The minors who extorted money from gays in the area of Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands, apparently did so to dozens of victims. Five victims lodged complaints by the police, but according to the local branch of the gay interest organization COC, many of the victims don't dare go to the police.
According to Peter Verhaegh, chairman of the COC in Bergen op Zoom, the victims tried to contact minor boys on the internet. Since that's criminal, many victims are reluctant to lodge complaints, he said Friday.
Several Muslim families have been fined for keeping their children out of mandatory school swimming lessons, the first time such a punishment has been handed down.
Education authorities in canton Basel-City said on Thursday that seven children from five families had missed the lessons. Five of the children were removed on religious grounds. All of the students were girls under the age of ten.
UK: Surge in tax-funded 'virginity repair' operations
Via Daily Mail:
An increasing number of women are having controversial 'virginity repair' operations on the NHS before they get married.
In the last five years, 116 hymen repair operations have been undertaken at the tax payer's expense.
Thousands more women are believed to be paying up to £4,000 to have the surgery done privately each year.
NHS surgeons carried out 30 of the procedures in 2009 - up 20 per cent from 2005.
A few months ago I wrote an opinion article about the threats to Jews and Judaism in Europe today. I pointed out that while the 'anti-Jihadists' focus on the 'new' Islamic antisemitism and expect Jews to join them, there are several reasons why it's not a Jewish interest to do so. First, the Muslims are not the only ones who hate the Jews. And second, they cannot support efforts to assimilate minorities and join the fight against religious laws since assimilation and anti-religion laws could also lead to the decimation of the European Jewish community.
The Jerusalem Post interviewed two French Jewish leaders, and though they differ on which threat is worse, they basically say the same thing.
They might support a ban on burkas, but their reasons for doing so are not because they're anti-Islamization.
Should Switzerland abandon or renegotiate the Free Movement of People accord with the EU? Should long term unemployed foreigners be sent home? Should foreigners who commit serious crimes be automatically deported?
The Swiss People’s Party has sent out a questionnaire to every Swiss household to canvas opinion on these and similar issues. The questionnaire’s accompanied by a pamphlet outlining the Swiss People’s Party’s outlook on foreigners, immigration and crime.
WRS reports (audio).
Via Manchester Evening News:
The British Heart Foundation and QUIT are working together to encourage the Muslim community to stop smoking and lead a healthier lifestyle this Ramadan.
Statistics suggest that South Asians in the UK are 50 per cent more likely to die from heart disease than those in the general population .
A Muslim group and German soccer authorities said Wednesday they have determined that professional Muslim players may break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
The announcement followed a dispute involving second-division club FSV Frankfurt, which last year gave a formal warning to three of its players for fasting.
The Danish People's Party wants to raise the marriage immigration age to 28. At the same time, the party suggests excluding Westerners (DA) from the new requirements.
Kristian Thulesen Dahl of the DPP explained that this is already the case for such things as visa requirements. This way Denmark would get Western immigrants from the same cultural background, and fewer non-Western immigrants and this will mean fewer conflicts in Danish society.
Forced and arranged marriages are most widespread in other cultures, he points out, and mentions that Turkey and Pakistan are problematic countries.
Via The National:
There are major changes underway for Muslims in Europe. They go beyond threats to ban the burqa in France or plans to build the largest mosque on the continent in Marseille. They go beyond the Dutch elections last month, which doubled the number of parliamentarians from the anti-Islam Freedom Party.
What is more momentous is the birth of a homegrown form of Islam, an indigenous approach to practising the religion in today’s Europe.
Via The Connexion:
AN UNDERCOVER operation by an anti-racism group has exposed racism at some bars and clubs on campsites in the south of France.
SOS Racisme found two campsites and three clubs in the Alpes-Maritimes, out of a total of around 20 establishments tested, turned away ethnic minorities before allowing whites inside.
The organisation has named Le Camp du Pylône in Antibes Juan-les-Pins and Le Green Park at Cagnes-sur-mer as campsites which discriminated between the two young men of north African origin and two young white men sent to try and stay there.
While the north African men were turned away from clubs because they were "reserved for regulars", "too young" or they were "about to close", the white men were allowed in soon afterwards without any problems, said Mr Sopo.
Via Deutsche Welle:
Austria is cracking down on illegal immigrants and asylum seekers thought to be illegally claiming benefits. Interior Minister Maria Fekter says 500 police officers will be given the task of tracking down those accused of ripping off the state.
The officers are also to receive special training in dealing with foreigners and are to conduct nighttime raids on refugee centers and buildings housing asylum seekers. Neighbors are being asked to tell police about the shopping habits of those seeking asylum.
Via Daily Mail:
Seven men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to blow up a Bournemouth mosque.
The men, six of whom are members of the England Defence League, were taken to Poole and Southampton police stations for questioning before being released without charge.
Among those arrested was EDL member John Broomfield, 27, who was pulled from his stationary vehicle after armed police opened fire on his van in Corfe Castle village.
France is "at war" with al-Qaida and will step up efforts to fight its North African offshoot after it executed a French hostage in the Sahara, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed the killing Monday, vowing that the perpetrators "will not go unpunished."
His prime minister said Tuesday that France will reinforce efforts to work with governments in northwest Africa fighting al-Qaida in the sparsely populated swath of desert that includes the borders dividing Mauritania, Mali, Algeria and Niger.
"We are at war against al-Qaida," Fillon said on Europe-1 radio. He said France "thwarts several attacks every year," without elaborating.
This past weekend Jyllands-Posten published an article about Jew-hatred in the Muslim community in Denmark.
