10 June 2017

IT'S THE ISLAM, STUPID

It has been beyond ludicrous to hear politicians and journalists deny that jihadists shouting "Allahu akbar" and quoting the Koran are not religiously motivated.

Jonathan Cole is right - this delusion must end:

Why is it so hard for the West to accept that the jihadist movement is fundamentally a religious movement? Jihadists are under no such illusion. They tell us at every breath that their struggle is about Islam...

There is no dispute that jihadists are political actors, have political goals and are having a profound political impact. But why do so many commentators appear to believe this means they also cannot possibly belong to a religious movement? Religious movements are perfectly capable of also being political actors, having political agendas and being of political consequence. Isn’t this precisely the experience of Western societies? Just think of the impact the Christian right continues to have in US politics...

The fact we are still debating whether Islamic theology has anything to do with a movement that has spawned something called the Islamic State shows just how far the West has to go. The West urgently must find a way to speak empirically, objectively and soberly about the global jihadist movement and its Islamic theology, free of the baggage of Western ideological battles that have nothing to do with the jihadist movement.

Here's why we see this dumb denial, echoed by Muslim apologists in the West. [Herald Sun] Read more

Muslim vote ‘appears to have made a difference’

Votes by the Muslim community appear to have made a difference in the UK election, a community group has said, noting swings toward the Labour Party in several key areas.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) earlier identified 39 constituencies where votes by the Muslim community may have a high or medium impact.

While members of the council are keen to point out that UK Muslims do not constitute one single group and do not vote as one, they say the community has historically favored the opposition Labour Party.

All 16 constituencies where the influence of Muslim communities was found by the MCB to be “high” are now Labour seats. Five were gained from the Conservatives in Thursday’s election, while Labour strengthened its lead in others. [Arab News] Read more

How influential was the Muslim vote?

The results from Thursday’s General Election suggest that while the Conservatives may still hold the levers of power, the Muslim community was influential in the Labour Party gaining seats from the existing Tory Government.

The Conservatives lost their outright majority won in 2015, going from 331 seats down to 318 overall. Labour gained a significant number of seats, going from 232 to 262 seats overall. The national vote share was closer than many forecasters anticipated, with the Conservatives polling 42.4% of the overall vote compared to 40% of the overall electorate who voted Labour.

Labour gained 27 seats directly from the Conservatives, including 8 seats where the size of the estimated Muslim electorate was two or more times greater than the standing MP’s majority from 2015. Three seats in which the Muslim vote was crucial in overturning Conservative majorities were Bedford, Keighley and Peterborough. In all three of these seats the estimated number of Muslim voters ranged between 5,000 and over 10,000, with Labour triumphing in each seat by less than 800 votes. [MEND] Read more

09 June 2017

UK: Muslim MPs prominent in Labour resurgence

The number of Muslim MPs elected to Parliament has risen to another record of 15, boosted by the sudden and unexpected resurgence in support for Labour under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The rise saw an average increase of more than 6 per cent in votes for each of the successful candidates, which included 12 of the previous 13 incumbents being returned as well as three new faces winning for the first time.

The high turnout included 12 Muslim Labour MPs being elected, up from nine in 2015. All three Muslim Conservatives retained their seats also with increased majorities as well.

Hopes that the Liberal Democrats would succeed in having their first Muslim MP elected failed to materialise, while north of the border in Scotland, the only Muslim MP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, lost her seat amid significant collapse in support for the SNP. [The Muslim News] Read more

Bulgaria has issued 20 fines for wearing burqa in past nine months – report

Police in Bulgaria have issued 20 penalties in nine months to people breaking the law against wearing clothing that covers or hides the face – or, as it is commonly known, the burqa ban.

All the fines were issued in within the Interior Ministry district of Pazardzhik, between October 2016 and May 2017.

Responding to local media inquiries, the Interior Ministry was unable to say whether the fines had been paid because fines are credited to the general budget of the ministry while unpaid sums are handed over for collection by the National Revenue Agency.

The “burqa ban” was approved by the 2014/17 National Assembly, having been tabled by the nationalist Patriotic Front coalition. The law forbids citizens of Bulgaria and foreigners in Bulgaria wearing garments in public that partially or completely hides their faces.

The ban applies in various public places, such as the offices of official institutions, places of public recreation, culture and sports. It does not apply to recognised houses of worship, private homes, or to items worn for health reasons, as part of sporting events or to actors playing roles.

The penalty for a first offence is 200 leva (about 100 euro), and 1500 leva for second and further offences. [The Sofia Globe] Read more

Austria to ban burqas from October

New Austrian legislation came into force Friday that will ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places from October 1.

The outlawing of the burqa or other clothing concealing the face follows similar moves in other countries in the European Union, starting with France in 2011.

In Austria, people who break the new law could be fined up to 150 euros ($168), according to the legislation approved by parliament in May and signed into law by the president this week.

Other measures include a clampdown on distributing extremist material, and immigrants being obliged to sign an "integration contract".

A 12-month "integration programme" will include courses in "values" and the German language. Failure to attend can result in cuts to social security payments.

The legislation was hammered out by the centrist government amid strong support for the far-right and the arrival of 90,000 asylum-seekers since 2015. [AFP] Read more

Anti-Shariah rallies planned across US worry Muslim leaders

The worshippers at the Eugene Islamic Center are worried about their security. A man recently appeared outside the mosque and threatened to kill Muslims.

Barely two weeks later, an assailant stabbed two men to death and wounded a third on a commuter train in Portland, 110 miles (180 kilometers) to the north. The victims were trying to protect two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab, as the man shouted anti-Islamic slurs.

Looking ahead, Muslim leaders and others are concerned about anti-Shariah, or Islamic law, marches planned for Saturday in Seattle and about two-dozen other U.S. cities, saying the marches are really anti-Muslim. They consider the Portland and Eugene incidents, and other recent anti-Muslim crimes in America, part of an alarming trend that came to the forefront in last year's presidential election with far-right activists portraying Islam — and all Muslims — as a threat.

"Our Muslim community is feeling a tremendous amount of stress and pressure," said former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who plans to attend a counter-rally Saturday. "It's important for local leaders to express solidarity and make clear we stand against bigotry, against racism and with our Muslim neighbors in the state and beyond." [Associated Press] Read more

Saudi Women Are Going to Jail for Driving Cars, Fleeing Abusers

How would you like to wear a black blanket in the desert heat and remain legally a child your entire life, banned from moving about without male supervision or a chaperone, thrown in jail for driving a car or running away from an abusive man?

Welcome to the world of women in Saudi Arabia, America’s foremost Middle Eastern ally, where misogyny is still a quaint cultural custom. Despite a social media campaign by and for Saudi women’s rights activists, and tweets and other signs of support from younger members of the royal family, the Kingdom keeps throwing women in jail for demanding basic human rights: the freedom to move and to be free of domestic violence

A new book, Daring to Drive, by the Saudi exile and feminist activist Manal al-Sharif, was published this week in the midst of a new spate of female jailings. Al-Sharif, one of the founders of the Women2Drive movement, shares memories of growing up in Saudi Arabia and confronting the myriad medieval rules and regulations the Saudi government enforces in order to keep women down. [Newsweek] Read more

'In their eyes the attackers are martyrs': Islamic sheikh claims Saudi Arabian team refused minute's silence for London terror victims because under Sharia law 'it's not a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-believer'

An Islamic imam has suggested the Saudi Arabian team refused to take part in a minute's silence for the London terror victims because they believe 'it is not a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-believer'.

Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi says it is a 'lie' to say the Muslim culture does not remember the dead with a moment of silence, and instead argues the football team did not partake in the mourning because they stand with the jihadist men.

'They did not stop for a moment of silence because according to Wahhabi Islam - which governs Saudi Arabia - it is not wrong or a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-Muslim,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Their response suggests that within Muslim culture they don't remember the dead with a moment of silence. This is a lie.'

Sheikh Tawhidi says under Islam Sharia law it is not 'wrong' or a 'sin' for a Muslim to kill a non-Muslim.

'In their eyes the attackers are martyrs who are going to paradise. And if they stand for a minute of silence they are against their Muslim brothers who fought for jihad and fought the “infidels”,' he said.

Sheikh Tawidi also added the team would have been 'ridiculed' back home if they had commemorated the victims of the London terrorist attack. [Daily Mail] Read more

08 June 2017

'What a load of rubbish': Pauline Hanson slams Islamic Council's push for taxpayer-funded 'safe spaces' for young Muslims to make 'frank' comments about their religion - without police or ASIO surveillance

Pauline Hanson has rubbished suggestions from the Islamic Council of Victoria that Muslim youths should be provided with taxpayer-funded 'safe spaces' to make 'inflammatory' and 'frank' comments out of the public eye.

The One Nation leader said she was 'totally against' the proposal, which is an effort by Muslim leaders to tackle the growing problem of radicalised youth in Australia.

'What a load of rubbish! How much more money have we got to put in to this to make them feel good about themselves?,' she told Samantha Armytage on Sunrise.

.... In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion, Islamic leaders have demanded government funding for anti-terrorism and anti-extremism should be used to create the religious sanctuaries.

'To create safe spaces urgently needed by Muslim youth to meet and talk about a range of issues in emotional terms, where they can be frank and even use words, which in a public space would sound inflammatory,' the submission reads.

