Starting in 2011, hotels in Brussels could get a halal label. No porn channels, no pork, but with a Koran and a prayer rug, and a pointer towards Mecca.
The label will be awarded by BECI (Brussels enterprises, commerce and industry) starting in 2011. It is a European first.
A popular fast-food brand said Tuesday it would extend the number of halal only restaurants in its chain in France, after a controversial pilot project in February proved a success.
Some politicians reacted angrily to Quick's announcement earlier this year of its first halal-only branches, saying the chain had deprived non-Muslims of a right to standard burgers and promoted social divisions.
But the Belgian chain said Tuesday it would switch 14 more of its French branches to serve only halal meat, certified as slaughtered in accordance with Islamic practices, bringing the total in France to 22 of its restaurants.
"In view of the results of the experiment in February, we have decided to keep the halal service in the eight test restaurants and to extend it ... from September 1," said Quick chief executive Jacques-Edouard Charret.
Via Swiss Info:
The political climate for minorities in Switzerland is becoming more difficult, an expert tells swissinfo.ch.
Gülcan Akkaya, vice president of the Federal Commission against Racism, says Switzerland needs a policy that includes and recognises everyone living here.
Twelve youth were caught by the police Sunday evening in Nørrebro in Copenhagen, after setting fires and overturning a car, and driven home to their parents. The police are blaming the lack of sugar balance.
The police are out in mass in the area around Sjællandsgade and Stevnsgade, where the trouble broke out.
"It's now Ramadan and it is our impression that the unstable eating patterns combined with the fact that the youth have nothing to do in the evening causes problems. We see this every year. But nobody was injured and nobody was really arrested," says Mads Firlings of the Copenhagen police.
Police expect that the troubles will die out now that the police is present in the area.
Via Georgian Daily:
Over the last two decades, many of the mosques in Moscow and other Russian cities have gone over to the use of Russian, a practice that has allowed them to reach out to and draw in many non-Tatars and thus boost the number of practicing Muslims even while reducing the role of the mosque as the center of Tatar life.
For Russian officials and commentators, as a result, the language question among that country’s Muslims has also been a divisive. Some Russian officials have supported the shift from Tatar to Russian either out of simple nationalism or in order to reduce the influence of independent fundamentalists.
But others, more comfortable with the earlier situation in which Tatars and Muslims were almost synonymous in many parts of Russia, have been worried that this shift has allowed the influence of Islam to grow not only among “ethnic Muslims” of various kinds but also among ethnic Russians and other groups that have not traditionally chosen Islam.
Almost 40% of employed 2nd generation immigrants work in supermarkets, wholesalers or other commerce, new figures show. Supermarkets are extremely happy to have New Danes.
Altogether there are nearly 22,000 workers in commerce of non-Western background, according to data from the Ministry of Integration. According to Dansk Handelsblad, commerce is the field employing the most immigrants.
38.5% of all women aged 16-29 who are employed and have parents of non-Western background work in commerce. The figures for men in the same group are slightly lower, 37.2%. Just 25% ethnic Danes aged 16-29 work in commerce.
At Metro, which has 192 workers of non-Danish background, employing New Danes is completely natural.
"With New Danes we get a good, stable and loyal workforce. In our store in Glostrup almost every other employee is a New Dane," CEO Poul Erik Pedersen told Dansk Handelsblad.
Dansk Supermarked, who also own Føtex and Netto, have 5000 employees, who come from 50 countries other than Denmark. The group just hired its first store manager of a non-Danish background, in a Føtex store in greater Copenhagen.
"Our employees should reflect the society around us. New Danes, who have trouble getting into the job market, will naturally be extra loyal when they get a job," says HR manager of Dansk Supermarked, Finn Tang Andersen.
Source: Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish)
Mosques in Italy will not receive a share of income tax revenue the Italian government allocates to religious faiths each year. Hindu and Buddhist temples, Greek Orthodox churches and Jehovah's Witnesses will be eligible for the funds, according to a bill approved by the Italian cabinet in May and still must be approved by parliament.(more)
Until now, the government had earmarked 8 percent of income tax revenue for Italy's established churches. The great majority of these funds go to the Catholic Church, although if they wish, individual tax payers may elect to give the money to charities and cultural projects instead.