In response (BT), Pia Kjærsgaard, head of the Danish People's Party, demands that this hatred, which is creating parallel societies, be dealt with. The party warns that the Nørrebro neighborhood of Copenhagen is becoming a refuge for antisemitism. At the same time, Kjærsgaard criticized the Left, who turn a blind eye to racist attacks by Muslims against Jews.
Via Daily Mail:
Jeremy Clarkson has joined the debate on whether burkas should be permitted in Britain in his own inimitable style.
The outspoken presenter provoked a flurry of complaints after telling viewers of Top Gear on Sunday night that he had seen a Muslim woman wearing saucy underwear beneath her gown.
A number of Muslim inmates at HMP Ford, an open prison in West Sussex, are claiming they were served pork burgers by prison staff on Saturday evening.
Kristeligt Dagblad published a correction to their story from yesterday. Non-Western immigrant women have 1.9 children on average, just like Danish women.
Yesterday Kristeligt Dagblad reported, based on data from the Ministry of Integration, that non-Western immigrant women had less children on average. The ministry apologized for its mistake. The figure of 1.6 children per women was for Western immigrants.
Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)
Muslims in Leicestershire are facing increasing abuse, according to figures from the police.
Between April 2008 and March 2009, officers recorded 25 offences against Muslims but in the following 12 months, the figure rose to 42.
Most incidents involved verbal abuse but there was a small number of cases in which veils were pulled off.
Police said they treated all types of hate crime as a priority and urged victims to report any problems.
Via Telegraph (h/t NRP):
Christian churchgoers have complained about the "discriminatory price" of burial plots in the Greenlawn Memorial Park cemetery in Warlingham, Surrey.
The cemetery – which is managed by Croydon Council – offers Muslims a graveyard plot for £2,383, but charges non-Muslims £2,927 – a hike of £544.
Update: updated figures for previous years, mistranslation.
Update 2: Kristeligt Dagblad corrected their story. Non-Western immigrants and Danish women have about the same number of children.
A long-time trend of fewer births among immigrants means that their birthrate is now lower than for ethnic Danes. While Danish women have 1.9 children on average, non-Western immigrant women have 1.6. [Ed: 1997: 1.97/1998: 1.94 ]
This according to new data for fertility in 2009, provided by Denmark Statistics for the Integration Ministry, but which hasn't been published yet. The birthrate among immigrant women has been cut by more than half since 1993, when the average woman had 3.4 children, twice as many as Danish women did.
Via The Local:
Education Minister Annette Schavan has defended the controversial policy of introducing lessons about Islam into German school classes, saying they aided integration.
She said learning lessons about Islam had been very constructive in schools, leading to better understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim students.
Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb is not in favour of a ban on wearing the burkha face-veil. He told the provincial paper Satakunnan Kansa that diversity should be respected. He added banning the burkha sends the wrong message from Europe to the Muslim world.
A ban was not the right answer, Stubb said, even though he does not favour women wearing the garment.
”In all honesty, I don’t like to see a woman wearing the burkha face-veil but interfering with her right by means of a legal ban is no solution,” he said.
A thousand years ago North African Muslims ruled southern Spain. Now some of their descendants are contributing to a "Moorish revival" that is regenerating parts of Andalucia, says the BBC's Sylvia Smith.
Sitting in Abdul Hedi Benattia's tea shop you forget for a moment where you are.
The sound of sweet mint tea being poured into tiny glasses, the murmur of Arabic in the background, and piles of almond cornes de gazelle, served to customers sitting on low sofas, all suggest Morocco or Tunisia.
When I first saw the headline, I assumed the proposal was about sending in German police agents of Turkish background. Following an article in on FrontPageMag, I went back to the original article. The proposal was indeed to bring in Turkish police officers from Turkey, but it is incorrect to say that everybody supports the idea. Both the local Turkish community and local politicians think the idea is absurd.
In fact, it's not only absurd, it's a statement by the police that those Turks are not really German. I'm surprised that nobody called out the police union out on their racism.
Angel Ros, the socialist mayor of Lleida, in the northeastern region of Catalonia, complained that the mosque was too full and closed it on Wednesday until further notice.
The building, a former garage used to service trucks, was often filled with crowds exceeding a thousand people, the council said, when the authorised limit for the venue is 240.
A new mosque is under construction on the outskirts of the town but work had been stalled because of a lack of financing during the economic crisis.
"The municipality has no obligation to provide places of worship," Mr Ros said in response to complaints from the town's Muslim population over the closure. "Those that wish can pray at home, as I do," he added.
Sweden is the only country in Europe banning kosher and halal slaughter [*]. The Swedish Christian community should show tolerance to Jews and Muslims and demand to abolish the ban, say four representatives of Christian Sweden.
The four - Sven-Bernard Fast, Caroline Krook, Peter Weiderud and Karin Wiborn - write in an opinion piece in Dagens Nyheter (SE), that the Swedish parliament introduced a ban of religious slaughter in 1938 to complicate life for the Jews.
Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
Via The Observer, Kenan Malik's review:
Europe, 2020. The Islamists have stormed to power across the continent. Every French woman is forced to be veiled. Holland's gay clubs have been relocated to San Francisco.
Via The Local:
Vandals have attacked an art project erected in honour of a pregnant Egyptian woman who was murdered in a German court room, organisers said Friday.
The Citizen.Courage group, which sponsored the display in the eastern city of Dresden, said that a few knife-shaped columns used in the open-air show had been knocked over several times and signs explaining the project were stolen.
Halal meat has become a common part of life in the UK, but now a company has launched a range of halal make-up, which is free from alcohol and animal products.
Samina Akhter set up Samina Pure Make-up from her home in Birmingham after questioning what she was putting on her skin.
She said: "I was shocked to find that some products contained alcohol and even pig placenta.
