28 February 2017

Europe: Laughing at the Messenger

.... Consider the almost precise replay of that 2015 episode after U.S. President Donald Trump referred in a speech to "what's happening last night in Sweden." Much of the press immediately seized the opportunity to claim that Trump had asserted that a terrorist attack had occurred the night before in Sweden.

This allowed them to laugh at the alleged ignorance of the president and the alleged concoction of what has become known as "fake news." Except that it swiftly became obvious to anyone who cared that what the president was referring to -- a documentary film about the situation in Sweden that had aired the night before on Fox News -- showed the extent of the lawlessness in parts of Sweden.

While every authority in Sweden was laughing at Donald Trump, a day after his comments. residents of Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, obligingly had a car-burning riot and attacked police. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

27 February 2017

As Christians flee in Sinai, a look at Egypt's sectarian problem

Several hundred Egyptian Christians have fled their homes in North Sinai over the last few days following a series of murders attributed to supporters of the so-called Islamic State.

Since the end of January at least seven people have been attacked and killed in the provincial capital, El Arish. Five were shot, one was beheaded, and one burnt to death.

Other Christians in the area say they have received threats by mobile phone and "death lists" have been circulated online. A video issued last week by a local IS affiliate vowed to step up attacks, describing the Christians as "infidels" empowering the West against Muslims.

The authorities have been battling against jihadists in northern Sinai for several years but with limited success. A statement from President Sisi's office on Thursday said he has now given orders to "completely eradicate" them. [al-bab.com] Read more

26 February 2017

Why secular Denmark is using a sledgehammer to protect the sacred

DENMARK is one of the least religious countries in the world; a poll has found that barely one in five Danes considers faith to be a really important factor in daily life. Yet as of this week, it looks as though Denmark may be one of the very few countries in the Western world where a blasphemy law is in active use.

The country’s state prosecution service has emphatically defended its decision to bring blasphemy charges (and the suggestion of a fine, not a prison term) against a 42-year-old man who burned a copy of the Koran in his garden and then posted a video of the deed on an anti-Islamic Facebook group. "Such an act may be a violation of the blasphemy section of the Criminal Code which concerns public mockery or scorn with reference to a religion," a prosecutor said.

What lies behind this decision? It’s easy to think of reasons why the authorities in any Western country would view the public burning of Islam’s holy text as something against the public interest, an act to be discouraged in any possible way. [The Economist] Read more

Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country's rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of 'turning a blind eye'

A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye to the problem because of 'political correctness'.

Earlier this month Peter Springare, who has spent more than 40 years in the police, aired his anger on social media when he was told not to record the ethnicity of violent crime suspects.

Springare, 61, who is based in the central city of Orebro, wrote: 'Countries representing the weekly crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden.

'Half of the suspects, we can't be sure because they don't have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they're lying about your nationality and identity.' [1547 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 6774 votes] It's not turning a blind eye. It is a deliberate covering up and failure to report the truth.

[2ND 4917] Why are the politicians doing this to us?

[3RD 4304] This man is a hero, lets all follow his example and tell the truth, state the facts. If we can do this then maybe action will follow and there is still a chance we can save ourselves and protect our children and grand children from a monstrous future.

[4TH 4195] are the free press listening because president trump was right in his recent comments about Sweden

[5TH 3992] If you tell the truth you are labelled a racist. [Daily Mail] Read more

Are Muslims Doing Enough To Integrate In The United Kingdom?"

Here Maajid Nawaz gives his take on whether British Muslims are doing enough to integrate themselves in communities across the UK.

He said: "Now the question of integration is something that I, you would assume, have a lot to say about. I do, I have some views.

"The problem we've had in this country is that for so long we've been pretty paralysed from being able to speak about it.

"Those who have spoken about integration, those who have questioned the multiculturalism policies of the 90s have been usually tarnished, by either being racists, or bigots, or xenophobes, and the truth is that the very communities that those people, who are using words, who are deploying words such as racists, bigots, and xenophobes, are the very communities they were trying to defend, minority communities.

"And in this case, for this question, Britain's Muslim communities, were the same communities that were falling behind due to those policies, the multiculturalism policies of the 90s. On every conceivable metric.

"And I've said this before on my show, on every conceivable metric that you could come up with. Whether it's being disproportionately represented in prisons, whether it's being under employed, whether it's being disproportionately represented in our country's higher education institutions. [LBC] Read more

25 February 2017

'The agenda is to create a country within your country': Islamic leader warns radicals have a shocking secret plan to create a Muslim state inside Australia... funded by taxpayers

Muslim Imam Shaikh Mohammad Tawhidi has warned that an independent state within Australia is the agenda of radicals, according to an upcoming interview on Today Tonight.

The Muslim leader, who has openly spoken out against ISIS and extremists, is interviewed on Seven's Today Tonight and claimed radicals would 'create a country within your country'.

'The agenda is to create a country within your country,' Imam Tawhidi told Today Tonight.

He goes on to claim his religion is suffering at the moment.

'Sadly in my religion, in the current situation, is an absolute mess.'

The episode, on Monday night, will reveal the shocking plan for a Muslim state in Australia, funded by taxpayers and foreign fanatics the show's preview reads.

Muslim community leader Jamal Daoud, a Sunni Muslim and human rights activist, will appear on the episode. [Daily Mail] Read more

24 February 2017

Erosion of traditional Dutch values is voters’ main concern, new poll finds

The erosion of traditional Dutch values is the main concern of voters heading into the March 15 general election, according to research by Ipos for broadcaster NOS. In total, 86% of the 1,100 people questioned said they were concerned or very concerned about norms and values.

A large majority feel that traditional standards are in decline and just one in 10 expect an improvement in the coming years, Ipsos said. Over 80% are also concerned about immigration and refugees, and a similar percentage regard the health service as a major issue. Some 50% said they consider the arrival of ‘non-western’ immigrants to be a threat to Dutch values, a position endorsed by a majority of PVV, Christian Democrat, VVD and 50Plus voters.

The poll also looked at voter attitudes to new US president Donald Trump. Two out three people said he was not doing a good job, and only one third of PVV voters had good words to say about the president, despite Geert Wilders’ backing. The Dutch government wants all new arrivals in the country to sign an official declaration saying they uphold Dutch norms and values, which include freedom of speech, freedom of religion and equality between men and women. [DutchNews] Read more

Counter terrorism police investigate fears of a 'Trojan Horse-style' plot at a primary school where the headteacher is forced to work from home because of threats from Muslim parents

Counter-terrorism police are investigating claims a primary school headteacher has been forced to work from home after death threats from Muslim parents who hate her western values.

Trish O'Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham, has endured 'harassment and intimidation' in the form of 'aggressive verbal abuse' and 'threats to blow up her car' from parents pushing conservative Muslim ideals.

It is feared they are making a 'Trojan Horse' attempt to Islamicise the school.

Parents have complained the way she dresses is 'unsuitable' and that pictures of her daughters in her office are 'offensive'.

The school is mostly filled with Pakistani pupils who do not speak English as a first language. A section of its website titled British values only read: 'coming soon'.

Since becoming head in 2006, Mrs O'Donnell has taken the school Ofsted rating from needing improvement to good. [1993 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 10521 votes] This is Britain not Pakistan. If you don't want your kids to be brought up with British values then you know the answer. Move back to Pakistan.......but I guess you won't

[2ND 9831] Look, if the British run school are not to their liking, if the educated teachers are not to their liking, if their dress is not to their liking, then Pakistan awaits them. There you can relax in a slower place of life - in the sun, you can meet all your friends with veils, you can relax knowing that your children are being brainwashed in the same manner you were, that the veil will prevail. Just don't do it on MY TURF. If you don't like the teachers, then pay for your own private school under the laws of the land that took you in.

[3RD 8827] There`s more than enough warning signs now to do something about it.

[4TH 7353] What the hell is going on. Theresa May you need to do something now!!

[5TH 6819] So we now live in a country where a head teacher has to work from home because of religiously motivated death threats, and I'll bet it wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to find those behind it, where are the police in all this ?

[6TH 6729] WHY WHY WHY BLOODY WHY? is this being allowed to happen?

[7TH 6478] I know there are many muslims who do not think or behave in this way but things like this make me glad I live in an area that is minority Muslim.

[8TH 6199] If parents of any other religion threatened a Muslim teacher then it would be all over the news and people would probably be arrested. But the other way round and nothing is going to happen. [Daily Mail] Read more

23 February 2017

Danish Man Who Burned Quran Is Prosecuted for Blasphemy

A 42-year-old man who burned a Quran and posted a video of it on Facebook has been charged with blasphemy in Denmark, a striking decision by prosecutors in a country that is largely secular but has grappled with the role of Islam in public life.

The decision stunned many Danes: No one has been convicted of blasphemy in Denmark since 1946, and the country has a long tradition of free speech; burning the flag is not a punishable crime.

Simmering tensions between religious sensitivities and free speech have been a theme in Denmark since 2005, when the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The depictions outraged many Muslims, who consider such representations to be blasphemous.

.... Mr. Paludan also noted that in 1997, a Danish artist burned a copy of the Bible on a news show by a state broadcaster but was not charged. “Considering that it is legal to burn a Bible in Denmark, I’m surprised then that it would be guilty to burn the Quran,” he said in a phone interview. [The New York Times] Read more

Halal meat: How is it prepared and is it cruel to animals?