'That they cannot express irony, humour, anger or joy in words and facial expressions that would make them a target for 'surveillance' is a cause for despondency leading to mental health issues among many.'

[TOP RATED COMMENT 108 votes] I really do not get this. The issue is about radical Muslims, yet they seem to think that they are entitled to money. If, across the western world, Muslims cannot live in harmony and accept the ways of the host country, then they need to be removed.

[2ND 103] They just don't understand, do they Pauline ... and they never will ... their way of life is totally incompatible with Australia, it's values and way of life.

[3RD 101] More of my tax dollars .... to people that hate and kill us?

[4TH 94] These councils should be abolished and those who feel they can't live here for what ever reason should leave. [Daily Mail] Read more

Former imam guilty of marrying child bride to a 34-year-old at Noble Park mosque

A former Melbourne imam has been found guilty of marrying a 14-year-old girl to a man 20 years older, after a magistrate found the evidence against the cleric was "compelling".

Ibrahim Omerdic, 62, was on Thursday found to have married the girl to the man, 34, at a Bosnian mosque in Noble Park on September 29 last year.

The charge of taking part in a forced marriage carries a maximum jail term of seven years.

Omerdic fought the charge in a contested hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court last month.

He was the imam of the Bosnian Islamic Society and Noble Park Mosque at the time of the wedding but was sacked from his position after he and the man who was married first fronted court earlier this year.

His licence to perform marriages has since been revoked. [The Age] Read more

Muslim 'safe space' plan sparks row in Australia

A proposal by an Australian Islamic group to allow "safe spaces" for young Muslims to discuss "inflammatory" issues has sparked a row.

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) said such forums enabled young people's opinions to be "respectfully and intelligently debated and challenged".

But State Premier Daniel Andrews said he was "very troubled" by the idea of a space where people "could be radical".

Victoria was rocked by a suspected terror attack earlier this week.

Gunman Yacqub Khayre killed a man, wounded three police officers and took a woman hostage during a siege at an apartment building on Monday night. He was later shot dead by police.

Australia has prevented a number of extremist attacks on home soil in recent years, and has been on alert amid fears over the return of Australians fighting for Islamist militant groups in Syria.

The ICV, which says it represents some 200,000 Muslims in Victoria, says the community is suffering mental health and other problems because of the widespread suspicion it faces. [BBC] Read more

Can polls really reveal what British Muslims think about terrorism?

Surveys on extremism can lead to some disturbing headlines, but they don't always tell the full story.

.... One of the most recent large-scale surveys of social attitudes within British Muslim communities, carried out for Channel 4 by ICM in 2016, found one per cent "completely" sympathised with people who took part in suicide bombings to "fight injustice", while three per cent had "sympathy to some extent".

Meanwhile, 0.5 per cent said they fully sympathised with those who committed terrorist acts to further a political cause, while another 3.5 per cent had "some sympathy".

However, ICM's methodology came under fire from the Muslim Council of Britain, who said the poll's sampling meant it was not representative of the British Muslim community as a whole.

Writing in The Guardian, Miqdaad Versi, the council's chief, said that by choosing to question people only in areas where at least a fifth of the local population was Muslim, the survey was skewed toward "poor and religiously conservative" Pakistani and Bangladeshi enclaves. [The Week] Read more

'We've had enough of being nice, it's not working': Mark Latham slams the 'delusional' wisdom of being civil to Muslims so an informant will tip police off about a potential terrorist attack

Former Labor leader turned political commentator Mark Latham has slammed the conventional wisdom of being nice to Muslims in the hope they will tip police off about a potential terrorist attack.

Mark Latham says the public is sick of having to 'be nice' in the wake of terrorist attacks this week in London and Melbourne.

.... Mr Latham said the idea that terrorists weren't real Muslims needed to be challenged, after Somali-born refugee Yacqub Khayre killed a man at a serviced apartment in Melbourne during a Monday night siege, which ISIS claimed responsibility for.

'The 'be nice' do gooders in the debate basically say that terrorism of this kind, they're not really Muslim, this is not really a reflection of Islam and you don't want to antagonise these communities because it will make them more dangerous, more radical and the security agencies worry about losing informants inside Islamic communities to tip them off about potential dangerous events,' he said.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 362 votes] I agree, it is time to stop turning the other cheek. A big part of Australian democratic society was to give everyone a fair go, we have done and it is only got worse with the Muslim community. We have provided funding for schools, housing, benifits, mosques, Islamic advisors, deradicalisation programs and still have to bow to their demands . Worst still is that taxpayers have to pay for middle east terrorist police to protect us. No other group demand so much and repay us with disrespect.

[2ND 338] I think that it is amazing, I actually agree with him. This touchy feely approach has been a dismal failure.

[3RD 303] Mark Latham is 100% correct and I never thought I would say those words about him.

[4TH 275] Should be PM with Pauline as deputy. That'd shake things up

[5TH 266] For once I totally agree with Mark and if there are any of them who don't want to integrate into our country should be removed.

[6TH 219] How was this guy part of the Labor Party, he makes a lot of sense and obviously hasn't fallen for all the PC nonsense the ALP embody. Duncan Lewis is obviously an IDIOT, there could be no other conclusion, events like those in Rockhampton last May, had Never Ever occurred in Australia until then, probably why the press is working hard to suppress information about that incident

[7TH 219] Mark for PM [Daily Mail] Read more

My guide dog and I have been turned away by taxis 30 times – and it still hurts

It’s happened to me 30 times or more in 18 years of working with a guide dog – but no words can describe just how crushed and assaulted I felt this week when an Uber driver refused to carry me with my guide dog in Hertfordshire.

The law in England and Wales is completely clear.

It is a criminal offence for the driver of any private hire or hackney carriage vehicle to refuse to carry a disabled passenger because they are accompanied by an assistance dog. It’s covered in the Equality Act 2010. Drivers with allergies can apply for an exemption on medical grounds.

Similar provisions apply in Scotland, although prosecutions can only be made for licence breaches. It’s sad that such laws are even needed.

In my experience, the reason for refusals vary – mostly it’s down to a cultural misunderstanding about guide and assistance dogs – but in this case, I’ll never know precisely why the BMW driver, who is licensed by Wolverhampton city council, refused to accept my guide dog as he cancelled my job and drove off, leaving me miles from home and alone in the rain. I complained through the normal channels, but to date have never heard what, if any, action was taken. [475 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 255 votes] .... Being a cab driver is a choice; being disabled isn't. If you don't like the legal obligations that being a cab driver places on you then don't be one.

[2ND 151] "mostly it’s down to a cultural misunderstanding about guide and assistance dogs"

Are we allowed to expand on this?

[3RD 116] I'll expand slightly, if not too controversial, on Radio 5 a while back they had a blind man who was muslim, he had big problems getting people to accept his dog because of the religious and cultural issues, eventually it seems he was starting to make some headway but for him and his wife it was very hard work. To break down these taboos we need to approach the issues in an adult and open manner, we also need to ensure that the laws in the UK are above any other laws or norms.

[4TH 140] 'Cultural misunderstanding' my foot. Unfortunately these groups think their religion overrides the law.

[5TH 134] Cultural misunderstanding? Shame we can't talk about which culture is having problems understanding. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Diversity is Britain’s greatest strength. It must be at the top of the political agenda

British politicians of all persuasions used to promote diversity as one of the jewels in the crown of our society. Diversity was viewed as a visible indication of the vibrancy of an inclusive, multicultural society, something to be celebrated and reflected throughout all levels of society.

In reality however, vested interests mean our society is still ruled by elites and inequality is entrenched. The desire to concentrate power and influence in the hands of a small circle chokes the dream of a diverse, meritocratic system of social progression.

Horrific terrorist attacks perpetrated by British citizens whose hearts resided elsewhere reinforce the idea that multiculturalism itself is under siege. And last year’s referendum result had already appeared to signal that multiculturalism was no longer desired by a majority of the nation.

Yet diversity is necessary for the legitimacy of any representative democracy. Over the years we have seen low levels of voter participation and poor engagement among minorities and other overlooked groups. Women, black and minority ethnic communities, young people or those with disabilities – huge swaths of the electorate have felt uninspired to exercise their right to suffrage. [224 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 338 votes] Come to the UK if you have something to contribute, obey the laws of the land, do all of the integration yourself - and do not expect your host to accommodate your old language, your supposed norms or your cultural quirks.

If that is too much to sacrifice - we can do without you enriching us.

[2ND 262] "Yet diversity is necessary for the legitimacy of any representative democracy."

Why? If you come to a fairly homogeneous society - why should exceptions be made for diversity? How does a less diverse society somehow lack legitimacy? Are the Japanese bad?

[3RD 208] Indeed.

And why don’t we start with ‘diversity of opinion’. That is, for liberals to embrace viewpoints that are different from their own. This seems a remarkably good place to start. Or is that not the kind of diversity you have much time for?

[4TH 206 ] I have no issue with a multiracial society, but I object to a multicultural society. Multiculturalism leads to Parekh's 'community of communities', where there are no ties that bind, and we become a series of competing groups. The individual becomes worthless in their own right. They are just deemed to be part of their 'community' with their interests mediated through 'community leaders', usually self-appointed.

[5TH 199] It always seems like the host community who have to do the 'embracing' of diversity. I would like to see some communities 'embracing' equal treatment of girls and women and accepting the diverse values of western society.