About a month ago, a Muslim local councilor in the city of Venray got upset at a sculpture depicting a pig, and demanded that the feelings of Muslims be taken into account in the future.
Is it that preposterous, then, to assume that Muslims would be insulted by a picture of a pig? It's a no-win situation for non-Muslims. It would be interesting to see how the SMN responds next time a Muslim will complain about pig depictions. Unless I missed it, last time they did not say a word.
Via Prague Monitor:
About ten couples have a Muslim wedding in the Czech Republic every year, Vladimir Sanka, director of the Islamic Centre in Prague, has told CTK, adding that most of the couples are foreigners but there are also Czechs who have adopted the Islamic faith.
For a Muslim marriage to be legal, the couple must have a civilian wedding first, Sanka said.
Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not break international law, top UN judges have ruled in a non-binding decision.
The International Court of Justice rejected Serbian claims that the move had violated its territorial integrity.
Kosovo officials said all doubt about its status had now been removed, but Serbia's president insisted Belgrade would never recognise the secession.
In a related story: Two Muslim women marched out of swimming pool in French holiday village because they were wearing burkinis
Via LA Times:
Be patient. This is just a phase. It will all blow over eventually. That's what Abdel Basset Zitouni tells the young people who come seeking his advice on getting a job or starting a business.
But Zitouni's counsel isn't just in response to questions about finding work in a depressed economy.
Many of the people who knock on his office door are Muslims from the housing projects in this city west of Paris who have felt the sting of discrimination.
Often they're ridiculed, often they're even beaten. In class barely anybody speaks to them, they keep back, rarely voice their opinion - in short, they're not integrated in school. But these are not immigrant children in a German school, but German children in a secondary school (5th-9th grades) in Essen.
German TV channel Das Erste reports.
Via Al Arabia (h/t Women Against Shariah):
Spanish authorities closed a mosque in the island of Ibiza and arrested its imam after charging him with beating several Muslim students in the mosque school, local press reported.
The Spanish Civil Guard closed the main mosque in the town of Sant Antoni, located in the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, and arrested its imam Kharin , who is of Moroccan origins, on charges of mistreating and beating 12 students at the School of Arab Culture, the Spanish language newspaper Diario de Ibiza reported.
The government of Lower Bavaria in southern Germany has segregated Christian and Muslim asylum seekers into different residential homes. The Bavarian Refugees Council called the measure an “inhuman act of reallocation”.
The government confirmed that they had moved 40 asylum seekers of Christian background due to rising numbers of incoming Muslim asylum seekers from Somalia. The office’s spokesman said that asylum seekers of different faiths usually got along well, but there were often a few troublemakers, which is why the measure was necessary.
Translated from Süddeutsche Zeitung (German)
A group of Islamic 'contemporary thinkers' launched a new website today in order to develop 'critical (self)-reflection' in the Muslim communities in the Netherlands.
The Nieuwemoskee site [New Mosque] wants to break down rigid ideas about Islam and add depth to the fierce, but mostly oversimplified, Islam debate.
Geert Wilders is currently locked out of the coalition negotiations, but in the polls his party is soaring.
The PVV got a record number of seats in the Maurice de Hond poll. If elections were held today, Geert Wilders' party would get 35 seats. That is 11 more seats than the PVV got in the June 9 elections. In April last year, the PVV got 33 seats in the same poll.
Spain's Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposal to ban women from wearing in public places Islamic veils that reveal only the eyes.
However, the Socialist government has said it favors including a ban on people wearing burqas in government buildings in an upcoming bill on religious issues to be debated after parliament's summer vacation break.
Dutch blog Dagelijkse Standaard reports that the Dutch Foreign Office is financing a project which is sponsored by the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement. The two organizations are involved in the 'Ground Zero mosque' project.
The Dutch government allocated the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) project 1,000,000 euro.
Germany's financial market watchdog is investigating a report that an Iranian-owned bank in Germany is helping the Islamic Republic do business linked to its nuclear programme, the government said on Monday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the European-Iranian Trade Bank AG -- called EIH Bank in Germany -- has done more than one billion dollars' worth of business for Iranian firms, including some blacklisted by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.
Every spring hundreds of baby Barbary Apes are sold in Moroccan markets to European Moroccans on vacation.
Via LA Times:
Visually speaking, the John Paul II Canteen is more IKEA cafe than soup kitchen. Tucked away in a pleasant hillside neighborhood in Rome, it has clean lines, attractive furniture, track lighting and framed photographs, making it a welcome oasis for the immigrants who stream in daily from shelters, homeless camps and overcrowded apartments.
Strolling down the cafeteria line on a recent day, canteen coordinator Maurizio deStefano boasted about the quality of the free food, which today included farfalle pasta and meatballs, spinach, boiled eggs, cheese, bread and apples.
"The thing is," he said, "there are so many Muslims that the menu often doesn't have pork on it."
Via Austrian Times:
Austria’s struggle to present itself as a non-xenophobic country is set to continue as a poll revealed almost one in two Austrians think asylum seekers are "dishonest".
Viennese public opinion research agency Karmasin found that 49 per cent of Austrians consider asylum seekers as generally "dishonest" people. A majority of 53 per cent told pollsters they agreed with the claim that asylum seekers "are more criminal than other society groups", according to political weekly profil.
Via Daily Mail:
Blind passengers are being ordered off buses or refused taxi rides because Muslim drivers or passengers object to their 'unclean' guide dogs.
One pensioner, a cancer sufferer, told how had twice been confronted by drivers and asked to get off the bus because of his guide dog, and had also faced hostility at a hospital and in a supermarket over the animal.
The problem to carry guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was raised in the House of Lords last week, prompting transport minister Norman Baker to warn that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved guide dog.