The head of COREIS, one of Italy's largest Muslim groups, Yahya Pallavicini, said he was bitter that Islam had been denied the revenue from Italian income tax.
"Work should be begun on legally recognising those moderate Muslims who have for years shown themselves to be reliable interlocutors who are free of and fundamentalist ideology," he said.
More on Thilo Sarazzin's new book here.
Via The Local:
The chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) has called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to send a clear signal condemning anti-Muslim comments by Bundesbank official Thilo Sarrazin, according to a Saturday report.
"I ask the German government to initiate proceedings to dismiss Thilo Sarrazin from the Bundesbank board," Turkish community leader Kenan Kolat told German daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Saturday.
Kolat said the Bundesbank official's comments, which appear in Sarrazin's forthcoming book, had crossed the line. "It is the culmination of a new intellectual racism and it hurts Germany's reputation abroad," Kolat told the newspaper.
Aspects of sharia law imposed in Muslim Chechnya in recent months are inching the republic closer to autonomy and posing a renewed threat to Kremlin control, analysts say.
The Kremlin relies on its hardline Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to maintain order in the violent region in the North Caucasus, where separatists were driven from power a decade ago after two wars.
Analysts say Kadyrov's methods to tame the region include a crackdown on opponents and imposing his radical vision of Islam, which could push Chechnya again towards separatism.
Earlier this month Chechnya's spiritual leader successfully ordered the shutting down of all eateries during the holy month of Ramadan. Separately, many women said they had been harassed by men for not wearing headscarves in what some of the assailants said were instructions from religious authorities.
The Ramadan orders followed words of praise from Kadyrov who told state TV he was grateful to attackers who targeted women with paintball pellets in June for not wearing headscarves.
Amnesty International recently published a report about the UK's use of control orders which said that terrorism should be dealt with by the criminal justice system. I related to this idea in an article on JURIST, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law site.
News stories like this emphasize how simplistic Amnesty's solutions are. It's not news that Muslims are radicalized in prisons. You can enter the criminal justice system a non-Muslim criminal and exit a Muslim terrorist. It's easy to say we want terrorists in regular prisons, but you then also have to explain how you deal with such problems.
It's ironic. If you're brainwashed by Muslim terrorists while under government care, Amnesty would do nothing to protect you, but if you then go out to wage battle against civilians, they will be there for you every step of the way.
In fights before and after the Anderlecht - Partizan Belgrade Champions League qualifications match, two fans of the Serbian champion were seriously injured . The fans challenged a group of immigrant youths next to the Brussels South stations. Two Serbians were badly injured. One of them is in intensive care at Saint Peter's Hospital and his life is in danger. According to the latest reports, he is brain-dead.
A gang of about 400 Serbs descended on Brussels Tuesday, and not only for the match. The Serbs were out to fight with Muslims. "The hatred of the Serbs towards Muslims is still deep, fifteen years after the war against Bosnian Muslims," says a police source. The Serbs were badly beaten. Besides the first victim, another man lost an eye and a third was injured in his face.
Source: De Morgen (Dutch)
He has been living for six years in Berlin, and is married to a German woman, yet Rabee [who gave only one name] has no German friends.
In politically correct parlance this could be headlined: 'New German marries old German, does not befriend older Germans'.
According to our sources, the Federal Public Service (SPF) of Justice will soon launch a pilot project to train personnel in prisons about the problematics of halal. Apparently, though it is difficult to obtain exact figures on the percentage of Muslims in Belgian prisons. observers agree that there are many religious Muslims there. And it also frequently happens that inmates convert to Islam in prison. Prison guards, nurses and doctors are often confronted with requests or conduct by prisoners which they are not trained to handle. "It is true that there is a pilot project on the problematics of halal, but it's briefings," confirms an official of the SPF Justice.