[6TH 177] Extremism doesn't show us multiculturism doesn't work, multiculturism shows us multiculturism doesn't work. Extremism is just the product of that failure.

You can't have a society running smoothly when groups within it are existing in parallel lives. And when you introduce an alien culture en mass, to an established settled culture, with attitudes which are clearly at odds with each other, and the host culture has bent over backwards in the name of tolerance.......then isn't it any wonder patience is being lost?

[7TH 162] There are a lot of people from some backgrounds who appear to choose not to engage with wider society. Others appear to have no problems at all.

[8TH 152] What was the UK so lacking that it needed to import cultures that are so clearly unreconstructed? No one seems to answer this question. How the Left has arrived at a position whereby it supports such intolerant ‘communities’ in our midst baffles the hell out of me. [Guardian Cif] Read more

07 June 2017

Good Morning Britain fans disturbed by Muslim Imam's live interview about UK terrorism

Imam Yunus Dudhwala told presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that there is no extremist preaching in UK mosques despite being confronted with evidence to prove otherwise.

Shocking those tuning in at home, in light of the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, he insisted that things have "got better" within Muslim communities and suggested it's the police that are to blame.

"If you look at the evidence that's come through, mosques are reporting these individuals and the security services are not picking them up," he said. "Imams are saying they will not perform funeral prayers on these individuals. We have mosques that are actively doing something."

.... Responding to the claims, Piers accused the Imam of "living in cloud cuckoo land".

"It is not true that there is no extremist teaching in mosques right now," the presenter explained. "To pretend otherwise to me is complete nonsense." [DIGITAL SPY] Read more

06 June 2017

Welby says Islamism is everything to do with Islam, and Muslim leaders must take responsibility

The Archbishop of Canterbury has boldly gone where other other religious leaders fear to tread, and politicians daren’t hardly ever go. Cutting straight across the liturgical denials of those who preach that terrorists who blow themselves up crying ‘Allahu Akbar!’ are “not Muslims“; and those who believe that slicing people’s throats on London Bridge shouting ‘This is for Allah!’ is “nothing to do with Islam“, Justin Welby has sounded a trumpet from his holy mountain.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he was asked directly by Justin Webb about the origins and inspiration of what we now call Islamism or Jihadism: “But when politicians have told us, as they have done, this is nothing to do with Islam,” Justin Webb ventured, “you’re saying that is a mistake, it’s a cul-de-sac, it’s not getting us anywhere?”

The response was unequivocal: “I don’t think it is getting us anywhere,” responded the Archbishop. And he went on to talk about the need to take responsibility for the theology of terrorism, that is, the Islamic theology of Islamism: [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

General Election 2017: Police to guard polling stations in Tower Hamlets to stop voter intimidation

The extra security aims to stop campaigners trying to influence voters in the Bethnal Green & Bow and Poplar & Limehouse seats. Labour candidate for Poplar & Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, said the police presence was justified as you “can’t put a price on democracy”.

He said: “There’s different ways to campaign on polling day and in certain communities the culture is to get a number of supporters outside polling stations to demonstrate the support that they have. For most of us, that’s intimidating and should be discouraged. The police are there to make sure the area around the polling station is completely sterile.”

Since 2012 half of the allegations of electoral fraud in London — 224 accusations — related to Tower Hamlets. [Evening Standard] Read more

Sara Khan: The dangerous myth of a single ‘Muslim community’ fuels Islamic extremism

Our tolerance to intolerance is a familiar story. The book-burning rallies during the 1989 Rushdie affair should have been a wake-up call to religious fundamentalism. Instead we became paranoid about causing offence and tried to appease regressive community leaders who dishonestly claimed to be speaking on behalf of the “Muslim community”. We lacked the confidence to challenge them or extremists, and as a result they have thrived.

It is clear we have learned little about the diversity of Muslims. We have not only been prepared to legitimise Islamist preachers and groups, we continue to hold the misguided belief that we are serving the interests of the so-called “Muslim community”. We unhelpfully lump Muslims under the banner of a singular “community”.

This myopic perception of Muslims is part of the problem. How many times do we hear politicians and others tell us Muslim terrorists are not “true Muslims”, that they “don’t represent the Muslim community”?

Yet this outdated language conceals the problem. We fail to understand the battle taking place among Britain’s Muslims between those who advocate for a pluralistic humanistic interpretation of Islam against those who subscribe to a supremacist, intolerant and anti-Western Islam. [Evening Standard] Read more

British Imam: 'Not a single mosque in the UK promotes extremism'

A London Imam has said that there is not a single mosque in Britain that promotes extremism or violence.

Imam Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy & Bereavement at Barts Health NHS Trust, told Yahoo News: ‘To my knowledge, there is not a single mosque in the country that preaches hate, violence, or extremism.

‘It’s the Internet. It’s foreign policy, identity, and previous criminal behaviour that we need to address.’

His statement comes as the Muslim Council of Britain released a letter signed by 132 imams, scholars and leaders of Islamic organisations, condemning the deadly terror attacks in Manchester and London. [Yahoo News UK] Read more

Stop Faith schools, ban headscarves for young girls and deport all known terrorists: Loose Women star's 10 step plan to stop Islamist radicalisation

Muslim Loose Women star Saira Khan is an outspoken television presenter never afraid to debate the issues of the day.

In the past she has been criticised by some in the Muslim community but she is one of the most recognisable faces in the public eye with Islamic heritage.

It makes her uniquely qualified to give her views on the rise of extremism and what might be done to curb the slide towards terrorism we seem to be experiencing.

Here she give her ten point plan to help stop Islamist radicalisation.

Put a stop to single Faith schools – I was brought up in a mixed co-ed Comprehensive School. It was my local school and it’s where all the kids from where I lived went.

School was where I learnt about British culture and way of life. I attended all the assemblies, school fairs, Christmas parties etc. If I went to a Muslim school, I would have missed out on this.

How can you integrate into society if from the age of five you’ve only hung around people from your own religious group? [Daily Mirror] Read more

Christian Pakistani sewage worker dies after doctors refuse to touch him on Ramadan fast

A Chritstian Pakistani sewage worker has died after three Muslim doctors refused to touch him.

Irfan Masih died on June 1, in Umar Kot Civil Hospital, Sindh, Pakistan. According to World Watch Monitor, the doctors said that their fast would be 'makruh' meaning invalid because he was 'unclean' from the blood on his body and belonged to a 'chuhra'.

The word 'chura' means 'low caste' and is espeically derogatory and reserved for sanitory workers but can often be used in the Pakistan for 'Christian'.

The Umar Kot Civil Hospital in Sindh has around 75 Christian families in which the majority work as sanitory workers, a job that many muslims in the area refuse to do. In 1999, writer, Casey Ethan said : 'Most Pakistani Christians today still do the same work as their untouchable ancestors: sweeping the streets and doing other menial jobs formerly deemed ritually or liter. [Christian Today] Read more

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says we must not disconnect terror from its religious roots

No one can claim that Islam had nothing to do with the terror attacks in London on Saturday, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said.

He told the BBC that religion had been “twisted and misused” for evil, but that faith leaders needed to take responsibility for acts perpetrated in its name.

On Saturday night three Islamist fanatics killed seven people and injured another 48 by driving at them and stabbing them with hunting knives.

Police carried out a series of raids in east London in the aftermath of the attacks.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Welby argued that politicians could not pretend the attacks had “nothing to do with Islam”.

He said: “I don’t think it is getting us anywhere, just like saying Srebrenica had nothing to do with Christianity. [KentOnline] Read more

05 June 2017

We need to talk more about Jesus and Mohammed and less about Christianity and Islam

.... Why won’t Andy Burnham, the Dean of Westminster and the Prime Minster tell us the truth?

The answer is probably that if they did, they would be required to face a problem to which there is either no solution, or one that tests what is politically possible to the utmost limits.

The question they should really ask is the more interesting one which relates to those Muslims in Western society who have not turned to violence.

Why have so many Muslims who live amongst us not turned to violent Jihad? The answer may be that they simply don’t want to, or are not very observant Muslims, or at least not as observant and pious as those who do turn to violence.

Or it may be that they are kind and generous people who see much good in the first half of the Koran where Mohammed says generous things about Jews, Muslims and Christians being cousinly ‘People of the Book’.

Perhaps they prefer to commit a lesser sin against the principle of abrogation, which requires them to preference the violent and inhospitable passages mainly near the end of the Koran over the benign ones near the front. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

'Australia needs to stop worrying about Islamophobia': Muslim psychiatrist says 'moderate' activists downplaying Islam's links to terrorism are fuelling extremism in teenagers

A Bangladeshi-born psychiatrist says the ABC plays a role in radicalising young Muslim teenagers by over emphasising how they are victims of discrimination.

Tanveer Ahmed, a cultural Muslim who moved to Australia when he was six, says the national broadcaster's obsession with perceived Islamophobia was often counterproductive.

'Often the voices they reach for reinforce that because their first instinct is to quell so-called Islamophobia,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

'It keeps feeding the message that none of it is their fault, that the West is in fact against them.

'It's inaccurate and doesn't get to the source of the problem. It keeps feeding grievance, it keeps feeding this idea of Muslim grievance so in that respect it's part of the problem.

'Terrorism is, at its heart, a conflation of personal resentments with a political ideology of resentment which Islamism is.' [Daily Mail] Read more

Cory Bernardi says 'we need to talk about Islam', insults Muslims with offensive graphic

Cory Bernardi's new Australian Conservatives party has responded to the London Bridge terrorist attack by surveying its members about their views on Islam, saying "we can't put it off any longer".