Banning the wearing of burkas in public would be 'rather un-British', the Immigration Minister said today as he attacked efforts to make it illegal in this country.
Damian Green said it would be 'undesirable' for Parliament to try to pass such a law, which would be at odds with the UK's 'tolerant and mutually respectful society'.
Fellow Tory MP Philip Hollobone introduced a private members' bill which would make it illegal for people to cover their faces in public.
Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten reports that immigrant families are moving their children away from schools which have many bilingual children and to places where Danes are in the majority.
According to the Kolding municipality, 39% of the city's immigrant children will start the school year in a school outside their own district. This is three times as many as by Danish children and an increase from last year's 34%.
Via Daily Mail:
From next week, shoppers in Rochdale who push open the cubicle door expecting the reassuring sight of a modern, clean lavatory could instead be faced with little more than a hole in the ground.
Bosses of the Greater Manchester town's Exchange mall have installed two as part of an upgrade costing several thousand pounds after attending a cultural awareness course run by a local Muslim community activist.
A familiar sight in parts of the Middle East, and still sometimes seen in France and Italy, the toilets require users to squat above them, rather than sitting.
Rioters torched cars, looted shops and shot at police in the French Alpine city of Grenoble Saturday after police shot dead a man who allegedly held up a nearby casino the night before.
The riots began around midnight in the Villeneuve suburb of Grenoble, after a memorial to 27-year-old Karim Boudouda, the alleged robber, who was a Villeneuve resident.
The violence flared when police tried to intervene in the attack of a streetcar held up by brushfire, police spokeswoman Brigette Julien told the AFP news agency. A group of about 30 youths had attacked the tram with baseball bats and iron bars, forcing out passengers.
The new Al-Qaeda magazine 'Inspire' includes a death threat against various people who made their mark in recent years in the Islam in Europe debate.
Almost all of them are European, and not one of them is on the list for anti-Islam laws.
At least six Uzbeks and Uighur were given residence permits in Norway in recent years due to their links to the radical Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Two Uighur brothers whose asylum request had been rejected were granted residence by the appeals board in October 2003. The Central-Asian Uighurs risked persecution due to their links to Hizb ut-Tahrir.
An anti-Islam lawmaker in the Netherlands is forming an international alliance to spread his message across the West in a bid to ban immigration from Islamic countries, among other goals.
Geert Wilders told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday he will launch the movement late this year, initially in five countries: the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and Germany.
A bus driver in the Dutch city of Uden prevented a 19 year old woman from getting on his bus because she was wearing a nikab. The Connexxion bus company does not approve of the driver's behavior and apologized to the woman's husband.
A Danish politician has suggested paying immigrants half the current minimum wage. The idea has gone down well with center-right parties, but it's opposed by the left -- and the far right. Right-wing populists fear low wages for immigrants could take jobs away from "regular Danes."
14 of the 22 'Moroccan-municipalities' don't want to commit to clear goals on reducing the crime rate, dropout-rate and unemployment of Moroccan-Dutch youth.
Outgoing minister Van Middelkoop (Integration) will now settle for the promise that the municipalities will 'ensure a downwards trend in the over-representation of Moroccan-Dutch youth in school dropout, unemployment and crime [rates] within two and a half years.'
Minorities in Flanders think that public broadcaster VRT presents immigrants in an incorrect and biased manner, in fiction and non-fiction. This according to Hatim El Sghiar in his doctoral dissertation at the Center for Media Culture and Communications Technology at K.U.Leuven.
Inscriptions reading "Islam get out of Europe", "No to Islam and to burkas", along with swastikas, were discovered on Wednesday in Herouville-Saint-Clair, a suburb of the city of Caen in Normandy.
Norway: More information about the terror suspects
Norwegian papers continue to publish new information about the three terror suspects. Below is a summary of several articles.
At the same time, the PST is not officially saying anything about the investigation. The PST denies there was video surveillance of the suspect's apartments, or any apartment, as VG Nett claimed.
Previous articles:Norway: Suspects bought bomb materials
Reinhard Werner doesn't trust Islam. The 70-year-old German is part of a group which keeps tabs on mosques across Germany, monitoring them for what he calls an "intolerant Islam of terror." Over the years, he has gained a certain amount of notoriety.
"Yo soy español, español, español!" As the buzzer sounded in Johannesburg on the final match of the 2010 World Cup, an entire city 5,000 miles away burst spontaneously into song. From the shirtless kids taking a celebratory jump into the Cibeles fountain to the old men crowded around a 13-inch TV set at their fluorescent-lit corner bar, all of Madrid, it seemed, was chanting the same joyful (if annoyingly repetitive) lyrics. But perhaps no one in the Spanish capital sang with more fervor than Mahbubul Alam. Watching the game through the window of a café in the Lavapiés neighborhood, his entire body shook as he gleefully belted out the words the whole city was singing: "I am Spanish, Spanish, Spanish!" The fact that Alam is Bangladeshi hardly seemed to matter.
The former treasurer of the GSC ESDO football club, Jaap Kanters, told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that a Moroccan 'coup was committed' in the club. The truth is completely different. Haaglandenvoetbal.nl investigated.
Many years ago, ESDO was forced to move out of their own complex and joined the GSC, who were struggling with declining membership numbers. The two clubs fused into GSC ESDO. Many former members of the Paraat club also joined the new club.
Following an anti-Semitic attack in Hanover, German authorities have identified a new source of anti-Semitic hatred in Germany: young migrants from Muslim families. The ideological alliance has officials concerned.
Some British Asian gay Muslims are embracing a new identity, based as much on race and religion as on sexual orientation with a number trying to do it with the help of their local imams.
When Khalid Habib decided it was time to come out about his sexuality, the first person he chose to confide in was not anyone in the family but his local imam.
