough challenge by the right-wing anti-immigration AfD party in next year's polls.

She has seen her approval ratings slip since her decision to allow about a million asylum seekers into Germany during last year's Europe-wide migrant crisis.

However the centre-right chancellor, who has been power since 2005, still retains wide support. [BBC] Read more

Angela Merkel calls for burqa ban 'wherever legally possible' in Germany

Angela Merkel has called for a burqa ban in Germany and said the refugee crisis “must never be repeated” while making her pitch for a fourth term as Chancellor. Addressing her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Ms Merkel said she would support a nationwide prohibition on Islamic veils covering the face. "The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country," she told delegates in Essen, sparking rapturous applause. "It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible."

Thomas de Maizière, the German interior minister and one of Ms Merkel’s closest allies in the CDU, proposed a partial burqa ban in August and called the veils "contrary to integration". He said the law would apply in “places where it is necessary for our society's coexistence” including government offices, schools and universities and courtrooms, as well as demonstrations. [The Independent] Read more

MEND’s statement in response to the Casey Report

Dame Louise’s review will be added to a long catalogue of Government commissioned reports on British Muslims which talk about them without talking to them. The Casey review gives credence to the flawed methodology of the ICM poll conducted for the C4 programme What British Muslims Really Think, which it cites at some length.

One can only wonder why Dame Louise felt it necessary to rely on a debunked poll when her purpose was to engage directly with British Muslims to understand and learn what they really think. From the small number of Muslims directly cited in the report, we question the degree to which she has engaged in an open and broad dialogue at all.

This review will add more fuel to prevailing anti-Muslim stereotypes and can only be considered a dual failure for ignoring the structural inequalities which shape the concerns about spatial segregation and social mobility which she raises. [MEND] Read more

Sorry, Louise Casey, but Muslim women are held back by discrimination

If like me you’re female, Muslim and from an ethnic minority background, it sometimes feels like a one-way ticket into economic and social purgatory.

Despite the fact that more British Muslim women than men are getting degrees, we are the most disenfranchised group in the country. Not only are we subject to high levels of unemployment and poverty, but discrimination on the basis of our faith, gender and ethnic background hinders our entry into the labour market.

However, according to the findings of Louise Casey’s review of integration and opportunity released yesterday, it’s not discrimination that is holding us back. British Muslim women have apparently failed to grasp that integration is the missing “key to success”.

.... Graduating from university last year, I thought, naively perhaps, that my degree would ease my passage into the labour market. But instead of a gold-paved road to my first job, I found myself hurtling down the rabbit hole of unemployment.

.... If the government really wants to help British Muslim women, it needs to take discrimination seriously: create job opportunities across the country; invest in stagnating cities such as Bradford with so many talented women resigned to mediocre jobs for which they are overqualified, or no jobs at all. Create platforms from which Muslim women can ascend the ladder of social mobility.

Once that’s done, then we can talk about integration – but I bet we won’t need to. [1590 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1020 votes] Since when has a degree been a passport to a dream job?

[2ND 775] "I thought my degree would be a passport to a dream job, but in Bradford the ladder of social mobility was always out of reach."

You seem to have landed an enviable gig with the bourgeois press.

[3RD 691] I don’t understand the point of your argument here – you’re saying, yes there’s aspects of Islam that are problematic but also, there’s other things to worry about, like the economy.

Yes there is, but Casey’s report was about how Islam hinders integration. That’s the topic at hand – why deflect?

[4TH 674] "This is particularly true for visibly Muslim women like me who wear the hijab"

And there it is. Perhaps employers don't want to hire people who let their religion dominate their lives so much and that's not just about Muslims, as I suspect that many visibly devoutly religious people would have the same issues.

[5TH 592] A bit of a disconnect here - "I am being discriminated against because of my religion" / "I make sure that everybody knows about my religion".

Might there just be a way out?

[6TH 574] Just because you and a couple of your friends haven't got your dream job after graduating doesn't mean you are being discriminated against.

[7TH 542] "Graduating from university last year, I thought, naively perhaps, that my degree would ease my passage into the labour market. But instead of a gold-paved road to my first job, I found myself hurtling down the rabbit hole of unemployment."

Welcome to 21st Century Britain.

[8TH 446] I was a bit worried by the Casey report yesterday but I'm glad to see today everything is non-Muslims fault again.

[9TH 408] I have some sympathy but what you're facing doesn't sound like Islamophobia so much as a really shit job market.

[10TH 395] Help yourself.

Don't wear the hijab. It's an ideological symbol. Plenty of Muslim women don't. It was a rare sight in the 70s and 80s.

Don't marry a first cousin. If you do your kids' IQ will, on average, be about 1 standard deviation lower than if you marry a non-relation. That hammers their life chances in an industrial society.

Don't marry someone from rural Pakistan. It delays integration for another generation. It imports poverty. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslims are failing to integrate because men keep marrying abroad, major report warns

Muslim communities remain isolated even after decades in the UK because men keep marrying foreign wives, a Government adviser has warned.

Dame Louise Casey said that there is a "first generation in every generation" phenomenon in Muslim communities which is acting as a "bar" to integration.

The review also accuses Labour and local authorities of having "ignored or even condoned" harmful cultural traditions for fear of being branded "racist or Islamaphobic".

It reports concerns that Sharia Courts in the UK have been "supporting the values of extremists, condoning wife-beating [and] ignoring marital rape".

.... The review found one northern town where every councillor of Asian ethnicity had married a wife from Pakistan, while a study by Bristol University found that half of British Pakistanis married back in Pakistan. [The Telegraph] Read more