The survey, titled "We Need to Talk About Islam" was emailed to supporters of the former Liberal Senator's party on Monday, just a day after knife-wielding attackers murdered seven and injured nearly 50 in London's Saturday night attack.

A graphic next to the survey showed the Islamic "shahada" or proclamation of faith, written in Arabic with a large cross through it, a move labelled "fiercely extremist" by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, and offensive by Sydney Muslim community leader Dr Jamal Rifi.

Senator Bernardi defended the timing of the survey. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

UPS barred Muslims workers from praying at Mendota Heights facility and fired them

.... Abdullahi Dahir and Abdifatah Hassan said they had been allowed to pray as needed while at work until UPS hired a new operations manager. That manager refused to let Muslim employees pray outside of regular break times and also warned them against using trips to the bathroom to fulfill their need to pray five times a day, the suit contends. Those who didn't comply were fired, the suit alleges.

"There is no lawful reason for any company to stop Muslims from praying when previously that company had allowed such prayers in a manner that did not impact the workplace," said CAIR-MN's civil rights director Amir Malik, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys. UPS and Doherty Staffing Solutions withdrew "this reasonable accommodation ... in order to get rid of the Muslim employees," Malik said in a statement announcing the suit. [Star Tribune] Read more

No, the Problem in London Is Not ‘Islamist Extremism’

.... “Islamist” is a term we in the West use in the hope that, because there are Muslims who are tolerant, pro-Western people, it must not be inevitable that Islam itself — or at least some interpretations of Islam — will breed the fundamentalist, literalist, supremacist construction of Islam. It may be a grave error to adopt this hope, especially since it has been elevated into seemingly incorrigible policy.

Does the incontestable existence of moderate Muslim individuals necessarily translate into a coherent, viable doctrine of moderate Islam? Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to take just one very influential Muslim leader, says no: The West’s invocation of “moderate Islam” is “ugly,” he counters, because “Islam is Islam, and that’s it.”

Erdogan is a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamist organization. If he’s right that there’s just one true Islam, rest assured that it’s not friendly to the West. Erdogan describes the Western call for Muslim migrants to assimilate in their new European societies as “a crime against humanity.” [National Review] Read more

04 June 2017

After London: let’s start talking about Islam

.... already we are seeing the same craven, baleful response that follows every act of Islamist terror. ‘Watch out for an Islamophobic backlash’, aloof observers say, their minds always more agitated by the thought of stupid white people saying something rude about Islam than by acts of Islamist mass murder. ‘Don’t say anything bad about this wonderful religion or its adherents’, they tell us. This is a really bad response, because it is becoming increasingly clear that one of the major problems we face today is not that our society is too mean about Islam, but that it flatters Islam too much.

.... What this means is that the supposedly correct response to terror attacks — ‘Don’t criticise Islam’ — is absolutely the worst response. It pours petrol on fire. It inflames the violent religious narcissism and self-pity that motors many of these attacks. Making criticism of Islam as commonplace and acceptable as criticism of any other religion or ideology is the first step to denuding Islamist terrorism of its warped moral programme, and it will also demonstrate that our society prizes freedom of speech over everything else — including your religion, your God, your prophets, your holy book and your feelings.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 71 votes] Described as a Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick's pious reaction to the London Bridge murders:

"The last thing we need is people over-reacting or taking out their frustrations on people in other communities or in their own communities."

It's reassuring to know that a Dick is on the case.

[2ND 33] In the next few days, listen out for the following statements, and look out for the following images:

These people are not muslims.

We will not let this incident drive a wedge between our communities.

What about right-wing terrorism-Remember Jo Cox?

This has nothing to do with Islam.

Love conquers hate.

What about Christian terrorism?

We will never know what motivated these people.

The perpetrators were known to the security forces.

The killers recently returned from Syria/Libya/Afghanistan.

These people no more represent Islam than the killer of Jo Cox represented Christianity.

It is too soon to talk about this.

Scenes of candles/balloons.

Scenes of armed police/soldiers patrolling the streets.

Scenes of muslims placing flowers.

[3RD 15] THE 'MODERATE MUSLIM' MYTH:

In reality, the concept of the ”peaceful" and/or "moderate" muslim is largely a myth.

The truth of the matter is that the only genuinely ‘moderate’ muslims aren’t true muslims at all. In fact, islamic ideology stringently dictates that it's actually IMPOSSIBLE to be a 'moderate muslim'. Although other religions make allowances for casual devotion to their faith, islam does NOT.

If those claiming to be muslim don’t strictly follow the word of the islamic ‘prophet’ as their alleged religion commands them to do, they are ‘muslims’ in name only - following family tradition/obligation, not genuine devotion to any religion. Either way you look at it, anyone claiming to be a 'moderate muslim' is a liar.

As for the rest, any muslim who follows the prescribed islamic prayer rituals and wears identifiable religious attire is NOT ‘moderate’ in their dedication to islam at all! Men with robes, hats and beards and women in burquas and hijabs - these are dedicated followers of their faith, NOT ‘moderates’, and should be treated accordingly. While they may not be ‘extremist’ they are anything BUT ‘moderate’.

For the overwhelming majority of followers of islamic doctrine, there are actually only two kinds of muslims - ‘extremist’ and ‘compliant’.

While some dedicated muslims may superficially claim to be "peaceful" and/or "moderate", the truth is that the doctrine they follow specifically dictates that islam comes FIRST in all aspects of their lives. If they don’t put islam first, they are NOT true muslims! So while they may not personally participate in any violent atrocities in the name of their religion, they also refuse to personally act against those who do commit them - because to do so would be to act against islam and incur the wrath of their islamic ‘ummah’. That makes the overwhelming majority of muslims part of the problem, NOT the solution.

It's also important to note that when muslims say that their religion forbids the murder of "innocents", the ONLY people islam views as "innocents" are followers of islam. The truth is that the ONLY "peace" islam espouses is between their own kind, and sometimes not even that.

Then, of course, there’s the traditional islamic edict known as ’taqiyya’ - which essentially instructs all muslims to blatantly lie to non-muslims about their true opinions and/or intentions, if doing so will further the islamic cause. This is especially effective in establishing islamic caliphates through invading countries by stealth.

There are two main questions that should be asked of ALL muslims claiming to be "moderate" and/or "peaceful".

The first is "What have YOU personally done to identify and expose the 'radicals' within your religion/ideology to the appropriate government authorities in order to bring them to justice and eradicate them from within your ranks?"

As the answer for the overwhelming majority of the followers of this ironically described "religion of peace" is a resounding "NOTHING AT ALL" - the follow up question is “Well, then WHAT gives you the right to perpetually play the 'victim' card when people criticise islam for its MASSIVE involvement in international violence and terrorism?!" [Spiked] Read more

Theresa May warns we need to have ’embarrassing conversations’ to fight terrorism

.... The Prime Minister added that ‘while recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism.’

She said that the extremist ideology was ‘incompatible with the religion of Islam’, as well as ‘our western values of freedom, democracy and human rights’.

This ideology will not be defeated by military intervention alone, she added, nor by the ‘maintenance of a permanent defensive counter-terrorism operation’.

‘It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence and make them understand that our values – pluralistic British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.’ [Metro.co.uk] Read more

Reality Check: What is the Prevent strategy?

Prevent is one of four strands of the government's counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest. It was created by the Labour government in 2003 and its remit was widened by the coalition government in 2011.

The other strands are: Prepare; Protect; and Pursue.

Prevent is designed to support people at risk of joining extremist groups and carrying out terrorist activities.

In practice it aims for police and other organisations to build relations across the UK and requires faith leaders, teachers, doctors and others to refer any suspicions about people to a local Prevent body. An assessment is then made about whether further action is needed.

Social services departments have become increasingly involved in identifying Prevent cases because of their duty to counter radicalisation.

About 7,500 referrals were made to the scheme in 2015-16 - the equivalent of 20 a day - according to a Freedom of Information Request to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).

Out of those referrals, action was taken in one in every 10 cases. No action at all was taken in 37% of the cases, while a quarter of people referred were found to be vulnerable but not at risk of terrorist involvement. The remaining 28% were still being considered. [BBC] Read more

Teachers’ college slated over Trojan Horse plot

The former head of Ofsted has lambasted the “incompetence” of the body that recruits and disciplines teachers, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), after the collapse of cases against the ringleaders of the “Trojan Horse” plot.

Speaking after misconduct cases against five former Birmingham school leaders were thrown out last week, Sir Michael Wilshaw said: “NCTL has always been and still is incompetent. The good work by Ofsted has been wasted and the safeguarding of children in Birmingham and beyond has been put in jeopardy.” [The Times (£)] Read more

London Bridge attacker said 'this is for Islam' before stabbing my son, mother says

The mother of a 23-year-old who was stabbed in the London Bridge terror attack has said he was approached by a man who said "this is for Islam" before stabbing a knife in him.

Elizabeth O'Neill said her son Daniel had stepped out of a bar when a man ran up to him and attacked him.

Speaking outside King's College Hospital where her son is being treated, she said: "He had just stepped outside the bar for a second and a man ran up to him and said 'this is for my family, this is for Islam' and stuck a knife straight in him. [ITV] Read more

Theresa May talks tough, but her track record on tackling Islamism is woeful

It was important that the Prime Minister reacted to Saturday night’s terrorist attack not with the usual platitudes but with a determination that “things need to change”.