"It was really important to me because I am a practising Muslim. It was about my personal relationship with Allah," said the 35-year-old media professional from the north of England.
Naser Khader's anger comes in the wake of the case of the 43 year old Iranian woman who was sentenced to death for adultery.
The bill is still now law.
France's lower house of parliament overhwelmingly approved a ban on burqa-like Islamic veils Tuesday, a move that is popular among French voters despite serious concerns from Muslim groups and human rights advocates.
While the French National Assembly is debating the law banning the burka in public, doctors are testifying of their difficulties in providing the necessary care to women wearing the full veil.
Since the law of religious symbols passed in 2004, doctors and nurses have seen an increase in the number of women wearing the burka. With this veil it is impossible to verify the identity of the patient, her state of health and during surgery or birth, the situation becomes even more delicate.
Unemployment among Moroccans, Turks and Antilleans increased sharply in the past year. Unemployment among non-Western immigrants is almost three times as high as by ethnic Dutch. Young people are more affected by the crisis: a quarter of immigrant youth are unemployed.
This according to the fifth immigrants in the workplace monitor published today by Forum, the Institute for Multicultural Affairs.
Ethnic minorities are set to make up a fifth of the UK population in 40 years, a University of Leeds study predicts.
It says the proportion of black, Asian and other ethnic minorities will rise from 8% of the population, as recorded in the 2001 census, to 20% by 2051.
For the first time since 9/11, about 4,800,000 Norwegians were threatened by a possible Al Qaeda terror plot . In a country generally associated with the Nobel Prize ceremony, the 160,000 Muslim population – which includes 30,000 Pakistanis – are now questioning their identity.
Russian security services have broken up what they described as a terrorist cell in a Muslim region of the country the was preparing female suicide bombers for attacks on major Russian cities, officials announced on Monday.
They said six women had been arrested who had already written “farewell letters” as they were being prepared for deployment. But the officials did not disclose whether attacks were imminent, or any other details about planning.
A recent Q&A on Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad's religion portal led to a storm of opinions.
Salaam alakayium, I'm a boy of 18 who wants to ask a question: I've been to the army's [recruiting] day in Slagelse, and I was born and raised in Denmark. When I'm thinking about it now, my parents are from Pakistan and I'm from Denmark.
So my question is: is military service permitted by Islam, and what now, if I'm considering being a soldier for Denmark or doing some form of training in defense of the country where I will live my whole life?
The rise of an anti-Islamic political party in recent Dutch elections leaves some Muslims in the Netherlands concerned for their future. Others, however, say the hostility is unlikely to last long because it is only a symptom of a lack of knowledge about the religion and does not reflect the day-to-day reality of their experience
Although Dutch voters gave the anti-Islamic party a boost in recent elections, Muslims in the Netherlands predict the hostile political atmosphere will be short lived, an idea bolstered by the fact that they are facing no increase in discrimination.
Swimming lessons in some Staffordshire schools should stop during Ramadan to ensure Muslim pupils "do not swallow water", a council has suggested.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has issued an 11-page Ramadan guide for schools to help pupils who may be fasting when the school year starts in September.
It said swimming was acceptable to Muslims but posed a high risk of swallowing water that may break a fast.
A French businessman is offering to sell properties to help Muslim women pay any fines that they may receive for wearing the full veil in public if a law is voted through France's parliament.
Via Green Prophet:
Architect Marks Barfield is to design a £13 million “eco” mosque on a 0.4 hectare brownfield site in Cambridge.
England’s historic city of Cambridge, with its world-famous university and idyllic countryside, will soon count a mosque amidst its stunning skyline of spires. But this isn’t just any old mosque. In fact it is the first-purpose built mosque in the city which also happens to be environmentally-friendly!
Residents at the Lier asylum center think the reasons for the riots were lousy food and bad treatment.
Several residents at the asylum center criticize the conditions at the center and they they've gotten unappetizing food which could be old and monotonous. Several were also unhappy with the fact that they weren't told whether the meat was halal and if there was pork in the food.
Jan Erik Skretteberg of SOS rasisme also claimed that the residents didn't get enough food, and that they didn't get fruit and enough vitamins.
A third of non-Western second generation immigrants aged 30 own their residences, reports Statistics Denmark. The same goes for 40% of non-Western second generation immigrants aged 35.
Descendants of immigrants are getting into the ownership market much more than their parents. 21-29% of non-Western immigrants live in their own residence. Among those over 50 the percentage is highest at 29%.
A court sentenced eight Tunisians, two of them refugees in Europe, to up to 12 years in jail on charges of belonging to a militant group and inciting terrorism, a lawyer said.
The eight had denied the charges and said their confessions were obtained under torture, lawyer Samir Ben Amor, who is also secretary general of the Association for the Defence of Political Prisoners, told AFP Saturday.
A Moroccan man who refused to shake hands with a French female official and whose wife wears the full Islamic veil has been denied French citizenship, the immigration ministry said Friday.
The man, who has been living in France since 1999 and married a French woman in 2004, failed to "assimilate into French society" and displayed a "discriminatory attitude toward women," said the ministry.
Dagbladet reports that the three suspects are:
* Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak Bujak (37), an Iraqi Kurd living in Oslo. He was arrested in Germany and Norway asked to extradite him.
* David Jakobsen (31), Uzbek living in Oslo. Jakobsen's request for asylum was rejected, but he received a residence permit via family reunification. Several sources in the Uzbek community told Dagbladet that Jakobsen radicalized during his time in Norway.
* Mikael Davud (39), Norwegian citizen of Chinese-Uighur background. Suspected of leading the cell. Davud was formerly called Muhammad Rashidin, but changed his name in 2007.