.... The Islamic method of killing an animal for meat is called zabiha. After reciting the blessing, the slaughterman uses a surgically sharp instrument to cut the animal's throat, windpipe and the blood vessels around its neck. The blood is then allowed to drain from the body.

.... Animal health experts and campaigners disagree. The RSPCA argues that killing animals without stunning them causes "unnecessary suffering", while activist group Peta calls halal slaughter "prolonged torment", saying the animals "fight and gasp for their last breath, struggling to stand while the blood drains from their necks".

The British Veterinary Association calls for all animals to be effectively stunned before slaughter, while the Farm Animal Welfare Council says cutting an animal's throat is "such a massive injury [that it] would result in very significant pain and distress in the period before insensibility supervenes". [The Week] Read more

Whether he wins or not, Geert Wilders has successfully managed to put Islam at the centre of the Dutch elections

.... From this starting point, the liberals eagerly wanted to attract voters from the political right, especially from Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV), which according to the polls has a substantial chance of becoming the country’s biggest party in March. The PVV portrays itself as a two-solution party.

On the one hand, it uses a discourse focused on conflict and Islam, while on the other it focuses on financial expense and the European Union. In doing so, it presents both Islam and the EU as underlying factors in almost all of the problems currently faced in Dutch society.

The PVV’s popularity among the electorate is predominantly based on Wilders’ Twitter-based media strategy in which he profiles himself as being strongly against the Dutch political elite, who are presented as being too blind to see the disastrous Islamisation taking place in the country.

He shies away from many public debates and only rarely gives interviews. His party programme remains extremely vague: it runs to only one page, focusing above all on opposition against the destabilising forces of “Islamisation”, which the party associates with violence, terror, and also mass-asylum, immigration and a lack of security. [London School of Economics] Read more

Imtiaz Shams from Ilford received death threats after renouncing Islam and wants to reach out to others like him with his support group Faith to Faithless

A MAN who received death threats after renouncing his faith wants to reach out to other people like him.

Imtiaz Shams grew up in a Muslim family in Ilford in the late 1990s and early 2000s, going to school in Hainault and Seven Kings.

The 28-year-old says he was “very religious” as a youngster, always reading books about Islam and going to the mosque.

But as he approached his twenties, Mr Shams started to question things.

He said: “Every Muslim has questions about their faith when they they’re growing up, and that’s totally fine.

“But as I got older and my critical thinking developed, I started to doubt whether the answers I was getting really made sense anymore.”

Despite having doubts, Mr Shams did not actually consider leaving his faith until several years later.

He said: “Even though I wanted to leave, I had absolutely no idea how. [East London and West Essex Guardian] Read more

Comics and music shows in Saudi Arabia draw rebuke from clerics

A comic show and a recent pop concert have drawn rebuke from powerful religious figures and social media users in Saudi Arabia this week, highlighting the sensitivity of cultural reforms underway in the conservative kingdom.

Thousands of Saudis - including women - decked out in costumes and face paint attended the country's first-ever Comic Con in Jeddah on Sunday. The sexes rarely mix in public in a country which adheres to the austere Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam.

The event was held by the state-run General Entertainment Authority (GEA), which has bucked some of the Islamic kingdom's strict social codes to host a series of festivals, comedy shows and concerts this year.

It came weeks after Saudi Arabia saw its first major public concert in over a decade, also in Jeddah. Authorities announced this week that the headline act, Saudi superstar Mohammed Abdo, would perform in the more conservative capital Riyadh in March. [Reuters] Read more

Muslims are the least popular religious group in the U.S. They’re disliked even more than atheists

Last Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released the results of a new survey showing that American attitudes toward Muslims had improved in the past few years.

While respondents to a 2014 survey gave Muslims an average rating of 40 on a 100-point “feeling thermometer” — a scale measuring favorability toward different groups — that number had climbed to 48 by last month. Headlines noted the shift, which many observers found surprising given recent debates about terrorism and President Trump’s order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations.

But despite the improved attitudes, Muslims remain the least popular of all religious groups asked about in the Pew survey. By comparison, respondents gave Jews a rating of 67, Catholics 66, and mainline Protestants 65. Even atheists were rated higher at 50.

Data in the figure below from the 2016 pilot study of the American National Election Studies (ANES) show the same thing. On a feeling thermometer, Muslims are ranked near the bottom compared with other groups in the United States — including blacks, Latinos, transgender people and gays and lesbians — and below the neutral point of 50.

What explains this deep prejudice toward Muslims? [The Washington Post] Read more

22 February 2017

Trump Is Right: Sweden’s Embrace of Refugees Isn’t Working

The country has accepted 275,000 asylum-seekers, many without passports—leading to riots and crime.

When President Trump last week raised Sweden’s problematic experience with open-door immigration, skeptics were quick to dismiss his claims. Two days later an immigrant suburb of Stockholm was racked by another riot. No one was seriously injured, though the crowd burned cars and hurled stones at police officers. [The Wall Street Journal ($)] Read more

Prague archbishop warns of uncontrolled migration

.... "Throughout the history of mankind, unregulated migration invariably brought violence, wars and an economic, cultural and social downfall," he added.

Zvolensky warned of the attacks with Muslims behind them.

"In recent years, we could often see brutal terrorist attacks in Europe whose perpetrators claimed Islam. The facts can logically result in the conclusion that the bigger the Muslim community, the higher the likelihood of violent acts," he added.

Zvolensky said the influx of refugees was likely to affect Europe.

"The arrival of thousands of migrants from the Muslim world can basically alter our civilisation. We may not sustain the encounter primarily for demographic and cultural reasons in the course of decades," he added.

Zvolensky said the countries of Western civilisation had Christian roots, but the influence of Christianity on their shaping was on the wane. [Prague Daily Monitor] Read more

Danish man who burned Quran charged with blasphemy

A man who filmed himself burning the Quran has become the first person to be charged under Denmark's blasphemy law in 46 years.

The 42-year-old filmed himself burning a copy of Islam's holy book in his back yard in December 2015. He then posted the video on the anti-Islamic Facebook group, "Yes to freedom - no to Islam" along with the words, “Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns."

Danish prosecutor Jan Reckendorff announced his decision to bring charges in a press statement issued on Wednesday afternoon.

“It is the prosecution's view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can in certain cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause, which covers public scorn or mockery of religion.” [The Local] Read more

Geert Wilders: Far-right Dutch PM frontrunner says 'Islam and freedom are not compatible'

Populist far-right politician Geert Wilders has said Islam is a threat to European values and is incompatible with freedom.

"Dutch values are based on Christianity, on Judaism, on humanism. Islam and freedom are not compatible," Mr Wilders, 53, told USA Today.

"You see it in almost every country where it dominates. There is a total lack of freedom, civil society, rule of law, middle class; journalists, gays, apostates — they are all in trouble in those places. And we import it."

The leader of the one-man Freedom Party (PVV) recently reiterated his controversial statements on Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands, calling them "Moroccan scum".

“Once again not all are scum but there is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who makes the streets unsafe, mostly young people,” he said. [The Independent] Read more

Germany's Bavaria to ban full-face veil

The German state of Bavaria has announced plans to ban the full-face veil in government workplaces, schools, universities and while driving.

"Communication happens not only via language but also looks, facial expressions and gestures," said state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.

But critics say the ban will have little practical impact in a state with only a small number of Muslims.

They say the regional government is eyeing upcoming federal elections.

The state's ruling conservatives, the Christian Social Union (CSU), are wary of a challenge from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the polls in seven months' time.

The draft law introduced on Tuesday evening would see the niqab (face-covering veil) and burka (face and body veil) banned in public institutions as well as places such as when dealing with police and in polling stations where identity is key. [BBC] Read more

Why does a Nigerian Muslim leader want to restrict polygamy?

Men who cannot afford more than one wife are the catalyst for these reforms.

The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, suggested that polygamy among the poor was linked to the rise of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has been behind a violent insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria.

But it has managed to find recruits from all over the mainly Muslim north of the country.

"Those of us in the north have all seen the economic consequences of men who are not capable of maintaining one wife, marrying four," the Emir said over the weekend.

"They end up producing 20 children, not educating them, leaving them on the streets, and they end up as thugs and terrorists."

It was a brave statement that anyone who has visited the north will find hard to deny.

In many northern towns and cities groups of small children, known as "almajiris", crowd around cars stuck in traffic, begging for small change.

Marrying multiple wives is a lot less common among educated people in Nigeria but polygamy still happens in rural areas, especially in the Muslim north. [BBC] Read more

Stoke-on-Trent mosque imam charged with terrorism offences

An imam has appeared in court charged with a string of terrorism offences, including delivering sermons drumming up support for Islamic State.

Kamran Sabir Hussain, 39, from Stoke-on-Trent, is accused of encouraging support for the terror group, as well as influencing his congregation to carry out terrorist acts, at a mosque in the city.

His defence lawyer Matt Foot told Westminster Magistrates Court that Hussain will plead not guilty to two counts of delivering a sermon to the congregation to encourage support for Islamic State, and six counts of encouraging terrorism.

Prosecutor Karen Jones described Hussain, clad in a light grey tracksuit, as a "prominent and influential person in the community".