Immigrants from the Middle East often deal with criminal matters themselves and fail to report violence, for example, to the police.
A couple of years ago the Danish media reported about similar courts in Odense.
A couple of weeks ago the Guardian was all aghast about the fact that the Quilliam Foundation accused moderate peace-loving Muslims of being radicals. The assumption being that if a Muslim is working for the Scotland Yard, then he must be moderate.
It looks like a slow news day, so I thought this would be a good time to share a few thoughts on the subject.
Russia should put an end to local rules forcing women in Chechnya to observe an Islamic dress code, Human Rights Watch said today.(more)
Since the start of Ramadan in mid-August, Human Rights Watch has received numerous reports from Chechnya about women being harassed in the streets of Grozny, the republic's capital, for not covering their hair and/or wearing clothes deemed too revealing.
"Forcing women to wear religious or traditional clothing violates their right to personal autonomy, and the Kremlin should end this interference with their private life," said Tanya Lokshina, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Chechen women, like other Russians, should be free to choose how they dress."
He was eating breakfast on the terrace of a restaurant in the center of Lyon on the weekend of August 15th, when three youth jumped him because he didn't observe the fast of Ramadan. The father of the Senegalese family from Vénissieux was hit on the head with a glass bottle, and then beaten with a chair. Rushed to the hospital with a fracture to the back of his head, the victim was operated on. The attack was caught on CCTV, but the images are of poor quality and it is impossible to identify the attackers. The Lyon prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation. According to our sources, the manager of the kebab (restaurant), fearing reprisals, wants to testify anonymously.
Three days later, a young Jewish woman lodged a complaint for being assaulted in a supermarket in Toulouse. The victim said she was taken to task for buying food during the fast. The young woman argued that she was Jewish, which just made her attackers angrier. They called her a 'dirty Jew', hit her on the head, and roughly pushed her down. A guard witnesses the events, without intervening. Questioned by the investigators about his passivity, the man explained that he observed Ramadan and hurried to leave in order to eat after sunset.
See also: Brussels: Ramadan rage attacks
In June former French footballer Vikash Dhorasoo wrote on his blog that the French team eats halal. This week the national team's head coach confirmed this had been the case. Not anymore, though.
Via Global Voices:
Followers of Moroccan blogger Ahmed, who writes on Alash? [Ar] (Why?), know he is fond of the art of satire. Earlier this month he published a post about a supposed announcement by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy [Ar] of a series of measures to “encourage” French Muslims to follow a French version of this year's Ramadan.
Via Moscow Times:
Chechen women said Friday that they had been harassed and some physically harmed by bands of men for not wearing headscarves during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Bearded men in traditional Islamic dress have been roaming the streets both on foot and in cars since Ramadan started on Aug. 11, demanding bareheaded women wear a headscarf, Grozny residents and witnesses said.
"Two men came up to me, one furiously fingering a prayer bead, and said it wasn't pretty to have a bare head during Ramadan," said Markha Atabayeva, 38. "They instilled such fear in me."
Atabayeva said she had seen a group of men with automatic rifles taunting women for not wearing headscarves.
See also: Chechnya: Paintball attacks for not wearing headscarves
Finland’s Security Police(SUPO) says it has successfully prevented people who pose a threat to national security from entering the country. Security Police Commissioner Ilkka Salmi told YLE that an operation coordinated with embassy officials in Africa had prevented terrorist suspects from entering Finland.(more)
“We prevented the entry of persons either with links to either terrorist organizations or activities,” Salmi said.
He gave no precise details of how many suspects were involved.
The Security Police dispatched its first detectives abroad last spring. After a trial period of a few months they visited Finnish embassies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Syria. During their month-long visit, the detectives participated in local interviews conducted with people applying for residence permits in Finland.
The Muslim fast is becoming so normal, that all German parties celebrate Ramadan.
The Muslim Ramadan is quietly becoming part of the public space in Germany, and thus something which interests non-Muslim Germans - or in any case, something they can't avoid noticing.
"The interest of Germans in Ramadan is growing," says general secretary of the Muslim Central Council, Aiman Mazyek, with satisfaction.