The Union of Moroccan Mosques in Amsterdam and the Area (UMMAO) wishes Oranje, the Dutch football team, success in the World Cup's final match.
In a press release the UMMAO says they 'also want to give our boys of Oranje a word of appreciation, support and pride! the Dutch team, a culturally and religiously diverse team, that should serve as an example for the world. This is the true Netherlands!"
"Diverse, sportive and result oriented! We are proud of that! We wish our boys a lot of success with the final match during the World Cup in South Africa. Allah be with Oranje!"
Source: AD (Dutch)
Via Copenhagen Post, h/t Euro-Islam.info:
Danish institutions don't always meet the needs of different religious groups
Islamic schools have existed in Denmark for years now. Immigrants with Turkish backgrounds are now looking to open high schools and plans for a number of Islamic nursing homes are in the works, reported daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
The nursing homes will serve food prepared according to muslim practices and holidays will be celebrated such as Ramadan and Eid.
LibertyPhile posted a review of The Future of Islam by John L. Esposito. I have not yet read the book, but one point based on this review: Anybody who brings radicals such as Qaradawi and Ramadan as exemplary reformers, should also deal with the fact that they continuously threaten Europe and the Western World with a 'Muslim takeover'. In fact, by claiming they are moderates, Esposito encourages 'Islamophobia' and the idea that there are no real moderate Muslims.
I bring here an excerpt:
(4) Muslims in the West
Esposito’s treatment of Muslims in the West is totally inadequate. We get the standard condemnation of hate preachers but what we mainly get is special pleading and an exiguous failure to understand the depth of the problem and to suggest any solutions.
A couple of days ago I published a news article about a recent comprehensive report on the immigrants in Germany.
According to this report, immigrants (and their descendants) make up about a third of the population in the 0-5 age group. Does this mean that in 20 years Muslims will make up a third of the population?
MTJ’s Butcher’s Shop of the Year (BSOTY) awards continue to gather pace and, this year, will see the introduction of a new stand-alone category into the event — Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year.
The competition aims to reward the best businesses across the butchery trade and this year sees that extend into the ethnic sector, with support from Eblex.
Norway: Suspects bought bomb materials
VG Nett reports that the men thought they had bought all the ingredients for a bomb. One of the materials they needed was hydrogen peroxide, which they bought in a pharmacy. They were told that they needed to come back later, by which time the PST ensured they were sold non-dangerous materials instead.
The men bought all the materials by late winter, and then lay low.
Via Pew Research Center:
On July 13, members of the lower house of the French parliament are expected to vote on a bill that would make it illegal for Muslim women to wear full veils -- those that cover all of the face except the eyes -- in public places. A survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, conducted April 7 to May 8, finds that the French public overwhelmingly endorses this measure; 82% approve of a ban on Muslim women wearing full veils in public, including schools, hospitals and government offices, while just 17% disapprove.1
Via EU Observer:
Western diplomats and religious experts have voiced concerns about the spread of radical Islam among Muslim communities in the Balkans, after it transpired that alleged Wahabist radicals are operating and increasing their influence in Macedonia.
The foreign-inspired religious group is active in the area around Skopje, Macedonia's capital. It has tried to perform a putsch in the Islamic religious community (IRC) after an incident in the Isa-Bey Mosque in Skopje last week.
Via This is London:
A leader of the Muslim community in Leeds today said that the anger that fuelled the four bombers is still felt among some young men in the area.
Akhlaq Mir also called on the Government to “face up” to its responsibilities and help them fight terrorism.
A proposed law against the wearing of the full Islamic veil in French public spaces is to be sent to France’s Constitutional Council after being voted on by the Parliament.That was the surprise announcement by Jean-Francois Cope, head of the ruling UMP party in parliament, during a debate on the text by the French National Assembly on Wednesday.
A row started in the Hague football club GSC Esdo after a new board was elected of Moroccan origin.
52 ethnic Dutch members turned their backs on the club after a general members' meeting in which due to massive turnout by the Moroccan members an almost completely Moroccan board (except for one member) was elected.
Yesterday a Pakistani student was arrested in Manchester, on suspicion of being involved inthe NYC metro bombing plot. Today three people were arrested in Norway, possibly related to the same or similar plot.
The Norwegian Security Service (PST) is currently holding a press conference. I'll add updates as they come.
Three suspected al-Qaida members were arrested Thursday morning in what Norwegian and U.S. officials said was a terrorist plot linked to similar plans in New York and England.
People sometimes focus on Muslim demographics in Europe. However, as this report shows, Muslims make up just a quarter (25%) of immigrants in Germany. Why the focus then? One reason is that Muslims are a very large group (either a majority or plurality) among the non-Western immigrants.
Still, Muslims make up such a small minority, why do people feel so threatened? There are several reasons, but the fact that is usually ignored in this debate is that while Muslims might make up 4-6% of the Muslim population in Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, immigrants make up 20% of the population in those countries, and a majority or near majority in the larger cities, and this certainly affects the way the 'locals' see their culture and identity.
How do migrants live in Germany? What jobs do they do? What sort of educational qualifications do they have? Are they active in sports clubs? And how long does it take them to find jobs? The report seeks to answer these questions by documenting the actual living conditions of Germany's immigrant population on over 600 pages -- from the cradle to pensioner's housing.
The price tag on a bride in Russia's Ingushetia province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as sharia law eclipses Russian.
Against the backdrop of a bubbling Islamist insurgency, the revival of Islam in the North Caucasus following the break-up of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago has brought sharia law to the region, revered by both rebels and ordinary citizens alike.
Police have arrested 23 people on suspicion of arson after last night’s fire that destroyed Lier asylum centre in Buskerud.