The charges pertain to the period between June 24 2016 to September 16 2016 at the mosque located on the premises of 229 High Street, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. [Asian Image] Read more

Generation M: how young Muslim women are driving a modest fashion revolution

Last weekend more than 3,000 people, most of them young, Muslim women, streamed into London’s Saatchi Gallery for a fashion event unlike any other. Some were dressed in shimmering tunics and silk turbans; some wore leather caps perched on top of their hijabs and had septum piercings through their noses; others wore nude-coloured kimonos that trailed the floor.

There were fashion shows with models in burkinis and hijabs, and a burqa-clad designer pitching her clothing line to the Dragon’s Den of the fashion world. This was the scene at the first ever London modest fashion week (LMFW) launched by online fashion marketplace, Haute Elan. [347 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 194 votes] Please don't use that word "modest" there is nothing immodest about normal clothing, or for that matter the human body (male and female). Articles like this enable 15th century attitudes to women.

[2ND 164] "Modest wear is also transcending the Muslim label"

This is off the scale cognitive dissonance from the progressive Left. It's frightening.

[3RD 151] Why is it called modest? Are women who dress modern european immodest?

[4TH 133] "Modest" ffs according to who? Using names like "modest" and "immodest" only serves to legitimate the notion that women who don't "cover up" are doing something wrong.

I've seen multiple members of my family fall victim to this narrative and gentle prodding from family and start "covering up" around 18-20, through the (I believe incorrect) idea that Western women are uncovered because they are seeking something. It's victim blaming, etc. It feels like when you unironically print the word "kuffar" or something. Not as bad I guess, but still. It's language you expect from the Imam, not a progressive feminist newspaper like this. .... [The Guardian] Read more

21 February 2017

Group arrested over attacks at Swiss mosque

.... The group are alleged to have physically attacked and detained the two Muslims inside the mosque and threatened their families back in November 2016 after they gave information to journalists about an imam who called for non-practising Muslims to be killed.

The people aged between 17 and 53 were arrested on Tuesday in Winterthur and the surrounding area. Around a dozen houses were searched.

Criminal proceedings have been opened by the Zurich attorney general against the group for assault, confinement, threats, coercion and bodily harm.

It follows the arrestsexternal link on November 2 of an Ethiopian imam and a member of the mosque committee on suspicion of inciting crime and violence after reportedly calling on worshippers to murder other Muslims who refused to take part in communal prayers. The member of the mosque committee was released in December but the imam remains still in prison. [swissinfo.ch] Read more

Bavaria agrees on draft law to ban burqa in public

The Bavarian state government on Tuesday announced a draft law which would prohibit Muslim women from wearing burqas or niqabs in certain public spaces.

“Covering up your face will be banned in areas of public service, in high schools, schools, kindergartens, in areas relating to general security and during voting,” the Bavarian government announced.

When Muslim women cover their faces, they are “breaking the local culture of communication”, Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann said.

“A communicative exchange takes place not only through speech, but also through eye contact, facial expressions and gestures.

“This is the basis of our interaction with one another and the foundation of our society and our free democratic order,” Herrmann said. [The Local] Read more

Marine Le Pen in Lebanon row after refusing to wear headscarf

France's Marine Le Pen canceled a meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti Tuesday after refusing to wear a headscarf.

The far-right presidential candidate is on a two-day tour of Lebanon where she is courting Franco-Lebanese votes ahead of the first round of French elections on April 23.

Le Pen told reporters that she was surprised by the requirement. But a spokesman for the Grand Mufti said Le Pen had been informed of the need to wear a head covering before the meeting.

Le Pen said she had met the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar during a visit to Egypt in 2015 without covering her head.

"I met the grand mufti of Al-Azhar," she told reporters. "The highest Sunni authority didn't have this requirement, but it doesn't matter."

"You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up," she insisted. [CNN] Read more

Iran bans chess grandmaster Dorsa Derakhshani for not wearing hijab, brother for playing with Israeli

Chess grandmaster Dorsa Derakhshani was banned by Iran for not wearing a hijab. Dorsa's brother Borna was banned too, who was playing a chess match against Israel.

Dorsa, 18, is currently studying in Spain and had previously participated in the Gibraltar games independently. Her brother Borna, who is 15, had also registered in the games on his own.

In 2017, a ban like this in Iran may come as an accepted norm but the story hasn't been the same always.

Tables were turned after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 or called as the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Dorsa is a member of the Iranian Women's National Chess Team. She is also the sixth world champion in under-18 games. Well, that never mattered compared to donning a particular attire. She got banned for not covering her hair at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.

According to the head of Iran's Chess Federation Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, they will "seriously deal" with Dorsa for not observing the veil, and brother Borna who played with an Israeli player. [India Today] Read more

Islamists won't give up trying to take over British schools because nobody is willing to stop them

.... Education is meant to liberate us from the prejudices and preoccupations of previous generations. In the UK, that freedom is now thwarted by policymakers. Kids are moulded to unquestioningly replicate the values of their faith and communities. One Christian school I was invited to, as a guest speaker, asked me not to mention homosexuality; a Jewish school advised me to steer clear of Israel and an Islamic school asked me to cover my hair. All three invites were declined.

Catholic, Protestant, Sikh, Hindu and Jewish schools are closing off 'outside' influences. Tony Blair, Michael Gove, and David Cameron enthusiastically backed parent power and school self-governance and so created a fragmented education system with hopelessly inadequate oversights. Ofsted inspectors are overstretched and can only act within legal limits.

It's time to go back to basics, to tighten up governance and to return to a universal state education curriculum which inviolably enshrines democratic and human rights and shared citizenship values to all children. Will it happen? No. Parental choice is sacrosanct. Trojan Horse plotters know that all too well which is why they are unlikely to give up their mission anytime soon. [International Business Times] Read more

Australian school allows male Muslim pupils to refuse handshakes with women

Hadith teaching states: 'It is better to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle than to touch the hand of a woman who is not permissible to you'

An Australian school has adopted a policy allowing male Muslim students to refuse to shake hands with women.

Two principals at the Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College, in Sydney, told guests at its 2016 presentation day that some students may not shake hands because of their faith.

The NSW Education Department told The Australian the school had an "agreed protocol" developed after a consultation between staff, students and parents.

A spokesman told the newspaper: “The Department of Education requires its schools to recognise and respect the cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds of all students, with the intent to promote an open and tolerant attitude towards a diverse Australian community."

[TOP RATED COMMENT] So would it be ok for a k.k.k member to refuse to shake a black person's hand because it's against their ideology?

Be a muslim and you can be sexist and homophobic and the left say nothing.

[ANOTHER] Knowing Muslim toilet habits, it's probably for the best...

[ANOTHER] .... its ok for the schools to permit them not to shake hands with women because thats what it says in the Qu'ran . . . so I guess it will also be ok for them to discriminate against homosexuals, because thats what it says in the Qu'ran . . .

[ANOTHER] I would feel demeaned if somebody refused to shake my hand because of some religious mumbo jumbo they had been indoctrinated into believing since birth.

[ANOTHER] The issue here isn't about forcing people to shake hands, it's the fact that boys are being taught to be sexist, to view women as different. Im pretty sure that goes against everything a progressive society stands for. And not shaking hands is seen as socially unacceptable in western cultures, like queue jumping or eating with your mouth open.

The Hadiths and Quran also say a lot of bad things about Jews. I doubt any of you would support boys being taught not to shake the hands of Jews.

[ANOTHER] Before dismissing it out of hand, has anyone tried the 'iron needle' option?

[ANOTHER] The hadith teaching 'It is better to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle than to touch the hand of a woman who is not permissible to you' was said by the main man, Mad Bad Mo, of course, but can someone explain to me what is the benefit to the West of allowing any further immigration from Islamic countries given the revivalism of vanilla Islam?

[ANOTHER] Appalling misogyny and this school and Australia should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. [The Independent] Read more

Yassmin Abdel-Magied said nothing wrong. She should not have to face this venom

.... So when Abdel-Magied states that Islam is the most feminist of religions, she is right: consent in marriage, freedom to work and control over economic livelihood, freedom from violence were all indeed unheard of among the monotheists religions at that time.

In fact these rights would not arrive to the rest of the world till much later. But as soon as those rights were established men mobilised to undermine those rights and corrode the gains made by women, even though these rights are arguably sharia and therefore sacred.

.... hrowing gay men off buildings, enslavement of women and children, early and forced marriage and female genital cutting are not sharia. The fact that some Muslims do these things, does not make them Islamic, and it most certainly does not make them sharia.

Abdel-Magied was trying to make these points, but Lambie appeared far more enamoured with her prejudice and self-righteousness. But that is always the desire with anti-Muslim activists, not to engage but to silence, not to elucidate but to obscure, not to reach an understanding but to polarise. [670 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 291 votes] I suspect most people's concerns are driven by the way Moslems behave in their own countries.

Even countries that are regarded as "moderate" such as Malaysia and Indonesia discriminate against the non Moslem population.

Whether Moslems regard it as fair or not, non-Moslems look at societal standards in Moslem countries and say "we don't want that here".

For example, in the news this morning, at a school in Sydney male Moslem students will be able to refuse physical contact with women teachers (eg no shaking hands etc).