Justice Minister Knut Storberget said in response that he does not intend to change the current no-hijab policy.
A Norwegian administrative court on Friday said a ban on police women wearing the Islamic headscarf was illegal, in response to a government refusal in 2009 to allow officers to don the hijab.
The Norwegian Equality Tribunal said in a non-binding opinion that the ban ran counter to the country's freedom of religion and anti-discrimination laws by depriving a whole category of women from access to the police profession.
"The official objective is for the police to mirror Norwegian society as a whole," the tribunal wrote in its ruling.
"The society is multi-cultural and diverse, and the police should also illustrate this diversity, precisely to allow it to maintain trust at large" among the population, it added.
Via Daily Telegraph:
Passport photographs of Ibrahim Adam, 23, who has been on the run for three years, have been discovered after British intelligence began unraveling one of the biggest terrorist networks discovered since September 11.
Security sources told the Daily Telegraph they believe Adam is currently in Pakistan but is trying to get a passport. They fear that he may be trying to travel to the West in order to plan attacks.
Via Deutsche Welle:
Liberal German-Turkish politician Serkan Toeren has called for a ban on the full-body veil worn by Muslim women. Toeren wants to follow in the model set by France and Belgium, which banned the burqa earlier this year.
The liberal parliamentarian Serkan Toeren has demanded a ban on the burqa in Germany. Toeren, who represents the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the Bundestag, says it was time to have an open debate on the issue.
Toeren, whose constituency is in Lower Saxony, said the full body covering worn by some Muslim women, obscuring the face, posed a threat to public security, and undermined the individuals.
"Wearing a full-body veil like the burqa is a breach of human dignity." Toeren told the German daily Leipziger Volkszeitung.
"Women who choose to wear the burqa voluntarily cannot be accepted either, because individuals cannot control human dignity."
From Thursday Stockholm's city authority is bringing in tougher rules, designed to stop parents keeping their children out of some classes.
Now only the head teacher can decide to allow a pupil to skip a subject such as sex education. And if a child doesn't take part in this subject this will mean they'll have gaps in their qualifications when they finish school.
Montenegro's security agency is stepping up surveillance of radical Muslims suspected of links with fundamentalist Wahabi movement in the region. Police have been authorised to tap the phones of alleged members of a group based in several towns in Montenegro, reports said.
There some 100 to 120 Wahabis in the tiny Balkan country, according to the national security agency.
The move came after a local politician Dzemail Suljevic from the Serbian part of Muslim-majority Sandzak - which has districts in Serbia and Montenegro - last week urged Muslims from the region to form an autonomous province.
Via The Guardian:
More than £3,000 has been put into the collection box at Mohammed Asif's Gloucestershire shop. Those proceeds will be spent 4,000 miles away, in the north-western province of Pakistan, where the businessman's extended family has constructed a soup kitchen for hundreds of flood victims.
The aid supply chain linking Asif's Oriental Food Store in Cheltenham to refugees flooding into the Pakistani city of Nushera is one of hundreds of ad-hoc relief efforts that British Pakistanis have begun organising while Pakistan's government struggles to cope with the disaster.
"The support from the Pakistani community to us has been extremely noticeable," said Brendan Paddy of the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organisation which responds to major disasters overseas. "But there are a significant number organising their own community activity and wiring money to contacts in the country."
The surge in support from British Muslims, who are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan, contrasts with donations to multinational relief charities, which have struggled to raise the sums given after recent disasters elsewhere in the world.
Muslim bus drivers shouldn't work during Ramadan, says the Danish People's Party in Odense. The party sent a letter to the FynBus transportation company, asking them to give Muslim drivers a vacation on Ramadan.
"When you fast, you're not physically able to drive a bus with many passengers. I want to clearly advise the bus companies to send their Muslim workers home on vacation," says Alex Ahrendtsen, member of the Odense city council.
He thinks bus drivers who are tired and hungry could be a traffic safety risk.