The fire started in three separate buildings that were far apart almost simultaneously, and preliminary investigations show traces of inflammable liquids.
Inmates already knew what was going to happen, as several refugees had packed their belongings, according to VG.
Jan Erik Skretteberg, regional director of SOS Rasisme, says he can understand why the fire was started, claiming there are many frustrated people who don’t get enough food or vitamins. There isn’t enough hot water in the showers, and a complete lack of mental health services.
A large number of Muslim organizations, including the Council of Dutch Moroccan Mosques (RMMN), the Islamic Foundation of the Netherlands (ISN) and Milli Görüs are urging Dutch Muslims not to buy Israeli dates during Ramadan.
Five years after the London bombings, in which 52 people died, homegrown terror remains a concern across Europe. More dialogue and a coordinated strategy is how EU countries hope to tackle the problem.
Homegrown terrorism is a relatively new term - and a new phenomenon. But Europe has learned through experience that it is a danger from within that cannot be ignored.
Five years ago, on July 7, 2005, four bomb attacks on the London transport system left 56 dead and countless wounded. One year earlier, the Madrid attacks claimed the lives of 191 people.
The Nijmegen municipality is subsidizing an ultra-Islamic and anti-Western organization.
The Ar Rayaan foundation wants to promote knowledge of Islam, and provides introductory lessons about prejudices against Islam in schools in Nijmegen. According to an investigation by the Dit is de Dag Radio-1 program, the foundation got 3,500 euro this year from the municipality for giving introductory classes and informational evenings.
Efforts to boost the numbers of immigrant children finishing school have fallen flat, according to a government report to be released Wednesday, which shows the problem has actually become worse.
France's Socialist opposition decided Tuesday to boycott a vote on a bill outlawing the full-face Islamic veil in protest at the sweeping ban that will apply to all public places.
Home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority, France is set to adopt a bill banning the wearing of the face-covering veil despite warnings from top legal experts that the move may be unconstitutional.
Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry told deputies at a meeting that while they should not vote against the bill, they should not take part in a vote scheduled for July 13, a Socialist party official told AFP.
People in the Black Country are angry that windows at a public baths have been covered up because some people do not want to be seen swimming.
Walsall Council has put film over windows at Darlaston Leisure Centre's windows after groups, including Muslim women, complained.
Other swimmers are angry that the pool has now lost its "pleasant views and open air feel".
The police are investigating a suspected racket through which young African girls are lured from Malta into European sex-slavery rings.
The suspicions were confirmed last Wednesday when a young, attractive Somali girl turned up at the airport to buy a plane ticket to Denmark. When she was arrested for possession of a counterfeit Italian travel document, she could not identify her final destination.
She told police she was given the travel document and offered the ticket money by a co-national in Malta. The woman was told that someone would pick her up at Copenhagen airport. However, she would not name the man or give more details for fear of reprisals.
EU academics have identified that understanding different Islamic cultures, based on perceptions of regional identity, is pivotal to the successful integration of Muslim communities in Europe.
Their research was presented alongside Indonesian experts at a seminar last Wednesday, organized by the European Union Delegation to Indonesia, to promote interfaith dialogue between Indonesia and the EU.
In a keynote presentation, Agata Nalborczyk from the University of Warsaw, Poland, stated that there was “no single [Islamic] situation in Europe” stressing the existence of “different levels of religious and nationalistic identity”.
Most terrorism in Britain is homegrown, according to the most comprehensive survey of those convicted of offences over the last 10 years.
The Centre for Social Cohesion has compiled profiles of 124 individuals convicted of Islamic terrorism offences since 1999.
It found that 69 per cent of offences were perpetrated by individuals holding British nationality.
More ethnic Turks are now moving out of Germany than in. As the German economy lags, a Western education helps professional Turkish Germans find work in a booming Muslim nation. But they aren't always welcomed "home."
The stories often involve well-educated, well-integrated Turkish Germans -- the vast majority of emigrants who return to Turkey are young academics moving for economic reasons. Around 40,000 Turks and Turkish-descended Germans left for their parents' country of origin last year, or 10,000 more than the number of immigrants arriving from Turkey. A decades-long immigration trend has reversed.
France’s most prominent Muslim leader has called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled to 4,000, sparking fresh debate on the secular status established in French law a century ago.
Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grande Mosque of Paris and formerly president of the French Council for Muslims, believes a sharp increase in facilities for worship is necessary to give Europe’s largest Muslim population a chance to pray in dignity and comfort.
In a revealing interview in the daily newspaper France-Soir, the contents of which were confirmed by his office, the Algerian-born cardiologist stressed the social benefits of easing the “pressure, frustration and the sense of injustice” felt by many French Muslims.
A group of Muslim women have laid a wreath at the National Memorial Arboretum in honour of those who died fighting for the UK in Afghanistan.
L/Cpl Jabron Hashmi, 24, from Bordesley Green, Birmingham, was the first British Muslim soldier to die in a Taliban attack in Helmand in July 2006.
On the anniversary weekend of his death four Muslim women paid their respects at the Staffordshire centre.
Two Somali-Norwegian brothers drowned to death last Wednesday in Svarttjern, Romsås (Oslo). The two were playing football when the little brother (9) jumped into the waters and started drowning. His brother (12) tried to save him. Neither could swim.
The boys' mother and older sister were there. When the police arrived, 15 people were there, and many of the witnesses said they couldn't swim.
The accident occurred next to a school and a play area.
Skopje: Islamists blamed for attack on muftiThree people have been detained by police in Macedonia after local mufti Ibrahim Sabani was expelled from a mosque during religious services, local media reported on Friday. Islamists linked to the fundamentalist Wahabi movement have been blamed for the attack on the mufti and police said three suspects had been charged with disorderly conduct.