The reason people are concerned with Sharia is that it's seen as code for "Moslems don't have to change, everyone else has to change to suit them". They demand a tolerance in countries where they are a minority that they do not show in countries where they are the majority.

It's a clear double standard.

[5TH 205] You are absolutely correct particularly "Moslems don't have to change, everyone else has to change to suit them". There is currently a review into Sharia Law courts in the UK on the grounds that women get a poor deal from them. Only men sit in the courts.

Men's evidence is worth twice as much as women's in line with Islamic teachings. The other thing is that Muslims fail to discuss their religion with infidels, particularly if it is controversial, such as their position on homosexuality or Sharia Law. Note they are very defensive but fail to provide details on their beliefs.

[2RD 89] No, she didn't commit a crime, but she did say something galactically stupid. And she's being called out for it.

[3TH 277] Fucking religion....what a total crock the lot of it is.

[4TH 259] The petition to sack her is ridiculous, but her remarks about Islam and feminism are simply ignorant.

[6TH 197] I think what surprised most people watching the program was the insistence that women have equality with men, within Islam. A claim that is demonstrably and patently false.

I have no worries with whatever religion people wish to follow, just expect to be called out. [Guardian Cif] Read more

20 February 2017

Teachers asked to hand out less homework and give regular breaks to Muslim students fasting for Ramadan

Muslim students should be given minimal homework and provided with more breaks than their peers during the month of Ramadan, a religious guide for schools says.

The Islamic Special Religious Association, which teaches Islam to New South Wales public school students, has put out 'A simple guide to dealing with Muslim students during Ramadan' for schools to follow, The Daily Telegraph reported.

'During Ramadan, Muslim students may appear to be more tired or inattentive, particularly at the beginning of the month,' the guide says.

'You can help by allowing teachers to grant concessions to fasting students where possible, such as requests for time out, flexible schedules and lighter homework assignments, or less strenuous playground activities, especially towards the latter half of the day.'

Ramadan is the ninth month on the Muslim calendar and involves abstaining from food and drink from dawn to sunset and spiritual reflection. [Daily Mail] Read more

Crowds flock to Saudi Arabia's first Comic Con

Dressed all in black with her face exposed, Fatima Mohammed Hussein has come to Saudi Arabia's first Comic Con event dressed as Bat Girl.

"The minute I stepped in, I couldn't believe this is happening here," she told CNN. "It's a big move for Saudi to have something like that."

Hussein was one of the many Saudis who dressed up and flocked to the coastal city of Jeddah to celebrate pop culture, comic books, video games, and film between February 16 and 18.

The three-day festival was part of a government initiative to bring more entertainment to Saudi Arabia, which bans public cinemas and theater.

"When you enter into the tent, you forget that you are in Saudi Arabia," Abdul Rahman Bakhsh, 25, an engineer and an avid YouTuber, who came to the event dressed in rustic armor over a black faux suede pullover and armed with a spear, told CNN. [CNN] Read more

France's Muslim Demographic Future

.... These conclusions are confirmed by another Insee study, "Demography of the descendants of immigrants" (Démographie des descendants d'immigrés), published in 2014.

"The Turkish and sub-Saharan African population is growing at an extremely rapid rate (which could lead to a doubling in less than 10 years if this continues)....

The total fertility rate of women born in Turkey is approximately 3, as it is for women born in sub-Saharan Africa. It is closer to 3.5 for women born in North Africa, while it is only 2 for women born in Europe, especially in France."

In other words, if the Muslim population of France can be estimated at around 6 million today, it could grow to 12 million by 2020-2025.

This figure does even not take into consideration the Muslim population that immigrated to France from North Africa in the 1960s and early 1970s. There are a few million of them -- nobody knows how many exactly.

They became French very early, and for demographers, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are not regarded as immigrants anymore. These Muslims are, rather, integrated into statistics as French citizens born of French parents. They are Muslim, but under the statistics radar. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Muslim schoolboys allowed to refuse women’s handshakes

At a recent awards ceremony at Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College, female presenters were told by one of the two principals that some students would not shake their hands because of their Muslim faith, The Australian reported.

The boys were instead permitted to place a hand across their chest to show they would not be taking the hand of the women, many of them well-known figures from the local community.

A spokesman from the NSW Department of Education said this was an “agreed protocol” developed after extensive consultation with staff, parents and boys at the small, diverse public school of 354 students from year 7-10.

“At the school’s 2016 presentation day, the principal explained to invited guests making awards that some Muslim students may place their hand across their chest instead of shaking hands,” the spokesman said. [news.com.au] Read more

In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced

Last week, only three days after a suicide bomb went off in Lahore, an Islamic State supporter struck a crowd of Sufi dancers celebrating in the great Pakistani shrine of Sehwan Sharif.

The attack, which killed almost 90, showed the ability of radical Islamists to silence moderate and tolerant voices in the Islamic world.

The attack also alarmingly demonstrated the ever-wider reach of Isis and the ease with which it can now strike within Pakistan. Isis now appears to equal the Taliban as a serious threat to this nuclear-armed country.

.... A radical anti-Sufi movement is growing throughout the Islamic world. Until the 20th century, ultra-orthodox strains of Islam tended to be regarded as heretical by most Muslims. But since the 1970s, Saudi oil wealth has been used to spread such intolerant beliefs across the globe. As a result, many contemporary Muslims have been taught a story of Islamic religious tradition from which the tolerance of Sufism is excluded. [193 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 265 votes] As soon as Osama Bin Laden was found living next to an army base, any doubts about Pakistan's collusion with radical Islamic terror went out of the window.

[2ND 197] And to think we allowed another 200,000 Pakistanis into Britain within the last ten years... Thus only increasing the risk of more home grown Islamic terrorists...

[3RD 163] Saudis have a free hand in funding madressahs and mosques in the U.K too.. then we wonder where these extremists come from...

[4TH 159] Terrorism in Pakistan is a conundrum for Left wing commentators. I suspect that's why it gets so little coverage.

Normally the media preach that Islamist attacks are caused by Muslims feeling marginalised. Pakistan is 97% Muslim, so they can hardly feel marginalised there, and the only Islamophobia is on the part of the terrified minorities.

Very sad that more peaceful versions of the religion don't seem to stand a chance.

[5TH 110] Yes. This ideology has done for Pakistan.

As worrying are the connections extending to those UK citizens in Bradford, Birmingham, Leeds, East London. [Guardian Cif] Read more

19 February 2017

Second Islamist 'Trojan Horse' scandal feared after Oldham headteacher reports death threats

Fears of a second wave of Islamist plots to take over schools have been raised after a teachers’ union revealed it was dealing with a “variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues".

A head teacher in Oldham has reportedly said she has started working at home having been subjected to a campaign of “death threats” and verbal abuse by people determined to introduce an Islamic agenda.

In an email to Oldham council, seen by the Sunday Times, Trish O’Donnell said she had “very strong reasons to believe...a “Trojan Horse” agenda is being played out” at Clarksfield Primary School.

A confidential report prepared by the local authority said she had complained of threats to “blow up her car” and said she had been attacked by a parent part of a four-year campaign of abuse.

The head teachers' union, the NAHT, said it was "supporting a number of members in the Oldham area with a variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues". [The Telegraph] Read more

Revealed: new ‘Trojan Horse plot’ - Head teacher fears for her safety

Fears of a new “Trojan Horse” Islamic plot to take over a state school in Oldham have been raised by its head teacher, who says she has been concerned for her personal safety.

Trish O’Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School since 2006, has been so worried that she has worked from home for short periods in recent months.

In an email sent to Oldham council in December, O’Donnell said she had “very strong reasons to believe that . . . a ‘Trojan Horse’ agenda [is] being played out” and that her position was becoming untenable.

The head teachers’ union, the NAHT, said it was “supporting a number of members in the Oldham area with a variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues. [The Times (£)] Read more

Headteacher forced to work from home after getting 'death threats' from Muslim parents 'in new Trojan Horse plot'

A primary school headteacher receiving death threats from Muslim parents has been forced to work from home amid fears of a "Trojan Horse" plot to ' Islamicise ' the school.

Clarksfield Primary School headteacher Trish O'Donnell is said to have endured "harassment and intimidation" and "aggressive verbal abuse" from parents promoting Muslim values.

In one case, she had a threat to blow up her car, according to a report by Oldham council.

She said in the correspondence that she believed her position was untenable and a "Trojan horse" agenda was underway.

The teacher's union, the NAHT, told The Sunday Times it was supporting a number of members in the area with "Trojan Horse" issues.

The paper said the council report on the school said the headteacher had been physically attacked by one parent.

Most of the students at the school are Pakistani. [Daily Mirror] Read more

18 February 2017

First ever 'modest' fashion show suitable for Muslims held in London

The UK's first ever "modest" fashion event is taking place in London with hundreds of potential customers queuing to watch a catwalk show where some of the latest designs have been on display.

According to the organisers modest fashion is one of the fastest growing consumer markets.

The clothes comply with Muslim values but the designers say they get interest from women of all faiths and cultures who simply want to cover up a bit more.

Forty designers have displayed their garments at the event.

Among them, London-based Bushra Shaikh who has grown her brand iiLa over six years and exports her clothes around the world.

She's currently in talks with big name high street department stores as she believes there's a big mainstream market for her designs.