Kim Christiansen, traffic-policy spokesperson for the DPP, disagrees. Bus-drivers need to be alert, he says, but deciding that Muslims should have vacation on Ramadan is going too far.
Source: Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish)
Via The Local:
A civil servant working under Integration Minister Nyamko Sabuni will be assigned new duties after writing a blog saying that there are no good adherents of Islam and comparing the religion to Communism or Nazism.
The man, a non-political appointee, shared his opinion on Islam on his blog in September 2008 when he commented on an article by writer Lena Andersson in which she warned against the "religious terrorism" directed at artists, writers and journalists.
The civil servant's own commentary on the article was that "Islam is like Communism or Nazism. There are no good practitioners - just confused or evil."
Sabuni told the Expressen daily on Wednesday, "I strongly disagree with these views and there is of course no truth in them."
Radical Wahabi fundamentalists have been leafleting mosques throughout Bosnia Herzegovina urging Muslims not to join the country's police and army.
"Those are forces devoted to a fake god who we should fight against with all of our powers," read the leaflets, which Wahabis have been putting in mosque collection boxes.
Members of Bosnia's Muslim community dismissed the leaflets as a "desperate and insane appeal".
In Spain, “new Muslims”–converts to Islam–are clustered in the country's southern Andalusia region. They practice a more liberal interpretation of Sufi Islam that takes its inspiration from Spain’s Muslim history.
I got the chance to spend two nights at Al-Madrassa, an Islamic center founded by new Muslims in Andalusia's Alqueria de Rosales. Every year, the center host a two-week summer camp for kids of all faiths aged 8-16.
Trying to look into this issue, I found this amazing statistic: Most Somali women in Canada are single mothers and the divorce rate is extremely high. Welfare is not the only reason. See also Sweden: Immigrants more likely to divorce
Via Deutsche Welle:
A week into the Islamic fasting period of Ramadan, Muslim groups in Germany have asked their community to dig deep for victims in flood-ravaged Pakistan, where an estimated 20 million people are suffering due to high waters.
Ayyub Axel Koehler, who chairs the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), says the country's Muslim community is shocked and dismayed at the recent devastating floods that have killed around 2,000 people in Pakistan.
He says this is why a special slogan has been devised for this year's Ramadan: "Fast, pray, donate."
Koehler says German Muslims "feel a sense of responsibility" for those in flood-affected regions of the South Asian country, adding that Ramadan is viewed as a time of special social commitment, during which Muslims are asked to give to those in need.
Koehler says he welcomes this generosity as a "positive characteristic of the Muslim minority in Germany."
Last year Dutch authorities arrested American-Somali Mahamud Said Omar by request of the American authorities. Omar is suspected of being a key figure in al-Shabab activities in the US, and specifically Minneapolis. His extradition case is still making its way through the Dutch judicial system.
Now Newsweek reports that Omar might have been active in terrorist activity in the Netherlands as well:
Subsequent events raise worries that Al-Shabab may be seeking new recruits or contacts in Europe as well as America. According to Dutch government officials and Bart Stapert, an Amsterdam lawyer who now represents the former janitor, instead of boarding his Amsterdam-Minneapolis flight, Omar went to Dutch authorities and asked for political asylum. Dutch authorities then sent him to a government-supported refugee resettlement facility in Dronten, a new town in the Dutch province of Flevoland, according to Stapert and two Dutch officials who requested anonymity when discussing legal matters. “While in Dronten it is believed he was connected with or working for Al-Shabab,” one of the officials tells Declassified.
According to both a Dutch official and Omar’s lawyer, the Dutch government’s decision to arrest Omar was based at least in part on a report on him from the AIVD, the Netherlands’ small but highly regarded secret intelligence service. Spokespeople for the service have declined to discuss the report’s contents, and Omar’s lawyer says he has not been granted access to the report.
49.7% of the Danes think that the immigration of the past four decades has been positive for Danish society and 42.4% see immigration as a negative phenomenon, according to an opinion poll conducted by Rambøll/Analyse Danmark for Jyllands-Posten.