The Macedonian Islamic community said the incident occurred last Sunday and had been reported to police.
Denmark's top prosecutor has charged a Somali man with terrorism for allegedly trying to kill a cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
Joergen Steen Soerensen said Friday that the man, who cannot be named under a court order, wanted to "seriously frighten the population" and destabilize Denmark in the attack on cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Racial tension used to be the main reason for persuction, abuse, torture and killings of minorities, but not any longer. According to a recent report by the Minority Rights Group International, the targeting of minorities on religious grounds is increasingly becoming a bigger problem than racial discrimination.
In most regions poverty is increasingly linked to religion. Minorities in all four corners of the world - and particularly Muslims in the west - have been targets of increased state control as well as nationalist campaigns waged by militant or right-wing groups.
Mark Latimer, Director of Minority Rights Group International says we haven’t seen religious persecutions on this scale since the dark ages.
Mohammad Javad Ardashir Larijani, Secretary General of Iran's High Council for Human Rights claims Copenhagen will be Muslim in 10-15 years (h/t Gates of Vienna).
"Based on their own statistics, probably on 2020 or 2025, Copenhagen is the first European city that most of it's people will become Muslim."
I have no idea what statistics Larijani is referring to. It's estimated that today Copenhagen has about 13% Muslims. For Copenhagen to have a Muslim majority in ten years would require an additional 200,000 Muslims (and that's assuming the population stays constant).
Do you agree with Larijani? Which European city would be first to have a Muslim majority? Take the poll below.
The Swedish parliamentary elections are coming up in September. The Swedish Green Party posted the following ad in the immigrant-heavy Stockholm suburb of Skärholmen.
The Palio, the famous breakneck, bareback horse race around Siena's main piazza, has been clouded by a debate over this year's official banner which features Islamic, Jewish and Christian symbols.
The banner was painted by Lebanese-born artist Ali Hassoun and is to be awarded to the winner of Friday's big race.
The painting features St. George wearing what appears to be a black and white checkered keffiyah. Above him is a picture of the Madonna, featuring a crescent moon — one of the most prominent symbols of Islam — the Jewish Star of David and a cross on her crown, surrounded by Arabic writing.
The problem with this article is that it doesn't really differentiate between Muslims who have a problem with music, and Muslims who have a problem with certain music (Christmas musicals) or at certain times (Ramadan).
A number of schools are allowing Muslim parents to pull their children out of classes, even though the subject is a formal part of the national curriculum.
Dr Diana Harris, a lecturer at the Open University, said she had visited schools where half of pupils were withdrawn from music during Ramadan.
By law, children are supposed to take part in all subjects and parents can only remove children from sex and religious education.
The city of Dresden on Thursday paid its respects to a pregnant Egyptian woman who was stabbed to death in a courtroom one year ago in a racially motivated crime that outraged the Muslim world.
Officials including Saxon Justice Minister Jürgen Martens honoured the memory of 31-year-old Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the “veil martyr,” with a plaque to serve as a warning against racism.
Catalonia's parliament rejected Thursday a move to ban the wearing of the Islamic burqa in public places across the Spanish region after reversing an initial vote.
A resolution moved by conservatives and centre-right nationalists was passed, but opponents said there had been a technical error and some absentees at the moment of the vote.
After the session was suspended, the parliamentary speaker ordered the vote to be put again, prompting a walk-out by the motion's supporters and a victory for its left-wing opponents.
Norwegian Muslim Mohyeldeen Mohammad of Larvik praised Allah for the death of four Norwegian soldiers in Afghanistan Sunday. The statement caused Frp politician Jan Fredrik Vogt of Sande to demand a Taliban-free Vestfold and Norway and to call to deny the Muslim from returning to the county, be it as a 'guest, resident or traveling through'.
Minutes after Norwegian media announced that four Norwegian were killed in Faryab province in Afghanistan, Mohyeldeen Mohammad posted the following on his Facebook page: "Allah Akbar! Norwegian terrorists killed in Afghanistan! Alhamdulillah, praised be Allah, this will be celebrated!"
The Moroccan organizations united in the Amsterdam Moroccan Forum (AMF) are sick of it: too often Moroccans automatically get the blame for problems or incidents and that should stop.
The AMF calls to end what they call "Moroccan-phobia'. The immediate reason is the news report this week in De Telegraaf that the residence of an Amsterdam Jew was pelted with eggs by a group of Moroccan youth. A police investigation later showed that the perpetrators were three Jewish boys who live in the neighborhood and that they threw the eggs out of mischievousness.
Community leaders have slammed XXL club owner Mark Ames today after he vowed to boycott British Muslims.
The London nightclub entrepreneur promised to snub Muslim-owned businesses in response to racial unrest in East London. He also tried to justify his decision by reference to the death toll of British troops in Afghanistan, which has risen above 300.
He wrote on Facebook: “From today I will be boycotting any shops, petrol stations restaurants or businesses I know are owned by Muslims this also includes holidays to muslim [sic] countries today see [sic] our death toll up to 300, so why the hell are we not just flying this scum back out to there beloved states and pull out and let them fight out there [sic] own issues!”
The Italian Foreign Minister, Health Minister, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies signed the inter-ministerial Convention sponsoring the "Halal Italia" project yesterday.
The project in question is intended to create an Italian Halal stamp of certification for Made in Italy food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products compliant with Koranic law.
An increasing number of men are being forced into marriage, a government body revealed Thursday, often because they are gay or bisexual.
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) says it received more than 220 emails and calls to its helpline last year about suspected forced marriages involving male victims -- up 65 percent from 134 in 2008.
And the figures may be just the tip of the iceberg, experts believe, with many more cases unreported.