"We are literally trying to put this type of trend on the map," she told Sky News. [Sky News] Read more

17 February 2017

Czech President: Muslim Migrants Should Work in Their Own Countries, Not Claim Benefits in the West

Czech president Miloš Zeman believes Muslim migrants should stay in their home countries and work, not come to Europe and claim benefits.

Czech online magazine Parlamentní Listy reports the president as saying he has “nothing against immigrants who come here to work and who have similar language and similar culture like ours”, citing the Ukrainians and Vietnamese in the country as communities which were not creating issues.

“I do not want immigrants who come from other cultures who come for social benefits, not because of work,” he continued. “Muslims should remain in the countries where they live [and] they should work in them, and they should not go to Europe, where they do not want to work.”

Zeman also commented that “Islam is based on contempt for women”, echoing his 2016 remarks that “in the Qur’an, women [are] something like the inferior part of mankind”. [Breitbart London] Read more

16 February 2017

Total burka ban in Netherlands part of ruling VVD party's integration plan

The VVD wants more stringent integration requirements in the Netherlands including a total ban on face covering clothing, like burkas and balaclavas, in public.

Wearing face covering clothing makes it more difficult for you to openly meet and greet each other, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani emphasizes in a broad integration agenda the ruling party is presenting on Thursday, Het Parool reports.

While ruling with the PvdA these past four years, the VVD managed to ban face-covering clothing in schools, healthcare, government offices and public transport.

Azmani now wants to take that even further. "Integration means that you adapt to society, to its norms and values. In our society we find it important that we meet each other openly", he said.

The VVD's integration agenda also includes increasing the term before an immigrant is given Dutch citizenship (naturalization) from five years to 10 years. It should be mandatory for newcomers (immigrants or asylum seekers) to take a job or do volunteer work as part of their integration process.

The language requirements should be raised. And it should be possible for citizenship to be revoked if the immigrant commits a crime within five years of being given a Dutch passport, the agenda states, according to the Telegraaf. [NLTimes.nl] Read more

Dutch lawmaker insists on 'de-Islamization'

Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker who is at the vanguard of a wave of European far-right populists aiming to take power at elections this year, vowed Thursday to push ahead with his platform to "de-Islamisize" the Netherlands — despite lawyers saying it could breach the Dutch constitution — and to quit the European Union.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Wilders insisted that his plans, which include closing the country's borders to asylum seekers and migrants from Islamic countries, shutting all mosques and banning the Quran, are legal.

And he hinted he could even seek to change the constitution, if necessary.

"A constitution is not something that is (set) in stone and can never be changed," Wilders said. "It's alive as a society is alive and we are now being threatened by mass immigration and Islamisization and what I see as the toxic combination of mass immigration from Islamic countries and at the same time a total lack of demanding for people to assimilate and to integrate."

After decades of immigration, around 5 percent of the Dutch adult population is Muslim, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics. [AP] Read more

Met Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: Muslim scholars need to do more in fight against IS

Britain’s top police officer today urged Muslim scholars to step up their efforts to counter the violent ideology of Islamic State.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe issued a new warning about the looming threat posed by “brutalised and militarised” extremists returning from Syria.

He said he believed that IS fighters and terrorists were “political criminals” who were carrying out “horrific violence” which had no justification in the Muslim religion.

But he warned that the terror group was continuing to lure recruits by claiming that Islam supported its actions and that the authorities needed the help of Muslim scholars and others to challenge this false narrative.

“The hardest part for the Western world is to interrupt this philosophy that Daesh [Islamic State] is perpetuating which is that Islam in any way supports this horrific use of violence,” Sir Bernard told the Evening Standard. [Evening Standard] Read more

I’m a liberal Muslim and I reject M-103

The most damaging assault by Islamic fundamentalists on Western values – and indeed Western civilization itself – is in the realm of free speech.

There have been attempts to quash free speech right here in Canada.

The Canadian Islamic Congress objected to Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, and Calgary imam Syed Soharwardy actually filed a human rights complaint against former Sun News Network host Ezra Levant for publishing the prophet Mohammad’s cartoons back in 2006.

Privately, a handful of liberal Muslims endure a daily barrage of angry emails because they challenge the obscurantism that characterizes radical Islam. [Toronto Sun] Read more

Stoke byelection: Lib Dems alert police over text urging Muslims to vote Labour

The Lib Dems have alerted the police after messages sent to some Muslim voters in Stoke-on-Trent suggested they could go to hell if they failed to vote Labour to keep out Ukip’s Paul Nuttall.

The anonymous message, distributed locally to some in the Muslim community by text and Whatsapp, called for people to vote Labour so as not to help “enemies of Islam”.

It said voting for the Lib Dem candidate, Dr Zulfiqar Ali, a Muslim, could help “far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic Ukip party” take the seat, which is being contested in a byelection triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Tristram Hunt.

It is not known how many people received the message, but the Lib Dems claimed it had been “distributed in large numbers” in support of the Labour candidate, Gareth Snell. [The Guardian] Read more

Did Sectarian Politics Win in Jakarta? Only the Runoff Will Tell

This week’s bitterly contested election for governor of Jakarta — pitting a Christian incumbent charged with blaspheming Islam against two rivals who emphasized their Muslim faith — was widely seen as a test of whether Indonesia’s young democracy could resist the pull of sectarian politics.

Whether it passed that test is still an open question.

The capital’s governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian known as Ahok, finished first in Wednesday’s balloting, with about 43 percent of the vote, according to unofficial estimates from independent polling agencies.

But his poll numbers were substantially higher before October, when his political opponents accused him of blasphemy. And because Mr. Basuki did not win a majority of the vote, he will face the second-place finisher, Anies Baswedan, in an April runoff. [The New York Times] Read more

Storm as Muslim voters in Stoke are warned they will go to HELL unless they vote Labour at the upcoming by-election in shocking anti-Ukip text messages

Muslim voters in Stoke are being warned they will go to hell unless they vote Labour at the upcoming by-election.

The text message was sent to members of the seven percent Muslim community in Stoke Central and demanded that they vote for Labour's Gareth Snell, in a bid to stop Ukip from winning.

The controversial text, which has been circulated via WhatsApp by Labour activist Navid Hussain, even states that voting for the Liberal Democrats' Muslim candidate, Dr Zulfiqar Ali, will result in the 'anti-Islamic Ukip'.

It rants: 'Will you be able to answer for this in the Grave and on the Final Day??? "I helped the Enemies of Islam because…"'

The message was received by local Ukip activist Tariq Mahmood, who described the attack on his party and candidate Paul Nuttall as 'outrageous' to The Sun.

The Lib Dems have reported the texts to the police and elections watchdog. [Daily Mail] Read more

15 February 2017

Liberal MP won't remove Islamophobia reference from motion condemning discrimination

The Liberal MP who tabled a motion that touched off a divisive debate over religious protection and free speech says she will not remove the reference to Islamophobia from the text.

Mississauga, Ont., MP Iqra Khalid, who led debate in the House of Commons tonight on M-103, said the common definition of Islamophobia is "the irrational hate of Muslims that leads to discrimination," and that her motion must not remove the word.

"I will not do so, any more than I would speak to the Holocaust and not mention that the overwhelming majority of victims were six million followers of the Jewish faith and that anti-Semitism was the root cause of the Holocaust," she said. "We cannot address a problem if we fail to call it by its true name."

Opponents of M-103 have raised concerns the motion will infringe on free speech and could lead to Shariah law in Canada, but Khalid insisted there is nothing in it that would affect Canadians' charter right to free speech. [CBC/Radio-Canada] Read more

Ruling parties agree on child marriage ban proposal

The major parties making up Germany's coalition government have agreed to a proposed law that would invalidate marriages involving children under 16.

Leaders of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Union parties said they had agreed on a proposed law to ban marriage for anyone under 18, according to a report on Tuesday by Die Welt.

A spokesperson from the Union parties also confirmed the agreement to DPA.

Currently, 18 is the minimum age for marriage, but with parental consent and court permission, 16-year-olds are allowed to marry adults.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas made the new proposal amid reports of hundreds of children arriving as refugees in Germany, already married to adults.

The proposed law would mean that marriages involving children under 16 would become invalid, including those performed abroad. The legal marriageable age is also planned to be raised to 18. [The Local] Read more

Ilford father Faisal Bashir who claims he was forced to move house after renouncing Islam is calling for more action on hate crime

A MAN who claims he was forced to move house after renouncing his faith wants authorities to crack down on hate crime

Fasial Bashir, decided to stop practicing Islam in the summer of 2014 over claims the religion was too “hateful” and “sending out the wrong message”.

But when the 43-year-old stopped going to mosques in Ilford he claims he started getting harassment on a weekly basis.

The father-of-two said: “I heard religious people say things I couldn’t put up with any longer – it was all too hateful.

“These people knew I had become an atheist and soon enough my whole family was being harassed.

“At least once a week they would hang around near my house, shouting and swearing at me.

“I was called an apostate, a non-believer, I was told I had betrayed my God and my faith.”

“Sometimes they would even say things to my children – they are far too little to know what was happening, they were very frightened.”