While a small majority welcomes immigration, many Danes don't like the presence of Islam in Denmark. 54.9% of the respondents see the presence of Islam as a problem for the cohesion of Danish society.
Professor Jens Peter Frølund Thomsen of Aarhus University, who had researched the relationship between Danes and immigrants says that it is surprising that 42% see immigration as negative at a time when more immigrants are working and when politicians reined in the inflow. Close to half of the Danes have a vehement aversion to immigration. He adds that the fear of Islam and Muslims appeared in the past 10 years.
Imran Shah, spokesperson for the Islamic Faith Society says that people are positive about immigration because they can see that immigrants, like her own father, helped establish the welfare society by taking the job that Danes didn't want. But there's a basic ignorance about Islam, and people have trouble differentiating between culture and religion.
Similar reports from Belgium and the Netherlands.
The lack of a central body in France to oversee the authenticity of halal meat has made some experts doubt that animals have been slaughtered following the correct Islamic procedures.
Estimates of the amount of meat labeled halal that does not meet the strict religious standards range from 40 to as high as 80 percent.
The municipality of Helsingborg is giving 30,000 Swedish kroner to the Ibn Rush student association to disseminate information about the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. "Ramadan is part of Swedish culture and we want to tell everybody about it," says imam Othman Al Tawalbeh.
Ramadan has become an integral part of Swedish culture, but information about the Islamic holiday and Muslim customs and practices should be disseminated further, says imam Othman Al Tawalbeh, director of Muslim student association Ibn Rush's southern district.
'New Danish' young women also get anorexia and bulimia and starve themselves to death. But the counselors who offer help never hear from those girls, who secretly turn matchstick-thin.
Eating disorders don't affect just teenagers named Mette and Caroline. Girls named Fadma and Aisha also starve themselves and dream of a perfect body.
Nearly 30 radio stations dedicated to the Islamic religious event, Ramadan, have gone live across the UK this week.
A total of 28 Restricted Service Licences radio stations commenced this week in a variety of highly Asian populated cities such as London, Leicester, Manchester and Bradford.
Ofcom only usually allows temporary licences for up to 28 days, but makes a special exception in order for the complete event to be covered.
Vandals have desecrated a Muslim cemetery at Komotini in northeastern Greece where an ethnic Turk minority still lives, a police source said on Saturday, with Athens swiftly condemning the act.
Around 10 gravestones were smashed overnight Friday to Saturday, the source said, asking not to be named. Around 30 members of the local Turkish community subsequently demonstrated in central Komotini.
Greek government spokesman George Petalotis blamed the vandalism on "marginal groups trying to sow hatred."
"Their acts must be condemned and are against our national interests," he said in a statement.
The desecration came after unknown assailants on Thursday threw a firebomb at the Turkish consulate in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, without causing damage or casualties.
The risk for serious brain diseases among Norwegian-Pakistani children is 7 times higher than for Norwegian children, and even higher (11 times as high) if the parents are cousins.
[Ed: The article (PDF, NO) says the risk is 7 times higher, but the accompanying chart shows the incidence rate is 3.5 times higher. ]
Escaping the heat, excessive prices and the shackles of morals, more and more Muslims in France prefer to celebrate Ramadan in France, rather than in North Africa, moving their vacation dates so they would return to France by the fasting month, August 10th.
Meziane Idjerouidene, CEO of the Aigle Azur airlines, says that this summer the waves of people going back started in early June, while normally it's 23-25 of June and the peak of returns was between August 8 and 10, the beginning of the 9th month of the Muslim calendar. Last year Ramadan (August 22) also caused a shift in the dates of return, but it was less pronounced. The company transports 1.7 million travelers a year, 50% of them to the Maghreb.
Via Life in Italy:
Muslim farmhands toiling in Italian fields during Ramadan will not break Islamic law if they have the occasional sip of water, one of Italy's top imams said on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of the month-long Islamic fast, expected to start on Wednesday, Imam Ahmad al Sakka of the Rome Mosque sought to head off polemics over the conditions of farmhands working long hours in torrid heat.