As she rightly said: “There is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.”

And she was spot-on in pointing out: “We need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society.”

But the question has to be asked: who was Home Secretary for the six years from 2010? Mrs May appears to have had a Damascene conversion on this, because as Home Secretary she acted as the most important blockage in Whitehall against a serious attempt to deal with that precise problem: the hold of Islamism across parts of the public sector and across society. [The Telegraph] Read more

03 June 2017

Anti-Semite and a Muslim Brotherhood supporter behind new UK mosque

Plans for a new mosque in Britain have been overseen by a cleric reported to be a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and a Kuwaiti official who claims Jews orchestrated the September 11 attacks, the Telegraph can disclose.

Khalid Al-Mathkour, chairman of Kuwait's sharia council, and Essam Al-Fulaij, a Kuwaiti government figure who has repeatedly issued anti-Semitic diatribes, are listed as trustees of a UK-registered charity building a mosque in Sheffield. They have helped channel almost £500,000 into the project from Kuwait.

Another £400,000 has been donated to the charity, the Emaan Trust, by a Qatari organisation.

The Emaan Trust, of which Dr Al-Mathkour is honorary chairman, has already set up an evening school for children in the city and says the new place of worship will "promote and teach Islamic morals and values to new Muslim generations". [The Telegraph] Read more

Former police chief Nazir Afzal accuses Islamist groups of peddling ‘myths’ on UK’s Prevent anti-extremist strategy

BRITISH Islamist groups have been accused of undermining the fight against terrorism by peddling myths about the government’s key anti-radicalisation policy.

The country’s most prominent Muslim lawyer, Nazir Afzal, claimed that an “industry” of Muslims groups are spreading false information on the Prevent strategy.

The scheme, which has an annual estimated budget of £40 million, was set up under the Labour government in 2003, and seeks to identify people at risk of radicalisation and guide them away from extremist behaviour.

The controversial policy has since been widely criticised for being too intrusive by both Labour politicians and members of the Muslim community.

However Mr Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor, condemned “self-appointed” community leaders, who he claimed have an agenda of presenting Muslims “as victims and not as those who are potentially becoming radicals”.

Mr Afzal also hit out at the Muslim Council of Britain, saying he was staggered that its agenda for last year’s annual general meeting including “nothing about radicalisation and nothing about the threat of people going to Syria”. [The Sun] Read more

02 June 2017

'Law Against Child Marriage In Conflict With Muslim Personal Law': Judge

More than 85 years after the first law to outlaw child marriage was enacted, official statistics show that the practice is still prevalent in a large number of states. On Thursday, a top Supreme Court judge said laws prohibiting the menace had failed because laws often could not force societies to change. And it did not help if a social evil banned by a law had sanction from the society or personal laws of a religion.

Speaking at the release of an analysis of child marriage statistics in the country, Supreme Court Judge Justice AK Sikri said the prevention of child marriage was a secular law but was in conflict with Muslim Personal Law.

"Prevention of child marriage act is a secular law. But the Muslim personal law says once a girl attains puberty, she is ready for marriage. Nowadays, a girl attains puberty at the age of 11," the judge said, pointing that such situations arose in case of personal laws of other religions too. [NDTV] Read more

01 June 2017

Al-Britannia, My Country by James Fergusson review – a compelling survey of British Islam

That Islam is on the rise in the United Kingdom is one of the few things that Islamophobes and Islamophiles agree on. Since 2001, the number of Muslims has doubled, to more than 3 million, or 5% of the population; for years, Muhammad in its various spellings has been at the top of the list of names for baby boys.

By 2020, half the population of Bradford, one of the most Muslim cities in the UK, as well as one of the most fecund, will be under 20. A question that has grown even more salient in the light of the recent Manchester bombing – the handiwork of Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Mancunian of Libyan background – is: what to do with our young Muslims?

A condition for answering this, as James Fergusson makes clear in his compelling and compassionate survey of British Islam, is to recognise that the story of Muslims in this country isn’t solely – or even mainly – one of faith.

To take the example of Bradford once more, its schools are way down the league tables, and poverty and drug dealing are widespread, while in early 2016 – when Fergusson made his research trip to the city – a gang of Asian men from neighbouring Keighley were jailed for using an underage white girl as a sex slave.

The story of Islam in Britain is one of integration and segregation, education and employment, family cohesion and criminality. It’s also a story of British nativists sticking it to all those interlopers who bomb “our” concert venues and groom “our” girls. [The Guardian] Read more

31 May 2017

Olivier Roy, “One of France’s Top Experts On Islamic Terrorism” (Part I)

.... As it happens, Salman Abedi did not “lose his connection” to Libya; in Manchester he lived in what was in effect a Little Libya, one of the largest communities of Libyans outside of Libya itself, surrounded by fellow Libyans, as well as other Muslims. Nor did his family sever their own connection to Libya.

His parents moved back to Libya in 2011, but they, and at least two of his siblings, returned to Manchester often; his father, known as Abu Ismail, had been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an anti-Khaddafy force that had close links to Al-Qaeda. When he was in Manchester, he and Salman Abedi regularly attended the Didsbury Mosque.

Abedi himself made frequent trips to Libya and was there, in fact, just before he returned to carry out the Manchester attack. He remained a devout Muslim, and gave no sign of falling away from Islam. His only sign of “Western decadence” was his occasionally smoking marijuana. He was not affected by “deculturation.” He did not suffer from a “dangerous ‘identity vacuum,” as Olivier Roy would have us believe.

He memorized the entire Qur’an, earning the title of hafiz. He was perfectly secure in his Muslim identity. Yet Olivier Roy insists on a psychological explanation — an “identity vacuum” — for Abedi’s decision to become a shahid, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

But that is because he continues to refuse to take the ideology of Islam seriously, refuses even to discuss the possibility that the clear meaning of the Islamic texts and teachings might be sufficient to explain Muslim terrorism. [New English Review] Read more

Fleeing Tyranny or Bringing it with Them?

Terror attacks and other offshoots of Islamic extremism have created an atmosphere of mistrust between Europe's natives and thousands of those who entered European countries to seek shelter.

The situation is turning the Europeans against their own governments and against those advocating help for the war-torn migrants who have been arriving.

Europeans are turning hostile towards the idea of freedom and peaceful coexistence; they have apparently been seeing newcomers as seeking exceptions to the rules and culture of West.

In an unprecedented shift in policy after public fury about security, the German government decided to shut down the mosque where the terrorist who rammed a truck into a shopping market in Berlin, Anis Amri, was radicalized before hecommitted the crime.

The mosque and Islamic center at Fussilet 33 in Berlin had apparently also been radicalizing a number of other youths by convincing them to commit terror attacks in Europe and to join the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The authorities had the mosque under surveillance for a time but did not make a move before 12 innocent civilians were butchered by Amri on December 19, 2016, while leaving around 50 others injured. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

France has woken up to the danger of Islamism. Has Britain?

.... What laïcité doesn’t do, and the reason why it’s scorned by so many on the British left, is ‘celebrate diversity’. This has been the British dogma for a quarter of a century and it’s clearly not worked, as was laid bare last year by Trevor Phillips, when the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned that ‘squeamishness about addressing diversity and its discontents risks allowing our country to sleepwalk to a catastrophe that will set community against community’.

Kepel shares this assessment, worried that Britain has yet to grasp the incompatibility of its values with those of the Islamists. ‘The United Kingdom has driven a policy of prevention but also of devolving entire districts to the Islamists, notably tolerating Islamic tribunals, in order to buy social peace,’ he explained. ‘The acceptance of a form of separatism, an ‘apartheid’, as is the case in Birmingham with his Sharia judges passing sentence, poses a very big problem for their values.’

Laïcité, in contrast, unashamedly promotes French values above all others, be they Catholic, Muslim or Jewish. All religions are respected – but the Republic comes first. In short, laïcité is the glue that holds the country together and that’s why the Islamists have failed to fracture France despite five years of sickening violence. [The Spectator] Read more

Majority want faith schools to keep the religious selection cap, poll finds

An opinion poll conducted by the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, has found that eighty per cent of those surveyed – including two-thirds of Catholics, are opposed to removing the current cap, which limits schools from not selecting more than half of their pupils on religious grounds.

Last September, the government said that new faith schools would no longer have to offer 50 per cent of their places to those of other religions or none.

But 80 per cent of the 2,000 people asked as part of the research have said they prefer to keep the cap in place.

This included 67 per cent of Catholics and 79 per cent of Anglicans.

Respondents from other religious backgrounds were more enthusiastic about the removal of the cap: 43 per cent of Muslims and 55 per cent of Jews were in favour of allowing schools to select all pupils on the basis of religion.

Jay Harman, of Humanists UK, was unsurprised by the poll’s findings. “Religious and non-religious people alike recognise that both children and society are best served when people from a range of different backgrounds are brought together to learn with and from one another,” he said. [EB News] Read more

30 May 2017

Trojan Horse disciplinary action against school teachers thrown out

A long-running disciplinary case against senior teachers allegedly at the centre of the so-called Trojan Horse schools affair has been thrown out.

A professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) ruled that the hearing into five people should be discontinued.

The Trojan Horse controversy centred on allegations of a plot to "Islamify" Birmingham schools.