Mr Bashir claims he would often call the police, but was told it was “just a nuisance” and was not a police matter until it was reported at least twice a month. [East London and West Essex Guardian] Read more

At NY fashion week, hijabs top looks fit for royalty

In just two seasons, Indonesian Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan has made the hijab her trademark -- and dazzled New York fashion week's catwalk this week by styling it with flowing, iridescent gowns fit for a princess.

Like in her New York show last fall -- which cemented her status as a rising star -- all of the models who showcased Hasibuan's autumn/winter 2017 collection sported lustrous gray hijabs that sculpted the facial features while carefully covering the hair.

Other than the hijab, the traditional head and neck covering many Muslim women wear, the 30-year-old designer's clothes evoked nothing of the "modest Muslim" style that sometimes stirs controversy and exacerbates anti-Muslim sentiment in western countries.

On the contrary, Hasibuan's collection features shimmering, on-trend pleats, silver and golden ruffles, and long trains adorned with pearls, glitter or embroidery that recalled royalty of the Middle Ages. [AFP] Read more

14 February 2017

Ahok trial: The blasphemy case testing Indonesian identity

.... As the BBC's Rebecca Henschke reports, his blasphemy trial is being seen as a test of Indonesia's religious tolerance.

"Jail the governor now!" cries a group of female students outside the Jakarta court where Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is on trial.

They are wearing brightly-coloured headscarves and stand out in a sea of white-robed men yelling "hang the blasphemer".

"He insulted Islam. Not just Islam in Indonesia but around the world. I could never do anything radical like kill him or make a bomb, but I must do something and that's why I am here," says one protester.

Mr Purnama, known widely as Ahok, angered many after he referenced a Koranic verse while on the campaign trail last September.

He told voters they should not be duped by religious leaders using the verse to justify the claim that Muslims should not be led by non-Muslims. [BBC] Read more

Religious garb OK for cops, judges, says Bouchard-Taylor report's co-author

Police officers, judges and other authority figures in Quebec should be allowed to wear religious symbols while carrying out their official functions, says the co-author of the province's landmark study on reasonable accommodation.

In an open letter published today in the Montreal daily La Presse, Charles Taylor writes that he no longer backs one of the central recommendations of the commission that he presided over with sociologist Gérard Bouchard.

The Bouchard-Taylor report, released in 2008 as part of an effort to quell concerns about the erosion of Quebec identity, suggested that public servants who exercise the coercive authority of the state be barred from wearing religious garb.

In practice, that would mean police, judges and prison guards couldn't wear head coverings such as Muslim hijabs or Sikh turbans, or conspicuous symbols such as Christian crucifixes. [CBC News] Read more

'On the populist bandwagon' Muslim outrage as Austria pushes ahead with burka ban

Sebastian Kurz, Austria's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration, said he "will not be deterred" from introducing the ban in the face of condemnation from Muslim organisations.

Mr Kurz said his conservative Austrian People's Party (OVP) agreed with social-democratic coalition partners to prohibit full-face veils, such as the niqab and burka, in public spaces and buildings including courts and schools.

He said: "I have seen criticism from Muslims but I have been given a lot of encouragement from Muslims as well."

Carla Amina Baghajati, the women's commissioner of Austria's Islamic Community, condemned the proposed ban.

She said: "As far as religion is concerned, there is a great disappointment among Muslims that minister Kurz jumped on the populist bandwagon." [Daily Express] Read more

13 February 2017

Debenhams will become the first major store to sell the Muslim headscarf: Hijabs, tops, dresses, jumpsuits and kimono wraps will be available from May

Debenhams is to become the first major department store to sell the traditional hijab.

A range of Muslim clothing including hijabs, tops, dresses, jumpsuits, kimono wraps, hijab pins and caps will be sold in selected stores from May.

An outlet of Aab, an international brand selling 'contemporary modest wear' for women, will open inside the Oxford Street branch of Debenhams in London.

The brand will then be introduced to stores in Birmingham's Bullring, Westfield in Shepherd's Bush, Manchester's Trafford Centre and Leicester's Highcross Shopping Centre.

The Aab roll-out will coincide with launches at international branches of Debenhams in Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia.

A hijab is a headscarf worn by some Muslim women as a symbol of modesty and privacy. [1484 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 7624 votes] Goodbye England, its was good while it lasted!!

[2ND 6939] No one should shop there anymore!

[3RD 6480] No more shopping at Debenhams for me then ... I'm out !!!

[4TH 5587] While many countries are starting to ban these garments we have a major high st store wanting to sell them. When was the last time you saw a beat cop on the high street? They have been replaced by CCTV. What would happen if a crime took place and 100 people were wearing the same outfit?

[5TH 5331] Boycott Debenhams !!!

[6TH 4923] Seriously this pandering needs to stop. When in Rome do as the romans do comes to mind. Do not sell this crap if you want to live here CONFORM... it's simple. [Daily Mail] Read more

Muslim ghettos threaten women: One Nation

.... Senator Roberts blamed unchecked immigration for the fraying of Australia's social fabric, insisting it was a reason voters were abandoning the major parties.

Australians were now fleeing areas of heavy migrant settlement, especially Islamic settlement.

"Self-segregation has become a reality," he said.

Australians weren't afraid of any religion but Islam, he said, and immigrants should be chosen from cultures with a track record of assimilation.

Fellow crossbencher Jacqui Lambie called for Australia to follow in the footsteps of Donald Trump and ban anyone in support of Sharia law from entering Australia.

She called for Australia to halve its immigration intake and halve its foreign aid.

"Sharia law is an anti-democratic cancer that doesn't belong in a free society," she told parliament.

"If they support Sharia law and want it in Australia, don't let them in. [AAP] Read more

Swedish minister responds to Iran headscarf criticism

Sweden's Trade Minister Ann Linde has defended the wearing of headscarves by her and other female officials during an official visit to Iran, saying that the law in the country meant she was obliged to do so.

Linde led a Swedish business delegation to Tehran last week, and she and other female members of the delegation were pictured wearing headscarves during the trip, sparking debate on social media over whether a member of the self-described "world's first feminist government" should have done so.

Jan Björklund, the leader of the opposition Liberal party, has attacked Linde, saying she should not have worn a garment which is "part of patriarchal oppression" and that doing so was "ruinous for feminist foreign policy".

But Linde has fired back in turn, accusing Björklund and the opposition of trying to score cheap points over the matter.

"I think it's so stupid I don't know what to say. The opposite: what has he done in Iran to address women's rights?" she told news agency TT. [The Local] Read more

Pakistan capital bans Valentine's Day

A court in Pakistan has banned public celebrations of Valentine's Day in the capital, Islamabad, on the grounds that it is not part of Muslim culture.

The Islamabad High Court's order prohibits all Valentine's Day festivities in government offices and public spaces with immediate effect.

It also directs the media not to promote or cover Valentine's events.

The orders were a response to a private petition which argued that Valentine's Day was contrary to Islamic teaching.

According to the Dawn newspaper, the petition argued that the festival promoted immorality, nudity and indecency under the cover of spreading love.

Valentine's Day has grown in popularity in many cities in Pakistan over the past decade, but some religious groups have denounced it as decadent.

The ban does not affect shops and restaurants, but it is the first time such a ruling has been imposed in the capital. [BBC] Read more

Turkey’s new curriculum: More Erdoğan, more Islam

Some of the changes appeared innocuous: Children will be taught about renowned Turkish and Muslim scientists alongside Einstein and Newton, for instance. But secular-leaning Turks were enraged at the plan to remove classes on evolution and the country’s founding fathers, accusing the government of injecting education with its conservative-religious ideology.

Egitim-Sen, a teachers’ union often critical of government policy, worried that the draft curriculum would encourage a “religious and nationalist” mindset, with its emphasis on “Turkishness” and Sunni Islam. Meanwhile, parliamentarians of the largest opposition party CHP condemned what they saw as the “erasure” of the Turkish republic’s founding president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: The education ministry wanted to cut back on classes covering him and his successor, Ismet Inönü.

The government hit back: The new syllabus would teach Turkey’s history “from the perspective of a national and moral education,” the education ministry declared. The aim was to “protect national values,” added the undersecretary of education, Yusuf Tekin. Moreover, the ministry pledged it would alter its teaching of religion to comply with the European Court of Human Rights, replacing phrases such as “our religion” with the more neutral “Islamic religion.” [POLITICO] Read more

Sweden defends officials wearing headscarves in Iran

The Swedish government has defended its decision to have its officials wear headscarves during a trip to Iran, saying that failing to do so would have broken the law.

Trade Minister Ann Linde led a business team last week and faced criticism for wearing a headscarf, or hijab.

Sweden says it has the world's first "feminist government".

A prominent Iranian women's rights activist and Swedish politicians have criticised the decision.

"It is ruinous to what is called a feminist foreign policy" said Liberal party chief Jan Bjorklund, who said Iran oppressed women through legislation.

The Swedish government should have requested that female members of the delegation should not have been required to wear a headscarf, he said, and that if the request were not granted any trade agreements should have been signed in Sweden or a third country.

But Ms Linde told the Aftonbladet newspaper that she was not willing to break Iranian law. She said that since the only other option would be to send an all-male delegation, she was required to wear a headscarf. [BBC] Read more

In France, Some Muslims Seek To 'Adapt' Islam To Secular Culture

.... Bilingual sermons are rare in French mosques. Most Muslim clerics in France are foreign and speak in Arabic, which most young French Muslims don't understand. Oubrou says that's one reason why Muslim religious leaders are out of touch with a generation of French Muslims.