See also: Italy: Farm workers will NOT be forced to break Ramadan fast
The Dutch Media Authority has revoked the licence of Muslim broadcasting corporation OUMA Broadcasting Corporation Universal Muslim Association even before its first broadcast.
The Authority says OUMA will lose its licence as a result of a rift between the two parties which formed the new broadcasting company: SMON Foundation Muslim Broadcasting Corporation Netherlands and the OUMA foundation, which was formed by the organisation Academica Islamica.
The organisation of young Dutch Muslims was to appeal to second and third generation Muslim immigrants. Disputes centring on the appointment of key personnel led to Academia Islamica’s departure. One of the issues was the appointment of an interim director who was to earn an annual salary of 85,000 euros for a one-and-a-half-day working week.
Mohamed Boulif, a Brussels-based economist and Islamic finance consultant, plans to open a Muslim bank (NL) in Brussels, he told L'Echo.
Boulif, the former chairman of the Muslim Executive, contacted the big Belgian banks in order to see if they want to support hte project. If not, he intends to go ahead with financial help from the Middle East, specifically Qatar and Kuwait. Boulif already contacted the CBFA (Belgian Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission).
Meanwhile, in Norway, DnB NOR, Nordea and Sparebank 1 all say they're considering offering Sharia loans (NO). Thomas Midteide of DnB Nor told newspaper Klassekampen that within a year they could have sharia loans in Norway.
The famous Dzumaya mosque in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv became the scene of a fist fight among 200 Bulgarian Muslims in the eve of their holiest month of Ramadan.
The brawl erupted when supporters of the two fractions – of Nedim Gendzhev and Mustafa Ali Hadzhi clashed late Tuesday evening. Eyewitnesses say they saw three Members of the Parliament from the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) being drunk and some people in the crowd fighting with knifes.
MUSLIMS in Lleida have presented six written complaints to the city council over its decision to ban the burkha in public buildings.
The Watani Association for Freedom and Justice has said that if local authorities do not respond to their complaints, they will take the matter to the court.
Via the Local:
Sweden’s long summer days are presenting a challenge to Muslims fasting for Ramadan, which starts on Wednesday. Religious leaders say the long hours of daylight are not a good excuse to skip the fast.
Things are set to get even more challenging in 2015, when the fast will fall in June.
Muslims in the northern Italian town of Gallarate have been offered a white tent in the local church car park in which to observe Ramadan. The holy fasting month begins early on Wednesday and lasts until 10 September.
Gallarate's 7,000 Muslims have been fighting for a mosque since 2005, after the local council closed down several prayer halls on hygiene and security grounds.
The integration spokesperson for the Conservatives, Naser Khader, attacked the Muslim Ramadan in a letter (PDF, DA) to the Council of Ethics. The Danish Council of Ethics advises the parliament about ethical problems relating to bio-medicine.
He asked the council to decide if it's ethical for children to fast. The practice is both 'neglect' and 'starvation', it says in the letter, which was written together with pediatrician Vibeke Manniche.
Via The Local:
German television channel RTL2 said Tuesday it was launching a special service for Muslim viewers during Ramadan, letting them know when to begin and end the daily fast.
"You can theorise all you like about integration, but we wanted to send a clear signal," Carsten Molings, head of marketing at the channel, said in a statement.
"RTL2 makes programmes for all people and followers of all religions. Just as every year we reflect Christmas and Easter in our programming, we wanted to do the same for Ramadan."
The way Muslims celebrate Ramadan in the Netherlands has been changing in recent years. In the past they celebrated mostly with each other. Today they use the fasting month to also try to approach non-Muslims. They do it, for example, by organizing iftars, the meal immediately after sunset, for various groups.
It’s food advertising with a halal twist – billboard posters that go blank in daylight hours during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Halal food distributor Isla Delice is set to launch the posters on August 10 (the beginning of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunset to sundown) which show an empty table by day. By night (when Muslims get together to eat), and thanks to a clever back-lighting system, the posters change to become replete with delicious traditional Muslim foods.