The controversy sparked several inquiries and led to five former members of the Park View Educational Trust senior leadership team - Monzoor Hussain, Lindsey Clark, Razwan Faraz, Arshad Hussain and Hardeep Saini - being brought before an NCTL disciplinary panel.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the panel acknowledged that a decision to halt proceedings "should only be taken in exceptional circumstances". [Birmingham Mail] Read more

Denmark is on the Verge of Repealing Its Blasphemy Law

Denmark is one of the few European nations that has a blasphemy law.

While it’s considered something of a relic, that didn’t stop one prosecutor from trying to use it this past February against a man who burned a Qur’an in late 2015. The law’s mere existence also suggests that religious criticism or symbolic acts ought to be forbidden, providing support to those countries where people are regularly punished (or killed) for speaking out against popular dogma.

That may finally be changing this week, after the ruling party in the Danish government finally voiced their support for a repeal, which could happen as early as this Friday. [Patheos] Read more

29 May 2017

Sayeeda Warsi: UK policy on radicalisation 'has been flawed for years

.... Speaking at Hay literary festival on Monday, Lady Warsi – the Conservative peer and first Muslim in a British cabinet – said government policy was currently too focused on ideology as the sole cause of radicalisation, and not on other factors, including upbringing and drug and gang culture.

“We say it is all ideology,” she told the audience. “Ideology is a part of it, but it is not all ideology. And the concern that I have in terms of government decision making is if we’re genuinely wanting to deal with this – which we are – then we have to go back to seeing what the evidence says ...

.... At her event, Warsi, who was minister of state for faith and communities until 2014, also said she hoped British Muslims would push for the phasing out of wearing burqas in Britain, calling the head-to-toe garments “not the best manifestation of British Islam”.

“I want British Muslims to lead that charge … but I don’t want it to be done with a government diktat of what women can or can’t wear, because at what point do you start to draw the lines?” she said. “What else will offend us that we don’t want people to go around wearing? There are people in conservative societies across this country who would be offended at what certain girls are wearing out on a Friday night. What are we going to do, ban that next because we’re offended by it?”

She also revealed that the “jury was still out” on whether she supported faith-segregated schools: “I was a huge supporter of faith schools but ... I’m not convinced bringing up kids in a single-faith school is good for them.” [The Guardian] Read more

Leaders at Didsbury Mosque attended by Manchester bomber admit they have a 'lot to learn'

Faith leaders at a mosque attended by Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi have said they need to do more to deter young people away from extremism - and have admitted they have ‘a lot to learn’.

Didsbury Mosque was attended by the killer and his family.

Fawzi Haffar, a trustee of the mosque, told tonight’s BBC Panorama: “I have to be truthful. We have a lot to learn, [we] have to be more conscious.”

Mr Haffar said the mosque required ‘proper policies’ to keep people away from extremist ideologies.

He added: “When we did find out that he attended this mosque we had to really ask some of our employees whether they remembered him. And some of them say they did. [Manchester Evening News] Read more

28 May 2017

Dangerous drivel that inspired Manchester bomber has poisoned a significant number of British Muslims

.... While these sentiments are hard to fault, a closer look at the mosque’s past preaching reveals a different picture.

Trustee of Didsbury mosque Farzi Haffar has previously sent a number of inflammatory anti-semitic tweets, including one that states: “The more these radical and fundamental #Jewish invaders attack #Moslem and #Christian #Arab holy areas in Palestine, the more hate there is.”

In another, he retweeted someone writing about “joy/applause for breaking taboo, comparing Israelis to Nazis”.

Didsbury mosque has also hosted speakers with anti-Semitic, homophobic, and other worrying views. Among them have been Abdullah Hakim Quick, Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, and Abu Eesa Niamatullah.

The following provides only a slight glimpse into the dangerous drivel being preached on British soil by such speakers:

Hardline preacher Abu Eesa Niamtullah has said, “Is it halal to love one’s nation? […] The problem of course comes when you want to put your identity above that [the Ummah] and you start to be more loyal, and start to be more favourable to the people from your own nation and praise them, and support them, and look after them more so than the people from your primary nation which is the nation of Islam.” [Jewish News] Read more

26 May 2017

No change to headscarf ban, Dutch police chief says Society

Police uniform rules will not be changed to allow Muslim police officers to wear headscarves, police chief Erik Akerboom has told staff, the AD reported on Friday. Akerboom said in a message on the police intranet system he had been shocked by the reactions the idea – first floated by Amsterdam’s police chief – had generated.

Currently police officers are not allowed to wear any religious symbols but officials are considering lifting the ban in an effort to improve diversity. ‘We are talking about it,’ the city’s most senior officer Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told the AD earlier this month.

‘If we cannot recruit sufficient officers with a migrant background, this is a measure which could have an impact.’ ‘There is clearly no support for the idea,’ Akerboom wrote. ‘The discussion is having a polarising effect within and outside the force.’ Acting justice minister Stef Blok has also said he opposes the idea. [DutchNews.nl] Read more

Women in burkinis stopped from swimming in Cannes

French police on Friday prevented a group of Muslim women from swimming in their burkinis in the seaside city of Cannes, home to the ongoing annual Cannes Film Festival.

Around 10 women gathered on the beach at Hotel Martinez -- where the festival is being held -- to swim in their burkinis to show support for the concealing swimsuit.

But police stopped and questioned the women, who had gathered at the call of Rachid Nekkaz, a French-Algerian businessman, to celebrate the defeat of last summer’s burkini ban on some French Riviera beaches.

Nekkaz told Nice Matin daily that the event was a way of celebrating the French high court ruling last year which allows any woman to wear a burkini.

"The Cannes Film Festival is all about liberty and tolerance," the paper quoted Nekkaz as saying. "It’s the perfect place to celebrate this newfound freedom in the city that was the first to ban the burkini." [Anadolu Agency] Read more

Manchester attack: Question Time debates 'Didsbury Mosque' leaflet

A Question Time audience member has claimed he was handed an anti-Western leaflet at Didsbury Mosque in Manchester.

The mosque was previously attended by the father of Salman Ramadan Abedi, the man who carried out Monday's bomb attack.

However, a spokesman for the Didsbury Mosque has said the leaflet was not printed by the mosque and did not carry its name, but admitted that unauthorised leaflets are sometimes left by people who are not affiliated with them.

The mosque has also condemned the attack, saying "cowardice has no place in our society". [BBC] Read more

Greek goddess statue removed in Bangladesh after Islamist outcry

Workers have begun to dismantle the statue of a Greek goddess from Bangladesh's Supreme Court complex, after an outcry from Islamists.

The sculpture of Themis - the goddess of justice - wearing a sari was less than six months old, but Islamist groups demanded its removal by Friday.

They claimed it hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and it prompted mass protests in the capital, Dhaka.

PM Sheikh Hasina agreed to its removal, but secular groups opposed it.

Workers came with equipment and a crane at midnight to uproot the controversial statue, the BBC's Bangla service reported.

The statue is being removed to maintain peace, said its creator Mrinal Haque.

Analysts say this is a sign of the rising tension between Islamic conservatism and liberal values in Bangladesh.

Protesters have long asserted that the figure, which held the familiar sword and scales of justice in her hands, amounted to idolatry.

In February, conservative Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam led protests and threatened to spread the demonstrations across the country if the statue was not removed. [BBC] Read more

25 May 2017

Why Salman Abedi grew to hate us

Aalman Abedi was a British Libyan. So am I. His parents were given refuge in the UK, and so were mine. His grandparents and great grandparents were saved from German and Italian fascists by the sacrifice of British soldiers, as were mine. Details are now emerging that suggest Abedi fought in the Libyan revolution alongside his father. If true, then he will have depended for his life upon the actions of British, French and American airforces.

Abedi was not disenfranchised. He was not rejected by British society. He was taught to reject and hate it, despite everything it gave him and his family. His older sister has reportedly said that Abedi was looking for ‘revenge’ for the ‘ill-treatment’ of Muslims in the UK and Syria.

This is the circular logic of the Islamist victimhood narrative that almost every Muslim growing up in the UK will have been exposed to at one time or another. Western governments, and therefore Western societies, are to blame for all instances of intervention in Muslim majority countries, and are equally culpable should they fail to intervene. [Spiked] Read more

You squish the cockroach because you're disgusted by it': Australia's first female Muslim MP says terrorists see non-believers as sub-human and not to dismiss link between terror and Islam

Australia's first female Muslim MP says terrorists see non-believers as cockroaches and admits there is a link between terrorism and Islam.

Labor's Anne Aly, who was a counter-terrorism expert before being elected to federal parliament last year, said religiously-motivated murderers saw non-believers as sub-human.

.... In a break with many left-wing politicians, who deny the link between Islam and terrorism, the Egyptian-born politician said the Koran was often used to justify violence.

'It would be wrong to completely dismiss ideology and the role of ideology and religion in this,' she said.

'There are certainly parts of the religion that do justify or that can be used, that are easily manipulated to justify violence.'

The Perth-based politician said the Islamic Hadith, which chronicles aspects of the Prophet Mohammad's life, was also used to justify terrorism. [Daily Mail] Read more

Students at bomber's university tried to sabotage Prevent anti-terror scheme because it 'demonises Muslims'

Students at the university attended by the Manchester bomber have tried to sabotage the Prevent anti-terror scheme over claims it ‘demonises Muslims’.