The interpretation of Islamic scriptures is often out of sync with modern times, too, he says. He's working to change that. Oubrou says a reformation is long overdue, and he's become a leading force in working for change.

France has suffered two major terrorist attacks in recent years, both carried out by home-grown Islamist extremists. The country is home to Europe's largest Muslim population, and many French Muslims like Oubrou believe it's time to create a uniquely French brand of Islam — one that is compatible with the country's secular values and responds better to the needs of modern Muslims. [NPR (National Public Radio)] Read more

Pakistan bans Valentine's Day for being unIslamic

Pakistan has become the latest country to ban Valentine's Day.

It has prohibited all public celebrations and any media coverage because the celebration is not part of Muslim traditions.

The ruling was handed down by the Islamabad High Court, following an unsuccessful attempt to ban the festival last year.

President Mamnoon Hussain urged Pakistanis not to observe Valentine’s Day, which he criticised as a Western import that threatened to undermine Islamic values.

“Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided,” he said at a ceremony last year.

The court passed its ruling to the ministry, federal government, chairman and chief commissioner, who are obliged to submit a response to the order within ten days.

The festival has seen its popularity increase in many cities in Pakistan in recent years, but religious groups have denounced it. [The Independent] Read more

Morocco religious authority rules no death penalty for apostates

Morocco's religious authorities have ruled that people who leave Islam should not be punished with the death penalty, reversing its previous ruling on apostasy.

The High Religious Committee decided last week to backtrack on its 2012 ruling that Muslims who change their religion should be put to death.

"The most accurate understanding and the most consistent with the Islamic legislation… is that the killing of the apostate is meant for traitors of the group, the one disclosing secrets," the committee said in a document, according to local media.

The religious authority, which in charge of issuing fatwas, argued that apostates during the infancy of Islam were the people who betrayed Muslims at a time when they were at war with rebellion in the Arabian peninsula.

The committee cited an example when the Prophet Muhammad allowed a Muslim who had renounced his faith to return to the Quraish tribe, which was the main enemy of the fledgling Islamic nation at the time. [The New Arab] Read more

12 February 2017

Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month

Licenses will be granted for women’s gyms by the end of February, Princess Reema bint Bandar, vice president for women’s affairs at the General Authority of Sports, told local daily Okaz.

A target is in place to open gyms in every district and neighborhood, it was reported.

Three ministries are set to take part in this process, including the labor, rural affairs and commerce ministries.

Licenses will not be issued for gyms that offer competitive activities, such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis. The focus will instead be on techniques that contribute to weight loss and fitness, such as swimming, running and bodybuilding. [Arab News] Read more

Mental health therapy for Muslims embraces religion

Traditionally, therapists have shied away from talking about religion as part of treatment.

But an NHS project based on research by Leeds University is "showing some individual signs of success".

Those behind the therapy say many Muslims do not get help because of stigma attached to mental illness.

'I was broken'

Samia, who is in her late 40s, has struggled with depression and is taking part in the project.

"I just felt like I had to constantly keep myself strong and put on a brave face. Deep inside I was actually broken," she says.

"When I actually fell apart, when I was at my lowest, I felt that there was something that I might have done to upset Allah, which is God."

Lead researcher Dr Ghazala Mir, of the university's Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, says this is a common concern among Muslims, who are under-referred for mental health treatment. [BBC] Read more

Donald Trump’s Travel Ban Backed By One In Three Britons, Polls Reveals

A third of Britons back US president Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on people from a range of Muslim-majority countries, a new poll has found.

The Republican president’s blanket ban gets a 33% approval rating, and while 55% would not like to see a similar move imposed in the UK, nearly one in three voters, 29%, would support that, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent and Sunday Mirror.

Commons Speaker John Bercow’s refusal to allow Trump to address both houses of Parliament during his state visit is backed by 45% of people, while 39% oppose it. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

11 February 2017

Jonathan Brown on sex slavery

.... Brown has recently hit the headlines for defending the practices of slavery and concubinage in a lecture. Like many apologists he borrows from discourses more usually associated with secular liberalism to soothe his listeners’ ears.

Some use the language of human rights and liberalism to defend illiberal practices. Brown disingenuously invokes postmodern relativist uncertainty to trivialise rape. Here are some excerpts from his justification (taken from this piece at the Daily Banter). [Harry’s Place] Read more

10 February 2017

Inside the far-right Q Society's explosive dinner, where Muslims are fair game

"Let's be honest, I can't stand Muslims," said Larry Pickering, cartoonist and VIP guest at the Q Society fundraising dinner held in Sydney on Thursday night.

"If they are in the same street as me, I start shaking."

Then the cartoonist, who had donated for auction one of his own works depicting the rape of a woman in a niqab by her son-in-law, softened slightly.

"They are not all bad, they do chuck pillow-biters off buildings."

The cartoon fetched $600, which will go towards the legal defence bill of the Q Society's leading members, most notably Kirralie Smith, the charismatic blonde who ran in the last election as a NSW Senate candidate for the Australian Liberty Alliance.

The pro-"halal choice" campaigners, who insist they are against Islam but not Muslims, are being sued for defamation by Halal certifier Mohamed El-Mouelhy. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

The Muslim Council of Britain's Little Problem - Miqdaad Versi and Dodgy Facts

.... On the day that the BBC were giving Versi his rave review, he was on social media sharing an untrue story claiming that the government's Prevent counter-radicalisation strategy was forcing King's College London to monitor all student emails. The story was wholly bogus (KCL's policy of reserving the right to monitor all emails on their system came a year before such a policy became a legal duty).

But the fact that Versi was sharing this story was typical of the double-ledger he runs when it comes to facts. He is happy to apply rigorous standards to others, but holds exceedingly lax standards himself, so long as he can carry on his own campaigning work against the UK government's counter-terrorism and counter-extremism programmes -- or continue to exercise his own low standards in trying to cover for people who are designated as "extremists" by the UK government.

Or indeed, in belonging to an organisation correctly identified as an "enabler" of prejudice against the minority Ahmadiyya community. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Does Europe fear Muslims more than the United States?

A poll on European attitudes toward immigration, Islam and terrorism, partly disclosed this week, found that a majority of Europeans don't want any more Muslim immigration. That is, they appear willing to support the ban which U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to impose in the United States, presently being challenged by the courts.

The poll, still not complete, surveyed 10,000 people in ten European states, and was conducted by Chatham House, the semi-official foreign affairs institute in Britain. Responses to the most controversial issue, on Muslim immigration, were released in summary form before the bulk of the survey. It was designed to show the temper of Europeans on the central political issues of the day: the greatest of these being immigration.

When confronted with the blunt statement “All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped”, an average of 55 percent of respondents agreed: 25 percent neither agreed nor disagreed and 20 percent disagreed. [Reuters] Read more

Merkel to kick out migrants as Europe backs US ban

Angela Merkel met state governors last night to hammer out tough measures to speed up the forced repatriation of rejected asylum seekers.

The move by the German chancellor came as police announced that they had arrested two Islamists and averted another terrorist attack — and as a poll revealed that European voters hold views on immigration that are closer to President Trump’s stance than that of their own leaders.

An average of 55 per cent of respondents across ten European countries — including 53 per cent in Germany — agreed with the statement that “all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped”, according to the respected Chatham House think tank. [The Times (£)] Read more

09 February 2017

Christian OAP charged with blasphemy in Pakistan

A Christian pensioner has been arrested for blasphemy after her refused to sell his land to a Muslim man.

According to anti-persecution charity Release International, Mukhtar Masih, 70, is accused of pinning a blasphemous letter to the door of a mosque in Gujanwala, Punjab.

The letter made derogatory remarks about the Koran and Muhammad.

Blasphemy is a crime punishable by death in Pakistan.

Initially, Masih's entire family was detained - including his three grandchildren. All but Mr Masih were later released and have gone into hiding.

Mr Masih is still incarcerated.

Locals believe that the accusation is an attempt to seize his land.

Pakistan ranks as the fourth worst country in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians, according Open Doors. [Premier Christian Radio] Read more

Muslim teacher wins €9,000 in Berlin discrimination case

The Muslim woman won an appeal before a Berlin-Brandenburg court on Thursday, and is set to receive nearly €9,000 after she was rejected from a teaching job due to her headscarf.

The Berlin-Brandenburg court on Thursday ruled on the side of the woman, who was denied a teaching job at a Berlin elementary school.

Head judge Renate Schaude said that the woman had been discriminated against and because her wearing a headscarf posed no danger to school peace, the discrimination against her was illegal. She was therefore awarded €8,680 in compensation.

She had lost her initial case last year as the Berlin school argued neutrality rules meant no one could wear religious symbols in schools.

But in 2015, Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that general bans on state school teachers wearing headscarves were unconstitutional - unless headscarves were found to “constitute a sufficiently specific danger of impairing the peace at school or the state's duty of neutrality.”

After this major ruling, some states had to revise their regulations - also because they gave preferential treatment to Christian symbols. [The Local] Read more

08 February 2017

Germany's Muslim Demographic Future

Germany will need to take in 300,000 migrants annually for the next 40 years to stop population decline, according to a leaked government report.

