Islam in Europe Weekly Review

In China the Olympics have ended.  There was not much talk of European Muslim athletes, though there were quite a few of them, as can be seen from this picture of Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of the French athletics team.

Terrorism: A report by PET, the Danish Security Service, says that Danish citizens are active in Jihad abroad.  Or at least, that's what it would have said, if PET hadn't also recommended not to use the word 'Jihad'.  Recent terror arrests in the UK are apparently also connected to Scandinavia, as the suspects were headed for Finland.  Meanwhile, former Guantanamo prisoners are asking for asylum in Switzerland.

Ramadan: Ramadan is starting next week.  In France a Muslim charity plans to use the month for a charity campaign.  In the UK a pharmacy chain is offering special Ramadan services.  In the Netherlands, doctors are advising Muslims who have diabetes to abstain from fasting (NL).  In Switzerland, a professor proposed exchanging a couple of minor Christian official holidays for Muslim ones.

Mosques: Two attacks against mosques, one in Sweden  - where one of the arsonists in Sweden was arrested (EN) - and one in France.  In Paris the mayor of the 11th arrondisement mayor was asked to stop a mosque from broadcasting its sermons on loudspeakers, while in Italy the Northern League intends to propose anti-mosque laws.  I had started off a list of mosques in Europe, which I hope to keep updated with new information.

Censorship and provocations: The American publisher of "Jewel of Medina", a book about Mohammed's child wife, decided not to publish the book.  In Serbia the book was published, but was then shelved.  This was not enough for one Muslim leader, though another says it was too much.  The book might yet be printed in Europe, and in Denmark the publisher's association supports its publishing (EN). 

A decision by the mayor of Sarajevo to paint the pavements green was called 'provocative' by a Croatian group.  In Berlin an Arab magazine said gays carried diseases, sparking outrage. 

Mixed marriages: A recent survey shows that Danes oppose mixed marriages with Muslims, much more so than Muslims.  In Sweden a Christian-Muslim couple trying to bury their son ran into problems with the local imam.

Demographics: A survey in France about religious affiliation found 5% were Muslims.  While Danish women are having more children, the fertility rate of non-Western immigrant women is dropping.

Crime: Police in Paris are investigating an antisemtic shirt.  An attack on an ice-cream parlor in Germany was apparently an issue of family honor among Turks.  Sweden suspects Iraqi asylum seekers are abusing their repatriation scheme.  In the UK a man is accused of forcing two boys to join in a violent Shia ritual.

In Other News:

* Muslims in Finland are looking for land to set up a cemetery.

* A third of the girls in Stockholm removed from their family's custody have been subjected to honor violence.

* Immigrant traders in Sweden prefer not to take bank loans.  The same pattern had been noticed previously in Amsterdam.

* A court in Rotterdam ruled the municipality was allowed to reject a job applicant who refused to shake hands with women.

* A French inventor came up with a French-Arabic alphabet.

* German Muslim youth and puzzling identities.


This article was cross-posted to Islam in Europe and to THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS.

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