The student union at Salford University, where Salman Abedi studied, passed a motion last year to boycott the initiative and ‘educate’ undergraduates about its ‘dangers’.

The boycott was part of a ‘Students not Suspects’ campaign, run by the National Union of Students, which has been linked with controversial terror apologist group CAGE.

Even yesterday, other Muslim student leaders in other Manchester universities have been calling for Prevent to be scrapped.

The Muslim chaplain for both Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University, said the scheme needed to be ‘wrapped up’ and said society should ‘move on’

Prevent places a legal duty on universities to report any signs of students becoming radicalised to the authorities.

The purpose of the initiative is to stop students being groomed by extremists before it is too late, with teams of experts deployed to help those identified as at risk.

The duty began as a voluntary scheme and was made law in 2015 – one year after Abedi began his business and management course at the university. [Daily Mail] Read more

Councillor censured for comparing women in burqas to 'walking black post boxes'

A COUNCILLOR has been censured for comparing Muslim women wearing burqas to “walking black post boxes.”

Keighley town councillor Samuel Fletcher also called for Muslim culture in Britain to be banned.

The comments, made last week, have been condemned and described as “appalling.”

Cllr Fletcher has this week accepted his post boxes comparison was "crass", adding that he also regretted his statement about banning Muslim culture in Britain.

But he stressed the point he was trying to make was that full face veils can be intimidating and inappropriate in certain public situations, noting that plenty of people would agree with this. [Telegraph & Argus] Read more

24 May 2017

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: Islamic Mosques Key to UK Terrorist Attacks

British officials can end terrorism once they stop "ignoring the substance" undermining these attacks, which is "Islamism, supremacist theocratic mosques in Britain," Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"Many of these guys have been called known wolves, not lone wolves, known wolves," he told host Bill Tucker on "America Talks Live" in an interview. "The problem is that in all of our apparatus, even in America, we're still focused on that last stage.

"There's a reason why most of these guys are homegrown — born in Britain, born in Germany, Italy, wherever it is," he said. "They're not necessarily the refugees.

"Most of these are homegrown because the separatist culture — the underbelly of imams, communities, families — that tell them that the West hates them, that the conspiracy theories, the misogyny of Islamism, is preferable to the free-wielding freedoms of the West." [Newsmax] Read more

Indonesia canes men convicted of gay sex before a jeering crowd

The pair, aged 20 and 23, received 83 strokes of the cane each after being found guilty of breaking sharia rules in conservative Aceh province, the only part of Indonesia that implements Islamic law.

They were led onto a stage set up outside a mosque in front of a crowd of thousands, who jeered and booed loudly.

The pair, whose identities have not been revealed, bowed their heads as they were whipped by officials who wore dark robes and masks with eye slits, and used thin rattan canes.

One of the men grimaced occasionally and the other showed little emotion.

Before the caning, Abdul Gani Isa, a member of the Acehnese clerics' council, told the crowd the caning was "a lesson for the public".

"Lessons carried out with our sharia law are conducted in a very thoughtful way, are educational and do not violate human rights," he said.

Their sentences, which were carried out in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, were reduced by two strokes of the cane due to time already served in detention. [Special Broadcasting Service Corporation] Read more

As a Muslim, Briton and Mancunian, I believe that defeating terror requires us to stay united

Nothing to do with Islam?

I am fed up to the back teeth with people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, pronouncing that such terrorist atrocities have nothing to do with the perpetrators’ religious views. See for example Mehdi Hasan: “How Islamic is Islamic State?” and Baroness Warsi’s recent book “The enemy within” and the linked extract “Can someone pass my terrorist spotting vision goggles?”

The perpetrators are Muslims. They tell us they are Muslims, they pray, they fast – etc. Whether they are experts or amateurs when it comes to Islam is irrelevant. Religious ignorance (such as the travellers to Syria who bought “Islam for Dummies”) is not proof that the individuals are not motivated by their understanding of Islam, however limited it may be.

No serious commentator has ever claimed that their religious beliefs are the sole motivators of violent Islamist extremists. The beliefs have to be allied with a cause, and often there is an association with identity crises or other personality problems. However, the religious beliefs really matter.

Assuming that he was a Muslim, it is crystal-clear that before the moment he detonated his bomb, Abedi knew that he was going to die and that he expected to go to heaven. While heroes often sacrifice their lives, I refuse to accept that any man who believes in God, heaven and hell would consciously choose to act in a way that would cause God to sentence him to hell for all eternity. [ConservativeHome] Read more

23 May 2017

The Wahhabi Threat - Westerners must wake up to the danger in our midst

The ideology of the caliphate is so absurd and intellectually vacuous that to try to refute it is to do it more honor than it deserves or is capable of supporting. But the history of the world proves that absurdity is no obstacle to acceptance, even (or perhaps I should say especially) by the intelligent and educated. And Islamism in Europe can count on the financial support of, or sustenance by, the Saudi, or Wahhabi, state.

Even if there was no direct link between the action of Salman Abedi and the Saudi or Wahhabi state, the latter has spent untold millions in spreading its version of rigorism in the world, on creating the atmosphere in which it flourishes and without which it would not survive.

It would not be surprising to learn that some of Abedi’s associates, if not Abedi himself, had lived a life of dissipation until converted to that vicious rigorism, having discovered that dissipation was not the way to a fulfilled life. [City Journal] Read more

Shocking moment a girl, 14 'marries a Muslim man 20 years older than her in the back room of a mosque - after he paid her family for her with a gold necklace'

A shocking video shows the moment a 14-year-old girl is allegedly forced to marry a man 20 years older than her at the back of a Melbourne mosque.

The video seized by police from the alleged groom’s phone shows the traditional Islamic ceremony by a prominent Muslim marriage cleric last year.

Imam Ibrahim Omerdic, 62, has faced court accused of forcing a minor to enter marriage.

In video shown in court and obtained by 7 News, a timid teenage girl sits quietly as her groom-to-be signs papers presented by the Imam.

The underage girl's mother watches on, after the groom allegedly paid to marry her daughter with a $1,480 gold necklace.

The Imam asks the child bride if she takes the man - who she reportedly met only a few days prior - 'to live together and live according to Islam.' She answers 'yes' and is told by the Imam that as a wife, she now has a duty to 'obey' her husband. [Daily Mail] Read more

Proposed Islamic hub draws cross chamber accusations among Brisbane councillors

An Islamic school's plans to create a master planned hub in Brisbane's south west has sparked fiery debate, including accusations of 'racial undertones', between the city's leaders.

The Australian International Islamic College (AIIC) at Durack has submitted a development application to Brisbane City Council and proposed a child care centre, mosque, multi-storey residential building, shops, medical centre and aged care facility be built on the school's site at 724 Blunder Road.

.... The development received more than 15 submissions from residents during the community consultation stage of this application with a majority opposing the development.

Concerns raised included the general proposed use of the site as well as associated noise, building height and traffic congestion.

"Other colleges do not build places of worship on their grounds and this one must not be allowed to do so," Blunder Road resident Kevin Franklin said in his submission to the council. [Brisbane Times] Read more

Inside the Secret World of Ex-Muslims

Even in America, these ‘apostates’ must meet in private. In April, a defiant group of self-identified “apostates” convened in downtown Portland, Oregon, to revel in the joys of brew culture, bacon burgers, and atheism. Nine ex-Muslims from several states in the region gathered for a local meeting of the Ex-Muslims of North America. EXMNA is a nonprofit that provides support to individuals who have left Islam.

Some of its members have faced disownership and death threats from family members for renouncing their religion. Chapter gatherings across the United States and Canada are closed-group meetings for safety reasons. Individuals who wish to join the organization go through a screening process to authenticate their identities, explained Sarah Haider, who co-founded EXMNA in 2013.

“Unfortunately, it is not paranoia that requires us to be careful,” Haider said. “In the Muslim world, we are openly persecuted and regularly meet grisly ends. In the Western world we are safer, but even here open meetings can be a big risk.” [National Review] Read more

22 May 2017

World's largest Muslim youth organisation calls for re-examination of Islamic text

The world’s largest Muslim youth organisation Gerakan Pemuda Ansor (GP Ansor) - the youth wing of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation Nadlatul Ulama (NU) - on Monday (May 22) called for a re-examination of Islamic text to adapt it to modern civilisation.

.... “A wide discrepancy now exists between the structure of Islamic orthodoxy and the context of Muslims’ actual reality," said Luthfi Thomafi, a member of GP Ansor's board. "(This is) due to immense changes that have occurred since the teachings of orthodox Islam, which became largely ossified towards the end of the medieval era.”

“Civil discord, acts of terrorism, rebellion and outright warfare - all pursued in the name of Islam - will continue to plague Muslims and threaten humanity at large, until these issues are openly acknowledged and resolved,” Thomafi added.

Advertisement

Among the complex issues that lie at the heart of this discrepancy are practices governing relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, according to GP Ansor. These include the rights, responsibilities and role of non-Muslims who live in Muslim-majority societies and vice versa. [Channel NewsAsia] Read more

The cradle of religious intolerance

.... If the president had wanted to attend worship services Sunday, he would have been out of luck. Churches are banned in Saudi Arabia, as are synagogues and any and all religious activities unrelated to Islam. If Trump had been so inclined to read passages from the Holy Bible while in Saudi Arabia, he would have been free to do so, as long as he was doing it out of public view, like behind closed doors.