The document, parts of which were published by the Rheinische Post on February 1, reveals that the German government is counting on permanent mass migration — presumably from Africa, Asia and the Middle East — to keep the current size of the German population (82.8 million) stable through 2060.

The report implies that Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to allow into the country some 1.5 million mostly Muslim migrants between 2015 and 2016 was not primarily a humanitarian gesture, but a calculated effort to stave off Germany's demographic decline and to preserve the future viability of the German welfare state.

If most of the new migrants arriving in Germany for the next four decades are from the Islamic world, the Muslim population of Germany could jump to well over 20 million and account for more than 25% of the overall German population by 2060. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

OCAM warns against advance of radical Islam in Belgium

A radical form of Islam is spreading in Belgium, to the detriment of moderate Islam.

This emerges from a new report by the Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (known as OCAM). The Mediahuis group newspapers echo this today (Wednesday).

OCAM warns, in its most recent report, of the influence of Salafism in Belgium and Europe, “An increasing number of mosques and Islamic centres in Belgium are controlled by Wahhabism. This is the Salafist missionary apparatus.”

Wahhabism is a radical current of Sunni Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia. It advocates a return to the original “purity” of Islam.

In Belgium, the Imams from this particular current regularly preach in the mosques, and increasingly claim to be strictly Wahhabis, in particular within Brussels, Antwerp and Mechlin.

Simultaneously, the current is spreading in Europe, via Wahhabi television channels and online media. [The Brussels Times] Read more

'It's backward and reduces them to faceless beings': Muslim conference under fire for DELETING faces of female speakers on promotional flyer

Organisers of a controversial Islamic conference in Melbourne have sparked outrage for publishing a promotional flyer with the faces of female speakers blacked out.

Australian Islamic Peace Conference planners came under fire for putting out the flyer advertising speakers at their conference to be held next month.

The pamphlet featured the often smiling faces of 12 male speakers, including controversial Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman and prominent community spokesman Keysar Trad.

But critics were furious the faces of three female speakers - psychologist Monique Toohey, social worker Nina Trad Azam and Islamic teacher Umm Jamaal ud-Din - had been replaced with shadowy veils.

'It's backwards and inappropriate,' said a person with knowledge of the conference planning. [Daily Mail] Read more

In Italy, Islam doesn’t officially exist. Here’s what Muslims must accept to change that

At least 1.4 million Muslims are living in Italy, making Islam the country’s de facto second-largest religion. But as far as Italian authorities are concerned, Islam doesn’t exist.

Unlike Christianity and Judaism, Islam isn’t formally recognized in Italy. This means that mosques cannot receive public funds, Islamic weddings have no legal value and Muslim workers aren’t entitled to take days off for religious holidays.

Now that lack of recognition may change — but not without a cost.

This month, Italy’s Interior Ministry and the country’s nine major Islamic associations signed an unprecedented agreement. Muslim organizations agreed to create a registry of their imams and to require them to preach in Italian. In return, the government vowed to “facilitate the path” toward the official recognition of Islam in Italy.

The “National Pact for an Italian Islam” has been hailed as a first step toward the normalization of Islam in Italy. But it has also been criticized for creating a double standard: no other religious group has been asked by authorities to hold sermons in Italian. The Roman Catholic Church regularly offers masses in foreign languages to cater to an international audience. [The Washington Post] Read more

Pak bloggers leave country after receiving threats for ‘blasphemous’ opinions

Three of the five bloggers detained in January by Pakistan’s security agencies for writing against religious extremism and security operations in Balochistan and the tribal areas have left the country because of threats to their lives.

Waqas Goraya, Ahmed Raza Naseer and Asim Saeed are believed to have left the country in the past week after receiving threats following allegations of blasphemy against them.

Salman Haider, the most prominent of the detained bloggers, is in hiding in Pakistan as he is banned from travelling abroad while an investigation is underway against him. The whereabouts of the fifth blogger, Samar Abbas, remain a mystery.

The families of the rights activists who “disappeared” during January 4-7 held a news conference in Islamabad last month and said online smear campaigns were being conducted against their loved ones. These campaigns labelled the activists as blasphemers, an offence punishable by death in Pakistan. [Hindustan Times House] Read more

Most Europeans want immigration ban from Muslim-majority countries, poll reveals

A majority of Europeans want a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries, a poll has revealed.

An average of 55 per cent of people across the 10 European countries surveyed wanted to stop all future immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

The Chatham House study, conducted before US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries, found majorities in all but two of the ten states opposed immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

Only 20 per cent disagreed, while 25 per cent said they did not know.

A ban was supported by 71 per cent of people in Poland, 65 per cent in Austria, 53 per cent in Germany and 51 per cent in Italy.

In the UK, 47 per cent supported a ban.

In no country did more than 32 per cent disagree with a ban. [The Independent] Read more

07 February 2017

Bern calls for new office to debate questions of religion

Is a burqa ban against the Swiss constitution? How do you deal with a Muslim schoolboy who refuses to shake his female teacher’s hand? Do burkinis contravene swimming pool hygiene rules?

As such questions are becoming more prevalent in Switzerland, the federal government is considering setting up a new religious affairs office to help the cantons tackle the issues involved, reported Swiss media.

Under the jurisdiction of the federal justice ministry, the religious affairs office would be a point of contact and coordination between the Confederation, cantons, communes and religious communities in Switzerland, government spokesman Raphael Frei told Le Tribune de Genève.

While the cantons ultimately have the authority in such matters, their decisions can have implications at federal level, said Frei. [The Local] Read more

What Do Europeans Think About Muslim Immigration?

President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority states from entering the US for 90 days, and temporarily freeze all refugee arrivals (including Syrians indefinitely), has been interpreted widely as an attempt to curtail the inward migration of Muslims, which Trump and his supporters argue pose a threat to national security.

Trump’s policy has generated a backlash among some of Europe’s leaders. Angela Merkel’s spokesman said the chancellor had ‘explained’ the UN Refugee Convention to the president in a phone call discussing the order, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan argued that the invitation to the president for a state visit to Britain in 2017 should be withdrawn until the ban is rescinded. Meanwhile, leaders of Europe’s populist right-wing parties, including Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage and Matteo Salvini, have heaped praise on Trump.

Amid these competing views, where do the public in European countries stand on the specific issue of Muslim immigration? There is evidence to suggest that both Trump and these radical right-wing parties reflect an underlying reservoir of public support.

Drawing on a unique, new Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from 10 European states, we can throw new light on what people think about migration from mainly Muslim countries. Our results are striking and sobering. They suggest that public opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the US but is fairly widespread. [Chatham House] Read more

How long until my honest criticism of Islamism constitutes a speech crime in Canada?

Words matter. We’ve heard the dictum often since the Quebec City mosque massacre. Yes, they do. In fact, the statement “words matter” matters. In my experience it is either a rebuke to those who argue for the widest possible latitude in speech freedoms, or a preamble to proposing speech limitations.

Timing matters too. Because of the mosque tragedy, on Feb. 16, the House will likely vote unanimously for Motion 103, which is potentially a retrograde step for freedom of speech in Canada, at least insofar as it concerns “Islamophobia.”

M-103 asks for a study to determine “a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” Though singled out for special consideration, it is noteworthy that the motion does not define Islamophobia.

What I fear is that MP Iqra Khalid, who tabled M-103, may understand Islamophobia to mean what its original promoters, the 56 Muslim-majority bloc of the United Nations known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), say it means. The OIC wants to see the Cairo Declaration on Human rights become the template for Islamophobia policies everywhere. The Cairo Declaration asserts the superiority of Islam and defines freedom of speech according to Shariah law, which considers any criticism of Muhammad blasphemy.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 229 votes] I love that sign, "Islam means peace."

Right... no offense but Islam is a religion that calls for the death of people that are not believers. In almost every Islamic country in the world people like me, homosexuals, are harrassed and threatened OR throw in jail OR put to death. Women in many Islamic countries aren't even people under the law - they are the property of a male relative.

People like me, gays, we have a right to hold a little phobia over Islam.

Heck, women should be down right terrified.

[2ND 143] Islam does not mean "Peace". Islam means "Submission". And in losing our freedom of speech that our grandparents fought and gave their lives for, that is what Canada is doing. What a disgrace and slap in the face, for all that they did for us. Shameful.

[3RD 85] This is how it started in Europe. Any incident is used as a hammer to demand special dispensation for Muslims under the guise of Islampophobia until they have pounded opposition into the ground. What Canadian leaders need to do is demand that Islam amends it's teachings to remove Misogyny , homophobia, anti Semitics and the desire for Sharia law. Then and only then will their behaviour be acceptable.

[4TH 51] It isn't misguided to note that immigrant Muslims do try to move their host society to support their cultural idiosyncracies -- as do other groups but Islam is particularly toxic unless modified by western culture. We have that from moderate Canadian Muslim leaders like Raheel Raza, Tarek Fatah and Irshad Manji.

There's an added danger in Canada as a consequence of Justin Trudeau's policy to build a Muslim constituency in Canada for the Liberal party. Two Mississauga constituencies are a focus for this initiative. Trudeau's junior minister for Global Affairs Omar Alghabra represents Mississauga Centre. He is responsible for consular services. [National Post] Read more