Trump told his audience in the land of Islam’s holiest sites, that “young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence and innocent of hatred.” How does that apply to Christians, Jews and non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia who wish to practice their faith as openly as adherents of Islam observe their own? I’ve been there. Religious tolerance is an alien notion.

Saudi Arabia neither recognizes nor protects religious freedom. It also cares little about keeping non-Muslims free from fear, violence and hatred. But, then again, come to think of it, in some ways, that’s also true of the Islamic State. [The Washington Post] Read more

20 May 2017

We cannot allow this’ - UEA Muslim students hold open-air prayer in protest at loss of religious space

Hundreds of Muslim university students stood in solidarity by holding an open-air prayer in protest at the loss of their religious space.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) students learned a week before Ramadan, through an unofficial source, that they were to temporarily lose their prayer room due to a £2m refurbishment of its main lecture theatres.

Instead they were offered the Multi-Faith Centre for their main Friday prayers, even though a university report in 2014 deemed it inadequate for that purpose.

Students will also be able to use the university’s Blackdale main hall in the evenings. They will also be able to use them for Friday prayers, but only when exam season is over.

A UEA spokesman said: “As part of a £2m investment in new library study spaces and the complete refurbishment of the university’s main lecture theatres the use of a prayer facility near Lecture Theatre 2 will be temporarily unavailable for safety reasons during the building works. [Eastern Daily Press] Read more

Father can't watch daughter at Muslim netball tournament

A Muslim father is upset he isn't allowed to watch a daughter compete at an Islamic women's netball tournament.

But organisers say it's important for the girls to have a "secure environment" to play sport.

The father, who wished to remain anonymous, has a daughter playing in today's Muslim women's netball tournament at Zayed College For Girls in Auckland.

The tournament has been running for the past 15 years or so and has always excluded men from the event. The referees and coaches at the tournament are also required to be female.

"We as men can't go and watch the tournament. My daughter is playing and I can't watch," the father said.

"I can understand swimming because they wear different clothes, but netball is netball, women should be able to watch men and men able to watch women ... It is rather sad that it is happening here in New Zealand."

Earlier this year, a WaterSafe Auckland initiative at YMCA's Cameron Pool and Leisure Centre in Mt Roskill had the pools partially closed one night a week to give Muslim women the opportunity to learn to swim. [The NZ Herald] Read more

19 May 2017

Schools urged to 'show sensitivity' to Muslim pupils by moving GCSE and A-Level revision classes and rescheduling sports days for Ramadan

Schools are being urged to move revision classes and consider rescheduling sports days to accommodate the needs of Muslim pupils fasting for Ramadan, MailOnline can reveal.

A new report also suggests that schools should also 'show sensitivity' when organising graduation celebrations and change PE lesson plans to make sure that activities are 'less strenuous'.

Ramadan falls at the end of May this year and will last for approximately one month meaning it will clash with GCSE and A Level exams across the country.

During the period Muslims who have reached 'maturity' are required to go without food or drink - including water - during sunlight hours.

It means that thousands of pupils could face sitting exams with empty stomachs in warm exam rooms at the height of summer when Britain gets an average of 16 hours of daylight.

The pamphlet has been published by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents more than 18,000 head teachers and college leaders.

It recommends teenagers should not stay up late praying during this summer's exam period because 'extra devotions in Ramadan are voluntary' and performing well at school is 'obligatory'. [1164 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 10788 votes] So the UK are bowing down to other religions.... In doing so losing its own culture... Makes sense all the kids who have been studying their whole epidemic careers put on hold because a minority have to fast to stay pure to Islam...... Joke

[2ND 8598] They are not forced to do anything, they give up food and drink in daylight hours voluntarily, its their choice

[3RD 8114] This is England isn't it time to put a stop, to all this nonsense.

[4TH 7975] No No not right if they want to live in our country abide by our rules

[5TH 6599] When Ramadan falls is not our problem. The UK is a Christian country.

[6TH 6219] If these parents place their religion over their children's immediate wellbeing and future prospects then they need to have a wobble of their heads.

[7TH 5297] If they need special allowances for revision and exams they're going to be no use to a future employer. Time to show them the door. [Daily Mail] Read more

Dog sculpture thrown into Bedford river in a ‘religious’ protest

.... Hundreds of passers-by saw him chiselling the remains of an old willow trunk to create the shape of a dog. “It was harmless and delightful occupation that was giving pleasure to many,” said one passer-by. “It was beautiful, so much so that at least one person offered him money to take it away to her garden,” she said.

But artist Prince, whose passion is creating works of art out of waste, did not have long to enjoy his sculpture once it was finally finished. He was visited at his spot by the river by a group of young men who objected to the sculpture, saying that anything depicting a dog was against their Muslim religion. A witness said: “They accused Prince of creating a shape that was forbidden. [Bedford Today] Read more

Germany: Should Migrants Integrate?

.... After five months of deliberation, the task force on May 16 presented a list of what it considers to be the top 15 guiding principles of German culture. Encapsulated in the catchphrase "Cohesion in Diversity," the list consists of mostly generic ideas about German culture — gender equality, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, pluralism and democracy — that are not at all unique to Germany.

Moreover, the list makes no mention of German culture as being the guiding or core culture (Leitkultur), nor does the task force explicitly demand that migrants assimilate to the German way of life. Rather, the guiding principles appear to be aimed at encouraging Germans to embrace the foreign cultural norms that migrants bring to Germany. The task force's focus seems to have shifted from integration and assimilation to coexistence, tolerance and to the Germans adopting the migrant's core culture.

The preamble states:

"Integration affects all people in Germany. Social cohesion can neither be prescribed, nor is it alone a task of politics.... Solidarity is one of the basic principles of our coexistence. It shows itself in our understanding of each other and in the attention to the needs of others — we stand for a solidarity society....

"Immigration changes a society and requires openness, respect and tolerance on all sides.... The stirring up of fears and hostilities is not the right way — we stand for a cosmopolitan society....

"The European integration process is not only a guarantee for peace in Europe and an important basis for prosperity and employment, it also stands for cultural convergence as well as for common European values — we want a united Europe."

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, a well-known supporter of the idea of a core culture (Leitkultur), expressed disappointment at the task force's refusal to be more specific about what constitutes Germanness. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

18 May 2017

American Islam's Most Extreme Conference

Speakers included Siraj Wahhaj, an imam who addresses Muslim events across the country every week, and is a former advisory board member of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Wahhaj has preached:

"I don't believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. ... you know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to, kill them both."

Elsewhere, Wahhaj cites the death penalty for adultery, advocates chopping off the hands of thieves, and tells Muslims:

"Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don't you know our children are surrounded by kafirs [disbelievers]. I'm telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul."

Other listed speakers included Abdul Nasir Jangda, who advocates sex-slavery and gives husbands permission to rape their wives; Suleiman Hani, who claims that "Freedom of speech is a facade" used to stifle "objective discussion" of the "Holocaust and Jews"; Mohammad Elshinawy, who claims that women who fail to wear the hijab will contract breast cancer; and Yasir Qadhi, whose violent homophobia was recently the subject of an investigative report by The Times. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Muslims urged to use their votes in the general election

Imams around the country have been asked to use their sermons to urge British Muslims to vote in the election, thereby helping young people to avoid the lure of “deviant ideologies” through a sense of investment in civil life.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella group with 500 affiliated mosques and Islamic bodies, has released a list of key issues affecting Muslims before the election. It has also circulated a suggested sermon for imams to deliver during Friday prayers that declares: “Muslims need to be more politically active.”

IpsosMORI research suggests that 53 per cent of eligible Muslims did not vote at the 2010 general election. [The Times (£)] Read more

Lawsuit over Islam comments tests boundaries between controversial language and free speech

A lawsuit filed against a Greek author and historian under Greece’s anti-racism legislation over claims she defamed Islam and incited violence via a comment in one of her articles is testing the boundaries between free speech and what could be considered offensive language.

Soti Triantafyllou is set to appear in court on July 21 on charges of using racist language in an article that included a quote, which she attributed to 13th-century Venetian traveler Marco Polo, that said, “The militant Muslim is the person who beheads the infidel, while the moderate Muslim holds the feet of the victim.”

The lawsuit, under Law 4285/2014, was brought by veteran human rights activist Panayote Dimitras, who heads the Greek Helsinki Monitor watchdog group and is in charge of the Racist Crimes Watch blog. In his suit, Dimitras claims that Triantafyllou could have confirmed, just by searching on the internet, that the quote is fake and was never uttered by Polo. [Kathimerini English Edition] Read more

Amsterdam police force considers allowing Muslim headscarves: AD

Police chiefs in Amsterdam are considering allowing female Muslim officers to wear headscarves, the AD said on Thursday. Currently police officers are not allowed to wear any religious symbols but officials are considering lifting the ban in an effort to improve diversity.

‘We are talking about it,’ the city’s most senior officer Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told the paper. ‘If we cannot recruit sufficient officers with a migrant background, this is a measure which could have an impact.’ Aalbersberg says half of the city’s police force should have an ethnic minority background to better reflect the city’s population.

Currently some 52% of the city’s residents have ‘non-Dutch’ roots, compared with 18% of police officers. ‘The make-up of Amsterdam is changing,’ he said. ‘I think this is a subject for debate, and that should involve the man in the street as well.’ [DutchNews] Read more